Scale FPV Flying - The H-King J3 Navy Cub - RC Groups
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Scale FPV Flying - The H-King J3 Navy Cub

There are a lot of ways to fly an aircraft in your FPV goggles. In this article we take a look at scale first-person-video flight in a couple of scale Cubs from HobbyKing.

Splash

FPV From the Cockpit

My first FPV experience was in a rock crawler. My theory was that if I got into trouble I could simply stop driving. After getting some first-person-video skills I moved to quadcopters...because that is what everyone flies FPV with. I'll admit that I'm more of an airplane guy. Quads are fun and cool but what I wanted was to fly an airplane.

My original thought was that flying a winged craft FPV would be harder than a quadcopter. I immediately realized that was not the case. Flying an airplane or wing via FPV is exactly like flying in the cockpit of a simulator on your computer, except that it is real!

The H-King J3 Navy Cub (NE-1) 1400mm (PnP)

When I saw the J3 Cub I knew it was the one I wanted to try scale FPV in.

Scale FPV Flying - The H-King J3 Navy Cub (14 min 28 sec)

  • It is a known airframe with plenty of fans on RCGroups.
  • It has a very nice scale cockpit.
  • It flies great.
  • The front window is easy to see out of.
  • Plenty of room for pan-and-tilt in the cockpit area.
  • Good power.
  • Great side windows.

Specs

  • Cost: $134.21
  • Wingspan (approx.): 1400mm (55”)
  • Length: 950 mm
  • Flying weight: 1800g
  • Wing load: 56 g/dm˛
  • Propeller: 12x9
  • ESC: 45A
  • Motor: 3648-700KV brushless outrunner
  • Servos: 9g x 4

Requires

  • Your Own 4+ Channel TX/RX
  • 2200mAh 3s-4s Lipo Battery

FPV Gear

FatShark 700TVL CMOS FPV Camera NTSC/PAL with Pan and Tilt

This is the simplest pan-and-tilt I have found and the camera really does a good job (as you can see in the video). Here is a link to the buy page.

FatShark 250mW V3 5.8GHz Video Transmitter with NexwaveRF

The FatShark 250mW really did a great job. I was surprised at how well it worked for the low wattage. I also really like that it can run off the balance tab of my main lipo.

Focal V2 Fatshark Goggles.

While you don't have to have wireless pan-and-tilt, it is a pretty slick setup. It worked without an issue during all my flights. Learn how to setup wireless head tracking here.

The Scale FPV Experience

In the video shown above you really get a first-hand look and description of what it's like to fly FPV in a scale manner. I have to admit that at first it was pretty stressful. I think being in the cockpit, as opposed to having the camera on the nose of the craft was the stress point for me. I'm used to feeling like I'm flying through the air. With the camera in the cockpit I was enclosed. I will say that after just a little flying all of that fell away and I felt exactly like I was in a flight simulator or even the real thing.

The pan-and-tilt aspect at first was a little too much but as the flight progressed I was naturally looking out of the side windows when turning. Just like anything else this type of flying simply takes some getting used to. It really did feel like the real thing.

Flying with another plane adds a whole other level of fun to the experience. If you are bored with your current RC experience then I 100% suggest you give this a try. It will get the heart pounding and is very rewarding.

How Did the H-King J3 Cub Perform?

As stated in the video I thought this plane was a little heavy but it is very scale like in the air. I experienced no bad flight characteristics and really enjoyed flying the cub. If you are going for a scale experience I think this bird is a winner. I didn't get crazy while in the cockpit but for flying around it really is a solid platform. Even landing the J3 was easy in the goggles. I have to say it's a plane that will make you feel confident and the price tag isn't hard on the wallet. You can even purchase parts for it if needed. I'm a fan!

