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insight from a newbie(never flown rc before)... or a review for the Super Cub DSM

atsugi

Junior Member
#1
let me start out by saying I love flight. I have a computer setup for MS flight simulator that has taken years to put together. However it was missing something for me.I want that opportunity to fly around outdoors enjoy real weather and maybe when i am better join a flying club or something social. not just pixels on a screen and as strange as it sounds I want real consequences for my mistakes. I just recently started watching Flite Test and watched the entire beginners series with out even putting a controller in my hands. Then I went to the hobby shop and took my first steps. here is what I learned.

Our local hobby shop has a very knowledgeable gentleman behind the desk. I told him I am just getting into rc planes and he pointed me to the hobby zone champ i was a little leery of using a controller that wouldn't grow with me for at least one other AC. He then pointed me to the Vapor but I did not want to fly indoors only. We then moved up the ladder to the Hobby zone super cub DSM I asked questions, how readily available are the parts in Montana. Does he have upgraded parts for when I start to grow? The answer was yes. He also showed me the E-flight Apprentice. Over 100 bucks more but thinking about the review episode and was interested. But 100 bucks. we talked some more and I decided to go with the super cub. I now regret the decision but more into that later.

Went home unboxed her started charging the batteries and reading the manual. watched the dvd. expecting some tips on putting her together and some diagrams etc. quite disappointed in it, basically it was one big ad for the super cub, I already bought the darn thing. I don't need you to sell it to me a second time. went back to the manuals and started putting her together. it didn't take long but had to wait 3 hrs for my battery to charge using the stock charger. Don't know why the extra park zone batteries I bought charged in 1 hr. so did my checks. everything worked great. I was ready to give it a go

The field that I have seen others fly in through out the years is also used by the University Glider Club. I have my Ham License and a radio so I tuned into the ATIS and the tower frequencies, yep the kites were flying today. No flying till the morning. The wind was starting to pick up so morning would be better anyway. We usually have calm winds then and the Gliders only fly in the morning for people getting certified to do the mountain solo and that is a rare occasion.

i couldn't sleep well so got up at 7 am and loaded the car with all the gear i needed. manuals for reference, repair kit, hot glue gun that plugs into the van's ac outlet. ( don't go over 20 amp pull if going this route BTW). Glue, accelerator, zip ties, tape velcro and my tool box. I also build scale models for production design work so the crafts were already on hand. laptop for music (have to have music)

Upon parking and setting things up and going through the range test. Skipping just like the Joshes. I was ready. I noticed that the grass was too long. i would have to hand launch. No problem Flite Test taught me how to do this piece of cake. 75% throttle, plane nose first into the ground 10 feet in front of me. Okay lets try it again, again same result, hmm grabbed a different battery ( had the stock one in the plane first) toss and I am in the air, back on the throttle and glide down to earth:

Well okay not a great glide, landed nose first but not too hard, i thought, the throttle was cut and the wind under the wing flared okay. I was just a little to eager not to float too far and nosed it down too much. lesson learned right wrong. the slow crash cracked the cowling. For a trainer this is not what I expected. So again following Josh's advice I took my time inspected the plane no other issues, lets go again, and again and again. did 8 takeoff and landings I was ready to change batteries and fly.

Now the guy at the hobby shop warned me to turn off the ACT or as he called it (Assured Crash Technology). But what does he know, he is advanced beyond this stuff, he has been flying for 50 years. Technology is always improving, He probable just heard it somewhere from someone who was looking for excuses. turn off the ACT
I tossed the plane flew 100 yards at about 1 mistake high. and then dove to the ground. I cut the throttle pulled back on the elevators and sudo-glided it into the grass.

Damage assessment from this soft-ish landing.

Landing gear fairings cracked landing gear off.

Rudder servo where it connects to the rudder snapped

fuselage just in front of the flare of the tail broken

cowling cracked some more

Now I don't know if I hit a rock in the grass or not. I was too disappointed in the fact that this plane designed for beginners is this fragile. like I said this was not a high speed crash the throttle was cut the plane was moving at a jogging pace. And I landed in the grass.

So I plugged the charger into the cigarette lighter, plugged in the glue gun and turned on some Jackson Browne. Now the nice thing is that within an hour I was fixed, except for the cowling, that was removed. CG checked, all good.

