Home RC Airplane Reviews Dynam Grand Cruiser Review
Dynam Grand Cruiser Review Print E-mail
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Friday, 03 June 2011 22:19


History

The Cessna 310 is an American six-seat, low-wing, twin-engined monoplane that was produced by Cessna between 1954 and 1980. It was the first twin-engined aircraft that Cessna put into production after World War II. 

The 310 first flew on January 3, 1953 with deliveries starting in late 1954. The sleek modern lines of the new twin were backed up by innovative features such as engine exhaust thrust augmenter tubes and the storage of all fuel in tip tanks in early models. In 1964, the engine exhaust was changed to flow under the wing instead of the augmenter tubes, which were considered to be noisy.

Typical of Cessna model naming conventions, a letter was added after the model number to identify changes to the original design over the years. The first significant upgrade to the 310 series was the 310C in 1959, which introduced more powerful 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-D engines. In 1960 the 310D featured swept back vertical tail surfaces. An extra cabin window was added with the 310F.

The 320 Skyknight was developed from the 310F, which featured turbocharged TSIO-470-B engines and a fourth cabin side-window. The Skyknight was in production between 1961 and 1969 (the 320E was named the Executive Skyknight), when it was replaced by the similar Turbo 310.

The 310G introduced the upswept 'stabilatip' tip tanks, while the 310K replaced the rear two windows with a single unit. Subsequent developments include the 310Q and turbocharged T310Q with redesigned rear cabin with a skylight window, and the final 310R and T310R, identifiable for their lengthened noses. Production ended in 1980.

The 310 can carry up to 4 passengers to a service ceiling of 20,000 ft and a maximum speed of 200mph.



Intro

I tend to gravitate towards cool looking planes that are either military or have awesome features when I fly, but I really do love all things that fly so I have broadened my horizons as time goes on. I wasn’t looking for a Cessna 310 to review when I came across the Dynam Grand Cruiser, but a friend mentioned that the plane flies like a cream puff. Since I have never flown a cream puff I decided to get the Grand Cruiser and see what it tasted---err---flew like.

Buy the gentle flying Grand Cruiser and smile!

Kit Contents

For the review I purchased the Almost-Ready-to-Fly version. The kit comes as a receiver-ready but includes nearly everything else to get the plane in the air. The Grand Cruiser comes with two 3300kv motors powered by two 30 amp electronic speed controllers. There are four 9g servos that power the ailerons, rudder and elevator. The kit also includes two 3-bladed props, chrome plated spinners, fixed landing gear, hinges for flaps, the manual, decal sheet and miscellaneous hardware.

   

Everything was packaged in typical Dynam fashion which is unprotected and thrown in a box. Fortunately nothing was damaged while in transit.

    

Assembly

Looking all the parts over I was pleased to see that putting the plane together would be an easy build. The Grand Cruiser sports a one-wing design that screws into the bottom of the fuselage. The motors and ESCs are already wired and installed in the wing making the builder’s job much easier. After attaching the control horns to the rudder and elevator, installing them is as simple as lining them up in the pre-cut slots and gluing everything down. For the Grand Cruiser’s tail, I chose Medium CA that dries in about 15 seconds. Being quick is key!

   

I moved on to the ailerons and attached the controls horns on each side. After the servos were centered I installed the control rods and moved back towards the tail to install the rods for the elevator and rudder. That is where I ran into problems.

After a few minor adjustments on the linkage rod I was able to get the rudder rod installed perfectly straight. I flipped the plane over to secure the elevator and noticed that the control rod was a bit short. “No biggie” I thought, I’ll just adjust the servo horn and the rod will reach.

Nope.

To my dismay the rod was physically not long enough to reach the control horn on the elevator. No matter how much I adjusted the servo arm on top of the servo, I could not get it to reach the horn! To make matters more complicated, the screw that binds everything to the control horn was missing. Boo! I weighed my options and thought I could get a new rod from the hobby shop and ‘Z’ bend the ends so that it would be the right size. Then I remembered the missing screw and the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend and the hobby shop probably wasn’t going to be open. In a flash of inspired creativity I scrounged through my toolbox and found a small rod and clevis that was being unused. Although it was not the most graceful solution, I taped the small rod and clevis to the existing (short) rod and was able to gain the extra inch I needed. Like I said, not pretty, but it feels secure!

  

After the control horn debacle I popped in the landing gear and installed the spinners and props. The tip tanks were secured by medium CA and once the glue was dry the Grand Cruiser was ready for decals. My wonderful assistant put most of them on and we were pleased that they were higher quality decals as opposed to Dynam’s Extra 330 decals that felt like tissue paper. The Dynam Grand Cruiser comes nearly pure white so if you’re good at custom paint jobs, the Cruiser would be a great candidate.

