HSDJETS-182

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Written by Jon Barnes
Big Fun From a Large Electric That Is Reasonably Priced
As seen in the April 2021 issue of Model Aviation.
Review

Bonus Video

big fun from a large electric
The in-flight appearance of this large model is realistic. With a 2-meter wingspan, this airplane will present most pilots with nearly zero in-flight orientation challenges.

EARLY IN 2020, HSDJets dropped the exciting news that it would be bolstering its presence in the US with the opening of a large distribution warehouse in Texas. Although many jet model enthusiasts are aware that the HSDJets brand is synonymous with big jets, pilots who are unfamiliar with the business only need to spend a minute or two clicking around on the company’s US domain to learn that to be true.

Most of the companies that distribute EDFpowered jets max out at 90mm EDF models. All of the jets carried by HSDJets are designed to be powered by either turbines or 90mm and larger EDF power systems. The newest EDF offering at HSDJets is a twin 90mm EDF-powered ME-262. And from there, its EDF jets only get bigger!

The company’s current offerings include a 105mm F-16, a 120mm T-33, and more. The big news from HSDJets heading into 2021 is the addition of a new tab to the "Products" header on the company’s website: "Propeller Planes."

The newly released model that is ultimately driving this expansion is a gorgeous, jumbo-size, general aviation-based aircraft—a 2,000mm wingspan, electric-powered, EPO foam-composition HSDJETS-182!

General aviation enthusiasts typically do not have many choices when it comes to large-scale foam models. This nearly 80-inch wingspan model offers an abundance of attractive features right out of the box, including flaps, quick tool-less assembly, ball link connectors on all pushrods, a full complement of accurately positioned, bright LED lights of both the strobing and always-on variety, and scalelike, molded-in-the-foam, corrugated control surfaces.

In what must be a testament to the full-scale airplane being a true four passenger-capable aircraft, HSDJets includes a pilot, a copilot, and two backseat passengers! I was somewhat amused to note that the plastic busts used in the model make it look like this 182 might be on its way to a quadruplets’ convention—two identical, thin-faced men clad in red shirts are seated in the front, with another pair of identical lads sporting blue shirts in the rear seats!

A few plastic bits enhance the scalelike appearance of this model. These include an underwing pitot tube, an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) antenna, and a pair of "functional" communications antennae. They are functional in that they are used to lock the two wing halves in place when they are mounted to the fuselage (more on that in the construction section that follows). The mostly white airframe is unpainted foam, with a set of brightly colored, factory-applied red and black graphics.

On the review model, the color-coordinated red and black stripes on the three wheel pants were imperfectly applied and almost appeared to have been hand painted. Additionally, some pilots might wince at the number of times that the applied graphics reference HSDJets and HSDJets.com.

Assembly

A 40-page assembly manual printed in English and presumably Chinese is included in the box. Although some of the words and phrases are lost in translation, the manual does capably walk a pilot through the easy process of assembling this large EPO foam model.

The various airframe pieces sport small, adhesive-backed graphics that succinctly mirror the assembly process listed in the paper manual. Although I was as careful as possible, I found that removing them somewhat marred the surface finish/texture of the unpainted white foam.

All of the pushrods feature a small tag that reminds pilots to check them for security before flight. This serves as a good reminder that best practices demand that a pilot perform a comprehensive pre-maiden flight examination of all new models to verify that the factory-installed hardware has been properly tightened and to look for any glaring inadequacies in workmanship.

While performing this general inspection and radio setup, I noticed that the ball link on the rudder pushrod (at the servo end) fit too loosely for my liking. I replaced it with another one from my own overstuffed parts bin.

The primary airframe components "snap" together without need for tools. The manual suggests that some pilots might prefer using adhesives when installing the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. The wing halves are tied together with two red aluminum spars. These spars have a measured wall thickness of 1.15mm, with the larger having an outside diameter of 16mm and the smaller rear spar coming in at 10mm.

The upper ends of the wing struts (they are labeled L and R) are designed to permanently attach to the undersides of the wing halves. The lower ends of the struts index into receivers on the fuselage and are secured in place with clevis pins. The final step in securing the wing halves involves inserting the twin plastic antennae, which do double duty as wing-retention pins, into the wing roots.

assembly
The factory-applied red and white graphics scheme is representative of the appearance of many full-scale 182s. Although some pilots might wince at the number of included HSDJets references that are applied to the airframe, potential purchasers of this model who watch a current owner fly theirs will know exactly where they can get their own 182!
assembly
The two wing halves are structurally connected via two removable, robust (and color coordinated) aluminum spars. Most pilots will be able to attach/remove the two wing halves for transport and storage in 2 minutes or less.
assembly
For the small amount of effort required to remove four small screws, pilots will uncover buried treasure. The bottom side of the MFC-2065 module is adorned with a label that includes a complete map of all connection points.
assembly
This large, mysterious-looking black box is mounted inside the compartment that is located aft and on the underside of the fuselage. It serves as the point of connection for a pilot’s receiver. Modelers can find an online PDF that provides additional information or sneak a peek at its underside in order to glean much of the same information.

Although some might raise an eyebrow at this method of attaching the wing to the fuselage, securing the wing struts in place creates an abundance of transferred force that presses the wing roots securely in place against the fuselage. The twin antennae retention pins appear to bear a relatively minimum amount of load and serve mainly to lock the two wing halves in place.

