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Old Jan 24, 2011, 06:56 AM
Registered User
Espaņa, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid
Joined Aug 2010
64 Posts
Mini-Review
Hobby King Cessna 182 RTF Deluxe / Skyartec Updated

Hi everyone. This is my first thread, so if this should no be in this forum, please tell me a better place to write about this.

With some delay due to stock problems at Hobby King, my Christmas present (remember that in Spain presents are brought on Januatry 6th by the 3 Wizse Men, son the delay has not been so long) just arrived last weekend: the Cessna 182 RTF from Hobby King.

After being out of stock from early December, when they finally got it available again by the end of the month I saw that the model had changed a bit, and now they are calling it Deluxe Version. Apparently the major difference is the addition of flaps, but as I have not seen any information about it in the existing threads, I've thought of posting here a review of the plane now that it's in my hands.


Although there is no mention at all in the Hobby King web site, the plane is the Skyartec version of the Cessna 182. Although they call it RTF, it is an ARF kit since no transmitter, receiver or battery are included. It corresponds to the "Cessna 182 BL RTF 2.4GHz(Updated version)" advertised in Skyartec web site, although it is not a RTF kit as I already said.

Its main features, according to Hobby King and Skyartec are:
  • Wingspan: 38.6 in / length: 30.7 / weight: 560 g (update: actual wingspan is 38.9 in / fuselage length is 28.9, plus a bit more due to the vertical finn)
  • 1530 Kv brushless outrunner and 25 A brushless ESC
  • 4 servos (9g): aileron, rudder + nose wheel, elevator & flap.

The main differences with the previous version, as far as I know, are:
  • Working flaps included
  • Wing installation reinforced with wing struts (also better scale looking)
  • Bigger battery compartment
  • Now ailerons use 1 servo only (not sure 100% if the previous verison used 2 servos for ailerons; anyone owning the previous one can correct me), being the other one in the wing for the flaps.

I'll be updating this first post as I go on with the assembly and first flights of this beautiful aircraft. I hope this helps other people who might be thinking of buying this rather cheap version of the Cessna 182.

1. Unboxing and first impression

The plane comes well packaged, with every part wrapped in bubble plastic (not shown in the pictures as I had already removed it). Although its trip from Hong Kong to Spain had its effects on the box (which, by the way, corresponds to the older version), the components arrived in perfect condition.

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Description: The box with the Spektrum DX6i and AR6100e and Zippy Flightmax 2200 mAh battery. Name: Cessna182_02.jpg
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Description: Wing comes covered with bubble plastic. Name: Cessna182_03.jpg
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Description: Although is not shown in the picture, everything was covered in bubble plastic. Small parts came in sealed bags. Name: Cessna182_04.jpg
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Description: The tail comes wrapped in cardboard to protect the pushrods and clevis.


The kit includes the following items:
  • Main wing with 2 servos and pushrods already installed
  • Fuselage with motor, 8x6 prop, ESC and 2 servos already installed, with the pushrods in place. The steering gear is well installed, not turning opposite as reported by owners of the previous model.
  • Plastic screws for wing installation.
  • Horizontal tail plane with rudder.
  • Vertical tail plane with elevator.
  • Main and nose landing gear.
  • Wing struts and screws for installation.
  • Allen wrench.
  • Spare servo arms.
  • Spare propeller.
  • Bottle of glue.
  • Instructions manual.
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Description: The content of the kit.

One of the improvements I like is the size increase of the battery compartment. Now its dimensions are 114.5 x 34.5 x 29-31 mm (actual dimenisions measured with a caliper; depth has a minimum value of 29 mm due to fuselage shape at the front of the hatch), which allows a much bigger battery to be used. I've tried a Zippy FlightMax 2200 mAh and it fits. It's a little tight due to the battery width, but fits. I expect long flying times with this huge battery compared with the 1300 mAh battery that could be used with the previous version. In this case, the compartment is reinforced with plastic, so it cannot be easily enlarged, but who cares with this new big size?

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Description: Bigger battery hatch. Name: Cessna182_06.jpg
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Description: Battery compartment dimensions

The addition of wing struts is also a good thing. Apart from a better scale looking of the plane, I guess they will add some strength to the wing, helping to prevent the overload the plastic screws thet fit the wing in place. They are installed with 2 screws (metallic this time), one on the fuselage side and one on the wing, in the plastic part where the aileron levers are installed.

