HZ Super Cub, 3 ch v 4 ch first plane? - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Sep 17, 2012, 01:39 AM
Registered User
WVrailfan's Avatar

HZ Super Cub, 3 ch v 4 ch first plane?

I started, like a lot of folks with a 3 ch HZ Super Cub. After a few months I got a PZ T-28 and found the transition from 3 to 4 ch planes no big deal. I found the increased speed of the T-28 to be much more daunting than learning to use ailerons.

This came up at our club the other day when a friend stopped by and asked what he should get as a first plane and I suggested the HZ SC. One of the more experienced members corrected me and said I should recommend a 4 ch plane, "no use having to learn to fly twice" he said.

I tend to think of myself as a slower than normal learner, so if I can learn on a 3 ch plane and make the transition to 4 ch, I figure pretty much anyone can. I thought the HZ SC was a good learning platform. And, the HZ SC has a pretty large following that includes a lot of experienced pilots.

So my question is, am I off base recommending a 3 ch trainer to friends who are interested in getting started in RC flying?

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 17, 2012, 02:55 AM
Registered User
micka80ella's Avatar
Me personally, learning to fly rc planes was about gaining confidence in myself and my plane/gear. I learned and still learning on an easystar which i found at first daunting, but i relaxed over time and realised the plane would self level out of turns and i could cut the throttle and it would land by itself. I am not trying to recommend an easystar but more a plane like it and the supercub where the learner only has to gain confidence and go from there. Many years ago i bought a couple of planes and destroyed them at maidens - an extra 330 and a swift flying wing - no hands off flying there. Sure there are 4 channel planes one could learn on but for me its about that right stick that makes the plane roll and turn. Still learning and now flying 4 channels and delta's and as a progressive learner i can say i would have surely destroyed anything but the RET type planes, but each to their own, some can go from a sim and be confident and controlling on their first few flights.
Also, i still fly the easystar and find it so relaxing to fly i can sit down, have a drink and gently nudge it around the sky.
Sep 17, 2012, 10:58 AM
Registered User
You see this a lot at clubs, mostly from the old timers. First of all, you don't "learn" ailerons, you get used to flying with a plane that is a bit more responsive than one that turns with just the rudder on a 3 channel. Remember, it is more important to remember that regardless of channel number, you still turn/bank the airplane with the right "direction" stick. Forget about aileron or rudder. Just think direction instead. A lot of those old timers also don't look favorably on foamies, or electric, let alone a 3 channel electric foamie. Many have forgotten that before more sophisticated radio equipment became available most RC planes were 1, 2 or 3 channel. The EasyStar is a great 3 channel plane as is the HZ Super Cub. The key for me from going to a 4 channel plane from a 3 channel plane (HZ Super Cub to T-28 Trojan) was to use the dual rates on my Spektrum DX6i TX. Setting the aileron throw to 60% and the rudder and elevator to 75% really tamed the plane down.
Sep 18, 2012, 01:06 PM
Registered User
I've heard the saw about "learning to fly twice" too. What I've found, when I take the time to sit and talk with these guys is that what they say is true...if the learner allows the plane to do the flying for him.

What I mean is this. A three channel plane will come out of a bank on its own if you release the rudder. The more dihedral it has, the more quickly it will do so. What I discover that I was doing with my Champ and Super Cub is that I was starting a turn, holding the rudder (with and appropriate amount of elevator) until I wanted it to come out and then releasing it. The plane would straighten out and fly on until I did it again.

This completely different than what you have to do with ailerons. With ailerons the plane will keep rolling as long as you hold the stick, furthermore it won't tend to right itself since a four channel plane typically has much less dihedral when you release. You have to give it opposite aileron to get it back to straight and level.

However, it is entirely possible to use the same stick motion when you're flying three channel and four channel (at least of simple turns). When flying three channel simply command the plane at all times. Instead of allowing the plane to right itself, don't wait for it, give it opposite right stick to pull it out of the run turn. You are performing the same staick action on the right stick as you would with a four channel plane. Instead of flying the oval race track pattern, square the corners so that you have an upwind, down wind and two crosswind legs like you're supposed to. Never wait for the planne to roll out; you make it roll out.

