Hitec's Multiplex Magister 4-channel RTF Trainer Review

Feb 10 update: AXI UPGRADE -- WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Don Sims explores this scale looking exciting ARF model, and says...Have you been looking for a large, almost ready to fly, scale looking, foamie plane, with a nice four channel radio, battery and charger? If so, then take a close look at the RTF Multiplex Magister. The Magister was a fast building, nice flying plane that a beginner (with help) can fly and grow with. Because of its durability, the plane could handle a few hard knocks as well as easily be repaired at the field with regular CA glue. The Magister was large enough to impress the local IC pilots and a hoot to fly totally stock.

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Wingspan:1630 mm or 64 inches
Wing Area:Approx. 45 dm squared or 698 sq. in.
Weight:2380 g or 84 ounces
Length:1170 mm or 46 inches
Wing Loading:Approx. 53 g/dm squared
Servos:Multiplex, preinstalled
Transmitter:Hitec Laser 4 channel, incl.
Receiver:Hitec slimline, preinstalled
Battery:Sub C 2000 mah, incl.
Motor:Multiplex geared 680 brushed motor, preinstalled
ESC:Multiplex, preinstalled

Editor's Note: AXI upgrade information has now been added into the flight performance section. Includes installation information as well as flight performance...WOW what a difference!

Have you been looking for a large, almost ready to fly, scale looking, foamie plane, with a nice four channel radio, battery and charger? If so, then take a close look at the RTF Multiplex Magister. The Magister was a fast building, nice flying plane that a beginner (with help) can fly and grow with. Because of its durability, the plane could handle a few hard knocks as well as easily be repaired at the field with regular CA glue. The Magister was large enough to impress the local IC pilots and a hoot to fly totally stock.

Kit Contents

The Magister comes in a big box, a very-very big box. It was well packed and nothing was damaged during shipment. I was expecting two boxes because the plane was billed as almost ready to fly, but Multiplex had fit everything into one box. The plane, radio, battery, and charger were all nestled in together with key parts covered in bubble wrap. At first glance I wondered what had happened to the receiver and servos but found them preinstalled while inspecting the plane for shipping damage.


At first glance, the assembly book looks daunting...it consisted of forty pages! But, not to worry, it has several different languages in the book and eight pages of drawings to help build. Multiplex also included a nice CD for viewing if the builder needs some extra help putting the plane together. If you need even more help, there are some huge threads on the discussion forums at RCGroups.com. The best one is a multi part thread about the Magister, part one. This thread has mounds of information about the plane and doing upgrades.

For this review, I planned to focus on a stock right out of the box build as well as my impressions of the Magister.

Two bolts hold down the wing with a well designed plastic piece holding the wing halves together. There was a preinstalled servo in one side for the ailerons, which I connected to the preinstalled control rods.

Like the rest of the Magister, there was little to do assembling the fuselage. All major components were ready to go. Things went together so well that by the time I got to the landing gear, I thought that there was no need to read the instruction booklet. I did assemble the landing gear wrong by using the wrong parts on the wrong wires but sorted that out by looking at the directions.

Radio Installation

The servos and receiver were already installed. I did need to hook up the clevis pins for the control surfaces but this took very little time. A speed control was pre-wired to the geared motor and all I did was to start the battery charging on the included charger.


After doing basic assembly which took around three hours, the plane kept sitting there begging to go on a maiden flight. I could imagine using foam safe paint and skipping the decals to go for an accurate full scale look on the paint job. But alas, this build was for a review, so the decal path had to be chosen. The decals took longer to apply than did the build on the rest of the plane! They really looked good after they were applied though. The supplied battery was placed in the suggested location which put the center of gravity at the recommended location of 85mm or 3 1/3" from the leading edge of the wing.



Please note that the flying photographs were taken with a different camera than I usually used. Sorry for the poorer than usual quality of the pictures!

The included geared motor has plenty of get up and go to do basic aerobatics. In very short grass the plane took off at around fifteen meters or fifty feet. There was no need to rush it off the ground, just let it get up to speed and fly. Properly trimmed, the Magister is a hands off airplane. You can release the control sticks and the plane continues to fly in the direction it was pointed in last. (Hopefully that direction was not heading toward the ground.)

