Home RC Airplane Reviews E-Flite UMX Carbon Cub SS Review
E-Flite UMX Carbon Cub SS Review Print E-mail
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Monday, 14 May 2012 23:22

History

The CubCrafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS is an ATSM certified light-sport aircraft based on the Piper Cub. It is modernized, with light-weight carbon fiber components and a 180 hp engine.

The Carbon Cub SS uses a carbon fiber spinner and air-induction scoop. The Carbon Cub weighs 250 lbs less than a Piper Super Cub. The carbon cowling weighs six pounds.  The fuselage is welded 4130 tube steel with fabric covering. The wings are fitted with vortex generators for low-speed flight control. Some models use a partial color on silver base coat paint job that weighs 7 lbs less than an all-color paint job.

The CC340 engine is a Lycoming O-360 based engine developed with Eci using dual electronic ignition and Eci O-320 cylinders. The engine is rated at 5 gallons per hour at the 80 hp cruise setting. The cub carries a crew of a two and is powered by an 180hp engine capable of a max speed of 141 mph and service ceiling of 17,999 feet.  



Intro

There is nothing quite a like a good cub. The cub has been a proven format time and time again and especially in the Ultra Micro format. The large wingspan, lightweight design and built-in dihedral make the plane an excellent candidate for a model of any size. With the new AS3X technology built into the plane I figured the new E-Flite Carbon Cub would have even more reliability and stability, so how did she fare?

   

Kit Contents

The Carbon Cub SS comes as a Bind and Fly and so there is not much included in the kit. Inside the box is the Airplane, an exquisitely detailed manual, an 180mah 2S battery with a 2S battery charger and a small bag of accessories that include extra Velcro and a tow hitch thingy to attach a tow line to.

   

Assembly

The E-Flite Carbon Cub comes fully assembled. All that is required is to charge the included battery and bind the aircraft to your favorite DSM2/DSMX transmitter.


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Features

The Carbon Cub features 24 inch wingspan and an overall length of 15.7 inches. The plane comes equipped with 180-size 2500kv motor (or it’s supposed to) and 5 ultra-micro ‘long throw’ servos that control the ailerons, rudder, elevator and flaps. The new AS3X ESC/RX runs the show and keeps everything smooth. The Cub also features lights which are very fun for dusk/night flying. I really dig the Carbon paint job of the cub as it’s nice to not have ‘just another yellow cub’ in the sky. It looks great and has perfect contrasting colors so you always know which way is up (or down if you’re so unlucky).

   

   

First Flight

I picked the plane up on a perfect flying day and couldn’t wait to take the Cub down to the local school and fly until the sun set. Unfortunately, my Cub flying dreams were not destined to come true on this day. I got the Cub ready and went through all of the flight checks before leaving the house. Once at the field I doubled checked everything and confirmed we were “GO” for liftoff. I throttled up the plane and it climbed easily to about 20 feet where it began veering left and continued on a downward path until it was plowed into the ground.

After 3 seconds of flight the plane stopped responding to any input, see video below:



It was 2 more days before I was able to jerry-rig some parts together and get the plane back in the air (read more about that below). With a renewed sense of purpose to get the Cub back in the air, I tromped down to the local school with fresh batteries in hand. Went through all the pre-flight checks and throttle the plane up. The Carbon Cub jumped from the runway just like before, although this time it did not lose its bind or act funky. Out of the box the plane needed zero trim, even after tumbling in the grass on the first flight.


   

The E-Flite Carbon Cub performed amazingly well and within a couple of minutes I felt completely comfortable flying the airplane. I put the plane through all of the paces and it did fairly well, I tested out the flaps and was surprised at how dramatically the nose pitched up. The Cub felt very stable and even while flying straight I could hear the AS3X frantically working to keep the plane on a straight flight path.

After about five minutes I landed the plane safely and without incident.

Flight Characteristics

The E-Flite Carbon Cub has very serene flight characteristics. As to be expected the Cub is stable in the air while putting around the sky. Gentle turns and smooth moves are the Cub’s M.O. What makes the Carbon Cub fun is that it is actually a maneuverable plane disguised as a timid, high-winged trainer. The roll rate is labored and slower than any low wing craft, but the ailerons have plenty of throw to bring the cub through the roll. The elevator and rudder appear to not have much throw but I found it sufficient for tight loops, hammerhead turns and knife edges. Yes, you can even knife-edge with the Cub. Inverted flight is very possible but I found that the Cub needed a lot of down elevator to stay in the air while on its back.