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Description: Wing struts under the wing.

The last change, although it is the more remarcable, is the new working flaps included in the wing. Since the total number of servos remains the same, they have changed the design, and in this version there is only one servo for both ailerons, while the other actuates the flaps. The locaiton of the servos has changed, and now both are in the center section of the wing, so they are hidden inside the fuselage when the wing is installed. This may be a little aerodynamic improvement, but we loose the dual servo aileron possibilities when using a programmable transmitter as in my case with the DX6i. Anyway, I think it would be quite simple to add another servo to the system to recover the dual aileron configuration. Cut-outs have already been done in the wing to install the servo linkages levers, so they could be modified to install the 1 servo per aileron. However, that's another topic for another thread.

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Description: New wing with working flaps.

The plane comes with decals already installed. This is a problem if, as it is the case, any modifications are required. To remove the engine cowl it is necessary to cut the upper and side decals at the cowl edge. The cowl is attached the the engine mount by menans of 4 screws, but 2 of them are under the side declas, so take it into account if you try to remove the cowl. I learnt it the hard way! Pulling the cowl forward without removing thos 2 hidden screws ends with the screw fitting broken. Fortunately it can be easily repaired with some glue..

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Description: Engine mount and cowl fitting points

In the wing, decals are on top of the tape that covers the airlerons pushrods, so any modification of this mechanism will involve some damage to this decals.

After this quick view of the kit, and the good impression caused by the improvements, it's time to check if it's really that good. Before getting to assemble the aircraft, I've carefully examined it to identify potential problems and I must say that I've found a few. For the price of this kit one cannot expect to get a real "ready to fly" thing, but I'm a bit disappointed with the amount of things that need to be fixed before it can fly.

Up to now, I've found the following issues:

Wing installation
  • The mounting pins in the leading edge are not well aligned with the holes in the fuselage. I will have to remove the plastic part with the pins from the wing and attach it again for proper alignment.
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Description: Leading edge pins (before relocation)Name: Cessna182_11.jpg
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Description: Matching holes on the fuselage for wing pins.
    Update: This was easy to fix. The plastic part with the pins is easy to remove from the wing. I simply marked the right position on the wing an re-attached it with some glue. It also has pins that go into the wing on its rear face. The misalignment was les than 1 mm, but enough to make the wing imposssible to attach to the fuselage.
  • The inserts for the wing's fitting screws aren't properly aligned. In this case I don't see an easy solution as in the previous issue, so I'll wait to see if the wing can be installed this way. Repairing this thing would involve disassembling the whole fuselage, and that's not something I'm looking forward to.
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Description: Wing fitting points - this is beyond misalignment.
    Update: Surprisingly, after fixing the problem with the mounting pins, it seems that the holes in the wing are as bad aligned as the inserts in the fuselage, so the wing can be installed with the provided nylon bolts. Anyway, the system doesn't look very good to me. I wouln'd bet that those bolts will last for a long time...we'll see how they behave.
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Description: Wing attached without front pins. Alignment marks for a proper installalation.

Ailerons:
  • Ailerons are operated by 1 servo through pushrods that run parallel to the wing span, and then other pushrods parallel to wing chord with levers between both pushrods to transmit the servo movement. The whole mechanism is not well adjusted since the servo is blocked and can only move to one side, resulting in a unsymmetrical deflection of RH and LH ailerons. I hope that I can adjusted this without removing every part from the wing, since decals would need to be removed too.Update: I've decided to go back to the original design with oner servo per aileron. I show the conversion process in the next part.
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Description: Aileron mechanism
  • Ailerons joints are poorly made resulting in the ailerons not completely aligned with the wing surface. The ailerons are lower than the wing at the tips and a bit raised at the root sides. Anyway, I'll have to live with this thing since I don't want to rebuild the whole wing.
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Description: Poorly built aileron joint.
  • One of the airlerons pushord is defective: there is no way to make it shorter or longer no matter how mucho you turn the clevis. Luckily if had one spare to replace it

Flaps:
  • The RH flap (also the LH, but not so much) is too big and there is friction between the flap and the plastic part in the wing root. I've cut a bit (like 1-2 mm) of foam from the flap and now it works fine.
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Description: Friction between flap and wing root
  • The extension/retraction mechanism is just awful. With the servo centered, flaps have a bit of upward deflection. Unless they are intended to work as spoilers, this is not something good. Due to the geometry of the linkages, the maximum downward deflection is really small, but instead they are able of a great upward deflection. The servo arm is linked to the pushrod with a clevis that can not be shortened any more, so I will have to replace it by a metal rod to get a shorter link so that when the servo is near 100% up, the flap will be in its retracted position.
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Description: Maximum flap extension Name: Cessna182_19.jpg
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Description: Spopilers!
  • Tha plastic frame where aileron and flaps servos are installed is debonded from the wing. This means that the whole mechanism has to be removed to apply glue. This involves removing the tape that covers the channels where the aileron pushrods are inserted...big mess.


