Super Cub Aileron Upgrade (part 3)

This article is the continuation from Part 2 of the Super Cub aileron upgrade tutorial.

To finish the aileron upgrade on my Super Cub, all I had to do was cut a slit in each wing for the servo wires, and get it to the flying field. Here’s a video of the cub doing a couple rolls:

The Super Cub flies much better with ailerons. I am very pleased with the final outcome!

Here’s another video. This time I put the cub into a flat spin and barely recovered at the bottom using lots of rudder input:

40 comments to “Super Cub Aileron Upgrade (part 3)”

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  1. http://Kevin says: -#1

    Glad you like it Dave…….I wish Horizon would offer it like this for a few added dollars. It is like any other trainer w/ailerons. It flies just like my trainer 40 from Tower Hobbies. Great job!

  2. http://Steve says: -#1

    Do you still get dead spots in the north west corner with the spectrum?

  3. I haven’t had any interference, not a single glitch, since I got the Spektrum.

  4. http://David%20in%20NH says: -#1

    I see you used the Electrifly C-7 speed control . Is that a 7amp control?
    I plan to do the same DX6 and aileron mod. I ordered a Sun 1000 Brushed ESC 6-12 Cell 18A 5V/2A BEC . Will that be sufficient to run the motor and 4 servos?

  5. Yes, the Electrifly C-7 nano is a 7 amp speed control and combined BEC in one. I don’t know what the amperage requirements would be for a separate BEC. Personally, I would only buy an ESC that comes with integrated BEC. 18A will be more than enough for the stock motor.

    I plan to upgrade to a 30amp brushless ESC and brushless motor eventually, but for now 7amp is plenty for the stock motor.

    –Dave

  6. http://Stan%20OKC says: -#1

    The more I read about the Spektrum radios… and talking to guys I’ve been meeting at a couple of the RC fields around here… and reading how happy you are with it… I broke down and bought the Spektrum DX7 today. Figured I’d go with the bigger servo package for my old Falcon 56 and then get the micro servos and rec for updating the SC and other foamies in the future. Now… to get into the learning curve on how to set things up. This is a BIG jump from my old Kraft Sport Series radios…!!!

    Update on the OKC Super Cub. We have had ONE evening with the wind under 5 mph in the last 2 1/2 months around here. Went out to a little cleared spot I have on my 4 acres and attempted 4 ground takeoffs. I knew I couldn’t actually get airborne because there is not enough room to clear the 80 ft trees surrounding my “clear” area… but I, at least, was going to see it fly if even for a short takeoff. Two attempts were ugly… and 2 were great. Had just enough room to get it up about 8/10 ft, cut the throttle, and then deadstick it in for the landings.

    Absolutely no damage even after one wing clipped a small tree trunk (one of my ugly attempts). As I walked over to pick it up… I thought surely it would be time to break out the 5 min Epoxy. Couldn’t believe the foam was un-marked..!! Not even a depression in the leading edge of the wing where the strike took place. I’m a firm believer in Z foam as of now. Of course I had the motor off and was just gliding in when it happened.

    I had followed all the tips I found here and on the WattsFlyer blog and had all wing edges wrapped in clear packing tape… had boosted the wheels up to DuBro 2 1/4″ ultra lites… etc. I don’t think I could have done the rolling takeoffs had I used the stock wheels even on the short grass I had in my clear area. That was what had caused my 2 “ugly” takeoff attempts. Even with the larger wheels… it was bouncing on the less than perfect grass covering and would start turning it left or right before takeoff… and then I was committed to whatever direction it was pointed when it actually left the ground. Also… I was slow feeding the throttle when I should have maxed it out… some up elevator… and the last 2 attempts worked just fine.

    I can tell I’m going to love this little Cub…!!!

  7. http://Stan%20OKC says: -#1

    Dave…
    Here’s a interesting little mod change for Spektrum owners. Say it will double the Tx battery time at the field. Should be the the same for both the DX6 and the DX7.

    http://www.dimensionengineering.com/appnotes/spektrum_mod/spektrum_mod.htm

  8. Stan: Awesome! I’m glad you like the DX7. Does that radio feel like overkill on your 3-channel Cub? :)

    I have seen that mod from dimension engineering. I haven’t had the guts to crack open my DX6 to make the enhancement yet, primarily because it’s rechargeable anyway, and after spending $200 on it, I just don’t want to ruin it. :)

  9. http://Stan%20OKC says: -#1

    Dave…
    Absolutely my thinking as well..!! Will not be doing any mod updates until the warrantly has run it’s course. After that… it’s going in. For 16.00 bucks AND double your Tx time… you can’t beat that mod.

