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Old Mar 04, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Vicksburg, MS
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SkyArTec Cessna 182 Review and Notes

Well, I ordered this plane from HobbyCity.com for $115 delivered. I've got to fly it one day so far....about 6 or 7 takeoffs and landings. I really like this plane!! It's got lots of power! It flies a little too fast for scale....sometimes...and therefore is not a starter plane for someone new to RC. Plus, it is 4-channel.

It comes with a powerful brushless motor and 4 servos. Actually, it comes with all you need to fly except a TX and RX. Perfect for those who don't enjoy collecting radios with different planes. Buy a good computer radio and fly all your planes with it. My radio is a Spektrum DX6.

Anyway, since I've been known to crash occasionally....really....you can believe it , I started off by adding strength to the aircraft. (I'll show pics below as I go along here) I added a small carbon rod that fit just perfect in the existing groove in the top of the wing. Used the rod to deepen and shape the groove, and then used 5-minute epoxy to secure it. I also glued a small carbon rod to the underside of the horizontal stab and stuck one in the fuselage, and glued it along side the vertical stab.

Oh yeah, I did as told, and cut the top of the fuse to insert the tail and epoxyed it in place. I noticed where someone posted that they cut off the elevator so that they could get the horizontal stab in the slot, and then re-hinged the elevator. I guess that's one way to do it, but it worked fine by following the instructions.

I also always use a little clear packing tape on the leading edges of the wing and stabilizer surfaces. I saw a post with a bad crash that showed the back portion of the wing where it screws into the fuse all broken up....soooooo...I put a little string packing tape in this area to reinforce it.

Now, quality control:
It's not perfect...but then I didn't pay an arm and a leg for this pretty good aircraft. One of the servo arms on the wing was broken off when I recieved it. I had to cut away a small portion of the foam to get it off and replace it with another arm that was included in a bag that came with the airplane. Replaced it, glued the small piece of foam back in place...no big deal. The servo was WELL glued in, so the foam removal was the way to go for less damage.
Also, the front wheel was set up to go in the opposite direction as the rudder, thus the plane would steer opposite your control movement. This is where I had a little more trouble. I took off the prop, cowl and motor to get to the little piece with the arm at the top of the wire leading to the front wheel. I loosened the set screws for various parts/collars of this setup. You can see the "parts" I mean in the pic. Needed to have the arm pointing to the left side of the aircraft. Problem was that I didn't have the right size allen wrench for the set screws.....I stripped out the heads. I could never find anything that would replace the set screws and had to finally just use JBWeld to hook it all back together. Seems to work fine so far. Now, I did have a fairly hard landing on pavement and there's now a little slack in the nose gear that I didn't notice before....but, I can live with it. It just changes the front wheels heading when full power is given, causing you to have to steer more on takeoff. It keeps you awake! Iíve looked it over inside, and thereís nothing loose that can be tightened. There was probably an easier way to do all this, but, this is how I ended up doing it. I also had the front wheel turn all the way around on me once....I think when I was turning very sharp. The wire from the servo will flex/bend enough if you turn sharp enough. I just carefully turned the wheel back around forward, and it works fine. (Note: this might be a simple remedy for turning the wheel shaft to the correct setting if your's comes backwards!!) Oh, I also put larger screws in the plate that holds the front gear shaft to the fuse. The smaller ones were stripping out easily.
Also, prior to removing the motor from part of it's mount, I noticed it was feeling a little loose. I found that ArTec had put a very small screw in part of the mount that did not go all the way through the mount to make it tighter and more secure. So, I just put a larger/longer screw in myself. Snugged it right up! See pic of small screw.
Also, I noticed that the landing gear was not looking too straight in alignment between the wheels (see pic), but I can't tell it causes any problem whatsoever in tracking or ground handling.

It was so much fun just driving this plane around in the parking lot, that I did that for a good while before ever flying!!


