Multiplex Park Master Pro

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A lot of you will recognize the name ‘ParkMaster’ and think, “Hey wait a minute, that’s not a new plane!” And, if you thought that, you’re absolutely right! The PRO is an upgraded version of the original 3D ParkMaster, offering some ‘next generation’ parts to help the aircraft fly better than the original. Interested? Read on to see what the new ParkMaster PRO has to offer!

Specifications

Wingspan:   38.375 in   (975 mm)

Wing Area:   Approx. 450 sq in   (29 sq dm)

Wing Loading:   5.9 oz/sq ft   (19 g/sq dm)

Length:   40.5 in   (1028 mm)

Weight: 18.4 oz   (522 g)

Skill Level:   Intermediate to Experienced

Price:

$103.99 (Kit)

$205.99 (Kit Plus – Includes Servos, Motor and Prop, and ESC)

Required to Complete Kit

4 Channel (Minimum) Transmitter and Receiver – 5 + Channels recommended

Qty – 4 HS-65HB Feather Servos

2816-1220kV Brushless Outrunner Motor

30-40 Amp Brushless ESC

10×4.7 Propeller

3S 950-1000 mAh LiPo Battery

Medium CA and Accellerator

Paint for Canopy

Masking tape and Paper

Various shop tools

Features

Carbon Fiber Spars for Maximum Airframe Rigidity

Carbon Fiber reinforced Motor Mount for Support and Stability

Updated Carbon Fiber Main Landing Gear

Elapor Foam Construction

Highly Visible Decal Set

First Look

The Park Master Pro arrived in a colorful box, packed in a foam cradle that appears to be made from the same foam as the airframe. the contents were well protected, and arrived with no damage. The foam parts were all neat and clean, and had no irregular areas . All of the lines and recesses were perfectly molded!

There’s plenty of included hardware, lots of carbon fiber, and even two large sheets of decals. Everything looked really nice!

A Himax 2816-1220kv brushless motor and Propeller adapter, 10 x 4.7 Slow Flyer propeller, Multiplex 30-Amp ESC, and Multiplex Nano Pro Karbonite servos are part of the Park Master Pro Kit Plus. The battery connector on the ESC is a new one to me, though, and will most likely get replaced with something I use on my batteries.

From the ground, I’ll be using my trusty Hitec Flash 7 2.4 gHz transmitter, and commanding the Multiplex servos will be a Hitec Minima 6L 2.4 gHz receiver.

Manual

The manual included is quite thick, and covers assembling the Park Master Pro in great detail. When I first looked at the manual, I was slightly disappointed, as there were no illustrations. But, looking back a little deeper into the manual, I found a TON of illustrations!

The first thing to do is paint the canopy, and this makes great sense – it’s a lot easier to cover the fuselage with masking tape and paper now versus when the airframe is assembled! After masking off the entire fuselage, I wiped the area to be painted with denatured alcohol to remove any mold release chemicals from the Elapor foam. I used gloss black Rustoleum spray paint for plastic – the paint was sprayed on in three coats. The first coat was a very light mist, and allowed to dry for about 10 minutes. The second and third coats were progressively heavier, but I was careful to not use too much paint. I wanted the canopy black, but I didn’t want to add excess weight in the form of paint.

Starting off the assembly was the elevator. The carbon fiber rectangular spar was glued into the pre-cut slot in the elevator, followed by the control horn and pushrod quick connector. There are marks molded into the leading edge of the elevator that show you where to cut the hinge slots. Editor’s Note – I used ZAP Medium CA and ZIP Kicker (Available from Frank Tiano Enterprises) for most of the assembly of this plane, and it worked very well!

The rudder hinge slots were cut and the control horn were glued in place – just as was done for the elevator.

Editor’s Note:

Per the manual, the control horns and quick connectors were glued to the ailerons after completing the rudder.

