RCU Review: World Models Clipped Wing Cub

RCU Review: World Models Clipped Wing Cub



RCU Review:


World Models Clipped Wing Cub - 1/4


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Contributed by: Mike East | Published: August 2007 | Views: 47451 | Email this Article | PDF

Review by: Mike East

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Originally, when you spoke of the clipped Cub, you were talking about one specific type of animal. However, after more than 50 years after the first Reed Conversion, you have to be very careful what type of machine you are talking about, because the clipped wing conversion was just the beginning in a whole new saga of the

J-3 Cub.

The World Models

Distributed through Airborne


2403 Research Drive.

Livermore, Ca 94550

Phone: (925) 371-0900 www.airborne-models.com/

Window Media Player

1/4 Scale Clipped Wing


Sturdy Construction

Easy to assemble


Complete Hardware set



Some covering loosening at the edges after 5 flights


Clipped Wing Cub

The original Reed conversion did nothing more than shorten the wings 40 1/2 inches on each side. No, this wasn't done by whacking away at the tips, as many folks believe. Rather, the inboard forty were sawed off, the attach fitting holes redrilled and the wings thrown back on.

The supposed purpose of the Reed conversion was to take a little of the Cub out of the Cub. It cut down the float on landing, made it less of a cork in rough air, made it stronger because the bending moments were less and speeded up the roll rate because the wings were shorter. It is highly doubtful if any Reed conversions were done to help the airplane's stability. It was the last two points, the increased strength and roll rate that caught everybody's eye.

Here was a way a couple of guys could spend a weekend with a saber saw and welding torch and produce their very own 65 hp acrobatic machine.

In the R/C world, the Cub has become one of, if not the, most popular R/C airplanes ever made.

Carrying on with the spirit, Airborne-Models carries a broad selection of cubs from the 40 size up to a big ol' 1/3 scale model.

They also carry both standard and Clipped wing Cubs in all varieties.

For this review I have chosen the 1/4 Scale Clipped wing Cub in the original "Cub" Yellow. I also intend to install a a 1.60 Glow engine, the largest recommended so that we can see not only how scale this plane can fly, but hopefully also show off some of its aerobatic capabilities! Lets GO!

Name: 1/4 Scale Clipped Wing Cub

Price: $349.99

Wingspan: 88 inches

Wing Area: 1330 sq inches

Length: 65 inches

Flying Weight (advertised): 14.0-16.0 lb

Flying Weight: (actual)14.5 lb

Engine:.91 2C, 1.2 - 1.6 4S

Engine Used:YS 1.60DZ

Battery Used: NoBS NiMH batteries

1-2000mah 6V

Radio Used: Futaba 9ZAP

Servos Used: Standard Coreless Servo's

Channels Used: 5 total - Elevator, (2)Aileron, Rudder, Throttle

Props Used:Zinger 18x6-10

Items Needed To Complete

6 Channel Radio w/ 5 servos

Sullivan Flying Wires

Sullivan Gold-N-Rod

ZAP CA Adhesive

Pacer 5 and 30-min Epoxy

Various Standard Shop Tools

So let's get started! Here it is, as you can see this plane as with all World Models planes I have had comes to you in a nice heavy duty double box. The package arrived in great shape and there was no damage to the precious cargo inside.

When I opened the box I found one of the nicest looking ARF's I have seen from this manufacturer. The covering appears to be flawless. Not a single wrinkle or loose corner anywhere in the plane.

All of the aircraft components appear to be quality built and reasonably lightweight. It looks like perfect construction for a plane of this sort.

As you can see the accessory kit is very complete. The plane comes with beautiful scale looking landing gear, flying wires and all the hardware you need to complete the radio and servo installation. One of my favorite things is the clear cowl. It is included so that you can mark and cut a template and then make perfect, flawless cutouts on the actual cowl before the final install. I am really getting excited about this plane.. Let's get going!



The manual for the Cub although adequate for the more experienced builder is rather vague and uses a lot of symbolism and few words. If you read the key code at the beginning of the manual you should not have any problem making your way through the assembly process. Just take your time and think your way through the assembly and you will be just fine.

Enough observation, lets get this thing put together so we can go fly!

