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Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

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Old 07-07-2004, 03:53 PM
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WRX
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Default Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Manufacturer: Watt-age
Model: Cessna 165(195) EP
Controls: Ailerons, elevator, thrust.
Fuselage: ABS with ply and balsa reinforcement
Airfoil: Flat bottom covered balsa
Tail feathers: Factory covered balsa
Cowl: ABS 2 piece, pre cut, pre glued.
Gear: Light weight foam wheels, very tough pre bent wire; reinforced mounting for those less than graceful landings.
Tail wheel: No tail wheel with kit, but I put one on.
Flight weight: 19ounces (manual suggests a 16 ounce flight weight)

Assembly:

The Cessna 195 and 165 are quite the step up from the RTF Cessna 180 that Watt-age offers. This model has a rock solid ABS body (with ply and balsa reinforcement), and factory covered balsa wing. Wing was completely built and covered. CA hinges needed to be glued in for the ailerons and elevator, but the slots were factory cut so all that you have to do is add a bit of adhesive. I purchased pinned hinges to replace the CA hinges for smoother movement. The aileron pushrods had Z bends servo side and plastic clevises for the surface horns. I replaced the pushrods with metal locking snap clevises for control horns and got adjustable push rod connectors with set screws for the servo horn. Total assembly is as follows: Glue hinges, mount motor, mount and hook up electronics, glue tail section and finally attach landing gear and cowl.


First time out with electric 370, 8 cell 1200 mA NiMHi, and 7x4 master airscrew. First charge was taxi time putting around the track at the local high school. First thing I noticed is because there is no rudder control there is no way to compensate for torque steering. For taking off I found that holding the tail, give it full thrust and then let go. Don't try to pull up too early. The 370 is under powered. It will stall out and flop back on the ground if you get over zealous with the elevator. Unless you have a cliff you can toss this plane off don't expect anything but wafting around like a vulture that has eaten too much. It flew like a Cessna. Once trimmed up it was stable easy flying. I was looking for something a bit more spirited so I changed the prop to a 9x4 and found the plane still did not perform to my expectations. Unhappy with the performance of the 370 I decided to get a bit more HP under the hood. Picked up a Norvel .061, 2 oz fuel cell, and a servo for the throttle. The cost of going brushless with a 400 is too much to warrant for a park flyer so, back to the workbench.

The battery housing became the new fuel cell compartment. The 370 came off and was replaced by the Norvel. A hole drilled in the plywood firewall for the pushrod and some line routing and the new servo is mounted. Now we have a glow powered ½ A scale Cessna. She also shed about 4 ounces weighing in at 15 ounces without fuel.

With the glow engine to call the Cessna a spirited plane would be a gross understatement. She is a rocket on rails. I strongly suggest any new pilots stick with a brushless or a 400 electric. For those of you with a bit more experience with flying and glow engine care this is the best thing since top ramen. Listening to the wings hum by as you pull out of a dive almost as good as listening to your significant other in the throws of passion, almost. The wing holds up fine but I did attach another horn to the other side of the elevator and a pushrod to the other side of the elevator servo horn. Under high G pulls she would list to the left because of lack of support on that side of the elevator.

Landing glow was easier and slower than electric. The added weight of the electric and lack of flaps made for some pretty hot landings or a carrier flop. I no longer have to warn people that I am coming in for a landing. No tail wheel or rudder control and lack of power at the end of a battery cycle can make for some precarious “landings”. With the reduced weight and added power of the glow she sets down nicely and I have the option to touch and go if things go awry.

The durability of this plane is fantastic, meaning I have yet to break anything but the cowl which obtained a few cracks on some less than graceful landings. Once it went off the runway shortly after touchdown and did about three cartwheels. I was expecting to have to pick up pieces, but only needed to replace the prop.

Overall this is a great plane. Once you graduate from your GWS foamies this is the way to go. Watt-age is a whole new level of quality compared to the popular GWS foamies which are great planes to learn on, but cannot compare to the Watt-age planes in build quality. Price however reflects this quality. The Cessna 195 comes with a 400 motor, but I opted for the Cessna 165 which came without a motor. For those intermediate pilots with some experience with glow engine care you might consider switching to glow for a new level of Parkflyer fun.


All pictures are huge and hi quality. they will load slow for modem users.


