In my 19 years of flying fullsize aircraft, I have flown three types of Cessna 182s: a squaretail model from 1958; a swept verticalfn model from the mid ’70s and an R182 Skylane RG with retractable gear. All three were very stable and had a lot more get-up-and-go than the 172s I had flown. I always thought the 182 was a great airplane (even though it has a nosewheel) and would make a great RC model.
Parkflyers.com has turned that thought into a reality with its nicely done, sport-scale Cessna 182 500-class brushless model. It comes in two versions: ARF and RTF, with the RTF reviewed here. Although there is some assembly required, in the RTF package you get everything that is needed to take you from the box to the field without having to search around in your workshop for tools, etc., except for perhaps a couple of items to make some processes easier.
Included are: all the components to complete the airframe, which is made from durable EPO foam and has pre-applied decals; pre-attached scale-looking control surfaces with attached control horns; airfoiled, functional wing struts; molded, realistic, scale details such as functional wing lighting, antennae, clear windows and winglets; a pre-installed 6-
channel 2.4GHz radio that features a servo slowness-switch for controlling the flap-deployment speed; pre-assembled and attached landing gear with a steerable nose gear; a pre-installed 3715 outrunner brushless hightorque motor and 30A brushless ESC; a pre-installed, sport-scale cockpit; two, 3-blade propellers; a spinner; a 3S 11.1V 2400mAh 20C LiPo battery and 6AAs for the transmitter; a well-done instructional manual with a colorful cover page; a balancing charger for the LiPo battery; a flight-sim CD with instructions that can be used with the included transmitter and 5-minute epoxy and tools for assembly. That’s quite a deal for the $250 asking price!
When the Cessna was finished but before it was flown, I brought it into the office for opinions. Some thought it would be a flying brick, as its 3-pound weight seemed a bit heavy when being held. Others thought the power-to-weight ratio was out of kilter and would never ROG. Well, guess what? The Willie Dixon song: “You can’t judge a book by ‘looking at’ its cover” fits perfectly here. Not only does it fly well, it is as stable as can be and has more than enough power to fly it around.
My Cessna’s first flight took place on 12/30/10, a sunny, winter day, with an air temperature of 38 degrees. Since it has snowed five days before, I used a plowed road for the takeoff and landing. At 3/4-throttle and a little right rudder to steer it straight, the Skylane lifted off in about 20 feet with a slight nose-high attitude; the wings remained level. With a little added downtrim, I let the model climb to safe altitude to further check out its stability. When throttled back to Â½, it was flying perfectly no other trimming was required.
After flying a few circuits, it was time to check out the flap deployment. As typical with its full-size counterpart, a slight nose-up attitude occurs with full flaps, but that is countered with reduced throttle and a little more down trim.
A low-speed stall was performed without any hint of a wing drop. We like that! Add a little power and the 182 is flying again.
With a little bit of forward stick, it flies very well in an inverted attitude, and it will do all the standard aerobatics. When in a spin, just release the sticks and the rotation stops very quickly.
With the flaps fully deployed, the model slows up nicely for a landing approach. The Cessna’s supplied motor is very stiff and doesn’t free-spin, and during landing, this is something to note. If you glide it in, power off, with full flaps, keep that airspeed up until you have to flare inches from the ground. In ground effect and a level attitude, I did a power-off second landing and the 182 dropped in from about eight inches up. The landing gear took the shock, but it was a bit of a surprise to me. So I recommend keeping the power on at high idle until touchdown; then chop it completely and steer until the Skylane stops its ground roll. Subsequent landings proved this to be the case.
Other than that little eye-opener, this model flies great and is very stable in the air. An intermediate pilot wouldn’t have any trouble flying it.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Other than the included glue and tools, I used some 30-minute epoxy and two hemostats to assemble the model. Note that the instructions don’t say which pushrod is for which empennage control surface, but the longer one is for the rudder. Install the elevator and the rudder pushrods before you glue the tail surfaces in place. To attach the horizontal stabilizer, I cut a slit in the aft end of its location in the fuselage, applied the 30-minute epoxy to the top and bottom areas of where the stabilizer would seat, slightly spread open the fuselage, slid the stabilizer into place, applied a little epoxy to the split area and then closed it for good. Each stabilizer has built-in molded tabs, so the alignment of these surfaces came out perfectly.
The wing spar doesn’t seem to have any end position when it is slid into a wing panel, so center it when you place it in the fuselage and secure it with a small piece of tape before you slide on the wing panels. The trickiest part here is there isn’t enough slack on the flap and aileron connectors that come out on either wing root on fuselage’s sides to allow you to grab them and connect them to the wing servos’ connectors. This where the hemostats came in handy: while the wing panel was millimeters from its root, I was able to grasp the two respective servo connectors with the hemostats and plug them together. Another 1/2-inch of slack on all wing connectors would have been helpful.
The LED lighting system plugs in at the wing roots, too, and consists of a landing and navigation lights. The right wing’s light is blue, but should really be green. A dummy white position light is mounted to the top of the fin. With a little ingenuity it would be possible to make it light up as well.
When I first attached the propeller, I thought there was something wrong with the motor, as it didn’t spin freely as do some of my other electric motors. So, I took the propeller off and ran up the motor. It worked perfectly, and a subsequent motor run-up with the attached propeller confirmed that it ran well and that there was more than enough thrust to fly the model. Other than these few hitches, the assembly process went smoothly.
One change Parkflyers.com should make, though, is to place the N-number on the top right wing where U.S. civilian N-numbers go. That would add even more realism to the overall appearance.
Parkflyers.com has done a great job in replicating the Cessna 182’s details in this sportscale model. So many things have been done that when you look at it with a quick glance, you just can’t believe what you’re seeing.
There are a few minor glitches in the assembly process, but nothing that can’t be overcome with a little ingenuity.
It is stated that this is a 1/5-scale model; however, if you do the math, it is more like 1:8.5. I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing them do a 1/5-scale version, as this would bring the wingspan up to 86.4 inches. Even better, the taildragger pilot in me would love to see them do a 1/5-scale Cessna 180, from which the 182 was derived. Now that would be cool!
Even though this model has been out for awhile, it is worth checking out. It certainly made an Parkflyers.com fan out of me. Enjoy!
PLANE: Cessna 182 500-Class Brushless RTF
TYPE: 1/8.5-scale sport flyer
FOR: Intermediate to advanced pilots
WINGSPAN: 51.2 in.
WING AREA: 356.5 sq. in.
WEIGHT: 48 oz.
WING LOADING: 19.39 oz./sq. ft.
LENGTH: 39 in.
RADIO: 5 channels required; flown with an Art-Tech 6-channel 2.4GHz transmitter, Art-Tech 6-channel receiver, 6 Art-Tech servos: (4) 9GX; (2) 17GX
POWER SYSTEM: 3715 outrunner brushless high-torque motor, 3-blade 10-in. diameter prop, 30A brushless ESC, 3S 11.1V 2400mAh 20C LiPo battery
FULL THROTTLE POWER: 28 amps, 311 watts; 6.48 W/oz., 103.6 W/lb.
TOP RPM: 7,200
DURATION: 10 minutes
MINIMAL FLYING AREA:RC club field/soccer or football field
COMPONENTS NEEDED TO COMPLETE: Everything is included
When fully assembled, the model is a nicelooking, sport-scale rendition of its full-size brethren. They are a few items that need to be addressed while assembling the Skylane because they aren’t clearly stated in the manual, but once past those, the end result is a visual delight. And, it does fly extremely wellvery stable and easy to land.
Parkflyers.com www.parkflyers.com (800) 470-8932