|Wing Area:||1630 sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||21.73 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||5 JR Hi-Torque JRPS821 digital servos|
|Motor Battery:||2 Hobby Lobby Polyquest 4-cell 14.8 volt lipoly 5,000mAh packs|
|Receiver Battery:||JR 6V 2400mAh Nicad (JRPB4470)|
|Motor:||E-flite Power 110 BL Outrunner (296K)|
|ESC:||Castle Creations Phoenix 85A High Voltage ESC|
|Prop Size:||APC 19 x 8E|
|Spinner Size:||8mm x 1.25|
|Pilot:||Full bodied, male pilot figure|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
|Price for Cub ARF:||$ 499.99 Horizon Hobby|
|Price for E-flite brushless motor:||$ 164.99 Horizon Hobby|
|Price for Phoenix HV-85 ESC:||$ 209.95 Castle Creations|
This 1/4 scale Cub ARF can be powered by an unleaded gasoline engine, a glow engine or a brushless electric motor, and I am reviewing it with the E-flite Power 110 motor recommended by Horizon Hobby since fuel powered planes are not allowed at my club's field, and I will get more chance to fly this as an electric, but if your home field allows you to fly gas powered planes, I recommend that you check out The Plug and Play 1/4 Scale Cub. It comes with servos installed and a much, much higher level of assembly completion. All the buyer has to do is add a receiver and do the final assembly at the field, and they are ready to fly. It comes with two large battery packs. The first is the same as I used to power the radio system and servos, the second powers an electronic ignition. The P & P model has electronic ignition for the gas powered motor that runs on unleaded gasoline with additive.
Taylor Brothers Aircraft designed and built a two seat monoplane they named the Chummy in the late 1920s. One of the brothers died in a crash. The surviving brother moved and with public funding set up the new Taylor Aircraft Company in Bradford Pennsylvania. An oilman, William T. Piper, was one of the backers in the company. Piper believed the Chummy was too expensive, and he sponsored the development of a smaller, lighter plane. The new aircraft was powered with a 20 hp engine called the Tiger Kitten it was underpowered and could barely leave the ground when it rolled out in 1930. The Taylor company declared bankruptcy in 1931, and Piper bought the assets and hired Taylor as his chief engineer. From 1931-1937 there were a number of improvements and changes in the planes made and sold by the company. In 1936 Taylor left the company. In 1937 the factory burned down and Piper moved the business and the employees to Lock Haven Pennsylvania. The company's name was changed to Piper Aircraft Corporation.
In 1938 the J-3 Cub made its debut powered by the Continental 40-hp engine and selling for $1,300.00. By 1940, the horsepower had been raised first to 50 HP and then to 65 HP. All cubs were soon painted a standard bright yellow with black trim. In response to the World War events in Europe and Asia, a Civilian Pilot Training (CPT) Program was created leading to a boom in sales of over 3,000 cubs in 1940. With the US entry into the war, Cubs were used as observation, liaison and ambulance planes with military designations as NE-1, L-4 and 0-59 and were nicknamed Grasshoppers. They provided invaluable service as trainers and support planes during the war. Production of the J-3 ended in 1947 with 14,125 having been produced. Planes similar in appearance but with different power systems continued to be produced, but they were not J-3 Cubs, they just looked like them.
On a September, 2007 visit to Portland, Oregon, I got a chance to go down to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. It is about an hour drive south of Portland on 99W. There I saw suspended from the ceiling a restored J-3C-65 Cub from 1942. It was absolutely beautiful. For comparison purposes I have tried to match the angle view of the real plane and the Hanger 9 Cub side by side. (Double click on the pictures to see a larger image.)
For an ARF, this is an extremely complete plane! The Fuselage comes assembled as do the wing panels. The fuselage has a detailed interior including a scale dashboard with a Cub in the tachometer, removable seats and scale pilot. The stabilizers come with elevator and rudder slotted for the hinges. The wings come with the ailerons attached. Collapsible wing struts for ease of transportation can be quickly connected at the field from the wing to the fuselage with the pin and cotter pin system. The plane has functioning flexible landing gear that absorb some of the shock of landing, and the wheels are proper scale Cub wheels. It has a very scale appearance with tubular construction so that the top outline really approaches the Cub scale lines, and the fin has a scale fillet at the fuselage for proper appearance.