   


Features

The Dynam Grand Cruiser features scale looks and is made out of strong EPO foam. The dual 3300kv motors provide a great deal of power and amazingly everything is powered by only a 3S 2200 battery. What really surprised me about the Dynam Grand Cruiser was the scalability of the plane. The designers considered all the options a person would like on a plane and made it easy to upgrade. There are lights already installed on the tips of the wing tanks, all that is needed to run a wire through the pre-cut groove in the wings to the receiver. In addition there are pre-cut spots for servos, and hardware included should flaps be desired. And finally the plane comes retract ready, with two perfectly cut slots for a pair of electric retracts to be installed. This was completely awesome and something that I did not expect when purchasing the plane. I hope more plane manufactures think ahead with options like this for upgrading.

   


First Flight

Prior to the first flight I was at the field going through all the pre-flight checks making sure things were moving in the right direction and everything on the plane was attached properly. I’m not a fan of wings or anything falling off of the airplane while in flight J. I was doing a watt test on the motors when the left motor’s cowl made a terrible noise and it looked like it was trying to detach itself from the aircraft! I chopped the throttled and inspected the spinner. Turns out the plastic backing of the spinner broke and so the prop didn’t have anything to turn it.

Great.

Fortunately a fellow member who is a scientist (or something cool like that) had the spinner repaired in minutes flat! We locked everything down with washers, nuts, CA, his skin and some kicker then retested the plane on the bench. Everything was secure and sticking together much to our delight.

I took the plane out to the runway, and pushed the throttle forward. The Grand Cruiser immediately began barreling down the strip like a greyhound chasing a rabbit. After 25 feet and very little effort, the Cruiser lifted off the ground. Once in the air she needed only a few clicks of left aileron to stay centered and fly beautifully. It took only 30 seconds and I was very comfortable with the plane. The speed was impressive at half throttle and it felt like it had more than enough power to fly scale.

After a few circuits I tested the roll rate and flipped the plane over to feel how she did inverted. Everything was as smooth as vanilla ice cream. The Dynam airplane was responsive to every input and command I gave it. I figured the Grand Cruiser would be a docile, scale flyer, but in the air it feels like it just wants to go! With the two props pulling the model through the air there is a great amount of power to do loops, rolls and climb outs.

After 5 minutes of flight time I brought the plane down safely with a bouncy landing and a smile.

Flight Characteristics

The Dynam Grand Cruiser flies extremely well with the stock setup. The airplane’s roll rate is smooth and tracks nicely throughout the whole roll. The plane loops tightly with full elevator and inverted flight is stable with a little down elevator. The plane balances perfectly on a 3S 2200mah battery and flight times are around 7 minutes. Not only is the Grand Cruiser a load of fun at half to full throttle, it is a kitten when flown under ½ throttle. The plane floats like a balloon when the throttle is chopped which is great for dialing in your final approaches. I can only imagine how much better the plane flies with retracts and flaps, since it flies this good without them.

Takeoffs and Landings

Takeoffs and landings are very easy with the tripod gear. During takeoff the front nose wheel is extremely sensitive to any steering input, but when the plane picks up more speed it settles into the runway and the steering is less responsive. Be aware of this and make minimal movements when the Grand Cruiser is taxiing. After 30 feet of blasting down the runway, the Dynam Cruiser will want to leave the ground, give her some help with some gentle elevator and she will lift off.

Landings are fairly simple since the plane floats so well. Although the videos show less than perfect landings, by the 3rd flight I was able to get the plane down as soft and light as a feather. Once the Grand Cruiser has started its descent, continually back off the throttle until it is nearly zero and add in up elevator when you’re about a foot off the ground. This will pitch the nose up and touch the rear gear down followed by the nose gear for a perfect, scale landing.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No, this plane is better suited for someone that has at least spent some time flying a trainer or some other high-wing aircraft. The plane has sweet power, but can be flown fairly slowly so I am sure there are some beginners out there that could handle it as their first craft. Just keep a bottle of epoxy nearby.

Conclusion

Before purchasing this plane I was told it was a cream puff. I wasn’t sure what that meant but now that I have flown the Dynam Grand Cruiser I agree. It is light and fluffy with a hint of chocolate on the side. The Cruiser does more than just ‘cruise’ around the sky; it has a surprising amount of maneuverability for a dual motored plane. If maneuverability scares you, then you’ll be happy to know that the Dynam Grand Cruiser is also an excellent scale flyer with great flying characteristics. Besides the weak spinner and short elevator rod, the construction is great and the plane cuts through the air better than other foamies I have flown. With the option to upgrade and make the plane better the Dynam Grand Cruiser is a solid buy.

GRADE: B+

Pros

  • Dual motors are strong and produce great power
  • Ability to add features for more scale looks
  • Price is right (not the game show)
  • Fun to fly!
  • Decals were much better quality than other Dynam airplanes

Neutrals

  • Subpar packing job
  • Landing don’t click in as tightly as I would like

Cons

  • Spinner broke on first full throttle test
  • Elevator rod too short to reach control horn

 

Media & Flight Time!

   

   


 

Are you feeling like a Cream Puff? Then get the Dynam Grand Cruiser!

 
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