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HobbyZone's Super Cub RTF Review

Ray Thomas explores this adorable little parkflyer RTF by HobbyZone. He's pleased to find it not only good looking, scale-like, and a great trainer, but also having x-port expandability, elevator for 3-channel control, TWO chargers included, and more!

Splash

Introduction

Horizon HobbyZone Super Cub ARF
complete ready for take-off
Horizon HobbyZone Super Cub ARF complete ready for take-off
Wingspan:47.75"
Wing Area:346 sq. in.
Weight:26 oz.
Length:32.5"
Wing Loading:10.83 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:2-9gram micro
Transmitter:3ch. FM Proportional
Receiver:3ch. FM w/x-port & ACT
Battery:7cell 1000ma NiMh
Motor:480 geared 3 to 1
ESC:FET built into rec
Prop:10 x 8
Manufacturer:HobbyZone
Available From:Horizon Hobby

One of the great challenges for manufacturers in this hobby is to make a GOOD looking model that's also easy to learn to fly, particularly one that has a reasonable pricetag and is durable and quick to assemble, to boot. Many of these models, perhaps for cost or other reasons, are 2-channel, but this cub is 3-channel, with pitch control separate from throttle, so that it flies more like most RC aircraft, without the complexity of being 4-channel and a beginner trying to understand the difference between yaw and roll control. HobbyZone boasts:

"No other teach-yourself-to-fly airplane on the market offers as much as the HobbyZone Super Cub. Jam packed with features, it boasts incredible scale looks, 3-channel control, a ready-to-fly design, and X-Port expandability."

Let's see if it really fits that bill.

Kit Contents

The first photo shows the large parts the kit contains:

  • fully assembled airframe complete with one-piece wing!
  • Pre-Installed 480 motor
  • including a 1000mah NiMh 7cell 8.4V battery pack,
  • spare 10x8 prop,
  • 120vac house charger, AND 12vdc vehicle peak charger (!)
  • instruction manual with instructional DVD,
  • 8AA batteries for the included transmitter.

2nd photo shows smaller item contents:

  • the landing gear with scale straps,
  • all the needed screws,
  • rubber bands,
  • antenna wind detect red ribbon,
  • even a screwdriver.

Assembly

Wing

Wing is formed in one piece. Factory installed stickers and plastic reinforcements on the leading and trailing edge to keep the rubber bands from cutting into the foam.

Fuselage

The fuselage is complete in every detail.

Notice the right thrust and down thrust installed in the motor -- GREAT! and all too uncommon in these RTF models.

There is also the X-port connection, X-port add on attachment point on the underside of the fuselage.

NOTE: I removed the cowling just so I could take the pictures of the motor/gearbox assembly and to show the right and down thrust built into the plane. The cowling comes already factory mounted and does not require the pilot to mount it for flight.

Tail

The fuselage has a plastic plate on the bottom which aids in aligning the vertical stabilizer and also has the steerable tail-wheel bracket already installed on it.

The horizontal stabilizer has 2 holes which line up with the 2 alignment pins in the vertical stabilizer. It's all held in place with 2 small screws. You can also see the pre-installed rudder and elevator control rods protruding from the rear of the fuselage.

Radio Equipment

The radio comes factory installed. There is nothing for the pilot to do. The servos look to be around 9grams and the receiver has a built in electronic speed control on top of having the ACT and X-port features inside it. Its quite small for the large job that it does.

Completion

There is no completion...since, well, there's no assembly! The pilot has almost nothing to do -- charge the flight battery, install the transmitter AAs, and go flying!

The aircraft even comes with two chargers -- a 3-hour delta peak wall charger and a 1.2A DC peak charger!

Flying

Even compared to its completeness, this is where the Super Cub really shines. The plane is an absolute joy to fly and would make a fine trainer for the first time RC pilot.

I might add that if you've owned any of the Firebird R/C planes before purchasing the Super Cub, you're in luck, they both use the same battery pack. Now I have more airtime without additional expense, thanks to those extra batteries.

Taking Off and Landing

The cub is airborne in less than 40 feet and could sustain a 35 to 40 degree climb out without stalling. The airstrip we fly at had not been mowed in almost 2 weeks and the grass was fairly tall, but the Super Cub still took off (ROG) with ease.

