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Cub Crafters Inc.

Cub Crafters Inc. (typically styled CubCrafters) is an OEM aircraft manufacturer based at McAllister Field Airport in Yakima, Washington. The company was founded in 1980 to build parts and supplementary type certificate (STC) improvement modifications, which were used to establish it as the preeminent center for rebuilding the classic Piper PA-18 Super Cub light aircraft. CubCrafters went on to advance the market with its own, newly manufactured aircraft models and holds an approved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Production Certificate. Yakima-based operations include an engineering design-test-certification center, aircraft parts and assembly production facilities, and an MRO maintenance service and overhaul facility.

The first newly manufactured aircraft by the company, the CC18-180 Top Cub, was Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certified in December 2004. The Top Cub was also granted type certificates (TC) by Transport Canada in July 2008, followed by Australian certification in August of that same year. With the FAA’s release of the new Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) class, CubCrafters created a brand-new model in 2008, the CC11-100 Sport Cub, similarly based on the original Piper J-3 Cub’s appearance, which it validated to ASTM international standards as an LSA. This model advanced to become known as the Carbon Cub, the bestselling LSA of all time in the U.S.

CubCrafters focuses on four main product lines, including the Carbon Cub SS, Carbon Cub FX, XCub, and the Top Cub under license. Some models are built to be lightweight and powerful for quicker flights, while others are built for longer missions in unforgiving backcountry environments.

CubCrafters has a service and overhaul facility for PA-18 Super Cubs and other Cub derivative designs at its Yakima headquarters. The company sells aircraft kits as well as finished aircraft.

Aircraft

The Carbon Cub is available in three variants: Carbon Cub SS (production Light Sport Aircraft), Carbon Cub FX (an innovative Builder Assist E/A-B aircraft) and Carbon Cub EX (E/A-B aircraft kit). Carbon Cub has been designed for off-airport operation with a powerful engine, strong lightweight airframe and nimble low-speed manners. The Carbon Cub has taken the fundamentally superior design of the Piper Super Cub and reinvented it using 21st century materials and computer-aided design. Superior engineering results include the Carbon Cub having 50% fewer parts and weighing more than 300 pounds less than a similarly equipped Super Cub. Now in its third generation of innovation advancements, there are over 1,000 Carbon Cubs flying.

The CubCrafters CC19-180 XCub, FAA Certified and introduced in June 2016, is supplied complete and ready-to-fly. The XCub is a further scaled development of the CubCrafters Carbon Cub, which the company continues to supply, but with higher performance and incorporating more structural carbon fiber. The XCub was developed over a six-year period and not publicly announced until FAA TC had been completed and issued. The process was completed organically using company resources and did not involve any venture capital, loans nor any advanced customer deposits. XCub is built on a wholly original fuselage design. The CNC-milled 4130 chromoly steel frame meets the latest FAA Part 23 certification standards for 2,300-pound gross weight aircraft. XCub’s useful load is as high as 1,084 pounds. Current Part 23 certification requirements ensure this is the strongest Cub ever produced. It can fly farther, providing greater comfort. It is an airplane that has taken the best from the past and, using the very latest in design, material and manufacturing technology, has established a new standard.

The XCub was approved by the FAA for seaplane operations in December 2017. That same month, EASA approved the XCub design and issued a new type certificate. Four international type certificates have been gained: EASA Dec-2017, Canada Feb-2018, Japan April-2018, and Australia Aug-2018.

CubCrafters increased the horsepower of the XCub line in 2019, offering two new models: the CC19-215 FAA Certified version and the CCX-2300 Builder Assist, both powered by the new CC393i 215 HP engine built by Lycoming.

In December 2021, CubCrafters gained FAA Certification of a new nose wheel version of the XCub, branded the NXCub.

Market Overview

According to a 2022 analysis by research firm Expert Market Research (“EMR”), the global ultralight and light aircraft market was valued at $7.63 billion in 2021. The EMR report says the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% in the forecast period of 2022-2027 to reach a value of $9.93 billion. Ultralight and light aircraft are small aircraft with on-board pilot (and perhaps passengers) designed for use in recreation, sports, pilot training, aerial surveys, mapping, research and agriculture, humanitarian backcountry access, and special military missions, as well as business and personal travel.

CubCrafters currently enjoys a dominant market share of the rugged adventure airplane market.

Management Team

Patrick Horgan is President and CEO at CubCrafters. Before he assumed that role, he was the company’s Vice President/Director of Engineering & Product Development for three years, when he led the FAA Part 23 type certificate approval and production certificate approval of CubCrafters’ newest flagship, the XCub. Mr. Horgan also directed the breakthrough certification that authorized the use of experimental avionics in FAA-certified production aircraft, a first in aviation history. He brings over 30 years’ aircraft development and manufacturing experience in general aviation, commercial, and military industries. Prior to service at the company, he was the General Manager at WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was the commercial aircraft manager of the Boeing 777 wheel and brake program for Goodrich Aerospace in Troy, Ohio. He was also a designer on the F/A-18 Super Hornet at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Horgan holds degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and on ASTM aircraft standards committees.

Brad Damm is Vice President at CubCrafters. He has overseen CubCrafters’ sales, marketing, and brand management operations since 2018. Since first joining CubCrafters in 2013, Mr. Damm has served as Factory Direct Sales Manager, the Director of Sales Support, the Global Director of Sales, and the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. During his tenure, the company has seen new sales records year after year across all of CubCrafters new aircraft and kit product lines, and the CubCrafters brand has risen to new levels of awareness and respect with aviation consumers worldwide. Prior to joining the company, he served for over 10 years as the Business Development Manager for one of the largest commercial concrete contractors in the Pacific Northwest, driving the sales and revenue growth that allowed the company to expand from a few dozen to hundreds of employees.

Rick Johnson is the Director of Finance at CubCrafters and has been with the company since 2017. He has 27 years of previous experience as controller and CFO for fruit packing and timber operations in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Washington University.

Christopher Matus is Production Manager at CubCrafters and joined the company in 2011. Before taking that post, he held positions as Fabrication Plant Manager, Machine Shop Manager and CNC Machinist for the company. He has also served as a Combat Engineer in the Washington Army National Guard, deploying to Afghanistan and to natural disasters including the 2014 Oso Mudslide.

Justin Jansky is the Administrative Manager at CubCrafters. He joined the company in 2015 and has a demonstrated history of successful collaboration on major FAA type certification projects in the general aviation industry, specifically under 14 CFR Parts 21 and 23. He is responsible for process management, document control, facilitating FAA certification processes, coordination with FAA delegates and documenting compliance testing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in technology and applied design.

Investment Considerations
  • CubCrafters owns 15 undeveloped acres at McAllister Field for potential expansion of operations.
  • The company recently opened a new 11,000-square-foot Customer Completion Center.
  • Cost and timeline of FAA Certification represents a significant barrier to entry.
  • The company introduced its CC19-180 XCub aircraft in June 2016, completing the six-year project without using any outside investment.
  • The company recently released new variants of the XCub offering floats and more engine horsepower.
  • New nosewheel configurations open up the company’s product line to 85% of all pilots.
  • Only 10-12% of CubCrafter’s sales are international, though it represents 50% of the market demand – an untapped opportunity for growth.
  • Financing will dramatically reduce order backlog resulting in a strong revenue rise and accelerating future growth.
  • The Builder Assist program, unique to CubCrafters, is a large and growing sales segment.
  • The company’s legacy of innovation distinguishes it from its peer group.
  • The global ultralight and light aircraft market was valued at $7.63 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2022 to 2027 to reach a forecast value of $9.93 billion.
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