Anyway, I put in dual rates for the airlerons and elevator, and added a little mix of the rudder with the airlerons (this was my first day to fly a plane with airlerons!). This, I'm sure helped a lot. I, of course, flew all the time on the lower rate, and had ample control. The little mix of rudder made smooth turns as easy as flying a 3 channel plane. It was just faster than I anticipated! I don't know exactly how long I flew on the supplied 1100mAh 3s Lipo, but it seemed like a good while. I know I landed, tested out the feel of the power left in the battery/motor, and took off about 3 times more than I thought I would. Then, when I got home, I still had over 11 volts in the battery. I guess I could've flown some more....just being cautious on my first time out. I didn't fly at full power much after takeoff, because it just seemed to be going plenty fast enough as it was! I think I might notice the power decreasing enough to land/quit before the battery is too low. I'm not sure I can trust the ESC to cutoff the right voltage....info on ArTec webpage seems to imply it is set to cutoff below the 6 volts that I think it needs to maintain in the battery. So, I don't trust it!

I didn't do any loops, or other aerobatics, but, I'm sure with the power that it is very capable of it. She lands pretty hot most of the time. I'm sure a better pilot could slow her down better, but I had some fairly slow, but mostly fast landings. At least you can steer it once it's on the ground and hopefully avoid stuff that "jumps" in front of it. I'm thinking of using flaperons to get her to slow down on landings, but I will need to have a couple of servo extensions since my radio requires the two airlerons servos be plugged into two different channels to do that. By the way, the Y-Harness servo wire from the wing servos to the RX is plenty long enough. They did a very good job on this.

Bottom line, I would buy this plane again in a heartbeat. It's a good looking plane almost ready to go! It did take some "fixing", but not really major stuff. I haven't yet "used" my reinforcement efforts, and if you fly better than me, you may not even need them.

Let me know if I can help you in any way should you get one of these fun planes!

Lobo
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 11:19 PM
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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I'm thinking of getting one as well. But what kind of foam is it? It looks like expanded polypropylene, which would be nice since it's flexible and difficult to break it - unlike polystyrene, which breaks easily.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 02:42 PM
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Vicksburg, MS
Joined Aug 2003
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I'm not familiar enough with the diffrent kinds of foam to say, but I think with the little carbon rod on the wing and a little tape, she seems very strong. I haven't crashed it yet, but I've seen pictures of a hard crashed one somewhere here on the forum. It broke up pretty good, but I think they said they came down pretty hard....and they had not tried to reinforce it in any way as far as I remember.

The tail section is all covered with some sort of material so you don't see any foam there. Feels pretty strong.

Bottom line....it's worth the money they are asking for what it is. Reinforece it a little as you see fit, and you'll like it.

Lobo
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 10:18 PM
Gravity is just a theory.
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Nuevo Mexico
Joined Jul 2004
188 Posts
Dude, nice review and pics, thanks for covering this airplane. I've been thinking of picking up one, and after what I've seen on your review, I'll go for it. It's a nice looking plane. I'm a big fan of gen aviation planes, and this one seems to have good performance.
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Old Mar 16, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Vicksburg, MS
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It does have good looks and flies quite well. Remember you're not paying $200 or $300 for this plane...so put up with small stuff.....put in larger screws, reinforce, etc. If you like gen av planes.....you WILL like this one. Good luck and let me know what YOU think of it once you get it. It'll take a while to get it from China....but, worth the wait for this price. The little motor is quite strong and decent flight times with this battery.

Lobo
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 02:58 PM
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Southern Utah
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O.K, I've been waiting for something like this! I posted earlier about how "Ultrafly" stopped making their Cessna 182 with 2 wings and can't get another one (bummer) Well you can Get the "Ultrafly Cessna" in the UK but the shipping I was told is around $85.00.
Anyway, for $80.00 I will buy this plane and I agree that for this price a few mods are in order and thanks for showing what you've done so far. I fly mostly from dirt roads or fields and wondered if (like all my planes) if I could use larger foam wheels and piano wire to make the plane more suitable for the conditions I fly in (no pavement)..............Thanks for the review and look forward to putting this plane together........yeee..haaaa............How long for shipping?!..........THANKS
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 04:05 PM
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Well, I've flown this Cessna a few more times and it is still a lot of fun. I mostly like to take off and land. That part looks cool. You have to almost do a little down elevator to get her to take off in scale-like fashion, or she looks like a Cessna on afterburners...ha! And the landings, all on pavement...well, I've had some that looked just plain real, and a few bouncy ones and one or two hard ones...but, no crashes yet. The landing gear wire is pretty strong. You might get by with just putting some larger foam wheels on it for your dirt runways. You'll have to remove the wheel covers. That's OK, but they do add a little to the looks of it.

