Legend Cub
The American Legend Cub made its first flight on March 10, 2005. A bit wider than the original J-3, and with doors on both sides, the plane boasts a 100-hp engine and gasoline in the wing. What a pretty sight!

A J-3 lookalike for the 21st century

Updated: The Legend company now has a spin-off to supply Cub kits to the home-builder. Read about it in the March 2008 issue of Kitplanes magazine. (Also a good critque of the Legend Cub itself.)

American Legend Aircraft Company flew its all-new Legend Cub for the first time on March 10, 2005. This was the first aircraft from Legend, a startup company with roots in corporate aviation.

Similar in appearance to the J-3, the Legend Cub represents an evolution in design and fabrication, says the company: "Numerous enhancements make the Legend Cub a thoroughly modern aircraft. These include a 100-horsepower Teledyne-Continental piston engine, an electric starter, and modern instrumentation. Options include a BRS parachute, Baumann floats, Garmin avionics, and a flat-panel display."

The Legend Cub flew for about 15 minutes on its first flight, then a further 4½ hours in testing. At the controls was Legend vice-president Darin Hart, who reported that the airplane flew flawlessly and that "operating the Legend Cub was sheer pleasure." (Well, he was hardly likely to diss it :)

Company president Tim Eliot promised that the Legend Cub would be available "in any color you like as long as it's yellow with a black stripe," showing that he has his priorities straight. I'm happy also to see those Continental cylinders sticking out at the sides. (The company says it will also produce the airplane in a closed-cowl version for the benighted souls who don't appreciate the beauty of exposed cylinders.)

The Legend Cub is designed to meet Light-Sport Aircraft category certification requirements. It will have a maximum gross weight of under 1,320 lbs. With optional floats, the aircraft will be capable of water takeoffs and landings. Light-Sport Aircraft certification of the Legend Cub is expected in June 2005 upon completion of ASTM standards and approvals. First deliveries will take place immediately following certification.

According to reports from those who have seen the plane under construction, it is about three inches wider than the J-3, probably as a concession to the evolution in the American butt in past half-century. The base price is $67,000 for the basic airplane. When Tom Trissell of Clarksville TX visited the American Legend factory (it's located in Sulphur Springs, some 30 miles east of Dallas), they were welding up the second aircraft, and meanwhile putting hours on the first one to get it ready for Sun-'n-Fun on April 12.

"There was a keyed mag switch and maybe a amp/volt gauge in the left wing root," Tom reported, "and they are using Super Cub style glass tube fuel quantity gauges." I asked him if he would trust his life to the welding he saw, and he replied: "Yes. Only time will tell how well their mods from the original will be accepted. {But] if you look back in the [Cub Builders] archives, you will see where I had ... bought a Cuby license to build a Super Cub out of a J-3. From the looks of it, [American Legend has] done the things that I wanted to do, plus some things that I would not have been able to do on my own."

In short, a very promising bird. I can't wait to score a frequent-flier ticket to DFW, rent a car, drive to Sulphur Springs, and test-fly that Legend Cub!

American Legend Cub specifications

Base Price$67,000
Cruise Speed83 kt
Stall Speed (clean)30 kt
Rate of Climb500 fpm
Takeoff Roll350 ft
Landing Distance350 ft
Maximum Range274 nm
Useful LoadNA
For more information, see the Web site.