Click on the pic above to go to the manual.


As you can see, the landing gear on this airplane are what really makes it. They have provided a beautiful set of gear that provides a very scale look to this cub.

The actual installation process is very simple. The first step after the wing strut supports are installed is to attach the gear to the fuselage. First, locate the 2 slots in the bottom of the fuse and remove the covering. Lay the landing gear in place and secure to the fuselage with the 6 brass straps that are provided. I used ZAP Thin CA to harden these and all of the screw holes in the balsa during the installation.

Once you have the gear secured in place, locate the wheels, wheel collars and wheel covers. First install the inner wheel shaft collar. I ground a flat that is less1/64" deep on the inner wheel collar just to give a slight indention for the locking collar to sit. However, you could skip the flat spot on the inner collar just be sure that you do not weaken the landing gear since this is very close to the bend in the gear. If you do choose to grind a flat, it should just barely scratch the surface to ensure the integrity if the landing gear. For the outer wheel collar grind a 1/16" deep flat on the wheel shaft for the wheel collar to secure, this one must be deep enough so that the wheel collar does not loosen up and fall off in flight. I installed the wheel collars and used a little Pacer PT42

Thread Locker to secure the wheel collars in place so that they never come off in flight. Once the wheel collars are in place, install the Cub wheel covers and you are ready to move on to the next step.

The last step in the landing gear installation is to install the landing gear cover plates onto the gear struts. There are brass retaining clips provided for this process. Just slip them onto the struts as shown in the middle pic below and figure exactly where you want them.

After a little tinkering I figured out exactly where I wanted the clips installed. They wanted to slide around a little so I used the tiniest bit of Zap Thin CA to tack them in place. Once I had them in place all that was left to do was lay the cover in the correct location and drill the holes. With this process I was able to use the clips as a guide to drill the holes and ended up with a perfect install.

Finally, bolt the covers in place using the provided hardware. Run the bolt through the covers from the outside so that you have a nice clean screw head showing. The very last step was to wick a little thin CA onto the backside of the screws so that they do not vibrate off. If they ever need to be removed I can simply grind the nuts off and replace the hardware. That's it, looks great!


The tailwheel is a first class piece of hardware and is perfect for this plane. A simple aluminum assembly that uses the rudder to steer the wheel. Good 'nough for me.

The first thing I did was grind the flats for the wheel collars and installed the wheel. Again remember to use a little blue thread locker so those wheel collars don't fall off.

One thing I did that I did not see in the instructions was guidance to carve a relief in the tail for the tail section flying wire bracket. Once I cut the relief I predrilled the screw holes, hardened them with Zap Thin CA and installed the parts on the fuse.

With that done all we really have left to do is install the brass spring horn onto the rudder and install the springs. Note* During the installation in the pics provided I installed the leaf spring under the tail wheel strut, this is incorrect. I caught it just after the maiden flight and simply moved the leaf on top of the tailwheel strut and everything was good to go. Hey, I'm human!

Since the spring bracket on the rudder is going directly into balsa I cut out a little flat spot on the bottom of the rudder for the spring horn to rest. Then after I hardened the screw holes I epoxied it in place with a little Pacer 30 Minute Epoxy.

Attach the springs from the tailwheel to the horn and you are good to go.


Once again you can see the quality look of the covering on this plane. Not a single wrinkle and I have yet to put an iron on it.

The elevator as with all the surface come prehinged and glued! It's not uncommon to see the hinge slots cut, but it's quite uncommon to have the hinges glued and ready to go. This saves a lot of time and work in the assembly process.

So what we need to do is install the horizontal stabilizer on the fuselage. Locate the center of the stab and remove the covering so that you are gluing wood to wood. Leave about 1/16" along the edges so that you don't see bare wood when the stab is in its final resting place.

For the stab, I mixed up a little Pacer 30 Minute Epoxy . That gives us plenty of working time to align the stab and end up with a good strong bond.

Clear away the covering and the scrap balsa blocks from the stab area, apply the epoxy and carefully slide the Stab into place.

Quickly, check the alignment from a center reference point just behind the cab area. Any point will do, just make sure that the distance is exactly the same from both stab tips. Use a square to ensure that the horizontal stab is perfectly perpendicular to the fuselage. Allow to dry before moving on the the vertical fin installation.

