This video of Brendan O'Brien (O'Brien's Flying Circus) at the Rougham (England) Airshow in 2010 gives you an idea of why I believe the Clipped Wing Cub is possibly the world's greatest airplane. On just 100hp (or 90hp like the one I used to fly way back in the day) you get a very sporting, aerobatic leaning, antique icon that is cheap to fly and nothing but smiles, smiles, smiles. You can open the window on the left and the whole door on the right and be almost open-cockpit, or you can button things up and go for a high speed cruise of almost 90mph!
Brendan O'Brien and his 100hp Clipped Wing Cub (photo: O'Briens Flying Circus)
It's both an easy and challenging taildragger... there's something very cool about having to fly it from the back seat, but it'll keep you busy when you've got a big person in the front that you can't see around. And to me, it's hard to beat the simple beauty of an old Continental hanging its cylinders out in the breeze!
All things considered, flying just doesn't get any better than doing it in a Clipped Wing Cub! My personal financial recovery from the collapse of 2008 is both long and very slow, but I'm ever hopeful that somehow 2012 will give me the chance to wrap my arms around a Clipped Wing Cub once again : )
(photo: Terry Shepherd)