American Legend Aircraft Company Teams with STEM Program at McKinney High School to Build a Legend Cub

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TEXAS, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – American Legend Aircraft Company announced today its participation with McKinney ISD High School students and local STEM project organizers to build a Legend Cub two-place airplane. Organizers state that the project represents the team’s first time building a Legend Cub. The project is currently underway at McKinney National Airport (KTKI), a short distance from the Dallas-area school, and 49 nm due west of Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport (KSLR), home of the Legend Cub.

The Legend Cub is a thoroughly modern recreational aircraft manufactured from tubular steel and covered in fabric. The design takes its cues from one of the world’s most recognized small airplanes, the Piper Cub. The Legend Cub is renown for incorporating contemporary features and construction methods. The first Legend Cub was manufactured in 2005.

The impetus for the Legend Cub student build project began when organizers of separate projects were discussing future options. One casually suggested, “Why not replace your Cub?” The Legend Cub is well-regarded among pilots whom often volunteer their time on similar projects. The lead volunteer/mentor at McKinney High School, Phil Campbell, had previously built two other aircraft under the program. Campbell’s friend Ernie Butcher, in the Houston area, had worked on an estimated 24 builds. Campbell was aware that Butcher enjoys flying his Legend Cub.

Butcher serves as president of Eagle’s Nest Project, a national organization providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education experiences in aviation. According to Campbell, “The program we have devised is not directed at luring kids into aviation. Rather, aviation is the hook to get them involved in STEM studies.” The two leaders contend it works both ways, and added that the majority of student participants do tend toward a career in aviation.

Butcher co-owns a Legend Cub that logs much of its time training new pilots; and it’s a very high-time airplane. The other owner is Bruce Bohannon, legendary racing performer also known for his many record-setting altitude and time-to-climb flights. Bohannon currently devotes much of his time training others to fly. The “replace your Cub” suggestion by Campbell mushroomed into, “This time let’s build a Cub,” by Butcher.

The Legend Cub’s reinforced tubular frame, numerous integrated components, and lightweight covering system present a hands-on approach to fabrication. Each airplane is built by teams of workers, where in a factory setting the hours add up quickly. Giving others the opportunity to build a Legend Cub, from a kit and outside a factory setting, naturally lends itself to STEM and hands-on learning. In a student environment, where classroom time stretches across weekends, semesters and summers, participants become “owners” as well as masterminds of the project.

Legend Cub Kit

Approximately 80 Legend Cubs have been completed and approved from kit form. The list includes many notable builders, even aviation celebrities. First Legend Cub kit customer was Rand Siegfried, a former Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Director, who completed the build with his teenage daughter in 2008. Another father/mother/son team, the Takacs family built their Legend Cub kit in 2014. Both builds were done in a factory-assist program and both airplanes were flown to their West Coast homes upon completion.

McKinley Siegfried with her Legend Cub.

McKinley’s Cub, EAA Sport Pilot, March 2009

John and John Paul Takacs with their Legend Cub.

Family Affair, Kitplanes, September 2015

Others have built a Legend Cub kit in their own airport-based hangar, or in a home-based hobby room. Notable are Craig and Sandy Gainza, a husband/wife build team, and their “Pirate Cub.” Their prior building experience was an all-metal airplane, like those of earlier STEM projects. Craig noted, “It’s a Cub, but it’s really a Cub that’s been modified and improved—it’s been pirated.” Their Pirate Cub won a Bronze Lindy for craftsmanship at EAA AirVenture 2013.

The award winning “Pirate Cub” Legend Cub.

Sport Aviation Pirates, EAA Experimenter, February 2014

Danny Clisham built his Legend Cub kit in homage to airshow performer Harold Krier. Clisham, a veteran airline pilot, a.k.a. Skytalker, spent 55 years as an airshow announcer. Shortly after touring the Legend factory, accompanied by “six trusted friends and aircraft restorers,” his dream build was completed. The “Clisham Cub” was painted to resemble the late Harold Krier’s aerobatic airplanes.

Remembering Uncle Hal, EAA Vintage Airplane, May 2000

Danny Clisham flying his Legend Cub.

Danny Clisham & His Cub, EAA Sport Aviation, July 2012

A Legend Cub kit was delivered to Brazil in 2009. The design was selected for its outward appearance to, and finished to resemble, the Piper J3 Cub. Important considerations for the buyer were the kit being derived from the factory-built Legend Cub, FAA approval, and respective bilateral agreements with Brazil aviation authorities. Moreover, the kit enables the manufacture of personalized versions of a Cub with all the buyers’ desired features and options. A kit-built Legend Cub has been flying in the UK since 2012, and several are currently operating in Australia.

Brazil-based Legend Cub.

First International Texas Sport Kit CUB Assembled, Today’s Pilot, April 2010

UK-based Legend Cub.

Retro Delight, Light Aviation, July 2012

Australia-based Legend Cub.

The Cubman, AirSport, September 2015

Considerations for STEM students as well as builders outside the factory include customized tools required in the manufacture of aircraft. A Legend Cub kit eliminates the need for many specialized tools and fixtures. Each airframe is fully welded and sealed for corrosion protection, and the all-aluminum wings are fully riveted at the factory. Assembly of components, finish details, and installation of nuts, bolts, etc. during fabrication requires only common hand tools.

Kit builders of the Legend Cub are presented with an easy-to-follow, detailed and illustrated manual for each step of the aircraft’s assembly. The manual serves as both how-to guide and textbook.

American Legend Aircraft Company continues to be one of the most successful manufacturers of personal aircraft, and is renown for its exceptional product support. The Legend Cub is sensibly modern, a pleasure to fly, and built-to-last.

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 Follow us on and

– Legend Cub –

McKinney ISD High School students building a Legend Cub.