|Receiver:||2.4GHz DSM2 receiver/ESC & X Port|
|Battery:||3S 1,300mAh Li-Po|
|Servos:||2 PKZ 1070 servos|
|Motor:||480 brushed geared motor|
|Prop size:||9 x 6|
|Charger:||3S Li-PO Balancing charger|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
|Price Combat Module:||$19.99|
|Price Combat Target Plane:||$19.99|
|Price Drop Module:||$19.99|
|Price Night Flight Module:||$19.99|
|Price Electrifly Flylights:||$11.99 2nd light $7.99|
|GorillaBobRC.com LED strip lights:||$59.99 starter set|
What makes the perfect 24/7 flyer? Every flyer would probably like to have a plane he can fly whenever he has the time to fly, be it day or night. Few planes offer the diversity of flight experiences that the HobbyZone Super Cub does. With the new BNF version, we can use our own DSM2 transmitters and have control of the X-Port and its optional modules. Now that I have equipped mine with lights I thought it was time to discuss this plane anew. Its popularity in discussions in the Beginner Forum of E-Zone, and the numerous modifications people have made, shows that I am not alone in my enjoyment of this plane.
I have had a Super Cub in my Heer Force for several years. First, I had the original Super Cub, then the Super Cub LP and now the Super Cub LP BNF. This was and is a great plane for beginners and for very enjoyable Sunday flying for pilots of all levels of experience. I have used my Super Cubs as trainer planes for several years now. The addition of a BNF version will hopefully encourage a number of experienced pilots to purchase their own Super Cub since it is such a great flying model.
Beyond the simple joy of Sunday flying the Cub there are the optional accessories to use with this plane. First, there are the optional floats. and with them, the Cub flies great off of and onto the water. Next, there is the assortment of modules available for use with the Cub's built-in X-Port. The X-Port and the modules give the pilot a number of options for further enjoying this plane. My favorite accessory is the aerial drop but I also enjoy the combat module at times. One of the options is a night pod for night flying. Besides the X-Port the DSM2 receiver had an open rudder channel giving me additional options to make my Cub a very illuminated night Flyer.
An excellent and detailed review of the Super Cub LP RTF by Andy Grose demonstrates how it performed on land and with the floats. n this mini review I will cover what I see as the benefits of the Bind N Fly version and how I illuminated mine for Night Flying as well as sharing a taste of the Super Cub as an electric "glider" at both the slope and for thermal flying.
My original Super Cub used a NiMH battery pack and helped me teach several people how to fly RC. It was also the first plane several of them flew at a slope sustained in the air by just the wind coming up the hill with the motor off. The Super Cub LP improved the plane with an ESC designed to use a 3 cell LiPo battery pack. This supplied more power at less weight and made the Super Cub an even better performer. The new BNF version now lets me use my DSM2 transmitter and yet still be able to access the X-Port and the enjoyable extras that can be operated with the X-Port. The BNF version still retains the tried and true geared brushed motor. That motor supplies plenty of power, functions very well, and for a brushed motor, has shown long life.
The Following Full Range DSM2 Transmitters Can Be Used with the BNF Super Cub
A "Full Range" DSM2 transmitter must be used to safely fly the Super Cub. I used my Spektrum DX7 transmitter that I use with a number of Bind N Fly Planes. I placed the binding plug in the battery slot on the receiver/ESC and connected the 1300 mAh 11.7 volt battery to the receiver/ESC combo. The light on the receiver was flashing quickly. Next, I held in the binding button on the back of my Spektrum DX7 and turned it on. I then let go of the binding button after a second or so. Within another 10 seconds the Super Cub was bound to my Spektrum DX 7 transmitter. I unplugged the battery from the ESC and then turned the transmitter off. The Binding process was complete. I turned the transmitter back on and plugged the battery back into the ESC (This is the normal start up procedure.). My DX7 transmitter had control of the Super Cub. The Super Cub's instruction manual explains how to bind the plane to the other transmitters. It is a quick and simple process.
I have recently converted all of my planes from FM to 2.4GHz. In the process I sold and gave away a number of FM transmitters. I now have a few very nice transmitters and I prefer to use those transmitters over the low end beginner transmitters that come with many planes. My preference in many cases had little to do with the actual control of the planes as with the convenience of arriving at the field with the correct transmitter charged and ready to operate. I like the feel of my preferred transmitters in my hands over some of the beginner model transmitters. Additionally, I have friends that have wanted to get a good trainer plane and also get a good transmitter that they could grow with in the hobby. With the BNF Super Cub, they have that option with a great trainer plane. I believe that as BNF continues to grow more popular, more pilots will take advantage of this ability to control multiple aircraft with one quality transmitter.
