Sunday 2 June 2013

Full Size Piper Cub Replicas of New Zealand (1) - Wag Aero Cubys

I have posted previously on Wag Aero Cubys of New Zealand in my Replica Cub series, but I include them here as the next type of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft in New Zealand for completeness, with different photos.

The original Wag Aero Cuby was a full size replica of a J3 Cub designed by Dick Wagner, which first flew on 12/3/75.  It differs from the J3 in that the fuselage is of 4130 steel tubing and it has an improved trim system.  Otherwise it is all J 3 Cub.  Dick Wagner later expanded the Cuby range to include the Super Cuby (which can accept engines up to 150 HP), the Cuby Observer (which is a replica L4 Cub) and the Cuby Sport Trainer which has clipped wings for aerobatics.

If you compare the size of the Cuby to other 2 seater homebuilts, you can see the earlier design philosophy of the 1930's with a much longer wingspan.  The length is 6.83metres (22 feet 5 inches) and the wingspan is 10.74 metres (35 feet 3 inches), with a large wing area of 178.5 square feet.  Empty weight is 315 Kg (695 pounds) and MAUW is 635 Kg (1,400 pounds).  With an 85 HP motor maximum speed is 102 mph and cruise is a sedate 85 mph.  However the stall speed is a low 38 mph.

Our first Cuby was a standard J3 model,  ZK-MPH (c/n AACA/351) which was built by Darcy Hoffman of Dunedin, and was first registered on 29/4/82.  It had an O-200 motor.  It is photo'd above at the 1989 AACA flyin at Tairei.  It was sold to HCR Campton of Dunedin on 3/5/89 and to CT Keenan of Christchurch on 14/2/96.  Finally it was sold abroad to the UK and it was cancelled from the NZ Civil Register on 16/2/02.

It is still current in the UK, registered G-BZHU, and as can be seen in the above photo taken on 4/9/10 from UKCAA, it is still in its original colours, and still has the New Zealand registration on the rudder.

And our second Cuby was also from Dunedin.  ZK-OLE (as in the Spanish ole') (c/n 2817) was built by Howard JL Haugh of Dunedin and was first registered on 29/4/99.  It is the standard model but with a full cowling.  It is named "Little Maude" after a minor peak of Mt Maude in Central Otago.  The above and below photos were taken by Blue Bus at Omarama on 28/1/01.

ZK-OLE is still current.


  1. When MPH was exported it went to the UK with the Wigram Aviation Sports Club Super Cub towplane ZK-BTF. Any info on what happened to this aircraft?

  2. Became G-BZHT with B Walker & Co.(Durnsley) Ltd., Gloucestershire on 25May2000

  3. It then moved to The Furness Gliding Club Pty Ltd on 07-02-2003. They trade as Lakes Gliding Club at Walney island.
    Some pics at this link:-

  4. Thanks so much for that info! I flew both for a few hundred very educational hours back in the 90s. Good to see they are still alive and well.

  5. Still alive and well living in Gloucestershire, UK.

  6. ... and still flying in 2022 as G-BZHU. She's just going through her annual permit inspection in April 2022. I've recently bought a share in her and got checked out just before the permit inspection! She flies great!