When Hangar 9 released this version (based on Peter Goldsmith’s color scheme-hence the “G”) both my son and I jumped at the opportunity to compare the two planes. He affectionately calls this plane his “Wonder-Bread Cap.”
When Hangar 9 released the Alitalia a half-dozen or so years ago, many pilots who flew .90 sized planes quickly moved into the 50cc range. That plane flew great - looked even better, but alas, had a serious drawback: a one-piece, 80” wing. Well, we can now rejoice as almost that same plane, along with some impressive improvements like a two piece wing, has been released in the form of a Cap 232G!
|Wing Area:||1260 sq. in.|
|Weight:||17.3 lbs 277 oz.|
|Wing Loading:||31.6 oz/sq. ft.|
|Battery:||JR 2400 mAh receiver; JR 1400 mAh ignition|
|Motor:||Evolution 45GT with Evolution Muffler|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
Our first impression on examining the Cap 232G were positive, both in the completeness of the plane and in its construction. The individual components are light in weight, covered in UltraCote and safely packaged in clear plastic bags. The instruction booklet was on par with other Hangar 9 manuals - very clear, concise directions with corresponding pictures to help assemble the model the correct way!
Assembly starts with hinging all the control surfaces. These pin type of hinges require some Vaseline (on the moveable joints). We used Pacer’s Hinge Glue to secure them. (We could have opted for 30-minute Z-Poxy but we wanted to see if this glue does what Pacer claims it does….and the answer is a resounding “Yes”!)
The gaps for the aileron, rudder and elevator were all sealed with Transparent UltraCote. The two-piece wing was then placed on the fuselage and everything lined up perfectly! Each aileron received one JR 8411 servo as did the elevators and rudder.
Only one word can describe the landing gear: polished! A man could shave in the reflection of that gear. The wheels and wheel pants were easily mounted, and by following the instructions, were secured almost without any bolts showing.
On most ARFs today, the tailwheel assembly always seems to get little design attention, but not on this bird! The Cap 232G comes with an excellent looking, shiny tailwheel Between the main landing gear and tailwheel, this bird has that “something extra” about it!
The engine of choice is a new Evolution 45GT, equipped with Hangar 9’s (P/N EVO30043400) Inverted Wraparound muffler. The fine instruction manual covers its installation well with the exception of the installation of the 45mm standoffs (P/N EVO3308) that are needed to properly locate the engine. A template would have been nice (hint, hint)!
Some firewall modification was needed to clear the carburetor. The Evolution engine needed its electronic ignition module mounted some distance from the radio components, so the side of the engine box was used. We have one of the first 45GTs offered by Hangar 9, so we needed a separate JR 4.8v 1100-mAh ignition battery to provide a full day of flying.
The two elevator halves each get their own servo, and that means that some method is needed to make both of them move in the same direction. A reversing Y connector could have been used, but we decided to go with a JR MatchBox. This little piece of electronic magic reverses one of the two servos permitting the same geometric configuration on both. Because of the Evolution 45GT engine, we decided to mount the servos in the rear of the plane.
The stabilizer (like the wing) also comes in two-pieces, and with the aid of two aluminum rods, lines up parallel to the wing. A unique feature of this ARF is that the stabilizers are not glued, but are held tightly against the sides of the fuse with machine screws! We used Pacer’s Loc-Tite to secure them, but some of you may want to leave the stabilizers removable for those vacation days. Vacation? Removable wings and elevators? Hmmmm, they might be on to something here.
The rudder can be configured as either a pull-pull or, as we did, a direct link from a servo mounted under the stabilizer of the plane. In hindsight, it would have been wise to position those three servos inside and in the front of the fuselage, but as it turned out, we needed to mount both batteries as far forward as we could plus add over one pound of lead to achieve the foreword recommended balance point. There was plenty of room for the installation of the receiver and MatchBox.
One problem arose with the suggested control surface throws. The manual only gives them in degrees, not inches or millimeters. For the IMAC guys, this presents no problem, but for those of us who use a ruler... grrrrr.
Two standard servos are used for throttle control and choke activation. With this arrangement, little time is wasted since the choke is quickly removed while the engine is still being cranked. The engine always started by hand demonstrating the ease at which we could get it running (but this was only after a couple of tanks of fuel were run through it in the pit area). This is also a good method to check for loose nuts and/or bolts! We used Mobile 2T oil and mixed 40:1.
To complete the plane, we installed the fuel tank partially in front and over the wing tube. A 3-line fueling system was used with the 3rd line exiting the fuselage just below the hatch and behind the cowl. A JR Extra Rx Pack 2400mAh 4.8v Flat (P/N JRPB4460) was used for the flight pack.
As mentioned earlier, additional lead was added in the forward portion of the fuselage to obtain a satisfactory CG. The first couple of flights were made by two individuals who both agreed the plane was pitch-sensitive. In fact, our first video demonstrates how gentle we had to be on the elevator in order to fly this plane smoothly. Twice the plane snapped out of a loop or dive when I pulled a bit too hard.