List of J-3 Cub Kit Contents:
Required Tools and Adhesives:
Other Items Needed/Used:
Special Scale Features:
I checked to make sure I had all the parts I needed as well as the recommended tools and adhesives. I found I was missing 6 CA hinges but had everything else. I called Horizon Hobby, and they sent me a bag of 24 CA hinges that arrived within 48 hours of my call. I used my covering sealing iron and hot air gun to remove the few wrinkles in the wing halves that had developed since the plane was initially built. This was easy to do using the proper tools. For this assembly I did something I seldom do, I assembled the plane (97%) in the sequence given in the instructions. I worked on a separate project while I waited the two days for the hinges to arrive.
I did this per the instructions except I used my Exacto knife to open up the space for the hinges as the slits weren't wide enough (top to bottom) to slide the hinges into place.
This step was also easy once I had identified all of the listed parts. I read the instructions twice and studied the pictures, and about an hour later the landing gear was attached to the fuselage. .
The horizontal stabilizer mounts with 4 bolts to the fuselage and can be removed. The horizontal stab is further supported by support rods top and bottom that add support but are even more important as scale details. Per the instruction manual the control horns are not installed to the elevator halves until Step 5 as part of the radio installation.
HINT: DO IT NOW! Much easier to install the control arms before the stabilizer is attached to the fuselage.
TIP: It would have been easier to add the rudder tiller to the bottom of the rudder in this step, before the tail wheel was in the way. I did it per the instruction's sequence in step five, and the tail wheel was in the way and had to be loosened to get the tiller installed on the rudder.
The wing comes in two panels (right and left) for ease of storage and transportation. The ailerons came already hinged to the wing. The servos are both mounted so that the servo arm side of the servo is closest to the ailerons. Make sure you mount the servo blocks to the servo cover so that the servo arm will have full range of motion and so both servos are facing the aileron.
The threads on one end of one aileron control rod were malformed. I got the clevis onto that end holding the rod with a pair of pliers and twisting the clevis on with needle nose pliers. Fortunately the other side of the control rod worked perfectly so final adjustment of the control rod was easy.
|Type:||Digital Sport High Torque Servo|
|Operating Speed:||0.15 sec/60° @6 volts|
|Stall Torque (6V):||72 oz-in.|
|Dimensions:||0.74" x 1.5"x 1.47"|
|Motor Type:||3-pole ferrite|
|Type:||7 channel Synthesized Scan-Select Receiver|
|# of channels:||7 + battery space|
|Dimensions:||0.96" x 1.84"x .61"|
|interference Protection:||ABC&W System|
TIP #1: With the elevator connectors that attach to the servo arms I twisted the threaded control rod onto the connector as far as I could get it. I didn't count 14 turns, I twisted it until it couldn't go any further. I needed the extra room created by doing this for the clevis at the elevator control horn.
TIP #2: On the rudder pull/pull system. I used a long, thin, straight wire rod and taped the rudder control cable to it, and on the other end of the cable I taped a 2 foot piece of string. I threaded it into the fuselage from the back slit where the wire exists the fuselage in actual operation. I was able to instantly thread the cable to the front of the fuselage, and thanks to the string I could pull it forward out of the fuselage to easily work on it, attaching the cable to the connector out in the open. With the cables connected to the rudder control arm I pulled the wires back out via the strings at the back of the fuselage.
Three digital servos mount inside the fuselage per instructions, two for the elevator (one each half). There are options for how to set up these two servos to the receiver. 1) Two standard servos wired to different channels on the receiver and mixing through the transmitter or 2) (A) Two standard servos and a JR Matchbox or (B) a 6" standard reverse Y-harness or 3) a standard servo, a reverse servo and a standard Y-harness. I went with option 2 part B: the standard 6" reverse Y-harness and used that to connect the two standard servos together to the receiver. It worked perfectly!
I used the recommended JR receiver servo battery pack for the radio system with 5-cells for 6 volts and 2400mAh of power. It was important to have a large 6 volt pack as digital servos draw more power in operation than analog servos, and they are designed to work with 6V not 4.8V. I secured the receiver and the battery pack where indicated by the instructions with Velcro material, but since my plane was electric powered I did not wrap them in foam as shown in the instruction manual pictures.
Two 18" servo extension wires connect to the receiver and run up to the top center wing section (part of the fuselage) to connect up with the aileron extension wires mounted into the wing panels. I used a Y-connector for the ailerons. I added choke rings (purchased separately) to the extension wires before plugging them into the Y-connector. The choke rings help prevent interference in the aileron wires from the metal in the struts and landing gear. I used a third 18" servo extension wire with a third choke ring for an extension for the ESC. I ran this extension forward under the floor up to a servo hole at the base of the dashboard. I could have used a one foot extension wire.
