Classic Remote Control Airplanes Kits Reviews – Midwest Cap 232
by Jamal Burkle
- Wing Span: 80 in (203 cm)
- Wing Area: 1162 sq in (7497 cm²)
- Length: 78 in. (198 cm)
- Weight: 13.5 lbs. (6.1 kg)
- 1.8 2 – stroke
- (29.5 cc 2 – stroke)
- 4 Servos required
The first impression of the kit was very favorable. Everything was neatly packed. For those who do not wish to invest in aftermarket cowl and wheel pants, ABS parts seem to be very easy to construct and match seamlessly and are pre-trimmed. In this case, the choice was made to replace the ABS parts with fiberglass counterparts from Aeroglass. Upon close inspection, the first problem appeared. There were so many pieces of plywood under the canopy that it got scratched by the top of the box during shipping so a new one was ordered. The second one arrived and the sides were warped from poor molding. A third canopy was received from Midwest and it had tiny pinholes. Due to the stage of construction at that point, the choice was made to use it.
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It is not a normal practice to check a kit to make sure all the parts are there. In this case, it should have been done because some of them were missing. Two hardwood stab leading-edge pieces were missing. All of the aileron spars were missing. Midwest was contacted and the parts were sent free of charge. After this, the checklist was checked item by item and everything was present. Midwest supplies a checklist of parts at the beginning of the manual and based on this experience, it should be used.
The stabilizer was completed quickly after the missing parts arrived. The wing was a basic, very big UltraSport type wing. The rib angle gauge drawn in the manual is wrong and but there is an addendum included later kits. The addendum also includes alternate measurements for the rear turtle deck plywood. One very important modification is absolutely necessary. The servo trays in the wing must be reinforced to avoid fatal flutter. The servo tray is made of 1/8″ lite-ply that is epoxied along one side to the spar and an adjacent side is epoxied into a slot in a rib. This leaves one corner unsupported. The resolution to this is simple. Two right triangle supports are made of lite-ply. One side is made the length from the top of the tray to the top of the top spar and the other side of the right angle is made the length of the tray. This same principle holds for the brace that goes to the rib except for that one side as the distance from the tray to the top of the rib. The rest of the wing is straight-forward except that the fiberglass tape for the center section is too short. The tape is the exact length of the top and bottom of the wing but there is about an inch of unusable tape.
Thick CA was used in the beginning to construct the lite-ply fuselage but this was unsatisfactory. Aliphatic resin should be used rather than CA. In an effort to make the joints using CA, micro-ballon fillets were made with thin CA to hold the pieces together while the thick CA set. This made a mess at the joints. A pack of tie wraps should be available to hold the fuselage sides on the formers while the glue sets. One part of the manual can be confusing if it is not read carefully. The manual says to cut the plywood decking flush with F2 then place the canopy on the turtlenecks and trace around the canopy. Then the plywood to shape a little inwards. Some builders cut the decking flush with the instrument panel support thinking that it is F2. The firewall is actually F1. The big former that is also the cowl ring is F2. Care must be taken not to confuse this. Everything else is straight-forward. While some are critical of the tailwheel installation, this has proven to be excellent and lightweight.
Regular CA hinges were used for the control surfaces. These have been used on 35% scale models with no problems or failures after over 500 flights. With this plane, in particular, hinge points will not work very well. The tail feathers are flat and require too much material to be removed to install hinge points which could possibly weaken the leading of the elevator. Also, if doublers are not behind the trailing edge of the stabilizer and the leading edge of the elevator rudder, there will be too little material for the highpoint to engage properly since the material is only 3/8″ wide. Elevators are set for 2 1/2″ throw, the rudder is set for 4 1/2″ throw, and ailerons are set for 1 1/4″ throw.
Fitting the canopy was a problem. The top right and left corners on the front were too narrow and stuck out. They had to be pressed down and held in place while the adhesive set. Formula 560 was used to attach the canopy and a casting was used to hold it in place. The fiberglass cowl was also a bit oversize but that was taken care of easily by adding spacers on the bottom.
Radio installation was easy. Setting up the throttle linkage took some extra work because of the way the Moki is made. The carburetor is narrow and the throttle arm short while the radial backplate is very wide. A Z-bend would not work in this application so a flex cable link was made. A square plywood plate was installed in front of the throttle servo and one end of the plastic sleeve was glued to it and the other to the firewall. A piece of a pushrod was soldered to the exposed flex cable by the engine to keep it rigid. A piece of brass tubing is bent to an L-shape and soldered to the dimple on the needle valve for adjustment. There was no previous experience with pull-pull systems but the rudder setup went smoothly. Two Du-Bro ball links for elevators were modified to fit the rudder, one on each side with longer screws. Regular size Du-Bro super strength arms were used on the servos because of the high G loads to be introduced to the plane and in turn the control surfaces. A Mejzlik 18×10 hollow carbon fiber prop was used on the Moki.
Dave Brown Lite-Flite wheels were used to reduce weight. The location of the landing gear is satisfactory but it takes some effort to taxi the plane. If the pilot is not careful on landings, it is easy to make it nose over on touchdown. It would be better to locate the gear as far forward as practical. This plane has enough power to lift the tail even if the gear was in front of the prop.
Breaking in the engine was a real pain. The Moki has a hard chrome cylinder lining and requires a long break-in period. One tank of fuel was run through it with much expectation. According to a previous recommendation, attempts were made to adjust the top end. Adjustments were made to the needle and seemed to be running well but it suddenly stopped and would no longer start. It would start with no problem on the first run of the day but after that, it would not run at all. After the needle was set back to 4.5 turns, it started and ran much better although it ran very rough and with a fairly high idle. The transition from idle to top speed was flawless and it held a strong, reliable top end. After running a few more tanks of fuel through it, it seemed ready for use.
The Cap 232 was taken to the field and prepared for the first flight. The big Moki engine was started and the Cap was taxied out on the field. When the path was clear, the throttle was increased, and as it started rolling the realization set in that it was finally going to fly. By the time 1/2 throttle had been reached, it was airborne. A smooth turn out was done with no problem. With 3 clicks of down trim, it flew straight and level at all throttle settings. The vertical performance was excellent but not quite unlimited because the engine was not broken in fully at this point. Rolls were crisp and quick and did not require any forward stick. When the time came to land, it was brought in high. The largest plane that had been flown prior to this was an UltraSport .60 resulting in the incorrect judgment of distance by size. With the Cap looking at the size of the UltraSport, it was far too high on the first approach. On the second approach, the Cap was deliberately forced down but was still too high. After 3 more approach attempts, it became apparent that the idle was way too high. Finally, it was forced down to the landing. It went into the grass slightly but basically the first flight was a great success. On the second flight, the idle was taken down some but it was still too high so the engine was killed and a dead stick landing was done. Before the next flight, the idle was set so it ran rough on the ground. The engine run on the next flight was perfect. The Cap landed smoothly and gently after this flight. To do a proper landing, the Cap is set for a low approach with the correct decent rate. It is allowed to settle on the main gear at the edge of the field.
There was a strong urge to try some IMAC competition with this plane but due to lack of experience with this model after only 9 flights, they were delayed until the following year. However, with this limited experience with the plane, tumbles are better than many that are seen at the Tournament of Champions, torque rolls will go 2 or 3 turns, and tight knife edge loop are very easy.
This is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to try giant scale aerobatics for the first time. If the surface throws are set to those listed, a radio that has exponential will be required. This is a graceful and easy flying plane but requires skill and experience.