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Adrian Page's 40" Electric Super Cub Laser Cut KIT Review

Jeff Williams has a fantastic time exploring this gorgeous laser cut kit, and the resulting great looking, great flying, scale electric 40" Super Cub.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:40"
Wing Area:230 sq. in.
Weight:16 to 17 oz.
Length:26"
Wing Loading:10 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 HS55's
Transmitter:Futaba 9CAP
Receiver:HiTec 6
Battery:2S 1200 Etec
Motor:Axi 2208/34
ESC:Castle Creations Thunderbird 18
Manufacturer:Adrian Page Models
Available From:Adrian Page Models

The Piper Cub, one of the most popular aircraft ever manufactured, remains a term synonymous with general aviation in the United States—more than 80 years after its introduction. The name “Cub” is commonly used to describe a number of aircraft models—most notably the J-3. However, the J-3 was outdone, in many eyes, by the last series of Piper production airplanes to carry the Cub nameplate, the PA-18 Super Cub. About 8,500 civilian Super Cubs were delivered and more than 1,800 airplanes were also delivered to the U.S. and several foreign military services as L-18Cs and L-21s for liaison, training, transport and target tugs work.

The Super Cub holds a place in the heart of bush pilots, banner and glider tow pilots and short field enthusiasts. The plane is simply a "kick in the pants" for many aviators in today's world of MFD's and GPS's. Having spent some time behind the stick in a Super Cub, I had to have one that I could fly behind both of the sticks of my Futaba 9CAP.

These days, the market has seemed to take a turn for the ARF crowd, however, there are no "suitable" electric ARF Super Cub's out there, so if you want the best, you have to build the best!

Adrian Page came out with an 80" Super Cub designed solely for electric power and on the heels of this successful bird, he followed the release with the smaller brother, this 40" Super Cub. A scale Super Cub I could fly in my backyard? I had to have one.

What you get..

When the kit arrived on the doorstep, having previously built up the 80", I couldn't wait to tear into the box and see what was in store.

Kit Contains:

  • Laser cut balsa and ply parts
  • Vac-formed windshield and side windows
  • Vac-formed cowl
  • Top quality hardware
  • Pre-bent landing gear
  • Rolled black line plan
  • Illustrated instruction book

As with most built up kits these days, you are required to supply some items for the kit.

Kit Requires:

  • 4 channel radio with 4 micro servos
  • GWS 300A motor with 8 x 6 prop
  • 5-10 amp ESC
  • 2S 1200 Lipo
  • Covering
  • 1.5"-2" wheels (depending on how "bushy" you wish your Cub to be.)

Building it..

This review will assume the reader has built a balsa model or two before; however, the model would make an excellent first time balsa build, as it is extremely straight forward. The only surprises found in the build were pleasant ones!

As with every build, take the instruction manual out and read over it before starting. I will be highlighting a few helpful areas of the build.

Disclaimer: During the build of this bird and the time I was able to get the review written - I lost a large amount of the photos to a dead hard drive, so some area's will be discussed with no imagery. Our apologies.

Fuselage

As with most builds, the fuse is started first. The fuse is very straight forward and assembles without a hitch. I simply took basic care to keep the fuselage straight, which will always result in a nice flying bird. Crooked birds fly, well, crooked.

During the build, there is one thing to notice. Adrian has designed this kit to scale in appearance and has allowed the builder to keep the "tube and fabric" look of the full scale Super Cub, by providing for some "tubes" to be shown through the "fabric." To achieve this, we will glue some 1/16" stringers to the outside of the fuse. The location for these stringers has been lightly laser etched into the sides, so the big and only concern in building the fuse is to make sure to orient the fuse sides into distinct Left and Right halves.

Once the stringers were in place, I took my sanding board and rounded the edges a bit, to get a more scale appearance.

During the build of the fuse, the motor mount must be installed. The motor will be mounted on a stick; however in the case of this kit versus other kits, the motor will not hang underneath the stick, it will hang to the side of the stick.

Tail

The tail section of the plane can be thrown together in around 10 minutes from popping the first part out of the balsa to the completed horizontal and vertical stabs. Lay the parts over the plans, a few squirts of CA and joila' you have a tail section.

Wing

The wing is of traditional build and is built in left and right halves that will be joined in the middle. It is very straight forward.

Struts -- Minor Stumbling Blocks

Being a scale representation of the Super Cub, this kit also has some nice wing struts. These struts are built over the plans.

The kit comes with some aluminum tabs that are inlaid into the ends of the strut to attach them to the fuse and to the wing. After flying my Cub for some time, I kept having the tabs break due to repeated bending, so I substituted the aluminum with the ends of some nylon zip ties.

After the struts are built I attempted to fit them to the wing and then to the fuse. In my kits plans, the mounting holes are off a small amount, so they appeared not to fit. After realizing this, a simple fix is to fill the stock hole with a toothpick, cut it off and sand it level, mount the strut to the fuse, then out on the wing and redrill a hole in the proper spot.