Finally, I connected an On/Off switch to the receiver. It was mounted under the interior back seat to allow for easy On/Off and allows access to a charging jack for the radio battery pack. My largest heavy duty JR switch was smaller the the opening for the switch under the seat.
|Motor specs||E-flite Power 110.
|Type: Brushless Outrunner
|Motor Weight 490g
|Output Shaft Size: 8mm
|BATTERY: 8s-9s Lipo
|Amp draw: 15-24A max
|Prop: APC 19 x 10 electric
|Voltage Used: 28.2-38.4V
|Continuous Current: 55A
|Maximum Burst Current: 65A
|Speed Control: 85A High Voltage Brushless|
The instructions explain how to mount either a glow power or a gas engine but gave no instructions on how to mount an electric motor. They recommend the E-flite Power 110 outrunner brushless motor, and that recommendation was obviously followed. Fortunately, they did supply a wooden guide as to where to drill holes for mounting glow or gas engines or the E-flite motor. In the fuel engine mounting instructions they advised that from the firewall to the base of the propeller shaft needed to be 6". I used 4" bolts and a variety of size parts from the Universal mounting system sold by Hobby Lobby as well as plastic parts sold at Orchard Supply Hardware. These parts and the motor mount that came with the motor were the key components to my mounting system.
|Type:||Brushless Motor Controller|
|Max Input Voltage:||50|
|Maximum Amp Draw:||85 Amps|
|Throttle RF Shielding:||Opto isolated throttle cable|
|Castle Link Compatible:||Yes|
This was the ESC recommended by Horizon Hobby for this plane, and it was supplied for this review to me by Castle Creation. No Battery Elimination Circuitry (BEC) was included in this High Voltage ESC. Its job is to properly power the motor and stay cool in handling that juice. Its microprocessor, controlled with an audible arming signal and safe "Power On", has an auto shut down if signal was lost and self-calibrating endpoints for maximum use of transmitter stick travel. It also has low torque "soft start" and a simple setup with no complicated switches or wiring.
Assembly involved soldering on the three motor connectors that came with the brushless 110 Power E-flite motor. I also crimped on the high power (up to 120 Amps) Andersen battery connectors to the Phoenix 85A motor controller using a quality crimping tool. The ESC went in the front of the dashboard but behind the firewall. There was a lot of air there around the ESC so it should have good cooling. Ultimately, I secured it there to the top inside of the fuselage with Velcro.
I purchased two 4s 14.8 volt Polyquest Battery packs from Hobby Lobby (it helped that they were on sale and I got them for a good price). I have had great success with Polyquest packs and had the proper connectors for keeping them balanced in charging. By using two packs and connecting them in series (Red to black as shown in pictures below) I hoped I could fit the battery packs into the space between the dashboard and the firewall without any modifications. The same space where the fuel tank would have been installed. When the packs arrived, I tried, and it was a no-go with the existing structure. Getting the proper C/G without adding ballast was of major importance. I could mount the batteries on the floor of the cockpit, or if necessary, open up the wood frame beneath the dashboard to let the batteries go into the area in front of the dashboard as needed.
I used canopy glue on the window installation and was glad I bought it for this assembly. The instructions have the pilot as a back seat driver (on the real Cub both back and front seats did have controls).
The mid-span studs fit nice and tight on one wing panel and were a little loose on the other. I didn't glue them in place until after trial fitting the wings onto the fuselage with all struts connected. It turned out that everything fit perfectly. I Used the written instructions to confirm the length of bolts used and studied the pictures for the rest.
NOTE: The wings are secured against the roof of the fuselage by large plastic bolts that go into the wing root to lock the wings in place. These bolts were hand tightened from inside the cockpit with access from the right side door and window. Those bolts with my arthritic hands were the slowest part of field assembly for me. The pins and cotter pins secure the struts very quickly and easily.
