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Dakota Cub’s Extended Slotted Wing
Flight safety is something all pilots talk about. They live it, accept it and still hope to choose it in their daily life in the world of aviation. For the Super Cub fanatic, the Dakota Cub’s extended split wing offers pilots the ability to improve their safety margin as well as increase the aircraft’s climb performance.
Imagine riding your Super Cub at a high angle of attack with the speedometer reading 20 mph, then rolling at 60 degrees of bank and launching a climbing spiral while selecting a lower power setting at full throttle! This is the typical exhibit that sells the Dakota Cub Extended Slotted Wing. The second most discussed quality of this wing is the ability to have full flight control authority at high angles of attack. No more soft controls, drop or wing drop at stall.
Mark Erickson, the founder of Dakota Cub, began his mission in the 1990s. All he wanted was a Cub rib. Nothing Piper was available at a reasonable price and since Piper’s ribs were so fragile, he decided to build his own. He applied modern technology to an older Piper wing that was originally developed for the YL-14 linkage version of the J5C Cub. The YL-14 wing was a split wing. According to Erickson, there were only 14 of these aircraft built before the end of World War II. They were specifically designed for short 100 foot takeoffs and climbs with high angles of attack. There are only two still in the air today – one in Spain; the other in Nebraska.
The Dakota Cub extended slot wing has several deviations from the original Cub wing and the L-14 wing for that matter. Erickson revised the original Piper US35B airfoil used for the L-14. He developed a custom “T” shaped extrusion with the same dimensions which, when used in the construction of a truss-style rib, is lighter, easier to work with and stronger than the wing of a truss. ‘origin. Erickson obtained an STC for the new wing in 1993.
Erickson’s new rib adds only seven pounds to the weight of each stock Piper wing. The new wing has been structurally tested at 2,200 lbs access, however, STC limits gross weight to 1,750 lbs for the stock wing or 2,000 lbs for wings equipped with the Wipaire One Ton Cub STC. This artificial reduction will hopefully be changed in the future. In the years that followed, Erickson designed ribs and many other parts that are FAA PMA-ed for all rag-wing Pipers. Erickson earned STC for the full length leading edge slot in 1998. This slot helps preserve the boundary layer of airflow at slow speeds. On top of that Erickson designed a square wing and got rid of the tip bow giving the wing 6% more area, increased the flaps giving 44% more flap area , and pushed the ailerons outward 23 inches toward the edge of the wing. He calls it “the extended wing”. The square wing adds approximately 8 pounds to the stock Piper wing.
Adding a slot to the stretched wing adds an extra nine pounds per wing, but the increased safety envelope to fly from is well worth the trade-off. The flight characteristics of the square and split wing, which Erickson calls the “extended split wing”, are the main advantage and emphasis when it comes to choosing which wings to include in your Cub project. The Extended Slotted Wing is the highest performance wing offered by Dakota Cub. It has a 135 inch slot, a square wing with 102 inch ailerons and a 90.25 inch flap. Dakota Cub also offers the standard Cub fender and a slotless square fender.
The extended split wing is simply a safer wing. It allows for a higher critical angle of attack, slower stall speed, and virtually eliminates the sudden loss of lift as opposed to a straight wing. It delays the separation of airflow from the wing surface, so aileron authority is maintained and in many cases the only sign of a stall will be a higher than normal rate of decency. This phenomenon allows the aircraft’s sink rate to be controlled as it approaches landing by power alone allowing for a more precise touchdown point without fear of a wing stalling or falling to one side. The wing also has an improved roll rate due to the ailerons extended to the wingtip.
If you want to take full advantage of the Slotted Wing Extension on your Super Cub, it is recommended that you install a 3 inch Speed Extension. Extending the gear will allow the glider’s slow speed capabilities to take full effect on landing. Bigger tires will also provide for this. A short undercarriage coupled with small tires will result in early tail wheel landings and a longer than optimal takeoff run as it is more difficult to achieve this higher angle of attack.
The end result of all this innovation is a Cub that has better climb performance, better dive control, slower landings, and a much larger safety margin. A Widebody from Airframes, Inc features an elongated fuselage, and when combined with the larger control surfaces and the slot, a pilot can fly at a 45 degree nose-up attitude, land at 25 knots and always have a wing floating in the air.
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