The Giant Cessna 182 1.8 Meter EPO PNF from Hobby King
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The Giant Cessna 182 1.8 Meter EPO PNF from Hobby King
Post Date: 10-30-11
Last updated: 11-19-11
Review Status: Complete.
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C.G. : 60-65mm aft of leading edge where wing meets the fuselage. Mine balanced and flew well there.
This includes a Zippy 4s 5000mah 20c battery w/10oz of nose weight added
Control Throws: Elevator 30mm up & 30mm Down, Ailerons 15mm up & 15mm down, Rudder 30mm L & 30mm R
D/R & Expo: Elevator rate 70% & Expo 10%, Ailer rate 100% & Expo 0%, Rudder rate 100% & Expo 0%
Empty Weight: (no battery): 2572 grams, 90.70oz, 5.67 lbs
Flying weight: (with Zippy 4s 5000 20c battery) 3082 grams, 108.65 oz, 6.79 lbs
Welcome to the RCInformer review of the Giant 182 Cessna from Hobby King. This review is not intended to be a complete build of the plane…. It is quite easy to assemble. Instead it is intended to provide anyone who has this plane a guide to making a good model even better. The modifications, improvements, and upgrades in this review are intended to make the model safer, more durable, and more fun to fly. The objective of this review is to eliminate any question marks that you, the builder, may have after you open the box and begin to assemble this plane. I hope everyone viewing this will find it useful, especially those who have the plane or are planning to buy one. However, much of the information here can be applied to other models as well…. Enjoy the review and please feel free to give me feedback via the “contact us” tab at the top of this page.
This Cessna has proved to be a very realistic model… what I mean is that it fly’s more like the real thing than a model. It is graceful, forgiving and a pleasure to fly. While on a low downwind, the power can be brought to idle and the plane will easily glide in a 180 degree turn and land on the runway with room to spare, just as a trainer should. It is nice to see such a large stable flying model for under $200. No doubt this is plane is part of a continuing paradigm shift in the way models will be built in the future. Although I give this plane very high marks in many areas, there are several things that I revised that I think will improve the overall model.
The Quality of this EPO plane is excellent. Most parts fit well and have a very scale appearance. I was impressed with the simulated corrugation or “ridges” on the flight control surfaces… it adds to the realism of the model! Much to my surprise, all the hinges and servos were properly and solidly glued in. It was pleasant to find NO major abnormalities or defects were found in this kit. The following items I revised or changed to improve the model, and they are all easy revisions to accomplish:
(1) The lower wing strut brackets seemed a bit weak where they connected to the fuselage.
(2) The installed motor drew nearly 70 amps on the 14X7 prop.
(3) Main gear screws supplied were a bit short and thin.
(4) Many flat spots for setscrews were needed to keep their respective shafts from slipping.
(5) The flap push rods were too long.
(6) The cowl magnets seemed a bit weak.
(7) Miscellaneous building tips, upgrades, and features.
This plane is very easy to assemble. Essentially the instructions were correct in the overall basic assembly and therefore there is no need for a complete build of this plane. The included instructions were good for general building and do cover the assembly of the main components correctly. My only real complaint was that no CG information was provided. I just used a guess of 25 to 30% aft of the leading edge of the wing. This is where the CG resides for most straight wing airplanes. The next paragraph summarizes the general build, but I will primarily be focusing on the details of the model that need revision…. the areas that the instructions do not cover…. the stuff you need to know!
The only gluing needed for the entire airplane was for the tail assembly. First the horizontal stabilizer/Elevator was glued on followed by the vertical Stab/rudder. AS USUAL, I LIGHTLY SANDED ALL GLUE CONTACT AREAS AND USED 2 PART EPOXY ON ALL THE ABOVE STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS. Everything else on this model is bolted on. Just follow the instructions…….That’s it for the basic construction.
The things I did to make this plane better:
Please keep in mind that not all kits are the same… the issues my plane had may not be the same as the ones yours has.
(1) Main wing strut lower brackets were a bit weak:
This was not a necessary modification but one I feel greatly improves the strength of the model. I felt more confident with the structural integrity of this plane by adding this upgrade. As with most Cessna’s most of the wing loading is carried by 2 wing struts, one on each side of the plane. The lower attachment points are the ones that I feel were a bit weak. One side had almost no glue on it and it easily came out. The other popped out with little effort. I noticed that when I pulled on the strut this bracket flexed the foam beyond my comfort limit. It appeared that with moderate wing loading the small piece of wood behind this bracket could pull through the foam potentially causing a crash. I simply replaced the small block of wood with a larger section of plywood and glued it in with the provided contact cement. This greatly increases the strength of the bracket and it should be able to handle a higher “G” load. This is an easy upgrade and is well worth the extra effort. The following pictures illustrate how this is done.
The Above picture illustrates a much stronger mount than the stock setup. When I pull on it now there is not even a hint of it pulling out of the foam, it is very strong now. While a Student pilot is training to fly, he/she will often unintentionally pull hard on the controls and load up an airplane more than is necessary. The extra strength this mod provides is beneficial when flying this plane as a trainer or for performing mild aerobatic flight, which this plane is quite capable of.
