Horizon Hobby E-flite Carbon Z Cessna 150 Review - RC Groups
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Horizon Hobby E-flite Carbon Z Cessna 150 Review

We get our hands on the Horizon Hobby E-flite Carbon Z Cessna 150 and fly it on wheels and floats. You will love how easy this plane is to put together and even more so with how it flys.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 83.7" (2125mm)
Length: 61.8" (1570mm)
Flying Weight: 8.9 -9.9 lbs (4.0 - 4.5kg)
ESC: 60A (Pre-installed)
Motor: BL50 Outrunner (Pre-installed)
Prop Size: 15x7
Battery: E-flite 6S 5000mAH Lipo
Channels: 5+ Channels needed
Stabilization: AS3X with optional SAFE Select
Price: $399
Available at: Horizon Hobby

The E-flite Carbon Z Cessna 150 is a scale foam sport airplane that has some great quality of life features baked in. With nearly an 84" wingspan it qualifies as a giant scale model that is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5 the size of the real Cessna 150. The E-flite team thought of nearly everything to make this model convenient to assemble and transport even for those of us that don't have trailers. It comes stock with a nice set of landing gear and a shock obsorbing strut on the nose gear, but you can purchase optional floats or skiis to take off and land from water or snow. I was excited to hear I would be receiving one to review, but I didn't know how much I would like this plane until I flew it.

Kit Contents

This is a Bind N Fly (BNF) model so the box includes the airframe, servos, power system and all the hardware. The only thing you need to provide is a 6+ channel DSM2/DSMX transmitter and a 4-6S 4000-7000mAH Lipo battery. Let's take a look at what's inside the box.

Assembly

Once you get all your parts laid out and inspected, it's a good idea to read the manual. I love it when there is a good manual like the one that comes with the Cessna 150. While I would have no problems building it without one, it's nice to follow along and build it in the order the designer intended. With that in mind I won't go into too many details on the build and bore you to death, but I'll just say that the final assembly was a breeze and I had all the required hardware and parts needed in the kit to do the job. It only took around 30 minutes to do including stopping to take photos which you'll see below.

Float Assembly

The float set comes with its own manual and it has instructions for both the Cessna 150 as well as the Carbon Z Cub so make sure you read the correct instructions for your aircraft. For the Cessna, the plates need to be installed in the forward most mounting positions for both the front and rear. Once those are in place you can start attaching the cross bars and wire landing gear, making sure to place them in the proper holes in the mounting plates. Don't secure the wires with the screws until they are all installed. You'll also need to install the spring loaded water rudder and connect the control linkage.

Before installing the floats, you'll need to remove the main and nose landing gear from the fuselage. The rear landing gear for the floats uses the existing mount, but the front has a new mounting block that you need to install. There is a plastic cover that you need to install over the opening behind the rear landing gear section to prevent water from spraying inside the fuselage. Now you can install the floats and secure with screws per the manual. Then you can run the water rudder servo lead up to the mating connector just in front of the rear landing gear section. Plug that in and use tape or zip ties to secure the servo lead to the landing gear and tape it down on the float.

Field Assembly - No Tools!

This is one of the best features of the Carbon Z Cessna 150. It's ready to fly in about a minute once you get to the flying field. The wings slide on and are secured with one thumb screw inside the fuselage and one clip on the fuselage strut attachment point. That's it! No servo connections to make, no tools required, no hassles and that's the way I like it. Huge kudos to the designers for making this plane a joy to use day in and day out.

Flying with the Stock Landing Gear

Out of the box the Cessna 150 has a standard tricycle landing gear. The steerable nose gear is beefy and offers spring loaded suspension for smoothing out harder landings. It rolls nicely, but the landing gear is fairly loud which can be slightly annoying, but it doesn't functionally cause any problems. Taking off is as easy as applying power, rolling out and slightly pulling back on the elevator. The flaps can be set to various positions based on your radio and can shorten the takeoff distance greatly.

Once in the air, it feels really smooth and locked in thanks to the AS3X receiver helping to steady any bumps or turbulent air. The response rates on the controls are snappy and of course you can adjust the rate and expo to your liking in the radio. I didn't need to apply any trim, which was amazing! The Cessna is not a hardcore aerobatic airplane, but you can do nice rolls, loops, snaps, fly inverted, side slips, knife edge flight and more. If you think this Cessna is just a scale cruiser then you'd be wrong as you can have quite a good time horsing around in a non-scale like manner.

Landings are easy with the smooth flying characteristics and it slows down very well, especially with full flaps. You'll want to set up a flap to elevator mix to avoid pitching the nose up when the flaps are deployed, or if you fly in the optional SAFE Select mode, it automatically corrects it for you. Use the throttle and elevator to control the speed and glide path down to your landing point and when you get close to the ground, you can reduce power and flare. It easily performs 3 point landings and when you get used to it, you can actually touch down on the just rear wheels and even ride a wheelie down the runway for an advanced touch and go. It's great fun to play around with and you'll want to shoot touch n goes for entire flights.

