Multiplex EasyGlider


Photo courtesy from ettore (Italy)

 

 


Building Level


Flying Level

Who did not hear about the Multiplex Elapor planes, some able to stunt, others to help you start on the right foot, other for intermediate to Advanced pilots. Most are very successful in the area they are targeted to be used, but one type was missing: An Elapor Glider

This is now covered with the EasyGlider, which takes many good ideas from many of its siblings and apply modifications where required, in order to get its own personality and gliding characteristics. Now, I could have, with great pleasure, do the review of this plane, but I decided to get a fresh brain, someone not used to Multiplex Planes (apart from hearing me talking about it....), who did build several so called "ARF" planes and who could therefore provide a new vision.
Rene Wallage was an excellent candidate. Below, follows his review on this plane.

Special Thanks to Jurgen Heilig for his contributions to many pictures in this review and his on-going support whenever needed.


Rene Wallage and his Multiplex EasyGlider, just right before the maiden flight
 

 
Review 14-Mar-2005 Rene Wallage Video Available
Motor 400 6V Servos

2 x GWS PICO for the ailerons
2 x GWS NARO for rudder and elevator

Speed Controller

Castle Creations Pixie 
20-P

Batteries tested 8x1400Nimh
2S lipoly 2200
Channels

4: Rudder, Elevator, Ailerons (on channels1 & 6 for spoilerons usage), Throttle.  Controlled by a Futaba T6XAs Tx and a Berg5 DSP Rx

Flight Time

7-8 minutes motor time on the NiMh pack, 15-20 minutes motor time on the LiPoly pack.  Catch a thermal (or fly on a slope) and only the size of your bladder is your flight time limitation.

Propeller

Hitec 9.5x5 folder

Gear Box

3:1

 


(Photo by Jurgen Heilig)
 

Wingspan 70"
178 cm
Length 44.5 "
113 cm
Empty weight 24.6 oz
697 gr
All Up weight

905 grams (31.9 Oz) with the NiMh pack

794 grams (28 Oz) with the LiPoly pack

Wing Area 4.48 sq.ft
41.6 dm
²
Wing load 6.25 to 7.1 oz/sq.ft
19.08 to  21.75 gr/dm
²
CG location
from wing edge
2.76 "
7.0 cm
Time to build

5-6 hours if you are in a hurry, and experienced.  8 to 10 hours would be more appropriate.  That includes decorating!

.


 

Package


(Photo by Jurgen Heilig)

First impressions are so important.  The EasyGlider comes in a large, very sturdy cardboard box, with a surprisingly low parts count.  On opening the box I found white Elapor foam parts in pristine condition, that gave me a feeling of "Lego meets Playmobile meets RC flight". Or maybe an Airfix ™ model on steroids.  Two wing halves with hinged ailerons, two fuse halves, a cockpit cover, a vertical stab with hinged rudder, and a horizontal stab with hinged elevator.

In addition to the Elapor parts I found a little bag of goodies that even included EZ connectors and Velcro.  A pushrod sleeve for the antenna.  A two-sleeve pushrod system for the rudder and elevator to prevent binding and/or "slop" .  A 1 meter long carbon rod for the wing.  A 3:1 geared speed 400 motor with a folding propeller.  And a roll of some of the nicest decals I’ve seen in a long time, and so many of them!

All I need to add is an ESC, a Rx and flight battery. And glue of course; thin CA, thick CA, kicker & 4 Micro servos.

There's also a manual included in four different languages, with a 6 page pull out pictorial.  It virtually cries out "build me, build me", although "assembly" seems a more appropriate term

It is obvious that the guys and gals at Multiplex took their time to think this through, and produced a well kitted kit.


(Photo by Jurgen Heilig)

 

Building

No prior experience is needed.  But do read the instruction booklet once or twice before starting assembly.

