View Full Version : Hobbyzone Super Cub with GWS Floats

11-25-2006, 05:01 PM
I picked up the GWS floats and threw them onto my slightly worn out Super Cub. I don't fly it anymore as it's pretty boring. So to add some excitement to the old plane I added the floats. I followed the directions and did a search for GWS Floats assembly and found a good thread on setting them up. You can see by the photos that I hacked this together using the provided GWS strut for the rear and the stock gear for the front mount. The GWS kitt came with pre-bent cross braces that I didint' use as they were too narrow. I bent up the provided straight stock braces to the correct length to use the stock front gear.

I eyeballed the setup and didn't use a ruler once. I figured the front gear mount is pretty sturdy so the rear strut didn't need to be all that sturdy but just needed to hold the floats in position. I fit the rear gear mount right into one of the SC's vent holes in the bottom of the fuse. A little epoxy and they stay in place. See the photo's for details...


The thing has the stock 7 cell batteries and they might be getting a little long of tooth so performance was not in top condition. Yet with out any wind to help with the ROW the plane used about 5 feet to get on step and then another 10 to lift off the water. It takes some elevator control to keep the prop from wanting to take a drink before getting on step but once on step you need to relax the full up to a normal ROG position otherwise you may stall as soon as the floats get into the air. Also having no water rudder means the plane is subject to eratic taxiing and take offs. Much like the elevator control, the rudder uses a lot of throw to control the plane on the water but as soon as it gets airborne it's sensitive. I found this out after trying to hold her straight on a take off only to get airborne and quickly touch a wingtip into the water. A boat ride later rescued the plane from it's upside down position.

A quick battery change and it was up in the air once more.

Jim Casey
11-25-2006, 06:26 PM

Slide the floats forward about an inch-maybe more. The step should be about 10% of the wing chord aft of the balance point. This will put some float out in front of the prop, too, to protect the prop while you are beaching. It will handle much better on the water after you re-rig the floats.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmers/125449/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmers/125449/)

11-27-2006, 07:22 PM
After another good landing gone bad with a nose over I moved the floats forward according to the last post. I'll post a note after a test flight to see if this helps with tracking and keeping the nose out of the water.

The other point I would like to make is that the 7 cell batt's work fine when fully charged. I find they will pull the plane out of the water in about 5 feet when fresh charged (warm off the charger).

Looks cool in the air with the water dripping off the floats

12-02-2006, 01:20 AM
That move helped with the nose overs. I landed hard and fast to test it out and no problems were encountered. The standard PZ battery pack for this setup works fine with the first ROW happening in short distance and the second -4th times taking more time. After the 4th take off the battery is losing strength and tends to just motor along on plane with a bump of down and up used to help lift it off the water.

These inexpensive floats have breathed new life into this old trainer.

Jim Casey
12-02-2006, 01:47 AM
WHen you replace the battery pack, maybe you can get one with greater capacity-maybe LiPos, altho the real expense is you need a different charger, too. Still, I'm glad the suggestion helped.

12-02-2006, 03:07 AM
I have 9 cell Parkzone packs from my FW190 that I might try to fit into this plane, but I find it enjoyable just like it is. Sure it's a little under powered compared to my 43" WS Power 25 Corsair and 3D Ultimate but it makes for a little thrill to get it to float above and on the water.

Panel guy
12-07-2006, 12:03 AM
Hi I have 2 Supercubs. 1 with floats. Yours looks to be in very good shape compared to my first (which is the 1 I put the floats on):eek: I have experienced the same issue of nose over in water (now nose over in powder snow) with the floats on. I am not clear on how far forward I should move them. Seeing as I know next to nothing about float plane flying(except the 6 flights from my pond, and now 2 from snow) Could you show a picture showing the float reposition w.r.t. the rest of the plane?

Jim Casey
12-07-2006, 03:13 AM
If the picture of the Cub in message #2 is not enough, maybe this will help.


12-15-2006, 03:41 PM
I think moving the floats an inch forward from my first photos in this thread helped but after seeing the photo of the full scale Cub on floats I can see that the step to nose length of the GWS floats are about two inches too short for the Cub to not nose over upon a poor landing or failed takeoff. I have used the floats about 10 flights since moving them a bit forward and the results are better but not fool proof. Still I think for the money they are a good deal and work really well for the Super Cub.

One thing to do when flying with this setup is to have the breeze blowing towards you. That way if you do flip the plane the breeze will slowly blow it back toward you. OR bring a fishing pole with a soft weight at the end to cast and catch on the plane to recover it.

I'm putting my cub away for the winter. I may try flying off of snow but only once to say I did it.

I am pH
12-30-2006, 12:29 AM
hey ducatirdr (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=9186), I just ordered those floats after being very impressed by your conversion of your plane. Could you give me the measurments for where to mount the floats, like how much space is there in front of the floats so I know where to mount them? also, if its possible, could you take a pic underneath so I could get a few mounting ideas. I want to retain the ability use the factory landing gear for on solid ground. i was planning on purchasing another landing kit and just making it so I could swap the gear somehow. Do you use your super cub only on water now or do you swap gear?



