Oratex Success Stories

Lil Cub

Frank Knapp, Palmer Alaska, earned bragging rights when he won the 2013 Valdez STOL competition. The day was calm, but the same cannot be said for Frank's nerves. "It's funny what happens with a little pressure! Setting on the ground for a couple seconds after the first landing I woke to the fact I was really there, it all happened with muscle memory no one was really flying!"

All modesty aside, Frank earned his win. He built the ultimate STOL airplane, and then he practiced hundreds of hours before taking on the Valdez challenge. His Lil Cub features slats, flaps and droops, and is very light at a mere 685 pounds. Frank gives Oratex a lot of credit for the light weight, saying that the fabric was the single best way to save weight. He estimates that his wife saved them about 30 pounds when she covered the aircraft with Oratex. Other features include a polished and ported Continental 85 engine that puts out an estimated 120 horsepower, and a firewall that Frank lowered 3.5 inches for better visibility.

Update: After winning Valdez in 2013 Lil Cub was severely damaged in a hangar fire. Frank rebuilt the airplane and came back to win Valdez again in 2014. Naturally, he chose to use Oratex again for the rebuild. Frank was invited to organize a STOL competition for Oshkosh 2014. He gladly accepted the offer and the event was a huge success. Oh, yeah. Frank won that, too!

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