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Written by Joe Malinchak
Hobby Club HC-ERC Micro L-19 Cessna Pro-Kit
Product Review
As seen in the May 2019 issue of
Model Aviation.

cessna has a 17.5-inch wingspan and flies well
The three-channel L-19 Cessna has a 17.5-inch wingspan and flies well.

Liaison aircraft, or L-Birds, were used in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam for spotting targets and giving real-time information about enemy positions. Brave pilots flew these slow, lightweight aircraft over dangerous enemy lines with little or no protection.

L-Birds were feared because the enemy knew that if they were spotted, they would immediately be fired upon. The aircraft were also used to carry VIPs and cargo because they could land on roads and small fields.

I am a fan of L-Birds, and when I learned that Hobby Club was distributing a micro version of the L-19 Cessna, I was excited about building one. The HC-ERC Micro L-19 Pro-Kit is a nice-size, three-channel micro model aircraft with a 17.5-inch wingspan. The Pro-Kit includes a color instruction manual, laser-cut balsa and plywood parts, brushless motor, propeller, ESC, and two 1.7-gram servos.

I first sanded the balsa and plywood parts before removing them from the sheets. Construction starts with assembling the nose cowling. I glued the basic frame together using medium CA glue then soaked the sheet balsa top in warm water so that it could be bent around the cowling frame without breaking. Once in place, I allowed it to dry before sanding it smooth. The fuselage is built in a similar manner—build up a frame then glue each balsa side in place.

The wing is made of two-sheet balsa parts, and a few ribs were added to the underside to set in the camber. I decided not to glue the wing onto the fuselage at this time to make the electronics installation easier.

I glued the plywood parts to the elevator and rudder and separated them at the hinge line. I sanded the parts and added small strips of Blenderm tape for my hinges. The prebent wire landing gear is cleverly held in place around three screws in the plywood bulkhead. It can be installed and removed as needed.

the hobby club hc-erc micro
The Hobby Club HC-ERC Micro L-19 Cessna Pro-Kit includes laser-cut balsa and plywood parts, a brushless motor, propeller, ESC, and two 1.7-gram servos.

the airframe builds quickly
The airframe builds quickly and has a good parts fit and alignment.

I wanted to improve the look of the airplane by adding some wing struts and landing gear covers. I made these using some scrap balsa from the kit.

Painting and Markings

When painting an all-balsa model, weight can quickly build, so use only enough to give the desired look. I first sealed the aircraft with two coats of a clear primer then airbrushed on two coats of flat white Tamiya XF-2 because flat white covers well. I lightly sanded the model between the coats and followed this with a coat of Testors clear.

Next, I painted the top of the cowling flat black, masked off the parts, and painted it with day-glow orange using Testors Model Masters enamel FS28913.

One of the kit’s negatives is that it does not include any decals. This is not a big problem, however, because you can make your own fairly easily. I created mine in Adobe Illustrator and printed them on decal paper. I will write more about how to make your own decals in a future column.

Equipment Installation

Painting the model added several grams to the weight. To compensate for this, you can save weight by using a lightweight receiver. I used a 0.35-gram DT Rx43d receiver because I had one on hand. I also replaced the wires on the ESC with some thinner, lighter wire, and wired everything directly to the receiver. This process saved me more than 4 grams of weight.

The 1.7-gram servos were installed into the supplied mount. The brushless motor also installed nicely into the supplied mount.

the kit includes the motor mount
The kit includes the motor mount and all of the necessary hardware to easily install the brushless motor.

after sealing the wood with two coats
After sealing the wood with two coats of clear primer, the L-19 Cessna was painted with Tamiya acrylic and Testors enamel paints.

the author made his own markings for the model
The author made his own markings for the model by using decal paper in this striking Army paint scheme.


My completed airplane weighs 36 grams without the LiPo battery. The suggested battery range is from 150 mAh to 250 mAh. I tested the model using a 150 mAh battery. It flew well on its first few test flights and looked great in the air. It is not aerobatic, but loops are possible. Because the model uses rudder and elevator for control, I recommend only flying it in calm conditions.

The L-19 was fun to build, and I was pleased with the kit’s parts fit and alignment. The airplane builds quickly and flies well. I recommend it for intermediate builders.

Visit the Hobby Club website for current pricing and more information.


Hobby Club

(949) 425-1362


(800) 837-8677


(800) 826-4922

DT RC Control Systems

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