Launched again, used the whole battery flying the pattern landed beautifully. Alright I am addicted. Threw in a new battery and launched again went too long and lost power, panicked and nose dived into a berm. The fuselage snapped right in front of the canopy and I bent the prop. more work but looked at it and knew it was a half hour fix. Went back out did some figure eights and called it a day.

So my advice as a new pilot. I look back on this and think I would pass on the apprentice as well. We are all going to crash. but I think (at least for my last crash I would have had minimal damage. but the amount of weight with the motor made the accident much worse than if it was just electronics there. I would go with a pusher.

The ACT is a joke, disable that by all means possible.

The body is not as robust as I would have thought. Until I get some more fairings for the gear. she is a belly lander. The gear fairings are held onto the body by 2 screws each and that holds the gear in place by a rubber band that is designed for dental braces. Bad design.

The cowling is very fragile, there is little give in the plastic so one nose in and it is going to shatter. I tried holding it in place with tape but where it cracks it is just not feasible.

Will I learn with this AC, oh yeah. she is still fun to fly and with the repairs I thin the plane is stronger than when it was manufactured. Already charging the batteries for another flight this morning. But I just wish I chose another RTF trainer. who knows I might even buy a Bixler....
 
#2
Hey mate. Welcome to the forum and the hobby. I love your positive attitude. After my first crash I was heart broken. Lol. That's fantastic you were able to get it flying. As for the cowling, I've seen some YouTube videos showing how to make a new one from a 2L coke bottle. I don't have the link right now, but just search for making a replacement cowling with a pet bottle.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#3
Atsugi,

I salute your persistence!!! Most would have given up after the second nose-in on launch, and missed all the fun out of frustration.

Keep repairing that apprentice (don't let her off that easy for a little "bad behavior" ;) ) but have you considered building your own airframe? It takes a while to get the servos/RX/motors inexpensively, but the FT Spitfire goes together quick and easy and flies really well -- trimmed out she can fly hands off and a little wind won't bother her. Want something a little simpler for a first scratchbuild? The powered version of the Simple Soarer is strongly stabilized (it has to be -- no ailerons), but should fly well on RET. want full house (4 channel)? check out EA's photon glider. All of these can be built inexpensively from plans the total cost is mostly the control gear, which is mostly protected in crashes, and once you can build it from scratch repair becomes even easier :)


Either way, welcome to the forum!
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Welcome to the hobby! I think with your model bulding skills for work, and your repair skils that you demonstrated on our first flight, you're ready for scratch building1 One of the greatest discoveries for me, in this hobby I started 6 months ago, was FliteTest. FliteTest not only gave me the beginner series to learn about RC in an easy and entertaining way, but also showed me that scratchbuilding is a great way to learn with somewhat less expense. Especially if you have all the tools already to build. I have so much more fun when I know that I can crash and just rebuild the plane in a few hours time and it'll be brand new -- so long as the flight hardware survives. For that reason, and as stated by you, all my flitetest builds have been pusher configuration. I am now working on the FT Cruiser -- a twin tractor, but only because I now have more confidence and experience.

When everyone says "you will crash" -- it's very true. It's part of the hobby. My first builds were the FT-22 and Versa Wing. I've now flown my bluntnose Versa Wing (2nd build after first one landed in a tree and crashed hard in the ground after the wind recovered it for me) with FPV gear, and am working on adding an APM 2.6 based autopilot on it.
 

atsugi

Junior Member
#5
I want to get into scratch building but, i wanted to make sure I could fly first and that I would enjoy it on a lazy afternoon. I didn't want to think of flying as a chore, this hobby should be fun, right. Besides motors, servos, batteries and an esc while by themselves are not too expensive they can add up quickly, but that is just a start up cost. But now that I know that I am addicted, the sky is the limit. Pun most definitely intended. Eagle4 I took a quick glance at the Youtube video on building your own cowl. It is one of those why didn't I think of that moments. Thanks for the encouragement everyone.
 
#6
Super cub good choice!

let me start out by saying I love flight. I have a computer setup for MS flight simulator that has taken years to put together. However it was missing something for me.I want that opportunity to fly around outdoors enjoy real weather and maybe when i am better join a flying club or something social. not just pixels on a screen and as strange as it sounds I want real consequences for my mistakes. I just recently started watching Flite Test and watched the entire beginners series with out even putting a controller in my hands. Then I went to the hobby shop and took my first steps. here is what I learned.

