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Feb 02, 2011, 02:35 AM
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Flyzone Cessna 182 Re-Do

Some years back, I picked up a ready-to-fly Flyzone Cessna Skylane 182 foamie.

Nice scale looks, ready to fly, what could be better?

Unfortunately, it suffered from being a bit too heavy and prone to tip stalling. After replacing such things as the nose gear straps on the non-steerable nose gear as well as most of the airframe over time, the brushed 380 motor and Ni-Mh batteries kinda called it quits. Ditto a gimbal on the transmitter.

So, the poor thing languished in the garage for quite a long time after that. I didn't really want to part with a complete four-channel airframe, even one which had seen better days.

My idea was to eventually update the power system with a brushless outrunner and li-po battery.

The 2011 AMA would help with the Cessna's rebirth. It was there I found a booth selling inexpensive, no-name power systems. The young man who ran the booth was rather knowledgeable about his product and sold me a 1450Kv outrunner, 18-amp ESC, an APC-style prop and prop collet, all for twenty bucks.

Later that week, out came the rubber band-secured 380 and its cradle (and the dry-rotted rubber band itself) and in went the outrunner with the aid of an E-flite stick mount and firewall stick adapter trimmed to allow the cowl to fit. A Du-Bro 1/2A steerable nosewheel went in as well. A 1300mAh 30C 3S li-po I already had fit just fine with Velcro once I removed the bottom of the battery tray as viewed from underneath. That mount and firewall was a match made in heaven with two of the original cradle mounting holes in the firewall lining up perfectly with the mount.

Oh, but she was an ugly little thing, but boy, did she fly. She taxied great; it was the first time I'd ever been able to steer while taxiing. In fact, it flew too well and my choice of test fields turned out to be a bit small. I was coming in too hot, banked around too hard to try again, stalled it and stuffed it in.

My plan was to eventually replace the ugly bits with new bits if she flew, so no big loss.

The result is what you see in the photos, namely a new Cessna comprised of replacement parts and bits of the original model, not to mention a genuine APC prop since the knock-off was damaged in the crash.

Today she flew her maiden at the club field and the results were equally stunning. Smooth, powerful, quiet and fast, the Cessna looked wonderful in the air and floated in for a three-pointer when I was through. It floated so well that I almost overshot a runway large enough for turbines, let alone a park flyer.

It wasn't terribly economical, but not horribly expensive either.

I may have a new favorite. In any event, I hope the photos help you in souping up your own Cessna.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Mar 01, 2011 at 07:04 PM.
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