12-30-2006, 04:42 PM
The GWS kit comes with hardware. I used that without having to purchase any other items. The main gear of the Cub I used along with one of the main gears from the GWS kit. I just stuck the GWS main into the big vent hole on the bottom of the Cub's fuse and used some 5 min epoxy to hold in place.

The kit comes with two sets of wire stock for cross bracing don't use the pre bent cross braces as they are too short for the stock cub main gear. Take the included straight gauge wire and bend the cross bracing to the distance between the float mounts on the Cub mains and then make sure the same length will work on the GWS mains. It should just fit the GWS mains.

To be honest I just eyeballed everything and it worked out ok. So if you measure you'll be ahead of me :D

The GWS floats have the wooden insert for mounting the gear. The front gear mount is one inch from the front and the rear is 1/2 inch from the back. The distance of the bend of cross braces is 7"3/4.

There I measured it:rolleyes:

One word of advice....

Make sure the batt's are hot off the charger. Fresh charged batt's make the motor sing and they pull the cub off glassy surfaced water without drama. But when the batt's start to fade they Cub will have trouble taking off on glassy water. A slight breeze and some ripples help the Cub get airborne. Things can get hairy with handling on the water when the speed is up and the plane won't take off. Don't force it as that's when most of my flips have occured. After a couple take offs and landing I hand launch it as the batt's lose their strength. Fresh hot off the charger batt's work great.

12-30-2006, 04:57 PM
All water modelers.

I always have a spinning rod with a BIG, BIG floating lure with 20 # test line on it. Have the lure READY TO CAST!!

If you hit the plane on a cast, the lure does not punch a hole thru everything. It also has the hooks that snag something while the plane is headed over the dam or down river.

The lure lets you cast way past and in front out the drifting plane.
Lift the line high enough so it drifts into it with the landing strusts catching the line.

Best Retreiver I have seen is a 36" long, flat decked boat, electric powered, with 2 --12" tall dowels sticking straight up AHEAD of the bow by 1". Pulled up behind the struts and confidently pushed it to shore in a good breeze.

Jim Casey
01-01-2007, 01:43 PM
Fishing rods, Long poles, r/c boats, all can be used sometimes with good effect. But the ONE thing you can ALWAYS count on is a man-carrying boat. Never go float flying unless you have instant access to a man-carrying boat.
It does not have to be fancy.

01-14-2007, 07:07 AM
These look really sweet, I'd like to get some floats and take my plane to the lake :)

01-28-2007, 11:45 PM
Flying off a frozen pond with the HZ SC and floats was a success. Matter of fact it flew easier off the snow on the pond than it does off the water. The floats did a great job of acting like skis. I had a small crowd gather and ask alot of questions as I did many touch and goes, landings with taxis to my feet and easy take offs. All off one 7 cell pack.

It worked better than I expected.:D

Bill G
03-04-2007, 08:49 PM
Ducatirdr, that looks nice. I have a GWS Beaver on floats, but the larger 48" Cub would be even better.
I actually have a replacement wing from the Hobbyzone Cub, that I will use on my Seabee build here. I just need to modify the ends a bit, so it has the correct Horner tips for the plane.

Jim Casey, you should make that chair boat remote control, and let folks drive you right up to your plane, if you have to retrieve it. LOL


07-03-2008, 08:44 AM
My brother, son and I just changed out the electronics and put floats on our SC. We are going to try it out on Lake Mead tomorrow. Will report and send pictures of the results, good or bad!:<:

07-04-2008, 04:48 AM
Hey! My dad always says the whoe electric+ water=bad thing. does the plane tip easily with the floats? Because if it tips when i get mine, i want to get it back : )


07-04-2008, 05:24 AM
One other thing you can do is spread the floats apart from 7 3/4 to about 11 inches and that will solve most of the tipping over from unexpected turns and cross winds.
Be careful of the winds blowing from the rear of the plane,they will blow the SC over very easy....CVOYLES

07-06-2008, 08:06 PM
The maiden run did not go well. A bit windy and we did not seal the floats well enough. Nothing serious happened and nothing got drenched or ruined. I have already put the receiver back into the plane I borrowed in from. Back to the work bench to put a better seal on the floats. We are going to use some spray foam adhesive and then cut and sand it.

07-08-2008, 03:37 AM
The maiden run did not go well. A bit windy and we did not seal the floats well enough. Nothing serious happened and nothing got drenched or ruined. I have already put the receiver back into the plane I borrowed in from. Back to the work bench to put a better seal on the floats. We are going to use some spray foam adhesive and then cut and sand it.

Hey don't woory about the first try, Most of the time they don't go that well.
While you got the floats on the work bench, Move the floats apart like i mention above and you should not have much problem with the wind tipping it over and seal the seam where the foam meets the plastic with clear RTV silicone sealer after you put them together.

Happy flying...CVOYLES

07-08-2008, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it.