The cub has been sitting quietly in the corner of my shop for two and a half years now while other projects came and went including dozens of repairs/builds and modifications to my planes as well as many visitors projects. It even survived the move that is nearly 2 years in the past now with no damage… so finally it has found its way back to center stage on my bench.
If you want to catch up on the old posts, here are links to each:
Balsa USA 1/4 Scale Cub – Part 4 More Mods – Rudder Shape.
Balsa USA 1/4 Scale Cub – Part 3 More Mods – Flaps!!
Balsa USA 1/4 Scale Cub – Part 2 Modifications begin
Balsa USA 1/4 Scale Cub – Part 1 Acquisition and plans
Mostly getting back to this project came about because my flying buddy, Garry Bow, bought a Dave Partrick 1/4 scale Super Cub at the swap meet in Toledo this last spring and though he sold it before getting it in the air again, we have been talking about it enough that other folks in the club have decided to enter or re-enter the brotherhood of RC cub fliers. I think almost every RC airplane enthusiast has already, or plans on getting, one variation or the other of the J-3, clipped wing, PA-18 super or maybe even one of the more modern variants like the Carbon Cub. Cubs lend themselves to slow majestic flying and there are many different variations that allow for you to fly a cub that is at least semi-aerobatic, can tow gliders, carry a drop box, sky diver, camera or whatever. Most Cubs are almost instantly recognizable to even those who don’t pay much attention to aircraft or RC and also make great entry points for scale building. Cubs can be very simple 4 (or even 3) channel setups with a high wing and light wing loading. This allows for slow and gentle landings and the typical Cub landing gear configuration can absorb some punishment in case of abrupt landings, especially those outfitted with bush tires and working shock absorbers. So it is time to get back to my latest endeavour into the the world of Cubs.
My latest cub started life as a Balsa USA 1/4 scale J-3 Cub kit but I have been working to make it into something closer to a Super Cub. I’ve detailed a lot of my modifications up to this point so I’ll try to just continue where I left off a couple years ago!
Looking back I realize that I did make one more significant change that never got posted and that has to do with the wing attachment method. I really disliked the way the wing attached. It seemed like it would take 3 people to get the wings on and off without damage to the airplane with just a location pin and bolts holding on those massive long wings. I didn’t like the thought that damage to the root rib seemed likely if you didn’t get the struts on quickly before a gust of wind or careless bump to the wing caused an issue. This design was made for someone who is much better organized and meticulous than I!
So right before I packed it away, I added a small wing tube arrangement to my Cub. At first, I tried to put a straight wing tube and sleeve in place but then realized that a straight tube was not going to work well in a wing with dihedral! So I assembled and shimmed and adjusted until the wings were sitting at the proper angles and then created a wing tube for each side utilizing the servo wire guide holes as a ready-made mounting point for the sleeves. The tube itself is a carbon fiber tube from a friends wrecked airplane and the sleeve is an aluminum tube that the CF rod fits perfectly inside of. I butted the tubes up in the center of the body and created a couple of new rib structures (complete with cutouts to make installing the mounting bolts easier) to hold them in place. Now all I have to do is slide the tube into the wing and slide the whole assembly into the body and the wings have enough support for me to take my time bolting them in and attaching the struts. Time will tell if this system works the way I hope it will.
Since I retrieved the Cub from its dark corner, I have started working on a couple of other changes too, including a new tail gear, engine mounting, and a glider tow release. I’m still debating lighting options, float mounting (I have no appropriate floats yet), a possible belly pod (to mimic a baggage pod or fuel pod, both of which are in use on many Super Cubs) for candy drop or whatever, and possibly some hard points to carry a very non-scale sky diver drop mechanism I have.
Also, I have started to plod forward with the final steps the previous builder never completed like window installation, wing leading edge shaping, etc… I’ll try to post on some of these activities soon.