Multiplex FunGlider Electric Sailplane Review - RC Groups

Multiplex FunGlider Electric Sailplane Review

The Multiplex FunGlider is an easy to fly electric sport sailplane that packs down small for easy transportation. Check out the official RCGroups review right here.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 51.18" (1300mm)
Length: 31.49" (800mm)
Flying Weight: 1lb 3oz (539g)
Motor: Permax 2816-0900 Brushless
ESC: MULTIcont BL-20
Prop Size: 9x6 folding
Servos: (4) Nano-S
Battery: 3S 800mAH
Available at: Weekender Warehouse
Price: $170.99

I've been a big fan of Multiplex gliders since the beginning and I still have an original Easy Glider for sloping trips and aerotowing. It just flys so good that you can't help but love it. When I saw the smaller FunGlider at the Toledo show earlier this year, I knew they had another winner on their hands. The FunGlider has just over a 51" wingspan which is large enough to soar the skies, but is small enough to break down super fast in a small size that makes it the perfect travel companion. Let's dive in and take a closer look at what makes the FunGlider so fun.

What's in the Box

  • Fuselage with servos, motor and ESC installed
  • Wings with servos installed and ready for installation
  • Horizontal stabilizers ready to install
  • Hardware bag with Velcro, balance weights, stickers and an allen wrench
  • Manual

Assembly

The assembly goes so fast that we'll take a closer look at the parts first.

Now for the actual assembly. First you can install your receiver in the battery area and mount it towards the rear of the bay. Once that is done, the wings and vertical stabs literally just snap in place and you are ready to fly. The wings have a really cool locking mechanism so that when you slide the wings together they lock in place. Before sliding the wings all the way together you'll first need to connect the servo leads to the extensions and continue sliding the wings on. The locking mechanism holds the wings in place securely during flight, but when you need to remove them, you pull down on a tab to release and just slide the wings off. The horizontal stabs are even easier, they just slide together and lock in place. To remove them, press the tab down and slide apart, it really couldn't be easier and it makes it so you can break the plane down to a tiny size in seconds.

OK, After I attached the wings and tail, I realized that I would need tail weight with my 3S 800mAH lipo battery and there is some provided in the box as well provisions for the weight in the fuselage near the vertical stab. There is a large round hole and square hole farther back. The large ball bearing fits into the round hole and it was all the weight I needed and put the CG exactly where it needed to be. The CG is listed at 57mm, but there is no need to measure as there are little pimples on the bottom of each wing at that mark. Just put your fingers on those pimples and adjust the battery/tail weight as needed to balance properly. Once you have it set, there are some stickers provided that you can use to cover the tail weight. Now you are ready to fly after setting up your radio.

Flying

Take Offs

Getting the FunGlider into the air is as simple as powering up to half throttle or more and giving the plane a gentle toss forward. The trim was nearly spot on, with just a couple of clicks needed. While some planes are tricky to hand launch, the FunGlider is the complete opposite of that. There's no stress or worries about it not having enough power or it snapping off to one side. Just power up and throw it into the air.

Basics

The FunGlider can be very gentle and easy to fly. So much so, that it makes a great 2nd airplane for learning how to fly with ailerons. The control rates, even at full, aren't too crazy and while you can overcontrol it, the stability of the airframe settles things down nicely. The glide slope is very respectable for a model this size and weight and it will stay aloft for a long time riding thermal currents and leisurely floating around if you like. You can steer it with the ailerons or even just the rudder and the handling is nice and solid as I expected it to be.

Aerobatics

Yes can do aerobatics with the FunGlider. Nice tight loops, rolls, inverted flying and even snaps are all possible. This makes it more than just a sailplane as you can keep the power on and blast around the sky like a true sport plane. Don't expect it to perform precision pattern maneuvers or hold a knife edge very well, but you can certainly have a great time when you need a break from soaring.

Will it Soar?

Heck yeah it will! Now it's no DLG, but this thing will climb in some lift and performs nice thermal turns. It should also be amazing for slope soaring and I cannot wait to get to a slope and try it out. One thing I love about electric sailplanes like this at the slope is that it's a great plane to toss off the cliff first. You can see what the conditions are like and if the lift isn't there, just power up and bring it back home without hiking down a mountain to retrieve your plane.

Landings

Since the FunGlider soars so well, it's going to want to float and stay in the air, even when you want it to come down for a landing. If you are not used to gliders, you can practise bleeding off speed up high or in a large field, just be prepared for it to overshoot on your first few landing attempts. Once you get good at it, you can land it right at your feet. One thing that helps if your radio is capable is to program the ailerons to both deflect upwards on a switch, knob or slider. This will help slow the plane down and make the landing distance required shorter. It's nice that the aileron servos are covered and the linkage protected since it lands on its belly. The bottom of the fuselage is also has a nice hard plastic cover to protect the foam. It should hold up nicely over many landings in rough terrain.

Beginners?

No, not as a first airplane. The ailerons will make it tricky to learn to fly with, at least without any help from an instructor, but the FunGlider is a near perfect 2nd airplane when you are ready to move up to full 4 channel control.

