My first Super Cub flight (with pics)--THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE--SEE END OF THREAD - RC Groups
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May 27, 2008, 07:54 PM
Darn trees!!!
Fairmont's Avatar

My first Super Cub flight (with pics)--THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE--SEE END OF THREAD

How much advice should I have taken from all of you when you said to avoid wind, gain a lot of altitude, avoid ACT, make small movements, relax, etc.?

Well, some of that advice was taken, and some was not. The advice I took led to wonderful results. The advice ignored led to a situation you probably expected--a CRASH!!!

Here's what happened:

1. I spend last night putting the Super Cub together. The directions are outstanding and the video wasn't needed. Excellent directions. My only complaint was that it was very difficult to get the wheel pants on (if that's what they're called) because the screws didn't want to screw into the holes and the enclosed screwdriver stripped. Luckily, I have better tools, so I finished the job.

Here's a pic of the plane mid-assembly:

2. Spend the rest of the night on the simulator.

3. Had to work today. Arrrrg.

4. Had to go to the post office after work to mail golf clubs that I ebayed (so that I could buy a camera for the plane).

5. After all that, I grabbed the plane, topped off the battery on the way to the field, and was on my way. Got lost and asked a cop for directions.

6. Showed up at the field. Here's a pic: (it's a public park that's perfect for rc). (Warning--crappy pic on this one):

7. Okay, so I turned on the transmitter (make sure your throttle isn't on) and put in the battery. Set it on the ground and.....

8. Went back to the car to get a Sharpie (to put my phone number on the plane).

9. Okay, put name and number on plane.

10. Tested rudder and elevator. Good. I didn't do a range test. Took a gamble.

11. Full throttle and light elevator.

12. This thing took off so smoothly. I was impressed. I remembered the advice to just let it climb, so I did. Had it up about 150 feet and started a small left turn. It turned easily and the wings didn't dip too badly. I was thrilled.

13. Turned many circles both left and right. Had to compensate a couple times for the slight gusts (about 4-6 mph) but that's a lot with this light little plane. Each time I was able to get it back up in the air. Had to be careful not to stall it out while climbing.

14. Took it straight into the wind away from me in a straight line and cut throttle to 2/3.

15. Had a great time and even made an overhead pass.

16. Something happened!!!

17. There were some soccer players (which I wish didn't make a difference to my mind, but it did---ego, shyness--whatever), but I didn't want to look like a fool, and I didn't want to bother or hurt them, so I turned too sharply away before it could fly over them.

18. Losing control. Not good. Should have stayed cool, but I didn't. I got really stupid and turned on the ACT (the plane was only about 75 feet off the ground). The plane immediately cut throttle and went into a dive.

19. I froze 100%. Didn't do anything but watch as my plane went into a dive and BEGAN to correct about seven feet off the ground. I estimate it was traveling about 35 mph.

20. Still frozen. Should have turned off the ACT and pulled back and given full throttle. Instead I stared at my plane as it came barreling right at me, getting louder and faster by the minute.

21. I literally jumped to the side to avoid being struck by it. Then pivoted 180 degrees to watch it fly by, nick the sloping ground with one wheel, and then do a couple cartwheels down the bank and land on a soccer field about fifty feet away.

22. I immediately looked at the soccer players and gave a loud nervous laugh (so as to act, I guess, like that was okay and normal) It is normal, but it's not okay.

23. Run to my baby, er, plane to see if she's hurt (is it a she???). Yep, it's a she, because it came right at me.

24. Here's the damage:

Propeller was okay though. Everything seemed okay except that my nose was broken off.

So, run back to car. Head to LHS. They are about to close.

I run in, explain everything, and they hook me up with some killer glue and the best tape I ever met.

The tape is German. I can't read it. But it works.

And while working on it I enjoyed the leftovers from Friday night's party at my house:

Finally, good as new:

I tested it, and everything seems to work. I'm going to fly it again in about ten minutes.

Wish me luck.
Last edited by Fairmont; May 29, 2008 at 08:20 PM.
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May 27, 2008, 08:14 PM
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I would try to go at the field and make sure no one is around.

