• Review: ASDG Piper Super Cub

    Moving downward, the second tab is the "Mass and Balance" pop up menu, which allows the sim pilot to enter weights in the seats, baggage area, and cargo pod (if equipped) in either imperial or metric units. Fuel quantities are also adjustable as well as flight duration. The Reality Expansion Pack calculates all the weights and balances and plots the coordinates onto the weight and balance chart. This is probably my favorite feature of REP and lends a huge amount of realism to the overall simulation experience. Overload your airplane and you will be outside of the weight and balance limits, which negatively affects the flight model.

    Continuing down the tabs takes us to the third menu option, the "Walkaround." Clicking on the tab took me on a step-by-step virtual tour of the exterior of the airplane to ensure that the modeled tie downs and chocks were removed, the control surfaces function properly, and the fuel tanks weren't contaminated with water. This is less practical in the sim than it actually sounds, but really makes me feel as though I'm actually pre-flighting the aircraft nonetheless.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    The fourth tab, "Tow," is a fun one. Clicking on it positions the sim pilot in front of the left horizontal stabilizer facing the rear of the aircraft. Moving the aircraft is simple through the use of a joystick and produces a startlingly realistic sound as that of rubber rolling on pavement. Variations in joystick pressure will cause the airplane to be pushed around at slow or high speed. Overall, the ability to tow one's aircraft is a nice feature and would be a lot of fun when parking at a custom airport complete with open door hangars. I imagine it would be a very satisfying experience to "push" one's airplane into their hangar at the end of a long flight.

    The fifth tab down the row is the "Maintenance Report," which essentially is self-descriptive. Clicking on it brings up a menu that looks like a clipboard and gives reports on the condition of your engine, spark plugs, electrical system, tires, wheels, etc. This is the menu where, as I've previously mentioned, 150 hp variants of the Super Cub may be configured with "vintage" or "modern" instrument panels. The Maintenance Report pop up allows the user to quickly review the status of their airplane and quickly make repairs if needed. If your oil requires changing, for example, a simple mouse click instantly changes it. If you somehow damaged your gear on a hard landing, mouse click repairs are instant and don't cost a dime! This is what we call virtual ownership, and is another of my favorite features of Sim Coders' Reality Expansion Pack.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    The sixth tab is the "Automatic Engine Start," which is self-explanatory. This is a helpful feature for sim pilots who are feeling particularly lazy, and/or those who are having difficulty figuring out the start procedure through the use of the kneeboard checklist. The cool thing is that once the tab is clicked, the airplane doesn't instantly start up, but, rather, systematically works through the entire start up procedure automatically and spells out (literally) what is going on at the top of the screen in text format. I tried it once, for the sake of science, and was amused to watch switches flipping on by themselves as though a poltergeist had taken control of my Super Cub!

    Below the six tabbed menus I have just covered is a seventh one labeled "Titan." This is in reference to the Continental Titan X-320 and X-340 engines that have been modeled for the ASDG Super Cub. Clicking on the icon brings up a specification sheet for the two engines that looks as though it were taken directly from Continental's web site. Other than being able to read the specs for each engine, I am at a total loss as to what purpose this menu serves. In fact, this leads into my most significant complaint about this aircraft: the Titan engine.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    This may come as a shock to some, as the development team likely put a great deal of effort into producing an accurate engine model for this aircraft. While I certainly applaud ASDG and Sim Coders' efforts, I am disappointed that they took an experimental engine meant only for Sport Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) and put it into an FAA certified airplane. To my knowledge, no supplemental type certificate exists for these engines to be mounted on a PA-18, so the inclusion of it with the ASDG Super Cub is a real head scratcher and really hurts the plausibility of the airplane for me. While it is possible to convert a certified airplane to an experimental in order to plop an experimental engine into it, doing so would impose more restrictions than would be worth any potential upgrade in performance, such as passenger restrictions and range limitations. The vast majority of Piper Super Cubs flying around the world are powered by certified Lycoming 0-320's and 0-340's so I can't fathom why the Titan power plant was chosen instead.

    Sounds

    Before I get any further down the rabbit hole of gripes and complaints, I think it is prudent that I continue with the audio portion of the review.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    Once I was ready to go for my first flight, I followed the checklist to the letter and was able to start up the 180 hp tundra model with no problems. The metallic snap of the switches, the whir of the fuel pump, and the roar of the engine as it came to life were pure ear candy as good as any I've heard before. The engine requires about 1000 RPM at idle or it will sputter and cough convincingly and a warning message will appear indicating that the spark plugs are fouling. Adjusting the HSI and altimeter produces an interesting shuffling sound that seemed a little out of place (and too loud) when compared to the other sound files in the cockpit. I also found that if I held down the mouse for a few seconds on the adjustment knobs, the noise would persist for a moment even after I released the mouse pressure.

    I really appreciate the 3D sounds of the ASDG Super Cub and think that it lends a sense of authenticity and immersion to the file. When wearing headphones, however, I noticed that when I turned my "virtual" head within the cockpit, the engine noise would completely drop away from whichever side was turned away from the front of the airplane. It seemed as though the 3D sounds were maybe too effective in this case.

    ASDG Piper Super Cub     ASDG Piper Super Cub

    Another point of note was that the engine noise sounded exactly the same regardless of whether or not the cabin door was open. I understand that rag and tube airplanes like Super Cub's don't have the quietest cockpits in the world, but I expected there to be some sort of volume change or wind noise with ASDG's rendition. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

    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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