Monday, October 13, 2014

Guillows Cessna 150 Flies

After building as many model airplanes as I have, one would think I would be pretty confident that each new plane will fly but there seems to be a little shred of doubt. The Guillow’s DHC-2 Beaver I converted to radio control is flying well after some initial glitches and I learned much from that project. For my next stick and tissue rubber model conversion I selected the Guillow’s Cessna 150 partly because the wing was thicker with a wider chord, this should provide more lift.

Guillow's Cessna 150
Cessna in Flight

 For this conversion I decided to use better equipment than the equipment that came out of a wrecked Parkzone Champ used in the Beaver. To start with I selected a brushless electric motor for more thrust and a 2 cell lipo battery. For servos the Spektrum A2010 servos were used that have a plastic case around the electronics. All of these components and the Cessna kit were found at my local hobby shop Everything Hobby.

Electric and Electronics
Balsa Structure

 Guillow’s has been selling the Cessna 150 kit forever but this was a new laser-cut version. Normally the wood in Guillow’s kits is rather heavy but all the wood in this kits was rather light, even the stringers. More than once I broke some of the structure while building, in most cases I replaced with heavier wood. Mounting the electric motor and the servos was done in manner more like larger airplanes but I needed to provide access to the battery and power connectors. My decision was to build a framework around the battery from toothpicks and create a side hatch on one side below the windows.

 Another departure from my previous conversion was to use a plastic iron-on film known as “Microlite” instead of tissue covering. For the most part the covering works well but it can be a bugger to separate the plastic backing from the covering. It also tends to stick to itself and can be impossible to separate if that happens. Shrinking to the structure works well but the fuselage structure was not rigid enough and it looks like a starved horse, at least someone called it that.

 After putting so much time into this plane I was getting anxious to fly it, even without a side hatch or wheels, struts, or trim. Saturday was a relatively calm day so I decided to give it a test flight. On launching it was immediately apparent motor/battery combination provided plenty of power, flying at half throttle or less should be a good cruise speed. The airplane was climbing too much and seemed a little wobbly in the air so I landed. Put in more down trim and flew again keeping the speed down because I did have concerns with the wing attachment. 

 Then coming by fairly low I saw one wing half rip off the airplane and amazingly I landed it pretty well as the other wing half was ripping off also. There was no other damage. I could see that the cabin structure and wing attachment would need additional reinforcement and now I would not have to cut off the wing halves. Wings are now attached again and the structure has been reinforced including some carbon rods. I will install the hatch and the struts before attempting another flight. This plane definitely has potential.

 Bill Kuhl

Related Articles

Guillow's DHC-2 Beaver Flies and What I have Learned

DHC-2 Beaver Conversion

Cessna Flies and Cessna Dies - I am afraid not a happy ending to this story.

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