Another thing you may want to do before assembly, is go over all surfaces with a piece of 160 grit sandpaper.  The manufacturing procedure leaves little “bumps” on the surfaces.  They will not do any harm, but the model will look sooo much nicer with smooth flying surfaces  (decals will stick on better on a smooth surface).  This does not take a lot of time.  Just sand the surfaces in an even circular movement, without much pressure.  Let the sandpaper do the work.

If you plan on using a variety of battery packs, trial fit them before you glue the fuselage halves together.  You may need to alter the battery bay.

Do all your soldering before assembly, and test all the RC components together.  Tape your servos, receiver, battery pack, and motor (without prop!) to a sturdy board or your work table.  Plug all leads into the receiver, switch on your transmitter, and then connect the battery.  Check that everything works the way it should, including servo directions!

I would advise you to follow the manual closely and not to stray from it with “home improvements”.  The kit is so well thought out, that I found it hard to think of anything to improve upon.  Multiplex obviously spend a lot of time and experience (and most likely also money) designing this kit.

She builds fast, since only fast curing thick and thin CA and kicker is used. Overall, a joy to build.  All components fit great, but do a lot of “dry” fitting so you know where everything goes.  Once the CA and kicker are applied there is no going back!

One of the nicer things of Elapor is the fact that you can decorate your EasyGlider as you wish.  Waterbased spray paint cans and felt tipped markers are great to make your EasyGlider stand out in a crowd.  Just beware, the more paint, the more weight.  Light colors at the top, dark colors at the bottom (for better visibility).  Try and keep it light for better flight performance.  I decided to keep it simple, and “only” used the decals provided in the box, and some blue covering tape on the wings’ underside for better visibility.  For a bit of “cockpit realism” I used a Sharpy™ permanent black marker.



Wing Comparison with the EasyStar (Photo by Jurgen Heilig)

On only a few points did I stray from the building manual:

  • I wrapped the servos in masking tape before hot gluing them in place.  The masking tape protects the servo and also enables simple and save removal if/when necessary.

  • Instead of thick CA and kicker, I used 5 minute epoxy when attaching the tail assembly to the fuse.  I did that just for my own peace of mind.  I’m sure that the CA and kicker would be fine as well.

  • The Manual tells you to put a drop of CA on the nut from the pushrod EZ-connector.  CA can leak quit easily, so I find it easier to apply some nail varnish

  • Although the Manual mentions aileron differential (more up then down movement) nothing is said about affixing the aileron servo arm slightly forward.  At first I set the servo arms straight, but found it impossible to get to the recommended throws, even when using maximum ATV.  I took the servos out and moved the servo arms slightly forward, but the aileron pushrod was too short to get even close to the 30 degree angle I wanted, so I had to make do with an angle of about 15 degrees.  More then enough to fly nicely, but not enough for aggressive flying.

  • Because I fly (and land) on very rough terrain I covered the LE with 1” wide fiber tape, and the fuse underside’s front half with 2” wide fiber tape.  Even if you fly and land on good quality terrain, I would advise to do this no matter what.  Why damage the nice foam unnecessarily?


(Photos by Jurgen Heilig)

Some hints from Lanny in order to protect the aileron servos

CG tested & Balanced

Batteries tested

This is a 6 volt geared speed 400 motor, so the battery possibilities are limited to the less expensive side of the currently available packs.  Due to the voltage limitations you can use NiMh (or NiCd) packs with 7-8 cells in a pack.  LiPoly packs can be used up to two cells.  All packs should be around the 1800 – 2000mAh, depending on the rating of your ESC.  As with all model planes, the different weights of the battery packs will of course influence flight behavior.  But unlike most models, the different weights will influence the CG very little.  The battery bay is ingeniously placed almost on top of the CG.  So, no matter what pack you use, very little adjustments will be needed in terms of reaching the correct CG (as long as you use the standard motor).

I have used two different packs, an old CBP AA 8x1400 NiMh pack that has seen it’s best days in my Unicorn, and a TP 2S 2200 Lipoly pack.  The 110 grams weight difference (15.8% of the airframe weight!)  makes a huge difference in flight behavior.  Although the Lipoly gives only 7.4 volts (as opposed to 9.6 volts from the NiMh pack) acceleration and speed are noticeably better then the NiMh.



