HobbyZone Super Cub S


By Nick Murhling The model that taught an AMA intern how to fly. Abridged review and flight video. Featured in the Fall 2014 Park Pilot.

Flying is certainly not my forte. If not for my video work, my internship at the AMA would have ended a long time ago, because I know next to nothing about model airplanes. Hobby Zone’s Super Cub S is marketed to beginners, so while my knowledge of flying is limited, I hope my unique perspective will be useful to others who are fresh to the model aircraft scene. I was pleasantly surprised to find that HobbyZone did a fine job of securely compartmentalizing all of the Super Cub’s components inside a thick, Styrofoam shell, and sealed with bubble wrap and packing tape. The tidy nature of the packing relieved some of my prebuild angst, and it was a great to see all of the flight decals were already applied. My assertion that the Super Cub is for beginners is underscored by how few pieces comprise this model airplane. The foam fuselage is one unit, complete with a preattached propeller and a spare one! The tail group, wings, and wheels are all straightforward enough for me to immediately recognize that they are just waiting to snap onto the fuselage. A trio of small bags labeled A, B, and C, hold screws, rubber bands, and a screwdriver. Of course, the Super Cub isn’t complete without the battery and charging equipment. I was pleasantly surprised to find a car and a wall outlet charger; each seems useful given the right circumstances. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to charge your battery. It takes roughly an hour. I received the BNF (Bind-N-Fly) version requiring a four-plus-channel DSM2- or DSMX-compatible transmitter. I used a Spektrum DX5e. An RTF (Ready-To-Fly) version is also available that includes a DX4e transmitter. Although I’ve never assembled a model aircraft before, the manual for building the Super Cub is simple and concise, with easy-to-follow illustrations. However, at times the pictures were simply not enough. For instance, connecting servos with the tail group would have been far easier to do if there was a caption accompanying the picture. The Super Cub S is by no means fragile, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful and take your time assembling it. It would be beneficial to have a more-experienced pilot assist, but is not required. It was a beautiful day when we took the Cub out to fly. Winds were no more than 10 mph—a formidable test for the Super Cub’s maiden flight. The Cub is equipped with SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology, which is a tremendous asset for a beginning pilot. Based on my understanding, a combination of multiaxis sensors and software in the airplane keep track of where the horizon is, providing stability. There’s also a panic button that’s one flip of a switch away to help prevent a potential crash. Back to the maiden flight! We chose a grass field for my first flight to cushion any less-than-perfect landings. The Cub’s front two wheels are certainly big enough to handle wading through thick blades of grass; however, the tail wheel is much smaller and can cause problems in higher grass. After the model was up and in the air, it was a terrific experience! Despite the Cub’s lightweight, 25.2-ounce frame, it flew smoothly. Those 10 mph wind gusts did shake the model in flight, but it certainly appeared to have a strong enough motor and the stability to fend for itself. The dual black stripes on the bottom of the wings are a definite bonus for spotting the Cub on a sunny day. With fully charged batteries, we managed to keep it in the air for roughly 10 minutes. I would have liked for the battery to last longer, but this is plenty of time for a few takeoffs and landings. Purchasing additional flight batteries would be a good idea. Like the takeoff, my landing could have been smoother, but this was in large part because of my inexperience. I’m proud to call the Super Cub S my first model airplane. It’s big and durable enough to take a beating from my shoddy flying, but lightweight and compact enough to fit comfortably in the back of my car. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have an experienced pilot to help you out. Even if your model is equipped with something as awesome as SAFE technology, having someone else there through every step of the process—from your initial purchase to your first flight—can be a tremendous asset. I recommend that any new modeler check out the Super Cub S and consider giving it a try as you wet your toes in the model aviation hobby.


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5 comments

Where is the field that the video was taken? Kind of looks like Carl Henson Field from Real Flight Sim. Just curious.

Hi Terence! The video was actually shot at a flying site in Indiana, not Carl Henson Field. We hope you enjoyed the video!

I have been waiting for 6 days and it still hasn't made the tiny journey from Sussex to Guernsey. The suspense is killing me but I can't wait to fly it

PS- how much are the extra batteries?

I found E-Flite batteries identical to what came with the Super Cub S for 30 USD and change at a local shop. But you can order a Turnigy 1300 MmAh 3S at HobbyKing.com for about 10 USD, the only thing with ordering them is you need an adapter because Turnigy uses an XT60 conector and E-Flite uses EC3. Adapters are also on HobbyKing.com and they are about 3 USD. Hope this helps.

Fly Safe

My first RC plane was an original Hobbyzone Super Cub with a F/M radio and Nicad battery. I learned to fly with it and the help of a veteran R/C pilot. I have flown it into trees and had many less than perfect landings. I have converted it over to a lipo battery.
I have bought extra parts and made a brushless model and a biplane model. I have moved on to many other R/C planes and boats. I still have the original Super Cub and fly it regularly. The Super Cub is the best beginner plane out there, easy to fly, will handle some wind, and big enough to be seen.

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