RCU Review: Watt Age Cessna 180 RTF Trainer

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: March 2004 | Views: 46727 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse Magazine Review: Wattage Cessna 180

    Review by: Greg Covey

    Global Hobby Distributors

    18480 Bandilier Circle
    Fountain Valley, CA 92708
    (714) 963-0133

    Watch video of the Cessna 180
    2.55 MB

    The WattAge Cessna 180 puts it all together for you in one Ready-To-Fly (RTF) package! A great flying and looking trainer plane that is quiet and can be flown just about anywhere. The direct drive power system uses NiMH battery technology for lightweight and good flight times. It comes with a true digital proportional 4-channel 27MHz FM Cirrus transmitter complete with servo reversing and two-axis gimbals. Inside the plane you'll find a true micro 4-channel FM receiver, two micro 9 gram (0.3oz) servos, and a 7-amp Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) for the motor. Controls on the Cessna 180 are for elevator, rudder, and throttle This is an excellent starter system that you'll be able to fly many other electric park flyers with like the Mini Maxx and Tubby Cubby after developing your flying skills with the Cessna 180.


    Kit Name: Cessna 180 EP RTF
    Watt Age

    Wing Span:
    24.5 inches
    Wing Area:
    116 sq. in.
    17 inches
    6 ounces
    Wing Loading:
    7.45 oz/sq. ft.

    Preparing the Cessna:

    A true Ready-To-Fly package with re-usable radio components
    You will need 8 AA size alkaline batteries for the transmitter and a small Phillips screwdriver. Some simple final assembly is required that I'll explain in detail.

    The package is truly a complete trainer system. The 4-channel radio system uses Cirrus micro servos, ESC, and receiver components.

    A complete manual with plenty of photos and step-by-step assembly is geared for the first time R/C flyer.
    The wall charger unit will completely charge the discharged 6-cell, 300mAh, NiMH pack in 2.5 hours. It is not a peak charger so you need to feel the pack periodically for when it becomes warm. If the pack becomes warm or hot, it is fully charged. Note that the battery connector only allows it to be plugged in one way.

    Tip: Buy a second battery pack so you can take two fully-charged batteries to the field when you fly.

    You can upgrade the plug-in wall charger with a Wattage PF-12 AC/DC Peak Charger that can charge the flight battery in about 30 minutes right at the flying field from your car 12v battery. This enables you to fly as many times as you want during the day.

    Here's a look at the Cessna fuselage as it comes out of the box. It is completely wired and ready for the battery pack to slide inside up front (left of servos) after charging.
    The Cessna body is molded from durable plastic and foam. The ESC has a Battery Eliminator Circuit (BEC) that supplies power to the receiver and servos via the cable to the receiver.
    After installing the vertical stabilizer with a single screw, the linkages are easily attached to the control horn by bending the plastic horn at an angle to insert the "Z" bend.

    Pre-bent curves in the control rod allow you to center the control surfaces after testing them with the transmitter trims centered. My plane only needed a little adjustment on the elevator to center it.

    The manual recommends using the outer most hole on each control horn for minimum swing on the elevator and rudder. This is a good approach for beginners since they tend to over-correct on the sticks.
    The direct drive motor is pre-installed and only needs the prop pressed into place.

    Tip: A second prop is included in the kit. Bring it with you to the flying field just in case you break the original one.

    An arming switch adds safety by keeping the motor off until you are ready to toss-launch the plane.
    My Cessna 180 was RTF at 7.7oz. The manual says it is RTF at only 6oz but this is likely without a battery.

    Flight Testing:

    It is a good idea for first-time pilots to read the "Basic Operation" section of the manual. Note that the right stick on the transmitter turns the rudder right when viewed from the rear of the plane. I would also recommend that an experienced R/C pilot assist you on the first flights to help trim the plane and ensure that your entry into R/C flying is an enjoyable one.

    I tested the Cessna 180 on two separate days...both windy.

    To my surprise, the plane had plenty of power and it very rugged. The snow, ice, and ground didn't seem to affect it when landing. Flight times were about 5 minutes. The Cessna should be a great trainer for beginners on a calm day as it seemed to handle 5-10mph winds without a problem when an experienced pilot was controlling the sticks. It flew well balanced and had sufficient control using the recommended minimum throws.

    Watch video of the Cessna 180
    2.55 MB
    The Wattage Cessna 180 RTF Trainer is a great way to get started flying R/C airplanes. The complete package is extremely prefabricated and requires only a few minutes to prepare for flight.

    Replacement parts and upgrades are available from Hobby People. The Cirrus radio components can be used in other larger planes when your flying skills are more developed. This is a nice feature design by Wattage!

    The Cessna has plenty of power to fly in some wind but I recommend that first time pilots wait patiently for a calm day. Use full power on take-off and then throttle back to half after gaining some altitude. If you get into trouble, throttle completely off and let the Cessna drift to the ground. The plastic and foam design is very rugged. Be sure to fly over soft grass or snow until your piloting skills develop.

    On our first flight, the transmitter elevator trim control was not enough range to provide level flight. We landed the plane and pulled open the elevator control rod adjustment loop near the control horn. This provided more down elevator throw. We then re-centered the trim control lever on the transmitter and gave it another try. No tools were needed to adjust the throw range in the field. Our field adjustments on the Cessna now allowed us to achieve level flight with just a minor trim setting change.

    I was surprised by the planes power level and flying characteristics as they were both above my expectations. In a proper sized field, the Cessna 180 will help you learn to fly R/C and have plenty of fun while doing it!

    Watt Age

    18480 Bandilier Circle
    Fountain Valley, CA 92708
    (714) 963-0133

    Global Hobby Distributors

    18480 Bandilier Circle
    Fountain Valley, CA 92708
    (714) 963-0133


    Comments on RCU Review: Watt Age Cessna 180 RTF Trainer

    Posted by: littlephoenix on 09/17/2009
    here is my Cessna 180 conversion video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RD4nCn0HWY
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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