• Review: ASDG Piper Super Cub

    Once the aircraft loaded in X-Plane 11.26, I immediately left the 3D cockpit and began perusing the exterior, as is my normal review technique. I was quickly rewarded with views of an airplane that looked very much like the "real deal" PA-18 Super Cub. I love the massive Airstreak tundra tires on the mains, though the absence of a Baby Bushwheel for the tail was a bit surprising. Instead, even the tundra wheeled ASDG Super Cub is equipped with a standard tail wheel.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    While the lines and proportions of the ASDG Super Cub look spot on, the absence of any antennae whatsoever on this aircraft was conspicuous. You see, the interior of the aircraft is equipped with radios, an ADF, and a GNS 430, so it ought to have some exterior antennae, right? Nope. Nothing.

    Another minor criticism of the exterior is the fact that the fabric coverings over the wheel struts are still present on the tundra models. Most backcountry Super Cub drivers remove the coverings over the struts because one, they are probably going to get torn up anyway and two, when you are running massive tires on your airplane it becomes a necessity to have a place to step up in order to get into the darn thing. Most backcountry Super Cubs have steps installed into the wheel struts to enable easier ingress and egress. This is conspicuously absent in ASDG's rendition.

    Exterior HD textures look gorgeous and the wear patterns on the paint make the aircraft look as if it spends all of its time in the backcountry landing in places inhospitable to more civilized airplanes. In other words, this ain't your physician's Bonanza, and it definitely shows! While I appreciate the rough and tumble aesthetic of the worn textures, it is almost too much, especially when paired with some of the more modern paint schemes. I'm not sure I would ever let my real airplane look that banged up.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    Included with the ASDG Super Cub are seventeen high quality liveries. Paint schemes range in style from the classic Cub yellow, to a handful of some more modern offerings. A couple of the schemes seem to have been done for the Alaskair virtual airline, one for Sim Coders, and another for ASDG Subscribers. The liveries are extremely well done, and, as I've already mentioned, the integration of the worn textures is brilliant.

    Being an American, I gravitated toward the N-numbered liveries, but couldn't settle on one I really loved. The problem here (in my mind, at least) is that most of the modern American schemes are taken directly from "Cub clones," and not registered Piper PA-18's. An example here is the beautiful gray, yellow, and black N64SL which, in the real world, is registered as a 2015 American Legend AL18 (Super Legend HP/XP), a modern light sport aircraft that looks very much like a Super Cub but isn't. While I understand that they are very similar, the modern American Legend and the Piper PA-18 are NOT the same airplane! The Alaska Airmen Raffle 2016 scheme looks awesome with a stylized raven painted on the side, but pictures of the real world aircraft (a real PA-18 this time) reveal a highly modified airplane that doesn't exactly match the ASDG portrayal.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    My criticisms of the liveries will definitely sound nitpicky to some, but I hope you will bear with my rationale for just a moment. The painters at ASDG were either ignorant to the fact that a couple of their liveries were taken from real world S-LSA's or otherwise very dissimilar PA-18's, or they simply did not care. This type of inaccuracy does not lend much in the way of plausibility with me and was either an innocent goof or an intentional "no big deal" to the development team. I tend to believe the latter, unfortunately. At any rate, it is never a good sign when the reviewer needs to find a freeware third party paint job that he likes better than the plethora of default ones available "out of the box."

    The interior of the aircraft revealed, for the most part, more excellent modeling and authentic looking textures. The seatbelts look photo real and the scrapes and dings on the floor and panel gives the impression that this is a hard use "working" airplane and not a hangar queen. Not all of the textures are stellar, however, and I'm not sure what to make of the door or even what material it is supposed to be. There is also no visible latch on the door either on the interior or exterior so I'm not sure how it would remain closed in the real aircraft. That would be a bit disconcerting.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    On a more positive note, I was very happy with the appearance of the instrument panel. The "modern" panel is well laid out and looks every bit like what one would find in a real world, IFR equipped Super Cub. I am so happy that ASDG decided to include not only a GPS and ADF, but a fabrication of a Genesys autopilot as well, integrated into the turn coordinator. While no two PA-18's have panels that look the same, it is difficult to pin down a model year for this airplane. A more "vintage" panel is available as an option on the REP "Maintenance Report" (for the 150 hp model only) which took me a couple days to figure out. This changes the panel on the fly to an extremely simple instrument layout (similar to a J-3) and repositions the GPS to the area left of the pilot's head. I prefer the modern panel for both looks and functionality, but having options is never a bad thing. Not every developer includes two separate instrument panels with their airplanes.