    Have no idea if it’s overkill or not..?? It’s only been setup on my coffee table so I could move the servos around as I TRIED to figure out all the bells and whistles. I would assume it’s overkill since the DX7 (and I assume the DX6 as well?) has all that Heli stuff on it.

    One thing I am NOT crazy about is the charge time. The book says 16 hours… and a Feb. 2007 update note at the Spektrum site says;

    “The Spektrum team realizes that the charger included in the DX7 is not optimal for charging the Tx battery in a convenient, overnight fashion. Although the current charger works adequately with additional charge time, future production will include the higher rate charger as referenced in the instruction manual. If you intend to use the 50mah charger, please increase the charge time to 30hrs for the Tx and 22hrs for the Rx.”

    That’s a direct copy & paste quote from Spektrum. That pretty much ends those last minute/low wind afternoons, pickup and go to the field on the spur of the moment trips. Unless you have it topped off and standing by. I’ve had the Tx on charge (off and on) since 3:45 PM Monday and it still has not “peaked”. That’s with the supplied 50 mAh wall charger of course.
    But then I have had to play with it during some of that time.

    What did you get with the DX6 for the Rx battery pack…?? I assume it’s the same 4 cell 4.8 V 1100 mAh pack that was in the DX7 package. From the stats on your servos… I thought they topped out at around 5 something volts. But I know you used the incorporated BEC on the ElectriFly ESC7… so I guessed that allowed the 8.4 SC battery to move right into service. Best guessing on that one..??

    That’s the tenitive plan right now… is to follow your Rx change over eventually… but right now everything in the SC is brand new. I plan to wear it out first and then gut it out. Started hunting down the AR6000 Rx and those S75 servos you got with your DX6. From what I have researched… the DX6 only “talks” to the AR6000 and the DX7 will talk to both the AR6000 and the AR7000, plus the AR6100 and a AR9000. Have NO idea what the last two are for…?? Apparently Spektrum is coming out with a DX9 shortly… and the AR6100 is a parkflyer Rx pack that’s even smaller than the AR6000. I THINK…???

  10. I don’t know what battery pack came with my DX6, but I have not been impressed with its runtime. It seems like I have to charge it after 4 flights, which is about 40 minutes of use. But I also use it with the FMS flight simulator on my computer, so that eats up the battery too.

    About my ESC and battery: Yes the original Super Cub battery pack works with it, but I’ve been flying the Elite 1500mah pack and it heats up the ESC really bad. I’m worried that the Electrifly ESC isn’t beefy enough to handle a better battery pack.

    By the way, the Elite 1500mah pack from cheapbatterypacks.com is excellent! I can fly much better with the little bit of added oomph it gives. My brushless motor and ESC are on the way this week, though, so hopefully the wimpy ESC won’t cause problems anymore. :)

  11. I think the the stock motor with a 10×8 prop (1080 in GWS speak) draws about 10-12 amps when flying the Elite 1500mah 8-cell pack.

  12. Big mistake! I found out today that with the 1500mah 8-cell pack, it WILL destroy the 7-amp Electrifly ESC. Yesterday, I let a friend fly the Cub around a bit, and right at the apex of a big beautiful turn, it let out a 20 foot smoke trail. I thought it looked really cool, like a gas plane, until I realized a half second later what that meant: fried electronics!

    A fried ESC means no power to the receiver, which means no control at all. Fortunately, all the control surfaces were in a fairly neutral position, and it glided in for a nice soft landing. At least it would have been soft if a looming set of metal bleachers hadn’t gotten in the way.

    Long story short: The wing broke into three pieces. The battery box door broke, and the ESC is nothing but a molten piece of charred plastic.

    Last night I fixed the wing, and flattened it out at the same time. Today I plan to build my plywood firewall to mount my new brushless motor. And this time, I got a 30-amp ESC (both Tower Pro brand).

    All in all, it was a pretty amazing site!

  13. http://Adam says: -#1

    Nice Dave – this is truly a great plane…

    I run a brushless motor in mine (3350KV bolted into stock gearbox) – way too over powered but it pulls vertical climbs and can fly when nothing else is in the sky ;)

    Am running at the moment on full sensitivity re control surfaces – I fly using a TX flying tray so I can put in VERY precise movements re thumb/finger pinching the controls.

    When you did the modification, did you have to lessen the wing dihedral to lower the self correction tendency ?

  14. I did not reduce the dihedral at first. It flew great but always wanted to snap back to center after each turn. I didn’t like this. I wanted to do knife-edges and things like that. So a few days later, I took off the wing, set it upside down on the floor, and left a heavy book on it over night. This has reduced the dihedral about 50%, and it flies much better. When I enter a turn, I have to provide more up elevator to make it complete the turn than before. Works great.