(2) My stock motor drew nearly 70 amps with the included 14X7 prop:
The motor that was installed on the plane seemed a bit small for the prop that was supplied. With the supplied 14X7 prop the motor drew 69 amps. Instead of going with a smaller prop I decided to change out the motor. I figured I could use the stock motor in a smaller plane in the future. Fortunately I had a Turnigy C42-50 700kv motor in my stock. This motor proved to be a perfect fit for the plane and prop. The “X” motor mount that was included with the plane is an exact match that will mate the C42-50A 700kv motor to the wooden mount with NO MODIFICATION to the airframe or motor. In addition, with the stock 14X7 prop, this motor pulls only 55 amps at full throttle…. yielding a longer battery life. In addition, the gap between the cowl and spinner was about a half inch wide with the stock motor. With the new motor the gap was reduced to about 1/4” which gives the model a much better scale appearance. In addition, at about $25, the C42-50A 700kv motor is a bargain. I also chose a Turnigy Trust 70 amp
controller. It is important to note that with this setup the plane is NOT anemic; instead it has lots of power! The thrust-to weight ratio is just about 1:1 and the plane is quite fast if youre feeling the need for speed.
Important mounting note: My setup with the Turnigy C4250-700 motor is a tight fit. You must use a shallow head screw and install the 4 mount screws to the “X” mount FIRST and then screw the mount to the motor. Then you can install the motor and mount together to the airframe. If you install the “X” mount to the motor first you may not be able to get the screws past the out runner portion of the motor due to the minimal clearance. I used allen bolts and beveled the edges of the bolts to get the clearance needed to use this setup. The pictures below illustrate this entire motor change.
NOTE: The Above picture also shows the additional nose weight I needed to add to balance this plane. It is merely lead shot I put in a bag. The weight is wrapped in and secured with Duct tape. Any weight can be used for balancing.
The above sandpaper washer setup can be used on any airplane. I am constantly using this technique on my models. Often many of the motors that are manufactured overseas have a prop drive with little to no friction to “bite” into the prop or spinner. This is an inexpensive way to keep the prop from spinning on the motor shaft.
(3) Main gear axle screws supplied were a little short and thin:
The Screws supplied for the main axles were a little short and seemed to be a bit thin. Any screw longer and thicker than the stock screws should work. In addition, I used 2 nylon locknuts and sandwiched the supplied aluminum washer, wheel pant mount and the main gear bracket between them. Washers were used on both sides of the wheel to align the wheel in the center of the Wheel pant. This is a very robust setup and can withstand a lot of punishment. Wheel pants are often a nuisance to deal with and many remove them rather than struggle with them. This modified setup, including the wheel pants have so far functioned flawlessly off my local grass field. This is a very simple improvement. The following illustrations detail this modification.
(4) Many flat spots for setscrews were needed to keep their respective shafts from slipping:
This Cessna utilizes a lot of set screws in many areas of construction. Some of these areas had flat spots filed on the shafts but many did not. This plane really benefits from the added security of this simple technique. The nose gear strut, nose steering pushrod, landing gear wheel axles, wing support pylons, even the elevator and rudder pushrods are secured with set screws that will benefit from flat spots. The nose gear system alone utilizes 4 set screws. During my initial taxi tests, I found the plane difficult to steer because I had initially overlooked one of the four set screws that I did not know was there. Just one of the 4 setscrews slipping in the steering system caused too much play. The following photos will illustrate which areas of the entire model that require flat spots on only the shaft and which areas will benefit from my technique of a flat spot filed on the shaft and the set screw which resists rotation.
INSERT PIC OF SET SCREW W/POINT
(5) The flap push rods were to long:
The flap rods were too long and needed to be shortened. Using the existing rods, I just bent a new “Z” bend at the proper length and cut off the old “Z” bend. This is an easy adjustment…. the following pictures illustrate this modification.
(6) The cowl magnets seemed a bit weak:
There are 4 cowl magnets glued to the inside of the cowl. They seem strong enough to keep the cowl in place; however I decided a little extra security was in order. Instead of over-engineering the cowl I opted for a simple piece of tape…
Mounting the Vertical Stabilizer:
Building tip: The vertical stabilizer is an excellent fit, however when gluing, the epoxy makes a fluid seal that traps air in the mounting socket. The air prevents the Vertical Stabilizer from seating fully. Simply drill some holes in the bottom of the socket to relieve the pressure and the vertical stabilizer will now fully seat down in the socket.
Gluing the nose pant in place:
Using contact cement here is the way to go. Often, wheel pants become damaged and interfere with the wheel rotation. When this happens we usually just remove the damaged pant and fly without it. The contact cement is a non-permanent way of installing the pant but still have it secure enough to fly.
Addition of one wheel collar to the elevator rods:
I removed the clevis from both elevator control horns and removed the elevator control rod from the servo connector. I then pulled the rod forward to inspect it. I could not see very far in the fuselage and I only noticed one wheel collar connecting both elevator rods together. I decided to install a second collar for added security and used blue thread lock to keep it there.
