Flying Tigers

Tiger Cub ultralight

Tiger Cub
Max Rentz's Tiger Cub UL, first flight November 2006

A tip of the virtual hat to Max Rentz, who alerted the Piper Cub Builders List to this darling little airplane. He equipped it with a 25-horsepower, one cylinder F33 Hirth engine, which qualified the plane as an Ultralight under FAR 103. It's now sold with a more robust 447 or 503 Rotax engine, qualifying under the Sport Pilot program.


Here are some of the Tiger Cub UL specs, assuming a 170-lb pilot, with figures for the 447 Rotax on the left and those for the 503 on the right:

Gross weight: 600 lb / 650 lb
Stall full flaps: 25 mph / 27 mph
Cruise: 65 mph / 75 mph
Take-off roll: 150 ft / 75 ft
Landing roll: 300 ft / 300 ft
VNE: 90 mph / 90 mph

"Standard shop tools and a single-car garage are all that's required," says the Tiger Cub website. Plans cost $250, with an estimated 650 hours required for a scratch-built plane. Various part packages are also available; when I tote them all up, I find they total a bit more than $3,000 including the plans. Then there's a "basic kit" (build time 450 hours) for $12,560, a "quick build" kit (150 hours) for $24,800 with 447 Rotax engine and prop, and a "ready to fly" version which adds paint and instruments for $32,500. (Prices posted August 2019; crating and shipping extra.) There are other options, too, including a larger engine, electric start, and hydraulic brakes.

There's also a two-place Tiger Cub Sport II with side-by-side seating and tricycle landing gear -- plans only, though I can find neither a price nor build time.

And there's a fairly busy Tiger Cub builders' email list on Yahoo Groups, founded by that same Max Rentz.

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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