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Common Sense RC Cap 232 Review

Jay Smith takes the new Common Sense RC Cap 232 out for a spin, with some loops and rolls thrown in for good measure.

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Introduction


Wingspan:47”
Wing Area:465 sq”
AUW weight:Advertised – 44oz Actual - 44.5oz
Length:42”
Wing loading:13.6 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:HS-65HB
Transmitter:JR 12X
Receiver:Spektrum AR6200
Battery:Common Sense 3000mAh 3s LiPoly
Motor:Common Sense E25-12
ESC:Common Sense Z-55
Available From:Common Sense RC
Price:$179.95

I was happy to see Common Sense RC not only start carrying their own line of planes but also release a Cap 232. Once a very popular aerobatic model, now they seem difficult to find in an electric ARF form. It also doesn't hurt that Common Sense's new Cap 232 comes in an attractive three color scheme.

History

The CAP 232 evolved from the 231EX in 1994. While its fuselage construction retained wood, a carbon-fiber wing was specially designed for durability and light weight. The design has won the World Championships in 1998, 2000 and 2007, as well as a number of other national-level competitions. With a roll rate of 420° per second and a climb rate of nearly 3,300 feet per minute, the CAP-232 is still well suited for the aerobatic circuit.

Kit Contents

Kit includes:

  • Balsa pre-covered fuselage, wings, and tail
  • Cowl, canopy, and wheel pants
  • Carbon fiber wing spar
  • Hardware (EZ type connectors, pushrods and horns)
  • Decals and markings already applied
  • Landing gear
  • Assembly manual with pictures and text instructions

Kit requires:

  • Motor & ESC
  • Propeller
  • 3s LiPoly battery
  • 4 micro servos
  • Receiver
  • 4 channel minimum transmitter

Included for this review:

  • E25-12 CSRC Brushless Motor
  • Z-55 CSRC 55 Amp ESC
  • 12x6E APC Propeller
  • XBEC - External BEC
  • 11.1v 3000mAh 18C CSRC LiPo Battery Pack
  • 4 HS-65HB Servos

Assembly

I always like to take a quick look at the manual before I get started to be sure I have everything I need and to find out what to expect from the build. Common Sense provides a nice manual with plenty of pictures covering all the steps to completion. A few evenings and she should be ready to go.

Wings

The first step in the build is to finish the wings. This requires the builder to remove the covering from the servo bays, glue in the CA hinges and install the aileron servos and horns. This is all straightforward; however, depending on the servos used, you may need to enlarge the servo bays. This was required with the HS-65HB servos. Common Sense has included EZ type connectors making the ailerons easier to adjust. The instructions call for use of either the long servo arm or the wheel. I used the long arm for more throw.

Stabilizer and Vertical Fin

Removing covering from the stab and vertical fin can be a bit of a pain but thankfully that step is done out of the box. The covering is already removed from the fuselage for the vertical fin but it must be removed from the stabilizer. Once they are glued into place, the elevator haves are installed with the use of the elevator joiner. I used two clothes pins and two popsicle sticks to keep the elevator halves even. The steerable tail wheel is installed at the same time as the rudder.

Fuselage

Rudder and Elevator Servo Installation

The elevator servo may again require you to enlarge the hole to fit the servo, and a servo extension is required.

The rudder uses a pull-pull setup, which can be a little challenging to rig as the servo sits back in the fuselage which does not easily allow access. I chose to attach the pull-pull to the rudder servo horn outside of the aircraft and then made my final adjustments at the rudder. This worked out well, and I was able to get ample tension on both sides of the pull-pull.

Landing Gear

The landing gear bolts on to the bottom of the fuselage with the included screws. The wheel pants require a few steps before they can be mounted. Plywood must be glued inside the wheel pants for support and strength. Once the glue has dried, the wheel pants need to have a slot cut in them to match the slot in the plywood to accept the axle. I used a Dremel tool to make the cut and put painter’s tape on the outside to help prevent the paint on the wheel pants from chipping. The wheels are then held on with lock nuts.

Motor and Cowl Installation

The motor box is separate from the fuselage and has fiberglass laminated to the motor mount to provide strength. The Common Sense motor was mounted using the X mount that came with the motor. Once the motor is mounted, the motor box locks into the fuselage and is glued with epoxy.

The cowl requires the slits to be cut into it to allow it to slide over the landing gear. With the Common Sense motor, I had to make a small oval on both sides of the cowl where it meets the leading edge of the wing to allow it to slide slightly further back for proper prop clearance. I again used blue painter’s tape to try and prevent any chipping of the paint when cutting the cowl with the Dremel tool.

