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HET Announces that CubCrafters has selected the lightweight X-Drive as the standard starter for the Carbon Cub SS

July 15, 2013

Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC’s President Mike Disbrow announced that CubCrafters has selected Hartzell’s new XLDrive lightweight starter as standard on the company’s upgraded, high-performance Carbon Cub SS light sport aircraft (LSA).

“This is our first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) application for the new-generation XLDrive lightweight starter,” Disbrow said. “CubCrafters manufactures an exceptional line of certificated, LSA and kit aircraft. Their selection of the XLDive starter for their upgraded Carbon Cub SS LSA is an outstanding endorsement.”

Disbrow stressed that weight savings is especially important in LSA category aircraft like the Carbon Cub SS. “Every pound matters and the fact that the XLDrive is 1.7 pounds lighter than the previous starter is a significant contributor to helping CubCrafters meet the performance goals for the Carbon Cub SS,” he said. As testament to the value of saving weight, according to CubCrafters the 180-horsepower Carbon Cub SS has a power-to-weight ratio of just one (1) horsepower to each 7.33 pounds of aircraft weight, (compared, for example, to a Cessna 172R’s one to 15.33 ratio). According to CubCrafters, that ratio results in the Carbon Cub SS delivering a sea level 2 climb rate of 2,100 feet per minute. In addition, no other LSA takes off or lands in shorter distances or offers better low-speed manners.

Randy Lervold, CubCrafters’ General Manager said that while the XLDrive’s lighter-weight and strong starting performance were the primary reasons why the company selected it as the standard equipment starter, another advantage is the XLDrive’s consistently low power draw requirements. “In the interest of overall weight reduction, we used the smallest possible battery for the Carbon Cub SS LSA and the XLDrive’s low power draw enables it to provide consistent starts even with the lightweight battery,” he stated. “Since we introduced the XLDrive, we’ve received consistently good feedback from our owners on starting ease and reliability.” Hartzell Engine Technologies’ V.P. Engineering, Rick Quave explained that while the XL-Drive is the company’s lightest starter, it offers many of the same engineering and performance advancements found in other Hartzell starters.

“For example, the XLDrive has the same high-performance permanent magnet motor used in our popular ELDrive starter,” he said. “This motor provides an industryLleading duty cycle or ratio of engagement to rest time, making it more damage tolerant. The XLDrive also features our new solenoid engagement technology. This is much less temperamental and more reliable than the mechanical Bendix drives found on prior-generation starters.”

Other advancements found in the Hartzell Engine Technologies XLDrive starter include:

  • Fully supported pinion gear encased in strong nose case
  • High-performance armature
  • Redesigned brush holder and offset brush position for increased contact area
  • Rare earth neodymium magnets
  • Improved temperature stability

“With its overall lighter weight and exceptional performance, the XLDrive has proven to be ideally suited for not only light sport and kit aircraft, but certificated aircraft as well,” Disbrow said. “Just because a unit is designated as light-weight, doesn’t mean it lacks in performance and reliability.”

About CubCrafters
CubCrafters is located in Yakima, Washington and was founded in 1980 by current owner Jim Richmond. In 2007, CubCrafters was issued a FAA Production Certificate and is currently the only aircraft manufacturer in the nation to produce both standard category and light sport category aircraft under an FAA-approved quality assurance program. CubCrafters’ roots are in the 60Lyear history of classic “taildragger” aviation, but its products and services are clearly at the leading edge of technology. CubCrafters offers three all new, ready-to-fly aircraft: The Sport Cub S2, the Carbon Cub SS and the Top Cub. The company also offers the Carbon Cub EX kit aircraft. For more information, visit:

About Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC.
Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC, along with its sister company, Hartzell Propeller Inc., form the general aviation business unit of Tailwind Technologies Inc., a growing aerospace technology company. Hartzell Engine Technologies is the leading OEM supplier of aircraft cabin heating solutions and engine accessories, including turbocharging systems, aircraft alternators, starters and fuel pumps.

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