Multiplex FunCub XL – Receiver Ready

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Hitec and Multiplex have gone hand-in-hand for a long time, and those of you that are familiar with them know the name FunCub. The FunCub has been around for quite a while, and it’s a well-loved foamie! Well, the FunCub you all know just got bigger and BETTER! How so? For starters, the wingspan has gone from 55 to 67 inches and the fuselage has gotten a makeover. The new FunCub XL looks very similar to the full-scale Carbon Cub SS, which is a cool looking aircraft! Huge control surfaces and a massive power system allows for some awesome aerobatics as well, taking it out of the realm of ‘just another cub’…  Interested? Read on, my friends!

Specifications

Wingspan:   67 in   (1700 mm)

Wing Area:   791 sq in   (51 sq dm)

Wing Loading:   18.35 oz/sq ft   (56 g/sq dm)

Length:   47.25 in   (1200 mm)

Weight:   6 Lbs 5 oz   (2850 g)

Control Functions:   Aileron, Elevator, Motor/Throttle, Rudder, and Flaps

Optional Control Functions:   Tow Hook Release, Cargo Drop, Landing/Navigation Light Set

Flight Characteristics:   Large Sport Plane

Experience Level:   Intermediate to Experienced Pilots

Required to Complete (Kit): 

6-8 Mini Servos (Recommend Hitec HS-225BB)

6-9 Channel Transmitter and Receiver

4235-480kV Brushless Motor

60 Amp ESC

15×8 Electric Propeller

1 – 6S 2200-4000 mAh LiPo Battery

OR

2 – 3S 2200-4000 mAh LiPo batteries and a serial Y-Harness

Various shop tools and adhesives

Required to Complete (Receiver Ready):

6-9 Channel Transmitter and Receiver

1 – 6S 2200-4000 mAh LiPo Battery

OR

2 – 3S 2200-4000 mAh LiPo batteries and a serial Y-Harness

Various shop tools and adhesives

First Look

The Fun Cub XL arrived in a colorful box – there’s all sorts of info on it, telling you any and everything you’ll need to know! with the top removed, I found the individual parts. The foam parts were wrapped in bubble wrap bags, while the rest was packaged in normal plastic bags. With all of the main parts laid on the bench, I could see that this Cub was going to be quick to assemble!

So, I’ve heard a lot of talk about how well this plane flies and how much power it has – That’s thanks in part to the 4235-480kV brushless outrunner motor. I also like that the front of the ‘cowl’ is held in place with strong magnets. If there’s ever a reason to do maintenance on the motor, this will be a big plus!

The landing gear, main and tail, is very robust! Both are fabricated from aluminum, and the plywood mounting plate in the fuselage should take a lot of abuse! Multiplex has even included a set of 5″ Tundra tires, which will also help to absorb some of the impact from a rough landing!

The large removable ‘windshield’/battery hatch allows easy access to changing flight batteries. Not only are the aileron and flap servos pre-installed, but the PUSHRODS are as well! This was a really neat setup! As you can see, those flaps will really drop to allow for some seriously short landings. There are even some very nice fairings where the wings meet the fuselage – this should help make assembly at the field very simple!

The wings also have a couple of other nice features! For starters, the aileron and flap servo connections are attached to a plate in the root of the wing – this should make it easy to connect the wiring from the receiver quick and easy! There’s a lot of carbon fiber parts in the Fun Cub XL – the two wing joiners and the struts are all made from carbon fiber shafts. Even better are the quick disconnect clasps to attach the struts to the fuselage! I’ll bet the wings can be attached to the plane in under five minutes!

A pair of snap-together hinges attach the rudder to the fin – I’ll be interested to see how well this design holds up over time, but I haven’t heard of anyone losing their plane due to the rudder being lost.

In addition to the molded foam hinge line between the stab and elevator, Multiplex has added additional hinge material in the outer ‘corners’. The pre-installed control horns and quick pushrod connectors is a nice touch as well!

