Multiplex Fun Cub XL Review

Fun Cub XL is the perfect name. It says just what it is right there. It's the handsome big brother to the popular Fun Cub from Multiplex and I got my first look at it on the show floor at the Toledo show in April...

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Introduction

Wingspan: 67" (1700mm)
Length: 47.25" (1200mm)
Flying Weight: 6.5lbs as reviewed
Motor: 4235 480kv Brushless
ESC: 60A
Prop Size: 15x8
Servos: Six HS-225BB
Battery: 6S 3000-5500mAh
Available at: Weekender Warehouse
Price: $399.99 Receiver Ready

Fun Cub XL is the perfect name. It says just what it is right there. It's the handsome big brother to the popular Fun Cub from Multiplex and I got my first look at it on the show floor at the Toledo show in April. At first glance, I was like "finally, a good looking fun cub!" but once you get into the details and design of the plane you realize that it's much more than just a good looking airplane. There are features on this plane that make R/C life great, but I'll save those for further on down in the review. For now, we'll start with what you get in the box and move on into the short assembly process on this receiver ready model.

What's in the Box

The box is rather large and well packed. I didn't see any damage on any of the parts so they did a great job of packing it. Once you get everything out, you'll see the fuselage, which already has the motor, ESC and tail servos installed, the rudder, horizontal stabilizer, the wings, which already have the servos and hinges installed and ready to go, the landing gear, manual, carbon spars, carbon struts, bomb bay doors, velcro, a prop, spinner, metal tail wheel assembly and misc hardware. It's a lot of stuff so get it all laid out to make sure you have everything and then get ready for the quick assembly process.

Assembly

So as you can see in the parts photos above, a lot of the work has already been done for you at the factory. The assembly is quick and easy and there is only one major glue joint to worry about. Everything else either snaps on or bolts on. The manual is thick because it includes several languages as well as instructions on how to build the kit version.It only took me about 45 minutes to put it together including stopping to take photos along the way. Start out by finding the English section in the manual and you'll notice it is pure text. There are no photos of the build process, but there are parts photos and diagrams further back in the manual so you can use that for reference or just follow along with my photos below.

The first thing I did was install the landing gear with 4 screws. Make sure the strut attachment points are positioned at the rear. Next I installed the tail wheel assembly with two screws and then installed the horizontal stabilizer. Do a dry fit at first and then you can glue it in place. The stab is slotted and keys into the fuselage which is nice, but you'll probably want to install the wings on when gluing the stab so you can align it to the wing properly. I used 5 minute epoxy for this joint.

Next I installed the rudder. This step couldn't be easier, it just snaps in place. After the glue had time to cure on the horizontal stab, I used medium CA to glue in the carbon tail support struts. There are indents in the foam on the horizontal and vertical stabs where these should go. Next I installed the tail wheel linkage. These are spring loaded and get secured to the tailwheel with EZ Connectors. Make a 90 degree bend past the connector to ensure the rods won't slide out under load. I went ahead and installed the tail servo linkages at this point as well. There are several control rods in the hardware kit, so make sure to use the thicker wire rods for tail controls.

Now I went to work on the wings. There are two carbon spars and one has a plastic ring glued to it. Look for the opening in the fuse where the ring will recess into and slide the tube in. The wings will slide on the carbon spars and into place. The wings have a nice servo connector holder so you'll just need to run the provided extensions down into the fuse and connect them to the servos in the wing. Attaching the struts incredibly easy and fast. I love the design work that went into this as I hate dealing with nuts and bolt and extra hardware to get struts attached. These just use ball links on the wing connection points and a snap on connector for the fuse attachment. You can take them on and off in seconds, brilliant!

All that was left was to install the prop and spinner, connect all the servos to my receiver and set up the program in my transmitter. I installed my battery and checked the CG also. I used a 6S 3300 and a 6S 4400 and the CG worked out great with the batteries all the way back in the battery box. This is perfect because the bomb bay is located behind the CG and if you add a bunch of weight back there you can move the batteries forward some to compensate. Once everything was set up and bench tested, it was time to see if the plane would fit in my car in one piece and head to the field. It did fit, but even if you have a smaller car, this is one of the quickest planes to put together at the field I've ever seen.

