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Horizon Hobby's E-Flite Brand Cessna 182 ARF Review

Rich Noon explores this great looking little scale ARF! Rich finds it not only great looking, but great flying as well, and a superb 2nd aircraft.

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Wingspan:38 in (965mm)
Wing Area:215 sq in (14 sq dm)
Weight:15.5 - 17 oz (440 - 480 g)
Length:30 in (760mm)
Servos:E-Flite 7.5 Gram Sub-Micro S75 Servos
Transmitter:JR XP9303
Receiver:JR R770 7 Channel PCM
Battery:Thunder Power 1320mAh 3-Cell 11.1V LIPO, 16GA
Motor:E-FLITE Park 370 Brushless Inrunner Motor, 4100Kv
ESC:E-FLITE 20-Amp Brushless ESC (V2) [EFLA311B]
Manufacturer:E-Flite
Available From:Horizon Hobby

First of all let me state I consider myself a total beginner at electric flight. Oh, I'd built a few electric planes years ago when the batteries, speed control and motor combinations weighed three pounds less than a new Buick. They flew (sort of), but I quickly gave up on electric flight and went back to glow. I kept up with the magazines and great strides being made in electric flight through the years. But the cost factor compared to the gallon of glow fuel and cheap glow engines always kept me away from trying it again. I kept thinking "someday". Well someday has finally come with the E-Flite Cessna 182!

Introduction

It's not often you find a 4-channel, modern-era general aviation subject in the world of park flyers, let alone an officially licensed one that looks this good. And, believe it or not, two hours is about all it takes to get it flying. All the “heavy lifting” has been done for you from pushrod and control horn installation to painting the cowl and wheel pants—you basically just drop in your motor and electronics and fly.

Kit Contents

Items needed to complete:

  • Brushless Motor
  • 20A Brushless ESC
  • 4+ Ch Radio
  • 4 Sub-micro Servos
  • 6" Servo Extension & Y-harness
  • 4-6 Ch Receiver
  • Li-Po Battery
  • Li-Po Charger
  • Foam Compatible CA

Components used:

  • E-Flite 20-Amp Brushless ESC (V2)[EFLA311B]
  • E-Flite Park 370 Brushless Inrunner Motor, 4100Kv [EFLM1000]
  • Thunder Power Batteries 1320mAh 2-Cell 7.4V LIPO,16GA [THP13202SPL]
  • E-Flite 7.5 Gram Sub-Micro S75 [EFLRS75]
  • E-Flite Park 400 Brushless Outrunner Motor 920Kv [EFLM1305]
  • Outrunner Stick Mount [EFLM1915]
  • E-Flite 10 x 7 Slow Flyer Prop (2) [EFLP1070]

Note: It's has been brought to my attention, by some experienced electric flyers. That a "brushed-motor setup" flys the Cessna very well also!

Assembly

Wing

Fuselage

The fuselage came out of the packaging in perfect condition. I had never seen a fuselage this completely assembled straight out of the box. Nose wheel, cowl, decals, everything was done for you!

Foam main gear covers were included to be taped over the main landing gear wires. I elected to leave them off. Believe it or not some of my landings are, shall we say, "less than perfect"? I'll install them later when it's setting in "display mode" in the shop.

Tail

All that was required was a light sanding of the fuselage elevator slot. I slid the elevator assembly in and checked alignment. A little medium foam safe CA and I was done.

Motor Installation

Installing the 5.33:1 gearbox with the included 12T pinion gear to the motor was a breeze. The included instructions made it simple enough for a newbie like me to align and set the gear clearances right. Looks to be a very well made unit.

The laser cut firewall assembly was very nicely done. The cooling holes looked to be more than adequate. The fit and gluing of the firewall was excellent. No complaints here.

Note: I did need to shorten the mounting stick approximately 1/16" to allow the gearbox to clear the cowl. After a few passes with a sanding bar, it fit perfectly. No problem!

Radio Installation

Once again, this couldn't have been simpler! Even the Velcro was included for mounting the receiver, battery and speed control!