Seems like people around and especially people that are not joining you in this hobby makes you nervous so, try to get there really early before these fine people start showing up.

Yes, you should try and provide easy inputs to the controls and keep that RC Airplane model under control at all times.

You have no idea how I was trained to get me off the FROZE stages....a slap at my head!!!
May 27, 2008, 08:18 PM
It works, don't touch it.
skiesthelimit's Avatar
That does not look like too bad of a crash. At least no major foam broke. It does not even look like it broke. It just seperated where the plastic is glued to the foam. Good luck on flying your new super cub. Crashes make perfect.
May 27, 2008, 08:20 PM
Registered User
ArsonDave's Avatar
Actually, that is very fixable, as you have noted. Just keep the CA out of the gears. It will be interesting to see your re-maiden report.

May 27, 2008, 09:25 PM
Darn trees!!!
Fairmont's Avatar

SUCCESS---sort of

Okay, after the rain stopped and the Budlight buzz wore off (never drink and fly, even if rc), I decided to go fly it again.

I took it out to the village green in my neighborhood (exactly 600 feet long and 100 feet wide) to try it again. Not exactly the best place to fly, but what the heck. I figured the trees would be kind enough to stay rooted.

Anyway, with about eight kids and two wives in tow (I have one only--the other is a friend), I went to the green and decided to take off from grass. I figured it would lift off easily because before it lifted off after about twenty feet. This thing leaps off the ground.

So, I gunned it, but in the process accidentally slid the rudder trim all the way to the right. Oops. I didn't know this at the time. It affected the whole flight, and I should have crashed.

Anyway, the plane easily lifted in the air and immediately went to the right (again, I didn't know I had knocked the trim all the way to the right). And it headed for a tree.

This time, instead of freezing and watching a slow-motion disaster, I thought, "NO WAY!" and so I gunned it and pulled back. It went up. I compensated and got it up in the air.

The rest of the flight was pretty cool. I flew around, mostly over the field and over houses. I was nervous, but concentrated more. My wife and her friend laughed, and the kids ran all over to get it in case it crashed. Grrrrrr.

So, I said, "You don't have to laugh at me. I'm not trying to crash." But that didn't do any good.

They think this is really easy, I guess.

Anyway, after about five minutes I decided to try a landing. I knew it would be tough because the field is lined on the side by trees and you have to go right down the middle.

Luckily, after months on the simulator, orientation isn't TOO much of a problem, but it almost became a problem on landing. You can't screw up orientation on a landing if you want to keep it level. I almost inverted, but fixed it and went up again.

I circled around several times, each time trying to land, but that sucker is FAST. This aint no slowstick.

Finally, I decided to land with the plane facing me. I approached, and about thirty feet off the ground and about 100 feet from me I realized I was coming in to high and too fast again, so I decided to kill the throttle and bring it down hard and pull up at the last minute.

Of course, it curved to the right as I let the nose drop, and I thought it would cartwheel again. I pulled up, but a little late. It landed wheels first, and caught in the grass and tilted up on the nose.

But it didn't flip over, which means it didn't land all that hard. It plopped back down level, and the kids, of course, all ran to grab it. I knew they would trample it, so I yelled, "Don't touch it."

My oldest daughter, who is very impulsive, picked it up and ran with it toward me. Luckily nothing happened. I picked it up, gave it a test or two with the prop and flaps.

It came out okay.

I'll call it a success. I lifted off, flew it, and landed it without damage.

That's success.
Last edited by Fairmont; May 27, 2008 at 09:31 PM.
May 27, 2008, 10:31 PM
3DHS Koolaid Fan
Yes it is. Congrats!