I have done this with my Super Cub and the translation of the stick motion (and muscle memory) to my four channel Sensei is seamless. There is an added benefit as well. The lazy, easy going Super Cub LP turns into a snappy performer doing figure eights in a very small space. Lining up on approach is no longer dependant on the timing when I turn onto final since I don't wait for it to roll itself out of the turn.
Sep 18, 2012, 02:53 PM
Registered User
I have never let my Super Cub right itself, my Champ either or my Firebird Stratos. It is just good practice to end a turn yourself, always. I love to put my Super Cub in a dive, go full throttle, and do a loop and then turn the plane as it's coming out of the loop. Great fun and impresses noobs when they see it!
Sep 18, 2012, 03:16 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
Again, much ado about nothing. To the pilot it doesn't matter whether the plane comes out of the turn or not. You give it the input it needs and that's the end of the story. Different planes always will fly differently, even if they have identical numbers of channels. With each plane you fly, whether 3 or 4 channel or more, you learn what it likes to eat, then you feed it what it likes. No big deal.

Holy crap! You don't want to switch from a dog to a cat. You're all used to putting the dog food out there and you'll find yourself doing that for the cat too! You have to learn to feed all over again. Bullschnitzel!

That "you just have to learn all over again" looks real intimidating on paper or on screen but it's a paper tiger made of toilet paper. Nobody in real life, flying a plane finds it to be much of an issue, just as you didn't find it much of an issue. The difference in flying speed was much more daunting.
Sep 18, 2012, 03:22 PM
Registered User
JBFlyer85's Avatar
A friend of mine that I fly with have had this same discussion. He started with a 4 channel aileron plane and I started with the 3 channel Firebird Stratos. He believes in starting with a plane with ailerons and thats fine. But I still lean towards possibly a 3 channel no ailerons for a beginner.

From what I've read, the concensus seems to be 50/50 on the matter.

I do feel that I gained my confidence of moving up to 4 and 5 channel planes due to Simulator time and the Firebird Stratos for giving me real flight time and learning fundamentals while in the air. Though I am still learning and learn something new everytime I fly and read these forums, I personally had not problems transitioning from 3 channels to 4+ channel planes with ailerons, but again, everyone is different and learn at different rates.

However, If you find yourself in a club or have a friend that is an experianced RC pilot and they are willing to buddy box fly with you. Then I'm all for starting with the 4 or more channel aileron plane.

My opinion is based on the fact that my friend and I are self taught at this.

But thats my opinion in the matter some will agree and others will not and thats fine too.

Last edited by JBFlyer85; Sep 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM.
Sep 18, 2012, 03:25 PM
Registered User
WVrailfan's Avatar
Thanks folks. I do feel the HZ SC is a great plane to learn on. It got me in the air, and it was enough fun to keep me interested and wanting more. In fact, I still take it out and fly it just for the fun of flying.

I feel comfortable suggesting it to new flyers. However, I am not an instructor, so when I recommend the plane it is always with the qualification that it is what "I started on" and other flyers my have different ideas about a best first plane.

Sep 18, 2012, 11:06 PM
Registered User
Newbie question...just got my HZ SuperCub LP for Father's day (THANKS, son!) and seen many videos online showing how to add airlerons to wings. What I cannot find is the specs for the servos that go into the wing. Since I only have one plug for ailerons in the receiver, I assume I must get a Y cable to support both ailerons? Can someone provide a good link to find the details of this upgrade?
Sep 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
Registered User
I have seen those videos too. I think that I will buy a new wing (mine has the tips all chewed up from crashing--uh--I mean landing). All recievers have one aileron plug and yes, you will need a Y harness unless you use a single servo. Any micro or sub micro servos will do.

