RCU Review: ElectriFly 52.5 inch Mister Mulligan ARF


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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: December 2011 | Views: 14477 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Electri-Fly Mr. Mulligan

    Burc
    Simsek






    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    www.electrifly.com



    The Howard DGA-6 or MisterMulligan was a very successful racer from 1930s. Mister Mulligan was most famous for winning the Bendix and the Thompson racing trophies in the same year with a top speed of 238.70 mph. It was also the only racing airframe that evolved into a commercial production aircraft.

    The ElectriFly 52.5" Mister Mulligan ARF is a great looking replica of this legendary 30s racer that is packed with great features like working flaps, a realistic replica radial engine, a hidden battery hatch, a variety of fiber glass parts and all white MonoKote covering.

    So without any further delay, lets put this racer together and head out to the field to see what it is capable of...


    • Great scale looks
    • Working flaps
    • Replica radial engine
    • Hidden battery hatch



    • None Found



    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Mister Mulligan ARF is shipped in a colorful and sturdy box that looks great even just sitting on your workbench.



    All of the components of the ARF are individually wrapped and taped down and there was no shipping damage to any of the components during shipping. The huge fuselage is taped down along the side of the box with the wings and tail section placed in a seperate compartment in the middle of the box. 

    As you remove the components and place them on your workbench, it is hard to not be affected by the size and the great looks of the fuselage. With only a small amount of components, this assembly should go together fairly quickly.




    Electri-Fly Mister Mulligan ARF

    Price: $209.97 (Accurate as of review date) 

    Key Features

    • Captures the iconic original in realistic detail with a replica radial, working flaps, a "hidden" battery hatch and painted fiberglass parts.
    • Sized for transportation ease ? and easy handling in a breeze.
    • A prebuilt balsa airframe, painted fiberglass parts and factory-applied MonoKote® film contribute to fast assembly and superb good looks.
    • Perfect for intermediate pilots with a taste for scale looks and electric easy access cowl, wheel pants and painted composite landing gear.

    Overview

    It was known as the Howard DGA-6 at the factory, but to everyone else, it was simply the Mr. Mulligan. In the mid-'30s, it enjoyed two noteworthy descriptions. First, it was the only plane ever designed solely to win the coveted Bendix Trophy ? and second, it was the only plane to win the Bendix Trophy and the Thompson Trophy in the same year. Now, ElectriFly has recreated the all-time racing great in detail as an all-electric replica and impressive, 52" span sport scale flyer!

    Specs

    Wingspan: 52.5 in 
    Length: 41.5 in 
    Flying Weight: 5.25-5.75 lb
    Wing Area: 441 in2 
    Wing Loading: 27-30 oz/ft2 
    Radio Requirements: Minimum 4-channel, 4-5 servos
    Recommended Electric Motor*: ElectriFly42-50-800kV Outrunner
    Recommended ESC* : 45A 
    Recommended Battery*: 14.8V 4S3350mAh Battery and 12x8 propeller






    One of the first things that you will grab your attention is the advertised "hidden" hatch for the battery. The canopy is held in place by powerful magnets and is easily removed by pulling straight up allowing generous access to the battery tray. The  landing gear look great and the wheel pants have already been drilled for you. The cowl will be attached to the fuselage with hidden screws to preserve the scale looks of the airframe. The replica radial engine and the small bag of plastic parts that will act as the push rod tubes are waiting to be assembled and placed on the airframe.





    The horizontal and the vertical stabilizer have the covering already removed where you will need to apply glue which will save you time during assembly. All of the control surfaces have already been pre-hinged for you. For this review, I have been supplied with a RimFire 0.32, a SilverSeries 45A ESC, A FlightPower 4S3350mAh battery and 6 x Futaba S3115 servos which are all the recommended components to complete the ARF.




    Manual


    The ElectriFly Mister Mulligan ARF manual is very nice and describes the assembly with great detail. Installation steps are clearly documented and illustrated to help in assembling the ARF as quickly and correctly as possible. The CG location (57mm back from the leading edge) and the recommended control throws are clearly documented.

    Download the manual 

    Important Tech Notice



    The assembly of the Mister Mulligan ARF starts with the wings. The flap and aileron servo bay covers are removed in preparation of gluing the wooden blocks.