Our local hobby shop has a very knowledgeable gentleman behind the desk. I told him I am just getting into rc planes and he pointed me to the hobby zone champ i was a little leery of using a controller that wouldn't grow with me for at least one other AC. He then pointed me to the Vapor but I did not want to fly indoors only. We then moved up the ladder to the Hobby zone super cub DSM I asked questions, how readily available are the parts in Montana. Does he have upgraded parts for when I start to grow? The answer was yes. He also showed me the E-flight Apprentice. Over 100 bucks more but thinking about the review episode and was interested. But 100 bucks. we talked some more and I decided to go with the super cub. I now regret the decision but more into that later.

Went home unboxed her started charging the batteries and reading the manual. watched the dvd. expecting some tips on putting her together and some diagrams etc. quite disappointed in it, basically it was one big ad for the super cub, I already bought the darn thing. I don't need you to sell it to me a second time. went back to the manuals and started putting her together. it didn't take long but had to wait 3 hrs for my battery to charge using the stock charger. Don't know why the extra park zone batteries I bought charged in 1 hr. so did my checks. everything worked great. I was ready to give it a go

The field that I have seen others fly in through out the years is also used by the University Glider Club. I have my Ham License and a radio so I tuned into the ATIS and the tower frequencies, yep the kites were flying today. No flying till the morning. The wind was starting to pick up so morning would be better anyway. We usually have calm winds then and the Gliders only fly in the morning for people getting certified to do the mountain solo and that is a rare occasion.

i couldn't sleep well so got up at 7 am and loaded the car with all the gear i needed. manuals for reference, repair kit, hot glue gun that plugs into the van's ac outlet. ( don't go over 20 amp pull if going this route BTW). Glue, accelerator, zip ties, tape velcro and my tool box. I also build scale models for production design work so the crafts were already on hand. laptop for music (have to have music)

Upon parking and setting things up and going through the range test. Skipping just like the Joshes. I was ready. I noticed that the grass was too long. i would have to hand launch. No problem Flite Test taught me how to do this piece of cake. 75% throttle, plane nose first into the ground 10 feet in front of me. Okay lets try it again, again same result, hmm grabbed a different battery ( had the stock one in the plane first) toss and I am in the air, back on the throttle and glide down to earth:

Well okay not a great glide, landed nose first but not too hard, i thought, the throttle was cut and the wind under the wing flared okay. I was just a little to eager not to float too far and nosed it down too much. lesson learned right wrong. the slow crash cracked the cowling. For a trainer this is not what I expected. So again following Josh's advice I took my time inspected the plane no other issues, lets go again, and again and again. did 8 takeoff and landings I was ready to change batteries and fly.

Now the guy at the hobby shop warned me to turn off the ACT or as he called it (Assured Crash Technology). But what does he know, he is advanced beyond this stuff, he has been flying for 50 years. Technology is always improving, He probable just heard it somewhere from someone who was looking for excuses. turn off the ACT
I tossed the plane flew 100 yards at about 1 mistake high. and then dove to the ground. I cut the throttle pulled back on the elevators and sudo-glided it into the grass.

Damage assessment from this soft-ish landing.

Landing gear fairings cracked landing gear off.

Rudder servo where it connects to the rudder snapped

fuselage just in front of the flare of the tail broken

cowling cracked some more

Now I don't know if I hit a rock in the grass or not. I was too disappointed in the fact that this plane designed for beginners is this fragile. like I said this was not a high speed crash the throttle was cut the plane was moving at a jogging pace. And I landed in the grass.

So I plugged the charger into the cigarette lighter, plugged in the glue gun and turned on some Jackson Browne. Now the nice thing is that within an hour I was fixed, except for the cowling, that was removed. CG checked, all good.

Launched again, used the whole battery flying the pattern landed beautifully. Alright I am addicted. Threw in a new battery and launched again went too long and lost power, panicked and nose dived into a berm. The fuselage snapped right in front of the canopy and I bent the prop. more work but looked at it and knew it was a half hour fix. Went back out did some figure eights and called it a day.

