|Wing Area:||xxx sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||xxxx oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||2 Hitec HS-81 & 2 Hitec HS-55|
|Transmitter:||Hitec Optic 6|
|Battery:||Cheap Battery 8-cell 1050|
|Motor:||Permax 400 geared, incl.|
|Glider Price:||$75.00 US|
|Electric Price:||$85.00 US|
|Manufacturer:||Multiplex Modelsport USA|
|Available From:||Multiplex Dealers|
My first love in R/C flying was and remains gliders. When I learned that Multiplex had a new glider kit coming out in both an electric and pure glider version I was delighted to be among the very first in this country to get a chance to fly and review it. The kits are scheduled to be available in the U.S. this June. When I heard the name: "Easy Glider" I thought it would probably be a simple trainer, but when I learned it had ailerons I knew it had potential to be more then a simple trainer. Having flown and enjoyed almost all of the existing Multiplex planes I looked forward to the arrival of my Easy Glider.
There were not a lot of parts and all of the big items were made of Elapor foam. The fuselage came in two halves with a canopy. The wing was in two halves, plus one bottom piece for each half. The bottom pieces allowed them to mold space for both the aileron extension wire and space for the center joiner rod. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers both came in one piece with the rudder and elevator attached to the respective stabilizer. The hardware for connecting the rudder, elevator and ailerons was included in the kit as was the long wing joiner rod. There was a large decal sheet and a 52 page instruction manual in four languages with a six page picture section that all four languages referenced. My Electric kit included a gear speed 400 permax motor with a two bladed folding propeller and a small round counter weight to secure in the tail to help balance the weight of the motor unit. I am happy to report that my Electric version came with a fuselage designed for the motor. Those getting a pure glider will have a different, glider-only fuselage. Said another way, each version has its own fuselage.
I needed two Hitec 81 servos -- one for elevator and one for rudder control -- and two Hitec 55 servos for the ailerons. (The plane is molded to fit the above servos perfectly.) I needed two long aileron extension wires (2 feet), a Multiplex speed controller and a Hitec receiver (I ended up using an 8 channel Supreme.). I also needed a battery pack to power the motor and receiver but I was not sure what I would use until I got to the point of balancing the plane on the Center of Gravity (C/G).
The necessary tools were very common and things I already had from past projects:
Past experience has proven to me that STANDARD CA (not foam safe CA) with kicker works great. Reports from others have confirmed that white glue and epoxy do NOT work. Hot glue is discussed in the plans for securing the servos but where I live it gets very hot in the summer and hot glue has been known to release, so I used CA for all gluing. I protected my work surface (family table) with wax paper to protect it from the CA. I used paper towels to wipe off any and all excess kicker spray to keep my work area and the glider clean and dry.
The wing came completely formed and there were only a few steps in the assembly process. I first used the Exacto type knife to make two short cuts on each end of the aileron to separate its sides from the wing. Leave the front of the aileron alone! It is molded with a working Elapor hinge.
While the Hitec 55 servo fits the molded space for the aileron servo perfectly, its wire was a little shorter then the design in the wing planned on. A space for the aileron extension wire connecting box was molded into the wing but it was too far toward center to fit the Hitec 55 servos wire. I measured where I needed this space for the connection box and cut one out with my Exacto knife. The two pictures below show the measurement and after I cut out the second space. The connecting box fit fine in the space I made and it was all out of sight.
Using CA I glued the servo wire and extension wire vertically against the front edge of the box molded into the wing. (This was necessary to keep the wire out of the way and get a good fit for the bottom Elapor piece that makes the bottom half of the wing rod box.) When the wire was securely against the side I glued the bottom cover in place using thick CA and kicker.
The fuselage assembled easily per the instructions. I really liked the effort they made to keep the fuselage light yet strong with the molded compartments. The outer control rod tubes and the antenna tube helped to stiffen the fuselage and it was important to glue them in place for the entire length of the outer tubes using thick CA and kicker. A round weight was supplied to be glued in the back of the fuselage and acted as a counterbalance to the weight of the motor, a nice design feature. The motor can be removed from the fuselage very easily should that later be necessary. The fuselage looks very nice and the canopy fit is excellent. Again the servos fit in molded spaces and my Hitec 81 servos fit these spaces perfectly.