    The bay covers are pre-marked with locations that will fit the Futaba S3115 servos perfectly. Once you position the hard wood blocks, it is just a simple matter of just mixing up some epoxy and gluing them in place.

    The Futaba 3115 servos are mounted in place for the ailerons and the flaps.

    The aileron servo leads are routed through the wing using the string that is already placed through the wing. I used a 12" servo extension to bring the servo lead out the side of the wing.    

    The control horn locations have to be marked and drilled. The manual recommends that you mark your drill bit so you do not go through the top of the aileron as you drill since the screws will not go all the way through the aileron.

    I used my drill to screw in the control rods to the clevises making quick work of all the rods.

    Electronics

    Overview

    The original 8FG was already the best 2.4GHz radio value available. Now, for the same cost, the 8FG Super offers six additional channels ? plus new software with menus tailored to Futaba's super-fast CGY750 gyro. Recommended by Bobby Watts, Matt Botos and Kyle Stacy, it's the first radio that really supports flybarless helicopters. And it's perfect for all other applications, too...a smart choice for ANY forward-looking flier.

    Key Features

    • Expanded with 14 total transmitter channels ? 12 proportional and two switched.
    • Included R6208SB receiver's PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) channels support up to 8 standard analog or digital servos ? and it handles up to 18 channels when used with an S.Bus system.
    • Gyro menu supports 3-axis gyros and is perfectly tailored to the CGY750.
    • User menu allows pilots to customize and display frequently used functions.
    • VPP (Variable Pitch Propeller) compatibility can be set to three conditions for throttle and pitch curve.
    • Swash trim can be adjusted from the swash screen.
    • SensorTouch? programming maximizes navigation ease.
    • Numerous factory-defined mixes help you program like a pro.
    • Low latency and cutting-edge 2048 resolution combine for fast, accurate Real-Time Response?.
    • Accepts 32MB to 2GB SD memory cards* ? add as much memory as you want.

    Key Features

    • High sensitivity receiver weighs only .25oz (7g) without case yet is a full range system for all aircraft from giant scale to park flyer applications-no need to buy separate receiver for
      specific aircraft
    • Simple one-touch linking - no plugs to mess with or loose 
    • Dual Antenna Diversity allows 2.4GHz FASST Futaba transmitter to select the best reception between the two receiver antennas with no signal loss
    • Rubber grommets installed where antennas exit to eliminate stress and fraying of the two antenna wires
    • One year limited warranty

    Key Features

    • Ideal for electric planes and small electric helis
    • Nylon gears
    • One year warranty

    Specs

    Speed: 0.10 sec@60o  (4.8V) - 0.09 sec@60o (6.0V)
    Torque: 21 oz-in (1.5 kg/cm) (4.8V) - 24 oz-in (1.7 kg.cm) (6.0V)
    Dimensions: 7/8 x 7/16 x 13/16" (22x11x20 mm)





    With the servos in place, the control horns for the ailerons have to be installed. This is achieved by locating the hard mount inside the aileron, then marking and drilling the location to allow the two sheet metal screws to bolt into the control horn backing plate on the other side. The connection to the servo arm is then made by using a 90 degree push rod connector. 





    With the servos completed, the wing pieces are glued together using epoxy. Note that the servo leads are routed through the small holes towards the middle of the wing. If you look inside the fuselage, there is a painted piece of wood which will hide the electronics from sight. This has to be removed to allow access to installing the landing gear.





    The landing gear is simply bolted in place from inside he fuselage. The addendum to the manual shows that some ARFs might have been shipped with small pieces of tape covering the holes which have to be removed first. Once the gear is attached to the fuselage, the axles are bolted on and filed flat in locations where the wheel collars will sit. The wheels are installed between two wheel collars and the wheel pants can be attached but the manual recommends that you do that last so that is what I did.





    The tail assembly starts with the installation of the horizontal stabilizer. This is a very easy process that involves removing the small piece of balsa in the tail and sliding the stabilizer in place. I used some epoxy to glue in both stabilizers and made sure that the assembly would dry nice and straight by clamping the wood around the vertical stabilizer.





