Super Cub Aileron Upgrade (part 1)
I finally took the plunge and started to upgrade my HobbyZone Super Cub R/C airplane with ailerons. This will let me do lots of new aerobatics, including rolls, the split-S, Immelmans, Cuban 8’s, and others. I’ve photodocumented the process for your enjoyment.
I started by taping a yard stick to the wing as a cutting guide. This proved very useful.
I placed the inward side of the yard stick against the plastic reinforcer in the center of the wing. I cut my aileron from the 5″ mark, out to the 17″ mark. This makes for a foot-long aileron, which should be more than enough. I wonder now if I shouldn’t have cut the aileron all the way to the wing tip. I’ll report on that later.
The next step was to perform the cut, taking care to keep the blade straight along the edge of the yard stick, and also perpindicular to the wing surface. I cut the wing with it upside down, so I could work with the flat surface. Here’s the cut out:
Next I did the same thing to the other side of the wing. I labeled the two ailerons with an “L” and an “R” so I wouldn’t get them mixed up (I’ve been known to do that kind of thing).
Then I set each aileron on the desk and free-hand cut away the inside edge to give it room to pivot. I cut it at abou 45 degrees. It’s not a perfect cut, but it’s good enough.
Then I used some “park flyer hinge tape” sold at my local hobby shop (Some Dude’s Hobbies are very helpful). It’s branded “3M Blenderm” and it is very easy to work with. I set the aileron to the neutral position and laid down the tape. It’s very flexible, but very strong. Then I took a hair dryer and high heat, low fan, and slowly passed the heat over the tape for about 20 seconds. I then flipped the aileron upward to apply tape to the underside too. To do this, I pushed the aileron all the way up, leaving a nice flat surface for me to apply the tape to. Now that the tape is on, you can barely see it at all. Very nice:
Once the tape was in place, I used my fingers to give a gentle squeeze along the hinge line. This compressed the foam a bit, and gives the hinge a little more mobility.
Here’s what it looked like as I applied the bottom hinge tape:
And from the side:
Here’s a bird’s eye view so you can see how long the ailerons are, for your own measurements:
For reference, my ailerons are 12″ long, and about 1″ deep. Closer to the fuselage, they approach 1.25″ deep, and closer to the wing tips they approach 1″ deep.
The last step was to attach the control horn for the servo’s push rod to connect to. This is a DU-BRO brand push road (which I also purchased at Some Dude’s Hobbies, where the staff is very helpful). It just had two ribbed plastic pins to attach to the foam. I “piloted” holes for them with a push pin (pun intended), and then coated them in my favorite epoxy (DevCon 5-Minute Epoxy), and shoved them in the holes. They aren’t perfectly straight, but I think they’ll work okay.
You can see in this picture that the 45 degree edge I cut on the underside of the aileron is a bit rough. It’s not really that bad in actuality. The light just reflected in a strange way. I am tempted to round that surface a bit, maybe with some fine sand paper.
That’s all I’ve done so far. Be sure to tune in for Part 2, where I’ll mount two servos in the wing, connect the push rods, and run the wiring
By the way, with my new Spektrum DX6 radio, I can program the ailerons to act as flaps too for super slow speed landings. That’s gonna be cool. See you next time!
Lastly, I’m curious from others if they think this setup will work well. Do you think my ailerons are too long, too shallow? What are your thoughts generally?
Read part 2 for the servo installation and a ground video demonstrating flaps and ailerons.