John Linde .ca
Early DesignsBefore the Alaskan modifications of the Supercub there were earlier attempts to enhance the Supercub preformance: Wagner Twin Cub:
The Twin Cub was the brainchild of Mr. Harold Wagner of the Wagner Aircraft Co. at Troh's Skyport, Portland, Oregon. He wanted to create a simple and cheap twin engined SUV type aircraft and started experimenting with a PA18 Super Cub which he equipped with a second engine on top of the fuselage. The sports utility aircraft made its first flight on May 29, 1952 but tail flutter caused by the downthrust of the extra powerplant meant that the Twin Super Cub project had to be ended prematurely after only 8 hrs of flight time, after which the Super Cub was returned to stock configuration.
[Wagner Twin Cub and dude] Mr Wagner's second attempt produced an even uglier machine, called the Twin Cub. It consisted of a J-3 Cub and a PA-11 Cub Coupe fuselage mounted side-by-side using a small wing center section and central tailplane. The outer wing panels and tailplane were standard components. The resulting aircraft looked so odd that even Mr.Wagner called it "The Thing". Because of the close proximity of the fuselages, only the righthand one could be occupied by a pilot and passenger, the lefthand fuselage serving only the purpose of engine mounting. No propeller synchronizing was envisaged, the props rotating in different planes instead, to prevent hitting each other. This was accomplished by a 'distance piece' on the lefthand engine/prop combination. It is claimed that flight qualities were just great, even with one engine out. One wonders, however, with all that propwash interference.
[Wagner Twin Cub] Even though the purchase price was said to be about half of a regular twin engined aircraft, the Twin Cub remained a one-off and Mr. Wagner turned his attention to the Twin Tri-Pacer, where he bolted two engines to the nose of an otherwise standard Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer.(background right)(see background in right photo).
None of the Wagner conversions achieved commercial success and both the Twin Cub and Twin Tri-Pacer returned to standard configuration