Legend Cub Evolves to the Extreme with MOAC

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TEXAS, JULY 7, 2020 – American Legend Aircraft Company announced today its MOAC, a.k.a. the Mother Of All Cubs, a backcountry edition of the Legend Cub. While rooted in the legendary Super Cub, MOAC is a thorough remake and all new construction from the expert hands of American Legend. MOAC incorporates numerous performance enhancing features and is purposely built for the backcountry operations.

Since the wildly successful introduction and debut of the Legend Cub in 2005, successive models have continuously evolved and innovated. At first, the Legend Cub was all about modernity and weight savings. American Legend added strength while lightening the airframe and components. Options to improve pilot situational awareness and comfort followed in the cabin and cockpit. Today’s evolutions of the Legend Cub are again numerous. These include envelope expanding modifications with higher horsepower engines and adapting the airframe for access to remote terrain. Now, MOAC is the most exciting way to fly low, and slow, while driving performance to the extreme.

Horsepower on the Legend Cub has more than doubled with MOAC and current availability of Titan engines from Continental. Up to 208 horsepower (187–195 continuous) results in remarkable takeoff and landing performance on its already strengthened airframe. A Cato fixed pitch, Whirlwind ground adjustable, and Hartzell constant speed are among the many propeller options.

Flaps comprise 20- and 40-degree full-span from wing root to aileron. Leading edge slats and aerodynamic square wing tips with optimized wing tip vortices also contribute to MOAC’s remarkable performance. MOAC can take off in its own length and behind all that thrust are balanced ailerons, highly effective with a light touch on the control stick. The tail surfaces on MOAC are sized to appropriately balance the aircraft’s higher power-weight ratio. “To appreciate these improvements alone, the aircraft must be flown, as simply watching in amazement does not complete the sensation,” stated John Wisdom, CFI and Legend demo pilot.

Perhaps the most critical component for backcountry pilots is landing gear performance. If you don’t remember the days of taxiing and landing on bungee gear and steel springs, your derrière and jarred teeth certainly do. The pinnacle of modern landing gear comes from TK1 Racing with its Shock Monster front suspension. Shock Monster is a nitrogen charged air/oil shock assembly. Designed for the harshest of bush flying zones, the oil dampened system eats up all the landing aircraft’s stored energy on compression. A dual shock setup delivers the security of redundancy, unbelievable cushioning and, best of all, zero bounce back. Shock travel of 4.50 inches equates to about 12–14 inches at the wheel. Combined with the Legend Cub’s custom extended cabane vee, the Shock Monster system summons the use of oversized tundra tires and high performance brakes. MOAC with Shock Monster nearly ensures pinpoint landings with a minimum of rollout.

Longer aircraft legs invariably mean a pilot wants to carry more stuff. MOAC features a turtle deck opening that gives access to extended aft fuselage storage. Cargo doors and a folding rear seat allow storage in the mid-fuselage area for unbelievable carrying capacity. A turtle deck hatch improves accessibility even more, offering two levels of storage and accommodation for longer items, such as a stretcher. The Legend Cub fuselage also allows for L-21 style extended rear windows and a skylight offering near 360-degree viewing.

Extra performance on MOAC also comes from 40-gallons-usable fuel tanks. The extra fuel capacity allows for longer roundtrip flights without a fuel stop, such as into and out of remote areas where fuel is not available. Since its introduction, only the Legend Cub offers doors on both sides of the fuselage for simplified ingress/egress and a full-open cockpit feel.

The cockpit on the Legend Cub has always been more extravagant than one would expect on a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Cub, and MOAC is no exception. Most are equipped with Garmin G3X/G5 glass panels and iPad or handheld panel mounts. LED lighting and Lithium-ion batteries have become standard. Engine monitoring brings great awareness to what’s happening up front and an autopilot does the same outside giving the pilot more time to scan displays of traffic, terrain and weather. For today’s tablet, smartphone and other device equipped pilots and passengers, USB power ports and panel-powered headset jacks are available at all seats.

“After years of lessons learned, including an 80-year Piper history, we build our Cubs to alleviate potential problems,” stated Darin Hart, president of American Legend. “This includes fit-and-finish, engine performance, and control systems. Doors and trim fit to perfection, and we often use common PMA-standard parts for easy serviceability. Our engine choices provide hours of reliability and proven service. Placement of physical controls are optimized to ensure freedom of motion from stop to stop without annoying interference issues so often present in other designs,” Hart concluded.