Center of Gravity
With the plane fully assembled, pilot in the back seat and the battery packs in their starting position (up against the dashboard wall and extending back into the cockpit), placed my fingers under the wings 4 3/4 inches back from the leading edge of the wing (I had marked that distance previously with a block spot on the bottom of each wing panel). The Cub was clearly tail heavy. To move the batteries forward, I first removed the battery packs and then used my Dremel tool with a cutting disc. I cut out the wooden dashboard wall supports so that the batteries could be moved forward. I trial fitted the batteries, and they fit. However, I felt the area needed a floor to support Velcro for the batteries, so I had to remove more wood from under the dashboard. I just slipped in some cutting shears and snipped out enough wood to give me clearance ( will make it pretty later). I cut the wooden motor mounting guide I used earlier to locate where to drill holes to fit the front floor as my mounting board and glued Velcro to it before I glued it to the existing floor frame with 30 minute epoxy. I then installed the batteries all the way forward to serve as ballast while the glue dried.
With everything in place and the batteries all the way forward and secured to the floor with Velcro, I lifted the plane with my fingers at the 4 3/4 inch marks. Success! it was balanced right on spot with no need for extra weight or further shifting of the battery packs.
Recommended Control Surface Throws (as measured at the back of the control surface)
I used a brown Sharpie marker to color the gray APC 19 x 8E propeller brown to make it look the way I wanted it. I painted the propeller tips Cub yellow with some paint I bought to touch up some of the metal parts where my "rough handling" had caused the paint to come off.
My Cub was now ready to fly. Its all up weight was 16.6 pounds - a pound and 2/10 heavier then they posted for the fuel powered versions. I haven't been able to find a scale spinner for the 12 mm prop shaft adaptor (10-32 threads) that came with the E-flite Power 110 motor. If anyone knows where I can find such a spinner, please advise. For now, I'm using the supplied nut that came with the motor.
I assembled my Cub with slightly more up aileron throw then down aileron throw when mounting the aileron servo arms making for just a little differential and smooth and natural looking turns, especially when adding in about 40% rudder mix with the ailerons. Using my computerized JR 7202 transmitter, I programmed in a 40% rudder to aileron mix. With the switch activated it gave me the rudder input I wanted when simply turning and allowed me to just move the right stick on the transmitter. But I like to be able to turn it off for some acrobatics. Even with just 8s 5000mAh Polyquest battery power the E-flite Power 110 supplies more then scale power even with the plane's weight. Some pilot restraint was necessary to keep the power and performance scale, and of course sometimes I flew it in a non-scale like fashion. The digital servos powered by the large 6-volt 2400mAh battery pack gave good, responsive control and have performed flawlessly thus far.
With the rudder/aileron mix activated, my mechanics on the transmitter were pretty much the same as with a parkflyer 3-channel Cub. I would start the turn by moving the right stick the direction I wanted the plane to turn. As the plane started to turn, I pulled the stick down for some up elevator and slowly back to neutral on the turn while keeping in some up elevator until the turn was completed. This kept the plane level and ended the turn when I wanted it to end. Just like a little parkflyer.
Scale takeoffs and landings are easy to perform. Just hold back a bit on applying the power and take-offs can be performed in a Cub like fashion. The rudder and steerable tail wheel help maintain control even in a slight cross breeze. If I hit a gust, a little more power let me power through it. My landings were normally three leg, scale like landings: first leg was downwind, second leg was crosswind and third leg was a turn into the wind over or heading to the runway. I have done that for years being an RC glider pilot where the point of ending a landing is scored.
The Cub likes to fly, and there was a need to plan ahead for ground effect as the Cub wants to stay airborne for as long as possible. Make sure you have lots of room for your first landing and the following roll out. I normally like to keep power on through the landing, reducing or goosing as needed. The plane looks very real while landing, and I like doing touch and go’s. A little crosswind and the chance to crab down the runway makes the landings look even more scale and more fun to perform (some of my flights are over grass fields with no runways, and even then I have a picture of a runway in my mind and normally make a 3-leg landing on my imagined runway). A good deal of room is needed for the run out after touch down. In the first video, I landed into an up slope and still ran pretty far with a motor off landing.
I like doing Cub aerobatics such as a loop, a tail slide or a hammerhead stall. This Cub can do a number of acrobatics that the real plane simply shouldn't or couldn't do. I choose basically not to do them... at least not often, not yet. However, for the sake of this review I did a few and they were captured on video.
I cannot recommend this plane for a beginner. It is simply too nice a plane and too valuable a plane for a beginner to fly. But a beginner should have no trouble with the assembly following the manual and my recommends in this review.