Moving to the fuselage, the firewall support was glued in place, followed by the forward rectangular carbon fiber spars. The long fuselage rectangular carbon fiber spars were glued in place next. To make this step easy, I first added the medium CA to the pre-cut spar slot, then pushed the spar into the glue. Once I was satisfied with the fit, I sprayed a light coat of ZIP Kicker over the spar to ‘set’ the outer CA. This does allow a slower cure on the inner CA.

The Elevator and rudder servos were glued into their respective cutouts – some may disagree with me and the manual for using CA to secure the servos, but I think it will be just fine.

The two-piece landing gear mount was assembled before getting glued into the slot in the fuselage. I did ‘rough up’ the plastic and foam a little with some sand paper just to give the CA better surfaces for adhesion.

There’s plenty of pieces to the landing gear legs, but they assembled easily! I like the carbon fiber axle – it’s definitely a lot lighter than a steel axle! All the pieces fit together extremely well!

The gear legs were then glued into the gear mount – I also made sure to glue the foam gear covers to the fuselage as well.

The two wing halves were glued together at the center root, and a rectangular carbon fiber spar was glued into the pre-cut slot in the BOTTOM side of the wing.

When the CA on the bottom spar had cured, I flipped the wing over and glued the rectangular carbon fiber spar into ONE HALF of the pre-cut slot in the top of the wing. When the CA had cured,  a 5 mm spacer was put under the wingtip into which the spar was glued. the other half of the spar was then secured by gluing it into the pre-cut slot. This method is used to put a slight amount of tension on the wings spars. This helps to add rigidity to the wing.

I cut the hinge slots in the ailerons and trailing edge of the wing – the hinge locations are all marked in the foam, making it easy to know where to cut! With all of the slots now cut, I applied medium CA to the slots and installed the hinges. I used some of my larger LiPo batteries to put some weight on the hinges as the CA cured.

The wing now had to be slid through the fuselage, centered, and glued in place. There are small ridges in the foam that will help you align the wing! This was really quite an easy task!

The other aileron was then attached and the servos and pushrods were installed. Multiplex has also cut some very nice slots in the wings and fuselage for the servo wiring! With the servos and ailerons centered, the quick connectors were secured at the correct locations.

The elevator and horizontal stabilizer were hinged in the same manner as the ailerons were done – when the CA had cured, the stabilizer assembly was inserted into the fuselage and glued in place. The rudder was then attached to the fin and fuselage.

I centered the elevator, rudder, and their respective servos before installing and securing the pushrods. My only request would be that the pushrods were slightly longer – while they are just long enough to do the job, they’re a little too short for my liking.

I attached the motor to the ‘firewall’ – a drop of Z-42 blue thread locking compound was applied to each of the screw holes in the motor. Two machine screws attach the firewall to the nose of the Park Master Pro, and four socket-head adjuster screws set the correct down and right thrust lines. I ‘eyeballed’ the thrust lines, getting them close to what I thought they might need to be – I just assumed that I’d need to adjust them after flying the ParkMaster.

Remember that green battery connector? I removed it and added an XT-60 connector – the 3S 1000 mAh Zippy Compact LiPo batteries I will be using have these connectors. I pushed the battery connector through the hole in the fuselage, and attached the ESC to the fuse with the included adhesive-backed hook n loop tape.

After verifying the correct rotation of the motor, I secured the motor wiring to the fuselage. I simply made a hole in the foam behind the spar, and used a Zip Tie to keep the wiring secure.

The Hitec Minima 6L receiver was attached to the fuselage using another piece of the included hook n loop tape. All of the servo wiring was connected to the appropriate channels – I assigned separate channels to each aileron, making it really easy to adjust one or both ailerons.

The prop adapter and propeller were installed to complete assembly of the nose.

