Beyond the Build
What happens after a PA-18 fuselage leaves our shop? This.
Building a plane is more than a labor of love. It's undoubtedly an infuriating money bucket that eats time as fast as cash. It is also undoubtedly worth it.
There's something to be enjoyed in every step of a build, from scrounging parts to piecing them together. In the same way seeing what comes of our PA-18 fuselages is one of the best parts of building airframes. It's why we like to keep tabs on these Super Cub build projects. You'll find a few of our favorites here.
N807EJ flown by Jim Miller
Owner of a busy multi-city
aerial ad business, Jim still manages to fit in a Cub rebuild every other year or so. In 2017 he put the finishing touches on N807EJ. The 1954 Piper PA-18-135, sitting tall on a set of Wipline 2100 floats, caught the eye of Lindy Award judges at Airventure Oshkosh 2017. From hundreds of aircraft entrants, Jim walked away with Runner-Up Best Customized Classic Aircraft award. Well deserved, we say.
We built Jim a wide body PA-18 fuselage with L-21 windows, ultralight extended baggage, Wipaire gross weight increase cross tube, floor-mounted seat belt tabs, float fittings, metal tube stringers, and doors, as well as a boot cowl kit, custom instrument panel, and under-seat storage box. Photo shot by Jim Miller.
N82749 flown by Loni Habersetzer
Built over winter 2015/2016, 749 went to work with Loni in the middle of May 2016 flying guests of the Claus family’s renowned Ultima Thule Lodge on daily adventures. After a busy summer in the seat, Loni had this to say about his rebuilt Cub:
“It came in lighter than I had hoped for, 1,055 with 6 quarts of oil. The increased AOI was no problem for nose down trim with the simple jack screw tower mods. The brakes turned out awesome, super strong, so was very pleased with that mod as well. It cruises a little faster and lands a little slower. Lighter tail, improved aft loading, better vis over the nose (combination of increased AOI and lowered and shortened cowling), improved braking system. We met all of my build specs, which were lighter, stronger, more cargo area, and utility friendly.”
We built Loni a 107 lb standard PA-18 fuselage with metal tube stringers, metal belly tabs, cargo tabs, fuel pod tabs, high heat seat belt nuts, and lower baggage door frame. Photo shot by Loni on the Canyon Creek Glacier in 749’s 13-million-acre home, Wrangell St. Elias NP.