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Multiplex Twinstar II Review

Wendell Hubbard explores this fun second generation trainer! "This plane can fill roles from basic trainer to favorite sport plane to aerial photography platform. This is the pickup truck of RC airplanes. I made the initial flights on 7 and 8 cell sub-C packs. These worked very well and provided balast for handling some wind."

Splash

Introduction

Ready to go!
Ready to go!
Wingspan:56"
Wing Area:485 sq. in.
Weight:47 oz. with 8 Sub-C Cells
Length:43"
Wing Loading:14 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:(4) Hobbico CS-12
Transmitter:Futaba 9CAF
Receiver:Futaba R127DF
Battery:7 to 8 Cell Sub-C
Motor:Permax 400 6V, incl.
ESC:Castle Creations Pegasus 35
Manufacturer:Multiplex
Available Online From:Tower Hobbies
Horizon Hobby
Hobby People

Multiplex released the original Twinstar in 1998. It was an instant success. Now eight years later, the Twinstar II has been unleashed on a new generation of electric flyers. This time the parts are made of durable ELAPOR foam, which is stronger than the original gray Styrofoam. Let's see what the new plane has to offer!

Kit Contents

The motors and small parts were packed in a small orange box. The decals, manual, and foam parts were in the rest of the colorful box. The parts arrived in good shape. There was only a slight crease in the root trailing edge corner of one wing panel. The crease is very small and does not affect the completion of the wing.

Kit Includes:

  • All Elapor airframe parts
  • Motors
  • Decals
  • Wiring
  • Propellers
  • Servo connectors & Allen wrench
  • Fiberglass Wing Rod

Kit requires:

  • Medium CA & kicker for assembly
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hobby Knife
  • Ruler
  • (2) 12" Servo extensions
  • (4) Servos Mini servos such as the Hitech HS-81 are preferred, but larger servos could be used with additional trimming
  • 30 AMP or greater brushed ESC
  • 4 or more channel receiver
  • Servo Y-harness if not using a Transmitter with 2 channel aileron mixing

Assembly

The first step was to inventory the kit and make sure that all of the parts were present.

Regular CA?!?!

One unique aspect to working with Elapor is the ability to glue pieces together with normal medium CA glue. Foam safe CA is not required. Epoxy is not recommended since it only bonds to the surface of the Elapor foam.

To use:

  • Spray CA kicker on one piece, let the kicker dry for about two minutes;
  • Spread CA on the second piece; then
  • Join the pieces.

Fuselage

The fuselage assembly involved cutting the control rods, referred as “snakes” to length and gluing the snakes in place.

The fuselage halves were now ready to be joined. This is the most critical step in assembling the plane since it must be done quickly and accurately. After a couple of dry fittings to make sure that it would line up, I sprayed one side with CA kicker and put plenty of CA on the other half. The wing bolt retainer plates were the first parts to engage and act to guide the fuselage halves together until all of the alignment nubs met. The halves joined with no problems. However there is no second chance either.

Tail

The tail surfaces simply need a control horn glued in place. The rudder and elevator were “released” by moving each to and fro a few times to allow the built in hinges to become flexible. The horizontal and vertical tails were then glued to the fuselage and the control rods connected.

Wing

Wing assembly was quite quick and straight-forward!

Radio Installation

Multiplex included a unique connector that serves as a connector between the motors and the ESC. The connector block also doubled as an aileron servo extension. Note that since both outside pins on the motor portion of the connector block are +, it is not possible to plug the three pin motor connectors in backwards. Either direction works!

Completion

The final assembly step was to CA the latch tongues into the canopy. These tongues snapped into the latches that were mounted in the fuselage much earlier. The multi-colored decals were available to provide a polished look. However, I used Krylon H20 paint to provide some color instead of the decals. The paint was easy to use from spray cans but it did not adhere enough to stand up to masking tape. So if you decide to use this paint, try to design a scheme that does not require masking over one color to paint another. Multiplex has an Elapor Paint Primer available in some markets. Multiplex USA is not presently sure if the primer will be offered in the US market.

Flying

Flying is where the Twinstar II really shows its stuff! This plane can fill roles from basic trainer to favorite sport plane to aerial photography platform. This is the pickup truck of RC airplanes. I made the initial flights on 7 and 8 cell sub-C packs. These worked very well and provided ballast for handling some wind. 7 cells are good but 8 cells give the plane enough power to really perform!

Basics

This is a full four function airplane that can perform most aerobatic maneuvers. Since it is built completely out of Elapor, it allows pilots to try out new skills at lower altitudes than it would be wise to attempt with a balsa airplane. When flown with the recommended control movements, the plane is maneuverable but still docile enough for a beginner.

Taking Off and Landing

The Twinstar II must be hand launched since it does not have a landing gear. Luckily it only takes a firm shove and it is flying. During landings the plane is very stable and has a very flat glide. The plane comes in and slides on its belly. One my favorite things to do with the Twinstar is to perform slide-n-go landings on the grass at my flying field. The plane glides in, touches down, and then by adding throttle it takes off after sliding along the grass. It really gets peoples attention the first time they see it lift off after sliding along the grass.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Twinstar II will perform all of the basic maneuvers with ease. Loops are from level flight. The plane rolls easily. Inverted flight is smooth and controlled. I did increase the amount of down elevator beyond the initial recommendations so that I could have plenty of elevator for sustained inverted flight. The manufacturer also has recommended a aileron-to-rudder mix, if your radio supports it, of approximately 25% to increase the coordination of turns. She'll also snap, spin, and so much more! (The provided video are of early flights, and cover only basic aerobatic maneuvers.)

Is This For a Beginner?