Due to the size of my battery, I had to mount it farther aft than what the battery opening allowed. Using my razor saw, I simply removed a little more foam from the fuse before adding a piece of hook n loop tape to the opening. I was a little perplexed as to how to easily install and remove the battery packs – that was until I discovered that a hotel key card was a most-useful tool! the key card covers the hook side of the tape (the loop side is on my batteries)  and the battery was placed on top of the key card. I then slid the key card out from under the battery, and the battery was stuck in place! To remove the battery, the key card was simply worked back between the two pieces of hook n loop tape, and the battery was removed easily!

You’ll also notice that the yellow XT-60 connector is in a hole in the wing. That hole is pre-cut! The battery connector is just ‘friction fit’ into the hole, otherwise it would be very difficult to disconnect the battery without damaging the wing.

All that remained was applying the numerous decals – of course, this is optional, but I really liked the neon green, orange, and black color scheme. They really did a great job of livening up an otherwise plain white airframe! The most difficult of all the decals to install were the large ‘PRO’ decals on each side, and the one decal that covers the turtle deck behind the canopy. The rest were really easy to apply!

Photo Shoot

 

 Flight Report

After waiting for what seemed like forever, a cold, wet spring finally subsided to some nice summer days. The night we had for the maiden flight (and to shoot the video) was a little on the breezy side, with a wind speed around 7-10 MPH. We (my video pilot, Jim Buzzeo, and I) decided to put the ParkMaster in the air and see what it could do – we were quite happy with the results!

To our surprise, the ParkMaster handled the breeze quite well! The recommended power system provided ample power for an extremely short takeoff, thus negating the need for rudder correction. It simply took off! A quick aileron correction kept the breeze from pushing the plane back into the ground, and a soft elevator stick also pulled the nose up into a high-alpha position, proving that hovering was going to be painfully easy!

Another quick burst of throttle, and the ParkMaster gained altitude and was flying on its wing again – there’s definitely no shortage of power!

Almost no trim corrections were needed – two clicks of left aileron and two clicks of up elevator were all that the ParkMaster required. With the plane trimmed, it was time for some fun. Now, the ParkMaster isn’t really a ‘go-fast’ airplane – with oversized control surfaces, it’s not meant to be fast. It excels at slow flight, and is brilliant when it comes to 3D!

The ParkMaster is a very aerobatic-capable airframe, and it can handle any maneuver you can think of doing! Rolling circles were fun and easy, and walls and snaps to spins were a blast. The roll rate is blisteringly fast (straight from Jim’s mouth), making any kind of rolling maneuver awesome! With the high rates cranked way up and a lot of expo dialed in (-70 on the ailerons and -50 on the elevator using my Hitec Flash 7 transmitter) there’s really nothing that the ParkMaster cannot do! The new carbon fiber spars in the wing and fuselage add plenty of rigidity to handle the stress of these maneuvers!

One of the best things about the Parkmaster is that, by flipping the Dual Rate switch, the plane can go from wild to mild in a matter of a second. With the rates set to low and some mild expo, the ParkMaster is extremely docile! While not a perfect choice for your first low-wing plane, you could have success with the help of an instructor. As a third plane, you can own the sky!

When we decided to shoot the landing, the breeze picked up a little more, and was blowing pretty steadily around 10 MPH. After crossing the runway’s threshold, the ParkMaster just wasn’t quite ready to quit flying! it settled in to a high-alpha attitude and ‘danced’ about a third of the way down the runway before finally touching down! With that, the maiden flight was over, and we were very pleased with the ParkMaster PRO’s performance throughout!

Check out the video to see the Multiplex ParkMaster PRO in action!

Here’s a look at Multiplex’s video:

Summary

OK, so this review is in the books – assembly was straight forward without and issues, and flying it proved to be a fantastic amount of fun! The ParkMaster PRO is easy to fly in smaller spaces, and performs extremely well. The decals took a bit of time to apply, but added to the overall appeal of the airframe. Using the recommended power will leave even seasoned 3D pilots impressed. It’s an awesome plane, and I can see a lot of trips to the field with it this summer! Well done, Multiplex!

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