The way I plan to do mine is to carve out a recess in the wing. I'll make a 1/64th ply rectangle to go around it and compensate for the wing material lost.The servo will simply be double sided taped into the recess. The wire will run on the bottom surface of the wing held in place with white plastic tape. I have a hot wire foam cutter to cut out the ailerons and they will be affixed with hinge tape (it's really medical tape, derm something or other). Epoxy a control hoen pegged with toothpicks. Simple.

Now I don't know if the rxr that come in plane actually has the aileron channel working. Honestly I haven't looked. In some cases the mfg just plugs the rudder servo into the aileron port for three channel control. If so, then it's northing but rearrangin plugs. Worst case is that I will have to put my own rxr in it. Now that Spektrum has released a $29 four channel full range rxr, that is no big deal if I do.

Of course the other way to do ailerons would be with a single servo in the center of the wing. I would trim off the trailing edge for almost the entire length of each wing panel begining at the fuse and stoping short of where the curve begins to the tip. The trailing edge would be replaced by balsa trailing edge stock covered with white Monokote. Again the hinge would simply be tape. Bent music wire instead of control horns. Again, simple.
Sep 19, 2012, 01:22 AM
FYI, the hinge tape is called "Blenderm".
I prefer to use surgical scalpel blades (handles $4, blades $12 per 100 @ Amazon.com) for cutting foam like that. They are sharper and slicker than hobby blades and cut smoother, faster and easier than hot wire, with a much thinner kerf.
I don't know much about the rx that comes with the SC, but for future reference, Spektrum receivers generally have two aileron channels. The AIL port is for single servo or the right wing and the AUX1 port is for the left wing. That allows for differential and some other tricks that you can learn about later. One notable exception was the ar500, which had an AUX1 port but not on a separate channel. It is an internal y-harness.
Sep 19, 2012, 07:47 AM
Registered User
Thanks Logan that data is going into my long term memory bank.
Sep 19, 2012, 09:08 AM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
And be very careful picking that tape. Blenderm is made by 3M, which makes lots of other medical tapes that look very similar and you might be tempted to buy them. My Slow Stick says that the others are nowhere near as good as Blenderm. I had to disassemble my elevator and rudder, replacing the other equally expensive tape with Blenderm.

I sure wish I had the name of the first tape I used. It was a very similar name but NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. There's a reason everybody says Blenderm. Nothing else has worked as well.

This has not been a paid advertisement by 3M, which doesn't give a hoot which of their tapes you buy!

Logan, can you provide a link for those blades? They really are twice as good as a #11 hobby blade on foam!
Sep 19, 2012, 09:56 AM
Registered User
WVrailfan's Avatar
There is a ton of good info and mod "how to's" for the HZ Super Cub at


Last edited by WVrailfan; Sep 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM.
Sep 19, 2012, 10:15 AM
Registered User
I figured the foam cutter would result in a big enough gap that I wouldn't have to trim to make enogh clearance. The cutter I have is a simple ten dollar affair that is just a cardboard tube that holds two D cells, wire bow, and nichrome wire. I'll make a cardboard template for the ailerons and just run the wire aound it. It should result in identical ailerons in less than a couple of minutes.

The real question is how big to make them. Since the wing has a lot of dihedral to enable three channel control, the ailerons need to be big enough to overcome the inherant stability. but if they are too large they will be too sensitive. This could be overcome with differential deflection... more up then down or I could separate the left and right wings and take some of the dihedral out.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Lost my HZ Super Cub, so what plane next? DeepBlueGray Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 38 Aug 02, 2012 06:42 PM
Question First Plane - HZ Champ or HZ Mini Super Cub? NVFlyAngler Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 32 Jul 31, 2011 11:56 PM
Wanted HZ Super Cub LP TX Ch 4 CedarTree Aircraft - General - Radio Equipment (FS/W) 3 May 06, 2011 05:31 PM
Discussion Aerobird 3 or HZ Super Cub or HZ Slow-V kiteral Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 6 May 26, 2007 02:27 PM