MOAC can be certified to a gross weight up to 2,000 lbs. As much as 180 lbs of that weight can be placed in the third seat of MOAC as passenger or cargo. Three occupants makes MOAC three times as fun.

American Legend Aircraft Company continues to be one of the most successful manufacturers of aircraft for personal and backcountry use. The Legend Cub is sensibly modern, competitively priced, and built-to-last by a company renown for its exceptional product support. MOAC is the incomparable Cub, a Legend to the extreme.

For further information on the Legend Cub, contact American Legend Aircraft Company at 1810 Piper Lane, Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482; call 903-885-7000, or log on to www.legend.aero. Follow us on facebook.com/LegendAircraft and instagram.com/legendcub.

– Legend Cub –

All photos courtesy of Jim Wilson photography.

The power end of MOAC.
Tandem seating for three.
Turtle deck access to two levels of storage.
MOAC cockpit.
MOAC with autopilot and instrument navigation.
Heart of MOAC is the Titan engine.
MOAC side view with the ability to fly open cockpit.
Pre-flight instruction with MOAC.
MOAC as a glimmer.
MOAC departure.
MOAC in ground effect.
MOAC big wheels first.
MOAC low pass.
MOAC from below
MOAC formation flight.
MOAC over water.
MOAC liftoff.
MOAC wheels up.
MOAC flexing its muscle.
MOAC wheelie.
MOAC formation flyover.
MOAC formation flyby.

Cubs on Mars

Baby Steps to Greatness

The first annual Kokomo Bi-Plane Fly-In was held June 26–27, 2020 at Glendale Airport in Indiana. Kokomo airport ID is 8i3, with a lower case “i” for two good reasons. First, so as to not confuse it with the numeral one, but also to highlight the diminutive aspect of the aircrafts featured at this gathering.

Kokomo Bi-Plane Fly-In 2020 featuring the Baby Great Lakes.

Hosted and organized by Michelle and Ron Beachy, the Kokomo fly-in was held at their home-base airport. Both members of the Baby Great Lakes Biplane Group, the couple flies their very own Baby Great Lakes, a scaled version of its Great Lakes namesake. The 2T-1A Sport Trainer was a biplane produced in the early years of the Great Depression era. Its greatness endures in a big way, here on a smaller scale.

This familiar looking aircraft was manufactured by Great Lakes Aircraft Company from 1929–1933. The American company by which it was conceived produced civilian biplanes, float planes, plus biplane torpedo bombers and dive bombers under contract to the U.S. Navy. Roughly 240 of the Great Lakes Sport Trainer were built.

Chris Hiatt of San Antonio, Texas was one of the fly-in’s enthusiastic participants. He traded in a passion for Aeroncas, at least temporarily, for a chance to hone his skills at biplane aeronautics. Chris was flying an Aeronca Chief at the time the Baby Lakes came along. The new arrival fit neatly into the hanger beneath the Chief. As more of his time and focus centered on the more diminutive aircraft, the Chief got sold. The Baby Lakes served to amp up his quest for adrenaline.

Chris Hiatt (and Baylor Randle, left) with his Super Baby Great Lakes.

The aircraft has many known names, including Baby Lakes, Oldfield Baby Lakes, Baby Great Lakes, Super Baby Lakes, Super Baby Great Lakes, and Buddy Baby Lakes. There exist a small collection of these babies in the U.S. and a tight group of enthusiasts who share their knowledge of them.

Once Chris learned about the fly-in, he was set on tweaking and updating his copy, N822CH. Every last minute was spent readying the aircraft to be trailered 1,200 miles northeast to Kokomo, a feat presumed far less tiring than traveling in a bumpy open-air cockpit solo and luggageless.

Prior to attending, N822CH received new cowlings and had its wings recovered. Chris has also managed to install a starter and new bungies while giving the Baby a thorough pampering. 

Origins of the Baby Lakes are attributed to Barney Oldfield Aircraft Company, named for designer Barney Oldfield. Best summarized as “a scaled-down Sport Trainer,” the airplane uses steel frame tubing and spruce wing spars. It was intended as a one-off construction. Due to popularity of the model, however, plans were produced on-demand and this led to marketing the homebuilt aircraft. Copies began to multiply.

