View Full Version : Life and Death of the Cessna

04-13-2006, 01:02 AM
Not sure why I would share these pics, as they are more frustrating and embarassing than anything. But, figured some of you might get some sort of morbid enjoyment out of them.

First, the disclaimer: I am fairly new to this hobby, and dont have a lot of airtime with planes. I do own quite a few now, and have had my ups and downs with all of them... mostly ups. But NO ONE PLANE have I had more problems with than the Art-Tech Cessna 182.

For whatever reason, this plane refuses to want to behave. I have had a couple times when it has flied incredibly well. Other times, (most other times) you would think it had a mind of its own (and probably did... more to come on that). Some of the problems can be chalked up to my inexperience, some of it to other factors. The first time I flew this plane, I did a ROG on a parking lot. I gave it full throttle and it seemed like it took forever for the plane to lift off the ground. Once it did, it then proceeded to tip stall. I recovered, just enough for it to roll over and try to nose first into the parking lot. Straightened it out, and it tried to stall again. I gave up at that point and put it into a tree ( on purpose). That wasnt the last of the "fun".

Anyways, here are a few pics of my not-so-beloved plane.

For referrence, this is what my plane is SUPPOSED to look like (no, this is not a pic of me flying my actual plane... that didnt really happen much)

This pic was the result of the plane suddenly deciding to flip over and do an inverted loop into the ground. This was on my second flight of this plane. It was flying fine, then decided on its own it wanted down. This, after the fact, was my unknowing introduction into glitchy receivers.

Picture #2 was the result of the wing snapping in two mid-air while attempting a loop. Contributing factors to this crash were the obvious not-so-good repair of the wing from the previous picture. On this day, though, the plane was flying great. The crash was kind of spectacular. I was about 100 feet up, so when the plane hit, it stuck in the ground like a lawn dart.

This picture is the latest and in the end was the result of all the previous crashes and mishaps from the time I got this plane until this picture. Figuring out that I was having occassional receiver glitches, I replaced the stock Art-Tech receiver and ESC. Figured this would fix all my problems. Guess not. In preflight, I found out that the ailerons would stick it either position when they moved. I messed with the linkages and I THOUGHT I had fixed it, but again, guess not. Plane took off great, then decided it was bored and on its own do a few uncontrolled roll-loops. The ailerons were obviously still sticking and the plane would uncontrollably bank on its own. I regained control and figured I better get this thing down and tried to circle around for a landing without losing control and a large tree reached up and grabbed it (ok, misjudged how far out the plane was relative to the tree). To my defense, I was having a hell of a time controlling it enough to get it circled around into the wind to land. The tree just happened to be in my way.

So, I think the Cessna is finally done. I sheared off the control linkage for the right aileron in this last crash, along with the control horn. Repairable? Probably? Will I repair it? No. In between these crash pics, I had several tip stalls, and even one complete flight without any crashes.

As a noob, this plane has at LEAST taught me something about this hobby. 1) I am getting pretty good at gluing foam. 2) Gitches are a *****. 3) Planes DO have a mind of their own sometimes.

04-13-2006, 05:35 PM
don't get discouraged!
take the electronics and put them into a GWS slowstick...its a lot more forgiving, and will allow you to nail the basics....then you can graduate to more advanced planes!

BTW everyone crashes...the best ones are the ones you can laugh about!

one more thing....you can glue the heck out of a slow stick and it will still fly! The only reason why I retired mine is because it was such an eye sore.....but it still flew....lol

04-13-2006, 06:09 PM
For what its worth, this whole ordeal has been more entertaining than frustrating. I actually started out on a Slo-V and have a couple other 3 and 4 channel planes in my hangar. So, I KNOW I can fly, its just this plane and I arent on good terms. A couple weeks back I ordered a replacement fuselage, wing and tail for the Cessna, figuring that at some point I will need to completely rebuild it. When it wanted to fly, it was fun. Its just that most of the time it didnt want to fly. Ironically, like I said, it probably taught me more about flying than any other plane I have.

04-14-2006, 07:04 AM
I also had a plane (Wing Dragon)made by Art Tech. I found the electronics to be of very poor quality. I relaced everything, it was the only way it would fly with any relaibility. even the brushed motor was rubbish and the servos would sometimes stick. I replaced everything with GWS and although thats not top of the line equipment either it was reliable and made the plane a lot easier easy to fly.

04-14-2006, 08:33 AM

As a noob, this plane has at LEAST taught me something about this hobby. 1) I am getting pretty good at gluing foam. 2) Gitches are a *****. 3) Planes DO have a mind of their own sometimes.

Radios do have a mind of their own sometimes. Planes do what the radios tell them to all the time, even if it means to comit "planicide", and yes, glitches are b-----s (rhymes with glitches). :eek:

04-14-2006, 08:12 PM

You will find that planes that look scale are generally difficult to fly, even when the radio signals are good. This Cessna is a beauty, and looks so real in the air. But, to maintain a scale look, there are many things that make it a poor RC flyer. The wing area is generally too small, the control surfaces are too small, and the aerodynamics are not ideal.

Look at most any "trainer" aircraft, and you will see a distortion of what might look like a real plane. Big, thick wing, lot's of dihedral, longer than scale, oversized tailfeathers, along with other tweaks.

The reality is that real aircraft fly very near what we would consider unstable conditions. Make matters worse, we underpower them terribly, as generally specified by the manufacturer to prevent the sticker shock of larger motor/battery/ESC costs and the implications of pushing the weight up to cause even higher wing loading. To make a scale aircraft fly well, it's needs to be overpowered considerably.

There are many trainer platforms to learn to fly with. I would suggest that you try one of those first if you want to get past those early learning experiences. It's hard enough to get just general orientation and all sorted out to the point it becomes natural.

my 2 cent$

04-14-2006, 08:42 PM
clenaghen (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=6501)

I so know what you mean... I went a bought a PZ-51 last weekend... It flew great in rougher then I should have been flying winds before I lost my SA (Situational Awareness) and put in into a tree.:eek: Totaled the plane. Wing and fuselage! So yesterday I went and got a new one. I was SO excited and sure I could fly in the much calmer weather. Well after 3 failed hand launches, and 3 augers into terra firma because I was not able to control the plane right after take-off, my plane is toast again! I was able to save the fuselage this time and am thinking of just buying the parts to repair it. We will see. The good part is I now have 2 complete sets if radio gear to just put into a ARF. I just have to pick a forgiving one…

Welcome and good luck!

Remember the fraternity of flyers is totally comprised of those that have crashed! (Some more then others ;))