Pic of radio tray and new fuel cell
http://www.pacifier.com/~merlin/ces1.jpg


Plane without Cowl
http://www.pacifier.com/~merlin/nocowl.jpg


Mofidications to wing servo
http://www.pacifier.com/~merlin/ceswing.jpg

Complete plane with fuel filler and exhaust"
http://www.pacifier.com/~merlin/cowl.jpg

http://www.pacifier.com/~merlin/fus.jpg
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Old 07-08-2004, 07:50 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Not sure who recommended the battery or where you got it, but that was your problem. A 8-cell pack of KAN650 cells or CBP650 cells would've shaved 4 ounces off the plane, and gave you better power. Plus, a pre-built pack would've cost you only about $20, far less than the new Norvel, tank, and servo would've cost.

The only 1200mAh NIMH I'm aware of are consumer-grade AA cells. They're heavy, and have a high internal resistance. It's a double-edged sword, with the pack not being able to provide enough power to the motor, and weighing too much at the same time.

But hey, if it works for you, enjoy it! Thanks for the write-up
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:29 AM
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Well I already had the norvel. Got it for my AT6 Texan (Herr), so all I really had to get was the tank and servo (not wanting to pillage my AT-6). I was really quite impressed with the quality and durability of the plane. It was more than I was expecting for eighty bucks.

As for the battery, I was using packs I have already acquired which are all NiMHi, and yes they are heavy. I dont have a lipo charger yet.
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Old 07-08-2004, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

We just need to make sure it's clear that you used a battery that wasn't right for the airplane. People will read your review, misunderstand, and come to the conclusion that the plane is bad.

A bit of general advice: Be prepared to purchase a battery pack for each plane you have, OR look for planes that utilize the battery packs you already have. Don't buy a plane assuming that just because you have some random battery pack, it'll work.
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Important! setup informaiton.

The following is the setup I used that deviated from the instruction manual. Using the suggested setup would have led to a more appropriate flight weight for the stock motor.

Suggested battery 8 cell, 9.6V, 800 mAH, NiMh (115 grams [4.2 oz]) by wattage. The battery I used was an 8 cell, 9.6v, 1400 mAH NiMh 8 oz.(226.80g) which is twice the suggested weight for this plane. This would explain the expierence I had with my first few flights.

Also I used all metal pushrods with metal clevises. The stock pushrods are balsa dowels with threaded metal pushrod ends. This is sure to add a few grams, but not enough to really take a toll on flight characteristics.

The Cessna 195 is the same plane as the Cessna 165, but it comes with a cobalt 400 motor. For those of you thinking of a new plane the cessna is a great plane. I do however suggest either getting the Cessna 195 or using a 400. The manual does mention that the "minimum" suggested motor is a 370. Which means it will fly with a 370, but I believe you would be much happier with the power of a 400. Probably the reason they offer the plane with a 400.

Again I must say flying this plane (whether you have an electric 400 or convert to glow) is a pleasure. Since I first did the write up I have had a few misshaps. It still amazes me the abuse this can take and simply brush itself off, put a new prop on and fly again. Again anyone that is getting tired of their foamies Watt-age had the answer all the while keeping well within my price range. My next plane will likely be the Stagger Wing beachcraft bipe by Watt-age.
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Old 05-06-2005, 12:43 AM
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Hi,
My wife bought me the Wattage Cessna, so I built it instead of exchanging it for a Funtana. Put a Mini ac 1215/20 brushless with gearbox and 3 Cell LiPo. Put in another servo to operate rudder. Scratched my head at the postal scale 16 oz. and wondered about the clumsy elevator set-up. It seemed like a long time since I built such a heavy airplane, all that metal and screw connectors! I am used to tape and epoxy. It took off in about 4 feet and flew as I expected with the high wing loading. Then I got a little greedy, put it vertical and gave it power. Suddenly, it seemed to twist out of control. Power didn't save it, it seemed to me once all that mass started spinning, it wouldn't take no for an answer. Pulling it out of the smoking hole, I noticed the elevator halves were in slightly opposed positions. At least the plane took a licking pretty well. That nice brushless went back into the Czech styrofoam Pitts Special. I once put a Norvell 61 in a Dave's Aircraft Works speed 400 Extra 300, and it was a rocketship until the castor bean oil got under the covering and ruined the EPP foam. I remember seeing the Norvell and considered how the Wattage Cessna would fly with a gas motor, it is certainly built like an old school gas plane. Thanks to the internet I see this is not so original an idea. Your detractors don't seem to understand that the Wattage Cessna is essentially a gas plane design converted to electric, your insight was really to set things straight. I was unable to access the pics, although I have a pretty good idea how I'm going to do the conversion. Anyway, I miss some aspects of gas, the noise, the sweet stink of bean oil, and the power to weight.
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: Watt-age Cessna 165 review and glow conversion

Hmmmm,
im a little confused i THOUGHT this was the glow to electric forum ?????????? not the other way around. at any rate good luck with the plane .


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