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Apr 21, 2019, 08:59 AM
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Build Log

Top Flite Cessna 182 Kit Build - Finished - and Flying

I bought the Top Flite Cessna 182 kit along with an OS FS91 Surpass engine about 15 years ago and for some reason they just sat in two different garages while I did other stuff, mostly fishing. I guess I didn't want to get started on a big project and I just put it aside. I had and still have a lot of other airplanes to fly and I kept up my club membership but I just wasn't into building or even flying much. Finally the bug hit again and I started building and flying again. I even got into electrics, but that is another story. I bought a Big Stik 60-90 ARF and put the 91 Surpass on it, to break-in and to fly. Then it got down to the only thing left to build besides a Magnum control-line plane, the Cessna. OK let's clear off the the building board and set up another table and get started.

RC Cessna Build 1 (1 min 12 sec)
Last edited by JimboPilotFL; May 24, 2019 at 02:34 PM.
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Apr 21, 2019, 06:50 PM
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Man, that's gonna' be large ! Looks like it should be a fun project, Mike
Apr 25, 2019, 07:46 PM
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From the start I knew that I wanted to build more of a Sport Plane than a detailed Scale Airplane. The fact that the Top Flite Cessna kit is scale didn't make it any harder to make a few changes to the plane to make it easier to build and to fly. The first things to leave off were the 'balances' on all the tail surfaces. They are hard to build, hard to cover and they don't add anything to the flying of a model this size. The other easy things to leave off were the 'struts' under the wings and the 'wheel pants'. I did want to fiberglass the two wing joints to make the wing stronger and to protect the wing where it mounts to the fuselage. I also did not make those fancy concave wing tips and settled for just rounding them over.

RC Cessna Build 2 (0 min 50 sec)
Last edited by JimboPilotFL; Apr 28, 2019 at 12:59 PM.
May 02, 2019, 04:37 PM
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The wing has been sheeted and put together with dihedral braces and fiberglass cloth at the joints for strength. The tips carved and rounded off. The flaps have been sheeted and hinged temporarily as well as the ailerons. The wing is complete except for covering and installing the hinges and servos. The fuselage is next and after pinning the main stringers to the board and adding the bulkheads, the sheeting on the bottom was not that bad. Landing gear required some plywood in the fuselage and threading the sheet aluminum and is held in place with bolts from the inside. Looks kinda like Noah's Ark to me.

RC Cessna Build 3 (1 min 59 sec)
Last edited by JimboPilotFL; May 02, 2019 at 07:02 PM.
May 06, 2019, 07:08 PM
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The fuselage is sheeted, the tail surfaces glued to the fuselage and the push rods are hooked up temp. with the servos in place. The motor mount, tank, front wheel and the engine installed. It is starting to look like an airplane. After everything is installed the servos and engine come out for the final fuselage sanding and finish of the firewall. The last part is mounting the cowl blocks around the firewall so the cowling can be held on.

RC Cessna Build 4 (3 min 15 sec)
Last edited by JimboPilotFL; May 06, 2019 at 07:19 PM.
May 06, 2019, 07:38 PM
N = R* ◊ fp ◊ ne ◊ fl ◊ fi ◊ f
Azoic's Avatar
My Dad built himself one of these about 15 years ago. Looked nice, weighed a ton. Fully sheeted all over following the kit design and using it's wood. It was SO heavy a .150 Saito wouldn't get it off the ground. WHEN it finally did get airborne, it lifted off about 4 feet, and would not get any higher. So it was landed (a bit roughly, breaking the dodgy landing gear mounting) taken home and the wing was stripped and covered in plastic film then painted. The rear of the fuselage, and complete tail group were unsheeted and recovered in plastic film and paint from the leading edge of the wing saddle/windscreen rearward.
It LOST almost 3kg in weight in a week.

This was ONE HEAVY BIRD, and it had to fly like a rocket as it had the glide ratio of a hurled brick.
Broke the crappy nosegear mounts on EVERY landing aswell, but that is a Cessna for you....
May 07, 2019, 10:16 AM
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I do worry this bird is going to be tail heavy. But the sheeting is very good (light) and I plan on covering the plane with Monokote. We will see.
May 09, 2019, 01:28 PM
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she is looking awesome!
May 15, 2019, 12:49 PM
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Starting to cover the fuselage with iron-on plastic film. I used both Monokote and HK film. The fuselage is all white with some red and blue trim. The interior has a few ammenities like a pilot (from China), some grey paint and some foam board to make a floor. Putting in the front windshield was a job because when I tried to tint the plastic I accidently warped it in some odd ways. It took a lot of glue and screws to hold it in the right place.

RC Cessna Build 5 (3 min 43 sec)
May 15, 2019, 04:49 PM
N = R* ◊ fp ◊ ne ◊ fl ◊ fi ◊ f
Azoic's Avatar
The "junk" in the garage isn't's carefully placed items that might one day be needed.....
"Honest Honey, I'm REALLY not a hoarder....."
May 20, 2019, 01:07 PM
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After finishing the fuselage it was time to cover the wing. Covering the wing, flaps, and ailerons went pretty well and the wing tips were tough to do but ok when done. I have to say the HK 'Covering Film' was just as good as the Monokote to use. I got the cowl and tail cone painted with Rust-oleum 'Gloss Protective Enamel' and then fuel proofed with clear poly-urethane. The radio is installed as well as all the windows. Check and check. Ready to go.

RC Cessna Build 6 (1 min 40 sec)
May 20, 2019, 04:30 PM
N = R* ◊ fp ◊ ne ◊ fl ◊ fi ◊ f
Azoic's Avatar
She's looking really nice. But your worried about 20oz of weight to balance her......(566g) ???

My Dad had to add 3KG of lead under and around the Saito .150 and mount to get his right.......
Even when he stripped all the wood off and recovered the back half in plastic, it still needed 1.5KG on the nose to balance it's hugely heavy tail. It's only 1/5th scale and yet, it's KIT built AUW was ALMOST 9KG. WAY TOO MUCH weight for that little wing with it's Horner tips. Anything past 30 degree bank angle and it snapped into a violent spin cycle. It really was a HORRIBLE model to fly.
I sincerely hope your's is better, I cannot see how it could be worse......
May 20, 2019, 07:17 PM
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All up weight on this one is 11 lb 3 oz or 5.07 kg. I'm pretty sure it is going to fly well.
May 24, 2019, 10:26 AM
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It Is Finished

The Cessna is finished. All that needs to be done is some minor details and a run-up of the motor. I discover I need an extra fuel fine to empty the tank. I have to go over the starting procedure so that I can be able to start the plane with the cowling on. I really don't like flying with the cowling off. I discover the engine likes to be wet to start and choking requires a plunger stuck into the carb from the side. Everything seems to be good. I am really not in a big hurry to fly it and will wait for a good morning to fly. Don't miss the next post.

RC Cessna Build 7 (2 min 41 sec)
May 24, 2019, 10:53 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Looks great!!!!


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