With my DX7 the ACT is on when the landing gear switch is forward (position 1) and off when it is in the back position (position 0). (If you want more information on the ACT see Andy's review.)
The X-Port is controlled by the flight mode switch on my Spektrum DX7 (top left of transmitter) with position 2 off and position 0 active. With the BNF I can use or ignore these functions depending on who is flying and what the mission involves.
The standard assembly was very quick and easy. The landing gear snapped into a slot on the bottom of the fuselage. The fairings were secured to the landing gear with a rubber band and to the fuselage with two screws each. The vertical stabilizer/rudder has two posts that go through the vertical stabilizer/elevator unit and into the fuselage. They were secured to the fuselage with two screws from the bottom of the fuselage. The wing is held to the top of the fuselage with rubber bands and the wing supports were secured to the bottom of the fuselage with two screws. However, to make my Super Cub a night flyer I needed to add lights to my wing and the fuselage. That part of the assembly will be covered in detail.
The wing came fully assembled with two wing struts attached and decals already in place. There was no assembly for me to do on the included wing. It simply needed to be attached as described above. However, I bought a second wing with no decals for use at night, and to that wing I added a number of lights. For this optional night wing I needed the following list of items.
Items needed for Night Light Wing:
The neon tubes are powered by being plugged into a controller and the controller into an unused channel on the receiver. Each power module could power/light two neon tubes. The power module was sold with one neon tube and I bought a second tube for my red/port and green starboard upper wing illumination. The module and the excess connecting wire easily fit in the fuselage above the receiver/ESC brick. The connector from the power module plugged into the "rudder" channel on the receiver. The battery channel could have been used as well. The actual rudder servo on the Super Cub came plugged into the aileron channel giving me rudder and elevator control on my right stick and throttle on the left. The neon tubes have no signal wire; they are simply on when there is power to the receiver. The controller can be set to flashing or solid light through a switch that can only be adjusted on the ground.
For the actual installation of the neon tubes I drilled one 1/4" hole in the center of the wing at approximately the Center of Gravity. This hole allowed for the two neon light tubes to be pulled up to the top of the wing. I made a single cut in the wing from the hole out to the tip of the wing on both sides. On the right upper wing I pulled the green neon tube up through the hole and pushed it into the cut in the foam out to the wing tip. A small single blade screw driver was helpful in getting the neon tube into the groove. I repeated the process on the left side of the wing using a red neon tube. When I was satisfied with their positions in the cut I had made I covered each side with a piece of clear plastic 3M decoration tape to secure the neon tubes in place. The neon tubes can be individually disconnected from the power module or the power module can be unplugged from the receiver when I don't want to use the night wing.
The LED strips are powered directly from the main flight battery by plugging into the balance charger tap on the battery pack. On Gorilla Bob's starter set there are 6 strips for the bottom of the wing (three per side) and three total for the fuselage/horizontal stabilizer.
My set of LED strips has two pairs of strips designed for use on the wing. The first pair is a pair of white LED light strips and these were secured to the wing's leading edge. They had self sticking surfaces covered with a protective covering that I simply peeled off to install the strips. I also used short strips of 3m clear plastic tape to secure the electrical leads to the bottom of the wing. One strip to the leading edge of the wing on both sides of the wing. The second pair of wires had both a pair of long blue LED strips and a shorter pair of red LED strips. Again the Blue LEDs were secured with their self-sticking backing to the wing as were the Red LEDs. The Blue LEDs were secured in diagonal patterns and were secured with their self-sticking backing to the bottom of the wing on each side in a diagonal line narrower at the front leading edge and wider at the trailing edge of the wing. The red LEDs were in a straight line and out on the trailing edge of each side of the wing. The electrical leads were again secured to the wing with clear plastic 3M decorative tape.
These wing LEDs came wired to one connector that plugged into the main power connector on the fuselage LED wire set. It was easy to disconnect these wires and the wing for travel and storage purposes.