Formation flying with Chris Hiatt and Corben Meyers in their Baby Great Lakes biplanes.

While designed for the Continental A-65 and Volkswagen air-cooled aero boxer engines, Hiatt’s build performs like a rocket with its upgraded Lycoming O-290G 145-hp launcher. It easily proved to be the fastest of the current crop of Baby Great Lakes, thus a world speed record was claimed last month, “130 mph in cruise in a Super Baby Great Lakes.” Chris admits that it wasn’t a real competition and therefore “top speed” was not determined. He was just so far out in front of the others, he surmised, that it must be a record.

Chris Hiatt setting a speed record in a Super Baby Great Lakes.

Chris commented, “Another record was set on Friday the 26th of June 2020… the largest gathering of our beloved tiny Baby Great Lakes biplane.” Months of planning drew Ron and Michelle Beachy and their Baby Great Lakes example, plus Chris with his Super Baby Great Lakes. Shad Bell of Centerburg, Ohio dodged storms to attend in his Baby Great Lakes. Final attendee of the record-setting foursome was Corben Meyer who flew in from Timber House Airport near Lafayette, Indiana, a brief 40 miles west with his 65 hp Baby Lakes.

“Each of the planes are unique in several different ways, with none of them sharing the same landing gear setup. Although the wind blew a constant 20-plus mph,” stated Chris, “Shad Bell demonstrated the aerobatic ability these tiny biplanes in the hands of a skilled pilot.”

3-Aloft, the Baby Great Lakes Reunion participants perform a fly-by.

As was intimated, the Baby Great Lakes are a take-off of the Great Depression era Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 Sport Trainer. These military aircraft, the full scale versions, were originally powered by 85 and 90 hp American Cirrus engines, and later powered by 140 hp Lycoming O-320 and 180 hp IO-360 engines. Other full size copies were plans-built. Production of the concept has stopped and started for nearly a century. But the design would feign oblivion and gain notoriety as a WACO Classic which are built new today, hence reinforcing the greatness and familiarity of the Great Lakes airplane lineage.

Specifications(~2/3 Scale)

Great Lakes Sport TrainerOldfield Baby Great Lakes
Model no.2T-1A-2n/a
Length20 ft 4 in13 ft 6 in
Wingspan26 ft 8 in16 ft 8 in
Height7 ft 4 in4 ft 6 in
Wing area187.6 sq ft88 sq ft
Empty wieght1,230 lb480 lb
Max. takeoff weight1,800 lb850 lb
Maximum speed @ sea level115 knots (132 mph)117 knots (135 mph)
Cruise speed102 knots (118 mph)96 knots (110 mph)
Stall speed50 knots43 knots
Rate of climb1,400 ft/min2,000 ft/min
Chris Hiatt and Corben Meyers with their Baby Great Lakes biplanes.

Kokomo-Glendale Airport (8i3) is home to EAA Chapter 235, chapters.eaa.org/eaa235.

This article was published in General Aviation News, August 20, 2020.

This article also appeared in In Flight USA magazine, August 2020.

This article also appeared in Sport Aviation magazine, September 2020.

African Pilot Magazine, July 2020 – Bearhawk Aircraft

Bearhawk is beyond compare in Strength, Performance and Safety. Now, Bearhawk 2-, 4- and 6-seat aircraft kits are available for immediate shipping. No other aircraft delivers equivalent performance, and the Bearhawk is available in any configuration you desire.

The Bearhawk design offers the best in strength and durability with 100% flush-head solid rivets on all 2024-T3 aluminum skin wings. Bearhawk aircraft are 17% stronger in utility category strength at full gross weight than out-of-production comparable Cessna 180 and 185.

Unmatched in performance, nothing flies as fast, lands as slow, and is tougher built. For example, the Bearhawk Patrol touches down at 35 mph and cruises at 150+ mph. The Bearhawk 4-Place has a 1,350-lb useful load, and outclimbs the competition.

The full line of Bearhawk designs are best-in-class with built-in safety margins and more utility. Optimized with a Riblett airfoil, Bearhawk aircraft outperform in climb, speed and slow flight. Their beefy 4130 steel frame provides a safe and roomy cabin. All airplanes are not created equal, compared to a Bearhawk.