    Once I finished ogling and critiquing the interior of the ASDG Super Cub, I decided to explore the tabbed menu that Sim Coders has provided with their Reality Expansion Pack for this file. On the left hand side of my screen there were six tabs that seemed to be cut off or only partially in view, and a seventh one labeled "Titan" below them. Mousing over the tabs draws them out from their peek-a-boo hiding place and reveals an assortment of intuitive pictograms.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    The top tab is the "Kneeboard" and clicking on it displays a pop up menu with a host of checklists. Everything from preflight checks to takeoff, climb, cruise, etc., is covered here.

    Tags: asdg, cub, piper, super cub

    10 Comments
    1. rooitou's Avatar
      rooitou -
      Thanks for the very honest review Shawn. This is the kind of aircraft that I like to fly and it did catch my eye when it was released initially. However, that high price was an instant turn-off and I'm glad to see that some of my reservation was justified. I think at half the asking price, this would be a much more appealing value proposition.
    1. lear45xr's Avatar
      lear45xr -
      Well said rootiou. When are these developers going to figure out they are pricing many out of the add-on market. I have to disagree with author "The ASDG Super Cub is not an inexpensive add-on at $42.95 USD". It's too much, even if the Cub was good. $43 is to much. Why not a market goal of selling 3 times as many for $20 as opposed to a third at $43. Price sells.

      I also appreciate the honest review by Shawn. Good to know everything doesn't automatically get an "awesome" review. Keep up the good work
    1. ryogahibiki345's Avatar
      ryogahibiki345 -
      While it might not be a Super Cub the A2A Piper Cub is light years ahead of this thing.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Quote Originally Posted by ryogahibiki345 View Post
      While it might not be a Super Cub the A2A Piper Cub is light years ahead of this thing.
      I have both the A2A Cub you mentioned, and the ASDG Super Cub reviewed here, and find them equally satisfying (but different).

      I'm assuming you've based your findings on having owned both models; so if that is the case, could you tell me what you find so disappointing about the ASDG Super Cub?

      I'd be highly interested to know.
    1. ryogahibiki345's Avatar
      ryogahibiki345 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DominicS View Post
      I have both the A2A Cub you mentioned, and the ASDG Super Cub reviewed here, and find them equally satisfying (but different).

      I'm assuming you've based your findings on having owned both models; so if that is the case, could you tell me what you find so disappointing about the ASDG Super Cub?

      I'd be highly interested to know.
      Seeing as how you are trying to call me out, an irritating but truth none the less, one does not have to own a product to have tried it, so that right there is pretty blatantly a nasty way of asking what I don't like about a product. That said, I do own the A2A Cub and have for many years. The ASDG a friend has let me fly on his rig as I do not fly X-Plane often. From a real world mechanic stand point I can tell you, that the A2A has a "real" engine under its hood where as the ASDG offering is like most other aircraft out there, running on rails and living solidly with in the simulation environment, which A2A does not. A2A has its own IP module that operates outside of the simulator so that the aircraft doesn't act the same way all the time. I hope that you've found my reply to your snide comment adequate but, like my other posts, I am sure it will never see the light of day as you like to remove them.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Quote Originally Posted by ryogahibiki345 View Post
      Seeing as how you are trying to call me out, an irritating but truth none the less, one does not have to own a product to have tried it, so that right there is pretty blatantly a nasty way of asking what I don't like about a product. That said, I do own the A2A Cub and have for many years. The ASDG a friend has let me fly on his rig as I do not fly X-Plane often. From a real world mechanic stand point I can tell you, that the A2A has a "real" engine under its hood where as the ASDG offering is like most other aircraft out there, running on rails and living solidly with in the simulation environment, which A2A does not. A2A has its own IP module that operates outside of the simulator so that the aircraft doesn't act the same way all the time. I hope that you've found my reply to your snide comment adequate but, like my other posts, I am sure it will never see the light of day as you like to remove them.
      'Running on rails' was a term adopted to flying certain MSFS aircraft, but with X-Plane, that term was rarely used/required (quite the opposite in fact), due to the simulators usage of blade element theory. It's well known that A2A use custom code to enhance the default MSFS flight dynamics, but again, this is due to the aforementioned 'running on rails' syndrome of the default flight dynamics.

      Many thanks for contributing!

      Dominic
    1. yubi's Avatar
      yubi -
      Nice plane, but, $43.00 US...I'm in Canada, so this is closer to $60.00 ....Not a Chance...
    1. lear45xr's Avatar
      lear45xr -
      Quote Originally Posted by yubi View Post
      Nice plane, but, $43.00 US...I'm in Canada, so this is closer to $60.00 ....Not a Chance...
      I'm with ya. Way over priced!
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Very enjoyable, so I consider it money well spent here.

      W33
    1. louden06's Avatar
      louden06 -
      Where can i buy it
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