There were only three LED strips total for the tail and fuselage, and all three were red on my starter set. The two short sets I attached to the underside of the horizontal stabilizer in a diagonal pattern similar to the blue LED pattern on the wing. The wire leads were secured to the bottom and sides of the fuselage with the 3M clear plastic tape. The longest red LED was bent and stuck around the fuselage in front of the tail. The connector for the wing wires was left near the top inside of the fuselage in the Super Cub's wing saddle and the connector for the battery pack's balance connector was run down the inside of the fuselage opposite to the main power connector. The LED system's connector matched perfectly with the HobbyZone 3-cell 1300mAh pack's balance charging tap that came with the Super Cub.
The X-Port is controlled by the flap switch on my Spektrum DX7 with position 2 off and position 0 active. With the BNF I can use or ignore this optional device.
I have an X-Port night pod. It has several LEDs sticking out in different directions. The pod snaps onto the accessory connector on the bottom of the battery door on the fuselage between the landing gear. The wire from the pod went into the connector on the bottom of the fuselage by the battery door. There was an extension wire connecting the external connector for the X-port at the bottom of the fuselage to the receiver/ESC. For younger pilots with younger eyes the LEDs on the night pod may be all the light they need to track their plane in the sky. For me my motto is: "The more light the better!" The night pod is just a supporting cast member when I fly at night.
For my night flying my Super Cub has LEDs on the bottom of the wing, fuselage and horizontal stabilizer. It has the night pod lights under the fuselage. On the top of the wing I have the two neon tubes of light with green on the top right wing, red on the top left wing. My Super Cub is very easy to see in twilight or dark using the lights. While the X-Port can be turned on and off the Neon tubes and the LEDs are always on when they are connected to the receiver and battery pack. All "lights" are powered by the main motor battery. No extra battery is needed or used so the weight added is very little. The length of flying time is little affected by these additions so long as I don't leave them on when the plane isn't flying.
I strongly encourage every pilot have his first flight using lights be a twilight flight. With twilight lighting the pilot can still see the features of the plane and clearly see the orientation of the plane and see the lighting as well. This helps the pilot ease into night flying which can be disorienting if first done in darkness. I also encourage that initial flights be done rather close to the pilot at a comfortable visibility distance over open fields. After just a couple of flights the experience feels much more comfortable and normal than it did on the initial flight.
Night flights can be started with a hand launch or a takeoff from paved or hard cleared ground. Landings are not difficult provided I have an appropriate runway area for landings.
My lighting system allows me to clearly determine my plane’s direction and orientation so doing loops are easy for me even at night. Without ailerons I don't do much by way of acrobatics. I have done a few night parachute drops using little miniature glow light sticks (Designed for use in golf balls for night golf.) and those have been successful. For me just flying around at night is enough of a thrill but I see younger pilots with well lit acrobatic planes flying full aerobatics with them as if it was high noon. So any maneuver the Super Cub can do can be performed at night by the right pilot. Beginner pilots should refrain from doing aerobatics at night. (If you have perfected aerobatics you are no longer a beginner pilot.)
While the Super Cub is a great plane for a beginner I do not recommend night flying to beginners. When you are ready to transition to be an intermediate pilot then start with twilight flying and work your way into being a night pilot. It is surprising how easily some pilots can become disoriented in the night.
I started in this hobby as a glider pilot back in the late 70s. Soaring still remains a major interest for me in RC flying. Therefore it should not be surprising that I fly the Super Club with its motor off for extended periods of time for both thermal flying and occasional slope flying. The ability to do this is part of what makes the Super Cub special to me. The Super Cub has two drawbacks in being flown as a glider: landing gear and its propeller. The landing gear could be easily removed if I wanted to remove it, but I don't find it that big of a handicap to my soaring. A spinning propeller is a potentially bigger problem than the landing gear in creating drag but it isn't a serious problem either. While a free spinning propeller can create a lot of drag and can make it hard to thermal or in light lift to slope. Both the brushed motor and the gearing supply friction so that when the motor is off the propeller doesn't freely spin when the Super Cub is in level calm flight. Thus the propeller normally stops turning when the motor is off. In a dive or a strong wind the propeller will windmill (turn) on its own. Since a stopped prop only adds a little drag I can enjoy flying my club with the motor off for thermal flying. At the slope if the wind is strong enough to turn the propeller it is strong enough to keep the Cub in the air in front of the slope. If the wind is too strong I don't fly the Cub at either type of site. A video below shows the propeller spinning in an 8 mph wind at first and then stopping and shows it better than I can explain it.
