CubCrafters has introduced two new variants of the Carbon Cub model: The Carbon Cub EX-3 and FX-3.
The Carbon Cub EX-3 is an experimental amateur built (E-AB) kit, and the Carbon Cub FX-3 is the company’s FX (Factory eXperimental) builder assist version. Both feature a more powerful, fuel-injected engine, constant-speed propeller, and higher 2,000 pound gross weight limit.
“With more than 500 Carbon Cubs flying, we are pleased to announce another meaningful step in the evolution of this aircraft,” said Randy Lervold, president of CubCrafters. “The Carbon Cub has a well-earned reputation as the performance leader among adventure aircraft, and now, with the introduction of the new EX-3 and FX-3 models, we are raising the performance bar even higher.”
The new airframes are similar in appearance and dimension to existing Carbon Cubs, but the new fuselage and wings are designed and tested for the 2,000-pound increased gross weight and higher speed (130+ mph cruise), company officials said.
The EX-3 and FX-3 sport a composite Trailblazer constant-speed prop and spinner from Hartzell, plus the aerodynamic carbon cowl from CubCrafters’ flagship, the XCub.
Hidden beneath the cowl’s distinctive cooling fins is an entirely new fuel-injected powerplant created by the combined design resources at Superior Air Parts, Aero Sport Power, and CubCrafters.
Providing power for the EX-3 and FX-3 is the new CC363i powerplant, a lightweight four-cylinder engine with fuel injection from Precision Airmotive and electronic ignition by Lightspeed Engineering.
Unique to the CC363i is CubCrafters’ ultra-lightweight cold air induction system, according to company officials.
The company’s engineering group employed computational fluid design tools and considerable testing to optimize airflow within the carbon fiber manifold, company officials explain.
Like previous Carbon Cub engines, the CC363i also features a light aluminum oil sump fabricated entirely by CubCrafters.
The CC363i produces 186+ horsepower and has a 9.0:1 compression ratio for extended service life, company officials report.
Core engine components provided by Superior Air Parts include tapered barrel Millennium cylinders, roller tappets, and a counterweighted crankshaft.
CubCrafters’ long-time engine partner, Aero Sport Power, provides assembly and testing of the CC363i using the Superior components, Precision Airmotive Silver Hawk EX fuel injection, Lightspeed dual electronic ignition, and CubCrafters’ new proprietary induction system and oil sump.
The construction of the Carbon Cub EX-3/FX-3 allows an increased useful load of up to 977 pounds, which is greater than any previous Carbon Cub, according to company officials.
The new 3×3 landing gear was originally designed for the XCub and features strengthened fuselage attach points. The wings’ rear spar and attachments have been bolstered, the leading edge uses thicker aluminum, and the new struts resemble those from the XCub, company officials note.
Despite the Experimental certification basis for the EX-3/FX-3, the entire airframe has endured structural, systems, and flight testing that is similar to that of the company’s FAA Part 23 certified aircraft.
“Pilots who have flown the new prototype universally report that it climbs aggressively, handles beautifully, and is even more refined than the current models,” Lervold said. “In fact, the thrust generated by the new aircraft is 20% higher than any previous Carbon Cub.”
Carbon Cub EX-3 kits and FX-3 aircraft are already being delivered to customers.