Comparing Certified PA-18 Super Cub Tail Suspension Options

If you're a PA-18 Super Cub owner looking to optimize your tailwheel suspension system, the Alaska Gear Company now has three STC'd options for you to choose from: the Traditional 3 Leaf Steel Tailspring from Airframes Alaska, the Titanium Tailspring from Airframes Alaska, and the T3 Dual Shock Suspension from Super Cub North. In this article, we will delve into the technical details of each option, providing a comprehensive comparison for the technically savvy aviator.

1. Airframes Alaska 3-Leaf Steel Tailspring:

  • Weight: 5.6 lbs
  • Price: $549
  • Max G Force ( Stress on Tail): 5.7 G's
  • Dampening Performance: Hardest Ride

The steel tailspring, formerly sold as an experimental product, is now STC'd, offering a budget-friendly option at $549. However, it comes with the trade-off of being the heaviest and exhibiting the highest G force during the drop test at 5.7 G's. Its dampening performance is also noted as the least effective.

2. Airframes Alaska Titanium Tailspring:

  • Weight: 1.9 lbs
  • Price: $1,895
  • Max G Force ( Stress on Tail): 4.7 G's
  • Dampening Performance: Middle

The titanium tailspring, released as an experimental option and now certified, addresses the weight concern, being significantly lighter at 1.9 lbs. However, the cost is substantially higher at $1895. It exhibits better dampening performance than the steel option but falls between the steel and T3 in terms of G force stress on the tail.

3. Super Cub North T3 Dual Shock Suspension:

  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
  • Price: $960
  • Max G Force ( Stress on Tail): 4.2 G's
  • Dampening Performance: Smoothest Ride

The T3 Dual Shock Suspension, developed by Dan Default of Super Cub North, is the heaviest but offers the best dampening performance and the lowest G force stress on the tail at 4.2 G's. Priced at $960, it falls between the steel and titanium options, providing a balanced solution.

Comparative Summary:

Tailspring Weight Max G Force Dampening Performance Price
Steel Tailspring 5.6 lbs Highest (5.7 G's) Hardest $549
Titanium Tailspring 1.9 lbs Between Steel and T3 (4.7 G's) Middle $1895
T3 Dual Shock Suspension 6.6 lbs Lowest (4.2 G's) Smoothest $960


Your choice among these PA-18 Super Cub tailsprings depends on your priorities. If cost is a significant factor, the steel option may be suitable. For those prioritizing weight reduction and willing to invest more, the titanium tailspring is a viable choice. The T3 Dual Shock Suspension, weighs in the heaviest but offers the smoothest ride and lowest max G force on the tail while maintaining a mid-range price. 

Related Products

PA-18 Titanium Tailspring

$2,627.00 CAD

PA-18 T3 Dual Shock

$1,331.00 CAD

PA-18 Three Leaf Tailspring

$762.00 CAD

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