Piper PA 18 “Super Cub”
The Piper PA 18 (PA 18-150) is a small two-seater aircraft, used for flying in mountainous areas due to its STOL characteristics (short takeoff and landing). The engine is a Lycoming O-320 that emits 180 HP at 2700 RPM. The floats are Wipline 2100 amphibious.
In the past the club have owned various aircraft of this type on streight EDO 2000 floats with 150 HP and 180 HP engines.
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The Piper “Super Cub”
For the bush pilots of the Alpine area and the rest of the world
You never forget your first love, the spark was struck when I began my first course on the Piper Supercub I-OLMO in 1970, 40 years later the feeling has not faded.
The Piper I-OLMO, flown by Aristide Cappelletti.
The Cub and the Supercub are aircraft with an extensive history in the world of aviation (both general and seaplane), a history defined by the principal characteristics of this aircraft, high performance and safety and the forgiving nature of the aircraft due to its light weight as a result of being constructed by tubes and canvas. The Supercub is the aircraft to the land with skis on glaciers and move about with tundra tyres in the Alaskan wilderness. The plane can take off from sandy or stony shores alongside a river. In its seaplane setup it is ideal for landings on small stretched of water and at high altitude. These Pipers became the standardised aircraft for bush pilots having to fly in inhospitable areas.
The Piper Supercub has various imitators, the most successful being the Aviat Husky. Many Americans have crossed the American continent along high latitude with a Piper PA18 seaplane, stopping in lake after lake or river after river.
L'I-OLMO in the early 70's.
In Como the first Piper arrived in 1965, it was the N5405Y that became I-OLMO, equipped with radio navigation instruments it is the ideal aircraft for later stages in training. The I-OLMO was also used for advertising, two pilots would take it out on sunny days, making stops at various points around the lake to give people short flight experiences, including for children. In 1971, at Argegno the I-OLMO was damaged during the exam of a student, who was evidently not ready (in those days, the instructor didn't board the plane during the test). A replacement was purchased in 1978 and was the I-SPIC. One year after this aircraft was also damaged when landing on a stretch of water where the conditions were not judged correctly, the pilot onboard had over 1000 hours of terrestrial aircraft experience, but was a novice in a seaplane. The aircraft was later repaired.
In 1987 the aircraft capsized on the lake due to extreme weather conditions of wind shear. Giorgio Porta masterfully recovered the aircraft, almost in tact; he got it back in service after 3 weeks. During these years the Pipers became burned out due to intense usage. The decision was therefore made to sell the I-SPIC and buy a new one. The aircraft bought was from the CGA at Fiorenzo Sbragi and was already registered as I-CGAN. I was happy to pick it up in Genoa for transporting it to Como. I obtained permission to takeoff in a part of the port adjacent to the airport, where the aircraft had been lifted onto the water by a crane. The flight was carried out in lovely weather alongside club member Avio Bananomi.
The I-CGAN flying in the Alpine region.
The proficiency of the Piper prompted the purchase of a second workhorse of this type. There were many years in which the sole piper carried the school, making up to 700 hours of flight.
The most remarkable flights made by pilots from the Como club are those made in the I-CGAN in its seaplane mode. Flights were made from Como to Ischia, Biscarrosse, and many other slightly less glamorous ventures were made.
The Piper is also often used for photography and filming, favoured by the fact that the doors can be fully opened in flight.
The Piper at Biscarrosse, flown by Gerolamo
and Paolo Gavazzi. It was the longest journey
made by thePiper. In the photo there are also
Baj and Confalonieri, who had made the trip
with the C 172.
Around the year 2000 one of the club's Pipers was half donated half sold to a foreign member of the club.
The remaining Piper was transformed by the workshop team to have a 180 HP and painted yellow in the classic cub colours. It was also equipped with a STC to increase its maximum takeoff weight, which was useful, as the floats had already reduced the original payload value.
The club now had only one Piper of the two yellow twins; their last flight together was made on the 30th January 2003 that took place against the backdrop of Como.
Following the departure of the I-CGAN the I-BUFF was also moved on, leading the club to purchase a Piper from a well known formula one driver in France with just 400 hours from new, it was given an Aero Club Como makeover, adding Wipline 2100 amphibious floats and a 180 HP engine.
The possibility of operating without its doors makes
the Piper one of the best aircraft for shooting films
The Piper I-BUFF.
The Piper is well known for its climbing
Piper PA-18 150
||150 hp at 2700 rpm
||Sensenich 74DM6-0-55; 2 blades, fixed pitch
|Diameter of the propeller
|72,5 - 74 in / 184,2 – 188 cm
||22’ 7’’ / 6,91 m
||10’ 14’’ / 3,12 m
||35’ 2.5’’ / 10,7m
|187,5 sq ft / 16,58 m²
|Wipline 2100 anfibi
|Maximum takeoff weight
||2000 lbs / 907,1 Kg
|1520,9 lbs / 689 Kg
|479,1 lbs / 216 Kg
||36 US Gal. / 136,26 l / 216 lbs
| 30 l/h / 7,92 gal/h / 47 lbs/h (2000ft / 2300 rpm)
|Never exceed speed (VNE)
Information not usable for piloting or navigation.