Completion

Field assembly:

  • plugging in the aileron servos,
  • sliding the wing on and tightening the single screw;
  • snapping the "functional" struts to the wing and fuselage,
  • plugging the battery in
  • SHE'S READY TO FLY!

Weight: Ready to fly with battery was 480g (16.92oz).
Balance: No weight was needed to balance perfectly at the 1-1/2" behind the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage.

Throws Low High
Ailerons 1/4 in (6mm) Each 1/2" Each Way
Elevator5/8 in (16mm) Each 7/8" Each Way
Rudder1/2 in (12mm) Each 3/4" Each Way

Flying

Finally we had a day of sun! Temps rose to 50's and I was off to the park. It's been a long winter already!

Basics

Arriving at the field it was just a matter of plugging in the battery, range testing and we were ready. Wind was gusting from 9-15mph. That's a little more than I like for a plane that weighs less than a pound, but I was ready to fly!

Taking Off and Landing

Due to the wheel pants and small wheels, a paved surface is mandatory for take off and landing.

Take off was amazing and quick. I advanced the throttle and in a matter of 15 feet or so it was airborne and climbing effortlessly. I found myself throttling back early. I never expected this performance out of a small electric. (Remember I'm new at this!) The E-Flite 370 motor was more than adequate for quick take off and a rather aggressive rate of climb. I leveled off at about 50 feet or so and was cruising along at a little less than half throttle. One click of left aileron and two clicks up elevator and she was flying hands off. Flying was very smooth and predictable. Feels like a much larger plane.

Landing was just a matter of lining up with the runway, throttling back and letting it settle in. Even at slow speeds the ailerons and all controls were responsive, with no tendency to drop a wingtip.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Ok, let's remember this is a Cessna 182. Scale-like flight was my intention. But after a minute or two of flying it became apparent it could do a lot more. While not designed to be a 3D\hovering machine, it was quickly obvious this wasn't like the electric planes I flew years ago.

Loops from level flight were just a matter of increasing the throttle and pulling back the stick. Rolls required just a touch of rudder to be axial. Inverted fight required a bit of down elevator. Knife edge, hey it's a Cessna. Stall turns and other basic maneuvers were handled with ease. All in all, it felt like a much larger plane than it is. Stalls were straight ahead and recovered with just a bit of throttle. The E-Flite 370 provided plenty of power for the plane with the 1320 Thunder Power lipo.

Is This For a Beginner?

Perhaps, with a good simulator and either an instructor or after a few solo flights on a trainer. We would feel better recommending it as a second aircraft, and the manufacturer agrees. It's very stable in calm winds and flies like a larger plane than it is. But, it is not self-correcting and goes where you point it. Also, it can get going along at a pretty good clip. This could be a problem with a beginning pilot letting it get too far out too quickly.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Editor's Note: Weather and winter have conspired to not allow our pilot to get good flight video. We hope you enjoy this stock footage from the Horizon website.

Conclusion

The E-Flite Cessna is a winner in my book. Being a "newbie" to electric flight, it couldn't have been easier to assemble and fly. The instructions were clear and concise. Each step of the assembly was very easy to understand on each component. The recommended components worked wonderfully without having to have a degree in electrical engineering to figure them out. It couldn't have been easier to get into electric flight.

For a beginner in electric flight, it's nice to know that if you order the "recommended accessories" it will all work perfectly. As an electric newbie, trying to match a system that will actually perform as it should, can be more than a bit overwhelming. OK, actually, with the variety of different motors, battery packs, props, ESC's, etc., choosing the right equipment can be more than a bit intimidating.

Horizon Hobby's recommended setup worked perfectly. I think they really do their homework before recommending a setup. It's nice to know you can just buy a setup, assemble it, and go fly.

This is one of those "kits" that if you held your mouth right and tossed the pieces in the air, it would fall back to earth assembled. Everything is done for you except basic radio and motor installation. An experienced electric builder could easily build it in a couple hours. Flight characteristics were impressive. Very stable and smooth flight characteristics.

Ok, I'm hooked on electric flight. The idea of not needing to load the trailer and find a big flying field every time the urge to fly comes is great. Being able to fit an airplane in the back of the car assembled and head to the local park or soccer field is awesome. I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more flying in now thanks to these small, great flying electric models!