The rudder and elevator came already hinged (like the ailerons) with the molded Elapor as one unit with the vertical and horizontal stabs respectively. For the elevator I merely needed to cut the two slots on the sides of the elevator and add the control horn. Simple to do and well displayed in the instructions. The vertical stab was glued and plugged into the horizontal stab and then both were glued onto a mount at the back of the fuselage.
Here I had a change in my plans. The Hitec 05 MG receiver I planned to use had a single channel crystal and I got channel 19 when I actually needed channel 17 to work with my Optic 6 Transmitter. I switched to the Hitec Supreme 8 channel receiver that came with the Optic 6. Instead of using a Y harness for the servos with the 05 MG receiver I used channels 1 and 6 on the Supreme. Mounting of the servos was described and done during assembly so I only had to plug in the servos and wrap up excess servo wires to keep them out of the way. The Supreme receiver fit perfectly into the fuselage as if the space had been molded for it. To get the receiver antenna into the tube I ran a thin piece of music wire down the tube and out the back and using transparent tape I taped the end of the antenna wire butted up against the end of the music wire and pulled it out the end and removed the tape. I programmed the aileron/rudder mixer to be available and it was controlled by switch 1 (top left front) on the Optic 6. My elevator motion was very close to the recommended 13 mm up and down and the rudder movement was right on the recommended movement of 20 mm side to side. I had to use End Point Adjustment to get the recommended aileron movement to 20 mm up and limited to -8 mm down. (up adjusted to 125% and down adjusted to about 50% for the first and 6th channels.
The plane was easy to assemble. I kept the original box for storing the wings and wing rod when not in use, but the fuselage with tail feathers will never go back in the box. I cut out the decals and added them to the finished Easy Electric glider. Balance point for proper Center of Gravity is 70 mm back from the leading edge of the wing. Using an in-line 8-cell 1050-Kan pack from Cheap Batteries it was easy to obtain balance. With the control surfaces moving properly and C/G obtained at 70 mm back from the leading edge the glider was ready for a test toss and then its first flight. I marked the right aileron connector with red tape so I would know which connector went into slot one on the receiver (the one with red tape) and the one that plugged into slot six (the one without tape by the connector). I tried to balance the plane on the C/G using a 3-cell Lipoly pack but I would have had to add lead further forward to get balance. All flights were with the 1050-Kan pack.
Take offs were performed with a handtoss and landings were performed with the motor off so that the prop folded and it slid in on the grass. If your landing surface is hard dirt or pavement I would recommend that you apply some light weight clear shipping tape on the bottom of the fuselage to protect the foam and replace it as needed. A firm straight forward toss with the motor running started each flight and it did not require tremendous throwing effort, just a good firm toss.
My first flight was with the motor off and was at a large park. I tossed (harder then normal) over a field of nice green grass. I gave a firm toss just slightly above level and the glider sailed out nice and straight for about 30 yards and I started a right hand turn with ailerons and applied a little up elevator as well. The glider banked and made a large 180 degree turn and flew back and landed about 15 yards in front of me. The test toss was a success. With a nearly fully charged 8-cell 1050-Kan battery pack my second toss was again into a very slight breeze but this time the motor was running. I flew forward about 50 yards picking up speed and applied a little up elevator and the Easy began a gradual climb. At about 75 yards out I started a left hand turn and the rate of climb slowed but the plane continued to climb while in a large left hand circle with about a 50 yard radius. After I had climbed to about 300 feet I turned off the motor and was gliding towards the north end of the park. About 300 yards out the glider pitched slightly nose down and yet was obviously climbing. I had caught a thermal on the first flight. I banked to the right and circled while climbing with the motor off. I rode the thermal up a couple hundred feet but had also drifted downwind to the west a couple hundred feet. I had the Easy leave the thermal and headed her back over where I was standing. Penetration into the slight wind was good. I flew for about another twenty minutes with three more powered climbs but didn't catch another thermal that day.
