Should I get a Wing Dragon or J-3 Piper cub for my first 3 channel? - RC Groups
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Oct 12, 2007, 12:41 AM
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Should I get a Wing Dragon or J-3 Piper cub for my first 3 channel?

I see a few good threads on wing dragon but not too many on the 3 channel piper cub, can anyone give me some insight and advice? Thanks a ton!
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Oct 12, 2007, 01:20 AM
Sportin my new 'do'
raz's Avatar
You may want to consider the Hobby Zone Super Cub too. Check out the huge thread on it here. I had a Phantom which is a lot like the wing dragon but after one good crash it was in the dumpster. The skinny tail boom flexes like a whip on impact causing it to snap and to fix it was almost as much as a new plane. Personally between the 2 you listed I would get the J3 cub.
Oct 12, 2007, 03:06 AM
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I also vote for the J3, as it'll teach you much more than the WG. The WG is hard to setup to fly correctly and all those plastics are ugly.
Oct 12, 2007, 06:02 AM
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From what I have read the wing dragon is a good trainer, I think the make a 4ch version as well so you can modify it to 4ch after you learn on 3ch. If you want a cub do not get the J3, the parkzone version is not very good and the cheap ones on ebay are nasty, if you want a cub get the hobbyzone super cub.
Oct 12, 2007, 12:46 PM
Registered User
Hi Racerzeke,

Welcome to R/C flying!

In order to answer your question and to give you some usefull information, I'm going to make several assumptions:
1) You have very little or no flying experience.
2) You will be learning to fly on your own, without the help of a trainer.
3) The J3 Cub that you refer to is the ParkZone plane.

Of the two planes that you list, the WingDragon would be the better choice for you. However, it is not the best choice that you can make. The WD is a pusher "pod and boom" plane that is in the same category as many other planes. The two best planes in this category are the Aerobird3 and the T-hawk. The advantage of the WD is that you can start off with a 3-channel version and then for only a small incremental cost, go to 4-channel. As with every compromise, there are trade-offs. You spend less money to get both 3-channel and 4-channel experience, but you must put up with a plane that is good, but not as good as some of the competitors. The J3Cub has been around for about 4 years. At the time of its introduction, it was considered to be a very nice INTERMEDIATE plane. It is definitely not suited for beginners. It has some problem characteristics that require some modifications to make it a decent flyer. The manufacturer, Horizon Hobby (which is the parent company of ParkZone and HobbyZone) listened to the various complaints from its customers and came out with a plane that is easier to fly than the J3, has virtually no bad characteristics, and yet has better performance than the J3. This is the HobbyZone SuperCub, which surprisingly sells for the same price as the J3. When the SuperCub was reviewed, last year, by Backyard Flyer Magazine, they called it "The Perfect Beginner Plane". I would strongly advise you to get this plane, but if you do, do not use the ACT feature.

Another very good beginner plane is the Multiplex EasyStar. I prefer the SuperCub because it has landing gear and looks like a real plane, but as far as flying goes, the EasyStar is as good as the SuperCub.
Oct 12, 2007, 01:49 PM
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GoldCraft's Avatar
Well I started with Wing Dragon 4 and have found it easy to fly . It has taken some pretty good licks and has only required minor repair once. Unlike the phantom the tail boom is very strong on the WD. With a few minor mods it will take alot of abuse......I know
Oct 12, 2007, 02:05 PM
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I recommend the Wing Dragon 4, too.

Check out the Wing Dragon/Wing Dragon 4/Begin-Air Series Planes Tips & Tricks

There you'll find the few things that need to be done to eliminate any major problems and the many things that can be done to improve its performance.

Takes about a week to check everything out.
Oct 12, 2007, 09:32 PM
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Thanks guys one last question:

Does anyone know the difference between the "wing dragon:

and the fly dragon? :

They look similar and seem to have the same specs, but the huge price difference concerns me. Anyone know if there is a difference besides the name? Thanks
Oct 12, 2007, 10:08 PM
Registered User
For one thing the radio one the Fly Dragon is on 27 MHz where the Wing Dragon is on 72 MHz and is Futaba compatible.

Also, it looks like the FD comes with just a wall charger while the WD comes with a peak detection charger.
What's odd is that the WD4 only comes with a wall charger, too. You'd expect the next better plane to come with a better charger.

Both the FD and WD come with a 7 cell 8.4 volt 1000 mAh NiMH battery pack (although the FD doesn't tell the capacity of the battery, it's still a 7 cell 8.4 volt pack)
However, the WD4 comes with an 8 cell 9.6 volt 1000 mAh NiMH battery pack. This makes the plane more powerful and makes it easier for you to convert to a brushless motor and ESC without having to buy Lipo batteries and charger at the same time. My brushless motor runs great on the 9.6 volt battery.

Looking a little more closely at the battery pack, I see it's using some connector other than Deans which the WD and WD4 come with already. If you get this plane, I'd suggest immediately changing out these connectors to Deans or something more dependable.

Actually, this might not be a bad deal if the supplier is dependable, although I suspect this may be a knock-off.
Replacement parts can be obtained from Hobby-Lobby and other places as listed in the Wing Dragon/Wing Dragon 4/Begin-Air Series Planes Tips & Tricks thread.

I see no telephone number(s) for support nor an address as to where they are located. All correspondence must be done through email.

If you get this plane, some information about it and the quality would be appreciated.
Last edited by Sir Raleigh; Oct 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM.
Oct 16, 2007, 01:18 AM
Registered User
I hate to keep on bumping my own board, but after a bunch of research I've come up with a few planes to choose from :

j-3 cub

Wing Dragon:

3 channel tiger moth:

Fly dragon:

or the c-17 biplane 3 ch:

All three channels and I was wondering your opinions on which would be the best, thanks!
Oct 16, 2007, 08:09 AM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
I still think you are going the wrong way... get the HZ Super Cub... I have watched 4 differetn poeple teach themselves on it... and then 1 of them modded it to aelirons so now its his aeliron trainer... the thing takes a beating, flys great, is very stable, and flys slow...and parts are easy to find and cheap....

what does your LHS carry/stock... thats a question you need to consider as you will need parts at some point and waitng on FEDEX sucks when the wind is calm and you want to fly... trust me on that point if nothing else.
Oct 16, 2007, 10:37 AM
Sportin my new 'do'
raz's Avatar
I finally got to try out my HZ Super Cub this weekend and does it ever fly great! I'm still learning to fly but I found it to be very easy to control and even 4 -5 mph winds did nothing to it, nice and solid the whole time. Even on the stock 7 cell it had power to spare and once I was at altitude I was able to cut back to about 1/3 throttle for some relaxing flying. I totally agree with ATIS and recommend the Super Cub as a starter. Plus the SC has ACT (anti crash technology) which can be turned on or off on the TX and it has X-port for parachute / bomb drops so after you learn to fly you can do even more with it.

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