With the G-26 in its nose, the Cessna balanced perfectly without
any added weight. I mixed flap to elevator offset and set up the
control throws according to the manual's recommendations.
TAKEOFF AND LANDING
With a wide-stance tricycle setup, ground handling was excellent
on grass and pavement. I held a slight amount of right rudder to
keep it tracking straight, and it ran for about 150 feet along the
grass runway before rotating. Once airborne, the Cessna accelerates
quickly. This model has a fair amount of mass and needs to be held
on the ground until flying speed is achieved.
Properly landing this airplane requires at least intermediate pilot
skills. The judicious use of power and flaps is a must. My first
landing was deadstick; I kept the flaps up to avoid prematurely
reducing the airspeed and inducing a low-speed stall. The clean
airframe quickly sailed past me, and I had to take an unexpected
Subsequent power-on landings allowed the precise control of descent
and landing speeds. Keeping the nose slightly down, I used 1.2 flaps
on the downwind leg and base leg. Once lined up for final, I applied
full flaps and flared to a main-wheel touchdown. With careful throttle
management, touchdowns and rollouts can be made to mirror those
of the full-scale Skylane.
At slower speeds with the flaps deployed and some power on, all
controls remain positive. Fully extending the flaps is like stepping
on the brakes and requires that the elevator be trimmed down to
prevent the model from ballooning. The model will tip-stall if you
slow it too much. With the addition of power and a reduction of
elevator backpressure, recovery is quick.
Like its full-size counterpart, the 182 is clean and fast. Although
it isn't a speed demon, it covers a lot of sky quickly. It had a
very solid, stable feel at full throttle and showed no sign of control
- surface flutter. It's very enjoyable to fly and handles very well
at all throttle settings. After flying this model, it's easy to
see why Cessna refers to the full-scale Skylane as the "SUV
of the air."
Although the full-size 182 was not designed for aerobatics, this
model can do all the basic maneuvers. The G-26 supplied ample power
for loops and stall turns. Barrel rolls required coordinated rudder
input, and with power on, were entered at approximately a 30- degree
positive attitude. Increasing aileron deflection by an additional
1.4 inch up or down gave the rolls a much more positive feel. The
Cessna flies in a very scale manner and is impressive to watch fly.