My friend Jeff Hunter flew the second flight at our club's field and I videotaped his flight. The video below is a three minute extract from that flight showing the highlights of his flight as discussed in aerobatics below. The flight was made on a gusty morning and the Easy handled it well.
I have had a couple more flights with the Easy since then and found it to be a very nice glider to fly. Two of my flights were early morning flights with no thermal activity spotted. The Easy has a nice glide rate and turns smoothest using both ailerons and rudder. I had one last flight during a lunch hour before writing this review and after my third power climb or about ten plus minutes of flying I caught a very strong thermal. I might have completely skied out but I was afraid I might loose the Easy with no flaps or spoilers if I stayed with the thermal to long. I need not have worried! It nicely started to come down when I started doing dives and loops and then did some inverted flying as well. It was good that I started down when I did because I had completely lost track of time during that flight and had to hurry back to work after I landed.
This is a thermal glider and not a plane designed for sport acrobatics. It does perform a very nice loop and an OK but understandably sluggish sailplane axial roll with the ailerons. These acrobatics are more of a diversion to perform on your way down after having a successful thermal flight. A victory roll if you would and for that purpose it worked just fine. The power for climb is more than adequate considering it is only a geared speed 400. I have no desire to go brushless with my Easy as I have a Hotliner when I feel the need for speed. Following the plans and using the standard motor set up, the motor and gear box were held in place but not glued. I was a bit skeptical about the arrangement but it proved to work fine. If a stronger motor is used I would recommend doing some modification to the mounting system.
The assembly process is easy enough that a beginner could assemble it and many could fly it. If a person has an experienced pilot working with them and/or a lot of time on a flight simulator they would probably be able to succeed with this plane. However I don't recommend planes with ailerons for beginners. I recommend rudder/elevator planes with polyhedral for beginners to learn how to fly. The Easy Star, while not as good a "glider", based on my experiences is a better first plane. It will self correct to a much greater extent then the Easy Glider and its pusher configuration better protects the motor and prop then the motor and prop in front as done on the Easy.
However, if you want a pure glider (no motor), and have an experienced trainer to help you, the Elapor can take a lot of abuse and you have a good chance of success. I'm waivering but I stick with my position of not recommending planes with ailerons for a beginner...but it would be a great second plane.
I really loved the look of the wings while watching the Easy in flight! Everything worked as it should and the plane showed no bad habits so I only have good things to say about the electric version of this glider. Using the recommended balance point and throws the plane performed flawlessly on all flights. I thought the rear of the fuselage might be a little whimpy when I first assembled it. However, it performed well in actual use with solid control in flight even in windy conditions or during a 200 foot dive and the ending pull out. The Cheap Batteries 1050-Kan pack balanced the plane perfectly so I dropped the idea of using Lipoly batteries in my Easy. I look forward to hearing how the pure glider (no motor) version performs. My motorized version with the 1050-Kan pack is heavier than the target weight of 880 grams, but my Easy handled its weight well. I suspect I will soon see club members flying the pure glider version when it becomes available. Many wanted to know what the planes would sell for and how soon they would be available.
My thanks to Benard Simpier and Jeff Hunter for their help in making the videos for this review.
GREAT REVIEW MICHAEL!!!!
I am highly considering this model for beech lying up north. LOTS of thermals there. I am looking for the biggest plane possible. For its price, durability, and versatility, I think this is going to be the choice.
Again, very nice review.
Thanks for the review! I will use it in my build.
After a year of playing with cheap rtf toys. I have chosen this as my 1st full fledged plane *can't wait for it to be available! I habitually check tower every day.. sigh* I originally was going to get an Ultrafly F-16 or The SU-27.. but I knew that I would smack it up the 1st day, and be angry at myself for not getting something a little more conservative.
I saw one being test flown on Wednesday night (brushless) and it looked very nice. Unfortunately I had just experienced a wing fold at 130 feet and a lawn dart with my seven cell glider (mind you the ground was soft and even though it buried its nose in six inches the prop survived) so I wasn't watching as closely as I might.