Taking Off and Landing

I tried to take off in tall grass with the stock setup but didn't have success. Taking off from a hard surface worked great and the takeoff is very scale like. You can hand toss the Magister but need a very strong arm and a quick fingers to get it airborne. Hand tossing loses altitude so if you don't have quick hands or someone else to toss it, you'll be testing out the landing gear rather quickly! Landings are fairly easy for a plane of this size and it would make its final approach well.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Built stock the Magister has the ability to loop from level flight. It lost a lot of altitude flying inverted so have plenty of space between the plane and the ground when trying that. The plane has slow rolls stock and flys where you point it. You have the ability to do other very basic aerobatics such as hammer heads with the plane but that is about all stock. It was really hard to stall the Magister because of the wingtips. It just mushes ahead and did not fall off to either side when I tried to get the plane to stall out. Upgraded to brushless and using lipo cells, this plane would really scoot along and because it is a three channel plane you could do a lot with it.

AXI UPGRADE From Hobby-Lobby!

Motor: AXI 2820/12 Outrunner Brushless Motor
ESC: Jeti Advance PLUS 40 Amp Brushless Controller with Program Card
Batt.: "Hi-Po" 3 Cell 4000 mAh 11.1V Li-Poly Pack
Prop: APC 12x6E & Collet Prop Adapter for 5mm Shaft

For about three hundred bucks you can transform the Magister into one mean flying machine with an AXI upgrade. The upgrade was simple and easy to do. Take out the old motor, put the new AXI in, pull the old speed control and plug the new Jeti Advance Plus speed control in. Lastly, put on the prop and then you are finished. It took me less than 20 minutes to complete the upgrade after fretting about it for a couple of days. My only real worry was how to run the wires, I didn't want the outrunner hitting them so ran them under the motor mount. Hobby-Lobby supplied the upgrade items, Thanks HL!

I was shocked at the changes in the power and flight characteristics!

Instead of taking off on short grass or gravel, the plane easily took off in long grass was the first noticeable difference. On my first flight, I moved the battery forward because the Lipo battery is lighter than the Sub C cells, thinking there was a lot of CG shift in the plane; but, when I attempted to do aerobatics with the plane, it didn't perform as well as I had seen on videos of the brushless version of the plane. Moving the battery forward proved to be totally unnecessary, the CG was fine using the exact same location with the Lipos as with the Sub C's. Take a look at the video!

Flight Videos of the AXI powered Magister


For the subsequent flights, I shifted the lipo battery back to what the normal location was for the sub C pack. This made a huge difference in the aerobatic capabilities of the Magister. Loops were easy to do and inverted flight out of the top of a loop was possible. I did have to apply a bit of down elevator when inverted. I can't say it had unlimited vertical when flying but it does have impressive power when you need it. Our idea of fun for us old guys who were flying it was we would do as slow a fly by as possible then power up and head out as fast as possible at the end of the runway. I've been wanting to get some videos of the planes aerobatic abilities but our weather has not been cooperating and time was ticking away with getting this review back on line.

Following are a couple of graphs that I ran on my laptop using a Medusa Research Power Analyzer Plus. If you want to see more of the different plots then drop me an email, but most people are interested in Power. Both graphs were made with fresh batteries, the article motor setups, and the same sized propellers.

Is This For a Beginner?

Yes it is for a beginner with someone there to help train them on how to fly. The Magister had the ability to fly through minor mistakes and slowed down nicely. It is large enough that a beginner can get the plane to two mistake altitude in case there is trouble. The plane is made out of what Multiplex calls Elapor foam and the foam was much more durable than regular styrofoam. The Elapor is also CA safe so you can make minor repairs at the field if need be. The prop is a 12x8 electric which is fairly easy to optain at your local hobby shop. If all else fails and you destroy the plane, then the gear is useable in other planes of a similar size. Keep in mind that the servos are not micro servos so they wouldn't transfer to most parkflyers.

Flight Video of the Stock Brushed Magister



I really-really-really enjoyed this plane. Totally stock it flew fairly well and the size is impressive as well as the value and quality of parts. The decals took longer to apply than building the rest of the plane. Multiplex did a great job in putting this almost ready to fly combination together. They packed the box well and I had no damaged parts when the plane arrived at my home.