Now let's install the vertical fin. The fit is very tight so make sure that you can get it "in there" for the final installation.

There are a few little tricks that were put into the construction to ensure alignment. Just slide the rudder into place carefully and make sure that it fits in snug and everything is aligned correctly.

Now remove the vertical fin and mix up a little 30 minute epoxy.

Lightly coat the fuselage and the bare wood parts of the vertical fin and slide into place.

I found that even after a good test fit, the fin just did not want to set all the way into the fuse. So what I did was VERY carefully lean the rudder over to one side and set a wood block onto the bevel of the vertical fin. Then I tapped on the block with a hammer very carefully to press the fin into place. It only took a couple of very light taps to get it correctly set in place.

With that done I used a square and a ruler to check the vertical alignment. Its was pretty much perfect due to the tight fit so I did not have to move it around a bit.

The rudder and elevator move quite freely and allow for a good bit of throw which should allow us to crank the throws up and have a little fun with this bird.


The first step in the installation of the rudder and elevator control linkage is to mount the servos on the servo tray. Once that was done I used a little Pacer 30 minute Z Poxy and secured the tray into place.

The next step is to locate and install the pushrod ends into the provided pushrod dowels. Be very mindful of the length of the pushrods that you are using. There are several different lengths. As you can see in the pic below and to the left, the elevator uses two rod ends and one is 5mm longer than the other and the holes are drilled accordingly.

Once you have figured out where the rods ends go use 30 minute Epoxy to secure them in place and then slip the provided heat shrink over the ends and heat for final installation.

Carefully slide the pushrods into the fuselage and slip them into the appropriate slots at the tail end of the fuselage.

Finally, connect the pushrods to the servo's using the provided control horns and servo linkage connectors. The servo connectors are nifty little aluminum quick connects that work very well, just be sure to CA the nut to the screw once the connector is installed on the servo arm. You can see some pictorial examples of the control horns in the flying wire section.

With the pushrods connected at both ends, you are ready to setup the control surface throws using the radio system of your choice.


For the tail support "flying wires" I chose to upgrade to Kevlar flying wires from Sullivan


These are very clean, lightweight flying wires that are easy to install. The package actually comes with not only Kevlar, but also steel wire just in case you prefer a heavier wire.

Installation is actually a very simple process. Locate the predrilled holes in the Horizontal Stab and

Vertical Fin and use 4-40 bolts to attach the brackets to the fuselage.

Finally, tie the Kevlar to the adjustable clevis leaving the clevis as long as possible so that it can be shortened to tighten the cable for final installation. Next tie the Kevlar to the bracket on the top and bottom of each side of the stab being careful to make the wire only as long as is necessary so that you can adjust for the proper tension.

With the wires attached, clip the Clovis's onto the vertical fin and tailwheel and adjust for length.

Once the wires are secure, put a drop of thin CA on each knot and then clip off the excess cable.

Be sure that the wires are taunt, but the control surfaces are straight and level. That's it, nothing to it!


Airborne Models has provided all of the necessary hardware for all of the control surface linkages so all we need to do is locate the hardware and get started.

The first step is to locate and cut out the hole for the servo in each aileron.

Once the hole is cut and the edges are heated and trimmed, use the provided string to pull the servo lead and extension through the wing. As you can see I always at minimum use a little dental floss to tie the servo lead and the extension together and then secure the knot with a drop of ZAP

Thin CA.

Next, secure the servo into place and install the provided control horns. Place the horn so that the control horn pivot point is DIRECTLY over the hinge line for proper geometry. I also like to set the control horn so that the pushrod is perpendicular to the hinge line at max deflection for max advantage.

That's all there is to it. Let's install the wings.


As you can see, I actually installed the wing strut brackets onto the fuselage before I installed the landing gear, but the pictures just fit better in this section since the pics are relevant to this part of the assembly.

Install the brackets into the preinstalled blind nuts in the fuselage and use a little Pacer PT42

Blue Thread locker to prevent them from loosening from vibration. I used thread locker on all the blind nut bolts on this assembly to prevent loosening during flight.