Basic slope flying is where the plane/glider is held aloft by wind blowing up the slope. The shape of the slope and direction and speed of the wind are critical to having a successful day at the slope. When I started slope flying if there was no wind there was no flying. Today with electrics most pilots bring a small light electric to fly in case they have to wait for the wind to come up, strengthen, or come in from the right direction. The Super Cub can and is easily flown at the slope in light wind conditions. If the wind dies and the plane starts to drop further down the hill I can hold out in hope that the wind will come back and bring the Cub back up to me. However, if the wind doesn't pick up; I can avoid the walk of shame by powering up and flying the Super Cub back with the motor turned on. With my previous Super Cub I had a flight with the motor off of over an hour in a light breeze coming in from the ocean that was too weak for my heavy slope gliders but just perfect for the Super Cub. While the Super Cub is not the plane to fly in strong wind at the slope it is great to have for those times with little wind lift or with motor on when there is no lift. A great plane to try sloping without the need to buy or make a specialized slope glider.
Simplistically thermals are columns of air that are warmer than the air around them, and the air in the thermal is going up. Objects flying in that air may rise with the air if conditions are right. In calm conditions when flying between midmorning to mid-afternoon I will frequently take the Super Cub up to about 400 feet above the field, and if I think I have found a thermal, I will turn the motor off and glide through the sky hoping and looking for lift. The Super Cub will not compete with my R/C gliders either in wind penetration or glide ratio. However, if I encounter good lift my Super Cub will give the tell tale signs to let me know it is in or near lift. These signs are: 1) The tail goes up and the nose down and the plane goes up when traveling through lift. 2) If the lift is found on the edge of the lift the wing towards the lift is raised and the Super Cub turns away from the lift without any directional input on the controls by me. In either case I bank the glider into a circle in the direction where I believe I will find the lift.
I generally don't go looking for thermal lift without a reason when flying the Super Cub. However, if the day is calm and I feel a sudden breeze in one direction, that breeze may be a thermal drawing in air and I will steer my plane into it and start looking for the thermal by circling where I think it is and drifting in the direction I think the thermal is going. This can add to my flying time and a lot of fun as well. I have almost lost one previous Super Cub by letting it climb too high and drift too far down breeze with the thermal.
The best days to go looking for thermals are partially cloudy with a cool morning and warming up rapidly midmorning to mid-afternoon. Good luck if you try to thermal. The Super Cub is light enough to respond and get carried up by a thermal. If you need to come down fly the Super Cub inverted in a very slight inverted dive. That has always brought mine down when she started to become too small to see.
Besides the options discussed above I love to play with the aerial drop module. Whether I am dropping the parachutist or the little bombs with red ribbons I like to try and figure how far out into the wind I have to be to drop the objects from high altitude and have them land close to me. My personal best is hitting myself with a bomb from 400 feet up without moving. As for my worst ... I have missed the field completely on some breezy days. The combat module was a lot of fun when I had an opponent with a similar plane but I don't have an opponent currently but hope a friend will do battle with me in the near future. I have a target jet that I haven't seen sold for a while, but I still bring mine out for target practice on occasion.
The night pod for the X-Port was not used in the flights that made the final videos below.
The Super Cub is an excellent flying airplane. I am completely comfortable flying it. Now with the BNF version I get to use my own transmitter. I am using the Spektrum DX7 transmitter with my Cub and I have very good control of the throttle, rudder and elevator. It is a relaxing plane for me to fly, and I can quickly add its floats to it for flying off of the water. More often I take advantage of the drop module to drop bombs or a parachutist. As discussed above I enjoy calculating in my mind how much drift I need to allow to have them land near me from altitude. The combat module is more fun when I have a live opponent but the target jet still gets used on occasion. For my older eyes the night pod was not really enough light for me to be comfortable past twilight. The addition of the LEDs and neon tubes make the plane very easy to follow in twilight or even on a dark night. Being comfortable with the Super Cub already makes it a very comfortable night flyer for me. I will only fly it a few times a year at night but those are always special occasions. Sometimes it is at a large Boy Scout night outing or at a large Fun Fly. This year our Modesto club had a Midsummer Nights Fun fly where the above twilight and night videos were shot. It was so much fun we plan to do it again in August. I know unless it is windy I can always fly my Super Cub with confidence.
It is also nice that I use mine as a trainer plane and I can hand the transmitter over for friends to fly or plug in a second transmitter to use as a buddy box with a complete beginner. Thanks to the X-Port, the night lights and the floats it remains much more to me than just a trainer plane for others to fly.
