Electric Orange J-3 Cub - RC Groups
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Jul 25, 2012, 10:22 PM
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Electric Orange J-3 Cub

My second model was a Electric Orange's J-3 Cub. I really liked the looks of this model, and it promised to be an easy trainer. I built it before I had radio gear for it. Almost simultaneously I also decided to build a Foamflyer SO-11 -- which was not quite a trainer -- no dihedral, and a single aileron and no rudder. More about that one shortly.

Anyway, the Cub's construction in foam was an eye-opener. It was really great to work with such a carefully designed model and the parts fit together perfectly. Foam was so easy to cut compared to the balsa I had used back in my teenage years. I'd never built anything from scratch back then -- only kit balsa planes. Crossgrain cutting seemed impossible then, though I' became more of a woodworker later in life.

Unfortunately the Cub had problems for me, as a trainer. It was very sensitive to rudder, and the wings were not supported well enough for the gusty conditions I tried her in. The plane did some very squirrely stuff (maybe interference?) and in the maneuvering managed to crease one of the wing panels. I tried flyting again, and the wing folded this time.

I later tried a solid core foam wing, but never could get the plane trimmed properly, and crashed it beyond repair. The wing was undamaged, however -- I still have it.

This Cub is for me a mystery plane. I've always wondered why I couldn't fly it -- others had reported training fine on it. Some day I will have to build it again and try to figure out what happened -- was it me, or the design?
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Jan 07, 2013, 06:11 AM
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I hope it wasn't the design! No disrespect to you, just saying that since I am using a modified form of Eletric Orange's (scotta) plans to build a 1/4 scale foam cub. So far so good, but spending a lot of time on the wings as these will need to be right considering it will have a 9 foot wingspan. Fuselage has gone very well and my protoype wing (wing half I should say) looks good so hopefully I will have it completed soon. Taking my time with it as this one will not lift a wheel off the ground on it's own until I am sure my flying skills are up to it, way too much work behind it. I even spend a good deal of time moding things on my templates since the plans could not be directly scaled, and the design was structurely based on a 38" WS.
Also working on a 60" WS model based off of these plans, but also with a full airfoil wing, this one should be done in a day or two hopefully for testing.
Just a prototype that way I am not sweating crashing it. I use cheap materials, especially for a prototype build but it is the time involved and knowing the effort to get it built that can cuase my "crash fear".

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