Now locate the mounting holes in the wing struts and wings. Bolt the strut to the wing near the aileron servos using the provided hardware.

Next, locate the wire support bracket for the strut and the brass clips that slip onto the wire bracket.

Locate the preinstalled blind nuts for the wire bracket and bolt the wire bracket to the center of the wing to support the strut. Attach the bracket to the strut using the provided hardware. These are not secured with locknuts, so I would recommend using a drop of thin CA on each bolt or they will inevitably loosen up in flight.

With the wings struts secured to the wing the final step is to install the wing on the fuselage. The instructions call for us to drill and use screws to secure the wing to the wing tube, but I chose to use screws on the left wing and then drill and tap the right wing with 4-40 socket head bolts so that the wing can be easily removed.

This portion of the installation was pretty easy but did require close attention and some common sense. Take your time and be sure that the fits are correct before permanently securing any of the bolts. Now lets move on to the engine and final assemblies.


YS 1.60DZ

YS 1.60DZ


YS 1.60DZ 4 stroke Engine

We are using the largest recommended engine but the plane will fly on a 1.20 with ease.

The long awaited YS 160DZ is now available. Prototype versions distinguished themselves at the 2004 AMA Nationals, winning six

Use the reference lines on the firewall to locate the engine mounting location and secure the motor mount. I used a Hyde Mount for the YS engine.

Mount the engine and use thread locker on all motor mount bolts to prevent loosening from vibration.

distinguished themselves at the 2004 AMA Nationals, winning six of the top ten spots in FAI aerobatics competition. Other YS

140L/140DZ engines captured eighteen top awards including first place in intermediate, advanced and masters class, making YS

Engines the overwhelming choice. While your focus may be other than competition aeromodeling, the YS 160DZ delivers more horsepower than an engine in its class, either two or four stroke. Depending on your selection of aircraft, the YS 160DZ can power models up to eighteen pounds with outstanding flight performance. Propeller size ranges from 15.5x12 four blade up to 18x10 wide, and ideal RPM range is 8000 to 8500 for best flight performance. Recommended fuel is 20 to 30% nitro helicopter type for best results.

Key Features

The same size/weight as the YS 1.40's 

Easy Operation and Mounting

Non Pressurized System


Type:4 Stroke Glow

Displacement:26.33CC 1.60ci

Bore: 34mm

Stroke: 29mm

Cylinders: Single

Total Weight: 35oz with Performance Specialties


Engine (Only) Weight: 33 oz

Crankshaft Threads: 8x1.25mm

Prop Range: 15x11 4 Blade - 18x10 Wide

RPM Range: 2000 - 11,000 (optimal on the ground


Fuel: 30% Heli or DZ fuel

Muffler Type: Pipe or standard muffler

Download the manual in PDF format - Click here

For the throttle servo installation I used Gold-N-Rod from Sullivan Products. This made for an easy installation around the fuel tank. Now we just need to setup the radio and the engine is ready to go.


The fuel tank is a pretty easy installation. Simply assemble the tank and wrap in foam. Slide the tank into place in the nose. As you can see, I moved the location of the tank stopper access in the firewall. It was just in a bad place relative to the motor mount I was using. With the provided motor mount the original location will work fine.

Now just slide the support former under the tank and glue into place. Once the tank is in its final resting place put a hardwood piece of square stock behind the tank to secure it in place.


The clear cowl was very helpful on this plane. The engine protruded significantly out of the side of the cowl so the split clear cowl made it easy to mark and cut the trial fit cowl.

Once the cowl fit correctly, I simply laid the clear template over the cowl, traced the cutout and cut the cowl. It was a tight fit and I had to do a little trimming but it turned out a perfect fit!


The canopy glass comes in a solid piece and you have to cut out the separate panes for the actual installation. The fuselage is built so that the panes fit right into place.

Per the instructions, mix up a little 30 minute epoxy and lightly coat the edges of each pane and carefully lay into place. I placed a little scotch tape on the outside of each window so that I could pull it tight against the window frame as the epoxy dried. This made for a nice clean fit.

The front window is installed using the provided clear silicon grommets. Simply mark the holes and screw the front window into place. That's it, we are done! Lets have a look at the finished product.