The Lipo brushless version climbed at over 70 degrees and glided well. It had a problem with nose up on power on but a little Xmitter programming would solve that or perhaps a little more down thrust (unless the motor mount is glued solid).
I am seriously tempted by this one myself - I wonder how the glider version slope soars?
Got tired of waiting for stock in the states and ordered it from the UK. Cost me a bit more, but my patience won that argument. Thanks to Gary at Galaxy Models for a perfect package. There wasn't even a scratch on the shipping box.
I just now finished my build of the Multiplex Easy Glider Electric. This is my 1st REAL plane *all the others were basically toys*
I completed the build in about 6hrs .. but since this is my very 1st kit of any kind, I expected that I would read three times, measure twice and cut once.
I would say that if you are a person who has played with allot of toy type planes. This is a reasonably easy 1st plane to put together. Charged up a battery, and tested all the surfaces and motor. I am new to RC, but I was surprised at the power, it pulls pretty good on my and when I opened her up for just a second.
I was kinda a dork and have servo extentions and a Y harness.. not sure but I think the Y harness was long enough to meet the distance. I guess I can just shorten the harness to eliminate the extra wiring that is in the battery box.
I think the only modifications I made, were for the servo wire in the wing. You have to cut a small little place so the cover fits correctly. They made the space for where they wanted it, and not for where the connecter extends to.
I also scratched out a lil space below the servo arms on the wing, to make sure it wasn't rubbing. The servos fit perfect, but if you want them flush to the bottom the servo arm hits the foam just a little bit. No big deal really.
I really like the canopy on this glider, it has a nice locking mechanism that clicks into place tight. The canopy also acts like a fulcrum to push the motor flush to the nose cone so you do not have to glue it in.
Just need to get the CG right, and I am hoping to maiden this weekend. I'll try and post some pics.
Maiden an overwhelming success! Sorry no picts yet..
I do have to revise my comments on the canopy latch. It is a great latch.. but it seems to get in the way when putting the battery in. The prongs get bent if the battery is to wide. Again.. not a big woop, it makes it an A instead of an A+.
The battery compartment on the plane is a tight fit for some 9.6v's.. so the smaller flat, not to wide config the better.
There was a light wind when I was on my way to the field... when I arrived It was starting to pick up just a bit more. And picked up even a bit more after that.
I was in a huge field of freshly mowed hay *3-4 acre field* There was about 6 inchs of grass and hay all around. I wasn't taking any chances, since this was my 1st flight on full proportionals.
Checked CG, all good.. throttled up.. firm toss.. and she was away. She climbed real nice, and I did a huge right turn and arced around into the wind. Turned off the motor, and I was in thermals. She was about 150-200 yrd out. And 100-125ft up..
Kinda hovered there, and just used rudder and tail flaps to move her around.. I thermaled her all the way back to me.. and hit the motor a lil to turn her around the arc again..
1st real flight was over 10 min.. the landing wasnt pretty on the 1st couple of flights, but this plane is tough tough tough! I tossed her up again and flew just thermaled for another 8 min, and again another not so pretty landing.
Put in another battery.. and went out again.. This time I think I was up in the air for well over 20 minutes.. I didn't use the motor but to get her in the air 75-100ft.. and I just glided around for what seemed like an eternity. I started getting into trouble at one point.. I was climbing to steep and so I just pulled back on the tail flaps and by accident did a loop She isn't that acrobatic, but I will use this plane to train for the acrobatic hotliner I am ultimately want to purchase
I am very happy with this plane..and although the reviewer says not to get a full control plane as a beginner.. I think this is the exception.
If I can fly a couple of toys *B2 2ch from Interactive toys, and Estes cheapy F4 ducted* and build and fly this for 40-45mins of total air time. Nuff said!
The easy is getting a Big Brother. The Cularis with a wingspan of 2.61 meters is coming out in march and should be in the US by the end of April. It has flaps and ailerons and the recommended motor is a Himax brushless. Looks very nice.
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