A new pilot can easily handle the plane using a buddy box with an experienced pilot helping out. The Eplor foam can handle some fairly hard knocks and is easily repaired with CA glue. The Magister is such fun to fly that I quickly tired of using only one battery pack for the plane. As a simple solution to that problem, I ended up changing out the supplied connectors to Deans Ultra so I could use several different battery packs flying the Magister. There was a nice little charger included in the RTF package so I changed out the connector to Deans Ultras and now I've got three chargers at the field.

On the Axi upgrade, the plane came to life like you would not believe. The AXI made the plane evolve from a fun plan to a funtastic plane!

Thread Tools
Jan 04, 2006, 12:54 PM
jrb's Avatar
The WA sq is off by a factor of 10!

Dont know how others feel but I think this was totally out of line I've decided to move my limited writing skills to another site..
Jan 04, 2006, 02:33 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
It's also a great work horse, and can easily be used for aerotowing. Provided you upgrade to something like an AXI2820/10 and a 5200 3S2P pack...
Jan 04, 2006, 03:58 PM
Thread OP
Yeow JRB thanks for catching that!! Thats what I get for using a conversion program!!!
Jan 04, 2006, 05:32 PM
Registered User
aeropal's Avatar
Multiplex Specifications:
Wing area: 45 dm (698 square inches)
Wing loading (FAI): 53 g / dm (17.4 ounces per square foot)

Magister model file for Flying Model Simulator
Jan 04, 2006, 06:02 PM
Registered User
According to the video, it won't turn right!!!

large grin.
Jan 05, 2006, 06:13 AM
Thread OP
LOL howell. It turns right as well as left! We fly a left hand pattern out at the sod farm, there's large trees on the right. Unless the wind is blowing from the opposite direction then we're in a right hand pattern still flying away from the trees!
Jan 05, 2006, 02:41 PM
Plain Broke and Broke Planes!
pcphill's Avatar
I'm powering mine with a Cyclon Twister .40 imported by Atlanta Hobby and a 3S pack. I'm running 300W with a 12x6 and could push it harder, but that's plenty for this bird, enough to climb when inverted anyway. The wing flex makes me too nervous to kick it any higher.

This is a great airplane for relaxed flying.

Jan 05, 2006, 07:29 PM
Thread OP
Thanks for the info pcphill. I'd like to hop it up a lot now that I'm done with the review. Do any of you have a viable solution to the wing flex at very high speeds? I can see where this would happen based on the wing construction.
Jan 06, 2006, 07:49 PM
Plain Broke and Broke Planes!
pcphill's Avatar
I haven't done it yet, but plan on cutting a narrow slit on the top and bottm of the wing and running 3mm CF strips full length, then just wicking in super thin CA and kicker. I think that'll be enough. I've also heard 3" strapping tape suggested. I don't think it'll take too much to reinforce it. The wing bolts might part with the fuse before the wing breaks

Besides, the flapping action generates additional lift.....
Jan 07, 2006, 02:07 PM
Closed Account
Jeez, I sure hope this isn't your bedsheets you used as a backdrop in this photo; if it is, I think you oughta leave the bucket of fried chicken and cigarettes to the kitchen !.

FWIW, I think your "limited writing skills" work well with my limited reading skills.
Jan 07, 2006, 02:45 PM
soholingo's Avatar
Oh yes, I learned the hardway about backgrounds. There was a jar of petroleum jelly in the background of one of my pictures, and the guys let me have it... Well you know what I mean...

Jan 08, 2006, 08:03 AM
Thread OP
LOL!! Mama won't let me buy a new sheet, she makes me use the old ones.

If you're worried about it, methinks the stains in question are circa 2003 epoxy from a former project.... the drips are CA.

Usta, in comparison to several of the authors around here I'm a rookie!! There are some great communicators with a huge amount of skill who write for this site. I just ment that as a jab at my own skills.

I know what you mean Soho, no mercy or quarter shown by this bunch of fine folks!! Including myself upon others....
Feb 10, 2006, 11:06 AM
You mention the gear could be swapped out in the event of a um... incident. Could it be used for something like the parkjet pushers? They're a bit bigger than the average parkflyer planes you see at the LHS. You know, should I have an unforunate event and need to, ooh, I don't know, build me one of Steve's f-18 or f-15s....
Feb 11, 2006, 09:38 AM
Thread OP
Tomcat, iif the pusher can handle larger servos and a geared speed 600 size brushed motor than you would be able to make the swap. More than likely the gear will be too large for those planes. Post a link so we can check them out....

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