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Hobby Zone Super Cub Review Print E-mail
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History
The Piper PA-18 Super Cub is a two-seat, single-engine monoplane. Introduced in 1949 by Piper Aircraft, it was developed from the Piper PA-11, and traces its lineage back through the J-3 to the Taylor E-2 Cub of the 1930s. In close to 40 years of production, over 9,000 were built. The Super Cub has a crew capacity of one (not recommended for large families) an empty weight of 930lbs and is powered by a Lycoming O-320 air cooled flat four. The engine produces 150HP with a maximum speed of 130MPH and a stall speed of 43MPH. With the powerful engine and slow stall speeds the Super Cub is famous for its ability to take off in a mere 200 feet and land in 300-400 feet.




Intro
After mixed results with my first flying experience and a 3-year hiatus I decided to try my hand again at RC Flying. Not wanting to make the same mistake as I did the first time, I researched, asked a bunch of questions and fortunately received some good advice. All the internet people told me to go with the Hobby Zone Super Cub so I did. I don’t always do what internet people tell me to, but in this case I’m glad I did.


Kit Contents
The Super Cub is a 3-Channel airplane that comes in a Ready-To-Fly kit with everything you need to fly, right down to the screws, screwdriver and 8 AA batteries for the included transmitter. The decals come pre-installed and it even includes two chargers, one 120V house charger and a 12V DC Peak Charger for your car! Very sweet. The Hobby Zone folks really thought of everything for this RTF kit.


Assembly
Assembly is super easy on the Super Cub since most everything is already done for you. All that is required is to attach the wing with the supplied rubber bands, screw in the vertical stab/elevators, pop in the landing gear and screw in the wing strut attachments. Even a slow chimp could have the plane assembled within 15 minutes, but it is recommended to leave the flying to the humans. Once the battery is charged you are ready to fly! Upon completion the Super Cub actually looks very scale and pleasing to the eye, a trait that many beginner planes do not have.


Features
In addition to the nice scale looks the Super Cub also features Hobby Zone’s Anti-Crash Technology (ACT). ACT is Hobby Zone’s attempt to further help beginner pilots in keeping the Super Cub from meeting the ground in an early demise. Sensors are located on the top and bottom of the airplane that sense where the ground and sky are in relation to the airplane. If a pilot gets into trouble the ACT will take over, cutting the motor power and leveling the airplane out. With a flip of a switch on the transmitter the ACT can be turned on or off. The Super Cub also features a port for Hobby Zone’s X-port module. With this port you can either attach a Sonic Combat Module or Aerial Drop Module to increase your flying experience.


First Flight
It had been 3 years since I had flown an RC Airplane so the maiden voyage of the Super Cub was a re-maiden into RC flying for me. Even as a beginner I knew the day was much too windy to try to fly an airplane, but I was excited so I threw caution to the wind! Ha. I placed the Cub on the runway and practiced rolling on the ground for a few minutes. The steerable rear wheel was a nice feature for a beginner plane. When my confidence was up and the wind was down I taxied on the runway and went for it. The plane took to the sky with the greatest of ease in a nice, slow steady climb. It was only about 20 feet in the air when the wind returned and the Super Cub was tossed around. It didn’t take long before I met the ground sooner than expected. Fortunately the only ‘damage’ was the landing gear popping out. I decided not to press my luck and came back another day when the wind was calm.


Flight Characteristics
After a few beginner mistakes it didn’t take me long until I was flying the Super Cub with the greatest of ease. I’d say by about only the 4th or 5th flight I really had it dialed in. The plane is very forgiving, docile and a ton of fun. At full throttle the Super Cub can climb at a respectable clip. You won’t be able to go straight up, but climbing in nice big circles won’t take too long to have her scraping the clouds. The plane flies nicely at half throttle, but needs more throttle for any climbing maneuvers. The high wing provides plenty of lift and gives great self-correcting after a turn. There are really no bad tendencies or habits with this plane; it is truly a joy to fly!


Takeoffs and Landings
Taking off is very simple in the Super Cub, with full throttle and a little up elevator she’ll rise gently. Plus the steerable tail wheel is nice in case a stick, child or donkey suddenly blocks your runway. Landings are just as sweet, although as a beginner it may not seem like it. Several times I came in a little too hot or steep, popping out the landing gear and pulling out half of the battery box with it! With more experience I found that the Super Cub slows down nicely for landing, although she can really float, so be aware of that.


Aerobatics
Surprisingly the Super Cub does have enough power for some mild aerobatics. The plane does loops and stall turns and there have been a few reports of very quick inverted flying, although I imagine it’s more like inverted falling. Try at your own risk. By adjusting the throws on the control horns even tighter turns can be achieved which is nice for the flyer that is growing in his or her skills.


Anti-Crash Technology
I do believe the ACT is a nice feature to have for a completely inexperienced RC pilot, but I often found that it hurt more than it helped. The ACT does do what it is supposed to which is to keep the plane from getting into a stall or nose dive. But most of the time the Super Cub flew so well I found that I didn’t need it. A few times while flying or taking off I accidentally turned the ACT on and could not figure out why the plane wasn’t climbing or turning with the inputs I was giving it. It made for a few close calls until I realized my mistake. There have also been reports that the ACT does not do well over snow or other light colored landscapes. Presumably the top sensor looks for the ‘light’ sky and the bottom sensor looks for a ‘dark’ landscape, if both colors are the same it can throw the sensors off causing wacky flight characteristics.


Is This Plane For a Beginner?
Absolutely. In fact I have recommended it to nearly every beginner that I talk to. Several have taken my advice and are extremely happy with the purchase. With the forgiving foam, great flight characteristics and sweet looks it’s a solid purchase for any beginner.


Conclusion
The Hobby Zone Super Cub is an excellent flying plane. It has no bad flight tendencies, plenty of power for a beginner and with the large wing area it floats with ease. All of these are enormously important to a beginner’s success in this hobby. In fact it was the Super Cub that fully launched me sky high into RC Flying and because of this plane I have never looked back. The beauty of the Super Cub is that it grows with you as you become more experienced. There is plenty of information out there about adding ailerons, more powerful motors and floats. The new Super Cub comes with a lipo battery which gives the plane a little bit more power.


In full confidence I give this plane an A+ rating.


Pros

  • Durable/Easy to Fix
  • Easy to Fly
  • Great Flight Characteristics
  • Nice decals, looks good in the air
  • Perfect for a Beginner
  • Will make you feel like a kid again
  • Caution! Is a gateway plane to MORE planes


Cons

  • ACT can be more of a burden then a help
  • Too many rough landing can cause the battery compartment to rip out. A weak spot on the plane that can be reinforced with epoxy or foam safe CA

UPDATE!
I have owned the Hobby Zone Super Cub for approximately 1.5 years and in that time have put well over 100 flights on it. In the beginning I was a little rough on the plane since I was just learning, but the plane kept on flying. Even after I hit a goalpost two different times (note: watch out for goalposts) the plane was easily repairable and flying within 20 minutes. I have thought about selling the plane to fund other projects but the plane flies so well for first timers that I can’t give it up. In fact my assistant is currently learning to fly on the Cub. It took her a few times to get the hang of it but now she can last the whole battery without me grabbing the transmitter to get her out of a sticky spot. This is truly an excellent plane with longevity for the future. Definitely 5 stars.

Be sure to also check out "The Plane That Lands Itself" if you want to know more glorious things about the Hobbyzone Super Cub



Ready to begin your adventure in flying? Click this link to buy the Hobbyzone Super Cub Today!

 
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