Discussion

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Old Mar 09, 2006, 04:39 PM
Registered User
Herndon, VA
Joined Jan 2004
98 Posts
Rich,

Thank you for the review.

I am a little bit surprised to see that your opinion is totally different from fellow RC-Zoners (misfits, cracking wing struts).

As a personal remark, Brushless and Lipo are not ideal beginner's item (not only prise-wise).

I also felt that the speed of the aircraft in the video is pretty high for a parkflyer (high wingloading?). What are your experiences?
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Old Mar 09, 2006, 05:39 PM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2004
51 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviation
Rich,

Thank you for the review.

I am a little bit surprised to see that your opinion is totally different from fellow RC-Zoners (misfits, cracking wing struts).
As a personal remark, Brushless and Lipo are not ideal beginner's item (not only prise-wise).
I also felt that the speed of the aircraft in the video is pretty high for a parkflyer (high wingloading?). What are your experiences?

Thanks.

I really didn't have any problem with the wing struts. I haven't had a need to remove the wing much. The manual does state to be careful installing them to the fuselage, but I didn't run into and problems. I guess if you did have to remove the wing everytime to transport it, it could be a little tougher on the struts.

I see what you mean about the brushless and lipo for the beginner. I had read a bit and noted all the safety issues with the lipos. I have a Triton charger I've used for glow fuel batteries for a long time so didn't have any problem charging them safely. And I've got to admit they are expensive.

I tried to get video, but ran into problems with it being winter and trying to find a time to get someone to video the flights. The video does make the plane look like a rocket. But I found it flew really solid at low speeds and just floats in to land. It didn't fly like it was heavy. I may try as soon as the weather breaks to get more video.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old Mar 09, 2006, 06:34 PM
Registered User
Herndon, VA
Joined Jan 2004
98 Posts
Thanks Rich,

I appreciate your answer.I just want to make others aware that there might be some issues.

I really would like to see a "independent" video.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 01:05 PM
Registered User
gmitano's Avatar
Newport Beach, CA
Joined Apr 2003
128 Posts
Flaps? Which Wing?

Hi Rich,

Your article stated, "Also, it can get going along at a pretty good clip. This could be a problem with a beginning pilot letting it get too far out too quickly." I understand this plane comes with an option for flaps which, I've read, really slows things down both on take offs (1/2 flaps) and landings. Any chance of you doing a follow-up review with flaps, when the weather gets better for your video crew? Also, did you use the beginner or aerobatic wing that has less dihedral? Which one was used in the stock video?

Great review!

Gary

P.S. It would be interesting, if you could replicate (after edits) E-Flight's stock video flight plan for a "1-2-1" comparision. (Sun direction would need to be the same for a similar "look". Don't know about the birds, though!)
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 02:19 PM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2004
51 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmitano
Hi Rich,

Your article stated, "Also, it can get going along at a pretty good clip. This could be a problem with a beginning pilot letting it get too far out too quickly." I understand this plane comes with an option for flaps which, I've read, really slows things down both on take offs (1/2 flaps) and landings. Any chance of you doing a follow-up review with flaps, when the weather gets better for your video crew? Also, did you use the beginner or aerobatic wing that has less dihedral? Which one was used in the stock video?

Great review!

Gary

P.S. It would be interesting, if you could replicate (after edits) E-Flight's stock video flight plan for a "1-2-1" comparision. (Sun direction would need to be the same for a similar "look". Don't know about the birds, though!)
Hi Gary,

There were no options in the instructions for optional flaps. And it only came with the one wing. Are you sure we're talking about the same plane here?

Got to agree, it looks pretty fast in their video. But I found it slowed down well with no problems. I think in their video they were hot dogging it a bit just to show its capabilities. I just glided it in for landings. It slowed down really well with no need for flaps.

This was my first foam electric, so I really have nothing to compare it to. I've flown some .049 and .10 size high wing planes that were a handful to fly. Compared to them this was a pleasure to fly.

