Sunday, March 15, 2009

HobbyZone Super Cub Interim Review


About a month ago I decided to use the Super Cub as a means to learn how to fly R.C. Airplanes on my own- after much deliberation.

At that time I set out the following goals to obtain before moving on to another plane with the assumption that achieving these goals would make me a proficient pilot:

# of Flights: 100
# of Flight Hours: 16hours (each flight is ~ 10 minutes with stock Battery)
# of Landings: 100

Before I get into the update, I want to make a few comments for those on the fence about what plane to start with. My single most important advice is just get one. Reading about them and practicing on the SIM is good but no substitute for real flight. For those that are still trying to convince themselves that they should start with a “4 channel plane” instead of the too-basic “3-channel” plane, just go out and get something and fly it! Through my experience, I happen to believe that the SuberCub is a great plane to begin with. The muscles and brain connections you build with a 3-channel plane (with ruder on right stick), will translate directly to using a 4-channel with ailerons. The 3-channel rudder controlled plane, however will be more stable and forgiving to over-controlling of the novice pilot.

I was one that fit the characteristics above, before I heard the speech. What is the speech your are asking? Well, about a month ago I was still in research mode, but I had pretty much ruled out any 3-channel plane and in particular the SuperCub. Some 40 hours of web research on “what's the best first plane” and “can I skip the 3-channel” threads and 3 hobby store visits later I was just about to walk out the door of my last store when a very passionate sales clerk gave me the speech. Frankly, I was only half-listening. I don't really remember exactly what he said but at one point he mentioned the inventor of the SC receiving a standing ovation at some yearly R.C. conference and the SC being the single most important advancement in the R.C. airplane hobby as it allowed individuals to learn to fly instead of just crashing and moving on to the next hobby. Did I really want to “build” a plane anyway. There is no doubt this person believes everything he said

Well I made one last swing by the SC isle and I noticed the price was $129. I thought, hey I could be flying this weekend instead of researching, and the rest is history. By they way, another woman also bought a Super Cub right after me- the speech was that good!

Here are the stats to date

SC 1.0 Cumulative Flights: 15
SC 2.0 Cumulative Flights: 13
Total: 28
Cumulative Hrs: 6.6
successful Landings: 63
SC Maintenance / Repairs* ~$51

*Cost to replace items broken in flight

The Pluses- there are many

  • The HobyZone Super Cub is a cost effective trainer

    • Cost effective to fix and parts are readily available

  • You can go from in the box to in the air in about 1 hour

  • The Plane is almost completely assembled

  • Receiving the plane almost assembled lets you know how things are supposed to look from the start

  • It is easy to fix- buy some Devron 5 minute epoxy (or similar product)

  • There are lots of options / modifications that can be considered and you will still be with in the cost range of other RTF trainers

  • This is a great platform to learn how to build and modify RC planes!

  • No one part is so expensive that you have to worry too much if you destroy it

  • Good size for starter park flier- not to big / not too small

  • Could legitimately be the one plane a pilot has for quite a while (however, see LiPo note in Minuses)

  • I can see flying the SC for years to come. It flies slow and stable and that makes it fun!

The Minuses

  • I found the stock electronics to be effective but not great- primary complaint is the glitching motor- likely the ESC

  • In bone stock configuration, I believe I would have gotten bored with the power-curve fairly soon- needs the extra boost of LiPos-

Wrap up
I don't have any regrets taking the plunge with the SC. I don't believe that there is another platform out there that would have allowed me to learn what I have as quickly or cost effective as I have with this plane.

I have learned a great deal about flying, building and repairing model R.C. planes in just one short month. The only challenge I may have is sticking to my plan to complete my flying goals before I try a new plane. My skills have improved enough that I think I can handle the next step up. In fact you will soon read my Maiden Flight review of the Parkzone T-28 Trojan!!

1 comment:

  1. I want the T-28 next! I thought to use LiPo batteries, you had to have a brushless motor or something. Do you have a link to the exact batteries that can go into the SC stock?