The Carbon Cub has a wide range of power and wonderful climb rate. I got a kick out of flying slow and low right at my lovely assistant’s head and then blasting the throttle while pulling back on the sticks to zoom way above her head. She did not find it as funny as I did.

    

The AS3X does a great job of keeping the plane stable especially at slower speeds. The flaps come out of the box with a ridiculous amount of throw and should be toned down a bit in the computer radio. If you go with the stock setting, be prepared for a large ballooning effect and a climbing cub.

The E-flite Cub stalls very well. Without flaps the plane begins a slow wide descending circle while stalling. With the flaps deployed the plane maintained a more forward path but had a more noticeable nose dip before flying level, then nose dip…etc. must like a stair step pattern down. In either instance there was no wing rock or tip stalling.

Takeoffs and Landings

Taking off with the Carbon Cub SS is very easy since the plane needs only a few feet of runway before it is airborne. The plane can also be hand-launched since there is ample power underneath the hood. Just toss into the wind and let ‘er rip.

   

Landings are nice and light given the floating ability of the Cub. The flaps slow the plane right down making it even slower but I never really felt the need to use them. The plane likes to float, even at slower speeds, just throttle down and let the natural descent guide the Cub down.

 

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes, this could be a beginner plane. It’s probably not the most durable plane a beginner could buy, but with some guidance I don’t think it would take long before a newbie would have the hang of it. Just remember get the plane up high and keep her there while you’re learning!

Binding Issues, Broken Parts

As mentioned previously in this review the first flight was any but successful. I am not entirely sure what happened but after 3 seconds in the air I didn’t have any control of the plane. It began to drift left and so I pulled to the right and back (to get more altitude) and the plane did not respond. The Cub continued drifting until the plane met the ground in what seemed like a soft impact. I walked over and found that the prop had popped off, as well as chunks of foam from the nose. Frustrated I located all of the pieces and headed home.

   

   

Upon further investigation it was revealed that the prop shaft had actually broken off and was still stuck inside of the prop. The spinner was held on with enough glue for 10 planes so I used some debonder to clean it off. This was a mistake. The debonder should actually be labeled “Prop Melter” since that’s what it did. After ruining the prop I headed to the hobby shop to see what I could find to get the plane back in the air.

Even though the Carbon Cub calls for a longer motor adapter (shaft) I found that you can use the Sbach motor adapter and make it work. The Sbach adapter is too short by itself but comes with a small prop ring. Putting the ring on the shaft first and then the prop, provides just enough clearance so the prop doesn’t slice up the front of the plane. With the new prop and Sbach adapter on the nose of the plane the Cub flew like a dream with no issues.

Even though I had fixed the broken prop shaft I was not fully confident on how well the Cub would fly since it lost connection with my transmitter during the first flight. Over the next four flights I had to re-bind the transmitter every time I popped a new battery into the belly of the beast. This did not make me happy, nor instill me with a whole lot of confidence. I never had a glitch after the first crash, but I should not have to re-bind the plane every time. I don’t know if this Cub just happens to be a lemon or what. I will be curious to hear other pilot’s experiences with the Cub.

And finally the plane was supposed to come with a 2500kv motor but as you can see in the photo it says it is actually a 2300kv motor. I don’t know if this is a typo online, a typo on the motor or some other trickery.

 

Conclusion

The E-Flite Carbon Cub SS is a strong little airplane that performs quite well whether flying scale or beyond realistic capabilities. The airplane has an eye-catching paint scheme and is loaded with features that give it a beautiful scale appearance. The plane flies just as it should; stable, slow with the ability to ramp it up for some fun maneuvers. The Cub has a strong range of power and it should be able to tow the glider that is set to come out soon. I had a blast once I finally had the plane consistently in the air, but was not pleased with all of the binding issues. Without those issues the Carbon Cub would have received a much higher score but those issues bring it down a bit. Overall the plane is so much fun to fly, stay tuned for the review with the glider!

 

GRADE: B

Pros

  • Everything ready to fly right out of the box
  • Strong Motor
  • Lights/Flaps – scale detail
  • Maneuverable
  • 5+ minutes of flying
  • Easy Access Battery Hatch

 

Neutrals

  • 2300kv motor instead of 2500kv

Cons

  • Binding issues, might be a lemon, time will tell….

 

 Media and FLIGHT Time!

   

   

   



Thanks to Mike at RC Hobbies for his help! Go check him out!

 
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