Constructed of lite-ply and balsa, this IMAA-legal L-4 Grasshopper from Kondor Model Products is a simple semi-scale version of an aircraft operated by Thomas S. Damm, an airline captain in Denmark. It is expertly covered and painted at the factory in an authentic flat olive drab and has a great overall finish. Included in the kit is a generous assortment of quality hardware, clear plastic windows, a painted fiberglass cowl, aluminum wing tubes, rubber wheels with covers and a nice articulating landing gear.
IN THE AIR Although the L-4 is green and has rocket tubes, it is still a Cub and it flies great. The wheels are plenty big for any grass field and has easy ground handling. I chose to add 30% expo to rudder prior to takeoff. The first test flight was perfect. With the Aerovate 15cc pulling out front, it was as if I was flying an original Cub with a A65 Continental. The tail comes up within 6 feet and the lift off is picture perfect. It has a steady climb rate and the wings remain level just like a trainer. Turns really teach you to use both thumbs. Regardless of the direction of the turn, rudder is needed to counter adverse yaw and keep the nose coming around. Normal flying is fun and relaxing provided you abide by this simple rule. Landings are a blast. The L-4 will slow to a snail’s pace with just a small amount of headwind. If there is a crosswind, the L-4 likes to point itself into the wind. If it is not parallel to the runway, use rudder and opposite aileron to keep it straight.
General Flight Performance
Stability – Trainer-like. A Cub is a Cub, and a Cub is stable! Enough said.
Tracking – Other than minor trim adjustments, the L-4 tracks straight and true at moderate power settings. Takeoffs required normal right rudder but cruising along at half-throttle, the two clicks of right rudder were perfect.
Aerobatics – Although the L-4 is not meant to be aerobatic, rolls, loops and stall turns are easily accomplished. Dive to gain speed and slowly add control input. Be smooth and the model performs nicely. Cut power on the back side of the loops. There’s plenty of elevator and rudder for nice barrel rolls. Spins too are easy to get into and recover from.
Glide & Stall Performance – It was rather difficult to get the L-4 to stall – especially flying into the wind. When it did finally stall it tended to fall off to the left. Glide performance of the Grasshopper is exceptional. With a very light wing loading you expect it to have a great glide ratio, just keep the nose down.
The Aerovate 15cc gas engine is a perfect match for the grasshopper.