Boys and Their Toys: The CubCrafters XCub
14 November 2016 | Updated on November 12, 2023
In our last Boys and their toys-article, we featured the Icon A5 amphibious LSA. You can check out the article here.
Boys don’t grow up, their toys just get bigger and more expensive.
Flying taildraggers is a bucket list item for every pilot. It requires an extra level of attention and skills but can open doors to smaller grass strips and amazing adventures. And we found the perfect taildragger for your next adventure: the CubCrafters XCub!
Expensive, but it comes with an 180 hp Lycoming engine, cup holders and USB charging ports. What else do you need?
Ever since Piper introduced the Cub, the iconic yellow taildragger has stolen the hearts of many pilots. Many pilots have learned to fly on a Cub, but even more are eager to get their taildragger certificate to really start working on their stick and rudder coordination that’s so critical when flying a taildragger aircraft.
The Washington-based manufacturer CubCrafters built the XCub as a successor to the highly successful Carbon Cub. The company was founded in 1980 by Jim Richmond, who one day came back from a trip to Alaska, sold his home insulation business and decided to start rebuilding Cubs. CubCrafters was born.
After starting out as a business only rebuilding and modifying existing Cubs, the company later moved to building and certifying its own aircraft. With the FAA introducing the new Light Sport Aircraft class, CubCrafters introduced its 100 hp Sport Cub and later the 180 hp Carbon Cub SS. For people who prefer to buy the aircraft as a kit to assemble themselves, CubCrafters offers the Carbon Cub EX, a kit version of the Carbon Cub SS.
You can see an overview of all models and their production dates in the timeline below.
The beautiful cockpit is also something worth focussing on for an instance.
Every XCub is outfitted with a Garmin Area 796 GPS, the basic 3-pack instruments and other gauges and switches you would expect in a SEP airplane. The cockpit also has a dozen compartments for anything from iPads to notebooks and pens. Two cup holders and 4 USB charging ports are also part of the standard equipment. The comfy leather seats, ergonomic stick and beautifully finished interior make this cockpit a great place to spend your time.
“For pilots who want to push the envelope, the takeoff distance can become ridiculously short.” – Flying Magazine
- Useful load: 1,084 lbs
- Top speed: 153 mph
- Cruise speed: 145 mph
- Stall speed: 39 mph
- Range: 800 miles
- Endurance: 6+ hours
- Takeoff distance: 170 ft
- Landing distance: 170 ft
- Certification: FAA Part 23
The XCub can be yours for $297,500. This includes the standard paint scheme, Garmin Area 796 GPS and standard Hydrasorb landing gear. You can also custom configure your XCub with an upgraded interior featuring premium leather seats, rear-seat entertainment console, 10 storage areas, carbon panels and more for just short of $7k. Other possible options include Bose A20 headsets, Tundra tires, custom paint schemes or the Garmin GDL 84 ADS-B package.
For customers who want to get some flight training on the XCub, the company offers a transition course where you can get trained on your own airplane or rented one, for $6,500.
For people who prefer taking off and landing on water, CubCrafters also offers the Wipline 2100 floats, where you can choose from an amphibious or seaplane version, both built by Wipaire.
The XCub offers you the feel, joy and charm of the iconic Piper Cub, but with the technology of today.
All photos and cover by Cubcrafters Group
Make sure to also check out our article on the amphibious Icon A5 Light Sport Aircraft!