Landings were handled without any trouble, just line up with the center line, hold a little power on until just over the end of the runway and then cut the power for the Super Cub to glide gently down for a perfect landing. You might want to hold some up elevator in the Super Cub until it comes to a complete stop. I did notice that if the grass were tall enough it would catch the wheels and cause the plane to tip over and rest on the prop. The day we shot the video, the winds were between 12 and 15mph...a LOT for this small of an airplane!! The cub really did a wonderful job, especially when you realize it doesn't have ailerons, just rudder and elevator. Crosswind landings were expected to be tricky but turned out to be really easy with the cub.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Super Cub is not an aerobatic plane but I did manage a few loops and stall turns. The flight characteristics of this plane are marvelous.

Is This For a Beginner?

Most RC pilots will tell you that a Cub is NOT the ideal place to begin learning to fly RC. There are ground handling issues and other reasons why the boxy trainer designs are ideal for learning, at least in the case of larger models. NOT SO in the case of THIS cub! I would highly recommend this to someone just learning to fly their first RC plane. It doesn't have any bad habits and because of its scale looks, makes a great plane when compared to those other BOXEY looking trainers that so many of us used to learn. And with electric power capable of extended flight times and no mess to clean up afterwards, it seems this plane just couldn't get any better.

But it does! The factory installed ACT (anti crash technology) makes this plane very safe for a new or first time pilot. The ACT actually accomplishes two things, first the sensors mounted on the top and bottom of the fuselage provide a sort of auto pilot to aid the pilot by keeping the plane in a level attitude and thereby avoiding those nasty spins usually caused from over controlling in a turn.

The second part of the ACT is that you will notice when the plane is on the ground and you flip the ACT switch on the transmitter, it actually reduces the control throws on the rudder and elevator just slightly, which is almost like having dual rates on the Cub which in turn makes the plane more docile, gentle and easier to handle.

I apologize for not having better video of the ACT in action. I flew quite high when trying out the ACT, so as to give it plenty of time to recover before hitting the ground. This make the plane very had to see. But I can promise you, the ACT does work, and performs just as well as the instruction manual suggested. The only things I would recommend about the ACT is to be sure and turn it off using the transmitter switch before you get ready to land, because when its activated the control throws are reduced and you need plenty of throw for landings, especially if it windy.

And secondly, the Cub needs to have at least 200 feet of altitude in order for the ACT to have enough space to recover automatically before hitting the ground.

Editor's Note: There are several other RCGroups.com reviews that also positively discuss and praise the ACT features. Feel free to search for other ParkZone reviews to see some additional commentary and video.

Beyond the Beginner

Being a Cub, this model will appeal to many levels of modeler...some for nostalgia reasons, some for scale reasons, many of us because the only small plane we've ever flown was in a cub! AND, with the x-port on board, the cub is capable of so much more too, from aerial drop to combat to night fly!

Not every modeler is looking for a 3D "wring it out" airplane, or even looking for that out of every flight. For those looking for a small, great looking cub to fly at that close local park, the ParkZone cub fits that bill too.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

Pros:

  • Excellent scale looks.
  • Gentle and easy to fly.
  • Comes complete with everything needed to get you flying.

Cons:

  • Windshield decals wanted to peel and curl up.
  • Factory rubber spinner rubbed the lower side of the cowl and had to be trimmed.

I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend the HobbyZone Super Cub for a beginner pilot. It flies very scale and can fly slow or quite speedy, depending on your desires. It comes from the factory with everything a person needs to get started and above all has great scale looks which keeps it from looking like a trainer. Just like so many times before, HobbyZone has come through with another winner.

Last edited by AMCross; Sep 22, 2006 at 03:21 PM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 23, 2006, 09:19 AM
Stantheman
LaGrange, Ky.
Joined May 2004
428 Posts
It uses the same battery pack as the Firebird. That's a start!
And now the type of connector is.........???????????????
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 09:14 PM
KZ RIDER
raythomas's Avatar
Confederate States of America
Joined Nov 2001
1,037 Posts
Its the same 2 pin small molex type just like the Firebird.
In fact the battery pack had the word Firebird stamped on the side of it.
Thanks Ray
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 09:43 PM
tree scavenger
USA, OH, Cincinnati
Joined Sep 2006
585 Posts
The Super Cub was basically my 1st (real) Electric,
(after the Harbor Freight Yellow Bee) lol
I couldnt imagine a better plane.
IMHO its the perfect package.
Tnx for the review RT


Stanthe, after a scan of available Batt. types on Tower Hobbies site,
ive seen the connector refered to as:
A2-1 Connector, an A1 connector, a unique Hobbico connector, a Hobbico Custom Connector, a mini Kyosho type connector, and a Kyosho/Tamiya connector,,,,,,
grrr...and here i thought i was starting to come to terms with battery connector types!?