    The tail wheel is inserted from the bottom of the fuselage. The L-bend of the tail wheel will protrude from the gap that has already been cut for you allowing you to install the rudder in place with CA hinges. Note that the rudder is the only surface that has to be hinged as all of the other surfaces are ready to go out of the box. With the tail assembled, all that is left is to install the control horns and make the connections to the servos.





    The elevator and rudder servo are housed inside the fuselage and the manual recommends that you use the 90 degree locking connectors to make the connection to the control arms. I used a handy Z-bend pliers to make nice Z-bends instead of the provided connectors mainly because I was not able to get a nice 90 degree bend in the connector inside the fuselage. The 45A ESC is then mounted to the side of the battery tray and the R617FS receiver can be mounted inside the fuselage. I used two Y-connectors for the ailerons and the flaps.

    Power System

    Key Features

    • For Sport airplanes up to 6.5lbs (2950g) and 3D airplanes up to 4lbs (1845g)
    • Designed for explosive acceleration and maximum torque eliminating the need for a gearbox
    • Lightened aluminum can houses high torque rare earth Neodymium magnets
    • Double shielded bearings
    • Virtually maintenance-free; no commutators or brushes to wear out
    • Two year quality guarantee

    Specs

    Diameter: 1.7" (42 mm)
    Length: 2.0" (50 mm)
    kV: 800
    Constant Watts: 850W
    Burst Watts: 1480
    Weight: 8 oz (198 g)


    Key Features

    • Great for medium to larger higher performance airplanes
    • Delivers 45A of continuous current and 50A of surge current
    • Includes a powerful 2.0A BEC, which handles the receiver and 3 or 4 standard servos
    • Very simple to use, with on/off brake and Safe Start

    Dimensions: 2.76x1.30x0.39" (70x33x10 mm)
    Weight: 1.76oz (50 g)
    Input Voltage: 2-4 cell LiPo
    Output Current: 45A continuous, 50A surge
    Max Output Power: 500

    The recommended RimFire 0.32 motor mounts easily on to the pre-drilled location on the firewall .



    The replica radial engine installation is next. This is honestly the only part of this assembly that takes a little bit of time to do right. The hole in the center has to be enlarged to fit over the RimFire prop adapter. 

    To install the push rod tubes four holes per cylinder have to be carefully drilled. The manual recommends that you use a hobby knife to score the plastic so that you have a nice starting point for the drill which works out quite well in application.





    With all of the holes drilled, the push rod tubes are inserted in place. I found that it was easier to insert them from the inside and push them in place by guiding them with my other hand. Once all of the push rod tubes are installed, they can be glued in place from the rear of the assembly with some CA so the glue points are not visible. The next step involves the removal of the plastic pieces between the cylinder heads. I used the small sanding drum of my Dremel kit to easily remove and shape the plastic. 





    The resulting assembly simply looks gorgeous. It can then be glued in place inside the cowling using some medium CA. To attach the cowling to the fuselage, the cowl has to be glued to the wooden ring after it has been bolted to the fuselage. To make sure you do not get epoxy on the fuselage, the manual recommends that you mask off the whole fuselage using the plastic that it was shipped in. Once everything is securely masked off, epoxy is used to attach the cowl to the ring and allowed to cure after making sure that the alignment is correct.





    The resulting cowl with the ring glued in place can then be further strengthened by applying some epoxy to the inside of the ring. The cowl can then be bolted back in place using the four hidden bolts. At this point, I also bolted the wheel pants on using two bolts per side.





    The recommended pilot is the Great Planes 1/5th scale sport pilot. The pilot has to be cut down to size a little to get it to fit inside the hatch and can then be epoxied in place. The final assembly steps involve making the servo connections to the ailerons and flaps and bolting the wings on. The struts can then be screwed in place and the optional door drawn using the template that is provided in the last page of the manual. 





    The maiden flight of the Mister Mulligan ARF happened to land on a clear but windy day in Houston. We headed out to Scobee field and performed the short field assembly which involves making the aileron and flap servo connections, bolting the wing on and attaching the struts. After double checking that the control surfaces were dialed in according to the throws documented in the manual and that the CG was within the recommended range, we were ready for the first flight.

