South Eastern MA
Posted:December 7th, 2004
I only wish that I had read the page "why Magazine Reviews Can not be trusted. As I had mentioned to Paul in an prior Email, I had just gotten back into RC Aircraft after a long time, in my rush to fly what I thought would be a lighter aircraft I bought a Great Planes Cessna 182. It had a nice scale look to it, and at first glance the weight did not seem all that bad. To be honest until tonight when I sat down and figured out the wing loading I thought that the poor response during the course of flight was me, or how I had built the plane. After I did the math this plane has a gross weight that is wet with fuel of 114 oz or 6lb 8 oz or 33oz per square ft. or a little over 2 lbs. per ft. If I remember right the full sized aircraft is somewhere around 11 lbs. per foot. Or only five times more.
During the course of reading the instructions prior to assembly I notice that they used CA hinges for the flight control surfaces. They may think that that is adequate however even in my .049 and .1 models I built in the past I used pin hinges. Even though they may be a pain to install they move freely and reduce the amount of force needed to move the surfaces giving you much better response. Not to mention that I never saw one wear out. Anyhow to make a long story short I made some other changes and reinforced the structure at a few key points where I thought their design fell short. Changed the control system for the rudder and elevators over to a pull-pull set up, the control rod setup they used bound too much for my liking. When I did the static balance test I noticed that the plane was severely nose heavy, to counter this since I loath to add weight to a plane without purpose, I added an on board glow driver so I would not have to leave a big hole in the cowl to connect the battery leads for the glow plug. All of these changes added weight to the finished airplane each by itself small but added probably as much as 3 or four ounces of weight in total.
After getting the plane balanced out I took it to the field for some flying since this plane was larger than the ones I flew earlier this year I was not to concerned about the long roll on take off. But once in the air I noticed that it responded in a lot more scale fashion than I had anticipated. I expected it to be a lot lighter on the controls and to float a lot better on landing than it did.
Must be the prop I said so when to the hobby store and picked up a couple of different props to try on it. Got the best out of it with a 6 pitch 3 bladed 10-inch prop. Now it handled in an even more scale fashion during takeoff. While it performed better in flight it still flew heavy, by that I mean is that it is easy to stall and managed to eat a prop during a "hard landing". Like no one has ever flared a bit high and stalled a plane while landing.
What I am saying is heed his warning this plane is by no means a trainer, nor should it be used as such. It is a nice flying plane though but it responds more like a scale aircraft than a lightweight RC model. If this was the first time I had flown a RC airplane I would probably had been gathering up toothpicks, batteries and servos off of the flying field. This is my just my experience and I do tend to over engineer projects at time. And of course this is just my opinion and we all know hat those are like…..