I had a great day at the flying field testing out the new Super Cub from E-flite. this electric powered 25e ARF version of the Piper has great looks and even better performance. Watch for my full review in the November 2011 issue of Electric Flight magazine
If you have never flown a tail-dragger, then you are missing some fun! The main thing to remember is to advance the throttle slowly and smoothly and hold a little up elevator until the plane has gained some airspeed before takeoff. As you release the elevator input, the tail will rise slightly and the high-lift wing will float the Super Cub off the ground in no time. Using coordinated aileron/rudder input or if you have a computer radio, add some aileron differential to minimize adverse yaw in the turns.
Stability: Like a rock! All Cubs are lightly-loaded scale trainers at heart and they are great platforms for learning how to use the rudder. Being fairly light, the Super Cub is affected by gusty winds but the aileron and rudder response is more than adequate to keep wings straight and level.
Tracking: On the ground a little up elevator keeps the tail wheel planted so you have good steering response. As the tail rises, be prepared to add a little right rudder and it will track straight down the runway as long as you are taking off into the wind. In the air, rudder is your friend.
Aerobatics: Cubs of all types are great low-energy slow speed aerobats and you can do anything you want with it. You just have to setup your maneuver to maximize your airspeed. Dive slightly first to gain airspeed and then smoothly apply your inputs. Loops are best done large and round and be sure to throttle back a bit on the back side. For rolls, raise the nose a bit and apply full aileron deflection with a bit of rudder thrown in. Then as the plane nears inverted flight ease off the up elevator and if you are doing a slow roll, you can even add a bit of forward elevator stick to stop the nose from dropping too soon. Spins require a fully stalled wing so throttle back to idle and hold it level for as long as you can. Then while holding full up elevator, apply rudder and aileron to enter the spin. To exit, neutralize the controls, let the nose drop a little, gain some speed and gently apply power and some up to reestablish straight and level flight. Piece of cake!
Stall and Glide Performance. The Super Cub’s Stall is very obvious so it is easy to stay above stall speed if you watch the nose. There is a slight wingtip drop depending on the direction of the wind but you have to work to get it into a spin. Power off, the Cub glides with the best of them but you should always hold in a little power in the landing approach. Once over the runway pull power and slowly add up to keep the nose level and then plane just lands effortlessly! It is a great touch-n-go machine.
Final Score: I love the Super Cub 25e
Once you fly the Super Cub you will become a believer. The E-flite Super Cub 25e is a great example of the breed and you can’t really do better for a first serious scale flyer. The best advice I can give is to practice your slow speed flying and use coordinated aileron and rudder inputs. Just like eating potato chips, I just can’t get enough flight time with Cubs!