Kit with hardware
Great ARF value and looks
Wing Incidence Guides
Parts Bags Numbered
Superb Covering &
Pants Require Alignment
Wings Maker - Ultimate 40
40 performance biplane from The
Wings Maker is now available on-line. It is made from top
quality balsa and plywood construction and comes with all hardware
and accessories. The built-up upper and lower one-piece wings
comes with premium hand iron-on covering film in an exciting new
be converting this .40-size model to clean and quiet electric
power for my review.
Radio Required : 4-channel radio w/ 3 standard servos and 1
Top quality balsa and plywood construction
Light weight but strong for aerobatics maneuvers
Painted fiberglass cowling and wheel pants
Built-up one-piece wings with symmetrical airfoil
All necessary hardware included
Ultimate 40 ARF comes very well protected in its box and every part
is sealed in plastic. The plane is beautifully covered and detailed.
The kit includes built-up upper and lower one-piece wings and an incidence
guide set for checking the alignment between the two wings.
fiberglass cowl is painted and comes with a plastic guide for cutting
sections away when a glow engine is used. The wheels, fiberglass pants,
spinner, and fuel tank are also included. The opaque canopy eliminates
the need for a pilot.
13-page manual with detailed drawings and a decal sheet are also included.
The manual reveals detailed linkage assembly and instructions to properly
set incidences. It clearly states the proper throws and CG settings.
opening the large bag of parts, it was nice to see the smaller bags
with numbers on them that matched the instruction steps in the manual.
This makes it easy to find the right set of parts for each step and
is a nice feature from The Wings Maker!
closer look at the fuselage revealed the solid but light construction
techniques. A hardwood slat keeps the vertical stabilizer channel safe
from breakage during shipment. Blue dots mark where the covering should
be cut for the horizontal stabilizer.
firewall has pre-mounted T-nuts for the supplied glow engine mount.
T-nuts are also pre-installed for the gear mains and securing lower
power system components for my Ultimate will consist of an AXI
outrunner motor, a 60-amp ESC like the E-flite EFLA1060
Pro Brushless ESC or FlightTech 60A
ESC, a new FlightPower EON28
6s 3350mAh LiPo pack, and APC 11x7 e-prop.
Ultimate 40 target weight is 90oz (5.6lbs) including the 18oz
Lithium pack. The static current should be around 53amps for
a power level of around 1100 watts using an APC 11x7 e-prop.
The target power to weight ratio will be about 1100w/5.5lbs
= 200w/lb. This will really make the Ultimate 40 perform well
without stressing the components. The EON28 3350mAh pack can
deliver up to 94 amps continuous and we should only be drawing
in the mid-50s.
advantage of using a single 6s pack is that it allows you
to recharge the battery in the plane without needing more
than a single MPI arming switch to disconnect the battery
from the ESC. This can be done safely by using a smart balancing
charger like the FMA Cellpro
using two packs in series, you must either charge only
one pack at a time or break the series link between the
packs in order to charge them at the same time using two
chargers powered by a single car battery. If you don't
do this, then a ground loop will exist and damage one
or both chargers. In essence, you need to use two of the
MPI arming switches or have some access hatch to disconnect
the Dean's Ultra connectors; one from the ESC and one
from the other pack in series
smaller scale planes like this Ultimate 40, it is often
difficult to remove the lower wing to recharge during
flights. I have found it much easier to assemble the plane
once for the weekend and recharge the battery inside the
plane between flights.
mount the electric motor, the stock metric T-nuts were first
removed and then #8-32 T-nuts installed into the new positions
marked from the AXI radial mount. I used 1" (HLH8855),
1/2" (HLH8854), 1/4" (HLH8853) spacers, and 3"
(HLH8875) #3-32 screws from Hobby Lobby. Note that two 1"
spacers would likely work here as well but I prefer to have
the cowl in tight against the fuselage.
APC 11x7 e-prop was mounted with the supplied spinner. All hardware
was included for the cowl and spinner.
Ultimate 40 will be easy to arm using the MPI 6970
High Current Arming Switch. I am also adding an anti-spark feature
to keep the arming pin from getting pitted. Any electric power
system using a 6s LiPo voltage or higher creates a sizable spark
when connecting the battery to the ESC. This can be eliminated
by first connecting a 100ohm 1w resistor across the line to
charge the ESC capacitors and then connect the battery via an
arming switch or direct Dean's Ultra plug.
my E-flite ESC came with an On/Off switch, I decided to use
it for the anti-spark switch instead. It is not a fail-safe
On/Off design for the ESC so it poses a weak link that could
turn off the radio system in flight if the switch ever went
bad. By removing the switch and soldering the On/Off wires together
on the ESC, it will always remain on as long as power is applied.
ESC was mounted to the bottom of the fuselage through a slot
I created with a Dremel tool. It is held in place with servo
tape on the top side and a wedge of balsa CA'ed inside the fuselage
to keep it from moving. I will be creating an opening in the
cowl for air to pass by the ESC as it exits. In this manner,
air flow from the front of the cowl will cool both the motor
and ESC. Additional holes into the fuselage will help cool the
battery where an air exit will be made in the bottom tail.
arm the system, simply turn ON the switch and then plug in the
arming pin...spark free!
assembly starts with the lower wing. The ailerons were attached
with Zap thin CA on the hinges and a small amount of 5-minute
epoxy where the control arm inserts into the aileron. The thin
CA soaks into the fiber hinges and then into the balsa slots for
added strength so remember not to use any CA kicker accelerator
on this step.
used a Hobbico CS-35
Mini BB Servo for the aileron control. This high power (54
oz-in) mini servo weighs only an ounce and will easily move all
four ailerons on the Ultimate. All the linkage was supplied including
the keepers. The upper wing ailerons were then CA'ed in place.