Photo courtesy from ettore (Italy)

 

Take-off Nose in the wind, full throttle, a gentle throw, and you’re on the way to bliss
Flight behavior

“Sweet” is the word that comes to mind.  She’s no speed demon, nor an aerobatic “throw-about”, but more a gentle, gracious glider. 

The maiden flight was done in less then ideal conditions.  Wind force was 6-8Mph with gusts to 14Mph.  The battery pack I used was an old 8 cell CBP1400 pack that had been in storage for nearly a year and did not peak very well.

Even underpowered (because of my battery pack) she flew really nice.  Very predictable, responds to control inputs in a relaxed way, but –even as a very light glider- does not let itself be thrown around by the wind.  She likes to be flown slowly, and stalls are straight.  A shallow dive to pick up a minimal amount of speed is enough to be on the way again.

With the control throws set as per the manual, she flies like a trainer.  The EasyGlider is not intended as an aerobatic hotliner.  She will fly a loop, but rolls need very well coordinated ailerons and rudder input, and even then the roll resembles something aching to a drunken duck.  If you really, really insisted on aerobatics, probably with more ailerons throw and a more powerful motor setup, this would improve.

On the slope

Without the addition of ballast, the EasyGlider can easily take winds of 14-15Mph on the slope.  About 30-60 grams lead is needed in the nose at that windspeed.  I would add real ballast (100-200 grams) with more wind inside the hollow carbon fiber wingspar.  It is clear on the slope that she reacts very positively to small puffs of lift.  She equally feels at home looping, rolling, stall-turning, and anything else that  you might like to throw at her.  Stalls are almost impossible on the slope.  With the greater flying speeds on the slope (vs flatland flying) the ailerons are more effective.   Nice coordinated turns can be achieved combining ailerons and rudder.  This can of course also be achieved by using a mixer on your computer radio.

How does it behave with Thermals

 

Very well. Not the best plane for this, around, as more expensive gliders, balsa made, are more suitable, but still excellent for the price.

Landing

On windless (or very little wind) days, just bring her in slow and low, and let her settle.  This needs some planning because she glides forever.  The first few landings you may have to walk a bit.

Because she is so light, on windy days landing can be slightly challenging.  Just keep some power on for a bit longer.

 

Crash Results

It’s Elapor Foam, that should say enough…  The foam bends.  On a bad landing, when you may cartwheel (a spectacular sight I can assure you, especially if it is someone else’s plane), there will be very little, if any damage.  If there is damage at all, Elapor is simple to fix.  If it is bend, treat with hot water.  If it’s broken, treat with CA.  Either way, you could be flying again that same day.  The only thing that may take longer to heal is your bruised ego.


 

Repairing

See crash result…

 

Other comments

All-in-all, this is a great plane to own.  She feels equaly at home flying low sweeping turns, getting high up and search for thermals, or slamming her around at high speed wind days at the slope.

I would not hesitate to recommend this model for the beginner.  The kit builds easily and quickly.  She’s is nearly indistructable, due to the building method and the material used.  With some exponential, she flies very predictable, gentle, and gracious.  Take the exponential away, and increase the throws, and she’ll still fly gracefull, but much more responsive.  At no point will she become “twitchy” though.  Unless you seriously misplace the CG.

I love this plane.

 

Interesting Links

 

FMS plane
Pictures

 

Building Tips:

From Lanny, on how to better protect the Servo Ailerons:
Here is an idea to protect the aileron servo arm on the Easy Glider.  I had heard of using a cut piece of a plastic spoon for an air scoop.  I figured it might be good protection for the aileron servo arm. 

 

 

 

 


Photo courtesy from ettore (Italy)


(Photo by Jurgen Heilig)

 


Photo courtesy from ettore (Italy)


Photo courtesy from ettore (Italy)

 

Latest Update: Friday, 06 October 2006