FWIW It does use the same battery pack as the Firebird Freedom.

heres the plug type
http://secure.hobbyzone.com/catalog/...s/HBZ1013.html
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXLEW0&P=0


heres the Cub
http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_planes_h..._super_cub.htm
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 10:13 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2007
17 Posts
Thanks a lot!!

Thank you for the very detailed information. I am thinking of getting a Super Cub for my birthday. Your article helped me a lot to show my parents that this is the right R/C airplane to get for first timers like me. Do you mind sending me a picture of where the on/off switch for the plane is?? Thanks again.
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Old Nov 06, 2007, 05:52 PM
Pro Bro # 2398
GassPasser's Avatar
BoonVegas, Indiana
Joined Dec 2005
674 Posts
what kind of CA do you use on this type of foam? regular or foam safe?
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Old Nov 09, 2007, 03:30 PM
Squish!!! Splat!!!
frogstomper's Avatar
Maricopa, Arizona, USA
Joined Oct 2007
626 Posts
Hi, all

I picked up my Super Cub on impulse. The guy standing in front of me at the hobby shop had one under his arm, so I picked one up for myself. I was extremely timid about the whole affair because I have never flown RC before except for my Harbor Freight Yellow Bee that never saw any air time as it promptly headed for the asphalt with every hand launch.

I got it home and assembled. Watched some of the U-Tube flying videos and then headed out to the park for an attempt. The very first time that I hand launched the Cub it took off in a shallow climb (not a Yellow Bee at all) and proceeded to get up above the housetops around me. I got nervous and over controlled mightily, and it came swooping back down and into a mildly angled crash. I guess I didn't have it high enough for the ATC to take over.

I packed it up and headed home for repairs. Surprisingly, it survived pretty well, and the repairs were easy using Loctite SUMO glue (a medium setting CA-type adhesive --great for the Cub). Later, a check proved everything to be working OK and in trim. So I headed back to the park. This time I was able to keep it in the air for about 90 seconds before my nerves failed me and the ATC had to kick in. Then, when I got it lower I lost it by stalling and slipping over on it's left wing and into the grass. Minor repairs were needed and it was ready to go again. The biggest overall repeating problem was with the wing struts breaking loose. Finally, I tied them down with a length of string that I poked through the wing, and glued them to the plastic nubs on the wing...fixed that problem.

Because of the proximity of homes around the park, I decided to ask a farmer nearby if I could fly in some of his unused fields. He OK'd the idea and I have since been able to lose my fear of landing in somebody's yard or on their roof. It's been a week now out at the farm and I've been able to comfortably climb the Cub to at least 500' so I can play with it. I now fly with the ACT turned off, and today I was able for the first time to come in for a perfect 3-point landing, no nosing over. What a thrill! Again, I have never flown RC before and I have no instructor standing beside me, so any minor accomplishment is a huge step for me.

If you are considering the Super Cub for your first plane, but have doubts about whether or not you can learn to fly with it, just buy the Cub and get to it. I'd advise having on hand a good supply of 10/8 props and some SUMO or GORILLA glue 'cause you're gonna need them both. Also, don't be afraid to adjust and re-adjust the elevator and rudder control connectors. Getting them in perfect trim (finally) helped me a lot.

FWIW, I've started using 11/8 props and like the better climb performance. I'm new to all the calculcation ratios so I have no idea if I'm overstressing the motor, but after the climb-out I reduce the throttle to about 2/3 and just let the plane float around in the air for awhile, so that should not be stressing the stock motor too much.

It's really fun. Can't wait for my next plane to get here -- it's on order. It will be sporting a set of ailerons.

Vance
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Last edited by frogstomper; Nov 09, 2007 at 03:43 PM.
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Old Nov 09, 2007, 04:26 PM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
New Bern, North Carolina, United States
Joined Oct 2004
12,444 Posts
Great review... I have seen many new pilots teach themselves on the SC. I picked one up and painted it purple for my GF and she is learning on it.

On a side note: You may want to move this to the beginners area... where it will be of great help to the newbies asking what first plane to get, IMHO
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Old Nov 24, 2007, 03:08 AM
Fly,crash,build,fly,crash
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Joined May 2007
40 Posts
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Old Nov 24, 2007, 04:49 AM
Account closed
Joined Oct 2002
35,016 Posts
I dissagree with the "CONs" listed on this review as I have never had an issue with the Rubber Spinner nor the Decals. As a matter of fact these decals are the best I have seen yet on a Foam Model such as this size.

