RCU Review: The Wing Maker Handy King 40

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: June 2012 | Views: 22641 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Wings Maker Handy King EP 40 Combo


    4749 - K, Bennett Drive,
    Livermore CA 94551
    Tel: (925) 371 0922

    You may recognize the looks of the Handy King from a few years back when a 36" airframe named "The Handyman" was released and reviewed here at RCU by Mike Buzzeo. The recently released Handy King seems to be a larger version of the Handyman and is available in both what the World Models calls "Kit" and "Pre-assembled Combo" versions. The Kit version is essentially and ARF which requires all electronics to be provided by the user where as the pre-assembled combo arrives with a motor, four SV3031 servos, propeller and spinner. The user will have to supply a receiver, 40A ESC and a flight battery.

    The overall shape of the Handy King 40 suggests that it is a hybrid between a pattern and 3D airframe. The long sleek and narrow fuselage along with the air foiled tail suggest that it should perform well in the precision department where as the over sized control surfaces suggest that it should be able to 3D just as well. Being a fan of both flight styles, when the opportunity to review the Handy King 40 came up, I signed myself up to the task to see how it would perform in both departments. So lets unpack the pre-assembled combo version, put it together, take it out to the field and see what the fuss is all about...

    • Good hybrid performance
    • Pre-installed servos and motor
    • Air foiled horizontal and vertical stabilizers
    • Magnetic hatch for quick battery change
    • Propeller and spinner included

    • Wire landing gear vibrations on landing

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Handy King 40 pre-assembled combo arrives in a sturdy box.

    The few components required to assemble the Handy King have been individually wrapped and taped down and I was glad to see that there was no damage to the components during shipment. I was impressed to see that the control horns had been pre-attached and protected with small blue pieces of foam.

    With all of the components removed from the box, you can see that there are only a handful of components which should make your time from bench to the air a short one.

    The World Models Handy King 40 EP

    Price: $229.99 (Combo) - $109.99 (Kit)

    Key Features

    • Factory pre-installed 4 Mini Servos SV3031
    • Brushless Outrunner Motor 37/48 Deluxe KM0374810
    • Propeller Adaptor HW2340102


    Wingspan: 46.5 in (1,180 mm)
    Length: 52 in (1,320 mm)
    Flying Weight: 53 oz (1,500 g)
    Wing Area: 565 in2 (36.4 dm2)
    Radio Requirements: Minimum 4-channel
    Recommended ESC* : 40A 
    Recommended Battery*: 14.8V 4S3200 mAh Battery

    The pre-assembled combo version arrives (removed for illustration) with the KM0374810 brushless motor which is rated at 450W by the manufacturer. The front of the fuselage contains a battery hatch that is secured by two powerful magnets. Removing the hatch, you will find the pre-installed motor to the front of the battery bay which already has a Velcro tie for the flight battery. The main gear arrives with the wheels already mounted and is a single wire piece which is inserted into the wooden reinforced slot on the bottom of the fuselage.

    The wings arrive with the aileron servos pre-attached, wired and ready to go out of the box. The provided servos are the TWM SV3031 which are good for 0.16 sec/60 degree transition time and 2.3 kg/cm torque at 4.8V which should more than suffice for this airframe. The horizontal and vertical stabs are air foiled and the control horns along with the tail wheel have been pre-attached for you.

    The tail wheel looks pretty sturdy at first glance and should do a good job of steering the Handy King around and absorbing those less than stellar or more forceful harrier landings. Two sheets of decal sheets are supplied with the Handy King. There are two color options which are yellow and gray available during purchase. A quick assembly of the components gave me a glance of what the completed airframe would look like and I have to say I could not wait to get on with the assembly and take the Handy King out to the field.


    The Handy King manual is a well illustrated step through of how the plane is assembled. Though it lacks verbal descriptions of the process, the illustrations are clear and it should not be a problem for the user to follow along to arrive at the final product without any issues. For the pre-assembled version, many of the steps have already been done for you.

    Download the manual

    The assembly starts by running some tape over the aileron hinge locations. The tape is provided with the ARF and I found that cutting the tape in smaller pieces made the process significantly simpler.

    The same tape is used to stiffen the elevator hinge.

    The rudder also gets the tape treatment. Note that the tail wheel is already attached in the pre-assembled version.



    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.

    With all the hinges taped up, the horizontal stabilizer assembly is epoxied in the tail followed by the vertical stabilizer. In a mater of minutes, the tail section is ready to go.

    The main gear is inserted in a wooden slot under the fuselage. A wood retainer is then inserted and screwed in place. Two foam pieces are then glued on to the wire struts and the Handy King is up on its feet in no time.

    Since the elevator and rudder servos, along with the control horns, have been pre-attached, all that remains is to install the control rods and adjust the clevises. The wings are installed on a carbon fiber wing tube and are held in place using rubber bands. A special tool is provided to allow you to pull the rubber band through the fuselage and hook it to the other wing. The task seems daunting at first but using the special tool, it took me only a few minutes to get the wings on. I did notice that even with two rubber bands, I was able to pull the wings out so I decided to glue them in place as I do not plan to take them off for transportation. Additional rubber bands could be use to make the fit a little tighter if desired.

    The pre-assembled combo arrives with the motor but requires the user to provide a receiver and ESC. I used an E-flite 40A ESC and a Futaba R617FS receiver and made the required connections before binding the system to my Futaba T8FG and making sure the propeller was spinning the right direction. A special connector is supplied to make the ESC motor connection but I found that I can simply insert the female bullet connectors of the ESC to the motor connector without having to attach this extra piece. The ESC is then inserted through the cooling hole in the front and can be secured in place using double sided tape or Velcro.