The Twinstar II is an excellent plane for a beginner. It is easy to build, uses reasonably priced NiCad or Nimh batteries and brushed speed controller, and it will be forgiving to a beginner. Best of all it is not a plane that will be quickly out grown since it can perform more maneuvers than most pilots can for quite some time. I plan to use this plane to teach my nine year old and six year old sons to fly this fall.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

Multiplex had a high hurdle to clear to create a plane worthy of replacing the original Twinstar. They passed with flying colors. This new Twinstar is a fantastic plane. It can entertain the beginner or the expert with equal ease. The included 400 6V motors are great for 7 and 8 cell Nicad or Nimh and 2S Lipoly packs capable of supplying at least 25 amps. For those flyers that have standardized on 3S lipoly packs, it is better to substitute the supplied motors with 400 7.2V motors. This is one plane that can still perform on brushed motors and Ni based batteries.

Hits

  • Great flying characteristics
  • Easy and quick to build
  • Works great on less expensive equipment
  • Lots of possibilities for kit bashing
  • No more goofy cartoon-like stickers

Misses

  • Step 19 is labeled as step 29 in the instructions

Discussion

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Old Sep 07, 2005, 04:11 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,443 Posts
Great review Wendell! I enjoyed it, and watching it fly last week! Great performer...

Mike
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Old Sep 07, 2005, 06:19 PM
3DHobbyShop disciple
waltj2k's Avatar
Dallas Intl, Texas, United States
Joined Aug 2004
877 Posts
Nice review man.

The Twinstar is as mentioned a nice versatile plane that will satisfy every flyer from a newbie to a veteran. My favorite is touch and go's with a plane with no gear

Walt
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Old Sep 08, 2005, 07:21 AM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
Wendell,

Great review! This really is an excellent flier, and a great trainer too!

Ronnie
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Old Sep 12, 2005, 12:20 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Tucker, Georgia, United States
Joined Feb 2004
3,156 Posts
Thanks Wendell.

What was the hot glue gun used for? tt
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 09:55 PM
gwh
Registered User
Fort Worth, Texas
Joined Dec 1996
1,605 Posts
Hot glue was used to secure the servos.
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 11:10 PM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Tucker, Georgia, United States
Joined Feb 2004
3,156 Posts
Thanks!
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 01:29 PM
jrb
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jrb's Avatar
Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
11,328 Posts
Have you tried a 2S pack of LiPos?

The stock Sonic Liner flies well on 2S.
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 01:56 PM
gwh
Registered User
Fort Worth, Texas
Joined Dec 1996
1,605 Posts
No, I did not try 2S in the TS2. I was going to but I never got around to it. However based on previous experiences with Speed 400 motors on 2S and the performance of this plane on 7 & 9 cell Nicads, I agree that 2S packs should work well with the supplied Speed 400 6V motors. Just make sure that the battery can safely suppy about 25 amps.
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 02:07 AM
Sagacious flyer
Singapore
Joined Oct 2005
71 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwh
No, I did not try 2S in the TS2. I was going to but I never got around to it. However based on previous experiences with Speed 400 motors on 2S and the performance of this plane on 7 & 9 cell Nicads, I agree that 2S packs should work well with the supplied Speed 400 6V motors. Just make sure that the battery can safely suppy about 25 amps.
So far, i have tried 1900Mah 2S2P on the 6V Speed400 motors. And it flies very well only the climbing is slightly slow. It can roll, flip, spiral and fly inverted very well. Doing both innel and outer loop is an easy job for this huge bird. Constantly flying at FULL throttle.

I have also tried 2100Mah 3S1P on the 6V Speed400 motors, it makes the huge bird flies like a kite. It climbs super fast and it does all the acrobats very easily. However the point to note is to only fly 3S lipo's on 80% throttle else you will burn and damage the Speed400 motors.

I am thinking of upgrading to Brushless motor, can anyone share wth me their ideas on the TwinStar II?

I have a motor in mind now, the Max Motor 400F brushless at 2250KV running at direct drive.

Any comments?

Attached is my TwinStar II
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 03:56 AM
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Treetop's Avatar
Tucker, Georgia, United States
Joined Feb 2004
3,156 Posts
Welcome, CoolMX, first I have seen of the TSII as a taildragger. Nice colors.

This link will take you to the forum where a couple guys have brushless setups. "Numb Thumbs" is one. Also check out the links to Patrick Plawner's website, he has a gallery of TSIIs as well as other information.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...59#post4477723

Plawner:

http://plawner.net/
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 03:56 PM
Registered User
United States, FL
Joined Dec 2002
338 Posts
What's the CG used for 7 and 8 Sub-C cells? I have not maidened mine yet.

For 7 cell, I am using 85mm according to the instructions. I carved an additional 1" of the battery compartment to fit the 8 cell but it is still nose heavy at 85mm.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 02:07 PM
Free Falling
markm75's Avatar
Joined Feb 2007
300 Posts
I'm a little new to tweaking things.. but would a Futaba 6xa transmitter be able to do the whole rudder/aileron mixing (is this the right term.. so they would move in synch)?

Is this controlled via the transmitter or is there changes needed to the plane itself (wiring)?

Thanks
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 03:05 AM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2007
77 Posts
My Twinstar II is very willing to ascend, I actually need a little down-elevator to fly straight.

Is there a fix for this ? . like, changing the main-wing angle ?
BTW: this is with brushless motors, but the balance is right, I also have a FMA sensor placed a little behind the main wing, I suspect drag from it to "help" pointing the nose up.

Flying+ two autpilot takeover tests. (1 min 41 sec)
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Last edited by AlCapone; Apr 28, 2009 at 03:13 AM.
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