For an experienced intermediate or better pilot I highly recommend it especially for a first time large scale plane. The additional effort Hangar 9 put in making it scale will be appreciated by the owner and observers. It was designed for easy transportation with final assembly and take down at the field being well planned with the collapsible struts and pivoting pin keepers/cotter pins making the process quick and easy. More importantly, its flight and handling characteristics made it a joy to fly.
If you can read the instructions and use this review to fill in details on the electric motor mount you should be able to assemble this plane very easily giving yourself a week of evenings to finish assembly. I did one or two steps a night and enjoyed the process very much.
If you have mastered the basics of flying an aileron plane you can fly this Cub, and after two minutes of flying you will be doing it with confidence. I have been able to replicate very scale like maneuvers.
There is something impressive about size! There is something special about seeing and controlling this 1/4 scale Cub in the air. I am very glad to have this electric version and plan to take it and fly it at the Arizona Electric Festival in January 2009. I hope to see some of you there. I love my Cub and have turned down several offers to sell if for full list price. I hope to fly it for years to come.
What Would I Add?
This memoir by Rinker Buck written as an adult describes the adventure he and his brother, Kern, had in 1966 of stripping down and fully restoring the family's 1946 Piper Cub (A PA-11 model that looks like the classic J3 but has a larger horsepower Continental engine.). With the plane restored, they flew it cross country from New Jersey to California. I found the book to be a very enjoyable and captivating read of these young teenagers doing this on their own with a travel budget of approximately $325.00. Buck was the younger brother (15) and the navigator for his brother Kern (17) who had just graduated from High School. There are a few swear words that reflect the boys’ and father's real experiences, and I mention this for those who may be concerned about such language. The book is as much about a teenager coming to terms with his brother and father and their personalities as it is about the trip, and I recommend it for that reason. There was also enough about the Cub, the trip and problems on the trip for me to recommend this book to anyone interested in the Cub or a cross country flying adventure. The book was/is published by Hyperion. I strongly recommend anyone interest in aviation (especially with teenagers) to read the book and then share it and discuss it with your teenager.Last edited by Angela H; Aug 06, 2008 at 10:25 PM..
|Aug 11, 2008, 10:05 PM|
Hey Michael, thanks for the nice words. It is a great flying model plane. My videos were taken down at a slope site so neither landings nor take-offs were done in my normal scale fashion but she does them well. By the way. You are partially responsible for my B & H spitfire review coming up in September. Your comments about B & H planes helped me make my decision to get the Spitfire and I mention you and others who's comments helped me pick the plane. The Spitfire will be used again for a review of a Canadian sound product after it gets retrofitted with speakers installed into its wings.
I only have one large Cub but then that is all I have room for in my hanger. Mike
|Aug 12, 2008, 11:01 AM|
My Spitfire continues to perform well, and I'll be flying it later today.
|Aug 12, 2008, 11:47 AM|
Very nice Michael!
Been flying mine on A123-10S2P; all winter long off skis!
Need 1minute of rechrage for each minute I fly; for example fly 15, warm up in club house for 15, then fly again!!!
Here's my thread and some photos: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752795
The pilot though is 1/5 not 1/4!
|Aug 12, 2008, 02:28 PM|
The H9 Cub is a beautiful plane though. One of the most scale looking I've seen. A buddy of mine has the .40 size one running an old Saito .90 twin cylinder boxer style engine. It looks fantastic under the cowl.
|Aug 25, 2008, 07:52 AM|
The best part, is that I recharge at 20amps; and am back in the air quick -- 1:1, fly 15 - recharge is 15!
|Aug 25, 2008, 08:50 AM|
JRBs recharge time beats mine as I am 2-1. I fly for up to 25 minutes and leave 5 minutes spare on my batteries fully charged. Way more then scale power at full throttle so that is seldom used contrary to the videos where I had limited runway space. Mike
|Aug 25, 2008, 08:59 AM|
My A123-10S2P is 4600mah & 36volts before flight; average roughly 20amps in flight -- 36 @ WOT.
|Aug 25, 2008, 11:16 AM|
I drive a Prius and do most of my charging at home with a converter. It is the limitations of my converter that control my charging speeds at present. I seldom charge at the field unless I have my wife's van.
|Aug 25, 2008, 11:23 AM|
|Aug 27, 2008, 05:21 AM|
A converter changes the AC current in my house to direct 12 volt current that powers my chargers. It doesn't allow the chargers to work at their fastest speed with larger batteries and controls my at home charge time with the big batteries. Mike
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