2. Assembly and modifications

Now that I've analyzed avery possible problem, I can go on with the assembly of the aircraft. At the same time I'll fix those things that need to be fixed.

Receiver and battery

The aircraft comes with all electronics installed except the receiver. I am going to a be using a simple 6 channel spektrum AR6100e RX. I have just attached it to one side of the electronics compartment with a piece of adhesive rubber I had in my toolbox. I've tried to put it in a way that the servo and ESC leads do not interfere with the 2 servos placed in the fuselage.

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Description: AR6100e RX installed.

Using an screwdriver I've made a small channel for the RX antenna to go out of the fuselage under the wing. Then a small piece of adhesive tape keeps everything in place. As there is no much room to manipulate the RX in the fuselage, I've installed some servo extension leads for the servos installed in the wing. This way, I can remove the wing easyly and unplug thos servos without messing with my sausage fingers in the tiny compartment.

The battery compartment is at the bottom, and 2 holes allow the ESC cable to go down. The front one is better becuase the other one is just in the middle of the rudder and elevator pushrods. The only problem is tha the ESC power lead is not very long. In addition, it comes with a Deans connector. As I'm using Zippy batteries, wich use XT60 connectors, I have changed the ESC connector, and attached an extension lead. I expect quite long flight times with the 2200 mAh batteries I have.


Tail Installation

This part of the assembly process is quite simple and comes explained in the manual. To install the horizontal stibilizer it is necessary to cut the fuselage, and also to enlarge a bit the hole for the elevator to move upwards. I've discovered that the soldering iron is a really useful tool to shape this cut-out for the elevator. Then the stabilizer is installd with the provided glue. I was tempted to use epoxy adhesive, but I was not sure if it would damage the foam, so I just used the one included with the airplane. I hope not to loose the tail in the first flight...

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Description: Cut out for elevator.

For the vertical fin is pretty much the same. After installing both parts and making sure they were well aligned, I just let the glue dry overnight. Finally, the only thing left is to connect the pushrods to the control horns and make sure the surfaces are centered with the servos in their neutral positions. I just had to add a bit of sub-trim in my DX6i TX to get the properly centered.


Wing improvements

As I mentioned earlier, I don't like the way the ailerons are liked to the servo. After fighting with them for a while I decided it was worth to make a small effort and change the whole approach, installing on servo per aileron, and one more of the flaps.

The first thing I did was removig the plastic part with the levers where the pushrods are connected. Otherwise it was impossible to remove the aileerons servo. With a razor I just removed the glue around this plastic cases (believe me, Skyartec is not expending a lot in glue...) and they were easily removes from the wing. After loosening the setscrew in the serve arm, the long pushrods between the servo and the lever can be removed without need to remove the decals. Then, the servo can also be remove.

At this point, I also remove the flaps servo as I'm going to use it for the other aileron. I prefer to have 2 servos of the same model for the ailerons, and the extra one for the flaps. Also the plastic casing for the servos needed to be properly glued...

Once the old system is out, it is time to install the servos in the wing. The cutout in the foam where the levers casings were installed is not suitable for the servos, so a bit of work is needed. Again, the soldering iron is really useful to make a hole which adapts in shape to the contour of the servos. After choosing the best position, I just marked the servo contour and removed the foam with the soldering iron.
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Description: Positionig the servo. Name: Cessna182_22.jpg
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Description: Servo contour ready to cut out. Name: Cessna182_23.jpg
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Description: Foam reoved to make room for the servo.

Then I inserted the servo lead in the channel that Skyartec has kindly left in place from the old design. If this is done carefully, it is not necessary to remove the decal. I used one of the old long pushrods to push the connector along the channel. As the lead is not long enough, I've had to use an extension lead. To allow the connectors to lie under the tape the covers the channels, some more soldering iron had to be applied. In the end, it looks quite good, better than I expected to be honest. I use a generous amount of glue to fit the servos in their new locations. I must say that I'm quite happy with the result.

