I was talking to John McBean recently and I was telling him about my radio/headset issue. He made the statement "even the best radio is only as good as your headset." I believe he was right on target. I have an old Delcom handheld radio out in my shop that I've had for probably 20 years. KTTA is only about 7 miles away and I can listen to every plane that goes and comes. I've always noticed how some come in loud and clear and others not so much. Often I can hear lots of engine noise. I'm convinced their headsets are the #1 cause. The difference in my radio with the Lightspeed Zulu 3 verses my old Avcom headset is like night and day. I'm not trying to push any one brand of headset over another. Whatever works best for you! But even the best radio is worthless if no one can understand you. And I can't think of the words to describe how much I like the ANR feature. James Thomas
I have the Lightspeed Zulu 3. I made my choice after realizing my "el cheapo" headsets were not doing a very good job. I could hear pretty well and they transmitted just fine on the ground but at cruise rpm no one could understand a word. The transmitter was picking up so much engine noise from my 912 I had to throttle way back to be heard. They didn't work very well with the intercom either. One of my friends has a Cub Crafters S/S and has a spare Bose he wasn't using. He handed them to me to try. Man, what a difference. As soon as I hit that ANR switch I became a believer. Several of us were doing a flyout for lunch that day and I was able to communicate clearly with one of our group 13 miles away. Problem solved! The Bose is great but my buddy with the C/C Cub had retired the Bose in favor of the Lightspeed Zulu 3. He said his Cub is extremely noisy and the Lightspeed does a better job keeping the noise out. I went with the Lightspeed based 1st on cost. Bose list for $1095, Zulu $850. Number 2, I like the Zulu's larger ear cups. They seem to keep the noise out better even with the ANR off. The carrying case with the Zulu is better. The Zulu cords are better. They're very comfortable. I like the Bose but even if the cost were equal I'd still chose the Zulu. I've never been any more pleased with a product, so pleased I ordered another for my passenger. I'm not one of those wealthy pilots so the cost hurts but I think they're a good value. James Thomas
I'm glad I could answer some of your questions. If you know a good A&P, familiar with this type airplane, it might be a good idea to have another set of eyes look it over. I have a good friend that's an A&P who's a real stickler for little details. He does my annuals. He's a pain but I like that he's so thorough that I have complete confidence that it's right when he's done. Better to find before you buy any repairs or past damage. I think that wide bush gear is a big plus. That model 2 was prone to get up on one wheel pretty easy in a crosswind. I have a model 4 that I'm extremely happy with. I was the 3rd owner of the kit that was 1st bought in 1995. The original owner ordered every option including the trailer. It has all the Speedster options, the airfoil tail feathers, radiator fairing, Grove gear, 22 inch Dessers and a Kiev prop. It does have the long wing. I have the 912ul. I couldn't be any more pleased with it. I finished it and flew it the 1st time in November 2015. I'll try to figure out how to post a picture. I forgot to mention that I have the full bubble doors and full Lexan turtle deck. LOVE IT! James Thomas
Yea, that aileron mixer change on the Model 4 was a drastic improvement. I'm not constantly "chasing the ball" any more. I can find out the N number but I probably shouldn't post it. I can find out and text or e-mail it to you. It wouldn't bother me but some folks don't theirs made public. I didn't log my time in it since I didn't have the tailwheel endorsement at the time. I guess I could have and just not made mention that it was a tailwheel. That was along the time (grace period) that owners of "fat, 2 place ultralights" were transitioning them over to light sport. I'm probably telling too much. I remember it had the 3 blade GSC prop, a standard bungie gear and 21 inch Nanco's. I don't remember about the strut fairings. $7000 doesn't sound too far off, especially if the engine can be overhauled. I'd give Rotax Rick a call and talk to him. I don't have any idea what it cost to overhaul one these days but even if it's $5000 you'd still only have $12000 invested. That's assuming everything else is good. In my opinion, $12000 is getting toward the top of the price range for a basic Model 2, maybe a little more if it's extra nice and well equipped. Having a newly rebuild, updated to blue head 582 spec would be much more desirable than paying $12000 for a Model 2 with a running but mid time engine that you know nothing about. James Thomas
Hey Mark. Yea, I have heard the horror stories too about Avids and early model Kitfoxes. The one I flew did handle a lot different from anything I had flown. The takeoffs and landings are no different than any other taildragger but it does handle different in flight. I always had to keep a watch on the ball to make coordinated turns, that "adverse yaw" thing we've heard so much about. I've made the statement many time that it's just as happy to fly sideways as straight. The J3 is a piece of cake by comparison. Coordinated turns seem very natural and easy in a Cub. I understand it's the flaperons on the early models, the ratio between up and down, that caused the adverse yaw. The rudder is actually pretty strong. I really think they're a pretty easy plane to land. The key is to always touch down straight. Look over the nose on landing and keep your sight picture off at a distance. It's easy, as the nose starts to rise in the flare, to sight down the side of the nose, which is tapered. If you're not careful, this will cause you to crab and when you touch down, oh well, you can imagine.If you land straight, it'll stay straight. The early models just take some getting used to. A Cessna only pilot would probably think they fly horribly.. They're not bad but they are different. They just take some getting used to. The later models are much more civilized. My Model 4 is much more "pilot friendly" but no more fun than the 2 I flew. I almost think the 2 was an easier plane to land well, since it lands so much slower, than my 4. James Thomas
I do. It belonged to my best buddy here in central North Carolina. I learned tailwheel in it, unofficially, since he wasn't a CFI. I probably scared him off from ever becoming one. I was in the process of building my model 4 and and he was kind and patient enough to teach me. After I soloed the Kitfox and got fairly decent with it he put me in his J3. I had a fair amount of time in both by the time I went to a CFI and made it legal with an official tailwheel endorsement. I had owned a nice Stits covered CGS Hawk with a 503 Rotax so I was pretty familiar with 2 stokes. I always suspected the airspeed was indicating fast. And some of you may have noticed the tach reading. Being familiar with 2 strokes I knew that the prop should have been pitched so it would be turning 6200 rpm or so on climbout. But the tach may have been off too because it performed so strong. Take off roll was short (count the seconds off for yourself) and climb was strong. It sure sounded like it was turning higher than it was reading. I even kept it in my hanger after I sold my Hawk that I owned for 15 years. I flew it regularly and it was a good trainer to prepare my for my Model 4. It had 21 inch Nanco's and flew very nice. I flew it off pavement a lot and I never had any problem. I remember my first pavement landing with it. I was pretty nervous since I had heard the stories of how unforgiving pavement was since I had only landed it on grass. I don't think I even heard the tires chirp. It was a great little airplane. It was still in North Carolina with its new owner and doing good the last time I knew. I'll never be able to repay my friend who helped me tame the tailwheel, handed his plane over to me to fly all I wanted and keep in my hanger. He helped me finish my Model 4, helped me haul it to the airport and was there for moral support when I test flew it the 1st time. He was also my 1st passenger. Few people will ever be so blessed as to have a friend like that.