ST Models Cessna 350
After the disastrous crash with the lamp pole at SSMAC Barden Ridge and the unsuccessful repairs of my previous Corvallis 350, I have purchased another, this time from Model Flight in SA. This is the Plug and Fly versions and it takes about two hours to set up before you can fly it for the first time. Everything just bolts on, nothing to glue or epoxy. I have installed an AR7000 with a satellite receiver.
The kit comes with an 3S 1800mAh 15C Lipo included but no charger. This battery is just rubbish and have been flying with either a 3S 1800mAh 40C or a 2200mAh 50C Lipo from Turnigy. Both of these batteries provide much improved performance.
Just like the old 350 this new plane still lacks power. The original 9 x 5 prop that comes with the model is very soft and flexible. I thought this could be the cause of the lack of power so I fitted an APC 9 x 7 Electric prop. This meant some cutting away of the spinner's plastic to get it to fit.
Flying showed a definite increase in the speed and performance but still I feel the model is under powered on the standard 1320kv brushless out runner motor fitted. However, it is very quiet in the air and performs loops, rolls, spins and will fly inverted. With the flaps extended very steep approaches to the runway are possible and the 350 slows to a walking pace to flair and touch down.
This airframe flying characteristics are very stable. However, I have installed 3 gyros in the Cessna 350 on the main control surface servos. This has improved the handling and stability beyond my predictions. The model tracks around the sky like it is on rails. The control inputs are responded too in a precise manner and the model is even easier to fly now that it was before the gyros were installed. In fact I have flown this model in 25 knots without any problems.
I am still experimenting with the best way to configure the gyros but so far I have found RATE mode of around 25% works well.
There is a problem with the stock engine mounting screws as they continually become loose and fall out. Even when installed with thread lock they still found a way to fall out. Investigation revealed that the holes drilled in the engine mountings by the manufacturer are all too large.
So I have replaced the screws with hex nuts washers and lock nuts. This has fixed the problem. See pictures.
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