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Written by Jon Barnes
This rugged, Giant Scale floatplane quickly lifts off the water
Digital exclusive review also featured in the May 2015 issue of
Model Aviation Digital.

If you are looking for a larger model to fly from water, the E-flite Carbon-Z Cub paired with the matching float set (at $89.99) is an excellent option. Equipping the big Carbon-Z Cub for water-based operations is quick and easy, thanks to E-flite’s included hard mounting points for the floats in the fuselage. The floats feature a graphics scheme that is nicely coordinated with the Cub.

One especially noteworthy and unique feature is that a water rudder servo is embedded in one of the floats. Almost every other float plane that I have flown utilizes some sort of flexible pushrod connected to the airframe’s rudder in order to actuate the water rudder. In my experience, this method typically results in some mechanical slop being introduced and this almost always makes for tricky taxiing and water handling.

E-flite’s approach allows the connection from the servo horn to the water rudder to be in the form of a short-and-sweet, direct-coupled pushrod connection. The benefits of this configuration were immediately apparent as I taxied from the shore in preparation for takeoff. Even with a moderately stiff breeze blowing, I had no problem turning the large Cub at will. Although this model’s fuselage presents a large amount of surface area, in which winds usually cause the model to weather vane, I could easily hold the Cub’s heading at all times. Nice!

With a modest amount of throttle applied, the Cub was quick to lift off the water’s surface. In fact, with the flaps deployed to the mid position, it fairly leaped into the air! I had to push the nose down with the elevator to keep the departure’s angle of attack from getting too steep. The switch from fixed landing gear to floats apparently results in the center of gravity (CG) moving slightly rearward, but the Cub was still well behaved and never came close to “biting” me.

I installed a Morgan Mill battery tray, so repositioning the battery for optimum CG on successive float flights was as easy as moving it forward a notch or two. The added mass of the big foam floats is definitely noticeable in flight, but this model comes out of the box with an abundance of power on tap.

I had fun parading around the pattern at the ponds, at low altitude and air speed. I left the flaps at half so that my daughter could take some photos. This model is incredibly well-behaved, even with the big foam floats hanging out in the breeze.

There is, however, a need to manage airspeed closely, especially on final, but landings are as easy as pointing the Cub into the wind and rolling the throttle back to approximately 15% to 25%. The Cub slides nicely down the glide slope and will splash down with minimal forward velocity when flying into a moderate headwind.

—Jon Barnes


Model type: Semiscale electric
Skill level: Intermediate
Wingspan: 84.6 inches
Wing loading: 17 ounces per square foot
Length: 55.8 inches
Weight: 8.15 pounds
Needed to complete: Six-channel DSM2/DSMX radio; 6S 3,200 mAh battery; charger
Construction: Z-Foam
Covering/finish: White foam with blue trim accents
Street price: $399.99 (BNF); $379.99 (PNP)


Horizon Hobby/E-flite
(800) 338-4639


Morgan Mill
(850) 968-8804

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