The CAP family of aircraft originated in France, and have been around for quite a while. Built as a single-seat aerobatic performance plane, they have been a show favorite for many airshow seasons. Like any good airframe, there have been many variants and modifications to the original. Some changes were made to allow more power, some for safety reasons. But one thing’s for sure – over the past three decades, this plane has been refined to be a great aerobatic performer!
I have written a lot of product reviews, over the years, for The World Models. Somehow, their CAP 232 has gone without a review. Recently I was in need of a 50-60cc sized airframe, and The World Models CAP 232 fit my needs perfectly. I contacted Airborne Models, the US distributor for The World Models and The Wings Maker, and they sent me the CAP 232 for review. Now, before we go any farther, Let me just mention that this is a rather large airplane! At 29% scale, it will definitely command attention at your local flying field – both in the air and on the ground! Interested? Read On!
Wingspan: 85″ (2160mm)
Wing Area: 1302 sq in (84 sq dm)
Length: 78″ (1985mm)
Flying Weight (Advertised): 16.7 lbs (7650 g)
Flying Weight (Actual): 17.25 lbs (7824 g)
Engine Required: 50cc Gasoline or Electric Equivalent
Radio Required: 4-Channel (Minimun) with 5 High Torque Servos and 1 Standard Servo
From the ground, I’ll be using my Hitec Flash 7 2.4 gHz Transmitter- I really love this radio! A Hitec Optima 9 receiver and Hitec HS-5645MG digital, metal geared servos will be taking care of the CAP 232 in the air.
Powering the CAP 232 will be a DLE 55 (the older side exhaust model) and a Falcon 23×8 Beechwood propeller. Falcon props are available at justmodelprops.com.
Because the CAP is a 29% scale plane, the shipping container is quite large! The plane arrived double-boxed to avoid shipping damage, and all parts were in great shape when I removed them from the box. Most of the work is done at The World Models factory, leaving some minor assembly to be done by the modeler.
The color scheme is very bright, and should give great orientation in the air! The landing gear appears to be quite stout, and looks good too!
I’m really liking the two-piece cowl -It looks really cool, and the fiberglass and paint work are top-notch! A clear dummy cowl is included to help with cutting and mounting. This is really great for less experienced modelers that may get nervous about cutting cowls. One of the neat things about The World Models is that they mold the servo mounts right into their hatches – no more gluing blocks to hatches! The 800cc fuel tank should allow extended flight times, and comes with quality hardware and fittings. A pilot figure is included with the CAP 232 – It’s always nice to have a pilot in the canopy!
Probably the most difficult part of assembling this plane is attaching the engine box to the fuselage. With that said, it’s NOT dificult – read through the manual and get your parts identified correctly, and it’ll go smoothly!
The manual is typical of The World Models – it’s more illustrations that words, but the illustrations do a good job to help the modeler assemble the CAP.
Take a look at the manual Here.
Like most airplanes, assembly began with the wings. The World Models includes servo arms that are the correct length – they just need to be attached to a small round servo wheel. The servo arm is secured to the wheel with four Allen head machine screws and locking nuts. The servo was then attached to the hatch using DuBro socket head servo screws. I always leave a small gap between the servo and the hatch – this allows the servo to be isolated from the frame for protection from vibration.
An 18″ servo extension wire was attached to the servo before pulling the wire through the wing. The World Models installed a pull-string at the factory to make this step really easy! After drilling the hatch mounting screw holes and running a screw into each of them, a drop of thin CA hardens the wood to hold the screws better.
The servo hatch was attached using the included crews, and the control horn was installed – I really like the bearings in the control horns – the really make for a smooth transition of power from the servo to the control surface! The pushrod was then assembled and installed – I had a little trouble with the fiberglass section of the pushrod – it split, allowing one end of the threaded rod to spin. I fixed this problem by tightly wrapping the fiberglass section with monofilament fishing line and applying thin CA to the whole center section. This took care of the issue, and made for a really strong pushrod!
Moving on, I had to open the wing and tail mounting holes in the fuselage. I found that there was no aileron servo wire hole in the fuselage, so I cut a small hole on each side behind the main wing tube.