What a wonderful airplane to fly. Frankly I was shocked at the level of grace and aerobatic ability that this airplane exhibited when I wanted it to. To summarize the flights, takeoffs were a very simple task that was just what you would expect from a Cub. That is a fairly short rollout and a little bit of rudder to keep it straight. Ease the throttle up a little and it lifts off about as gently as you can imagine.

Just a breath of throttle and it was time to putter around like a Cub is supposed to do. The plane was pleasantly gentle and flew very light. It was very easy to make lazy 8's with the wheels teasing the tops of the hay field. The video just cannot posibly do justice to how fun and relaxing a Cub is to fly in its true form.

NOW, if you want to wring it out a little this Cub is up to the challenge. I tried just about everything I could think of and I can honestly say that it would do whatever I asked, and surprisngly well I might add.

Slow rolls, fast rolls, point rolls were not a problem and the plane again flew a lot straighter than I could have possibly imagined.

I ended up with roughly 18 degrees of elevator and aileron throw and I maxed out the rudder throw on high rate. This was perfect for nice clean aerobatics and just really wringing the plane out. Stall turns were crisp and the plane fell nice and straight. Knife Edge was shockingly straight, I had less coupling to deal with than I do in my Giant Scale

3D planes. You can see some knife edge flight in the video and it was just a blast. With the 1.60DZ power was not an issue and the plane would do any loop and roll combination

in the book. I even did an avalance and it actually snapped!

Inside loops, outside loops, inverted flight, I tried every thing but hoveri... oh yeah I forgot. It will hover! I did not put it in the video clip but I did sucessfully hover the plane on a couple of occasions and with enough power it will hover with the best of them if you have enough power.

Approach and landing was textbook Cub. It wants to float a little and you have to watch the crosswinds. It's a very easy plane to land (despite the fact that I bounced the landing in the video) but you have to pay attention to the wind and work with it. Like any Cub, strong crosswinds can really wreak havoc and you have to fly it in all the way. Any sudden gusts and you need to be ready to hold her steady.

Overall I give this plane an A+++ for its overall flight performance and fun factor. What a BLAST to fly.

Check out the video to see her in action!


1/4 Scale Clipped Wing


Flight Video Broad Band


1/4 Scale Clipped Wing


Flight Video Dial Up


In summary let me just say that this was truly a great plane and I am excited about adding it to my hangar. I am typically an adrenaline junky and select my planes accordingly. But this plane has given me a new found respect and excitement for flying this wonderful representation of a piece of history.

From the construction and assembly to the flight characteristics this plane is a real winner and will make a great addition to your hangar. The only thing you have to watch is the edges of the covering. Make sure that you have the edges sealed up with a good hot iron and keep after it until you have all the edges sealed. Besides that one thing I really don't have anything but GREAT things to say about this plane.

If you want a plane that is a real beauty with a nice scale appearance that flies great, this is it. If in the same package you want a plane that with the right engine, is totally capable of about any aerobatic maneuver you can think up, then this plane is definitely for you. I know it's a keeper for me!

AirBorne Models, LLC

2403 Research Drive

Livermore, CA 94550 USA

Tel: 925-371-0922

Fax: 925-371-0923 [email protected]

Futaba Radios

Website: www.futaba-rc.com 

YS Parts and Service

1370 Porter Drive

Minden, Nevada 89423

Phone (775) 267-9252

Fax (775) 267-9690

Website: www.yspartsandservice.com

Sullivan Products

1 North Haven Street

Baltimore, MD 21224

Website: http://www.sullivanproducts.com

ZAP and Pacer Adhesives

Distributed by Frank Tiano Ent.

3607 Ventura Drive E.

Lakeland, Florida 33811

Phone 863-607-6611

Website: http://www.franktiano.com

Posted by: funtana90 on 10/07/2008

Comments on RCU Review: World Models Clipped Wing Cub - 1/4

Posted by: funtana90 on 10/07/2008 can this plane handle a g38 zenoah? care of [email protected] thanks

Posted by: Kostas1 on 10/11/2011

What engine would you suggest as the lowest required engine size;



Posted by: Mrj3cub on 10/31/2011

Is the CG at 112 beins the leading Edge correct??


Page: 1 

The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review. 



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