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Thread: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

  1. #1

    J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    What could go wrong with a foam cub?
    I loved this plane right out of the box; lots of spare parts available, what could go wrong, right? Building it, it got heavy pretty quickly. The elevator pushrod flexed so badly, it gave almost no up and only half down. I cut a piece of very small i.d. CF rod to surround the pushrod middle section to stiffen it. Then discovered the elevator servo drifting loose in it's mounts. Rudder servo not far behind it. Hot Glue on the tabs solved those. No weight needed to make the CofG. It is beautiful when done. Charged it up and went to the field.

    It taxies like a wicked witch. You will get good at every anti-ground-loop trick you have ever known. Soft throttle advance will get you in trouble. This will be one of those point it and jam-the-gas planes. I have a LOT of taildraggers, grew up knowing what that left stick is for.

    It is horribly overpowered. Which turns out to be a good thang. The wing loading will not allow slow (Cub-like) flight. I know this sounds harsh, but I am used to Cubs, and this isn't one of those.

    That said, it looks great, lots of scale detail (pilot is in the wrong seat for solo flight), looks good in the air, but it has a nasty bite, make sure you have some altitude before testing slow flight / stalls. It departs rather hastily, and violently.

    Mine hangs over my desk at work.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Krebs, Michael

  2. #2

    Re: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    400 Class J3 ARF
    Looked forward to the J3. It has very realistic scale appearance. I own a 1945 J3. I was disappointed with the plane when received. The prop on the fuselage had been used and the small spinner had plier marks on it. The spare prop was not the right one and would not fit on the shaft. On the first flight the landing gear shock struts broke. I eventually cut them off completely. After approximately one hour of flight time, the motor quit. After examination, found poor quality insulation allowing motor wires to short. The airplane does not fly like a cub. It has a very fast roll rate and bad stall characteristics. The elevator push rod would flex badly and limited the elevator travel so much that flaring for a landing was difficult. The aileron servo connectors are very difficult to reach. The pilot is in the wrong seat for a J3. Most J3s are flown solo from the rear seat. After the sixth or seventh flight the elevator servo failed and caused a non-recoverable crash. Destroyed the plane. Despite these shortcomings, I like the plane. It is not for beginners. I don't think however; I would invest in another. Hobby-Lobby has yet to contact me about the crash and offer any solution. They have provided good support in the past.
    I give this product 3 stars. Review by Carson, Hilton

  3. #3

    Re: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    J3 Cub
    I was very pleased with this plane when it came. Everything went together nicely except one of the horizontal stabilizer strut braces was pointing the wrong way. I couldn't use the supplied carbon fiber strut since it wouldn't bend. I bought a piece of piano wire and bent the tip and aligned it correctly that way. It definitely has a mind of it's own when you try a takeoff. A slow graceful takeoff is not going to happen. Point it down the runway and give it full power. The landing gear looks pretty but you will need to grease it on to avoid breakage. I see that replacement gear is around 9.00. I will buy a set to use for display and fly with just the wire and wheels. I was worried that the elevator did not have enough throw but in the air it worked fine. No problem with loops or rolls. Inverted gave me a hard time, Landings were smooth if you had it trimmed out right but it would ground loop towards the end. It looks beautiful making a low slow pass. Very realistic.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Bua, Rick

  4. #4

    Re: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    Looks great, especially after I placed the pilot in the back seat (only way to solo a J-3). The landing gear is very fragile. I picked up two replacements (to save on shipping).Reinforce with .010 styrene and land carefully. It will grease on with practice. It won't track well on take off. Has a mind of its own - and I'm a taildragger pilot - on take off, so swollow your pride and get it off the ground fast. It flies nice but fast. I only need half throttle most of the time. It rolls easily, will do inverted - but hey, it's supposed to be a Cub, so practice low approaches and go arounds. I have no problem landing on grass but on paved 'runways' it's a bit squirley. I still like it, but honestly I have a Flyzone Super Cub (20 bhucks less) with 8 inches more wing span that flies better.
    All that said, if you want a J-3 and can put up with some of its shortcommings, this isn't all that bad.
    I give this product 3 stars. Review by Ryan, Terrence

