Hobbyzone/horizon Hobby Carbon Cub S+ 1.3m
Earn your wings with this readyto-fly “Jeep with wings”
Earn your wings with this ready-to-fly “Jeep with wings”
The Cubcrafters Carbon Cub SS retains the classic lines of the Piper Super Cub, but that is where the similarity ends. The Carbon Cub weighs in at almost one-third of the original weight (250 pounds) and uses half the parts of a similarly equipped Super Cub. Its light weight combined with a 180hp Titan engine make it a go-anywhere favorite of light-sport-aircraft pilots. I liken these flap-equipped, short-takeoffand-landing Cubs as “Jeeps with wings.” I happen to love both Cubs and Jeeps, so I was anxious to check out the newest offering from Hobbyzone.
At first glance, the Carbon Cub S+ might appear to be nothing more than a new paint job on the Sport Cub that was released a few years ago. Looks can be deceiving, as the Carbon Cub comes with an AS3X receiver, which incorporates both SAFE technology and GPS for a new level of confidence and security while learning to fly. The new yellow-and-silver paint job with black trim is pretty sharp, too.
I received the ready-to-fly (RTF) Carbon Cub S+ for review, but it’s also available as a Bindn-fly (BNF) Basic. The RTF comes with nearly everything you need in one box. The BNF Basic requires a DSMX transmitter, Lipo flight battery, and charger.
The Carbon Cub S+ is intended for beginner builders and pilots, and only minimal final assembly is required. That said, the Carbon Cub in Expert mode is more than enough fun to put a smile on even the most seasoned pilot’s face!
Everything you need for flight is included with the RTF version, with the exception of a Phillips screwdriver. You get a Spektrum DXE transmitter, flight battery, and a 12V car charger, along with a 110V power supply for the charger and four AA batteries for the transmitter.
The Cub uses the standard flight controls (aileron, rudder, elevator, throttle) and two auxiliary channels to control the flight mode of the receiver and to activate the GPS functions. You have the option to install flaps, and the parts required are included except for the optional flap servo. All functions of the DXE are spoken for, so adding flaps would require at least a 7-channel transmitter.
The Carbon Cub is equipped with fixed landing gear. It comes with tundra-style tires and wire landing gear with snap-on fairings. Also included in the kit are the struts, screws, and straps required to convert the Carbon Cub to floats; you only need to purchase the Hobbyzone float set (HBZ7390) and you are off to the pond.
The servos, receiver, GPS module, motor, prop, and speed control are all installed at the factory. A hardware bag has a couple of smaller bags that are sorted and marked according to the assembly step. Once nice touch is that every screw and wheel collar that you need includes a spare.
The SAFE+ receiver has three modes that give you progressively more control with the flick of a switch. Beginner mode will let you auto-level when the sticks are released and allows only mild control authority. Intermediate mode allows increased control and self-leveling when below 50 feet. Neither Beginner or Intermediate mode will perform aerobatics or let you fly inverted. Experienced mode still gives you the stability of flying with AS3X but with full aerobatic control and no pitch or roll limitations. For panic recovery, just flip the flight mode switch to Beginner and let go of the sticks.
The neatest new feature, though, of the Carbon Cub is undoubtedly the GPS capability. The Cub doesn’t fly waypoints like a drone, but it will remember where it took off and, at the push of a button, will return and orbit that spot at a 50-foot altitude. You can set parameters using
the transmitter sticks, which set a maximum distance from the takeoff point, and if the Cub reaches that distance, it will turn around and come back; you can even activate an auto-land function.
IN THE AIR
The Carbon Cub S+ handled well on our paved runway, and the bush wheels make operations on short grass a snap. Beginner pilots will appreciate the ability to progressively learn to control the Cub with the security of autoleveling or, at the flip of a switch, return to the takeoff spot. Several experienced pilots took the Cub for a spin in Expert mode and agreed that it is both docile yet very aerobatic, holding knifeedge or inverted the length of the runway.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: This airframe flies well with a regular receiver, and with the stabilized receiver, it’s pretty much rock-solid. When it flew past me in the wind, I could hear the servos working to keep the Cub level. Tracking: Even in Expert mode with the AS3X working, the Carbon Cub goes right where you point it. Aerobatics: The Carbon Cub won’t even roll inverted in Beginner or Intermediate mode, but flip the switch to Expert, and it’s a blast to fly. Inverted, knife-edge, loops, rolls, spins—it does anything you’d expect from a Cub. Glide and stall performance: The Carbon Cub is difficult to stall, and when it does, it happens at nearly zero airspeed. Recovery requires adding power and flying away. The only thing hurting glide performance is the big tundra tires, but even with them, you have plenty of time if you happen to lose power.
There are very few parts to assemble, and Hobbyzone provides the struts for fixed gear as well as the proper struts for the optional float kit.
The provided vortex generators are attached with double-sided tape to the top of the wing. These are used on both full-scale and model airfoils to prevent separation of the airflow over the wing to make the airfoil efficient at low speeds.
The battery compartment is large enough to accommodate a variety of battery capacities, and there’s room to move the battery. An extension to the bind port is also provided, so you don’t have to remove the wings if you need to rebind the receiver.