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May 10, 2017, 03:53 PM
ENGLISH NOT British
great review mate im getting one
May 11, 2017, 01:46 AM
Registered User
Cool! J3 in the goggles!
May 11, 2017, 09:55 PM
Registered User
Great review. I have the same view you have about flying in the copit. This plane looks great that idea. Good job.
May 16, 2017, 02:45 AM
Registered User
What a shame that you used crappy cmos cameras , this could of had real potential .. never use a cmos camera for a cockpit view as too much jello and also the multiple propellor effect..
Use a camera such as a foxerr hs1177 ccd and the result will be so much better .
May 16, 2017, 06:13 AM
Administrator
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
I probably have around 10 FPV cams but wanted to use something that anyone could get their hands on, or maybe already owns. It looked fine to me in the sky and I'm pretty picky.
May 17, 2017, 08:19 AM
Registered User
Angelo's Avatar
This is SO cool. I'm not crazy about quad copters, but flying a plane with FPV is something I would really enjoy.
May 18, 2017, 12:51 AM
Calm before the storm
Flyboy81's Avatar
Nice Flight and review. This is exactly what I have been looking for set up wise! I bet HK sells some J3 Cubs as well as those cool cameras. /highfive
May 18, 2017, 06:09 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
I probably have around 10 FPV cams but wanted to use something that anyone could get their hands on, or maybe already owns. It looked fine to me in the sky and I'm pretty picky.
look at all those black repeated propellor lines from the rolling shutter cmos effect ,.
May 18, 2017, 06:19 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
I probably have around 10 FPV cams but wanted to use something that anyone could get their hands on, or maybe already owns. It looked fine to me in the sky and I'm pretty picky.
look at all those black repeated propellor lines from the rolling shutter cmos effect ,.
May 19, 2017, 08:12 AM
Administrator
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
I never noticed it while I was flying!
May 21, 2017, 04:02 PM
Calm before the storm
Flyboy81's Avatar
real time you wont usually notice it. It is actually due to the frame rate when recorded. It is taking fewer pictures when recording to save data. Your goggles are taking many more "pictures" per second than what is put on your recorded data.
May 29, 2017, 10:03 PM
Registered User
idigrc2's Avatar
Is that a eagle tree osd in the other cub and if so could we get pics of the install
Jun 03, 2017, 07:25 PM
what goes up, must come down..
AussieHoppy's Avatar
Like Jim said... "go do this!" scale fpv is another entirely different perspective on our fabulous hobby.
I also agree Jim, keep it simple, there's no real need for all the osd clutter on an otherwise beautiful scale view from the cockpit. Most scale planes only fly 5-8 minutes so I don't really see the point in a full blown osd ap setup on planes such as these.

I had a Starmax 1400mm Piper Cub, the original yellow one that Hobbyking has now brought back to life in the Navy livery, these planes fly very nice, no bad habits at all. I had originally bought mine with full intention to fpv but never commited to it, I ended up fpv'ing a Volantex 1400mm Super Decathlon (Hobbyking sell these too) mostly because the fuselage is blown plastic = near on indestructable, great for a "chuck in the car" go-to plane, and has excelled beyond all expectations.
My Cub has recently moved on, Blisters now owns her and is in the process of converting his to fpv, we're hoping to manage some high winged formation at some point

This is where I agree with outbackkanga though, once the nerves settle you *will* notice the cmos induced horizontal venetian blind effect, especially when you review your recorded footage. I guess it's a personal thing but to fly scale my preference is to view the prop as a prop.
Blisters is using the same FS P&T as you have but he is slightly modifying the cam mount to accept Runcam Swift mini CCD cam, so far it's looking great.
Another really good P&T kit is one Hobbyking sells, works very well, I have a number of these on various planes, although I just noticed Hobbyking only sell the smaller size in UK, US, & EU warehouses which is a shame for anyone else.

Anyhoo, here's my Decathlon with the fpv setup that was originally intended for my Cub, build/setup details on my blog (so I don't derail Jim's thread).
Bythe way, I reckon Cub style planes are a great way to have a taste into scale fpv, they have no vices, easy to fly, and tail draggers with fixed undercarriage- much easier to take-off & land on rougher airstrips, and no retracts to break!

One thing I might add, I also fly my Decathlon with a basic Multistar 4S 4000mah lipo which gives me an easy 15 minutes fpv flight and up to 20 mins landing 3.7v/cell (half throttle cruising), Blisters will also be trying the Cub with the same Multistar lipo hoping for similar flight times.
If you'd like a bit of insurance I added a Bigaole RTH unit, because I can manage 20 mins flights I can easily get to the max range of rc & video (2.4ghz rc & 5.8ghz vid). There's no telemetry, it's a simple install, simply flick a switch and she comes home and circles around home point. Here's the thread.

Hope I haven't derailed your thread Jim, seemed to be more directed to scale fpv intro more so than the actual Cub, although I will endorse this HK Navy Cub!

I Love Flying 25042017 (4 min 14 sec)
Last edited by AussieHoppy; Jun 03, 2017 at 07:39 PM.
Jun 13, 2017, 11:26 AM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
nicely done!

I will just suggest trying CCD cameras for scale FPV, when you can fit it in there.

However I still run CMOS in micro scale planes. This is my Eflite UMX Pitts. The A3x makes it feel exactly like flying a 46 inch aerobat, even in some wind:

UMX Pitts FPV with 3S Powerrrr! (2 min 26 sec)


this is my Katana with CMOS cam on Pan and Tilt. much nicer and no propeller 'windorblinds' also with moving stick and throttle

Katana MD FPV (3 min 28 sec)
Last edited by BCSaltchucker; Jun 13, 2017 at 11:44 AM.


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