|Wing Area:||940 sq. in.|
|Weight w/out battery:||64 oz.|
|Wing Loading:||14 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||2 Futaba 3003 (Tail)
2 Hitec HS 81 MG (Wing)
|Transmitter:||Hitec Eclipse 7|
|Receiver:||Hitec 555 with Deans whip antenna|
|Battery:||3s4p Thunder Power 8000
4s3p Thunder Power 5700
|Motor:||AXI 4120 14|
|Propellors flight tested:||4s
|Lighting System added:||Curtek Systems|
|ESC:||Jeti 70 3p Opto|
|Kit Manufacturer:||Page Aviation|
|Motor Distributor:||Hobby Lobby|
“An 80 inch Super Cub designed for Electric power? You have got to be kidding. It is about time.” That’s what I thought to myself when I read about this kit and when it came up for review, I immediately volunteered. I got the nod to do the review and then the anticipation while I waited like a kid a week before Christmas. So as you would expect, when Santa in the brown sleigh dropped off the box, I had to dive right in.
There were not instructions to build the wing in two halves but Adrian assures me that it can be done. I should have been more careful to double check for all parts included prior to beginning the build. I found this out the hard way, but more on that later. (Of course, it was accidental that my kit was missing a few pieces, and Page Aviation will replace anything that might accidentally be missing in any purchaser's kit with just a phone call or email.)
While this is not a beginners kit, it was a very easy build. There were several steps that took some head scratching on my part, so I tried to include photos of most of the steps that were not pictured in the manual.
Since it was late I decided to build the tail group before starting the wing. Construction over the plans made it very easy. Everything was labeled making it simple.
A couple evenings later I began the wing, building over the plans this time. The wing was constructed in two halves and joined so I could still build it on my 48” building board. Wing construction was VERY simple and the instructions very clear.
At this point the airframe weights are:
Now for the tough part: Deciding on covering. I started with white, then surfed the net for a week to find something I liked. Once I got started, it turned out completely different. Covering something this big seemed daunting at first, but it turned out to be a snap, although time consuming. I needed 3 rolls of covering for a basic trim scheme on this plane.
The most challenging part of the kit to me was installing the door. I just did not see what was going on, but these photos show how it works. It turned out very cool and opens 180 degrees top and bottom. The slots are already cut in the wood, so all I had to do was cut the covering, slide the hinge in from the back and glue.
Mounting the AXI offered many options. I ordered a radial mount before the kit arrived so I thought I would use it. A friend was kind enough to mill me some standoffs on his new lathe. In this case they are 1-7/8" long and a 6/32 bolt went through them into the blind nuts. I also could have used PVC pipe for a standoff, however, the Alu-E mount or others would fit easily.
These were very simple to build, but covering them was a bit of a challenge.
It is at this point that I find my glitch in the parts check. The instructions did not specify how the struts connect to the wing, but on the plans…there it is, a 4/40 blind nut in the strut plate. Oops, the wing is covered already, and the blind nuts were not included. Oh well I had to go to the hobby shop anyway.
Matthew of Curtek lighting was kind enough to provide a lighting system for the Super Cub. He now offers a custom service where you call and tell him exactly what you need and suddenly at your door is a lighting system with all the lengths of wire exactly to your spec. The Curtek system is modular and offers solid nav lights as well as alternating strobes, and functioning landing lights that can be switched on manually or setup to come on when the throttle is reduced below half.
Here is what I used:
I have used this system to fly at night and it is very visible if the lights are placed and angled correctly. For the wing tip lights I taped them in place tentatively before I covered the top of the wing. I did this in a small room so I could see the pattern on the walls. Since I planned on nav lights and strobes on the tips, I plugged the Navs into the solid port on the controller board and the strobes into the flashing ports. The strobes flash 2 times alternating. I found that the colored LED’s quickly over powered the strobes when they were angled the same so I pointed the solid navs a little forward and the strobes a little backward. This was, as the plane flies by I can see the nav light then as it passes, I see the strobes. I then ran the wires through the ribs and out the opening in the center of the wing for the aileron servos. I then glued the LED’s in place with foam safe CA so as not to fog the clear lenses. I used a piece of soft balsa and carved, and sanded it to form a place to adhere the covering and blend into the wing tip.
The Page kit so kindly had holes that fit the mag lite reflectors perfectly. When I glued the wood in place for the lenses, I angled it a little down so the lights would shine about six feet in front of the plane. These were glued in place with CA.
These things are surprisingly bright. I used the narrow beam landing light LED’s, but I could've gotten a brighter pattern by using the wide angle LED’s and letting the lens do the focusing.
See the video for the lights in operation. This should make for some great sunset flying. Thanks to Matthew for the great looking system.
Here she is ready for the maiden.
With either of the two lipo packs I had, Thunder Power 4s3p 5700 and 3s4p Thunder Power 8000, placed all the way to the front, the plane balanced near perfect. These packs weigh 18 ounces and 17.3 ounces respectively. Adrian says this plane will fly on 300 watts but this setup is much higher than that. As a result the thrust feels very strong on this setup.
(Here are my amp results:
12x8 4s 30 amps
I chose the 3s and 14x10 for the maiden flight. At the field I assembled the plane and loaded the batteries through the door. During the range test, I found my RX had some problems. After pulling the RX from another plane, I made the simple swap, again completed through the door without having to remove the wing.
The wind was about six mph, straight down the runway, so I commenced the high speed taxi tests. The 3” wheels had no problem with the high grass but the 5/32 wire seemed to be flexing quite a bit more on one side than the other. The rudder and steerable tailwheel are VERY effective on the ground. Once the tail leaves the ground, bare minimum inputs were all I needed. It was very easy to over correct and fish tail all the way down the runway. On the second run the plane tried to jump into the air with only ½ throttle and about 20 feet of runway.