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Description: Servo fits perfectly in its new place. Name: Cessna182_25.jpg
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Description: The servo lead and the extension under the adhesive tape. Name: Cessna182_26.jpg
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Description: Final result: it looks good to me. Name: Cessna182_27.jpg
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Description: Wing after conversion.

Just after I finish the installation of the 2nd servo I realized that there was something that I had not thought of: how am I going to install the new wing struts now? They need one screw in the fuselage and one more in the wing, and I had just removed the plastic case where the screw should fit into...

Well, fortunately I found the solution: I just cut the plastic casing and installed the small bit where the screw hole is. I cut one of the original casings in two halves with the pliers, and then cut those halves to obtain a small part that fitted in the room available next to the servo. I also shortened a bit the parts in depth to avoid making the hole in the foam too deep.
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Description: Before and after, and the murder weapon. Name: Cessna182_30.jpg
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Description: That new part goes in the marked spot.

To install the new parts in the proper place, I just mounted the wing and the struts, and marked the best position for the screw hole. Their original position was a bit farher from the leading edge, but now the servo is there, so there is no much choice. After marking the position, shaping the hole is simple with my good friend the soldering iron. Then, the last step is filling the holes with glue and installing the parts, and waiting a couple of hours for the glue to dry.

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Description: Hole shape matching the plastic part. Name: Cessna182_32.jpg
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Description: Now I can install the strut as originally.





(to be continued)
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Last edited by hipher; Jan 30, 2011 at 04:50 AM.
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Old Jun 30, 2011, 07:17 PM
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I have just ordered a 1300 mAh artery to fit this plane

I can cancel the order

I have an 1800 mAh battery that would fit the plane.

Will 1800 overpower the engine? How did your 2200 go?

Thanks
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 05:00 PM
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Espaņa, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid
Joined Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmrules View Post
I have just ordered a 1300 mAh artery to fit this plane

I can cancel the order

I have an 1800 mAh battery that would fit the plane.

Will 1800 overpower the engine? How did your 2200 go?

Thanks
The capacity of the battery only affects to how long you can fly it, but the power to the motor is the same as long as you make sure the cell count is the same (3S for this plane). Aslo, the more capacity, the heavier the battery is. My 2200 fits the battery compartment a bith tight to be honest, one slightly smaller (in size) would be better, but mine works fine as well.

Hope this helped.

Regards
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 01:29 AM
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My impressions

I have this plane too. It does require a LOT of re-work as others mentioned.

I was able to fly it a few times and it behaves perfectly OK it the air, however, stock landing gear is flaky, especially the nose wheel which kept breaking on less than perfect landings. I have ended up upgrading the landing gear to a stronger (and heavier) one.

Also I doubt the foam is EPO, some sort of coated EPS is more like it.

While regular CA works fine strengthening horns etc, once I had the wing broke (i.e. inner foam exposed) normal CA started melting right through the foam. Had to use accelerator to stop the melting, and then 'gorilla glue' to fill the gap that has been created by CA. I think the foam material is also more brittle than EPO.
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Last edited by amba; Aug 07, 2011 at 05:42 PM.
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 04:51 AM
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I have also reworked my landing gear to convert it into a tail dragger after several successfuel flights with hand launching and belly landing. It works much better.
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipher View Post
I have also reworked my landing gear to convert it into a tail dragger after several successfuel flights with hand launching and belly landing. It works much better.
Hi hipher,

I'll try to upload more photos of the landing gear I installed. It seems pretty solid now (after a few try and error experiences), but I have still have two problems related to it:

1) it added some weight, I estimate 100g or so to the total weight of the plane, now the plane feels a little under powered. I also broke the motor, and have ordered a new one.

2) while accelerating for take-off, it is kind of difficult to keep the plane in straight line. how does this work for you? i'm thinking of adding rudder expo to better control it. how does this work for you?
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amba View Post
Hi hipher,

I'll try to upload more photos of the landing gear I installed. It seems pretty solid now (after a few try and error experiences), but I have still have two problems related to it:

1) it added some weight, I estimate 100g or so to the total weight of the plane, now the plane feels a little under powered. I also broke the motor, and have ordered a new one.

