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Old Sep 25, 2011, 04:28 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Mini-Review
The Flyzone UM Super Cub RTF

PRODUCT REVIEW -- FLYZONE UM SUPER CUB RTF

For $80 Flyzone has put out a nice beginner's UM. Here's the rundown:

I. The plane: a well-done scale version of the Super Cub, including nice decals. Flies well, even in a little wind (the manual specs 0-5mph outdoors.) Quite stable (that radical dihedral makes a difference.) Responds well to throttle, rudder, elevator commands. The manual specs typical flying time with the included 130mAh lipo as: 5 minutes outdoors, and 8-10 minute indoors. I got a lot more time outdoors, 'cause I always fly SLOW and without aerobatics (altho, with 50% throttle, after a steep dive, there's no trouble making an inside loop.)

Quibbles:

A. a few of the 4 wing struts don't like to stay fastened down to their moorings. I had to use a little Foam-Tac glue to re-fasten them permanently.

B. Of more concern, was the wicked 360-degree ground loop on every takeoff, until I figured I need to give it full right and forget about scale takeoffs -- give it the gun and get it off the tarmac -- then it flew as well-behaved as a beginner's plane should. The two-fold problem:
1. The left wheel axle hole was too tight -- preventing that wheel from free-wheeling (when trying to spin it with a finger flip.) The fix: grab the wheel with a hemostat, and slide it back and forth vigorously over the wire axle (it took about 30-40 swipes) till the hole finally enlarged enough to make the wheel free-wheeling.
2. The rear wheel wire was set in a left turn. The fix: use a hemostat to bend the wire back to the centerline.

II. Tx - the "Tactic TTX402." It's an upgrade from their Playmate/AlbatrosDV Tx, and is 4-channel capable. An important improvement are the raised trim buttons -- you don't have to take your eyes off the plane up in the air -- just feel for the buttons.

Once again, Flyzone has a built-in lipo charger. I didn't use it --- I use a stand-alone charger -- that way I don't use up my Tx alkaline batteries (which usually last a year or so.)

Binding procedure is straightforward.

A very nice feature, for beginners, is that there's a motor "arming" procedure, that must be followed each time the electronics of the plane and Tx are turned on. That can prevent nicked fingers (and it also doesn't do the motor/FET any good to have it suddenly stalled out by an errant finger.)

Range, as with the previous Playmate and AlbatrosDV, presents no problem. Got the plane high and far away enough that I had a hard time telling in what direction it was flying --- no loss of contact.

III. Rx - the "brick" has been radically re-designed:

A. It now looks a lot like the Parkzone bricks -- integrated elevator and rudder servos on board, each using a horizontal drive screw. It's about the size of the PZ brick too. The underside of the pcb looks nice and clean, and all the components are SMD (no crystal can hanging loose.)

B. An important upgrade: there a set of double sockets available for outboard aileron servos; thus it's 4-channel capable.

C. The antenna is a now a stubby 33mm insulated wire -- you no longer have to worry about a long bare antenna wire touching the pushrods going aft to the tail.

D. One quibble (only relevant for us scratchbuilders): the servo arms have 3 adjustment holes each. However they are oriented vertically, rather than horizontally. If they were the latter, then I could use them as initial trim adjustments as I install the pushrods to the tail feathers.) (see foto.)

IV. The gearbox/motor. The gb is the standard version 2, with the 7mm brushed motor -- same as the Flyzone AlbatrosDV. I did notice the 'fluting' on the front of the prop shaft appears definitely accentuated compared to earlier shafts -- should make it easier to lock in with cement (to prevent your prop twirling off into the wild blue yonder.)

V. Prop: 115mm, don't know the pitch. Looks pretty standard.

VI. The manual: straightforward, good illustrations, good descriptions (in intelligible English.) Lists a full set of replacement parts, and essential for my personal ambitions the receiver is part number "TR421 4ch Rx Control Board with Actuators." (New policy: you can't buy the parts from Tower/Hobbico/Flyzone -- get them from your LHS, or the Internet dealers.) You know I'm already planning on using the 'guts' in my next WW1 biplane. Can't wait!