Is the Super Cub a perfect plane for 24/7 flying? For my taste she is pretty darn close. Now brushless with a brake on the ESC ...
My thanks to Jeff Heer, Charles Eaton and Jeff Hunter for their help in videotaping and flying flights for this review. My thanks to our editor, Angela, for all her work in improving this review.Last edited by Angela H; Jul 22, 2010 at 03:32 PM..
|Aug 23, 2010, 08:34 PM|
I got two of them. One with floats, one with wheels. I have about 20 hours on the float plane, about half that on the wheeled one. I love my Super Cub. I got hundreds of photos of mine. Now I have to look at the lights that you used. Very interesting. Would make for a delightful addition.
|Aug 23, 2010, 08:59 PM|
It's a very good model.
I prefer to train my students on larger models (like the E-Flite Apprentice), but several of our students are using this Cub as an entry Model, with good success.
With larger wheels, it easily takes off grass, and lands without nosing over.
|Aug 24, 2010, 12:06 AM|
I know that there are several places to buy lights or just buy parts but I really enjoy my set from Gorilla Bobs! The simplicity of powering them from the charging plug on the standard Horizon Hobby 3-cell 1300 battery pack lets anyone use them. No experience necessary. The strip around the fuselage and the neon strings have been very helpful when the bottom of the wing has been facing away from me. A very fun plane day or night. Mike H
|Aug 25, 2010, 02:49 AM|
Speaking of the aerial drop...I had an older Parkzone T-28 that I added the aerial drop module to using the stock FM tx and X-port button. It was a lot of fun, but I ended up gluing some weight inside each of the fake streamer bombs. The ballistics are pretty much straight down from where you press the button.
What made me dislike it is the flimsy elastic band they use to secure the payload. Half the time the payload would work its way out during flight, especially in uncoordinated turns. Then it would be a hunt through the thicket to find them.
Since then I've purchased the Quanum remote release for my Parkzone Bf-109 and aside from the payload cracking almost on the first use, it is amazing! Realistic trajectories, too. Probably too big for the Cub though.
|Aug 25, 2010, 11:33 AM|
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Joined Jan 2004
Is there a more detailed list of the parts ie: part numbers for the LED setup. I looked through the gorrilla bob site and I am still a little confused on which part is which. So many to choose from.
|Aug 25, 2010, 07:35 PM|
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Joined Jan 2004
Thanks. The starter kit is the confusioning part. Seems like the one on the website vs what you used are different.
|Sep 03, 2010, 01:00 AM|
Bullhead City, Arizona
Joined Jan 2005
Michael Great review and your use of the lights is precisely as we normally use them! Thank you for the inclusion in your review!
Sorry for the confusion on the web site. The Lights that Michael has, have been out of stock for a couple of months. The new order of LED strip lights are arriving this week and we hope to have the lights re-listed some time next week. We will be receiving a couple of additional colors with this order and we are looking to change the tail section of lights a little, so as to allow lighting of the rudder as well as the horizontal stab.
These light sets were originally designed for use on Slow Sticks but as you can see here, they will easily work on many other designs.
Michael mentions his EL wire on top of the wing. having a little light on the top of the wing help immensly when the plane is banked toward you. On a Slow Stick, the EPS foam is normally thin enough that it will show some of the light through. If a wing is too thick or when we custom paint a Slow Stick wing, the light will not show through the wing and we add an extra set of the small Amber LED strip lights to the wing tips, angled in a similar fashion as the blue LEDs on Michael's plane.
Once again, Thank you Michael! And if anyone has any questions, feel free to send an email or PM and we will gladly help you out or if you would like to check out all the lights we have, feel free to stop by the store at www.gorillabobsrc.com
|Sep 22, 2010, 07:48 AM|
The drop module I have was designed for the original cub with stock AM radio. Can it be used with new Spectrum radios, somehow?
|Sep 28, 2010, 10:37 AM|
The EZ-XPORT does a great job. Mine is still flying a year later in my Super Cub. Drop an email to John (see his email address in the review and his comments in the replies) and he will hook you up. Highly recommended!
|Nov 04, 2010, 03:15 PM|
my NAV color scheme
this was the response
sure, we can make up a custom pair of lights to your specifications. Were you looking to put red on one side and green the other? Let us know and we can get a set made up. Also, if you need a connector other than the balance adapter, we can do that also.
WOW! Talk about service!
attach is my proposed NAV color scheme
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