CubCrafters is introducing a new variant of its best-selling Carbon Cub aircraft. In development for international markets, the new model is called the Carbon Cub UL.
The company has invested in several new technologies to make the Carbon Cub UL even lighter and better performing than its predecessor, the Carbon Cub SS. The goal is a new aircraft that features multi-fuel technology (MOGAS & AVGAS), fully meets ASTM standards, carries 2 adult people with a full fuel load and a reasonable amount of baggage at a takeoff weight of 600 kg (1320 lbs) and under.
Key to the development of the new aircraft is CubCrafters’ collaboration with BRP-Rotax, which is launching its new 160 HP turbocharged engine on the Carbon Cub UL. The new 916 iS engine is lighter, more fuel efficient, and can produce more power than the normally aspirated CC340 engine on the Carbon Cub SS in higher-density altitude scenarios.
“The Carbon Cub was first introduced in 2009 and has been an amazing aircraft for both CubCrafters and the entire backcountry community,” stated Patrick Horgan, CubCrafters President and CEO. “It has redefined expectations industry-wide for what a light STOL aircraft should be. Now, we’re reimagining the Carbon Cub by incorporating the latest in pre-preg composites, more titanium components, and innovative manufacturing techniques, along with the best new engine and avionics technologies for even more performance and versatility.”
“The Carbon Cub UL is the culmination of years of investment in both human and economic resources, the hard work of our industry-leading team, and our dedication to research and development. We believe this aircraft will make a major contribution to unlocking the enormous potential of the international marketplace,” added Horgan.
The production version of the new aircraft is slated to be initially built, certified, and test flew as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) at the CubCrafters factory in Yakima, Washington, but will also meet Ultralight category requirements in many international jurisdictions.
“The aircraft can remain in the LSA category for our customers in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and even the United States, but it can also be deregistered, exported, and then reregistered as an Ultralight category aircraft in many jurisdictions in Europe, South America, and elsewhere,” explained Brad Damm, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CubCrafters. “This is a concept we’ve looked at for the last several years. Our kit aircraft program has always been strong in overseas markets, and now we are very excited to have a full factory-assembled and tested aircraft to offer to our international customers.”
The UL concept of a lighter and even better performing version of the Carbon Cub for international markets was first seen earlier this month in Dubai, UAE. There, a technology demonstrator version of the aircraft was able to successfully land and take off again from a 27-meter diameter heliport that is suspended 56 stories above the ground on top of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel as part of a recent Red Bull project that inspired audiences worldwide.
The first Rotax 916 iS powered Carbon Cub UL, an engineering development prototype, is on display and can be seen at the CubCrafters exhibit at Sun n’ Fun. CubCrafters will be accepting deposits for the Carbon Cub UL starting at the show, and with the company’s current backlog of new aircraft orders, the first consumer deliveries are expected in early 2025.
Founded in 1980 by Jim Richmond, CubCrafters’ roots are in the 80+ year history of classic grassroots aviation, but the company’s products and services are innovative and completely modern. CubCrafters designs and manufactures Experimental, LSA, and Part 23 Certified aircraft. The Carbon Cub family of aircraft redefined expectations for the backcountry flying experience with innovative design, modern materials, powerful engines, and breathtaking performance. Currently building over 100 new aircraft per year, the company’s newest offering, the Carbon Cub UL is in development specifically for international markets.