VII. One more important piece of information: how many amps can the motor FET take before smoking? I sent an email to Product Support, hope to have the answer in a few days. I hope it's the same as the Playmate/Albatros Rx: 5 amps continuous -- so I can swing a 6x3 GWS prop using the PZ 8.4gm gb/motor.

Will attach some fotos.

ATTENTION BEGINNERS: Before plugging in your lipo to the Rx make sure to color code one side of the male connector and the corresponding side of the female connector (of the Rx). I use a red permanent marking pen. Mark the side connected to the positive Rx wire -- it's white.) REMEMBER: If you force the connection incorrectly -- you will immediately destroy your Rx (and give your lipo a shortened lifespan.)

Bill

P.S. For you scratchbuilders in search of commercial "guts" -- Flyzone will be coming out with the Fokker DR1 (latest prediction is November) -- it will use the same Tx and the same Rx. B.
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Old Sep 25, 2011, 04:40 PM
Flash, AAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhh
flashkick's Avatar
United States, UT, West Jordan
Joined Dec 2008
2,531 Posts
so the motor wires are still attached directly to the board? no connectors? I really like the looks of the plane itself and the new brick.
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Old Sep 25, 2011, 05:08 PM
Just some guy
D Johnson's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
662 Posts
There is a wire with a two prong connector coming off the board for the motor. Bill, the ESC is again good to 3Amps. I have not had the same experience on takeff. Is one of your wheels binding or misaligned? As to the holes. if you were to use one of the servo arms for something like a nose wheel or connecting two ailerons, you will find the high hole clears the lead screw gear. Hope you enjoy the plane!

DJ
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Old Sep 25, 2011, 05:14 PM
Flash, AAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhh
flashkick's Avatar
United States, UT, West Jordan
Joined Dec 2008
2,531 Posts
okay thats awesome. i really like the idea of the motor wires having a lead from the brick before the connector.
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Old Sep 25, 2011, 06:44 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by D Johnson View Post
There is a wire with a two prong connector coming off the board for the motor. Bill, the ESC is again good to 3Amps. I have not had the same experience on takeff. Is one of your wheels binding or misaligned? As to the holes. if you were to use one of the servo arms for something like a nose wheel or connecting two ailerons, you will find the high hole clears the lead screw gear. Hope you enjoy the plane!

DJ
DAVE: Tnx for the comeback. As I noted in the review, the left wheel did have a bind, and the tail wheel was a little misaligned. I gave the fixes in that same paragraph.

Also, tnx for the gen on the ESC output -- I was hoping for 5, but 3'll do .

OK, on the vertical holes -- makes sense re auxiliary servos.

And I have enjoyed the plane --- but by last evening the "guts" had been disemboweled -- and are waiting for my next scratchbuild. The plane itself will be donated (as a parts source) for a newbie I've just convinced to join the hobby --- with a UM Super Cub RTF! )

Bill
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Ralph B's Avatar
Brandon Mississippi/Independence Kentucky
Joined Oct 2000
555 Posts
II. Tx - the "Tactic TTX402." It's an upgrade from their Playmate/AlbatrosDV Tx, and is 4-channel capable. An important improvement are the raised trim buttons -- you don't have to take your eyes off the plane up in the air -- just feel for the buttons.


Does anybody know if the new brick is compatable with the original Playmate/Albatros TX, assuming you only wanted to use 3 channels?

Ralph B
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 09:04 AM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph B View Post
Does anybody know if the new brick is compatable with the original Playmate/Albatros TX, assuming you only wanted to use 3 channels?

Ralph B
RALPH: No, my understanding is we're looking at a completely different electronic architecture. I wish it would be compatible, but I'd call it wishful thinking. .