Being that my Fun Cub is the RR (Receiver Ready) version, nearly everything I need is included in the box! This also means that the elevator and rudder servos are not only pre-installed, but they also have servo arms attached!

A 60 Amp ESC is pre-wired and ready to go, though these green Multiplex connectors are still a little foreign to me – I’ll be replacing them with my favorite connectors…

And making a new battery Y-harness as well! If you may recall, I did a ‘How-to’ article on how to put this Y-harness together yourself – If you don’t recall the article, you can check it out Here.

 

Surprisingly, The first photo shows the hardware set included with the Fun Cub – there’s not a whole lot there! Part of the hardware are three extra pushrods that are used for the optional accessories – the opening cargo bay doors and the tow hook release! I’ll show you how to set up both of these options when we get to the assembly part of this review.

Items used for Completion

As usual, I will be using my Hitec Flash 7 2.4 gHz transmitter to control the Fun Cub. A Hitec Optima 9 2.4 gHz Receiver will be part of the on-board gear. Though the Fun Cub arrived with six pre-installed Hitec HS-225BB servos, I’ll be using two more to show you the optional cargo door and tow hook installations.

Manual

Multiplex has one manual that covers both the kit and RR versions of the FunCub XL – Sifting through the instructions was a little tough at times, but the end result is worth the effort! The computer-drawn illustrations were also a big help, but they’re stuck in the middle of the manual, amidst the different languages in which the manual is written. At any rate, read through the manual before you begin assembly, regardless if your building the kit or assembling the RR version.

Assembly

Assembly began with attaching the pre-assembled main landing gear to the fuselage. There are four machine screws that secure the gear to the plywood mounting frame. A drop of Blue thread locking compound was added to each of the four machine screws to keep them tight.

With the FunCub XL cradled in my foam stand, the pre-assembled tailwheel bracket was attached to the composite mount with a pair of screws.

The horizontal stabilizer was then slid into its slot for a ‘dry fit’ test, followed by sliding the carbon fiber wing tube into place. The wing tube will only fit correctly one way, as it has a ring on it that slides into a recess in the left wing mounting saddle. A second, smaller wing tube was then slid in behind the main tube.

The right and left wing halves were slid onto the wing tubes to check that the horizontal stabilizer fittment was correct. Everything lined up well, so no adjustments were necessary.

Thick CA, in this case SLO-ZAP Thick CA, was applied to the upper and lower stabilizer mounts, and the center ridge of the stab itself. The stabilizer was then slid into place to allow the thick CA to cure.

SLO-ZAP Thick CA was again used to install the four carbon fiber tail braces. There are pockets molded into the foam for installation, and the braces are pre-cut to the correct length! The rudder was then snapped into place – it has special hinges that allow for easy installation, but make it nearly impossible to remove!

The steerable tailwheel was connected to the rudder with the included springs, and the elevator and rudder pushrods were installed. I would have liked it if the elevator pushrod had been just a little longer, but it worked fine.

Because I had the channels available, I separated the flaps and ailerons into their own channels – this made it really easy to fine-tune each control surface individually. The included servo wire extensions were marked and connected to their respective leads at the wing roots and fed into the fuselage.

The wing halves were then slid into position and secured with a nylon screw – there’s a screw for each side, and they fit snugly into recessed holes. The wing struts were really easy to install, as they were pre-assembled and adjusted to the correct length. the wing end has ball-type sockets that snapped into place, and the fuselage end has a really cool locking pin. This is a really nice feature if you have to remove the wings for transport!

I connected all the servo wires to the Hitec Optima 9 receiver and installed it using a piece of the included adhesive-backed hook-n-loop tape. Yes, that IS a 6S 4350mAh LiPo battery hiding in the fuselage!

After verifying that the motor was spinning the correct direction, I installed the propeller and spinner.