Good luck! Hopefully some of you will get this plane and give us some more flight reports.

Oh, I have since done tight, and very large, loops with it. I like the large ones better....look more realistic. Also, I've done some rolls. It will do them with ease, just doesn't look too real for a Cessna, but fun. It has the power to do about whatever you want it to.

One note, the ESC doesn't cut the battery off....it goes until the plane will not stay in the air. Be careful to not get to far away after flying for a few miuntes so you don't drop her where you don't want to. The power doesn't seem to drop off in a linear fashion....pretty much all at once it's not very powerful. Still, the battery will run me about 15 minutes with a number of takeoff and landings and taxi-ing around. Also, it still seems to be above the 3 volts per cell so that the battery is not damaged. You might want to measure yours through the first few flights to be sure you get the same results.

Shipping was less than two weeks to the USA. I think about 8 - 10 days maybe?

Lobo
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Texas
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Hey Lobo,

Is this similar to the Corsair in terms of quality and easy of build?
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakevan
Hey Lobo,

Is this similar to the Corsair in terms of quality and easy of build?
Yeah....I think the foam feels even a little "tighter", maybe tougher than the Corsair. Then again, it may be more brittle?? I haven't crashed...yet....so, can't say for sure, but, gut feeling is it's a little stronger foam. This is NOT a Art Tech plane. I guess they are "playing with words" in calling it a Sky ArTec. To me, it flies like an Art Tech plane. As a matter of fact, after I fly the Cessna, and then put the Corsair in the air, I think my batteries in the Corsair are weak(?)....because of the difference in power between the two planes. This little Cessna is on nitro. Two different planes and they fly in two different ways. I still love the Corsair. Everybody....I mean everybody...that sees the Corsair says.....wow, that's a cool looking plane! If you like General Aviation planes....this Cessna is also a cool looking plane!

The build is very easy. You cut a little of the fuselage at the tail to slide the horz stab in place and glue it all together. Then glue the vert stab in place. With 5-min epoxy, it's a quick build. Everything else is in place, like the Corsair....all electronics and such. Oh, you gotta slide the rear wheels in a slot...takes 2 seconds....and put the front wheel assembly together, and probably get it turned around so that it matches the movement direction of the servo....all in the review post....as well as checking all screws, and maybe adding a little "beef" for strength. If you just wanted to put it together and fly, without revisions, you could do it in very short order.

The weakest "link" is the motor mount and cowl. If you ever "nose it in", you'll need to come up with a rebuild for that area.

It's very fun to fly. I wish I could go right now, but storms and rain in the area! Rats!

Lobo
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Southern Utah
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Good Stuff! Well I ordered my Cessna today and looking forward to getting it. I am visiting my parents in Phx for the next 2 wks to a month while the snow melts up north and all I brought with me is my PT-17 steerman and SS (GWS). I left my "Spectrum DX6 at home ........ I guess there's no way to use my cheap little 4 channel GWS radio w/out changing the servo's and stuff on the plane?.....Guess I could have a buddy send my radio down eh? .....arghhhhhh............Anyway, thanks for your mod ideas......keep em comming.
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21xct45
Good Stuff! Well I ordered my Cessna today and looking forward to getting it. I am visiting my parents in Phx for the next 2 wks to a month while the snow melts up north and all I brought with me is my PT-17 steerman and SS (GWS). I left my "Spectrum DX6 at home ........ I guess there's no way to use my cheap little 4 channel GWS radio w/out changing the servo's and stuff on the plane?.....Guess I could have a buddy send my radio down eh? .....arghhhhhh............Anyway, thanks for your mod ideas......keep em comming.
Good....glad you're getting one. I'm anxious to hear another opinion...tired of hearing myself...

Well, the airlerons are on a y-servo wire so that they just plug into the one airleron channel on your RX. So, I guess you could use a 4-channel RX OK....couldn't you?

