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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
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
Rene Wallage was an excellent candidate. Below, follows his review on this
Special Thanks to
Jurgen Heilig for his contributions to many pictures in this review and his
on-going support whenever needed.
Wallage and his Multiplex EasyGlider, just right before the maiden flight
2 x GWS PICO for the
2 x GWS NARO for rudder and elevator
2S lipoly 2200
4: Rudder, Elevator,
Ailerons (on channels1 & 6 for spoilerons usage), Throttle. Controlled by a
Futaba T6XAs Tx and a Berg5 DSP Rx
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
Hitec 9.5x5 folder
All Up weight
905 grams (31.9 Oz)
with the NiMh pack
794 grams (28 Oz) with
the LiPoly pack
19.08 to 21.75 gr/dm²
from wing edge
5-6 hours if you are
in a hurry, and experienced. 8 to 10 hours would be more appropriate. That
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.
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
Wing Comparison with the EasyStar
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
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
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?
Some hints from
Lanny in order to protect the
CG tested & Balanced
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
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
the wind, full throttle, a gentle throw, and you’re on the way to bliss
“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.
(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
Very well. Not the best plane for this, around, as more expensive
gliders, balsa made, are more suitable, but still excellent for the price.
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.
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.
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.
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
Photo courtesy from
Photo courtesy from
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Friday, 06 October 2006