Cool Features

Barn Door Flaps

Since fun is in the name, it's appropriate that this plane has 90 degree barn door flaps. They are a hoot to play with, especially with some wind. You can actually hover the plane horizontally in about 10 MPH winds and even fly and land backwards in the right conditions. The flaps are installed from the get go so take advantage of it and see what you can do with them. I set my ailerons up to work as spoilers so I can turn it on when the flaps are down and the ailerons go full up. It's like a crow mix on a sailplane and allows me to dive the plane straight down without gaining any speed, very cool!

Bomb Bay Doors

Bombs AWAY! Under the fuselage is a rather large payload area. In stock form there is a magnetic hatch covering the bay, but in the kit you get two foam doors. The doors have control horns on them and hardware that allows them to lock in place on the fuselage. Just add a servo and you can make it operate the doors on a switch or lever. Then you can drop parachute guys, candy, or anything else you can fit inside.

Aerotow Release

Cubs make great tow planes and you can do that too with the Fun Cub XL. It comes with all the hardware you need to do it too. Just add a servo in the fuse and connect the pushrod to it and install your own tow line. It will handle sailplanes up to 2.5M and probably larger depending on the weight.

Quick Release Struts

One of the biggest pains in dealing with large planes for those without trailers is taking the wings off and on to travel to the field and back. The carbon struts on the XL are designed to make life a lot better if you need to do this. The wing attachment points are ball links and will just pop off when you need them to. The fuse attachment uses a snap on connector and this means that you can have both struts completely removed in seconds and be on your way. It's fantastic and is a huge selling point for this model and helps to justify the price.

LED Lights

I'm not sure why they didn't just include the lights, but at least they have the wiring installed and light covers in place. You'll just need to add some LEDs to the wing to get positional and landing lights in working for dusk flying.

Optional Floats

What fun is a Cub that can't fly off the lake? The Fun Cub XL can, but you'll need to purchase the optional float kit for it. Once you do you'll be flying off the water in no time. It's nice to have options.

Flying

Take Offs

If you've ever flown a Cub before you know how easy they are to get off the ground. All you do is increase the power and pull back. Use the rudder to keep it tracking straight and off she goes. With the Fun Cub XL, you can put in the flaps and blast the power for a STOL style take off in just a few feet. If there is some wind coming down the runway, you might not need any rollout to take off. It's fun to play with and see how quickly you can get it off the ground.

Basics

The XL can be flown mild with low rates and low throttle. It's very stable and will cruise around the sky like a trainer if you want it to. It will easily do basic acro like loops and rolls and inverted flight and it feel very comfortable doing it. The wing has pretty much no dihedral so don't plan on it having any self leveling characteristics, you'll need to use your thumbs for that. It has a great presence in the air and orientation was no problem during my test flights. The color scheme looks great in the air too as you'll see in the photos section later on in the review.

Aerobatics

This is where it gets really fun. The Fun Cub XL is a very aerobatic capable plane with the control rates cranked up. You can do snap rolls, rolling circles, inverted flat spins, stall turns, slips, knife edge, rolling harriers, and even hovering and torque rolls. It's not a dedicated extreme hardcore 3D machine, but it will do a lot of 3D stuff and you'll have a blast doing it. Some of favorite things are side slips down on the deck and inverted flat spins. Those looks impressive really showcase the versatility of the XL.

Landings

Getting it on the ground needs to be handled like most cubs, but there are a few ways of doing it. You can come in with some speed and put it down on the main wheels first, bleed off some speed and then pull back and pin the tail on the ground. You can also do a 3 pointer and stall the wing right at touchdown on all three wheels. It helps to have the flaps down during this one. One of my favorite ways to land the XL is a one wheel landing. That's right, feed in some ailerons and rudder and you can tip the wing up slightly and set it down on one wheel and roll it out keeping the wing tilted for a while. It's a risky move, but one that will impress your flying buddies if pulled off correctly. After landing you can try some donuts on the runway as you'll see at the end of the video. There is nothing wrong with horsing around with a Fun Cub!

