Hangar 9's Piper J-3 Cub 40 Plug-N-Play PNP Plug N Play Evo 46NT Powered ARF Review

Jerry Festa explores this great looking replica of Pat Harkness' J3 Cub -- this one a Plug-N-Play with engine, fuel tank, servos, linkages, even receiver pack pre-installed, ready for his prop, receiver, and flight line!

Ready for another flight!


Ready for another flight!
Ready for another flight!
Wing Area:919 sq. in.
Weight:116 oz.
Wing Loading:18.2 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:5 JR 537
Transmitter:JR XF421
Receiver:JR R700
Battery:JR 700mAh
Motor:Evolution .46
Manufacturer:Hangar 9
Available From:Horizon Hobby's Dealers

A Cub is a Cub is a Cub...who doesn't love a Cub? Cub lovers can now have a new one -- a wonderful Cub for those lazy afternoons when you would like to sit in a relaxing chair and fly a couple dozen touch and goes...that requires essentially ZERO effort to get it ready to fly! Hangar 9 has done almost all the hard work for you -- engine and nearly all radio gear completely pre-installed! -- so put the batteries on charge, add your receiver, transmitter, prop and assemble one good looking J-3!

Kit Contents

Kit Contains:

  • PNP: Evo 46NT pre-installed
  • PNP: Servos & linkages, pre-installed
  • PNP: Receiver battery, pre-installed
  • 2-piece wing, with wing tube
  • Factory painted airfoiled struts
  • Lightweight scale gear with (simulated) bungy
  • Clear window set including removable "sunroof" wing bolt access panel
  • Tail wheel assembly and tail wheel
  • Scale, large main wheels
  • Pre-Painted fiberglass cowl with molded in, painted, dummy engine


  • Prop & prop-nut
  • Receiver
  • Transmitter
  • Under 2 hours' initial assembly time (!)


Not a whole lot to do with this one! In approximately 1-2 hours your J3 Cub will be ready to test the skies. In addition to those short hours, all that will be needed is to charge the batteries - doesn't get much easier than this.

Wing Struts

The majority of time necessary to assemble the J3 involved assembling the wing and jury struts. By carefully examining the struts one would observe the slight difference in two sizes. By following the instructions to the letter, your struts will appear slightly crooked, but do not worry. When the wing meets the fuselage, all that apparent misalignment will straighten out. If you happen to have a gap between the wing and the fuselage, simply adjust the struts length by shortening the threaded portion. There should be zero gap where the fuse and wing panels meet.


There was essentially nothing to do to the fuselage as the radio (less receiver) was already installed as was the engine and tank. Fueling and defueling would be unnecessarily difficult with the factory's current two-line set-up. I removed the tank and installed a third line. This permitted the act(s) of fueling and defueling with less hassle.


Our rudder came crushed a bit, but some thin Zap and a razor blade fixed that in a hurry. I bolted the stabilizer to the fuselage and chose to secure with some Zap Thread Locker. Apparently, Horizon intends the stab to be able to be removed for transport, but I felt safer gluing it in place. One wouldn't want the tail feathers falling off in flight!

Radio Installation

Nothing much to be done here! I simply added my 4 Channel receiver, charged the flight pack, and radio installation was complete. All servos and pushrods were expertly installed and even the throttle servo was already adjusted for an idle position.


Both wings were installed and the struts adjusted to create a gap-free wing/fuselage joint. The nylon bolts that were used to hold the wing to the fuselage were way too long and so I cut them about in half, making the process of securing the wing much easier. The removable "sun-roof" on this Cub is almost scale, which makes an access hole smaller than these klutzy hands! Nonetheless, field assembly should take about 5 to 10 minutes depending on how many of your buddies are drooling over this good looking model.


It's a Cub, so get used to using the rudder! Oh this plane will turn without co-ordinating the rudder, aileron and elevator but they sure do look better when rudder is used.

Cubs belong lazing around the sky, not attempting excessive aerobatics, and this one is not different. I would bet this model will complete every maneuver the full-scale version can do (which admittedly isn't a whole lot), and then a few more. Spins are difficult to master unless the CG is shifted more rearward. Loops will need full power BEFORE entering (see video for an example), but the most scale-like maneuver is still the touch and go (IMHO). Aileron rolls take some time to complete and a lot of down elevator is needed as the Cub rolls on to its back!

Taking Off and Landing

Take-offs can be exciting if your rudder isn't moving! All Cubs favor a head wind, and cross wind take-offs have to be handled with proper control movement. Aileron INTO the wind, rudder to hold a straight line and just a bump of elevator will have you airborne in no time. The Cub accelerates quite quickly once full throttle is requested.

Landings can be a thing of beauty, especially when there isn't any wind, or the wind is coming straight down the runway. This bird will float and it takes a low idle to slow the Cub down. Slipping is a challenge, but can be mastered with this plane. Just be ready for a lot of trial and error (don't ask how I know this).