Secure all clevises with fuel tubing:
More cheap insurance! Tube it or lose it… I always say! Thanks to all the modern electric planes out there, many that are new to the hobby missed out on the knowledge that glow powered models provided. I always add a small piece of fuel tubing around all clevises to prevent them from coming off in flight. This model really warrants the use of fuel tubing on all the clevises due to its large size and higher loads.
How to keep the Stickers on:
This plane comes with 2 very colorful and complete sticker sheets. While most of them stick to the plane just fine, there are a few areas where they are prone to coming off, especially the leading edge portion of the sticker or where there was a curve involved. I was able to get most of them to stay on including the wheel pant stickers. It’s not a big deal without the pant stickers, but it’s the little details that really add to the realism of the model. The Following pictures will show how I used 3M Blenderm, better known as hinge tape, to keep the stickers on.
INSERT PIC OF TAPE ON THE STICKERS
Some nice features worth mentioning:
Canopy protective film:
I thought this was a very good idea from the manufacturer and really helps keep the canopy from getting scratched up while you are building the model. Both the front and rear window have this excellent feature. Just remove the tape when building is complete and you have a nice shiny window.
Magnetic battery compartment:
The pre-installed underside hatch gives great access to the battery compartment, servos and receiver. The battery compartment is huge and allows for a wide range of battery’s to be used. I used a 4s 5000mah 20c battery for extended flight time and to help move the CG forward since this plane needed nose weight. I have found that Non-Skid shelf liner attached with double-sided scotch tape works best for keeping the battery from sliding around. Velcro is great but it takes up space and can damage the model when trying to remove the battery because it holds so well.
This Cessna is a pleasure to fly. It is graceful and forgiving. It actually has a fairly large flight envelope. It will fly slowly for landings and it will go fast if you push the throttle forward. The vertical performance is excellent for there is a lot of power to climb with. Both pitch and roll are very stable and smooth. It is excellent as a scale/trainer aircraft that has good introductory and forgiving aerobatic abilities. Nothing happens fast with this plane, it recovers from unusual attitudes in a very forgiving and slow manner. Ground handling is top notch! It is very easy to taxi and excellent control on the ground is easily maintained. Taxi, takeoff and landing are a pleasure. Both grass and pavement are no problem for this plane. As expected, it is not a “snappy” airplane, but it will pitch and roll slowly with very positive, smooth control.
Takeoffs are very scale like. Liftoff occurs with a very short ground roll and at a slow speed. The nose lifts off very slowly as does the full scale plane with no bad habits. Very little elevator is needed to rotate the plane into the air. Even if you over rotate the plane it is very unlikely to stall for it has so much power this is really a non-issue.
Although it is not an aerobatic plane, this Cessna is quite capable. Aerobatic maneuvering is accomplished by using aggressive stick movements. This is a desired trait for training aerobatics… the plane maintains its positive stability and requires a student to really move the controls in the proper direction to get the desired maneuvering. Loops, Rolls, Wingovers and even inverted flight are all within the flight envelope of this plane. Bottom line: It is a very good introductory aerobatics trainer.
Approach and Landing:
What can I say…. It lands just like the real thing! This plane lands slow even without flaps… in fact the flaps are really not needed. Little to no power is needed at touchdown. The plane lands so slowly that most who fly it, including me, will no doubt try to land it to fast initially. After a few approaches and landings it will become obvious that this plane will easily float if it is to fast. Smooth, greaser landings are easily accomplished with this plane.
In addition to being a good airplane to accomplish nice landings with, this Cessna has also proven to be a good plane to make bad landings with. In other words, it can take the punishment of imperfect landings from those who are learning to fly. The above picture is just one of the many not-so-good landings I have had with this plane. Every time the plane righted itself and emerged without a scratch….. Like a cat, it will almost always land right-side-up! What this plane is very good for is multiple takeoffs and landings…. this is the primary reason for having a trainer.
Very Scale, Large size airplane for $200, lots of bang for the buck!
Excellent flying airplane.
Great for training and introducing aerobatics.
Overall great fitting parts.
Finish of EPO foam is excellent.
All hinges were installed properly, no revisions needed there.
The kit included a second prop.
2 large colorful sticker sheets included.
The battery compartment is large and can handle a variety of battery sizes.
Lower wing strut brackets needed to be improved.
Supplied main gear axles had to be changed.
I had to add 285G/10oz. of nose weight to achieve the proper CG.
The Stock motor as really too small for plane with the supplied 14X7 prop.
No published CG in the Manual.
Really could use a standard size servo for the elevator and rudder.
Model needs builder to file flat spots on axles and shafts in many areas for security.
Although it does disassemble, this plane is large for transport.
Final Thoughts and Notes to Tian Sheng Models / Hobby King:
The last word on this plane is… Awesome! For anyone looking for a large, easy to fly, very scale model…this model is a very safe choice. For around $200, you really can’t beat it.
more coming soon!