So my advice as a new pilot. I look back on this and think I would pass on the apprentice as well. We are all going to crash. but I think (at least for my last crash I would have had minimal damage. but the amount of weight with the motor made the accident much worse than if it was just electronics there. I would go with a pusher.

The ACT is a joke, disable that by all means possible.

The body is not as robust as I would have thought. Until I get some more fairings for the gear. she is a belly lander. The gear fairings are held onto the body by 2 screws each and that holds the gear in place by a rubber band that is designed for dental braces. Bad design.

The cowling is very fragile, there is little give in the plastic so one nose in and it is going to shatter. I tried holding it in place with tape but where it cracks it is just not feasible.

Will I learn with this AC, oh yeah. she is still fun to fly and with the repairs I thin the plane is stronger than when it was manufactured. Already charging the batteries for another flight this morning. But I just wish I chose another RTF trainer. who knows I might even buy a Bixler....
I used to hang around the lhs and had first timers would ask me what to buy and I usually directed them to the Super cub as I knew it was easier to learn on than most. I think your mistake was join a club first and let them advise and help you to learn to fly. Then if your cub survives if it has a geared motor replace it with a outrunner install ailerons mix in some rudder and go out and tearup the sky. I have 10 or 15 planes but still keep a Supercub just to knock around.
 
#7
Sorry you feel the Super Cub was a poor choice as a trainer. I'm confident that you will eventually change your mind about that.

I LOVE my Super Cub. It's responsible for giving me the confidence to maiden other more involved planes, and has grown with me in this hobby. Just wait until you get bored wtih it as a RET plane and start doing the mods! That's when this plane really starts to shine.
 
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#8
Apart from the cost and the field size required, I've enjoyed my Apprentice as a first plane. With SAFE in beginner mode, pretty much the only crash you can get is by flying into something horizontally - and having the panic button available is great for building some confidence, though I very rarely use it.

I can't say anything about ACT, but SAFE works really, really well. Of course, The Delta Ray is more economical and also has the SAFE technology...
 
#9
I have to side with Stradawhovious about the Super Cub.
I just started in this hobby and I selected the SC to be the plane I learn on. I have about 60 minutes of flight time on it so far and it does have some battle scars! On my second flight, I put her 25 foot up in a tree... lesson learned: If you think there is not enough room, dont fly it there!

I am still using the original battery, it charges in an hour or less, and it is giving me 10 min flights also. I have not tried to hand launch this yet, Everything is a rolling takoff... rather easy to get her in the air.

I have not heard anything good about ACT, Therefore I never turned it on.
The SC is a great first plane IMO... when mine gets beat up enough, Ill start replacing the parts one by one as parts for this are easy on the pocket book.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#10
Don't give up on the Super Cub and don't be down on her for breaking upon crashing. By nature, aircraft are light and fragile. The SC is a great bird! Glue and tape her back together and have at it! I am a pretty good RC pilot and I still manage to bust mine into pieces every now and then. Just part of the deal.

Yes, the ACT is crap. Disable it.

The cowling is absurdly weak. Make a plaster of paris mold of one and grab some 2 liter soda bottles: http://flitetest.com/articles/heat-shrinking-pet-bottles-for-rc-plane-parts

Don't mind that goofy bastard, its a good method. ;)
 
#11
Thank you for the great thread. I too am going to purchase my first trainer. I've been watching lot's and lot's of video's (thanks Flite Test!) and reading tons. I have some limited experiance with heli's (3&4 channel). Some say go with the Super Cub, some the Delta Ray, some the Apprentice, and some the pushers (just to mention a few). I like the SAFE technology and haven't read a negative comment about it so I'm leaning towards a plane with this technology. I have no model-building experiance. My anticipated area of flying is in/around baseball fields (no runways). So I think it's between the Delta Ray and the Apprentice. If it's the Apprentice, I will upgrade to bigger wheels to accomodate grass takeoffs/landings. Are those flight SIM apps. on phones any good? I've been using RealFlight, RC Plane 2, Leo's RC Simulator, and Absolute RC Simulator.
Any thoughts, suggestions, helpful hints? Much appreciated. Thanks.
 

Nortmic

Junior Member
#12
Just got into hobby and I love my super cub. I have had some superior gravitational experiences. My ten and seven year old daughters love fixing it as much as they helping fly it. Grab some gorilla glue, gorilla packing tape, and test newton's laws.