Most of the people I've taught to fly always let the plane get too far out at first. That's why I made the comment about getting too far out too quickly. Not because of it's speed, more because of the small size. I wouldn't want to try to teach someone to fly with this small an airplane electric or glow. I'm sure someone could do it, but I wouldn't want to try.

If we ever get some decent weather here, I'm going to try to get some video.

I gave the plane to my son who just solo'ed last fall. I think he'll do fine with it. For a second or third plane it should pose no problem.

It will do everything in their video, just much slower.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 12:28 AM
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gmitano's Avatar
Newport Beach, CA
Joined Apr 2003
128 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichN
... Are you sure we're talking about the same plane here?
My error, I got the Horizon Cessna 182 confused with the UltraFly, discussed elsewhere on the forum. Sorry about the confusion! My apologies to Horizon Hobbies who appears to have put forth a fine effort. - Gary
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 04:52 AM
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Joined Mar 2004
51 Posts
Hi Gary,

No problem!

Hope you find the answers for your plane.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 06:10 AM
ProBro Eric in Jax
p0stal's Avatar
United States, FL
Joined Mar 2006
207 Posts
I found this plane far to Fragile. Crack the fuse riding in back seat.Also had to mod the wing struts as they popped off all the time. Landing gear was pure crap as well. Was outstanding preformer thou. I had mine with eflite 400 outrunner an 1320 3cells

I would only recomend this plane to old men who like to fly scale and will handle this bird with most care. I quickly sold mine for a huge loss an bought the P-47D warbird.

I'm a hugh eflite fan but this plane is a pile of dog squeeze, hearing from friends at hobbyzone they get loads of complaint calls about this bird.

Save your money buy somthing else.

Also about the flaps, I run the O5MS RX use the 5th " channel 6 " for flaparons but never needed for this bird had more than enough power and it does glide very well.
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 07:19 AM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2004
51 Posts
Sorry you had the problems with yours.

I'm pretty new to the new electrics and I haven't flown mine a lot. But do plan on handling it with the "utmost care". Heck, I've damaged almost as many planes carrying them in and out of the house, loading the van and transporting them as flying them.

This was my first electric "foam" plane. And I expected the foam to be somewhat fragile. I've had no problems with the struts or the landing gear. It hasn't been flown much and time will tell I guess.

And I guess I am one of those "old men who like to fly scale" And do handle my planes with the utmost care. And proud of it.

It is a scale plane and will perform a lot of aerobatics the full scale Cessna 182 wouldn't think of doing. If one wanted a fast, 3D, full aerobatic machine, this isn't the plane to buy. Model or full scale.

I found it to be a very easy building, great little plane to fly around the park or parking lot. Especially in the "Old man scale manner"
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Old Mar 25, 2006, 09:22 PM
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USA, AZ, Casa Grande
Joined Nov 2004
101 Posts
Flys well, looks GREAT, has flaps

I just completed mine last night and flew this morning for the first time. The build was quick and quite easy! I did run into some problem with alignment of the horizontal stabalizer. The manual says to measure "carefully" from each main wing tip to the tips of the stabalizer to insure proper allignment. After about an hour of measuring and head scratching I finally figured out that the main wing is nearly 3/4 inch longer on one side than the other. Since the wing is pre-formed (notched at the front center to fit around the fuselage) and the bolt hold down hole predrilled I finally decided to just ignore it and centered and glued the stab a square as I could.
The flight this morning showed what an off center wing does. The "short" wing drops and the plane pulls badly to one side - took about an eighth inch aleron trim to offset the pull. Once that was done it flew well. Low passes look quite real. It loops easily. I use a JR6102 and connected the aleron servos so that I would have flaps. They do slow it down nicely. Really floats down for landing.
I agree, not a good first plane, but a good second or third. Certainly not a 3D performer but with the 400 outrunner it performs easily as well as the video.
I'm going to try adding weight to the "short" wing to see if that helps. But would welcome other suggestions.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 02:05 AM
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Joined Mar 2006
2 Posts
wing strut