2) while accelerating for take-off, it is kind of difficult to keep the plane in straight line. how does this work for you? i'm thinking of adding rudder expo to better control it. how does this work for you?
Hi

I don't have the plane right now, but for the next weekend I'll post a couple of pics. What I did is cut a slot forward of the battery hatch for the main gear and I installed the front wheel under the tail. By now I am still hand launching as I lost the control of the wheel on ground, but I'm thinking of installing a sullivan tail wheel to control it with the rudder.
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipher View Post
I don't have the plane right now, but for the next weekend I'll post a couple of pics.
I just remembered that I had a picture on my phone. I'll post more details next weekend.
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 05:46 PM
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I've added pics of my new landing gear. The (steerable) tail wheel is this: http://www.r2hobbies.com/eng/proddet...od=rcps1520021
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Anyone know how to reprogram the ESC, mine is detecting zero throttle at mid stick, and how to disable the damn music?
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htran View Post
Anyone know how to reprogram the ESC, mine is detecting zero throttle at mid stick, and how to disable the damn music?
Turn on your tx, set throttle to maximun and then connect the receiver and esc to the battery. It should beep, and then you set idle throttle. That way the esc learns the max and min throttle values. About the music, I read somewhere that Turnigy esc programming card was suitable for this one, but it has not worked for me. Maybe in skyartec's website there is a programming card for sale. You cannot remove the music programming it with the TX as far as I know. The trick i use is to quicly increase and reduce throttle the moment it starts to play the damn music. Works pretty much ok.

PS: If you cannot get the esc to arm even with this procedure try reducing the servo travel for throttle chanel (min value) on your TX, if it has the capability.
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Old Sep 13, 2011, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by hipher View Post
Turn on your tx, set throttle to maximun and then connect the receiver and esc to the battery. It should beep, and then you set idle throttle. That way the esc learns the max and min throttle values. About the music, I read somewhere that Turnigy esc programming card was suitable for this one, but it has not worked for me. Maybe in skyartec's website there is a programming card for sale. You cannot remove the music programming it with the TX as far as I know. The trick i use is to quicly increase and reduce throttle the moment it starts to play the damn music. Works pretty much ok.

PS: If you cannot get the esc to arm even with this procedure try reducing the servo travel for throttle chanel (min value) on your TX, if it has the capability.
I tried a Turnigy programming card, it didn't do anything.

I tried setting the throttle using that method, its the same method as my other ESCs, however, it wouldn't detect my throttle a zero until mid stick still.

This is what I do, Turnigy ER9X on, Throttle full, connect ESC, two beeps, throttle zero, more melodies and beeps, however, it beeps as if it can't find the throttle minimum, bring throttle to mid stick, motor starts. I basically have only half the throttle to use.

I flew this aircraft for the first time today, I dialed the rates down to 50% on elevator and ailerons, and it was pretty sensitive still, but the throws are good for rolls and loops, so I increased the expo to 100%. The plane is flyable.

I'm no sure of its the radio or the servos, but I find that there isn't much precision in the controls, for example trimming for straight and level, 1 click forward trim makes the plane dive, 1 click up makes it climb!

After 10 mins flying having my friend who's learning flying, he went inverted then loop, the wings folded and crash. As it turns out I forgot to install the wing struts, however surely it wouldn;t have made much difference.

On savaging for spare parts, I found that there is a cut int he wing that about the right size for carbon spar.

I've ordered two replacement and I will be installing my Spektrum receive in one of them to see if it was the radio or the plane that didn't provide the precision in flight controls. I will also be inserting a carbon spare into the wing and fibre taping the bottom of the wing this time around.

Except the points mentions, I think this aircraft is great, hence why I've ordered 2 replacements.
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Old Sep 03, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Any updates on this plane? How are the 2200mah lipos working out? Does the plane fly well with the extra weight? Whats the flight time on 2200mah? Im thinking of getting it but they now have 2 versions. One with 3gx and one without. Anyone have experience with 3gx?
I have the wasp x3v so I plan on using my radio for that to BNF with the cessna 182. If they sell without radio that is.
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Old Sep 07, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I fly it with a 3S 2200 mAh with no issues. The fit is a bit tight...but enough to close the compratment door. For flight time, I don't know, much more than I ussually fly. 15 minutes for sure, probably more depending on how hard you go on the throttle.
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