With the stock motor, speed control, and servo set-up it performs scale like aerobatics of rolls, loops, stall turns and can be coaxed into flying upside down. Using a 20C 3 cell 2200 mAh LiPo, 5-7 minute flights can be realized without any loss of power. I personally have not flown it longer to see just how long the battery will last, but I consistently get between 63-65% remaining on the battery with my Hobby King battery meter after these flights.
Building the NE-1 is very straight forward and took one evening to put it together. The plane arrived Friday afternoon, and we took the maiden flight on Saturday. The installed 9g servos are not the greatest, but they are adequate for controlling this airplane. After one cartwheel incident of a botched take-off by an inexperienced pilot, the rudder servo was damaged. I have since replaced the servo with another generic 9g servo.
The wing struts are durable plastic and are screwed onto the fuselage. They use a quick clip on the wings and the mid strut spreader bars slip into a slot on the wing, making wing removal very simple. Two metric bolts hold the wing center section on the fuselage. I had a little trouble with the nuts in the fuselage as they had not been glued into place securely and one had let loose in transit. It may have been my sloppy glue job using foam tack glue, but I then could not get these nuts to accept the included wing bolts. I searched my hardware to find replacement nuts and replaced the nuts entirely, being sure I did not get any glue into the new threads.
The landing gear was a bit questionable as it is a single wire gear held into a slot in the fuselage with three very small servo screw size screws. On this wire, you then put the plastic scale details, fairings, and even simulated bungee using springs covered by heat shrink. The plans call for these to be glued at the bottom of the gear, but the gear legs are about 1/8 inch too long for this to work. So, they clip to the gear legs, and I have yet to have any issues with these scale details coming off the gear. In fact, this produces a very scale looking, and fairly forgiving gear system. I did, however, replace the three small screws with standard landing gear straps that capture the gear more securely. This, after the same ground loop that took out the rudder servo.
The scale wheels really make the landing gear! They are held on the gear using a plastic hub cap that is threaded on the landing gear. This not only creates a secure wheel, but adds to the scale look by putting the standard CUB hub cap on the wheel. I have had no issues with these wheels or this method of holding the wheels in place, and I have performed one wheel landings/high speed taxi on this gear with success.
I did not install the tail stabilization wires as shown. The plans have stiff wire with loops on each end, and a spring on each end. This would have resulted in a not-so scale look to the tail. There are mounting points on the tail for these that needed to be glued using foam tack. The wires are not required as the tail surfaces are quite stiff without the wires, but, for a more scale look, you can easily add fishing line or, like I did, 10 pound fishing leader to the mounting points. Use a small brass tube to swedge these in place, without pulling any tension on the wire and you will have a very scale look to the Cub.
All in all, the NE-1 Cub is a great little airplane. For the price (I paid $129 with free shipping), it is well worth the money. In Navy colors, it really is a show stopper and does qualify as a war plane for the warbird events.