I slid the carbon fiber tube into the right horizontal stabilizer, drilled a hole HALF WAY through the tube, and secured the tube with a screw. After installing the main wings, the tube was then slid through the fuselage, and the other horizontal stabilizer was secured the same as the first half. Fortunately, the stab lined up perfectly with the wing. Unfortunately, the stab was a little too loose for my liking. Since I don’t need the horizontal stabilizer to be removable, I simply applied some epoxy to the stabilizer tube and fuselage. When the epoxy had cured, I had a nice tight fit that was perfectly aligned.
The vertical stabilizer was then installed using epoxy. I used 5-minute epoxy after a dry-fit determined placement was correct.
The elevator servos were assembled and attached to their respective hatches in the same manner as the ailerons servos. A 36″ servo extension wire was secured to each of the two elevator servos, and the extensions were pulled through the fuselage. I then installed the control horns, and assembled and connected the elevator pushrods. Unfortunately, I ran into the same fiberglass issue on the elevator pushrods – I had two left from another project, so I simply replaced them. I am 100% positive that Airborne Models would have replaced the pushrods if I had asked – their customer service is awesome!
To make installing the tail wheel easier, I removed the bracket from the sprung tail wheel – Once the bracket was installed, the tail wheel was reassembled and the tiller arm and steering springs were installed.
The rudder control horn was installed next, and it’s a pull-pull setup. I measured the width of the rudder servo arm provided with the plane, and set the control horn with to be the same. the clevises were attached to the rudder cables, connected to the control horn (one on each side), and the cables were slid into the fuselage. There is a short guide tube installed in each side of the fuse, providing a low-friction entry into the fuselage. A magnet on the end of a stick will help you pull the cables through the fuselage.
Installing the motor box was the hardest part of the entire assembly process. With that said, it wasn’t difficult at all – just make sure you are completely comfortable and do a dry-fit before you mix up the epoxy! Unfortunately, I swapped placement of the two cross beams, and ended up having to do a lot of trimming, later, to get the canopy/hatch installed. Follow the manual, do a dry-fit, and ONLY when you completely understand the assembly, mix up the epoxy and secure the motor box.
The main landing gear was attached to the fuselage with machine screws and washers – I added a drop of blue thread locking compound to each screw before tightening them. The axle and wheel were then installed, followed by the wheel pant. The wheel pant was slid over the axle, and secured to the landing gear with two small machine screws. Again, I added a drop of blue thread locking compound to keep the screws from coming loose.
Breaking from the manual just a bit, I decided it was a good time to install the rudder servo and receiver.
The DLE 55 was installed next. After making a mounting template, I taped the template to the firewall and drilled the mounting holes. The standoffs were attached with machine screws from the back side of the firewall, and the engine was attached to the standoffs. The throttle pushrod location was marked and then drilled, and high-temp RTV sealant was added to the exhaust manifold.
I attached the Bisson Custom Muffler to the DLE, installed the receiver battery, throttle servo and pushrod, and attached the Ignition and optical kill switch to the underside of the motor box.
The instructions say to attach the canopy to the hatch with epoxy, but I prefer to keep my canopies removable. Instead, I drilled the hatch and canopy for #4 x 1/2″ screws. The pilot figure comes with a piece of double-sided tape – in addition to the tape, I added a pair of zip-ties to keep the pilot figure in place. He looks pretty good, but he’d look better if he came with a few more accessories.
After assembling the two-piece cowl, I slid it over the engine and installed the Falcon propeller and AGM polished aluminum spinner. Yes, The World Models does supply a yellow plastic spinner, but I really like polished aluminum spinners. I got this 3.5″ AGM spinner from ebay for a whopping $25.00 WITH free shipping!
With the cowl taped in place, I drilled the mounting holes – there are three holes on each side.
The 4 cell NiMh ignition battery was secured to the side of the motor box with zip-ties, and a drop of thin CA was applied to each of the six cowl mounting screw holes. The muffler’s exit tubes had been cut short for a previous project, so I added short lengths of high-temp silicone tubing to get the exhaust gasses out of the cowl. The silicone tubes are held in place with regular plumbing hose clamps. The AGM spinner back plate (pre-drilled for the DLE 30 and 55) was installed, along with the Flacon propeller and spinner. The cowl cutouts were all done prior to final installation, and allow plenty of cooling air in and hot air out of the cowl. If you hate cutting cowls, you’ll really love the included clear dummy cowl – it makes trimming and cutting the cowl really easy. Because the DLE 55 and Bisson muffler were completely concealed within the cowl, I didn’t use the dummy cowl on this plane. But, I can tell you, I have used the dummy cowl on other TWM airplanes, and it’s a very useful tool!