    I bough a Tower Pro 2908-10 brushless motor and had my first flight yesterday. It’s fantastic! Will give a complete flight report with video later. But in the mean time here’s a teaser:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=PGQ89W1rciA

  15. http://Adam says: -#1

    Nice :)

    What amp draw can that motor handle ? Mine is rated at 12 amps – but peaks at 35amps ffs !

    Changing the prop to 10×6 tomorrow – and only push the throttle for a few seconds of ridiculous speed.

  16. It’s rated at 20A, but according to this page:

    http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=W466625

    It can draw up to 22.6A. I have a 30A ESC, so ought to be okay. After my first aggressive flight, neither the ESC nor motor were warm at all. The batteries were a bit warm, but nothing excessive (using an 8-cell NiMH Elite 1500mah pack).

  17. http://hermit says: -#1

    hi, i strap a 9 cell 1500 Mah pack under the belly on my cub, looks like a “bomb” payload. cub flys its self, but with this extra battery weight i have to fly it,LOL. more fun that way,lol. dont have no problems so far.

  18. http://hermit says: -#1

    hi, UPDATE , i cut out battery tray so up to a 9 cell can fit in there, but use 3S lipos most time with new Tower Pro 2409-18T outrunner i put on it, sucker screams now, was a nice CHEAP upgrade. gonna do ailerrons next, you did good clean job on yours , NICE.

    hermit

  19. http://JustFly says: -#1

    nice site your brilliant!! I plan on doing the ailerrons upgrade next. One thing I tried when others told me not too was use the ParkZone PKZ1006 Propeller 3D its a no mod upgrade. This prop is huge and will give you almost an instant take off. I have flown my cub 30-40 times in 10-15 mph winds and if you dive and climb you can go anywhere =P. You have to also bend the landing gear so it sits a bit higher. Please note you will have to cut the engine before landing if you want to not crack the prop i havent broke one on a landing yet. I am researching to find another landing gear that is longer that will be easy to replace about the battery life its is about 30-45 seconds less flight time but it tears through the sky with the stock engine. I will attach a video of the beast in some high winds. I want to upgrade the engine and the batteries whats the best bang for the buck? Any electrical folks know about chaining the 7 cells stock together in series or something to make basically a 14 cell and easier to recharge… I think this could be done but me not smart like that has anyone tried this?

  20. I have a new HobbyZone Cub fuselage and wings, (I bought as a spare set for my current Cub), and was considering doing a complete build of a new plane with your aileron modification.
    The new components have been ordered (Multiplex BL-480 Brushless motor, 30amp ESC, and will use the Walkera brand 3 cell 11.1v 1200mAh LiPoly batteries, and Hitec micro servos), plus of course a new tail and elevator parts and landing gear, operated via my new Spectrum DX7 radio system and new receiver (Already had one for my helicopters!!).
    I thank you for a comprehensive instructional newsletter, I can not wait for my parts to arrive, in the meantime, I will be starting on the aileron conversion, and then put her together and see what happens???
    Cheers:)

  21. http://Tom says: -#1

    I have done your aileron mod on my SC and was just wondering whether it flys differently when using ailerons instead of rudder. I have only flown with the SC with the rudder and i don’t know how to fly with ailerons. Have you any suggestions as to what to do when turing e.g. add elevator or not. The SC is the only plane i have and i don’t how different aileron flying is to using the rudder and i am not inclined to go flying with my new ailerons to find out i when i get in the air that i don;t know what to doit and crash it and possibly break my new wing that i spend hours making. Thanks Tom

  22. The plane will fly much smoother, and won’t loose lots of speed every time you turn like the rudder does.

    Here’s what you’ll have to change: With rudder it was impossible to actually roll upside down. With ailerons, you can! So you’ll have to be careful not to do that on accident and get upside down and confused.

    You can still use the rudder on the left stick if you like, by the way.

  23. Thanks thats a great help

  24. http://Eric says: -#1

    Dave,

    I’m going to add ailerons to a Super Cub. If you had to do I again are there any changes to your mod that you think I should make?

    I just bought a DX7 and have the extra servos… Looks like a great mod. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  25. If I had it to do all over again, I would do everything the same but I would cut the ailerons about 50% deeper into the wing for more “bite”. You may also want to flatten the wing to remove the dihedral by stacking a bunch of books on it over night and then running packing tape along the bottom (from left wing tip to right wing tip) to make sure it stays flat. The tape will reinforce the wing quite a bit too.