Video

Photos

Conclusion

The FunGlider is one plane that holds true to its name. It is a barrel of fun to fly, but more than that it offers quality of life features that make it a joy to deal with. The ease of assembly and break down means this is a plane you'll want to take with you on trips. I can imagine going on a cruise and taking the FunGlider with me in a little case to go exploring with on shore and find new slope sites. It really is the ultimate travel plane. The size is large enough to soar, but you do sacrifice some thermal performance compared to larger or lighter sailplanes. It's a tradeoff to keep it portable and I think the mix is just right. If you are at all remotely interested in electric sailplanes, the FunGlider is one you should look at, trust me, you will have fun!

You can find the Multiplex FunGlider at Weekender Warehouse

Thread Tools
Sep 03, 2017, 10:08 AM
The Sky's the Limit
mad skill's Avatar
Awesome review! I just ordered one. Where did you get your travel case for the funglider?
Sep 03, 2017, 02:11 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mad skill
Awesome review! I just ordered one. Where did you get your travel case for the funglider?
Thanks. I bought the case from ArmSoar when I ordered my Go Mini DLG. It fits great.
Sep 05, 2017, 10:29 AM
Technology for good!
Sky Angels's Avatar

I love mine!


It's a nice kit. Does all the crazy maneuvers.

Great job here by Hitec/Multiplex.

Got me interested

What's next?
Sep 06, 2017, 05:16 PM
Registered User
Nice to see it reviewed. Both I and my flying buddy Dan can vouch for the Funglider as a sloper, you'll be in for a treat!

For both of us it has been a true surprise and for me personally it turned out to be a real quiver killer on the slope.

We got our hands on kits from the first batches in Europe and have over a year of flying them so far so here are some long term tips:

Check the glue of the wing ratchet mount regularly and also the aileron covers and rudder horns. As mentioned, we got an early batch and we fly rough slope sites in shaky winds so this may not be an issue for everyone but we both had to put some glue on after a few flights.

Make sure the battery hatch has seated properly and that the battery cables don't get in the way of the R&E servos. It is pretty tight.

I did a raw video of my first flight. I have had only about 25 RC planes but the Funglider was incredibly well tuned out of the box and gave me enormous confidence.
Multiplex Funglider RR Maiden Flight (8 min 17 sec)


Flying-wise it is vice-free. It does thermal quite well, and shines in difficult conditions where its ability to turn tightly and efficiently lets it center well. The energy retention is impressive for such a small foamie; 3:30 in this video I just loop on the slope.
Multiplex Funglider Slope Soaring with some acro (6 min 0 sec)


The only peculiar thing both me and Dan noted is a tendency to "drop out of the sky" - it almost falls the last 3-4ft when hover landing on slopes.

Mod: For increased performance I put clear tape on the wings over all edges and crevices created by servo cables, wing spar, servos. It is noticeably faster in a headwind.
Sep 06, 2017, 05:59 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Awesome!
Sep 07, 2017, 09:24 AM
Technology for good!
Sky Angels's Avatar

Nose heavy


Move the CG back.








QUOTE=KristofferR;38237768]Nice to see it reviewed. Both I and my flying buddy Dan can vouch for the Funglider as a sloper, you'll be in for a treat!

For both of us it has been a true surprise and for me personally it turned out to be a real quiver killer on the slope.

We got our hands on kits from the first batches in Europe and have over a year of flying them so far so here are some long term tips:

Check the glue of the wing ratchet mount regularly and also the aileron covers and rudder horns. As mentioned, we got an early batch and we fly rough slope sites in shaky winds so this may not be an issue for everyone but we both had to put some glue on after a few flights.

Make sure the battery hatch has seated properly and that the battery cables don't get in the way of the R&E servos. It is pretty tight.

I did a raw video of my first flight. I have had only about 25 RC planes but the Funglider was incredibly well tuned out of the box and gave me enormous confidence.
Multiplex Funglider RR Maiden Flight (8 min 17 sec)


Flying-wise it is vice-free. It does thermal quite well, and shines in difficult conditions where its ability to turn tightly and efficiently lets it center well. The energy retention is impressive for such a small foamie; 3:30 in this video I just loop on the slope.
Multiplex Funglider Slope Soaring with some acro (6 min 0 sec)


The only peculiar thing both me and Dan noted is a tendency to "drop out of the sky" - it almost falls the last 3-4ft when hover landing on slopes.

Mod: For increased performance I put clear tape on the wings over all edges and crevices created by servo cables, wing spar, servos. It is noticeably faster in a headwind.[/QUOTE]
Sep 07, 2017, 02:02 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Angels
Move the CG back.
Thanks for watching and reminding me - I think I mention the CG in the slope video.

The maiden flight was done with the recommended CG - always conservative from Multiplex. The slope session was shot soon after.

Both Dan and I moved CG 5-10 mm behind the dimples. I think it's safe to go there from the start.

I back my battery up as far as I can to avoid more ballast in the tail. Dan runs a slightly smaller and lighter pack
Sep 14, 2017, 05:24 PM
Older I get, the better I was.
graywoulf's Avatar
Hey Jason! Nice to be able to see you in this video. That was a great review and maiden flight video and was fun to watch that bird in the air. I wish I could afford one but I will put that one on my wish list. I just bought a Whipit DLG glider and I am looking forward to flying it when it arrives. I subscribed to the RCG YouTube channel so I can see more great reviews and videos. I hope to see more of your expert flying in them. Take care.

Now where is that thumbs up smiley?
Sep 14, 2017, 05:46 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thanks! : )


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