I added a few of the supplied decals to the CAP232, along with one extra decal… If you’ve never used a Falcon Prop, you just don’t know what you’re missing! Go get one and try it!
Unfortunately, my video pilot and I had a tough time getting together this summer to get some flying done. When we were both available, the weather would not cooperate. However, we finally caught a break on the first day of October – not only was it a Saturday, but we were both available and the weather was PERFECT! There was a slight breeze (3-5 MPH) right down the runway, the sun was shining with just a hint of clouds in the shy, and a temperature nearing 70°F. Like I said – it was a perfect day!
Since the DLE 55 has been used in four previous airplanes, it was well broken in, which is always nice when flying a new plane! The fuel tank was filled and the DLE 55 was started and warmed up to operating temp. We taxied the CAP 232 out to the grass section of runway, and opened the throttle – half throttle on the DLE 55 was all that the CAP required for a brisk take off! She climbed out easily at half-throttle, and was checked for any trim requirements at a safe altitude. Now it doesn’t happen very often, but there were NO trim changes needed – not one click!
The CAP 232 flew very well right from the start, and my video pilot was immediately having a good time! after a few high speed (1/3 to 1/2 throttle is PLENTY) passes and some aileron rolls and a loop or two, we wanted to try to stall the plane. Some CAP models have been know to violently tip stall at low speeds, so before it was time to land we wanted to see what this CAP would do. With the CAP at a safe altitude (about three mistakes high), the plane was slowed to a crawl – surprisingly, the CAP didn’t do anything violently – in fact, it just mushed over and dropped the nose! The ailerons were effective long after they shouldn’t have been. This plane slows down very nicely, and still flies well.
High speed, as I said, looks really scale at 1/3 -1/2 throttle – it will go faster, and the airframe can handle the speed, but it just didn’t look right. The plane was rock solid at any speed!
On to aerobatics – that’s what this plane was made to do! Aerobatics are fun and extremely easy with the CAP – I set the control throw rates recommended in the manual as low rates. I added about 30% more throw to get my high rate setting, but high rates were never needed! The control throws in the manual are just right for all types of aerobatics! If you can dream up a maneuver, the CAP 232 can do it! Loops can be tight or as large as wanted – the DLE 55 and Falcon 23×8 prop had more than enough power for unlimited vertical and there’s plenty of rudder authority for stall turns and knife edge flight as well. As I said – if you can do it, so can the CAP!
Jim and I actually shot the review video on the maiden flight – the CAP couldn’t have performed better in the air. We kept the maiden flight to around 8 minutes, and because we knew that it slowed down nicely, it was easy to bring in for that first landing. the CAP was lined up on the runway, and it came down. the Falcon 23×8 grabs a lot of air, so the first landing attempt was aborted and the throttle trim was backed down two clicks to slow down the engine. The second time around, the CAP came down easily and settle in nicely – no surprises – just a good soft landing!
The photos were shot on flight number two – being that the DLE 55 is pretty fuel efficient, and the CAP has a large fuel tank, no fill up was required! After the second flight, I emptied the fuel tank to see how much fuel was left – there was still 2/3 of a tank after having the plane in the air for approximately 15 minutes!
Check out the video to see The World Models 29% CAP 232 ARF in action!
Well that’s going to wrap up this product review of The World Models 29% CAP232 ARF. What’s my final take on it? It’s a keeper! I like the size – big enough to have great presence in the air, but still fits in a minivan (with the wings removed, of course). The color scheme is bright and differentiates greatly from top to bottom, allowing great orientation while flying. Speaking of flying, the CAP flies very well and presented no bad habits – greatest of all – no tip stalling! There were a few little items that I changed to my liking, but overall assembly was good! This is a good flying, good looking plane!
I wish you all many happy landings –