72" L-4 Grasshopper

by Willsonman | July 22, 2013 | (6) Posted in Reviews

Here is my review of the CMP 72" (6-foot) wing span Piper L-4 Grasshopper from Nitroplanes. Up front I'll give you the link and let you know I got mine on the 4th of July sale for 10% off. So the airframe shipped to my door for about $135. I'll also mention that entering the cupon code "pricepickle" gives you 6% off your purchase and is currently still active at the time of this writing. 

Once my order was placed I recieved proper notification and the next morning I recieved notification that the package had shipped. Exactly one week later the package arrived and I have to give kudos to UPS for delivering it rather unscathed. The outer box had mild scuffing and no major dents or rips. 

The inner box was flawless.

Opening up, each major part is wrapped in a soft foam and an outer wrapping of plastic. 

It also came with a very comprehensive hardware package.

There were many hinges pre-installed on the airplane but a few were missing. The hardware package came with a dozen or so extras. Every part was undamaged and in good shape. The covering on the rudder was the only real concern.

Super easy to iron this part to make it perfect. The assembly was very straight forward. I prefer to use non CA glues on ARFs where possible as the "hazing" from the fumes can get onto the film covering. I had originally used wood glue on the struts but that glue proved too weak once dry. So, I used gorilla glue. A little unsightly but a good bond.

The hinges that came on the plane were present when the paint was applied. Yes, this is painted film covering so be aware of any tape you use. It can peel the the paint right off. THe plus is it helps to hide the hinges.

The manual is easy to follow and all harware is adequate. The plane is meant to be flown with an electric engine so there are no heavy reinforcements on this model. Take care. The recommended motor size is a .32 equivalent. I had a .46 size ExceedRC monster motor and it fit just right. No motor extentsions needed and the x-mount was right on. This motor is no longer sold but I would recommend the Tacon line from Hobby Partz. These motors are top shelf and will not break the bank. I've got a  .25 size motor on a $300 airframe. I feel very confident in its robustness and build quality. 

I did have to enlarge the hole in the cowl to fit the motor but that was easily done with my dremel and sanding drum. The cowl is very flimsy. You will see in the maiden just how flimsy. I resommend the replacement cowl from Park Flyer Plastics for this. Its far more durable and cheap.

The Eflite 25e cub landing gear is more detailed and robust but what is there works well and I'll stick with it until it get the point where it is not airworthy. 

This was a dry fitting of all the parts prior to assembly. It give the over all size in relation to my 10.5 sized feet. Pay no attention to the cat... He is a 23 pound monster. He makes the plane look small. 

I used X6 standard size servos. 2 in each wing and one for the rudder/steerign gear and one for the elevator. I have an 85A ESC with a 5A built in BEC so I am confident that I will have no problems running all the servos. 

A 4S 4000mAH battery powers it all and swings the 12x8 APC-E prop. 

On with the maiden!

After the damage was assessed I ended up being able to piece the cowl back together with packaging tape.

On the second flight I had no problems. I reduced my rates on the elevator to correct the pitch sensitivity. I also put the flaps on a knob so I could more finely tune them. It helpped a lot to slow me down but not give too much lift.

I HAVE to give credit where it is due. This was a summer project for me and my kids. They helpped me assemble the entire plane. The finish is not perfect but thats not the point. It was a GREAT time well-spent with my children. The plane is big enough to fly each of their favorite stuffed animals inside.

As you can see we spent some time making some flight gear for them as well. Their flight is forthcoming but I wanted to post this review in case others felt this was a good project for their families.

For a $100 airframe its GREAT. It flys very predictably and is a great introduction to larger airplanes for ... relatively... a small entry fee. Given that the electronics make this a $250-$300 airplane flying its not bad. Its work to assemble at the field but its a good transition from smaller planes to large ones. I would not recommend this as a first airplane or as a trainer. Get some good flying experience before you go into this one. There is no prop wash over the ailerons so coordinating your turns and keeping airspeed for landings is a MUST. Mind your rudder on take-off. She likes to pull left. 


Happy Building!


sailorJohn on July 24, 2013
Bigger plane= bigger field
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Skipp2Maloo on July 24, 2013
Very nice review!
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ITCyoy543 on July 28, 2013
nice article!
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Antheman54 on July 24, 2013
Great review and flight
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Willsonman on May 14, 2014
Wanted to post an update. The cowl has since been replaced with the equivalent from park flyer plastics. Its not a perfect fit but it will do. Its much more durable. I also identified a vibration in the motor to a very slightly bent adapter shaft. Since the bolt-on adapter for my motor is no longer available I reversed the motor shaft and ordered a collet prop adapter, the compression kind.
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Yorick1117 on November 11, 2018
Thank you for this article. I just picked up this kit at a swap meet so I was excited to see someone else's experience with it. Mine didn't come with a manual so I hope from pictures I find online I will be able to figure it out!
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SageAdvice on October 13, 2021
Thank you for sharing your journey with the Piper L-4. I recently got one too, but it didn’t come with the instruction manual. Does anyone have the CMP Piper L-4 72” instruction/assembly manual. If not can one provide the key information, CG, recommended parts. Thanks
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72" L-4 Grasshopper