Beginners?

The Fun Cub XL is a plane meant for intermediate to advanced pilots. It could be your 3rd or 4th plane after gaining some experience flying a plane with ailerons. It's built tough and will take some abuse, but it's not one you would want to learn to fly with.

Video

Photos

Conclusion

The Fun Cub XL is a great looking, great flying plane. It's a little pricey with the RR version coming in at $399, but you are paying for a whole lot of airplane including the incredible design features that are built in to it. The ability to quickly and easily remove the wing is a huge plus. The fact that it will fit in most SUV's in one piece is also awesome. You can fly it on paved runways, but it's more at home in the grass as a bush plane should be. I never liked the way the smaller Fun Cub looked, but the XL is one I can finally get behind and be proud to show off at the field. I love having options to aerotow with it, add floats for the lake or install the bomb bay doors for a little fun dropping things. It's so versatile in what it can do and how it flies that it should appeal to a wide group of pilots. My only gripes would be that it uses large 6S batteries which are expensive, the wheels are large and spongy, but end up bouncing around a lot on paved runways, the prop was pretty bad out of balance and I wish they would have included the LED lights since they went to the trouble to install all the wiring. On the battery front, you could wire up a series harness and put a couple of 3S packs in there if you have them. For the wheels you can change them out or fly from grass and it's not a big deal to balance a prop. So all in all I would give the Fun Cub XL a 9 out of 10.

You can find the Multiplex Fun Cub XL at Weekender Warehouse.

Pros

  • Tough landing gear will handle rugged terrain
  • Quick release wing struts and servo connections
  • Hitec servos pre-installed
  • Crazy barn door flaps
  • Options for tow release, bomb bay doors and floats
  • Easy battery access
  • Great handling, flies mild or wild
  • Best looking Fun Cub there is

Cons

  • Uses large expensive 6S batteries
  • Bouncy landing gear on paved runways
  • No LED lights included
  • Prop was badly out of balance

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Jun 02, 2016, 10:15 AM
www.gunnphotoservices.com
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Love the review and especially the bomb bay doors! You gonna start droppin' PLUS accounts at the local field??
Latest blog entry: www.gunnphotoservices.com
Jun 02, 2016, 10:56 AM
Xpress..'s Avatar
We tested the FunCub XL on a variety of different batteries and have found that there are lots of different battery combinations that work excellent for it, so it's not just limited to 6S 3300 sized packs. We tried it at Joe Nall with a 5S 5000 pack and found that it still flies light, has more than enough power for calmer conditions, and seemingly flies forever, though as someone who runs out of things to do after 6-7 minutes, a 15 minute flight can seem like forever

There are lots of people out there with 6S 5000 packs as well, either from helicopters or the ~70" 3D airplane crowds, and we have found that even that big battery is right at home inside of the FunCub XL. It still has unlimited vertical with the ability to hover at half throttle, but with the added benefit of long long flight times- I did a 5 minute flight and barely used 20% of the 6S 5000's capacity (that could be 25-30 minutes for someone who's lighter on the throttle than me). Obviously the added weight will make it fly a bit heavier but when it gets breezy out, that's the perfect battery for it. The huge flaps are still very very effective so those who have shorter runways won't have a problem landing the airplane there.

Excellent review Jason
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Jun 02, 2016, 02:39 PM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Great review Jason

Hmmm, bomb drop a micro fpv quad maybe?!
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Jun 02, 2016, 02:43 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolei Zinsli
Great review Jason

Hmmm, bomb drop a micro fpv quad maybe?!

Yes!!!
Jun 02, 2016, 03:15 PM
www.gunnphotoservices.com
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolei Zinsli
Great review Jason

Hmmm, bomb drop a micro fpv quad maybe?!
Now THAT would be friggin amazing.
Latest blog entry: www.gunnphotoservices.com
Jun 02, 2016, 03:53 PM
Needs More Go Fast....
MaydayMayday's Avatar
So I ordered the kit from the warehouse as soon as I could.