Horizon sent along an E-flite 6S 5000mAH lipo which fits perfectly. The power is excellent, but the run time is even better. I can easily fly for 10 minutes or more with mixed throttle settings. They say it flys just fine on 4S too, but my guess is that the power will be a little lacking and much more scale like. You'll likely prefer a 6S so you might as well start there. There is more room for a higher capacity battery like a 7000mAH for even more flight time.

SAFE Select

SAFE Select is an optional flight mode that is great for pilots with less experience who want a safety backup to make sure they keep their Cessna 150 upright and in one piece. This mode will fly the plane level for you, so if you get in trouble or disoriented you can just let go of the control sticks and let SAFE Select return the plane to level flight. It also limits the pitch and roll angles so you won't be able to get it upside down or do anything too crazy with it. It's perfect for your early flights to get used to the plane as well as when you start learning aerobatics in the normal flight mode. At anytime you feel like you need it, just flip the switch back to SAFE Select mode and it instantly levels out to stable flight.

Flying with the Optional Floats

If you live anywhere within 100 miles of a lake or pond, you simply must get the float set for the Cessna 150. There's just nothing else like it. It's more relaxed and serene and this plane just works amazing on the water. The float set is nicely designed and the water rudder with built-in servo is a big plus allowing you to taxi on the water and keep it from weather veining as much into the wind. The Cessna gets on step quickly and glides along the water nicely without fear of tipping over. I'm sure it's possible to dig a float in and flip it, but you'd have to work pretty hard to make that happen and it's very forgiving of mistakes. All that's needed to take off is to smoothly apply throttle and pull back on the elevator slightly as it gets up to speed.

I didn't notice any measurable performance difference with the floats on from the wheels and I was able to perform the same maneuvers with both landing gear types. As fun as touch and goes are on wheels, it doesn't hold a candle to doing it on the water. It just makes you feel good to grease it in and kiss the water with the floats on touchdown. This is where the Cessna 150 and the AS3X receiver shine once again providing an incredibly stable and smooth flight to enjoy. As I sit here staring at the plane on my bench, I simply cannot bring myself to remove the floats, it's just that much fun. With a nice lake just minutes away, I plan to spend a great deal of time while the weather is perfect flying on floats.

Notice

After a dozen flights or so on the water I did notice my water rudder servo had stopped working. When I carried the plane vertically I heard water inside the floats moving around. I'll need to replace that servo with a waterproof one and find out where the water leaked in so I can apply some sealant. Just something to look out for when you install your floats.

Conclusion

I'm normally a guy who either prefers a sailplane or something fast, aerobatic and aggressive. The Carbon Z Cessna 150 is none of that, but I can't help but love it and I think the reason is a combination of features, great flying characteristics and smart design. Nothing turns me off on an airplane more than it being a pain to get ready to fly at the field. I'm there to fly, not to spend half an hour putting a plane together. I can't say enough good things about the field assembly on this Cessna. It makes me feel good just thinking about how simple and easy it is. Sure it takes more time and effort on the engineers and designers, but boy does it have a huge impact on the end user experience. You take that level of thought and put it into a sweet looking scale plane that flys this good and you have a winner on your hands. I don't even care if it doesn't hover or fly at 100MPH, I just want to shoot touch and goes on the lake, put it in a slip for a low pass and just have some good old fashioned flying fun.

Pros

  • Great scale looks and details like LED lights
  • Super simple field assembly/disassembly
  • Flys on 4-6S Lipo packs
  • Options for Wheels, Floats or Skiis
  • AS3X Stability with optional SAFE features for newer pilots
  • Auto-connect wing servo connections
  • Battery area is huge and easy to access (Love the details like the Velcro pre-installed in the fuse sides to keep the battery straps out of the way while you install or remove the battery!)
  • Fast and easy final assembly with a detailed manual

Cons

  • Wing bolts are loose hardware when transporting. I would liked to have seen a secure holder inside the fuse to store these when the wings are off. (I used a rubber band to secure the screws to the fuselage)
  • Wheeled landing gear are quite noisy when rolling
  • Floats leaked and water rudder servo failed after a dozen flights on water

Wheeled Gallery

Float Gallery

Link

Check out the Horizon Hobby E-flite Carbon Z Cessna 150 Here

Thread Tools
Sep 09, 2017, 09:44 AM
EB-66C Team Member
xplaneguy's Avatar
Great review Jason!

Mine arrived yesterday and I'm impressed. Super excited to get her in the air!
Sep 09, 2017, 12:37 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thanks, You will love this one!
Sep 09, 2017, 09:28 PM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
It doesn't come with the motor installed or anything? Not that it's a big deal at all but it's kind of odd that the motor's not installed on a BNF model.