Also included with this model is a factory-installed and wired model MFC-2065 "black box." HSDJets uses this module to aggregate all of the LED lights and servos in one place where pilots can then easily connect their radio receiver. The module includes an integral BEC (the included Hobbywing Skywalker ESC does not contain an internal BEC) and it is powered using a two-cell, 7.4-volt XT60-style connector-equipped LiPo battery.

Although no documentation for this module was included in the box, I was able to find a single-sheet reference guide online (HSDJets advises that all future models will also include a paper copy in the box). This guide is slightly ambiguous in its content and instructions, but it does give pilots what they need to connect a receiver to the model.

Pilots can also remove the four small screws that hold the module in place and flip it over. The bottom side features callouts for each of its multitudinous connection points. Pilots who favor Futaba radio gear will revel in its support of the Futaba S.Bus serial protocol. All other receivers must connect to the module using standard PWM connection points.

HSDJets includes four female-to-female servo leads to make these connections. Because this model also includes flaps, pilots will need to source one additional female-to-female lead.

Pilots should also note that the included Hobbywing ESC comes equipped with AS150 7mm anti-spark connectors. These robust connectors are listed as being good for 150 amps. Most pilots will need to purchase an adaptor in order to mate them to their EC5/XT90-equipped six-cell batteries. An EC5-to-AS150 adapter cable is available from HSDJets. This model uses a proprietary 14.5 × 7 three-blade propeller with three individual propeller blades attached to the spinner backplate. Three-packs of spare blades are available for purchase from HSDJets. Pilots can also switch this propeller out for any of several similar-size Master Airscrew two- and three-blade propellers, although doing so will also require sourcing a different spinner.

completely captures the simple
The HSDJets 182 completely captures the simple beauty and symmetry of high-wing aircraft ubiquitous in the general aviation genre of civilian aircraft.
control box power
A six-cell 5,000 mAh battery fairly swims in the 182’s cavernous battery bay. Pilots will need to reposition the included hook-and-loop retention strap to the forward set of tray slots and position the batteries as far forward as possible in order to achieve the recommended CG. The 182 also requires a two-cell LiPo for the MFC-2065 control box power.

Flying

I might not be alone when it comes to the peculiar love/hate relationship that I have with owning larger models. It is true that they nearly always fly better than smaller aircraft, but storing and transporting them, with the inherent need to assemble and disassemble them each time you want to fly, can present certain challenges.

With those thoughts laid on the table, this giant general aviation model notably stands out for its quick and easy tool-less assembly/disassembly. The entire process takes a mere 2 or 3 minutes! This allows it to fit into my transport vehicle with room to spare and also helps keep its storage footprint manageable.

Access to this model’s cavernous battery bay is gained by releasing the spring-loaded latch on the canopy hatch. Although fairly invisible most of the time, the inside of the hatch features a nice cockpit instrumentation graphic. From the factory, the lone hook-and-loop battery strap arrives threaded through a set of rearward positioned slots in the wood battery tray.

Pilots who are interested in perhaps using larger-capacity battery packs than what is recommended, with the tempting and tangible benefit of extended flight durations, might be able to use the strap in its rearward location. I found that attaining the recommended center of gravity (CG) when using the recommended six-cell 5,000 to 6,000 mAh pack required that the battery be positioned forward on the tray.

The provided battery-retention strap must be moved to the forward set of slots or an additional strap needs to be added in the forward location. With a little patience and perseverance, it is possible to thread the strap through the slots and along the shallow channel that lies beneath the tray without completely removing the tray.

I did it by threading a long zip-tie into position, using a pair of hemostats to reach down through the narrow slot and pull it up into the bay. I overlapped the battery strap and zip-tie and secured them together using electrical tape in several places. I carefully pushed, pulled, and finessed the strap through the two slots and along the shallow foam channel beneath the battery tray.

The assembly manual includes recommended throws for all control surfaces. There are no suggested flap-to-elevator mix values. When setting up the flaps on the DX9, I went with flap values of -100, 0, and +100, with 5% down-elevator mixed in on takeoff flaps and 8% mixed in on landing flaps.

I especially enjoyed staying in the pattern and shooting endless touch-and-gos with the 182. This model looks incredibly realistic in the air and can be flown slowly enough to create the illusion that it is indeed a full-scale airplane.

Pilots might be surprised to find out just how much power this model has on tap. The stock brushless power system yielded a static reading of nearly 2,000 watts! This allows the aircraft to be flown in a decidedly non-scalelike manner. Pilots can revel in the sight of a 182 performing all sorts of basic aerobatic maneuvers. Loops, rolls, impressively strong vertical climbouts with a stall turn at the top, and sustained inverted flight—all maneuvers well beyond the abilities of the full-scale airplane—are easily executed with this model.

For those interested in experimenting with other two- and three-blade propellers, the factory equips this model with a 67mm spinner and the stock motor uses an 8mm shaft. Given the 182’s use of high-capacity, six-cell packs, scalelike flying can yield satisfyingly long flight durations of 7 to 10 minutes and probably even longer. Push the throttle hard and that number is sure to shrink.

Conclusion

General aviation enthusiasts are sure to love this large aircraft! HSDJets also lists a set of floats available for this model, allowing pilots to take the party to the pond.

HSDJets advises that spare parts for the 182 can be purchased if needed, although at the time of this review, the company was still putting the finishing touches on getting all of them added to the website. Call HDSJets if you don’t see what you need. When ordering this model, most pilots will also want to purchase one of the AS150-to-EC5 adaptor cables.

SOURCES:

RCBattery

info@rcbattery.com

www.rcbattery.com

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