No guts no glory, so on the third taxi test, when it tried to jump into the air, I hit the gas and off it went. Climb out at ½ throttle was at 45 degrees. For trim all that was needed was three clicks of down and one click of right aileron.
Turn and bank were scale with lots of adverse yaw with aileron or rudder only inputs. I set up switchable aileron-to-rudder coupling at 20%. This made very nice scale single stick banked turns, but I may need a little more coupling. The nose did not drop at all in the turns as did my previous cub -- a pleasant surprise!
Stall tests were next to practice how she might land. At full stall the plane mushed straight ahead with a minor tip of the right wing, which could have been my fault. After several turns around the pattern and some slow flight, the time came to try a landing approach. I setup a typical cub approach, nose low, and the plane higher than usual. The plane seemed very stable at slow speeds during the flight and approach was no different. The final was hands off once the glide path was established. The round out and flare proved how well this plane floats. Once in ground effect, she sailed on down the runway almost running out of strip, but the wheels eased down 20 feet from the end. I expected it to roll into the grass, but surprisingly once the wheels were on the ground it stopped almost immediately and I was able to taxi back.
In the air the AXI is almost silent (despite all the other plane's noise on the video tape). The power is robust on this setup. It is not fast, but it’s a cub after all. The batteries were barely above ambient temperature and the motor was not even warm. Further flights proved another good power setup was the 4s and 13x8 prop. If I went with a bigger prop, I should be able to do some towing; however, I would be in the 50 amp range.
After more flight testing I can tell you that this plane is a lazy flyer. It does nothing fast, and flies very scale. The power on 3s is more than adequate to fly this plane, as shown in the video. Most of the flying is below half throttle, and on the power-off approaches the plane has no unpredictable tendencies. This plane just floats forever down the runway and allows plenty of time to make corrections. My landings in the video were awful but that was do to a rusty pilot and not so good flying conditions. The plane lands like a dream in normal flying conditions.
The Page PA-18 Supercub kit was designed from the start to be electric powered. Due to some clever design and use of wood grain, the frame is very strong. Plywood is used for strength; however, most of the wood is laser cut out, leaving a skeleton that forms the frame work of the Cub. Unlike a typical glow kit where you have to remove wood to lighten the frame, this kit has already been made as light as possible.
With a wing loading of 14oz per square foot, this thing floats along like a balloon. With the AXI power plant available from Hobby Lobby, there is plenty of power. I could fly it scale for a very long time at half throttle or hit the gas and climb out of sight in no time. If you choose to add lights as I did, Curtek can set you up so you can fly well into the evening, long after everyone else is putting their toys away.
The Supercub will make a great addition to anyone’s fleet and with the right setup could even be capable of some scale Cub type duties such as banner tows and glider tows. It is great to practice slips, perfect landings, and make two or one wheel touch and go’s. It is also good for low, slow passes, flying backwards in moderate winds, wing overs, spins, and even inverted flight if you dare. Of course you can always get one for the same reason I did, you just like Cub’s.
Special thanks to Kelvin Ritchie for Inflight photos and video!
Thanks for the comments guys;
I ran out of time before the deadline to add flaps. I installed the box and arranged the aileron hinges such that all I have to do is add the servos and cut the aileron with a snap saw and I have flaps.
The flaps would just be fore fun with this plane. It really does not need them.
Joined Sep 2004
Your convertion using LIPO of this type suggests some interesting possibilities
with time and info these projections could be confimed or rubbished time will tell
LIPO stats from TP page
Thunder Power "Super High-Density" LiPo Electric Flight Pack
8000 mAh, 3S4P (11.1V), 13 gauge wires
Rating: 8-10C Continuous Discharge / 15C Burst
Dimensions: 50mm x 185mm 28mm (460gm)
Configuration: 4x3 "Stick"
assuming average power demands 30 amps 300 watt approx should give flight of 15 minutes
assuming that LIPO can give 480 cycles before going poof that equals 50 Cents per flight fuel LIPO costs equalivant
At a club where it would tow gliders using 40 amps probably get 3 tows per charge that would equal some 17 cents a tow in fuel costs
I think we might see the demise of the club glow tow plane starting if we can get at least 300 cycles from LIPO at 10 c discharge rates
any body got real stats on cycles from even indoors or outdoor stuff
Can't wait to get started on this one....
Where did you get the 3s4p Thunder Power 8000 battery pack you suggested? I have ordered and received the Cub kit, Had some trouble contacting Curtek lighting but I think we've worked that out, but am unable to locate the battery pack.
I guess the obvious question at this point is "would you do the same thing again ?" with regard to the powerplant and battery set up.
A little frustrated with Curtek lighting...
I have been trying to spend some money with these folks for over 3 weeks. I can't seem to get anything but.....
"I will print out your request and we will see what we can do for you today"
"I sincerely apologize for not accommodating you earlier. I will send you information hopefully tonight." ,
"Everything looks good here, I will print this and hand it to my contractor in a couple of hours for completion."
Anyone have any other sources for lighting?
I am currently installing and testing this light kit:
So far it looks really bright(just in the house) and I think it's going to add a lot of realism to the model I am putting it in. It's not cheap but seems really well executed, and worth the price.
Joined Dec 2006
tail light wire
Hi, I would like to know your procedure for mountin that tail light in your rudder. did you just run the wire through the verticle fin and straight into the rudder like a hinge would? I am about to do mine and I got to thinking with the rudder moving back in forth over time, wouldnt it cause the wire to wear down and break apart. I would appreciate any tips you have,
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