Top Flite Gold Edition Cessna 182 Skylane ARF

I acquired this slightly used and dinged Cessna after the passing of a St Charles Saints flyer. It came equipped with a full complement of servos and powered by an OS FS-91 Surpass pumped motor. Most of the LED lights do not work but that is for another day. I went thru it checking all the servos and wires, replaced the old batteries and installed my receiver. Then came the waiting game. I feel like I am learning to fly all over again after being out of the hobby for so many years. So, after logging numerous flights on a couple familiar planes I was ready for a First Flight.

Went to give it a go last weekend with Ralph G overseeing but engine issues caused me pause. Stupid Pilot error. The high speed needle was accessible thru a cowl opening but not the low speed. So, I went to take off the cowl only to discover I did not have the allen key for the spinner! Back in the trailer it went.

During the week, I pulled it apart, modified the cowl and test run the motor until all was running well. Which brings us to Saturday the 11th…

I put it together but forget the wing struts (thankfully not structural) and fired it up. Sam Platt graciously stood by as co-pilot…or save-my-arse pilot…while I readied myself for the unknown. Well, there was no drama. She tracked well and nicely pulled away from the runway. Trim was very minor. A few clicks left and a couple of up and she was flying hands-off in no time.

With the functioning flaps, we gave it some high altitude tests. Half-flaps showed no bad tendencies while full flaps had the plane climbing. Sam pointed out had I been at a true landing speed it would not have ballooned. He was right. My first landing was half-flaps and slid in real nice. My second flight was full flaps and while it settled nicely (no down elevator compensation) I got too early and too heavy on the elevator and it porpoised down the runway before tipping and killing the engine. No damage.

This ARF first hit the market over a decade ago yet you can still get one for your hangar at Tower Hobbies / Horizon websites for $629.99.

I have not weighed the aircraft and it feels heavy. Sam even echoed the sentiment as he carried the plane to the taxiway. I had a bit of concern about the powerplant because the 91 was the low side recommendation. Well, it has more power than it needs and I have to fly below half throttle to even get close to a scale speed. This is going to be a nice flying plane.

Thanks to Robert Wilson for the photo and video assist. And thanks to Sam Platt for the adult supervision. 😉


  • Stephen got into RC in 1996 before he first son was born. He enjoys building and loves WWII scale. He returned to active flying in 2021 after several years out of the hobby.

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