This past Christmas I was pleasantly surprised to find a ParkZone Cessna 210 Centurion sitting under my Christmas tree; a surprise Christmas present from my wife.

She saw me flying Bob’s Cessna at the club picnic while we were waiting for the charcoal to get hot, and thought it would be a great gift. And it was! So thanks again “Santa”. I found the Cessna to be a fun little model that’s easy to fly. The Cessna comes complete and ready to fly right out of the box. And when I say complete, I mean complete, even the eight AA batteries are included. You literally can be in the air in the time it takes to charge the 3.7-volt LiPoly battery. The entire package consists of the Cessna 210 Centurion, a 2.4 GHz transmitter, a combination charging and display stand, instruction booklet and yes, the batteries. Everything is already installed in the aircraft. All you need to do is to insert the supplied AA batteries into the transmitter and the combination display and charging stand and charge the LiPoly battery. When the charging light blinks, you’re ready to fly.

When I opened the box I found that everything is neatly packed in a Styrofoam inner box liner. The transmitter and stand are snapped into the Styrofoam with the airplane cradled across the center. If you take care in removing everything you can reuse the Styrofoam box liner. So when you’re done flying for the day you can simply snap the transmitter and stand back into the Styrofoam, remove the LiPoly battery and place it back in its plastic bag, place the model back into its holder and slide everything back into the cardboard carton. You’re now ready to transport your model back home. It makes a great storage and travel case. If you were planning on storing it for any length of time I would remove the batteries from the transmitter and stand. You can even store the eight AA batteries in the Styrofoam case; there is a slot provided. That way you will have everything you need to get airborne in one spot and ready to go.

I really didn’t get a chance to fly the Cessna until just recently when my wife and I went to visit my son and his family in Missouri. I had bought some kites for the grandkids but figured if there’s not enough wind for kites it might be perfect for the Cessna. So I threw the boxed up Cessna in the trunk and off we went. Kite flying took place on Saturday but Sunday afternoon it was calm and cloudy with a hint of rain so I figured why not. I looked over the instructions. There is a step to bind the transmitter and receiver, but if you read carefully you’ll see that binding is only required if you have to replace the transmitter. As supplied, the receiver in the Cessna comes already bound to the transmitter. It’s ready to fly as soon as the LiPoly is charged.

The first flight took place from my son’s driveway. He lives at the end of a large cul-de-sac so I had houses to block the little wind there was and a nice smooth concrete “field” from which to fly. I plugged the LiPoly battery into the charging stand and waited all of 10 minutes until the battery was charged, as indicated by the blinking light. I turned on the transmitter and made sure the throttle was “closed” before connecting the flight battery and snapping it into place on the underside of the fuselage. After a quick range check I was ready to fly. I placed the Cessna on the street, again did a quick range check and I was ready for takeoff. As I applied power the little Cessna headed straight into the wind, what little of it there was, and rose off the ground after about twenty feet. It climbed out nicely at about thirty degrees and I began to trim it out. It took a few clicks of down. but that was about it. Once trimmed out it flew very nicely and I easily flew circuits over the sidewalks and driveways. Landing was a little trickier since I was at the end of the cul-de-sac and I had to land headed toward myself. But other than wanting to stay airborne, you need to fly it onto the ground, there were no problems. I got two more flights in before it started misting up as the rain came back. Total flight time was about ten minutes. That was on a single charge. I didn’t try any aerobatics but I have flown Bob’s and it’s quite capable of loops and rolls but you need plenty of airspace, especially for the rolls.

Looking for a little model to fly just about anywhere? At least anywhere where there is no wind, since after all, the model weighs less than one ounce. I would recommend ParkZone’s Cessna 210 Centurion. A nice feature of this model and others from ParkZone is that spare parts are available, if that becomes necessary. So if you damage your Cessna, or other ParkZone model, you don’t have to replace the whole package. It’s priced around $150 but, as I said, that includes everything.

Fly Smart, Fly Safe, Larry Dudkowski