  5. #5

    Re: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    400 class J3 Cub
    I looked at several cubs before buying this one and the reason for choosing this plane was the epo foam. I liked the great scale looks of the plane and was a perfect size for a park flyer. I bought the plane in the store so I didn't have to worry about shipping damage. I took the plane out of the box and no damage anywhere and was packaged nicely. I felt the instructions were clear but really didn't need any as the plane is very simple to put together in about 20 min time. I charged the battery while putting the plane together and once It was done I was ready to start doing my final ground adjustments. Everything worked as it should except for the elevator. I had plenty of down elevator but NO up elevator because the push rod would flex and not move the elevator at all. I removed the clevis and moved the elevator up and down in hopes of loosening it up. Still same results. I then straightened 3 paper clips out and put through the fuselage so that the push rod would ride against them and keep it from flexing. After this the elevator would move properly. I had to add some foam between the servos to keep them from flexing as well. I have not gotten to fly the plane yet due to the weather but hopefully it will calm down soon enough for a maiden flight. I don't like to fly on windy days because I don't need any help crashing, I do that well enough on my own. When I maiden the plane I will write more on my review. But just as for building it and looks it would be a 5, just don't feel like I should have to modify anything for any controls to work properly.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by knight, kevin

  6. #6

    Re: J-3 Cub Almost Ready to Fly Reviews

    Mixed feelings... Needs work to be a good plane!
    Having flown it a few times now, I've got mixed feelings about it. Out of the box, it flies ok, but needs a few changes to really make a nice plane. Namely, the landing gear. It looks great, and works very well, but it's fragile! A less than perfect landing left me hunting through the grass for all the plastic bits so I could put it back together... It's kinda fast for a Cub, and flies like it's heavy. Wing loading is around 15 ounces/sq. ft. which isn't too bad, but could surely stand to be a lot less on a small Cub like this. The stock props are very fragile, very brittle. Grab some GWS 7x6 SF props. The SF props might be a little flimsy, they start making a loud noise like they're deforming and/or fluttering under full power on the ground. As soon as the plane starts moving it goes away, and you don't need full power anyway. The motors has plenty of power for this plane! I was doing some loops, stall turns, and cuban 8s with it, and pulling out of the bottom of a stall turn, I saw the wing fold up! I quickly backed off the power and gently coaxed it around an landed it. The wing struts had pulled loose on one side, but thankfully the wing held up long enough to get it down in one piece. Looking at it later, it was obvious that there was very little glue on them in the first place! I roughed up the plastic and glued them back in with CA. It has held fine since then. I should check the other side too, and reglue them. The CG needs to be around 25% of the chord, which is a little forward of what the manual suggests. With it around 30-33% it flies bad, erratic and unstable especially in pitch. With the CG forward it flies much better. It doesn't like wind very much either. Save it for the dead calm evenings and fly it like scale Cub, and it's a really fun little plane! Be easy on the landings and grease them in, and the landing gear will hold up ok. I plan to add some wood doublers to the back of the flat "panels" on mine, and beef it up a little. I removed the pilot from mine also. The pilot weighs almost an ounce! The pilot should be in the rear seat on a Cub, and it's already a bit tail heavy with him under the CG in the front. Moving him to the back would only make it worse! I ended up removing him, and adding about a half an ounce of weight under the cowling to get the CG up a bit. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner, and if I had it to do again I'd go for something larger/stronger/lighter. I got it on sale as a "Crash Sale" item and paid a fair price, but I wouldn't buy it for the normal price...

    On another note, Hobby Lobby's support is great! I got two right halves of the elevator, and they were quick to ship out a replacement even though I didn't ask for it. I sent an email to let them know since I'd seen someone else mention it in a review, so I suggested they check their remaining stock. They were kind enough to send the replacement even though it was a simple fix to flip the plastic parts over and reglue those, and make a simple joiner for the elevator halves. I did put the replacement on before flying it though, so it's nice and "factory" and not hacked together. :)
    I give this product 3 stars. Review by Luneau, Keith

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