Easysky is another new company out to try and knock the big boys from their perch. As their website states, they specialise in research and development and their website seems to suggest that they have a number of excellent ideas in development; their spring loaded motor mount seems particularly innovative. They currently have a J3 Cub, a Brushless Sport Plane (another Eastystar type pusher) and a Cessna, for me it was only ever the Cessna 182. At 170g, the 6A brushless EPO plane that seems perfect for teaching beginners, with a spring mounted motor and lightweight design it seemed like a perfect fit.
The box arrived in its own sturdy shipping box, inside was the main box full of components separated into their own shipping bags to avoid damage.
Inside the box
Fuselage with servos, pushrods,6A esc and motor
Wing with servo and pushrods installed
Bent wire main gear and spring loaded nose gear
Prop (x2 - yes a spare!) and spinner
Horns, linkages and screws
Screwdriver and alan key
2S Lipo 500 mAh battery
Extra Lipos (you'll need them)
The fuselage and wings come with pre cut surfaces and 1x 8g aileron servo and 2 1.5g Elevator and rudder servos installed. The motor is a 1822/2600KV brushless outrunner turning a 5x5 prop.
The kit comes out of the box almost assembled - there is very little required of the user. Once the kit is laid out in front of you its is apparent that it will be a simple build. The manual comes on a CD - its a pdf that is only 12 pages long - of which 2 are assembly instructions, though if you have built anything before the manual is pretty academic!
All that is required of the user is to attach the control horns to the pre-recessed points, glue the horizontal stab and wings to the fuselage and add the receiver. These tasks were completed with ease - I used the supplied glue for the build, a rubber cement, but a 5 min or 90 second epoxy would work equally well, to attach the control horns and the H-stab. I squared up the tail with the wings. I had to put on the wings to make sure everything was square. Though the instructions do not mention it, I added a small amount of glue to the underside of the wing for added security, and a fillet of glue under the wings. I had to remove the cowl to adjust the nose wheel direction - but this was the only time that I was required to be 'free thinking'. It was simply a case of removing the four screws - allowing me to take a look at the motor mount (see below) - and adjusting the screwlock to centre the wheel.
Now would be a good time to point out quite a neat little design feature for this plane, the avionics bay is accessed by a 'door' complete with hinges on the side of the fuselage. Whilst this is a nice addition it does restrict the access to the RX and battery. This is further compounded with the nose gear pushrod expending right through the compartment AND the esc having to fit in there too. I eventually got the RX velcro'ed to the rear wall of the fuselage ( I later moved the RX further toward the nose for CG adjustment), and was able to progress to decal application! I have chosen to use a Hobbyking DSM2 receiver with the orange case taken off to save some weight, this allows me to bind it to my DX6i along with all my other micro/ultra micro planes.
The motor mount
One of the features of this plane is its spring loaded motor mount, a mount that is designed to flex on impact - hopefully removing some of the energy, thus not damaging the motor. It was this design that initially got me interested in the plane in the first place. In reality the mount does exactly what it says it does, its and ingenious piece of design that uses the spring tension to hold the motor until there is force applied against it. All in all the mouton seems light and small.
Note on the decals and foam
The instruction manual provides only one view of the plane in its final state, I had to go to the Easysky website to find further images to complete the decals. Because of the semi-scale nature of the plane, the manufacturers have added the ribs to the TE of the wings and H-stab. When it comes to applying some of the decals I found it easier to slice the rib effect off with a knife than try to get plastic decals to stretch and bend over them. The foam itself was of high quality, there were no shipping defects and the finish of the EPO was smooth, no graining as you occasionally see on some really cheap planes.
Once the decals were applied and the glue had dried I was able to connect the horns to the rods and set up the throws. The manual gives no indication so I set up my DX6i to give low rates of 70% throw with 40% expo and high rates of 100% and +30%. These will be evaluated after the first few flights. Fortunately the CG position was stated in the manual and I found that I had to move the RX and batter as far forward as I could to ensure a good balance. Iβm not sure if this is because I had removed the 4g of plastic case on the RX; but it is worth noting for future experience. I am using the ultra micro velcro stuff that comes with the Parkzone/Hobby zone planes to secure the battery. There doesn't appear to be any other option, i didn't fancy letting it stay loose in there!
Thatβs it - a simple PNP, now its off to the field!
Due to my impatience I chose a very windy day to maiden her, but I am pleased to say she handled the wind well.
I opted to ROG for my first flight, I pointed her into the wind, increased the throttle and she smoothly lifted off after a 10 foot run. There was also a pleasing lack of torque roll. She climbed out with authority, executed a couple of banked turns and settled her down for a few passes. I had set my DX6i on low rates β 50% throw with +30% expo, but I found that the it didnβt have much authority in the turns, so flipped it to full throws with +30% expo.
General flight characteristics
She is very stable in the air β her stalls were slow and predictable and very easy to recover from. She also doesnβt seem to exhibit any tip-stalling tendencies She will happily fly around (even in strong wind) at half throttle, and will loop at 2/3.
With ailerons she is able to roll, but with the control rods in the highest hole on the horns aerobatic performance was limited. The next flight I will increase to maximum throws and see how she does. She has loads of power, the little brushless motor and 5x3 prop gives her a fairly quick top speed, and she was able to loop 4 times without loosing too much altitude.
Landing was simple, point her into the wind and slowly reduce the throttle, a little flair at touchdown and cut the throttle. Very stable, very smooth and very easy! No hint of tip stall either. The front LG is probably a little to weak, after 3 or four flights it had started to bend, i would advise replacing it with something a bit more sturdy.
Is this for beginners?
Yes! The Cessna is stable in the air with plenty of power if you get into trouble. Take off and landing is a doddle, and if you get into trouble she will right herself. Only problem is that EPO can sometimes be brittle, but the spring loaded motor mount should save you having to replace the motor after any heavy impacts.
I have been very pleased with this little plane, the quality of the components seems very good, and her flight characteristics are excellent.
Well-made airframe with quality decals
Nice door hatch design for the battery compartment
Lots of power from the brushless motor
Very nice flight stability and general handling
Installation of the receiver is difficult
The front landing gear is too flexible
Rubber cement provided is predictably poor quality - use some 5 min epoxy