Both wings already come with the strut cabanes glued in place.
horizontal stabilizer is glued in place first, followed by the
vertical stabilizer. The fins already have the covering removed
so they can be glued with either thin CA, epoxy, or white glue.
elevator halves and rudder are attached by the hinge material,
via the pre-made slots, and then secured in place with thin CA.
I had no alignment issues and the pieces all fit well.
tailwheel assembly was complete and easy to install. I drilled
2mm holes for the screws and rudder hole. The holes were coated
with some thin CA before installing the assembly and I used Pacer
Z-42 thread locker on the set screws before tightening them. Remember
to slide the one wheel collar against the plastic base before
tightening it so that it helps absorb shock on landings.
elevator control rods are combined together using the supplied
joiner. Each end is bent at a right angle to keep it from slipping
out under force. I used Pacer Z-42 thread locker on the three
nuts before tightening them in place.
elevator and rudder control horns were mounted into the pre-drilled
holes of the control surfaces. All the hardware was supplied and
the pre-mounted tubing ends even had the fuselage covering sliced
at the opening so the control rods could slide through. This provided
a very clean look. However, I needed to open the holes in the
control horns for the clevises using a 5/64" bit. All three
clevises were installed into the second hole from the outside
or second farthest from the control surface.
other ends of the elevator and rudder control rods attach to standard
size digital servos. The supplied keepers create a simple yet
secure connection to the servo arm. The unused position was for
the glow engine throttle servo.
hardwood platform was then glued in place with epoxy. It was supported
on the bottom by short blocks glued to the fuselage top. I then
covered the platform with a Velcro strip which was securely CA'ed
in place. My 6-cell EON28 3350mAh pack fit perfectly as it was
supported on all sides. A small piece of flooring foam will be
wedged in between the LiPo pack and the hardwood slat I used to
reinforce the former.
gear mains assembly started by mounting the wheels and pants.
I needed to sand the one side of the wheel hub about a 1/4"
down with my Dremel tool for a perfect fit inside the pant. All
the hardware is supplied and fit well but the pants to not have
pre-drilled holes so you need to align them yourself.
mains screwed into pre-mounted T-nuts in the fuselage. I use Pacer
Z-24 thread locker on the grub screw collars and the three screws
holding the mains to the fuselage. My Ultimate 40 could finally
stand on its own wheels.
The canopy comes with pre-drilled holes and a roll of double-sided
tape for east installation. The rubber eyelets keep the canopy
plastic from cracking and the double-sided tape provides a good
seal to prevent wind from entering along the front and sides.
The lower wing aligned itself with the pre-installed wooden dowel
on the leading edge and the pre-drilled hole in the hardwood plate
on the trailing edge. The seam was perfect and the wing was held
securely in place with a single M4x25 screw into a pre-installed
T-nut in the fuselage.
that an air exit opening was cut into the cowl bottom with my
Incidence and Cabanes:
one of the more difficult aspects of assembling (or building)
a muscle bipe like an Ultimate was to install the wings and
align them properly. The Wings Maker Ultimate 40 eliminates
most of this work by using labeled cabanes and wing incidence
first installing the center cabanes, using the labeled numbers
and arrows for proper position, the top wing is held perfectly
in place using the wing incidence templates. Not only are the
top cabanes and wing incidence templates marked with arrows,
so is the white center cabanes. If you hold them up to light,
you can see the arrow construction in the wood marking the correct
side to point up. These clever assembly techniques, combined
with all the included hardware, make mounting the wings and
cabanes a snap!
final step of assembly was to install the linkages for the upper
ailerons. All the supplied hardware and pin holes in the ailerons
made this step much easier.
My Ultimate 40 was RTF at 90oz (5.6lbs) including the 18oz Lithium
pack. I measured 60amps static current (or 1300 watts) with
my AXI 4120/14 using an APC 11x7 e-prop. My 6-cell FlightPower
EON28 3350mAh 28C pack can deliver 94amps continuous so it will
not be getting stressed. My power to weight ratio was 1300w/5.5lbs
Ultimate 40 flew very well and the AXI 4120 provided enough
power to knife edge at half-throttle. Full throttle was rarely
used. We flew several flights with mixed aerobatics for around
7 minutes each. The only issue we had was with my old FMA digital
servos lagging behind the pilot elevator control. I will replace
them with new JR DS-821 digital servos.
saw no bad tendencies in flight and landings were relatively
easy. The video of the Ultimate is with 10-15mph winds. We had
plenty of power and the wind didn't really affect the flight.
The combination smaller prop on a 6s Lithium pack really makes
the Ultimate 40 nice and fast. As you can see in the video,
my Ultimate 40 tore up the sky!
Ultimate design is known as a "Muscle Bipe" because
of its extreme aerobatic capability. They fly fast and land
hot. The smaller span models under a 40" wingspan are the
most difficult to handle usually due to high wingloading. In
recent years, lighter construction techniques have allowed the
40" span bipes to become less of a handful to fly and land.
The Wings Maker Ultimate 40 design is in this new category.
intermediate flying skills are needed to handle this bipe as
it is designed to fly very well and land slower with some low
power required until touchdown. The key to a good flying aerobatic
bipe is to have proper incidences and sufficient power. The
Wings Maker light ARF design and incidence guides make the task
a whole lot easier.
a .40-size glow engine will provide sufficient power, a .50-size
engine makes the Ultimate 40S very spirited! For a glow-to-electric
conversion, having around 200 watts per pound provides great
performance that is both clean and quiet. A motor in the 1000+
watt power class is recommended.
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.