    Good luck!

    –Dave

  26. http://Stephen says: -#1

    Hi Dave, just wondering, I am about to do the alieron mod to my cub, and why lose the dihedral? also, would a 25A ESC sufice for an 8 cell 1500 mAh pack? (everything else stock except for my radio system and servos).

    Thanks

  27. With dihedral, the plane wants to naturally return to neutral when you give it aileron input in either direction (left or right). This has 2 adverse effects:

    1. You have to continually hold the aileron stick slightly to the left/right during the turn.

    2. It adds drag because the outside wing tip is presenting a bigger surface to the wind.

    The plane will fly smoother and more like an airliner with the dihedral gone (the “real” cub has no dihedral). The dihedral is only there so the rudder-only control will work.

    –Dave

  28. http://Stephen says: -#1

    Awesome, I’ll do that, and what about the 25A ESC?

  29. Oh yes, 25A will be much more than adequate.

  30. thanks for putting the upgrade on you tube, I am going to try it before I buy something new.

  31. http://Steve says: -#1

    A friend and I just bought a couple Cubs at the Hobby Expo in Chicago this past weekend. I haven’t flown mine yet but we will at lunch today! Seems like the best trainer from what we hear so far and the mod to the ailerons will extend the fun (need for another plane) for a year of so :)

    Thanks for the info on the upgrade. I’ll be doing this after a battery upgrade to extend flying time!

  32. I really enjoyed reading about all of your exploits. I am over 60 years of age and when I was a kid all we had was balsa/line/glo flying and ended up with nicked & blistered fingers, dizziness and expensive toothpicks. I would like to try some rc stuff, would you guys give me a list of sources for components and kits. I am on a fixed income and not in a position to spend a lot. One piece of advice that I have gleaned from several sources is to by a big enough tx to handle whatever I want to go to. Is this stuff durable if taken care of, or does it nickel/dime you to death? I do not know how to fly, so that is the first hurdle I need to get over before I buy anything. Where do I start? Give me your advice on how to get up and running in this hobby without spending a fortune. I’ll check back,Thanks! Great blog!

  33. http://Fernando says: -#1

    Hi!

    I am new to RC planes and I just flew my super cub for first time. I am hooked!. It is actually so easy to fly (too easy for my taste). I am already thinking about how to upgrade its behavior with longer/more powerful batteries, etc.. Unortunately, I am new to this so I have NO CLUE what batteries are compatible with which engines, nor how to upgrade other parts like ailerons, etc..
    Could you enlighten a bit into this world of RC flying? :). Let’s start by this question: What batteries can I use in my super cub to make it climb higher and make more tricks for longer time? (I heard of 8 cell batteries, but can’t 9-10 cell batteried be used as far as I cut a bit the battery room of the plane?

    Thanks in advance! I would appreciate if you can reply me to my email to make sure I do not miss any answer

  34. http://Cubbin says: -#1

    The best bet for you would be to go with a Lipo battery. The NiMH’s tend to get heavy. Lipo’s offer so much more power with less weight. Remember, every ounce makes a difference!

    Look at the new super cub.
    That battery is a great one :)

  35. http://Paul%20B says: -#1

    I’m considering the Super Cub,but i’m not to comfortable with it’s 27MHZ radio.
    How about a radio change to a regular 72MHZ aircraft radio?
    Anyone done this?
    Any recommendations?
    Thanks

  36. Paul: Totally possible. Have you already got a 72MHz radio? If not, I would suggest a 2.4GHz radio (I use Spektrum).

    But in either case (72MHz or 2.4GHz), you’ll need to get a brushed speed controller, receiver, and new servos. Parkzone’s servos don’t work with standard receivers (since they are 5-wire and not 3-wire).

    –Dave

  37. Hi there

    Great stuff, I have been flying a Supercub almost every night for the last 2 weeks and am now looking at spicing her up with a Lipo battery (11.1v 3S.. have some from a heli that I bought).

    I understand that you need to remove the link on the ESC box thingy for the voltage cutoff to be increased (just behind where the Anti Crash Sensor goes). I was thinking about a micro switch so I could select NiMh or Lipo.

    Make sense?

    Many thanks

    Stu

  38. If I want to stay 3 ch using a PZ spitfire/ p51 ESC with the aileron modification should i kill the elevator or the rudder and why?

  39. Proark: Kill the rudder. If you kill the elevator, you’ll have no way to control pitch, which means you won’t be able to climb or land.

  40. http://Mike says: -#1

    [IMG]http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb467/lmramos44/A5.jpg[/IMG]

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