The Only War We've Got
Savage Cub
Like Cub lookalikes from American Legend Aircraft in Texas and Cub Crafters in Washington, the Savage Cub owes more to the PA-18 Super Cub than to the original J-3.

A Cub with a Rotax engine

The Savage Cub first went into production in Italy in 1997 or 1998, but soon moved to the Czech Republic, where for several years it was offered as a kit-built plane by Zlin Aviation. Soon it became available in ready-to-fly models, and Pasquale Rosso at Zlin tells me that ready-to-fly aircraft are now its primary business. "We have delivered 377 planes and 43 are on order," he told me in an email. Price of the Savage Cub is €61,500 ($68,771 at today's exchange rate), with the skeletal "Bobber" about €10,000 less and the more robust "Shock Cub" €10,000 more. Transatlantic shipping probably means higher prices in North America. (There are two dealers in the US whose websites aren't very helpful, and an interesting one in Canada -- Chilcotin Flyers -- that focuses mostly on the Shock Cub bush plane.)

The Savage Cub is typically equipped with 100 hp Rotax engine, electrics, flaps, and 18 gallon wing tanks. You can add skis, floats, tundra tires, and of course a full menu of avionics. The plane is essentially a clipped-wing Cub (span 30 feet 10 inches), a bit wider than the original J-3 (cabin width 2 feet 3 inches). With wing tanks, it can be flown from the front seat, though the controls are accessible from the rear seat as well.

The max gross takeoff weight is 1,041-1,234 pounds, so the plane easily qualifies as a Light Sport Aircraft in the US, where a Sport Pilot can fly with fewer requirements for training and medicals. Empty weight is as low as 652 pounds. The company claims a cruising speed of 103 mph, stall speed 36 mph with full flaps, ceiling of 14,000 feet, takeoff distance 328 feet, and landing distance 278 feet. All this with the 100 hp Rotax 912S engine.

"A new incredible version is arriving soon," says Mr Russo in his email; "you will notice it because will be the first Cub-like plane capable of a cruise speed of well more than 125 mph with a stall speed below (a real) 21 mph."

Savage seats and instrument panel

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