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Thread: Clipped wing conversions

  1. #1
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    Clipped wing conversions

    I've seen and heard of "clipped wing" this and that - Cubs, Taylorcraft, etc. Do these remain certified, as in some sort of FAA field approval for the mods, or do they have to get into some sort of Experimental category? Or is there an STC for the shorter wings?

    How is the "wing clip" done? Delete an inner-wing rib-bay and move the ailerons inboard? Or shorten the outer end of the wing, including the ailerons?

    Just curiosity - I'm not working on trying to make my own or anything.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

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  2. #2

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    Hi Eric, The most common STC is for the Reed Clipped wing Cub. If I got it right, the two inner bays are removed and the strut fittings moved out. I saw an airshow routine once that one performed together with a 185 HP radial Great Lakes. The Cub did just fine.

    Bob

  3. #3

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    I have not flown one, but I've seen a clip wing Cub and it looked ok. There used to be more of them I think, there is probably something else better for acro now,maybe a Decathalon?
    There are/were versions of clip wing Spitfires, for low altitude use. No real structural change needed, just remove the normal rounded eleptical wing tip and bolt on a shorter blunt ended one. Flys good, quick roll rate, but loses some of the beauty of the wing.Stalls/lands just a few mph faster.
    There as also an extended wing tip, pointed , for very high altitude use, like a PR version. More rare and not very successful, as I read. I think the one in the Nat Air and Space Museum in DC is this version.

  4. #4
    Adam Smith's Avatar
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    A subject close to my heart! The avatar you see next to my name is our pride & joy - 1946 Clipped Wing J-3 Cub N71370 - a replica of Harold Krier's airplane with a Continental C-90. Budd Davisson has a great article on his website that will save me a lot of typing about the Reed Conversion and what a joy the clipwing is to fly. http://airbum.com/pireps/PirepClippedCub.html

    I previously owned a Citabria 7KCAB with a 150 horse Lycoming O-320. From an aerobatics point of view the clipped wing Cub was a serious upgrade - lighter, nimbler, just a whole lot more fun. I learned to fly in an 85 horse Cub and have flown the stock 65h horse J-3... Again, I think the clipped wing is an upgrade. All the fun of a Cub... just... funner. Cruises a bit faster, rolls much faster, stalls at 35mph, sinks a bit faster.

    Clippy.jpg

  5. #5
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    She is pretty Adam, don't I remember you saying that 370 is Ex/Ex or some other non-Standard category? If she is, why? I'm just curious.
    Jim Hann
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  6. #6
    Adam Smith's Avatar
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    Yes, Experimental Exhibition with a generous set of operating limitations. The reason is not the Reed Conversion (which followed the STC as far as I can see) but the non-standard engine installation.

  7. #7
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!
    Jim Hann
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  8. #8
    As far as a Clipped Wing Cub is concerned. There are at least two versions. The most popular is the Reed Modification. The Reed is not an STC but the last thing approved on the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS). So anyone with a Cub and following the Reed instructions can clip their wings and following the restrictions in the TCDS, fly their Cub with a normal airworthiness certificate. Of course appropriate maintenance paperwork must be completed. There are lots of Clipped Cubs that do not follow the Reed instructions or the TCDS restrictions usually for a bigger engine. These would have to have some other basis of approval for the additional modifications which may be but not necessarily an experimental exhibition only airworthiness certificate. My Reed Clipped Wing Cub N42532 is a '45 J3C-65. I flew it many years as a true Reed Clipped Wing with a A-65 engine. I've since upgraded (significantly) to a C-85 with the 0-200 crank. The larger engine is approved via an additional aircraft STC and the 0-200 crank is approved for the C-85 through an engine STC and the aircraft retains a Standard Airworthiness Certificate.

    I've seen a Swik T which is a Clipped T-craft. Research shows there to be an STC to do this but don't know if it is still available. I've also seen a Clipped Luscomb 8A (I think) which is being flown under a experimental exhibition only airworthiness certificate.
    Last edited by H.G. Frautschy; 09-26-2011 at 10:40 AM.

  9. #9
    clipwingcub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Witherspoon View Post
    I've seen and heard of "clipped wing" this and that - Cubs, Taylorcraft, etc. Do these remain certified, as in some sort of FAA field approval for the mods, or do they have to get into some sort of Experimental category? Or is there an STC for the shorter wings?

    How is the "wing clip" done? Delete an inner-wing rib-bay and move the ailerons inboard? Or shorten the outer end of the wing, including the ailerons?

    Just curiosity - I'm not working on trying to make my own or anything.
    For the cub, I can't speak to any of the others, the Reed conversion is included on the TC, so all that is needed is to do the work, and do a log book entry, assuming you can do the log book entry.

    The Reed takes 40-1/2" off the inboard portion of each wing, making the cub into a fun flying machine. Mine (N11GD) has a non-TC, non-STC engine installed (Continental O-200) and therefore is registered as experimental - compliance with CFR.

    Tony

  10. #10

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    I have a related question, perhaps. I have a J3 Cub with a Continental C90 engine that needs a check or possible overhaul. Can anyone recommend anyone for this,and if they are anywhere near here, Boulder, Co. that would be even better. The two OH shops near here don't do the C-90.

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