This kit error has since been corrected.

Motor Choices..

Now - one of the big things that separates the Super Cub from the J3 is what is sitting under the cowl. Nowadays, what separates one Super Cub from another, is often what is sitting under the cowls. These airplanes hold such a place in aviators hearts, pilots are constantly upgrading their own Cubs. Some are even brave enough to strap a turbine into the semi-pointy end of the Super Cub.

Well, with today's myriad of brushed and brushless motors you too can pick which motor you want under your cowl. Does this kit fly well on the GWS Speed 300A? Does the Super Cub fly well on a 160 horse Lycoming? Of course it does. It flies very well.

However, if you were buying your own full scale Super Cub, would you go 160 or 180 or maybe even a Turbine? Ok, ok, so you don't have $100K to throw down on a full sized counterpart, you can still get choosy with your Page Super Cub.

I did just this very thing.

My Super Cub flew on about 4 different motors until I found the performance I was looking for. I went from GWS brushed motor to AXI brushless motors. I found that for my tastes (semi-border-line Turbine tastes) I enjoyed the AXI 2208/34 with 2S 1500 packs. I have also flown the Cub on a TowerPro 2408-21 along with a TowerPro 30A ESC and some GWS 8060 props. This setup also proved to pull the Cub along very well.

If you decide to go with brushless power, make sure not to over do it. I flew this bird on an AXI 2212/34 and 3S 1500 which was a silly idea to begin with.

I highly recommend the 2208/34.

Flying

Flying is what the Super Cub is all about, back to basics -- real, stick and rudder flying. When I think Super Cub, I think low level, basic flying. Buzzing around the tree tops, with the door open, going nice and slow. Low and slow flybys are essentially mandatory. This little Cub flies well and is as mild mannered as the real thing.

Taking Off and Landing

Getting off and on the ground with this Cub is a main part of the excitement. Ever had a model that you would fly and just shoot touch and go after touch and go with, you know, one of those that you'd bring in and see if you could slick it in? If you haven't, you don't know what you're missing, and you should probably pick up one of these little Cub's as soon as Adrian can ship it to you.

Both takeoff and landing are very straight forward. I found myself shooting the pattern over and over. Something about a Super Cub rolling down the runway on the mains during a touch and go that I love!

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

It is a Super Cub, not a Super Stinker. However - if you are looking for lazy aerobatics - such as hammerheads, spins, lazy loops, you would be pleased with the Page Super Cub. Rolls are not axial - nor should they, it's a Cub. It will knife edge decently well with a little coupling, but again, it's a Super Cub, it's not meant to KE. :)

If you fly this small one like you would fly the real one, you will be quite satisfied.

Is This For a Beginner?

Would I recommend this aircraft for the first time flyer? No, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending this to a beginner. However, I don't believe it was ever intended to be for beginners. However, if the beginner were to enlist the help of a buddy box capable local instructor, and ideally a good simulator, and is willing to be patient and take their time to learn, I would think a beginner should be ok.

Now, could/would this airplane be perfect for someone with a little bit of experience, to fly "solo"? Of course, this would be a "Super" Cub for that mission!

Video Gallery

Editor's Note: We didn't want to hold this review any longer while waiting for weather, cameraman and everything to come together to get you flight video! We hope to add video for you soon and will make note in the discussion as soon as we have it available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Conclusion

Hits:

  • Great looking kit
  • Nice hardware
  • Ease of build
  • It looks the part!

Misses:

  • Strut attachment error
  • Strut ends failing

Well, if you’re looking for either that next bird after your aileron trainer, or a capable small field scale flyer that can handle some breeze yet is relaxing to fly, or maybe you're looking for that first balsa kit to dive into, the Page 40" Super Cub could be just the ticket.

Last edited by AMCross; Dec 13, 2006 at 12:34 PM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 13, 2006, 01:10 PM
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mike3976's Avatar
Economy, Pa.
Joined Mar 2002
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Tram nice review!, you handsome devil
Aren’t Super Cubs equipped with flaps?
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 01:13 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,298 Posts
I am quite the looker, eh?

As far as the flaps thing, good call..

I could have modified this to have flaps, but at this scale, they would be almost useless and I think would just have added weight to the kit.. I am fairly certain this is why Adrian chose to forgo them also..

A little info on Super Cub's..

The first true "Super" Cubs had flaps, dual fuel tanks, and an O-235 Lycoming engine producing around 108 hp (115hp for takeoff only) although a 95hp Continental without flaps and an optional second wing tank was also available. Their empty weight was, on average, 80O-1000lbs with a gross weight of 1500lbs. This Cub would take off in about 400 feet at gross weight, and land in about 300 feet (thanks to the flaps.) The O-290 Lycoming (135hp) powered Cubs were next and would take off in about 200 feet, with landing distance the same at about 400 feet, or 300 feet with flaps. With the use of the Lycoming O-320 at 150-160hp the Cub's gross weight increased to around 1700lbs while retaining the mere 200 feet of takeoff run. This would be the Super Cub of legendary status: if it could land, it would almost certainly have enough room to take off again, especially if not heavily loaded.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 01:18 PM
one game away...
PerfectStranger's Avatar
Willoughby, Ohio
Joined Apr 2004
3,891 Posts
Where's AmpAce? It's just a matter of time before he gets this one! Good review, thanks for taking the time to do it.