Almost makes you wonder if they plan to sell it as a NPS version for people that would rather go with the power system most are upgrading the CZ Cub to.
Sep 10, 2017, 02:15 AM
Registered User

Hardware stoage


I put all my hardware for the Cessna in a small zip lock bag, and stow it and the wing spar in the fuse for transportation. At the field , I keep the zip lock in my lipo case while I'm flying. Just like Jason, scale or civil avation, is not my normal interest, but big is cool, and it fly's so well. I bought mine for a big float flyer, and it works so well off the water. The switch from the landing gear to the floats, or back again is only about a 15 minute job. It also works as a great buddy box flyer, for people who haven't flown before, lock out the throttle for the slave transmitter for the student, get up to altitude, give the student control, and let them fly! With safe, I have had about a dozen novices, on the sticks this summer, and never felt that any one, from 8 year old kids, to 80 year old retired pilots, was going to kill this plane. Horizon hit one out of the park with the 150.

Bob
Sep 10, 2017, 12:55 PM
Registered User
GLHS592's Avatar
I knew I had to have one when Horizon released it. I lucked out and bought one from a guy who never flew it. I got a big discount on a brand new plane.

I love mine. Even the fuel/balsa guys seem to dig the CZ Cessna 150. It is the best designed foam rc plane I've ever seen. The auto connecting servo leads and the easy wing installation is absolute genius. The light system is great. They thought of everything including the water rudder plug in the bottom. The loud landing gear can be helped immensely with a little oil on the axles. Also, the nose gear is a little sloppy out of the box. Take it completely apart and reassemble with blue Loctite. You will never get all the play out, but mine has stayed tight since I took mine apart.

I have put nearly 20 flights on mine. I flew it on 6s power yesterday and really enjoyed it. I will still fly it on 4s when all I want to do is relax and shoot touch and goes.
Sep 10, 2017, 04:43 PM
Registered User
roversgonemad's Avatar
Moved to the dedicated Cessna 150 thread.
Last edited by roversgonemad; Sep 10, 2017 at 07:20 PM.
Sep 11, 2017, 08:05 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Gotta love a Cessna 150!

I really wanted a CarbonZ Cub when they first came out, but the set up time at the field was a pain, especially with the floats. It looks like Horizon has addressed that problem on this newest Cessna 150.

Very nice review Jason. Thanks for smoking my Credit Card one more time. Oh well, I guess I'll tell my wife it's my early Christmas present.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Sep 12, 2017, 12:54 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
Just got mine assembled and waiting for the maiden.

Unfortunately just got out of shoulder surgery and I'm grounded for a few weeks until I'm healed enough to carry her and my gear in the Suburban.

My only concern with the 150 is possibly the ESC. Mine failed on my Carbon Cub and it hit the deck and totaled her out. I eventually had to swap it out on my replacement Cub to another brand for fear of unreliability. Has anyone had an issue with the Eflite ESC in their 150's as of this threads writing or has upgraded to another brand of ESC?

Also would anyone happen to know what the flap to elevator settings would be for a DX-18 in un SAFE mode?
Sep 12, 2017, 09:03 PM
Happy fly begin
JimH's Avatar
I replaced my esc with a talon 90. I lost power a few times while on the ground and i suspect the power switch as the culprit but didnt want to take the chance being wrong. Have 50 flights before this issue came up.
Sep 14, 2017, 12:52 PM
Old Guy, New Hobby
Old_RC_Guy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudderman98
Also would anyone happen to know what the flap to elevator settings would be for a DX-18 in un SAFE mode?
You can download the .SPM file for this plane from the DX18 page on Spektrum's web site, load it into your radio, and look at the Flap to Elevator Mix in the Flap menu to determine the settings.

Hope that helps,
-Jeff
Latest blog entry: My Hangar
Sep 14, 2017, 01:17 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_RC_Guy
You can download the .SPM file for this plane from the DX18 page on Spektrum's web site, load it into your radio, and look at the Flap to Elevator Mix in the Flap menu to determine the settings.

Hope that helps,
-Jeff
Jeff,
Thank you very much!
Sep 20, 2017, 06:23 PM
Registered User
Very good review and great pictures that show details, construction and assembly very well. I am close to buying and am wanting to know about flying off well maintained grass field. Also, I enjoy slow scale flying and was wondering about any power issues using 4 cell batteries.
Good work, thanks!
Sep 20, 2017, 06:43 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thanks! I haven't flown from grass yet or with a 4S, but it should work fine off of relatively short runway grass. I've seen them fly on 4S and while I prefer more power available, 4S is certainly plenty to climb out and fly in a scale manner.
Sep 20, 2017, 08:23 PM
Registered User
GLHS592's Avatar
Here's a video of mine on grass. I was running a 3600 mAh 4s lipo.
Carbon Z Cessna 150 - Belly View (3 min 31 sec)


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