After Aero 2016, we enthusiastically reported on the Zlin Shock Outback (as it is known to Americans; Shock Cub to other countries). You could fairly call it Europe’s answer to Just Aircraft’s jaw-dropping SuperSTOL, the amazing performer that captures nearly everyone’s attention from its introduction until today. Both designs go far beyond the best-selling Special LSA in the country: CubCrafters’ CarbonCub.With the original Shock Outback’s awesomely powerful Continental Titan X-340 producing 180 horsepower, pilots had a shock-and-awe response to the short takeoff roll and homesick-angel climb performance. The aircraft truly inspired many.How could Zlin go one better on this fascinating design? In a word: lighter.Admittedly, Shock Outback, sold in America by SportairUSA — with the big engine and all the other (sometimes optional) fixings such as their slatted wing, long-stroke landing gear, giant Alaskan tires — is an aircraft about as large as it could be and still fit in the LSA category. While a thing to admire, it didn’t address every desire. The big-engined Shock was a bit heavy for then-current European regulations and many pilots have learned to prize lighter weight.Zlin principal and designer Pascale Russo (in video below), is another of the sleep-deprived creators of cool aircraft. He saw another unfilled niche, and since nature abhors a vacuum, Pascale got busy with a new model. Welcome to Ultra Shock, unveiled at this years wonderful Aero Friedrichshafen show.After having constructed, sold, and delivered many sport aircraft around the world over the last 18 years, including “hundreds” of Savage aircraft, Russo was ready with his new idea in surprisingly short order.He said that speaking to pilots “led us to design a (European-style) Ultralight version of our Shock Cub.” He said it was “a Shock Cub in all respects but more lightweight.”Most pilots know it is quite challenging to lessen the weight of aircraft. How did he do it?
Making Shock “Ultra”
First, here’s what remains: “double slotted” flaps (70% bigger than earlier Savage Cub models), the custom-made micro vortex generators installed inside the flap vane, larger ailerons (40% bigger than older models). These features were part of the reason for “dramatically increase the efficiency of the wing at very low speed.”Ultra Shock also retain its strength. “We loaded and drop tested [Ultra Shock] up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) from 120 centimeters (about 4 feet) above the ground without any damage.” That may not sound like such a high drop height but I’ve seen test reports and can attest that is a very demanding test, especially at such weight. The design “virtually eliminates the touchdown rebound,” Pascale said. “We proceeded from the original Savage Cub-S,” Pascale continued, “reinforcing and refining the fuselage framework, increasing … the cockpit height, improving the accessibility, and generally improving ergonomics on board.” In other words, he made sure larger pilots will fit well.Despite Ultra Shock’s lighter weight design, Zlin said the “engine bay can accommodate different engines from the standard Rotax 912 ULS (100 horsepower) up to the Rotax 914 (115 horsepower), new Rotax 915 (>135 horsepower), and even the Titan 340 Stroker (180 horsepower).In doing all this, Pascale asked, “Why go fast? It’s so much more fun to fly slow and land short.” Indeed, he made sure Ultra Shock hits these fun flying goals (see specifications below).”We asked ourselves how much weight it would be possible to save, while maintaining the cost of the transformation at a reasonable level,” recalled Russo. He also wondered “to what extent the excellent performance of the Shock Cub would be affected.”He managed to reach a targeted and demonstrated minimum empty weight — an impressively slim 649 pounds — with a 100 horsepower Rotax 912 with radio and basic instrumentation and a weight savings program which introduced carbon fiber elements, light weight battery, and Oratex fabric covering (a weight-saving material with already colored cloth) in place of classic heat-shrink Dacron, among other choices.It appears he succeeded well. Ultra Shock is significantly lighter than most of the other Cub-clones, which should translate to great performance with the Rotax 912 and reduced overall expense. Zlin is targeting €95,000 (about $115,000) for a well-equipped Ultra Shock but for U.S. pricing and availability, please contact SportairUSA. Whatever the final price tag for your chosen options, it is dramatically less than a CarbonCub (that commonly exceeds $200,000, according to many buyers).
- Gross Weight — 1.320 pounds (600 kilograms)
- Minimum Empty Weight — 649 pounds (295 kilograms)
- with optional light weight equipment
- Useful Load — 671 pounds (305 kilograms)
- Standard Fuel Capacity — 18 gallons (68 liters)
- Payload at Full Fuel — 563 pounds (256 kilograms)
- Wingspan — 29.5 feet (900 centimeters)
- Wing Area — 164 square feet (15.2 square meters)
- Length — 22.4 feet (684 centimeters)
- Height (on 20-inch Alaskan tires) — 7.4 feet (225 centimeters)
- Cabin Width — 27.1 inches (69 centimeters)
- Maximum Cruise Speed — 112 mph / 97 knots
- Cruise at 75% Power — 87 mph / 76 knots
- Range — 323 nautical miles
- Maximum Climb Rate — 1,000 fpm (2 meters/second)
- Minimum Flight Speed — 21 mph / 18 knots
- Minimum Takeoff Ground Roll at Gross Weight — 160 feet (50 meters)
- Minimum Landing Ground Roll at Gross Weight — 105 feet (33 meters)
To learn more and take a video tour of the Ultra Shock, here’s our video:https://youtu.be/44u6cTYdio8
jack simpson says
Hi! I have just taken delivery of Shock Cub Ultra with 914 Rotax, large fuel tank, 29-inch wheels. It is the lightweight option except it has standard seats as they were not able to supply these. There are some issues about the supply of this plane including two year late delivery; the main issue is weight.
The web site says shock ultra at under 95 KG (this is a mistake but unknown what was intended), so I thought that mine with the extras would be about 307-310 KG, however, my plane weight is 388 KG. Is there anyone that can help me with this issue, did others have this problem of weight? Or have I got the Shock Ultra rebadged or what? The plane’s performance is nothing what is advertised.
Love some feedback.
Dan Johnson says
As you appear to be in New Zealand, I have no idea how you bought this, but you should probably contact the factory to discuss these issues.
It’s advertised as “below 295 kgs” with all the 912 and light weight options — https://www.zlinaero.com/prodotti.php?id=18&lang=2
According to their option sheet the extra large fuel tank (which brings capacity to 105 Litres) adds 4.5kgs, and the wheels would add a bit too.
Is your plane weight of 388 KG including a full tank of fuel? If so I guess that would make sense.
Am interested as looking at one for France. For it to fit into the UL category the MTOW is 525kg. If the plane is indeed 388kg empty then you can either carry a passenger, or fuel, but not both!
jack simpson says
Hi Stefan: No, it’s weight is 388 kilograms empty; the Ultra is only about 15 kilograms lighter than the standard Shock. Nothing they claim is the truth, maximum speed just over 90 mph with 914; it beats me.
Surely the agents know this. However, it is unrealistic to expect 300 odd kilograms for this type of aircraft, most similar STOL aircraft are this weight or heavier. Garry Green’s plane that excelled at Valdez was 852 pounds exactly the same weight as mine. Beats me why the truth is not good enough. It is essentially a one-up plane with a 212 kilogram load. The big tank is good allowing to fill from one side; it performs well requires good skills, the 914 is enough, some things need refining.
Jan Hermstad says
Will it have a float option?
Dan Johnson says
Jan: I believe that is a plan. Please contact SportairUSA for more; use links provided in the article.
Drew Morris says
So cool! Do you know if this will be brought over to the US as an SLSA?