RC Electric Plane E-GO Cessna 182 – Reviewed

Written by Joe Baker on . Posted in Miscellaneous

 

E-GO Cessna 182This is the fourth of seven remote controlled electric planes that we intend to review in separate detailed reviews on this site.  The others being the Apprentice 15e (completed), Hobby zone Champ (completed), Mini Super Cub (completed), Super Cub LP, Trojan T28, and the new Cessna Classic 500 (“big papa”) which we expect to be delivered during July.  Meanwhile, the Cessna 182 is certainly a lovely looking plane, with great attention to detail and possessing a high build quality.
 

 

 (See 21 Best RC electric planes compared - this site)

 

All the bits

Assembly comments
Interestingly, this is the first package to have EVERYTHING included - even the glue, two spare propellers and the first time we’ve seen any sort of evidence of quality assurance practices in any package we have had to date.  Confidence in a product is definitely bolstered when you see the voltage of each cell of the included LiPo battery signed off in the checker’s own recorded handwriting.  It gives the feeling that the manufacturers really care about the whole packaged product.

If you remember in our first article, we said that the designers should make more use of dowels.  Well, E-GO have provided them for main wing fitment which allowed us to easily complete this task and still be happy with the knowledge that they would be aligned as per manufacturer’s spec’s for optimum flying performance.  Only trim adjustments were required on our plane prior to flight.

The Cessna 182, may well be a top contender for top spot in the “easy to fly around half the football/soccer oval” quest as it has the desired features of 4 channel operation and yet is still a fairly light foam airplane.

Supplied Charger
A max 3 amp Li-Po charger is supplied, but whilst it appears to work well, it only charges via the balance connection plug.  We must state, however, that a check of readings on cells after being charged verified that it still did what it was designed for.

Supplied Transmitter
The 2.4 GHz is built by Art-tech and is well constructed and throughout testing was fault free.  We did like the trim adjustments being recessed sliders rather than the “beep“ concept as it was an easy sight adjustment allowing you to instantly see where you are in the range provided.  We noted that whilst the manual says you can tandem the Tx for trainer control situation, on this model the “plug in” hole was not there.

There is a rumour that it can be easily changed from Mode 1 to Mode 2 if you are a reasonably handy person with a small soldering iron.
 
Features
This kit comes complete with everything needed to get started in remote control flying and even includes the 8 AA batteries needed for the transmitter.  The recently updated Cessna has 4 channel wing, 2.4GHz radio gear, 3 bladed propeller, brushless motor and Li-Po Battery and 6 channel receiver.  All radio gear, speed controller and motor are already installed in the aircraft.

Also included is a detailed instruction book with many easy to follow photos, a flight simulator, transmitter with USB cable and guide comments to assist in flying.
 
Specifications:
 Wingspan: 980mm (38.5")
 Length: 860mm (33.9")
 Weight: 560g (20oz)
 Motor: Brushless Out runner BM2408-21
 Battery: 7.2V 1300mah Li-Po
 Radio: 4 Ch 2.4GHz transmitter and receiver, 9gm servos

You Will Need
Nothing, everything is included


Standard wheels all roundFirst Flight - Preamble
Prior to the first flight of any new plane, we always taxi around on concrete, asphalt and grass to try and ascertain what the planes are suited for.  The grass at the oval is 32 mm high and we found that providing you had a 6 km headwind, the Cessna 182 with its 40 mm wheels was not in any danger of hitting the grass with the prop as it commenced movement.

However, with planes we have tested in the past with wheels smaller in diam than 40mm, there appears to be the possibility that with the initial movement of the plane that tall grass, in a no headwind situation, may cause the aeroplane to “bog in” and allow the propeller to hit the grass.  We have found to date that ‘planes with >45mm diameter wheels do not appear to have any problems taking off or landing in grass 32mm high.

In an effort to arrive at some useful information to readers wanting to land and take off on grass in calm conditions, we have asked RChobbies.com.au (who appear to stock everything) to find some larger diameter wheels to trial.  We think that maybe by testing we can arrive at some formula for height of grass v/s diameter of wheel and arrive at a minimum ratio that flyers can apply.
We suggest to EGO that they consider providing the option of a larger front wheel to widen the application so this plane will become one of the few small trainer/intermediate aeroplanes capable of landing and taking off easily in grass up to 32mm high.  (We understand that “purists” would not like to break the scale parameters, so it should remain an option only.) 
Cessna 182 up there

First Flight
Using the tricycle wheels unchanged, we put it on the cricket pitch and took off, what a lovely plane, even for me a learner with his “P” plates on.  This plane had a nice even predictable flight especially with the ailerons at 55%, yet it has the power and speed to become a very active plane for the expert.  This aeroplane is our preferred plane at present for the fly around half a football/soccer oval.

As this plane has a very highly responsive flight when the ailerons are set on high rate of movement we STRONGLY suggest that all trainees use the minimum settings on both servo and control arm to start with. 

Whilst I did crash this plane when experimenting with high rate settings and grass heights, all parts were readily available via our suppliers at www.rchobbies.com.au.  Crashing the ‘plane gave us the excuse to look beneath the outer skin and we must say we were very impressed.  The motor mount strength and workmanship of fitting the propeller shaft was for example, extremely high.  The machined fitment of the shaft to motor is an interference fit, removed by extracting from the back and allen key grub screw anchored.
Larger front wheel tested

To test our theory we made up a 45mm diameter wheel on our lathe and have replaced the nose wheel with the larger diameter.  We are happy to report that the plane now takes off within 4 – 5 metres and lands on grass with ease (tested on grass 32mm high).

As a Beginner on your Own
Pros

•    An extremely well presented and finished aeroplane with minimal construction required.
•    Everything is supplied to go flying, even a simulator. 
•    Providing you use minimum aileron settings, flight is good for a beginner.
•    An ideal aeroplane to fly around in half a football/soccer oval.
•    This is a plane that is of sufficient weight and wingspan to be able to handle winds of 7km/hr without being overly affected for the beginner.
•    The Cessna 182 will sit on the runway and withstand winds of 18km/hr before being tipped over.
•    The front wheel is easily changed to ensure grass take off and landings in grass <32mm high are possible.
•    Fairly slow flying is possible for easy landings.
•    The Cessna 182 has a sufficient wingspan to make sighting of plane status easier.
•    Standard battery lasts approx 15-20 minutes
•    Light cruising at half throttle is easily done.

Cons
•    Motor shaft, like all small planes, is easily damaged.
•    Take off on grass 32mm tall may cause propeller damage if front wheel is left unchanged at 40mm diameter.
•    Plane is very responsive and fast rates on ailerons are dangerous for beginners unless set to minimums on servo and control arm.

As an Accomplished RC Flyer
Pros

•    Well constructed
•    Very responsive
•    4 Channel
•    Fast
•    Suitability for small and large areas
•    Has sufficient power to handle head winds (tested at 24 km/hr up and 9.5 km/hr at ground)

Cons
•    Needs option to be able to take off and land on taller grass
•    Battery compartment is a little tight
•    No steerable wheel for taxi turns

Conclusion
Easily our most preferred trainer/intermediate plane for the ½ football/soccer oval with many good attributes and predictable behaviour patterns for beginner/intermediate/ expert alike.  (Will it be the "top plane" full details of all attributes on the test base will be in the final “Comparison Grid”.)  We believe at a retail price of $299 though, this plane is a “must have” in anyone’s collection.
 

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