Horizon Hobby E-flite Carbon-Z Cub SS RCGroups Review

E-flite updated the popular Carbon-Z Cub with some fantastic features and we couldn't wait to check it out.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 84.6" (2150mm)
Length: 56.3" (1430mm)
Flying Weight: 8.15 - 9.48lb (3.69 - 4.30kg)
Motor: BL50
Prop Size: 15x7E
Battery: 4-6S 3200-7000mAh (Not Included)
Price: BNF Basic - $429.99 / PNP - $399.99
Available at: Horizon Hobby

E-flite's Carbon-Z Cub is a classic now and one of the best original giant scale foamies. I had one and loved it, but there was certainly room for improvement. This new version, dubbed the Carbon-Z Cub SS, builds on the popularity of the original and updates it with some fantastic features like better landing gear and wheels, a battery tray system, new wing tip shape, tool-free field assembly and more. I was excited to crack open the box and see for myself how all the improvements stack up.

Video

What's in the Box

The box is large and densely packed. I noticed some minor dents on the top of one wing that occurred in transit, but on the whole, everything was in good shape. Here's a listing of what you get inside the box.

  • Fuselage with ESC, receiver and 2 servos installed
  • Two wings with servos installed
  • Rudder with tailwheel installed
  • Carbon spar for wings and tail
  • VG strips for wing
  • Plastic support struts
  • BL50 Brushless motor and prop
  • Landing gear and hardware bag
  • Giant foam wheels
  • Manual and decals

Other Items Included for Review

Horizon also sent me a Spektrum Smart Technology 6S 5000mAH Lipo battery to use in the review.

Assembly

Getting the Cub ready to fly will take about an hour or so. The manual is nicely done, although there were a couple of bag labels that didn't match, but it was pretty obvious which hardware was needed. On the whole, the process was quick and painless for such a large model. Here are some photos showing the assembly process steps.

That's it! Once finished, make sure to use the manual and set your radio up properly. Like with other Horizon Hobby planes, there is an optional advanced receiver setup where you can remove the flap Y-harness and mix the flaps and ailerons to work together for faster roll rates. You can also bind with SAFE Select Active or Disabled according to your preference. I left mine stock with the regular setup and SAFE Select disabled. Now make sure your batteries are charged and you are ready to fly.

Flying

Flying the Carbon-Z Cub SS is largely what you would expect and very similar to the original version. Field assembly, while still having loose hardware parts, is much better now that you don't need any tools other than your hands. You'll want to come up with a system to keep the pins and thumb screws together and with the plane. I just put them in a bag and store in the battery compartment. Once together, the Cub has a great presence on the ground and the new orange and white color scheme stands out nicely.

I didn't get a chance to fly this new Cub on floats, but based on flying the old one, it is going to make a great plane for flying off of the water.

Take Offs

The Cub handles great on the ground and taking off is as simple as applying power and using the rudder to hold it straight. Slow scale take offs are a breeze, but doing max performance STOL style take offs with flaps down is simply amazing. The plane leaps off the ground in a foot or less, fun stuff! The rudder and tail wheel provide ample authority even in cross wind conditions.

Basics

This is a big airplane and it's stable and easy to fly right from the first take off. AS3X is there to stabilize out any turbulence and make it feel smooth. If you use SAFE Select, it will fly straight and level all by itself and can also be used for aerobatic training where you can activate it to auto level if you mess up.

Turns are smooth and coordinated, but as is typical with Cubs, you need to be able to use your left thumb for more than just the throttle. Combining rudder and aileron for turns is the name of the game to keep it on track.

The power is excellent and has enough to climb vertically, but the speed range will impress you too. It can slow way WAY down, especially with flaps down. For me, it means that the Cub is versatile and remains fun for a long time.

Aerobatics

This Cub is built for Acro and it does it well. The roll rate is not crazy fast in the stock configuration, but is plenty for doing axial rolls. You can try the advanced setup and make the flaps and ailerons work together to get a higher roll rate if desired. The rudder is huge and very effective allowing all sorts of fun like endless knife edge flight, snaps, long point rolls, slow rolls and my absolute favorite, extreme side slips. Inverted flight feels great too with just a touch of down elevator needed. It will hover, but be aware the power is not as strong as a typical 3D plane. If you get behind the plane a little, the power won't be able to blast you up and out of it. It is possible to hover and torque roll down on the deck though and it will pull out vertically on 6S, albeit at a leisurely pace.

That's what makes this Cub so much fun to fly, you can cruise and do touch and goes, you can play with the STOL capabilities and then if you're feeling frisky you can horse around with some acro and mild 3D. It has a lot to offer both newer and experienced pilots alike. The new wing tip features a Hoerner style shape that improves slow speed performance which helps you feel comfortable getting it slow.

Landings

I did not like the super hard wheels on the original, but I LOVE these new wheels!!! They are large and just the right amount of softness to make landing on paved runways a joy. They are still very light too! You are going to like them. I did most of my landings on paved surfaces and it's as easy as lining it up and flying it down to the ground. Nothing fancy here, just be ready on the rudder after touchdown to keep it straight. You can land with the flaps up, half down or full down, the only difference is the speed. It does wheel landings, 3 pointers and even 1 pointers, giving you several options to play with. The landing gear is plenty forgiving and will soak up bounces and hard landings nicely.

Photos

Conclusion

The bottom line here is that the designers did a great job with the updated version of the beloved Carbon-Z Cub. If you enjoyed the old one, there's even more to love on the new one. The quality of life updates like the motor with an extra bearing, the landing gear, the wheels, the battery tray and the tool-less field assembly all work together to provide a positive experience. Then once you get it in the air, it just flys like you want it to and has great versatility even before adding a float set to it. The color scheme pops and makes it looks great both in the air and on the ground. The only gripe I really have is even though you don't need tools to assemble it at the field, there is still loose hardware with the pins that could be lost. They do give you extras in the box which is nice, but you'll just need to come up with a procedure to keep the hardware in your field box or reattach to the plane so you don't end up at the field missing parts. The name of the game with this new Cub is versatility. You have options in how you fly it, how you land it and flexibility in what batteries to use. All in all, the Carbon-Z Cub SS gets two big thumbs up from me.

Check out the E-flite Carbon-Z Cub SS webpage here

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Oct 02, 2019, 10:29 AM
Damn that dog can fly.....
JPJI's Avatar
Looks nice, but why $590 USD in the UK?
Another plane I would have seriously considered if UK prices were fair and if I had not been stuffed by horizon hobby customer service.



https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ellent-service
Last edited by JPJI; Oct 11, 2019 at 05:01 AM.
Oct 02, 2019, 10:33 AM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
It's kind of a shame that more of the innovations from the CZ Cessna didn't make it into this one. The CZ Cessna's plug-in wings were genius and they're one of my favorite features since I don't have to dink around with cables and there's no chance of getting any connections wrong.

I also wish they'd added lights. I know they're kind of a useless feature to most but they definitely up the 'cool factor' quite a bit, and the fact that the CZ Cessna has them, along with numerous other cool little innovations, that this one still doesn't despite being more expensive, and that's what would push me back to the CZ Cessna if I was in a position to buy one or the other again.

But overall, I think it's a really nice refresh to the CZ Cub. I love the squared-off wingtips too. It really does look great in the air.


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