E-flite/Horizon Hobby Carbon-Z Cessna 150
A fantastic first giant-scale aircraft
A fantastic first giant-scale aircraft
Getting into giantscale models can be downright daunting for folks. The cost, lengthy building and assembly process, and issues with transportation can be discouraging. But thanks to the designers at E-flite, we now have an 84-inch-span Cessna 150 that removes all those barriers to giant-scale entry. The super-smooth foam airframe is well shaped and fairly flawless. Reinforced where necessary, the Cessna 150 is available in BindN-Fly (BNF, needs just a battery and compatible radio) and Plug-NPlay (PNP, which also requires a receiver).
Be ready for a large box to show up at your doorstep, and make sure you have ample space for unboxing and assembly. The model’s tricycle landing gear setup allowed me to use a small 4-foot-long kitchen counter, with the plane’s tail hanging over the edge. This proved to be a convenient and comfortable height to work on the Cessna. The model comes with illustrated instructions, which make assembly a breeze. Digital servos run throughout the airplane, and the wing halves feature preinstalled flaps, ailerons, and their servos and linkages. These plug-in wings are literally plug-in: The designers have created a servo-connection system that engages all wiring from fuselage to wing panels by simply plugging the wing halves into place. After each half slides over a carbon-fiber wing tube, knob-type wing bolts hold the panels in place, making the field assembly tool-less. A large battery-access point is disguised as part of the airplane’s nose and a windshield. Two plastic tabs allow for an easy grip without compromising the finish. A second smaller hatch over the cabin area is where you’ll find the receiver, tail servos, and light controller. The latter operates a host of LEDs, including anticollision strobes, navigation, and landing lights. Working aft you will need some thin CA glue to attach the rudder to the fuselage. There is a preinstalled wire for the rudder light. Down below, the previously mentioned landing-gear system comes to you assembled and ready to install. Hex-head screws anchor everything in place, and the nose-gear strut features shock absorption. Available options include a Carbon-Z float set for water works, landing skis for snow operation.
IN THE AIR
SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope)
Select is preprogrammed into the AR636 receiver that’s included in the BNF version, and it implements pitch and bank-angle limitations and incorporates an auto-leveling feature. These features will aid new pilots and keep those overcontrolling thumbs at bay.
You can assign a switch on the transmitter to turn the SAFE function on and off during flight if you prefer. All of this is outlined in the manual. The takeoff roll is smooth and easy to predict. Minimal rudder keeps the plane on the centerline until liftoff. Once the plane is rotated, any climbout angle can be achieved. Landings are easy thanks, in part, to the factoryprogrammed AS3X protocol. I like to keep the propeller spinning and adjust the elevator as needed for speed until the wheels reunite with the world. After a short slowdown roll, the plane is easy to steer back to the pits.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: The Cessna 150 is about as stable an airplane you could hope for. Add in the sheer
size of the plane and the stabilization functions and you get unbelievable stability in flight. The manual’s center of gravity recommendation is perfect. While on the tarmac, this giant plane is right at home with excellent ground handling and no bad tendencies.
Tracking: Trimming was almost unnecessary; I think the test flight required three clicks for straight and level flight. As often stated, the wind hardly has an effect on flight performance with planes equipped with AS3X technology.
Aerobatics: There is more than enough power to accomplish a wide variety of aerobatic maneuvers. For some, chandelles and lazy-8s will fill the bill. More-aggressive pilots will search and find that knife-edge flight, rolling circles, and spins are well within the plane’s bag of tricks.
Glide and stall performance: Remember that even though it feels light in flight, the Cessna 150 weighs almost 10 pounds. That said, the model will fly at very slow speeds and feels quite solid before it finally breaks. Glides are fairly shallow and comfortable, to say the least.
Whether you’re an intermediate pilot or a hardcore stick banger, E-flite’s Cessna 150 is ready to go. It handles wind well and can do myriad maneuvers from mild to wild. If you happen to bang it up, replacement parts are readily available.
An E-flite 6S 5000mAh flight pack fits with room to spare. Above right: Here you can see the wing plugs just before they are seated against the fuselage.
There are zero servo leads or safety clips to fumble with as everything simply plugs in.
The wing struts are held with pins and clips; no tools needed.
Pre-installed electronics and wiring get you in the air fast.