Flying

The CG in the manual is 104 mm behind the leading edge at the fuselage. I was able to get the Cap to balance right on the CG mark simply by moving the battery slightly. The throws in the manual were used for low rates and high rates were with all the available throw. Exponential was set to 40% on both high and low rates.

Using the 12x6 APC prop that was provided, the watt meter showed 42.47 amps and 400 watts static.

The first flight was done from a paved runway in the bitter cold. Being the only person at the AMA flying site made me think maybe I was a little crazy flying in the cold. It also meant no one was available to take pictures for me. Oh well, time to get flying before the fingers go numb!

The Cap tracked nicely and was off the runway in about 15 feet. Only minor trim adjustments were required to have her flying straight and level. On low rates the Cap rolled and looped nicely. Stall tests showed she dropped the nose and went slightly towards the right wing. The stall was very manageable and easy to recover from by letting the Cap pick up a little speed. Knife edge flight had a lot of coupling towards the wheels. The Cap really excelled at both harrier and slow flight. Harriers were easy to lock in and had very little wing rock, and slow flight was also stable and manageable. The Cap is also very happy flying inverted with little down elevator required.

I enlisted the help of Michael Ramsey, editor of Model Aviation Magazine, to do the flying on the second flight so that I could get some flight shots and video. Michael found that the Cap was easy to fly and enjoyed its snap roll performance and harrier flight. Michael did manage to dislodge the canopy in flight, which can be seen on the video. Depending on how you fly the Cap, the canopy may need an extra magnet or two in the front of the canopy.

We both felt that the Cap was very easy to land. All that is needed is a little power till touchdown.

Is this for a Beginner?

The Cap 232 is not designed as a beginner aircraft. However, someone with aileron experience looking for an aerobatic aircraft would be at home with the Cap.

Photo Gallery and Flight Video

Downloads

CS Cap 232.wmv  52.44 MB

Conclusion

The Common Sense RC Cap 232 is a nice looking, aerobatic airplane that flies well. Assembly is reasonably quick, and the color scheme is easy to see in the air.

Pluses:

  • Attractive three color scheme
  • Quality hardware
  • Good written instructions
  • Recommended equipment works well

Minuses:

  • Recommended servos don't fit without modification
  • Cowl requires cutting by the builder
Last edited by Angela H; Jan 14, 2009 at 05:51 AM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 14, 2009, 04:18 PM
CAP 232-aholic
DiabloKid's Avatar
Centreville, VA
Joined Jan 2003
1,386 Posts
hooray for CAP's! nice to see one
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Old Jan 14, 2009, 05:00 PM
kalteisen.com
Quicker's Avatar
Omaha, NE
Joined Aug 2003
2,584 Posts
Nice review. I agree, you don't see enough Cap's. Looks like a good one.

Q
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Old Jan 14, 2009, 07:18 PM
WARNING: May contain spam
Xpress..'s Avatar
United States, CA, Alpine
Joined Oct 2007
20,936 Posts
Kewl review. CSRC is getting big. I've seen a handful of reviews on here, and one in Backyard flyer with their Yak-54.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:49 AM
ModemMisuser
Lafayette, IN
Joined Dec 2007
1,095 Posts
Awesome review! Mine's nearly ready to maiden...can't wait.

Of course, it's -9 out today, so...yeah. Not rushing to get it done.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:45 AM
kalteisen.com
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Omaha, NE
Joined Aug 2003
2,584 Posts
-15 here. Wimp

Q
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:51 AM
ProBro 3dRookie ;)
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Thornton, CO
Joined Sep 2008
1,466 Posts
42 here I'm gonna go flying before work thanks!
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 02:56 PM
TEAM EXTREME FLIGHT
Doc Austin's Avatar
USA, FL, Largo
Joined Dec 2005
17,044 Posts
Nice lookin' plane. Can I fly it?
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 10:38 PM
Plowin Dirt
deckert's Avatar
USA, WA, Benton City
Joined Oct 2007
1,571 Posts
Nice review. I'm surprised as to how much the bird looks like my 25E Hyperion Cap 232 interior wise. The FG motor mount is almost identical right down to the keyed tabs to the firewall former. I modded mine so the motor mount is held on by 4 bolts instead of having to epoxy it on. You can see the mods here..http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/membe...=177795&page=3 Sure beats epoxing the motor mount to the former in case you center punch the terra firma.