We added more lead (a total of 17 oz.), and that pitch-sensitive problem disappeared! We finally agreed the plane flew best with the CG located at the forward-most suggested location. As the video demonstrates, during the Harrier maneuvers, a lot of up elevator does not necessarily lead to a stall or snap!
A couple of weeks later my son Jonathan arrived from Alabama, and I asked him to wring-out this plane, so (drum roll please……) "Flying" by Jonathan Festa.
If the average pilot keeps the control throws down to the recommended low movement, the Cap 232G will perform very adequately. The advanced potential of this plane can only be demonstrated by pushing the plane to its limits by adjusting the control surface throws and moving the CG.
Straight and level flight was easily achieved once the plane was properly trimmed out. However, the plane always seemed to have a “locked-in” up attitude of about 3-5 degrees when flying from 1/4 to 1/3 throttle. Thinking that the plane was tail heavy, I decided to test my suspicion and climbed to a positive 45-degree up line and rolled inverted. To my surprise, the Cap did not climb out, and even about 10% down elevator was needed to remain climbing at 45 degrees. During the ascent, the Cap did require 15% right rudder to keep from wandering left. On the recommended low rates, aileron rolls were axial and did not require rudder input if throttle was 1/2 or above. On the recommended high rates, rolls were very fast and axial. The Cap did not “barrel” left or right when performing multiple rolls. For specific flight characteristics, I broke down the flight performance into the following categories that are based on my first 5 flights.
Once we completed our pre-flight check, the Cap’s authoritative rudder-tailwheel setup allowed for great ground control for taxiing. After advancing the throttle halfway, the Cap only rolled for about 25 feet before quickly becoming airborne.
Landing attempts with the Cap were without issue. The plane really floated even when throttle is reduced to idle or less. The only problem we ran into was when the tail wheel decided to “eject” sometime during our 3D trials. (There was a set-screw we forgot to check) This led to a screechy and abbreviated landing roll, but no other damage. A new Sig replacement was obtained and it's bellcrank broke on the first landing! And that one was a 'greaser' too!
Knife-edge flight was solid. After mixing 3% up-elevator and 5% opposite aileron, the Cap could go “coast-to-coast” knife-edge with only throttle inputs needed to correct. The Evolution 45 swinging a 22-10 Zinger prop was more than enough power to safely power out if I would let the plane continue to sink while high alpha. When we switched to a 22-8 Zinger prop, I could not notice a notable difference except when transitioning from or into high alpha.
Stalls were predictable and resulted in a mushy drop of the nose. Stall spins were a bit more advanced. When given full control inputs, the Cap quickly tightens its spin radius. After 2-3 rotations, the spins flattened out every time if aileron input was reduced and only elevator-rudder was used. After reducing control surface input, the Cap usually continued to spin another 1⁄2 to full rotation before diving out. If enough throttle was applied, the Cap would perform “flying flat-spins.” But recovery from flying flat-spins was pretty ugly as the Cap tended to spin for a full 2-3 rotations again once inputs were reduced. When trying to transition the Cap into an inverted harrier after performing an inverted flat spin, it continued to spin for 3 full rotations before I gave up and released the down elevator. After a few more attempts, I found the best way to transition from flat spinning was to first let the Cap begin to dive out of the spin, then add input. It really did not seem to like high-alpha transitions after flat spins.
The first day, I flew various pattern and IMAC maneuvers. Figures from basic to unlimited were well within the Cap’s capabilities, but I had to work the rudder on up lines to keep them true. Given the authoritative rudder, stall turns were easily performed. On the other hand, slow rolls took some getting used to. The Cap quickly began to lose altitude if 10-15% rudder was not promptly applied; even at high speeds. Thinking that the trust might be causing some of the issues, we added a pair of washers under the left side of the motor mount that night. The following day at the field, I noticed an improvement. However, I still had to add at least 5% right rudder to on up lines. Feeling a little more in touch with the plane, I then flew the Advanced 2006 IMAC pattern that was still implanted in my brain without encountering any additional issues.
Like the other 3D maneuvers, hovering and torque rolling was better with the 22-8 Zinger prop over the 22-10 Zinger prop. Like most Caps, it preferred to begin torque rolling if you let her fall on her back a bit. On high rates, the control authority was right-on for quick corrections. Recovery was predictable and the Evolution 45 provided more than enough power to climb out.
Both upright and inverted harriers were stable and solid. However, entries would result in a quick 10-15% wing drop when above 1/4 throttle. But once stalled, the tendencies were very predictable. With the Evolution 45, just a few clicks of throttle above idle allowed sufficient prop-blast over the surfaces for good handing. Rolling harriers were stable and in line with other 50cc planes. The roll rate was fast enough to get away with adding only top rudder every 360 degrees.
Like harriers, entry was rocky if the airspeed was too fast. However, the Cap would not drop a wingtip when full elevator was applied at slower speeds less than 1/4 throttle.