I took off the y-wire and plugged into the airleron channel and channel 6, with two servo extentions wires, so that I could program in flaps using the airlerons as flaps!! Otherwise, you just need the 4-channel RX. I have the Spektrum DX-6 also. That's one nice radio, ain't it?!?!? Anyway, I think I programmed the "flaps" a little with a little too much throw (I think about 80%), because when I activate them, the plane wants to head down, not raise the nose up, as I was expecting. Good thing I always try out new stuff up high.... It didn't go into a dive, but a 20-degree downward track. So, I'll go back and try again with maybe 30 percent "flaps" and see if that makes a difference. I love the DX-6 letting you do this. It's cool to see the airleons drop down like flaps at the flip of a switch, and yet you still have airleron movement to fly the plane!!! Great radio!! You probably already know it, but, this programming is in your book under "flaperons", I think.

Lobo
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Old Apr 04, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Southern Utah
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HMmmmmm......So...I mean I don't consider myself an expert by any means (I have the "fly" and "Flea" both fast airplanes, my Cessna by "Ultrafly and a few Gws planes like the PT-17) I'm not into flying fast I guess................
So are you saying that maybe I can just get a GWS "pico" RX and crystal that matches my radio and fly while I'm down here? Makes sense! and easy enough....think it would work?...That would be great, unless I'm missing something.....any thoughts?..........................Oh, I havn't even come close to figuring out what that radio will do....I got it when they first came out and I guess they have a new one out now.............Hard to keep up with it all
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Old Apr 05, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21xct45
HMmmmmm......So...I mean I don't consider myself an expert by any means (I have the "fly" and "Flea" both fast airplanes, my Cessna by "Ultrafly and a few Gws planes like the PT-17) I'm not into flying fast I guess................
So are you saying that maybe I can just get a GWS "pico" RX and crystal that matches my radio and fly while I'm down here? Makes sense! and easy enough....think it would work?...That would be great, unless I'm missing something.....any thoughts?..........................Oh, I havn't even come close to figuring out what that radio will do....I got it when they first came out and I guess they have a new one out now.............Hard to keep up with it all
Hey....I definitely don't consider myself an expert by any means either! I started on a SlowStick about 3 years ago and all I've flown since then is some little cheap 2 or 3 channel planes and a decent delta wing with elevons, then the Corsair and this Cessna (these two were maidened within a week of each other....my first ever airleron planes). I just read a lot, and take the hints and mods everyone offers. The radio seemed complicated till I just sat down with the book and started trying to program stuff. It's not as hard as it looks at first. I'll have to go back to the book just to see how to readjust the amount of flaps, like I was talking about, but, it's not that hard....just read and follow the directions.

I "think" you could just use a 4-channel RX and it would work. I can't see why not, but maybe someone with more experience will chime in here if that is a problem. The best solution would be to get the DX6 and it's RX down to you. Should cost less to ship it than to buy a RX and crystal anyway. Then, you could be sure to program in lower rates for the control surfaces, which definitely made it less twitchy and easier to fly, for me. Once while up, I switched back to full rate/movement, and it was much more quickly responsive ....I don't do that anymore....don't need that much twitchyness!

I will try to help you in anyway I can in getting your Cessna set up. Just keep writing and let me know if you need help.

Lobo
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Old Apr 05, 2008, 07:57 PM
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Vicksburg, MS
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Video

Well, I went out today, even though it was a little too rough in the wind department to fly very smooth. I just wanted to get a little video up of this plane as it comes for HC. The vid quality is not the best when on Youtube, but, it is what it is....you can sorta see what's there.

So, here's a link to it so you can get a look at what to expect, except you will have it much easier in nice low, straight wind, or no wind at all. I'll try again sometime when flying conditions are better. Gotta have some excuse for those hard landings!!!

SkyArTec Cessna 182 in Too Much Wind! (2 min 50 sec)


Lobo
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Old Apr 05, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Southern Utah
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Ya..hoo

Good stuff LOBO.............That plane is faster than I thought it would be......Guess I'll find out eh........Great video.....more more.....Thanks again! You know, just with my SS and PT-17 etc and them being brushless(and the money have spent on them) It's hard to beleive you can pick up this plane for around $125.00.....Geeze....I bet I have $150 with a T.P bat and servo's into my Slo-Stick.......Hey, but its fun, fast and will snap a wing easily .......Thanks for your effort in making this thread worth watching......."wheres my plane ?".........
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