Bill
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 04:55 PM
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IndiaHobby's Avatar
United States, MD, Laurel
Joined Mar 2010
682 Posts
billyjim, good and quick review. Thanks.
Ralph, I am thinking of going the other route ! I have a Playmate in poor cosmetic condition, so, I am thinking of placing its guts on the UM Super Cub's body (I checked TowerHobbies and one could get the fuselage/wings/Tails/wheels/struts for about 30 bucks shipped).
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 05:38 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaHobby View Post
billyjim, good and quick review. Thanks.
Ralph, I am thinking of going the other route ! I have a Playmate in poor cosmetic condition, so, I am thinking of placing its guts on the UM Super Cub's body (I checked TowerHobbies and one could get the fuselage/wings/Tails/wheels/struts for about 30 bucks shipped).
INDIA: Good luck with the 'transplant.' One thing you should consider: the Playmate gearbox has been updated/improved by the "version 2" model, which is used in the AlbatrosDV RTF plane. You should definitely replace your 'version 1" with the 2.

Bill
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 06:53 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Flight reports

TROUBLES

I persuaded the newbie neighbor to get a Super Cub. Checked it out on maiden 2 days ago: had a wicked left turn, even with full right trim. Two pairs of hemostats and tweaking the rudder pushrod adjuster fixed that problem.

Yesterday: after 2 successful flights landed the plane on asphalt -- decent landing -- a little rough as it came in on a 2-wheel landing .. and as it did so it snapped the prop in half. First time I've had that problem with Flyzone UM equipment. Also bent the prop shaft at the same time. Straightened the shaft and replaced the prop.

This morning: flew fine for 3-4 flights. Gave the dad a lesson, also his 13-year old son, and also his 12-year old daughter. Everybody happy.

Tonight: took the plane up and handed it to the dad, who flew it fine for a turn around the field.

Then all of a sudden, while the plane was above and fairly close in, it went into full throttle climbing rapidly and drifting away (even tho there was no wind -- absolute calm.) I took control of the Tx --- couldn't do a thing with it. So I turned off the transmitter. Plane kept climbing. That means the Rx was locked in full throttle -- and not the Tx. Turned the Tx back on -- still no control. The plane kept drifting away .. and finally landed in a high tree maybe 300 feet away.

Have never had this happen to me in four years of flying UM planes: first with the PZ Cessna, then the early Vapor, then many scratchbuilt foamy WW1 bipes, then the Flyzone Playmate, then many more scratchbuilts with those 'guts', then the Flyzone AlbatrosDV, then many more scratchbuilts with those 'guts', then testing flying this new Super Cub UM -- no trouble. Now this. Not a good way to introduce newbies to UM flying.

Bill
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 01:05 AM
SlingWinger
San Bernardino, California, United States
Joined Oct 2004
1,629 Posts
Sorry about the bad luck Billyjim.

I've owned 3 Playmates, I bought the last one almost a year ago. A very fine little plane. I have to admit I think the Playmate is prettier than the Cub, but we all know there is no accounting for taste.
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Old Oct 17, 2011, 02:29 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Some good news!

The LHS replaced the Cub & I'll ck out it out soon, wind willing.

Also, Hobbico is going to ck out the 'flyaway' plane. More good news.

Bill
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 08:00 PM
Registered User
Gulf Breeze, FL
Joined Jul 2006
2,841 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjim View Post
Also, Hobbico is going to ck out the 'flyaway' plane.
What have they found, Bill?

Gene K

P.S. Very nice review, thanks.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 09:50 PM
billyjim
Cullman, AL
Joined Jun 2007
914 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy01 View Post
What have they found, Bill?

Gene K

P.S. Very nice review, thanks.
GENE: No news yet -- I think they've got their hands full trying to get that DR-1 out the door.

Bill
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 07:43 PM
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IndiaHobby's Avatar
United States, MD, Laurel
Joined Mar 2010
682 Posts
So I toom billyjim's advice and got me the Flyzone UM Super Cub.
It definatly flies real slow...but, after about 20 minutes of flying the brick seems to gotten loose Did this happen to anyone else ?!?

I can see the brick (esc/servo/rx) move inside the fuselage when I peak through the battery compartment. I could cut open the fuselage, but that would destroy the beauty of the micro plane.

Will Hobbico fix this issue for me... Just wondering ?
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