New (used) GP Piper Cub on floats - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Float Planes Discuss float planes here...or any other aircraft that floats.

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Old 08-26-2005, 01:52 PM   #1
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New (used) GP Piper Cub on floats

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I bought a used Great planes Piper cub on floats (82 inch wing span) and since I have never flown a float plane, or a cub I was wondering if there is anything I should know prior to the maiden ?

Proper procedure for takeoff ?
Proper procedure for landing ?
What characteristics does it have when it stalls ?
Can you fly it really slowly with floats ?

I love the look of the plane and would like to keep it in one piece.

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Old 08-26-2005, 04:36 PM   #2
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What have you flown ??? Just to give us an idea of your experience level..

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:38 PM   #3
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I have that same plane.
I've just picked up the sticks after 6 years of not flying. My previous daily flyer was an eagle, but it did not survive storage. Due to all the gue and various patch jobs i had performed, the tail feathers were twisted. So I threw it away.

back to the cub.

it is currently my only flying plane, and I had maybe 10 flights on it before i stored everything. I pulled it out, ran it up and took it out to the field. I had another member test it out, make sure it was still straight. I was very nervous about flying it, as I had spent so much time building it.

My fears were unfounded. My experience with it today is very good. It takes off as I suspect most taildraggers do, you need to feed in some rudder to keep it down the runway. Once it's in the air it is very stable. Nothing to worry about. i toggle the sticks all over the place, and it has no bad tendencies. Once or twice it has taken an extra half turn to recover from my version of a spin, but that is all. Stalls are virtually non existant. Slight drop of nose, nothing weird. Landings... well, they can be tough. It flys at a very slow speed, and tends to float. I have only been flying it for about 3 weeks, maybe 9 or 10 flights, and I find I need to make 3 passes before I get the plane to where I feel comfortable landing it. (I have always been a bad lander, but with this plane, I'm finding it easier than with me Eagle)

being that yours is on floats, you should have a better flying plane. A few guys I used to fly with all had cubs, and they said they were made for floats. Providing you have enough power up front, takeoffs should be very easy, and landings will be a thing of beauty.

If you have any concerns, do what I do. Bring a competant flyer to the lake with you. (providing you have someone near) then they can talk you in if need be.

Just my experience.
Good luck
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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I have never flown a cub, but have flown many float planes.

As for procedures there is not that much to learn.

Keep full up elevator when taxiing
You will notice the plane turns constantly into the wind, that is normal. In some strong winds you will have to negotiate your way with the wind. Even a good water rudder can sometimes be no match for a strong wind. You will get used to the wind. That said takeoff is easy. Let the plane point itself into the wind, hold full up elevator as you give fill throttle. Once the plane is on the step (planning like a speed boat does) neutralize the elevator (or hold a very slight amount of up) and once the plane reaches flying speed lift it off. Be carefull on the rudder, to much while the plane is going quick along the water and you might catch a float and flip. Probably not likely with a cub. If the water is dead still you may have to feed in a quick shot of up elevator to get the plane off as surface tension on the floats tends to hold them to the water. If you have enough power you can climb out normally, but there will be more drag then when you fly off the ground. You may want to add a few clicks of up before you go out to compensate for the added float drag.

Landing a float plane is easier than a land plane in my opinion. You usually have a huge area to land and can always go right into the wind. Keep a little power on in the approach to control your decent as the floats will add drag. With the Cub being a floater you may not need much throttle if any at all. Chop the throttle when close to the water and let the rear portions of the floats touch first. You can touch down at about the same angle you would on land, but it may be best to keep the nose up a little to avoid digging in.

Stalling will be above the normal speed but again not a big deal with a floater type plane. You can most certainly fly slow just remember you are carrying extra weight and drag so stalls will happen quicker. You may notice the plane is more stable as, the floats being below the CG, will give a pendulem effect.

Good luck, I am sure you will love float flying!
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