I bought my 182 yesterday on the recomendation that it would be a great first plane, after a pretty easy build I took it out to the field and sent it up, it promptly climed, lost a wing strut, and came down hard on the nose, crushed the fuse up to and destroying the fire wall. oh well on to plan b.
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Joined Mar 2003
59 Posts
I put mine together last night after buying it for $70 at my local hobby shop.
The plane has several issues but for $70 you get what you get.
Issue #1 the cowling was cracked and had been torn off of the fire wall during shipping. My hobby shop did have a replacement cowl but sadly it didn't have the stickers on it. The engine cooling intakes were also off by about 5 degrees and the holes for the wood screws were drilled too far into the cowl to line up with the holes in the firewall. I found some red electrical tape and just taped it on to while also trying to match the stripes.
Issue #2 The wing slots, there are two slots that the leading edge of the wing slides into and you secure the trailing edge with a big plastic washer and hex bolt. Anyway one of the slots was higher then the other so I had to fix that by off setting the wing tab that slid into the slot.
Issue #3 A. The wing uses struts like the real plane but sadly they need some more work. The struts are secured by snaps like the mother of pearl snaps on your sweet western shirt. There is a snap on the fuselage on each side and the wing has snaps on it as well. On one side the snap was way too high on the fuselage and way too close on the wing. With the wing installed one tip was an inch higher then the other tip because of the bad snap placement. I easily removed the snap that is held in by a wood screw and placed them in the proper position so the wing would sit level. Issue #3B. The snaps would rather rip off the strut then come unsnapped. I removed the crappy glue that was supposed to secure the snaps and used some 30 minute epoxy to secure the snaps and they seem to be holding fine now. Also be very careful with snapping on the struts, it takes less force to smash the foam rather then snap the snap. Secure the fuselage snap first then the wing snap so you get the best angle with which to secure the snap.
Issue #4, the vertical stabilizer was tilted to the side by about 10 degrees. I force it back into position and now it's only sort of off.
Issue #5, the wheels weren't clearing the wing pants so I took them off. I hate wheel pants anyway; they only add extra weight and drag.

THE POSITIVE.
With the brushless 370 and the supplied gear box the plane pulls very hard with the supplied prop and a three cell. The plane is fragile to the touch but seems plenty strong for flight.

It's too windy to fly today but I'm sure it will be a fun/fast little plane that I can still fly off of the parking lot here at work. I did not mind doing all the extra work to make the plane flight worthy since it turned out great. E-Flight just needs to improve their packaging, make sure everything is straight, drill the holes in the right places, and figure out a better way to secure the struts. If you like solving problems then this is the plane for you. If you want a simpler 182 with as advertised assembly then just buy the $100 Park Flyer 182.
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertJim
I'm going to try adding weight to the "short" wing to see if that helps. But would welcome other suggestions.
I would call whoever you bought the plane from and get another wing. Having the wing off center by 3/4" is ridiculous. The plane will never fly like it should that way.
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 08:41 PM
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United States, CA, Orange
Joined Sep 2005
49 Posts
Ditto on bradyb!
My grandfather owned a Cessna 172 so I was excited when E-Flite came out with the scale 182. I had to have it. My wife purchased the Wattage 182 but I exchanged it for the eflite b/c the eflite is marketed as simpler 2-hour setup, it is foam, and lighter than the wattage.
It is certainly a beautiful foam plane and it flies great on my 2s lipo and 100 watt inrunner.
Unfortunately, getting to the point of flying the plane was an enormous task. Out of the box the tail was tilted left and the motor mount was warped. I took the model back to the LHS and we had to use parts from two different boxes just to make one plane.
Although eflite does the so called heavy lifting, the build quality is terrible and should really be left up to the flyer. I spent about 10 hours fixing errors to setup the plane to fly. The first major defect was the main wing attachment was angled by at least 3 degrees so it had to be corrected. The tail had to be straightened and the front wheel had flat spots. I also had issues with the wing struts as well. One was tool long and the attachment snaps pop off.
Now that it is built I am sure I will enjoy it. It is a wonderful plane but if you are thinking of purchasing one:
1. open the box at the LHS and inspect EVERYTHING! down to control throws and round wheels.
2. plan on spending a LOT of time fixing errors. 2 hour setup is unrealistic considering the poor build QC.
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