ElectriCub Late (oz14074)


ElectriCub Late (oz14074) by Mark Hampe 2000 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

ElectriCub (late version). Radio control sport scale model, for electric power with Speed 600 motor, and 4 channels. Wingspan 59 in.

Discontinued kit from Great Planes.

Note the Great Planes ElectriCub appeared in two versions, ElectriCub Early (oz12691) and ElectriCub Late. This here is the later (circa 2000) version with cabin glazing, a bolt-down wing, and ailerons.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Quote: "There is a wanted plan request by rocketpilot, for the ElectriCub II. Before the Electri-Cub II kit came out there was an updated version of the original 3 channel kit that had ailerons and a bolt on wing. I've never been able to locate a PDF of the kit plans for that version, but I had a couple good photos of the plans in my files. The scaling is wrong [fixed now], but all the details are there... Best wishes & please be safe, Jeff Green in Las Vegas."

Note there is an online review dated 2000 of this late ElectriCub kit, by Chris True, at RCGroups see: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?185038-The-Great-Planes-ElectriCub

Update 16/9/2022: Added supplement Power systems info sheet, thanks to JeffGreen. This shows 3 different brushed motor & gearing options as 'good, better, best'.

Update 16/9/2022: Added kit review from R/C Scale International, July/August 2003, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "Review: A quiet version of Piper's classic. Great Planes J-3 Electric Cub, by Trevor Stannard.

If you asked an average enthusiast of 'classic aviation' whether modeller or full size, to name any three aircraft of that era, the answer might be Spitfire, Tiger Moth and Piper Cub, but not necessarily in that order. Although I've been an R/C modeller for nearly thirty years, it occurred to me that I'd never built any of those three classics, but that was soon about to change.

From 'Chummy' to 'Tiger Kitten' to 'Cub': I always like to research scale models before building one, so I decided to find out a bit more about the 'Cub'. Briefly, the story began in the late '20s when the Taylor brothers, Gordon and Gilbert, one-time barnstormers, decided to build and market a small two-seat monoplane they called the Chummy. Gordon Taylor was unfortunately killed in a crash and his brother moved the business from Rochester, NY. The relocated Taylor Company went on to build five Chummys before the Great Depression caused financial difficulties for the company.

Taylor was fortunately rescued by a wealthy oilman named William T Piper who financed the development of another plane designated the E-2, with a Brownbach two cylinder 'Tiger Kitten' engine. The motor unfortunately proved insufficiently powerful for the E-2 but the name 'Tiger Kitten' prompted the suggestion of 'Cub' for the aircraft.

Ultimately, the Taylor Company was forced into bankruptcy. At this point Piper bought the assets and retained Gilbert Taylor as his Chief Engineer. A further redesign took place in 1936 with the aircraft now becoming the Taylor J-2, but Taylor then left to set up Taylorcraft Aviation independent of William Piper. Piper, who had meanwhile formed the Piper Aircraft Corporation, held the production rights to the J-2, and the 'Piper' Cubs continued in production until 1938 when an even more improved J-3 Cub was introduced. By 1947 over 14,000 Cubs, or their military L-4 and 0-59 derivatives, had been produced. 1949 saw the introduction of the more powerful 'Super Cub'.

Building the Cub: Never having built from a Great Planes kit I was intrigued to see if the product lived up to the fine reputation of this American manufacturer. I had no need to worry; I think I can truthfully say that I have never built from a better quality and more complete kit.

Two full size and highly detailed plans were revealed along with the most comprehensive hand-book I have ever seen. The centre fold of the hand-book also had an A4 size reproduction of each full size plan - very handy if the building plan is covered with a half-built structure and you need to refer to some hidden part of it.

The Cub kit proved to be very complete. Stacks of pretty good quality wood (balsa, ply and hardwood) much of it pre-shaped or die-cut. The die-cutting was excellent, every component popping cleanly out with only the lightest pressure. Also included were many of the hardware items needed to complete the basic airframe. Further items were carefully detailed so that even a complete novice to electric (possibly even to aeromodelling) would know what to buy.

First, I set about reading the hand-book and checking (but not carefully enough) the kit contents against the check lists. Essential really but you can still come unstuck as I'll explain in due course. The handbook included many expert tips which I gratefully added to my experience data bank. So, well done Great Planes.

Tail feathers: A good place to start, and I had remembered to 'reverse roll' the plan sheets a day or two earlier so they would lay flat. I am not a fast builder and it took me about 6 hours to build tailplane, elevator, fin and rudder. A little care was needed with the 3/16 die cut balsa parts, for example E4 and S3 are very similar and easily confused. The 3/16 square balsa for ribs was a bit brittle, but otherwise there were no problems. I replaced it from my balsa reserves.