The Hyperion Cap also has to have the cowl modified to get over the LG. The Hyperion also has pull-pull rudder via wiring just like yours. And finally, my Hyperion also had to have the servo holes enlarged to accept the HS-65HB servos. I had to beef up the battery mount on mine but yours looks like a better design. It also looks like your wings are via joiner tube? Again a better option vs. gluing the wings together like the Hyperion and adding the bottom plate. Does yours have an additional plate under the wing? I couldn't tell from the pics. I did notice your tail wheel has a guide plate mounted to the bottom of the fuse, which is lacking on the Hyperion and adds for a better design. Respective to that, I really wish there was a better design for TW's on birds of this size. I HATE those darn spring steel wires. You didn't clarify if your battery placement was on the tray in your pics. Is it? My Hyperion requires a brick battery that's pushed up tight against the back side of the motor to attain a CG balance.

Now the funny part, my canopy also came loose on my 2nd flight. While that's not a big deal in most cases, my rcvr. is mounted on a plate that's screwed to the bottom of the canopy plate so all the wires were blowin in the wind in a manner of speaking. 1 emergency landing with the canopy hangin off the left side and floppin around made for a wild landing & some crumpled LG in the high grass. I've since went to TNT LG. I'd strongly recommend this change if your LG is the soft aluminum like the Hyperions. I was going to add another magnet or 2 but the darn things cost 49 cents each plus $5.00 shipping so I now just use a small screw to keep the canopy locked down. Sure are an awful lot of similarities with respect to the design....Hmmm?

All in all, it appears like Common Sense took a good design and made it better IMHO! Now about that TW design..

Dan
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 11:20 PM
Team 3DHS
rcdrum's Avatar
USA, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Feb 2004
693 Posts
Picked up one of these from the Common Sense guys at the AMA show. I have it all ready to go, will have a flight report tomorrow. There is no "belly pan" under the wing. I used a different motor and a smaller battery (2200mah 3's) than recommended and had to push the pack up against the firewall to achieve factory CG. Looks like alot of wing area on this Cap, I'm looking forward to getting it in the air.

RC
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 09:21 AM
Registered User
D/FW
Joined Aug 2004
704 Posts
I might be adding this plane to my hangar later in the year. I'm curious what your AUW is with the smaller pack. I would be using a 2200 mah also. I would also be using a Torque 2818/T900 motor, which looks to be much lighter than the motor they call for. I would think the AUW would be around 40 ounces with my setup. If you could post you AUW it would be great.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 01:29 PM
Registered User
hemituda's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
856 Posts
After seeing Roberts fly this morning, It looks like a winner. Talk about precise.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 04:34 PM
Team 3DHS
rcdrum's Avatar
USA, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Feb 2004
693 Posts
Ok, I got a very little time on the Cap today but I came away very impressed. I'm probably gonna post this on the original build thread as well.

RC's mini flight review:


1. Knife Edge- almost no coupling with left rudder, just about perfect. Right rudder has a little pull to the gear, probably a 3-5% mix out.

2. Upright Harrier- superb, I drove it around with the rudder with the nose about 30% , needed very little counter aileron

3. Inverted Harrier- I was a little weary of this but no issues at all. The Cap seemed to like the nose a little lower than upright but it was solid

4. Hover- Didn't do alot of hovering because I was trying to get as much of everything else in with my limited time. I figured hovering would be a non- issue and it was, I think I need to add a little more elevator throw though

5. Inverted flatspin- Interesting, not like a midwing plane. It was OK although I think it was more pilot than anything else, I'll figure it out

6. Rolling Harrier- Flying this manuever was suprisingly easy with this plane, although the low wing did seem to make me change my stir a little, could be phsycological, who knows

That's it, that's all I had time for. I really like this plane, especially cuz' it's a Cap! I like Extra's and Yaks but there's something about a Cap for me. I can't wait to get more airtime and hopefully Hemituda will bring his videocamera tomorrow.

RC
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Last edited by rcdrum; Jan 17, 2009 at 05:28 PM.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 05:04 PM
Registered User
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Joined Aug 2006
856 Posts
Hint, Hint! I'll try to get better footage that does it and you justice.

I can't wait to try it too!

Keith
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Old Jan 19, 2009, 08:06 PM
Team 3DHS
rcdrum's Avatar
USA, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Feb 2004
693 Posts
I got a few flights in this weekend, Hemituda was kind enough to bring his video camera along. Just wanted to show a few manuevers on the Cap, for those who might be interested in it's 3D qualities. Enjoy

COMMON SENSE RC CAP 232E (1 min 45 sec)



RC
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