The Center of Gravity (CG) was marked on the underside of the wings – I balanced the FunCub XL using a variety of 6S batteries or battery packs from 3200mAh to 5000mAh and the CG stayed the same throughout! This was pretty cool, because I have four different 6S packs plus enough 3S packs to make two more 6S packs, meaning I can keep the FunCub XL in the air a long time without recharging a single battery!

The FunCub XL was now ready to head to the flying field!

Optional Accessories

The first optional accessory is the cargo bay doors. The original belly piece was removed easily, as it’s held in place with magnets. the new cargo doors were then installed, and went in really easily! An extra (not included) Hitec HS-225BB servo was installed in the cargo door cutout and secured with a little hot glue. The pushrods were connected to the servo arm prior to installing the arm on the servo, and then attached to the cargo doors. If you look closely at the photo, you will see that the quick connector on the left door (left from behind the aircraft) is in the upper hole on the door arm, while the right side connector is in the lower door arm hole. This was due to the pushrods being in two different servo arm holes. If you take your time and adjust it properly, you’ll have a pair of cargo doors that open and close very well!

The sailplane tow release was really easy to install, as it requires only an extra HS-225BB servo and a pre-cut pushrod. The pushrod acts as the tow release, and slides into the pre-installed mount. The servo was simply glued into the pre-cut hole in the fuselage. Yep – it was that simple!

Photo Shoot

Flight Report

After WEEKS of waiting for good weather and coinciding schedules, my video pilot, Jim Buzzeo, and I finally got a great night at the Willmar Area Radio Control club flying field in Willmar, Minnesota. The wind was blowing a little, at approximately 10 MPH, but it was otherwise a perfect night!

I connected the two 3S battery packs together with the battery harness I made, and secured them in the fuselage. The windhield/battery hatch was snapped into place, and the FunCub XL was ready for flight. The large main wheels made it easy for the FunCub XL to taxi and take off from the grass – ‘if ya got big wheels, ya might as well use ’em…’ The Multiplex power system with a 6S LiPo battery is a great combination for this plane, no doubt! The plane climbed out easily at around half-throttle!

At a safe altitude, Jim checked the trims, and said it needed one click of left aileron and one click of up elevator – Not bad!

High and low speed testing came next, and provided good results. The large tires and low-pitched ‘torquey’ prop kept speed down, which was just fine by me. Slow speed flight was beyond expected – in the breeze, it nearly seemed to stop moving forward at times! dropping the flaps at slow speeds slowed the plane even more, and added that ‘cool factor’ that I just love!

As advertised, the aerobatic capabilities of this plane are awesome! The large control surfaces and high-power motor allow for some decent 3D hovering and tumbling maneuvers! Knife edge flight required a little aileron and elevator input to keep the plane moving in a straight line. At no point was I ever worried that the plane was going to come apart, which was pretty cool because it’s a mainly foam airframe! This plane ROCKS!

After the photos and video were shot, I took the sticks and put the FunCub XL through its paces – I was immediately having a blast with the plane, and loving every minute of having it in the air!

When it came time to land, the flaps were dropped and the FunCub XL came in easily – nothing out of the ordinary here, except that the plane does prefer to land on the main gear then drop the tail. Because of the large main wheels, trying to ‘three-point’ land the plane will cause it to quit flying too soon. Land on the mains and let the tail drop – you’ll be happy you did!

Check out the videos!

And now, gettin’ a little wild!

 

Summary

 

That’s it – the FunCub XL has been assembled and flown. The manual was a little tough to follow at times, but was worth the effort. I really like this plane, and I can definitely see it making MANY trips to the field with me this summer! Multiplex hit this one out of the park – it’s a great plane that everyone will love!

One more thing – there’s a set of floats available for those of you that love to get adventurous, and they’re fairly inexpensive! For around $45.00, you can have a set of floats for your very own FunCub XL!

Photo Courtesy of www.weekenderwarehouse.com

 That’s all for now – get out and get yourself a FunCub XL! -GB

 

 

 

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