In flight it's very fun, much like Test Flite mentioned it's agile like a small plane but still has a presence of a larger plane. You can toss it around rather easily. I run mine with a 6s setup and with a 3300mah I got about 5 minutes with a little bit left over.

I would recommend this to anybody who wants to built it semi light or heavy highly aerobatic setups. The flight characteristics are nice IN the air.


BUT.....
if you feel like building it get the KIT it's a lot cheaper and could save you a lot more money. (I built mine for around $300)


Downs:
- There are a lot of areas they could have done a better job, when I got my kit I almost packed it up and sold it I was frustrated with the way some of the stuff is setup. But I kept reminding myself that once in the air it won't matter, and I was right.
(I was missing screws, the two pieces of the Fuse don't fit together in certain areas, there is a ply bulk you glue in and the foam is very thin on the outer "wall" section. They recommend 2x 30g servos for the tow and drop.... WHY?.... The landing gear is overly heavy and over built. it has zero ability to absorb shock.)
- I got this plane for aerobatics and SLOT, even with the smaller 3300 6s battery (no tow or candy drop setup) I can't get the CG right. The plane will not hesitate to drop a wing on you. I'm serious, even the flight test guys couldn't land it straight. I ended up touching down with power on just to keep the nose up) I'll end up adding weight to the tail.

But still, it's a fun plane that requires a little tuning to get right. Personally I wouldn't pay the $400 for the RR (RTF) version simply because there are a bunch of other planes in that range like the Carbon Cub which will do what this plane can and is bigger, thus a better value)


You can see my full setup here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=529


Here is Flite Test Review
Multiplex FunCub XL - REVIEW | Flite Test (15 min 24 sec)
Jun 02, 2016, 05:49 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Where did your CG wind up? On all of the FunCub XL models we've experienced the CG has been nearly spot on according to the manual. We've tried numerous different pack sizes with ours and have always been able to balance it.
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Jun 02, 2016, 06:51 PM
Pro Bro # 2398
GassPasser's Avatar
yum... i want one.
Jun 02, 2016, 07:29 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Mine was spot on with the manual as well, right at 80mm.
Jun 02, 2016, 09:31 PM
Needs More Go Fast....
MaydayMayday's Avatar
I'll have to check it out again. Only my last flight did I end up pushing the battery all the way back and it stopped dropping a wing near stall as quickly and seemed to float a little better but still sinks the nose and I couldn't get the speed down. When I came into actually land I still ended up dropping a wing.

So part of me thinking the CG is still off is there is a decent amount of up elevator to maintain flight, this is what leads me to either bad decalage or too nose heavy. This is accounted a couple of times in the RCG thread. Plus I read it on the .de thread before we got the plane in the US. Also watching the Flite Test video you can see the trouble they have


I'll throw the plane together and see where it was at.
Jun 02, 2016, 09:42 PM
Needs More Go Fast....
MaydayMayday's Avatar
Ok it looks like it's right around 85mm with the 3300 35c 6s
Jun 03, 2016, 10:03 AM
Xpress..'s Avatar
80-85mm is the butter zone for the CG (the manual recommends 85mm, but slightly nose heavy will make it more stable). I think you might want to double check some things like thrust alignments and see if there is maybe any kind of warping in the wings or elevators.

I haven't noticed it wanting to tip stall on landing, even with the big 6s 5000, so I'm thinking maybe something is amiss with your airplane. Being that it's foam, it shouldn't be a big deal to correct it
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Jun 03, 2016, 10:34 AM
Registered User
So it only came out in the U.S. now? This plane has been around for a while in Europe now!
Does seem like a solid aircraft, and seeing how most rc planes have their landing gear built much too light, I would think having an over-engineered landing gear wouldn't be a bad thing.
As long as it isn't built out of thick steel weighing it down!
Jun 03, 2016, 11:37 AM
Needs More Go Fast....
MaydayMayday's Avatar
We harassed Xpress from day one of the Euro release to find out when it will be in the US.


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