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

With a Cub???? Well hammerheads are cool to do with this plane, as are photo passes. Inverted flight requires a strong amount of down elevator to fly level and spins must stall before a true spin can develop.

Is This For a Beginner?

A qualified "Yes" -- if there is an instructor along with the beginner. Assembly is ideal for the new modeler. This plane can fly slow enough so lessons learned can be repeated as much as necessary. One thing for sure is that the student pilot will have to learn to use rudder (which many pilots don't) flying this plane -- so that is a very real plus, especially for those looking to get into aerobatics or scale planes. At higher speeds, the plane has a tendency to climb - which is good - but for training basic flight patterns, this plane will do it in fine fashion.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery



In my opinion, Hangar 9 has produced an excellent looking/flying J-3. Add to that the Plug'nPlay feature, and now the flying field can be used the same MORNING (or evening!) this plane is purchased. Just don't forget to buy your prop (10-6) and an Acron-style prop nut (1/4-28) when you pick yours up!

An additional word has to be said about the engine - the Evolution .46 has been one of the easiest starting engines I've ever had. It also runs well and is not a fuel hog. The 20 minute+ flights are common with this engine/plane set-up. Of course the majority of the time the throttle is just above idle, as it should be with any cub, right?

Last edited by AMCross; Nov 15, 2006 at 01:39 PM..
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Nov 24, 2006, 07:44 PM
At 400.00 dollars i can build one much better not what i call a deal pnp or not
Nov 27, 2006, 10:15 PM
tioli's Avatar
I think the point is you don't HAVE to build it. Of course you could build better, if you have the time and inclination. If you want a scaleish looking cub you can have in the air right now, this is fine...
Nov 27, 2006, 10:22 PM
tioli's Avatar
Good review, we put ours on the stand to run up the engine this afternoon. Evolution engine started on the first bump, one click leaner and it was purring like a tiger...idled great too, and seemed very dependable.

We put a tee-type fuel filler in instead of adding a third line to the tank. It was a simpler fix. We used a sullivan filler and just glued it to the firewall, cutting a notch in the cowl (bottom).
Dec 01, 2006, 02:37 AM
Registered User
A good demonstration of the plane, but I would rather that the music be turned off. I want to both see, and HEAR what the model sounds like before I make a purchase.

Dec 02, 2006, 01:27 AM
tioli's Avatar
I agree about the sound, it's a pet peeve of mine on almost all the videos I see. Incidentally, I heard the H9 cub live before I bought it. It has a two stroke but is still sounds fine. the Evo will idle very slowly and the large fuselage seems to lower the pitch a lot...not a screamer sound at all...
Dec 02, 2006, 01:34 AM
tioli's Avatar
I'll try to attach a picture of our maiden flight, Thursday, of our Cub. We lost a wheel, but I was able to land with no damage at all!
Dec 14, 2013, 10:30 PM
Registered User
Would a dle 20 be to much engine for this cub?
Dec 24, 2013, 05:08 PM
Registered User
tailskid2's Avatar
Thread OP
It might be.....but then again the DLE 20 will idle for hours while you putt-putt around the skies
Oct 04, 2016, 07:16 AM
Rob Losie


I own the J-3 cub 40 and was told the DLE 20 would be way over powered. I was directed to purchase a Evolution 15. With that said I purchased the plane used and have been searching for the wing strut assembly without purchasing the wings. Does anyone know where I might find these. Its the smaller struts that go between the to larger struts than back to the inner wing I really need.

Thanks all.
Oct 07, 2016, 05:48 AM
Registered User
I am not a robot's Avatar
I don't think they are sold separate. My advice, post a wanted add here. Or just make them.
I miss this package, pretty nifty when PNP had some glow options.
Oct 07, 2016, 07:55 AM
-insert witty saying here-
Hemikiller's Avatar
Originally Posted by blosie
I own the J-3 cub 40 and was told the DLE 20 would be way over powered. I was directed to purchase a Evolution 15. With that said I purchased the plane used and have been searching for the wing strut assembly without purchasing the wings. Does anyone know where I might find these. Its the smaller struts that go between the to larger struts than back to the inner wing I really need.

Thanks all.
Those were simply metal tubes with cut and drilled ends. Take a look at the picture above. You can accomplish the same thing with some aluminum tubes and a pair of pliers or a vice. Most hobby and hardware stores carry the K&S line of metals. Otherwise, post a wanted ad in the classifieds.

DLE20 is way too much power, the Evo46 was almost too much too....
Oct 07, 2016, 10:12 PM
Registered User
multiman64's Avatar
How about an Evolution 10 gas motor?
Oct 09, 2016, 04:15 PM
Registered User
I am not a robot's Avatar
Think the evolution 10 is a perfect match!
Sep 07, 2017, 07:04 PM
Failure is not an option
Dan mach's Avatar
I picked one up very used. Converting to a l-4 grasshopper and putting in an Rcgf 10cc gas motor.
All covered in olive drab solartex. Reworked the firewall and will be adding the radio gear next. I used the articulating gear from the carbon cub and it fit very well with 4" dubro tires.

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