The Cap’s ability to tumble so easily was no surprise given its power to weight ratio and monster control surfaces. Multiple waterfall tumbles were adequately performed with very little aileron and rudder input needed. However, if too much throttle were applied, the plane would abruptly snap out of high alpha and enter a spin.
We only wish it came in the Attalia color scheme! Now for some more pictures:
Absolutely not! This plane is for advanced sport pilots. However, given the problems with balancing the CG and the coupling issues with the rudder, I cannot recommend this plane to an inexperienced pilot. Even on low rates and with a forward CG, the Cap is still a nimble plane that could cause a beginner to get in over their head rather quickly.
The Cap 232G from Hangar 9 offers a competitive entry into the 50cc ARF market. 3D and freestyle pilots will enjoy the plane’s aerobatic potential. Assembly is simple and straight-forward. The Evolution 45 GT gives this plane excellent vertical, the rudder is very powerful, and the two-piece wing and stabilizer make the CAP 232 G very transportable.
This was an excellent review. The airplane was flown to the limit of it's capabilities and the results were reported in detail. Expert pilots thinking about buying this CAP can now accurately evaluate it's performance potential. Even if the potential buyer doesn't plan to fly the airplane that aggressively, it will be nice to know what to look for as it approaches it's limits.
Compare this review to the undisguised advertising that passes for a "review" in the big name magazines.
Nice job, guys!
Do something about those throttle and choke linkages before they come back to haunt you! Metal connections to your gas engine can act as antennas and conduct noise back into the radio system. A better idea is to use some flexible "goldenrod" material.
Definitely get rid of that zinger prop. They are fine for a sport model, but try a xoar, MSC, or if you want to get spendy, mejzlik 22x8 or 21x10 to get the most out of that evolution. You will be amazed at the performance difference with a new prop.
You might also want to consider moving a lot of your radio gear, and probably your rudder servos forward to a pull-pull position to get the CG forward. Losing that pound of lead will do wonders for the aircraft's performance.
Ailerons 47% Elevator 65% Rudder 70%
Thanks for the kind words...and yes ibange moving that stuff foreward is the way to go!
Yes Jim don't forget I used to write for a couple of mags...and nothing has changed - other than editors
Really good review thanks.
Can you possibly post your throws as like you said the book is of no use to me in degrees.
No doubt I could try and work it out but I would sooner take on board your settings.
Not too intersted in the 3D settings yet.
Went into the garage, turned on the TX and NOTHING....not even a little light - display blank....switched batteries w/ another tx - same thing. Replaced with original battery - wouldn't even charge..................now I'm concerned as I have both my H9 P47-150 and P-51-150 setting on that tx and we have a 1/8th scale fly-in next week........I don't think there is a fuse in there is there???? Something blew.....As soon as I get the tx back and working, I'll get you those throws.....
Has anyone built this plane with the rudder servo in the forward location? If so does this allow the plane to balance without the 1lb of noseweight. This seems like a lot of weight for this size plane. I wonder if the plane weighed less could a more rearward cg work? Any plane I have had improved exponentially with weight removed. The plane looks decent in the video, what could it be like if it was a pound lighter??
I have the rudder servo up front using the pull pull set up, but still the extra lead was needed.
I placed all the battery packs up front under the fuel tank to help with the lead issue.
Mine still took over 15oz of lead to get the c of g to the 156mm positon.
I flew mine 2 days ago for the first time which I was more than nervous about .
It flew like a baby needing 2 clicks of trim at the most to maintain straight and level with hands off, I used the expo settings as above from Jerry which were perfect.
Rates were only at the low settings, but even these let me throw it around after a while of getting aquainted.
Inverted was no problem and required virtually no input at all to maintain height etc.
Landings were my biggest fear a I was expecting a violent drop of the wing should I let the speed drop too much. BUT, I really shouldn't have worried as it landed with absolutely no scares I flew it in as advised with a bit of power and managed a 3 pointer on my first landing
I am glad I put the c of g where advised by Jerry as this made for an extremely nice flight on every one I did.
My all up weight with lead and about an eigth of a tank of fuel was 16lb 6oz using Futaba 9351's on all surfaces Futaba 607 2.4 receiver and 2 4.8v 2100Mah packs for ignition etc along with my lovely Evo 45GX which has now converted me to larger models due to the ease of use and the sheer presence of the aircraft.
I am not the most experienced of fliers (I get by) but this really really is a pussycat if set up like mine, my 12 year old will be having a go next time we are at the field, he flies at the same level as me so it will be intersting to see what he thinks.
I am now a Hangar 9 and Evo convert and already have my eye on the new SU26.
Here is an picture of my baby.
I went flying today, not had a chance for a month or so and it was superb again.
Can manage flights of 20 minutes with ease due to this very economical engine.
I have now got a Hangar 9 Cessna 182 95" (well will have at Christmas thanks to my lovely wife) and I have got myself a Evolution 26cc to go in it.
They really are the very best kits I have used.
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