180 HP ON AN LSA?
One of the most commonly asked questions about the Carbon Cub is, “How can a
light-sport aircraft have a 180-hp engine?”
Contrary to common belief there is no hard horsepower limit for light-sport
aircraft (LSA). Rather the ASTM standards include a formula based on two 190-pound
occupants and the empty weight of the aircraft that determines the horsepower limit.
As the manufacturer of record of the CC340 engine, CubCrafters de-rates the engine
to 80 hp for continuous operation (cruise flight) as is the practice with many high-performance piston and turbine engines. A placard on the instrument panel near
the throttle provides an altitude and rpm chart that represents that limit; it is up to
the pilot in command to observe. Full power remains always available for takeoffs,
climbs, or terrain avoidance.
CubCrafters General Manager Randy Lervold indicates, “In normal cruise operation
there’s no point in using full power anyway, it just makes more noise and burns more
fuel, yet the reserve power is always there and makes for no-worry takeoffs and ‘get
there now’ climbs. Operating the engine at a lower percentage of its power also
leads to longer life as countless fleet operators have shown.” — Mary Jones