After destroying many SC parts myself learning to fly (I bought a sim AFTER I learned the ins and outs of repairing Super Cubs), I learned a few tricks. Packing tape is your freind....the clear thin stuff. You'll be amazed how much you can glom on there and the plane still flys. Buy lots of props. Pretape (with packing tape) the center 8 to 10 inches of the wing....this is where it breaks. Pre-tape the sides of the likes to break off at the back where the plastic joins the foam at the tail feathers. And I learned early not to trust the "Automatic Crash Control"....I unplugged it. The ACT switch then acts like high and low rates. Have fun!
May 27, 2008, 10:58 PM
Registered User
Sayers1's Avatar
Congrats On the successful Flight , Hope You have Many more.
Happy Flights & Soft Landings Always
Sayers 1 (Jerry )
May 28, 2008, 01:27 AM
SuperCub Crash Test Pilot
clipper453's Avatar
Congratulations on your first flights! It sounds like your first two outings went better than mine, even with the crash. On my first outing, I made the mistake of not gaining enough altitude. I made a sharp turn, a wind gust followed, and it slammed my Super Cub nose-first into the ground. Unfortunately, my wife was there to witness it, and she wasn't too happy about it either since she got it for me as a birthday present. But a new prop and a lot of glue later, I was back up and flying. I even took the risk and mounted my camera to it on my third outing.

- Matt
May 28, 2008, 03:06 AM
old pilot
Ickarusmelt's Avatar
Standard experience . A couple things I learned after fixing SC nose plenty:

Once you get it up good and high, trim it out carefully for straight and level flight at about 2/3 throttle. Then you can try stuff and see how it works and do some real flying practice.

If you get into trouble and its trimmed okay, just cut the throttle and let go of the sticks. SC will usually land itself safely. If its heading for a tree, just jig the stick for a little turn and let go. The plane knows more than we do .

Last edited by Ickarusmelt; May 28, 2008 at 04:02 AM.
May 28, 2008, 04:02 AM
Registered User
Congratulations on the successful flight. Even after 20+ years of model flying, I still like to have a knowledgeable buddy beside me when I make maiden flights because I sometimes freeze -- or, at least, don't think straight -- when in high-stress situations. A word in my ear to "kill throttle" or "use rudder, not aileron" has once or twice resulted in a new model returning to base which wouldn't otherwise have done so.
May 28, 2008, 08:47 AM
Registered User
ratb's Avatar
Re the "watching 'er go down": My very first maiden lasted four seconds, and I basically just watched it turn a lovely 180-degree right turn and come down on her right wingtip. Round these parts we refer to that as "dumb thumbs".

I can't imagine landing in a tight tree-lined strip like that with the rudder trimmed full-right. I can see why you'd have to make a few passes before getting that right.

If you're going to be flying in grassy fields, you might consider belly-landing rather than trying to bring it down on wheels. You'll scuff up the belly a bit, but have a much simpler time getting her back in one piece.
May 28, 2008, 05:18 PM
Darn trees!!!
Fairmont's Avatar
The reason I flew it on the tree-lined field of grass for my second flight was due to the fact that I really wanted to get back on the horse. It was almost dark and I was committed to getting in a decent flight asap.

If I had waited until today I would have lost confidence.

But the second flight boosted my confidence quite a bit. I flew it and landed it successfully, and after it landed and I turned off my transmitter, that's when I realized why it was pulling to the right (because I accidentally moved the trim to the right all the way while flying).

I'm thinking that I might have done that during the first flight too, because during my first flight I was thrilled to find out how easy it was to fly, and then after five minutes it got difficult to fly.

By the way, that ACT in my opinion is crap. I might be full of it, but I don't see the benefit of using that. I was able to recover on my own much easier.

By the way, do any of you accidentally bump the trim over while flying?
May 28, 2008, 06:05 PM
Registered User
Great story. Glad your second flight went better. Keep on flying!
May 28, 2008, 06:28 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Hey, the first flight was pretty darn good. It was that sudden stop that got it. Also if that was all the damage done on the first flight, congrats, because that aint nothin. Sounds to me like that sim time really paid off for you and it will only get better now and MORE EXPENSIVE! The better you get the more planes you are going to want.
May 28, 2008, 06:42 PM
Darn trees!!!
Fairmont's Avatar
Yeah, I'm already thinking of other planes. Mostly the Slow Stick, because I want very badly to do AP.

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