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. 😉