The Twin Cub was the brainchild of Mr. Harold Wagner of the Wagner Aircraft Co. Portland, Oregon.
Mr. Wagner wanted to create a simple and cheap twin engine SUV type aircraft and started experimenting with a PA18 Super Cub which he equipped with a second engine on top of the fuselage.
This ‘sports utility aircraft’ made its first flight on May 29, 1952 but tail flutter caused by the down thrust of the extra power plant meant that the Twin Super Cub project had to be ended prematurely after only 8 hours of flight time, after which the Super Cub was returned to stock configuration.
His 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 tail plane. The outer wing panels and tail plane 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 right hand one could be occupied by a pilot and passenger, the left hand 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’ (Actually just an extention) of the propeller shaft on the left engine/prop combination.
It was claimed that flight qualities were fantastic, even with one engine out.
The purchase price was said to be about half of a regular twin engine aircraft.
Although he intended to release the Twin Cub for production, only the one prototype was built.
Afterwards 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.
None of the Wagner conversions achieved commercial success and both the Twin Cub and Twin Tri-Pacer returned to standard configuration.