    I mounted the R617FS receiver in the fuselage using double sided tape and routed the ESC lead through an opening to the front of the battery compartment. I had to use a small servo extender to reach the receiver on the throttle but overall the installation was simple and clean. The final step was to install the provided prop and spinner. The cuts in the spinner have to be enlarged a little to properly accommodate the provided propeller which can easily be accomplished using a rotary grinder. The complete assembly took me less than an hour. The provided decals have to be cut and can be attached to the fuselage following a detailed illustration in the manual. Each decal is clearly numbered to avoid confusion. It took me longer to cut and apply the decals than to assemble and setup the airframe but the results were worth it in my opinion as the decals really help in adding some visual interest to the stock yellow paint.

    The maiden flight of the Handy King happened to land on a clear and calm January day in Houston with the temperature hovering around 70F and negligible winds. With a wing span of 46", I was able to easily transport the Handy King without having to remove the wings so field assembly was a non issue. Once at the field, we ran through the usual pre-flight checks and prepared the Handy King for its first flight. 

    The recommended battery is a 4S3200mAh battery which I already had in my stock from other projects. The battery fits in the front of the fuselage on its side without any issues but I did find that with the battery placed around the mid position, the Handy King did balance a little on the tail heavy side. I decided to give it a try before adding any further weight to the nose to bring the CG spot on to the recommended location. A quick application of our Watt meter showed the engine producing 540W and drawing a steady 38A from the battery at full charge.

    Once we had the field to ourselves during a null of the regular flying activity at the field, we rolled the Handy King out on to the field for the maiden flight. Ground handling with the steerable tail wheel did not pose any issues. After applying throttle and watching the Handy King pick up speed and its tail off the ground,  I applied a touch of elevator and the Handy King was airborne and climbing towards its first turn. After applying some trim and achieving level flight, the fun began where we started to explore what the Handy King had to offer in terms of sport, precision and 3D capabilities.

    Flown as a sport plane, the Handy King will definitely please most as it provides a wide flight  envelope ranging from super slow and controlled flight to wide open throttle and what seems like unlimited acrobatics. I had used the recommended control throws as my second level rates with low rates for precision and maxed out rates for 3D. Using the second level rates, I was able to track through loops and rolls nicely without any nasty tendencies to snap or stall. 

    Dropping to low rates, I put the Handy King through some verticals and point rolls and did not see any major issues. There is minimal correction required during point rolls and up lines seemed to be pretty straight indicating that the side thrust of the motor is about right. The slightly tail heavy configuration did result in a good amount of down elevator being required for inverted flight. Knife edge flight is where the Handy King seems to shine with the wide fuselage providing a good amount of lift to allow for slow and controlled knife edge passes over the runway. There was coupling from the rudder to both roll and pitch but not significant enough to make me want to mix it out.

    After flipping the rates to high and experimenting with the 3D capabilities of the Handy King, I was pleased to find that there was minimal wing rock in upright harriers and the Handy King was a very easy airframe to perform inverted harriers on. When it comes to hovering, I initially noticed a tendency to drop towards the right, but after a few attempts, I was able to get steady and low hovering action a couple of inches off the ground, The provided motor is more than capable of pulling out of a hover when commanded and does not really induce a lot of torque on the airframe when stalled out. I did find that I had some difficulty getting flat spins perfectly flat.

    After flying for around 8 minutes, I landed and put the battery on charge and was surprised to find that I had only consumed 1.6A from the pack. On further flights, I was able to extend the flight time to ~10 minutes and still stay within the %80 margin of the battery which always came out cool to the touch. 

    When it came to landing, I did notice that the wire struts do oscillate a good amount unless you approach and touch down perfectly straight which is usually hard to do in cross wind situations. I think some stiffening of the struts might alleviate this issue but so far it has not been bad enough for me to do anything about it.

    Check out the video to see her in action!

    Handy King 40 EP (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc Simsek and David Smith)

    I think that the Handy King 40 EP is a pretty nice airplane which can be appreciated by a wide variety of pilots. It is big enough to present nicely in the air but small enough to fit in the back of a car or SUV without having to take the wings off. I have to admit that the color scheme does take some getting used to but there is no question about its visibility which is a nice plus.

    In terms of performance, the Handy King is an airframe that can fly a wide envelope ranging from sport to 3D. I think the performance of the Handy King will please most and will make a nice "go to" plane. I was impressed by the performance of the KM0374810 motor in terms of power and the flight duration that it provided. About the only thing that I can find fault on this airframe was the main gear where it would vibrate quite forcefully upon less than perfect touch downs.

    Overall, I was rather pleased with the Handy King and can recommend it as nice mid sized sport/pattern/3D hybrid that is easy to assembly and a pleasure to fly.

    4749 - K, Bennett Drive,
    Livermore CA 94551
    Tel: (925) 371 0922


    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 

    ZAP and Pacer Adhesives
    Distributed by Frank Tiano Ent.

    3607 Ventura Drive E.
    Lakeland, Florida 33811
    Phone 863-607-6611


    Welcome to Hobby People Stores!
    Newton Supply Company
    13953 SW 140 Street
    Miami, Florida 33186
    Phone: (800) 888-2467


    17260 Westheimer Parkway
    Houston, TX 77082


    Comments on RCU Review: The Wing Maker Handy King 40

    Posted by: jetpassion on 06/11/2012
    So you saying on your test flight the plane was tail heavy and flyng inverted you had to aply some down elevator ? May be you want to review that...
    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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