I said earlier that it was important to read the hand-book before building. Had I followed my own advice more carefully, I wouldn't have made the next silly mistake. The designers had provided an unusual medium for fixing the wing-struts to wing and fuselage (obviously to come later in the building program). This was a tough but flexible plastic which would allow the struts to lay flat against the wing in transit. However, yours truly had missed this in his read through and assumed it was a generous piece of mylar hinge material; he then proceeded to cut this up into hinge size pieces for attaching elevator and rudder with some more cut up for aileron hinges. So when the time came to fix wing struts, there was no plastic left and I had to use light alloy sheet. The moral here is that Great Planes have thought it all out for you, so enjoy the ride!

Wings: Again, so straightforward. The instructions were superb. The wings went together very easily with ribs slotted into the pre-shaped leading edge and trailing edge. I used a sheet of 1/2 inch balsa which I happened to have handy to butt up against the trailing edge while the glue hardened to help keep TE perfectly straight. Although I am tempted to use cyano glues these days for speed of building, I instead decided to use aliphatic glue throughout on the Cub wings. It is often helpful to have the extra time given by a slower glue to get alignment absolutely perfect. A little careful sanding of ribs W1 was all that was needed to get a really good wing join. For me the wings took two working days including the aileron servo and linkage but excluding aileron fitting and covering. The wing assembly was remarkably light..."

Update 16/9/2022: Added kit review from Electric flight International, March 2001, thanks to RFJ.

Update 17/9/2022: Added kit instructions, thanks to Paul Sluce.

Quote: "Since the original ElectriCub was introduced in 1987, electric airplanes have grown in popularity and so has the technology. Over the years modelers have told us what they would like to see different on the ElectriCub. We've been listening! The redesigned ElectriCub now comes with ailerons, clear windows and is designed for mini servos. We've done extensive testing of motors, gearboxes and props to find the best combination, at the lowest price, for the new ElectriCub.

While the ElectriCub is easy to fly, it does not have the total self-recovery and stability of a basic trainer like the Great Planes series of PT basic trainers. Therefore, if you have never flown an R/C airplane before, we strongly recommend that you seek out the assistance of an experienced R/C pilot who will be able to check out your construction and help you with your first flights. We do know that once you have flown the ElectriCub you will want to keep it in your vehicle for that quick flight during your lunch break or to relax with a few flights after work.

Keep It Light. Because the electric motor and motor battery are relatively heavier than a glow engine, it is essential that the basic structure of the airplane be kept as light as possible. In doing so, you will help insure that the finished airplane will not be too heavy to fly well.

Motor Selection: In testing the ElectriCub, many different motors were evaluated. Some of them provided adequate thrust to fly the ElectriCub satisfactorily. Some, however, gave such marginal performance that the climb-out was very shallow and flight times were short. Generally, a high performance, high power motor, like the Great Planes S-600 direct drive motor, will give the ElectriCub a good climb rate and good aerobatic capability, but will result in a relatively short run time of 3 to 4 minutes.

The Great Planes T600r reverse rotation motor with a 2.5:1 gear drive unit enables the motor to turn a larger, more efficient propeller at a slower speed. This usually results in more thrust for a better climb rate and longer flight times up to 8 minutes. We consider this motor and gear drive combination (GPMG0760) to be the system of choice for the ElectriCub. See 'Power Systems' on page 5..."

Update 1/10/2022: Replaced this plan with a clearer copy, now at 400 dpi, thanks to Hobiepilot.

Supplementary file notes

Instructions, 48 pages.
Power systems info sheet.
Previous scan version.


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ElectriCub Late (oz14074) by Mark Hampe 2000 - model pic

  • (oz14074)
    ElectriCub Late
    by Mark Hampe
    from Great Planes
    59in span
    Scale Electric R/C Cabin Kit
    clean :)
    formers unchecked
  • Submitted: 12/09/2022
    Filesize: 1709KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JeffGreen, Hobiepilot
    Downloads: 1720

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ElectriCub Late (oz14074) by Mark Hampe 2000 - pic 009.jpg

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User comments

This is a great flying plane. My friend had the same and we flew together a lot and made people smile. It gave me great fun. I think it is very easy to build from this plan. Crashed it once but survived and needed a small rebuilt. Thanks for the plan as I cut mine up.
Ed Vink - 16/09/2022
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Download File(s):
  • ElectriCub Late (oz14074)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1709KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1195KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074_instructions.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 531KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074_power_systems.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 902KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074_previous.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3230KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074_review_EFI.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 4033KB Filename: ElectriCub_Late_oz14074_review_RCSI.pdf
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