This model is very rugged and strong as I have hit the road curbs many times after landing and that rubber spinner plus the strength of the gearbox is very amazing....also the propeller is very flexible and does not break.

One caution that I have observed is NOT to leave your Super Cub RTF in the direct sunlight within your vehicle for too many hours (Days) as this will cause the plastic control horns to become brittle and they will fail in-flight and you will certainly lose the model.

Another REAL Issue is the Receiver Crystal has exhibited to become lose due to the normal vibration of the motor/gearbox and the need for taping it down was necessary. The manner in which this becomes evident is the model's motor will start to cut off and back in along with a momentary loss of control. (A second or two) and if you have the model in static test without the wing and observing the servos you will noticed servo jitter especially when you increase throttle. A lot of people would think it is RF interference but, it really is the manner in which the crystal rides inside that Receiver holder.

Here's one or two Videos:

Maiden Flight using ACT while in-flight:
Super Cub RC Model (8 min 6 sec)


Servo Jitter caused by loose Receiver Crystal:
Hobby Zone Super Cub Srevo Jitter (1 min 45 sec)


AMP Draw measurements using 3-Cell Li-POLY and Stock 10X8 Prop.
Hobby Zone Super Cub AMP measured 3-cell Li-POLY (3 min 35 sec)


AMP Draw measurements using 3-Cell Li-POLY and GWS Hyper 10X6 Prop.
Super Cub with GWS Hyper 10X6 and 3-cells Li-POLYs (2 min 27 sec)


Sustained Inverted Flight using 3-Cell Li-POLY and Stock 10X8 Prop.
Super Cub Sustained Inverted Flight (3 min 19 sec)




All in all this is perhaps the best RC Model out of the box for $$$ value and very well designed for both beginners and experienced RC flyers.

Carlos
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Old Nov 24, 2007, 07:25 PM
Jungmeister 55
simano's Avatar
Orlando Herndon, Florida, United States
Joined Sep 2002
3,451 Posts
I couldn't agree more with you Carlos. As a matter of fact I bought a fuse, wings and tail group to make a second one, maybe a bit sportier looking with wheel pants but keeping things light as this models excel at flying very well in it's weight class.

Gerry.
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Old Nov 24, 2007, 10:02 PM
Account closed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simano
I couldn't agree more with you Carlos. As a matter of fact I bought a fuse, wings and tail group to make a second one, maybe a bit sportier looking with wheel pants but keeping things light as this models excel at flying very well in it's weight class.

Gerry.
Gerry,

I finally got the guy that has this Super Cub...by Hobby Zone but, customized to his liking and did so with spectacular results using a very good quality mylar material and looks like a balsa model!

I will PM you with the information in case you like to perform the same customizing job.
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 05:57 PM
Registered User
Vancouver
Joined Nov 2007
70 Posts
This really is a great plane.

I just got into RC planes, bought a super cub 2 weeks ago. Now having flown flight sims quite a bit probably helped me with my first flight. Ive only had one minor crash where I got confused when it was flying towards me (thinking reverse) it was only 10-15' off the ground and dove in on its wing but no damage. (fairly durable plane I think) Ive flown it 30 times now with no crashes, doing loops, inverted, steep dives and hard banks and Im good at landings, its getting to the point where I dont think you can crash this plane as long as you have enough altitude (of coarse now that I say that I'll have an incident ;-) )

I have noticed it cut out for a second a few times so I'll check the crystal in the reciever (thanks for posting that)

I wish I had found this hobby a few years ago. Im already looking for a new plane, leaning towards a PZ Spitfire for a little more performance.

Great videos
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Old Dec 02, 2007, 11:56 AM
Registered User
Roseville, CA
Joined May 2005
249 Posts
Wow, great data on the receiver crystal. I have a Parkzone Decathlon and a supercub. The decathlon has consistently had instability problems, and the Cub on occasion. I almost threw out two Decathlon receivers. I will check out the crystal issue. I suspect that is the problem with the instability. Thanks again. Carlos2
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Old Dec 02, 2007, 04:14 PM
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35,016 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by unloco2
Wow, great data on the receiver crystal. I have a Parkzone Decathlon and a supercub. The decathlon has consistently had instability problems, and the Cub on occasion. I almost threw out two Decathlon receivers. I will check out the crystal issue. I suspect that is the problem with the instability. Thanks again. Carlos2
I am sorry to report that I have found the cause(s) of my Super Cub's RF problems........just look! (Starts at Post # 3892)

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...page=390&pp=10
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