Multiplex FunGlider RR- it will follow you everywhere

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The Multiplex FunGlider RR

After a great success in Europe following its launch in the summer of 2016, the Multiplex FunGlider is now brought to the US market by Hitec RCD, for the great satisfaction of many in the glider community. The small size gliders are inherently easy to transport, simple to operate and yet offer a large flight envelope from chasing the thermal to (mild) aerobatic. They are also very appreciated by the slope fliers, who can bring them easily to the least accessible flying locations. Multiplex has been listening to these pilots and developed the FunGlider as a 3-axis evolution of their commercially successful Panda. If you are in the lookout for a glider that can fly virtually anywhere, the FunGlider RR should certainly be of high interest to you.

The FunGlider RR comes with all 4 servos installed, the ESC and the motor already in place. “RR” is a Multiplex terminology to say that only the receiver and the battery are missing to complete the airplane. The model is made out of the Elapor, a proprietary foam formula owned by the German brand. The FunGlider is designed to satisfy the advanced beginners as well the most experienced pilotes. For the true beginner, Multiplex/Hitec has in its offering model airplane that are better suited, like the EasyGlider or the EasyStar.

Model Specs

  • Wingspan: 1300mm / 51.2 in
  • Overall Length: 800mm / 31.49 in
  • Wing Area: 20.5 dm²  / 317.8 sq. in. (approx. )
  • Weight (Standard): 590g / 20.81 oz
  • Wing Loading: min. 28.9 g/dm² /  min. 9.5 oz/sq ft.
  • Control Functions: Aileron / Elevator / Rudder / Throttle

A well-equipped little glider

The FunGliders comes with 4 MPX Nano S servos. These servos are known for their reliability and precision, so it is appreciable to see them used on this kit. The ESC is a manufacturing programmed BL-20SD, which can handle 2-4 cell batteries. It is coupled to a Permax brushless motor BL-0 2816-900, and everything is already installed in the fuselage. The whole power unit is designed for 3s 950 mAh Lipo battery, with a 20C rating minimum.

Flight Sim

Multiplex offers for free a flight simulator for all their models. It is called MultiFlight and it can be downloaded at this address: multiflight.multiplex-rc.de

The landing page is in german, but the software is in English. On the first launch, MultiFlight checks for update. Make sure to let the software install the latest version or you won’t have all the models (and not the FunGlider)

Multiflight was tested with the RealFlight X controller, and worked well. For some reason, none of the switch are detected by the software, but that doesn’t matter for testing most of the models.

FunGlider RR in MultiFlight – A flight simulator by Multiplex.

Flight

It only takes seconds to get the FunGlider flight ready, without the needs of any screwdriver, Allen wrench or any other field equipment. That is one less thing to carry to the field, and one less possibility to jeopardize a nice day of flying by leaving behind a critical equipment at the shop.

The fuselage is easy to grab with one hand and a light push is all it takes to get the FunGlider airborne. The take-off is done at full throttle, and the glider gains altitude easily at a climb rate of roughly 45 degrees. It takes around 15s to reach 300ft. That will make the FunGlider able to escape a sudden downward wind while slope soaring.

The FunGlider penetrates the wind very well considering its small size and mass. Brought to a dive, the glider accelerates well until it reaches its maximum velocity. The speed is limited by the airframe and the wing foil. The FunGlider is really optimized for maximizing the lift and maneuverability, rather than sheer speed. It still reached a decent speed considering the size of the plane, and the mild whistling sound emitting from the airframe is quite satisfying.

The glider stays gentle and easy to control when the airspeed is reduced. The stall occurs at very low speed, with a pronounced drop of the nose. If an action to the rudder is coupled to the stall, the FunGlider will initiate a nearly vertical spin, and stops gaining speed very quickly. The spin would be a good escape option from a particularly strong thermal. The small machine will fast become difficult to see and getting the FunGlider to enter a spin is a good way to lose altitude without stressing the airframe. The plane can turn very tight with the good combination of aileron and rudder, which will help center the FunGlider in the narrowest thermals.

Aerobatics are also part of the program. While the figures will remain basic, it is still a lot of fun to shake the little glider around and perform loops, roll, inverted flight and other stall turns. Several of the aerobatics figure will require  some motor input to pass correctly. With the recommended throws and the limited speed of the servos, it is not possible to get the Fun Glider to perform a snap roll, which is really beyond the intended flying envelope. Only a small push on the elevator is required to held the plane inverted, showing that the CG is well located when set on the molded dimples  underneath the wing, as recommended in the manual.

The FunGlider can easy achieve 15 to 20 minutes of flying time on one battery, and probably much more for those lucky ones who will bring the glider to a slope for some fun dynamic soaring. Landing is very easy, and can be made very short and precise by using the ailerons as spoilers (both ailerons raised).

Conclusion

Multiplex FunGlider has all the qualities that made the german brand famous: it is a well-designed, robust and performing airplane, engineered to be convenient to use and simple to fly. The well-named FunGlider brings pleasure to fly without being demanding in the workshop in building time or maintenance. Its small size and its ability to fit in a compact space for transportation is real plus: it will very surely be part of all the weekend trips this summer!

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