    With the field emptied out upon request for a photo shoot, we were ready to take the Mister Mulligan ARF through the paces and grab some nice photos of it doing so. Since it was a windy day, I did not try to taxi around too much in fear that the wind would flip the airframe on the ground so I simply lined her up manually centered on the runway and applied throttle for the first take off. As the Mister Mulligan gained speed, it quickly lifted its tail and it was not soon after that it started to gently lift off. I noticed a tendency to bank right on take off which I learned to compensate for but I was not sure if it was the airframe or the wind that day. 

    On later days when the wind was not a factor, I discovered that the recommended rudder throws limits the ground steering a little even on high rates so I decided to increase the highest rate a little to gain better steering control strictly when on the ground.

    Once in the air, a couple of clicks of trim was all that was required to get the Mister Mulligan ARF was flying straight and true. I was actually very pleased with its performance after a few short circuits and immediately felt comfortable enough to bring her low over the runway for some nice photo opportunities. I did not really discover any bad manners worth reporting on as I put it through the paces of its flight envelope. The Mister Mulligan ARF flew more on the lines of sport plane rather than a hard to fly scale airframe in my opinion as I was able to do rolls, loop and even inverted flight without any issues.

    What pleased me the most about flying the Mister Mulligan ARF was the sound the airframe made as it cut through the air with authority. It is hard to describe but it felt like I was flying a much larger airframe as it sped by me on low and banked approaches. The speed that the RimFire 0.32 allows on this airframe can probably be classified as scale like as it is fast enough to thrill,l but probably will not be your go to plane for all out speed runs. I think the Mister Mulligan ARF really deserves to be flown in a scale like manner and flown low and fast to truly allow you to appreciate the great scale looks and the sound it makes as it carves its way through the air.

    For the first couple of flights, I set the timer to six minutes to make sure I would not run out of power mid flight. On successive flights, I was able to increase this time to 8 minutes easily. I also had some 4S5000mAh batteries on hand which are slightly heavier than the recommended pack which I used without any major CG issues.

    As far as the flaps performance, I noticed that the first time I deployed the flaps the Mister Mulligan ARF reacted by gaining some altitude as the manual clearly stated. However, I did not have to mix in any flaps to elevator compensation as the effect quickly wore off and the Mister Mulligan ARF settled in for a nice slower flight envelope with the flaps deployed to their max settings as recommended by the manual. The flaps really do a good job of slowing the Mister Mulligan ARF down for graceful landings that are very easy to perform. 

    Check out the video to see her in action!





    Electri-Fly Mister Mulligan ARF (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc Simsek and David Smith)


















    The Mister Mulligan ARF is a very  nice airframe indeed. With a short and pleasurable assembly process, it does not take much to get the Mister Mulligan ready to fly and if you want to go all out you should definitely spend the time in preparing the radial engine per the manual and perhaps even spend the extra time to detail the cylinders with some paint. 

    The performance of the Mister Mulligan ARF is more towards the sport airplane territory rather than the hard to fly scale replicas. The airframe presents very nicely in the air and the sound it makes as it cuts through the air has to be heard to be appreciated. It can perform many basic acrobatic maneuvers with easy but looks the best on full throttle low level flight in my opinion.

    I remember when I first saw the Electri-Fly Mister Mulligan ARF that I was truly taken by its scale looks. After getting the chance to assemble it and put it through its paces in the air, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for scale airframes.






    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    www.electrifly.com



    Futaba Corporation of America
    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Phone: (217) 398-8970
    Website: www.futaba-rc.com 


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    Distributed by Frank Tiano Ent.

    3607 Ventura Drive E.
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    Phone 863-607-6611

    www.franktiano.com

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    13953 SW 140 Street
    Miami, Florida 33186
    Phone: (800) 888-2467

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    http://www.bcflyers.com/


    Comments on RCU Review: ElectriFly 52.5 inch Mister Mulligan ARF

    Posted by: kwm1953 on 12/11/2011
    I like the plane, flies well, only problem I have is the dummy engine. Had an accident with mine that required replacing the cowl and engine. Replacements were awful. Cowl was full of paint runs and the dummy engine was clear plastic painted black, paint was not sticking and falling off in the packaging. Original dummy engine that came with the kit was black plastic, replacements are garbage. Contacted Great Planes and was told they would try to find a good set to send me, still waiting a month later.
    Page: 1
    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.

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