Matt
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 01:54 PM
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mike3976's Avatar
Economy, Pa.
Joined Mar 2002
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Ditto, and for the bit of history too! As for the aerodynamic effectiveness of flaps on smaller models, I find they do indeed function as designed, that being to decrease the stall speed. The trick is to build them in light, so the weight gain does not offset there purpose.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 02:25 PM
iumop ap!sdn w,I
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Joined May 2005
6,426 Posts
Nice review Tram. As you stated that was a LONG time from build to article! I remember you were building yours at the same time I was. What was that, two years ago?

Anyways, I think that anyone who reads this should know that yours is the best looking AP cub out there and their's will not look like yours without modification. I'm refering to your winglets and landing gear (the kit comes with standard tips and wire gear without bungees). Do you have any info on how you did those winglets? They do look great.

One other thing is that people may want to read this post from Adrian. It is from the 80in cub thread, but may apply to the 40in too if Adrian doesn't have a bunch in stock.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1429

Thanks Tram!

edit: I'm not trying to discourage anyone with the link. I'm just saying that Adrian needs some support, so order those kits while you still can!!!! If you wait it may be too late.
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Last edited by G.P.; Dec 14, 2006 at 07:53 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 05:14 PM
TRP
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United States, CA, Morgan Hill
Joined Jun 2002
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hehe.. Tram said "scamper".

I don't want the mental picture of him 'scampering' anywhere!?

Nice build.

I think he covered the wing tips and gear in the original 40" Super Cub build thread.

Ted
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 05:46 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,298 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by G.P.
Nice review Tram. As you stated that was a LONG time from build to article!
Yeh, the build didn't take nearly that long.. it took about 1/5840th of that time..

The gear and the wing tips are in the original thread.. Actually, alot of the pics are there.. I lost a bunch pics in the move that caused the delay in the review and they came from the thread too..

The gear tips are just carved out of balsa, then hollowed to save weight. If you look at some of the flying pics, I have removed them.. I didn't quite like what they did to the flying characteristics of the Cub.. I must not have carved them properly, but they sure looked good..
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Last edited by Tram; Dec 14, 2006 at 12:50 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 06:03 PM
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North by Northwest
Joined Nov 2003
2,422 Posts
Nice going Tram! Great review of my all-time favorite airplane. You have a great little bush plane there! I haven't built this little one, as it is smaller than the size I prefer. I have partially built Adrian's 80 incher, though, (actually I finished one up that another modeler had mostly framed up).

Matt, thought I had better chime in, since I can almost never leave a Super Cub thread alone!

Happy Flying!

AmpAce
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 07:47 PM
Registered User
Monterey Bay California
Joined Feb 2004
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Nice Cub, Tram! What did you use for wheels? they look like the ones on my HL Super Cub except yours don't appear to have tread...
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 08:31 PM
Thermal Seeker
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Long Island, NY
Joined Sep 2005
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Wheels

Looks like a MonsterCub with those wheels! How many cars can you jump with it?

Max
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 11:39 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,298 Posts
Aero- They are some Dubro wheels I had laying around.. They didn't have any tread..
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 02:28 AM
No Guts No Glory
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Switzerland
Joined Feb 2003
1,224 Posts
I like the extinction joke

Yes a very endangered population, the real builder!
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 07:50 AM
iumop ap!sdn w,I
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Joined May 2005
6,426 Posts
Tram, I just noticed that one of your minuses is the strut ends failing. What happened on your plane? Is there something that we should watch out for? I did use toothpicks to pin the attach fittings on mine. I can't remember if that was on the plans, or just something I did. They seem to be holding up though.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 11:15 AM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,298 Posts
GP - It is nothing in the design.. The plane comes with metal tabs, to put in the ends of the struts, which then are bolted to the wings..

I flew my Cub like this for quite a while and then had a esc issue which caused the whole puppy to lock up and spiral in..

After this, I noticed that one of the tabs had simply sheered off, most likely due to the crash.. So, I was looking for something to replace the aluminum with.. I was working on another project and was trying to cut a zip-tie and thought about how tough they were and light bulbs went off.. I'll use that on the strut..

So, I redrilled the toothpick out of the strut (I pinned the aluminum tab in place with a toothpick) and then gently cut the tab out of the strut, replaced with the zip-tie section I had cut to the right length, repinned with a new toothpick and joila'..

This lil' guy is really stout.. I put it in from probably 30 or 40 feet with locked up controls and the damage is visible in the pic below.. Very minimal..
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