Graupner HoTTrigger 1400 V2 ARF – Part One: Assembly



OK, I have to admit that this isn’t how I planned to do this review……..

So before you get mad and say,  “A two-part review on a foam airplane? This guy is NUTS”, please hear me out! Some of you may know that I live in Minnesota – or as we call it during winter “MinnSNOWta”. This state is definitely living up to it’s name this year! As a result, we have gotten so much snow in the last few weeks, that I have more than two feet of this white stuff in my back yard. At this point, my only hope is a slow warm up in the spring to avoid flooding in our neighborhood. With that said, I will be getting myself and several planes to the field (or any other suitable flying spot) just as soon as we thaw out a bit. In the meantime, I’m going to tell you about the new Graupner HoTTrigger 1400 V2 !

For those of you unfamiliar with the HoTTrigger 1400, this airplane combines the best of the Edge 540 and the Extra 330SC designs into to one HoTT (see what I did there) machine! It’s molded in SOLIDPOR foam and is quite resilient. Interested? Read on to find out more about the HoTTrigger 1400 V2


Name:   Graupner HoTTrigger 1400 V2 Competition PNP

Price:   $259.90 USD (Accurate at time of review publication)

Where to Purchase:

Link to Product:

Wingspan:   1400 mm   (55.12 in)

Length:   1350 mm   (53.15 in)

Weight:   1700 g   (59.96 oz)

Wing Airfoil:   NACA 63-A mod

Stabilizer Airfoil:   NACA 008


Upgraded hardware and design

Easy access to battery compartment

Carbon tube for main wing

Included pilot bust

Aluminum main landing gear

Detachable rudder and stabilizer

Custom ball link control horns

Quick wing lock assembly (no screws)

Optional creative designs with supplied decals

Controls: Aileron, Rudder, Elevator, Motor

V2 Upgrades

Since this is version two, there must be an original. What makes this one better? I’m glad you asked!

Stronger 800kV motor with 5mm shaft!

Improved motor mount and motor attachment!

All metal gear servos!

New decal scheme!

Required to Complete

4-5 Channel transmitter and Receiver

4S 2200 mAh LiPo Battery and charger

Equipment Used for Completion

I used my Graupner mz-32 to set up and control the HoTTrigger 1400 – with 32 channels, it’s a bit of overkill, but I do love this transmitter. You can check out my review of this radio system here:   RCU Review – Graupner mz-32. A six channel gr-12 receiver and a 4S 2200 mAh LiPo battery wrap up the list of items required to fly – of course you’ll need a charger for your batteries, as well…


Part one (a basic guide) is included with the PNP airplane – it has some basic instruction and safety and general information in many, many languages. Part two of the manual, which is the actual assembly instructions, must be downloaded from the website – or click here to get it!

First Look

The HoTTrigger Competition (or V2) arrived in a classic Graupner box – lots of specs, diagrams, and images – pay close attention to the box, as it has decal placement for the different color schemes! Inside, I found a well-packed Plug N Play airplane with all the ‘good stuff’ pre-installed. The wheels and wheel pants were attached to the landing gear, the motor and ESC were installed, and all of the servos were installed as well!

A two-piece pilot figure was included, which needed a little assembly (and a little color). There are various hard points installed in the fuselage to mount parts – obviously in the wing, landing gear, and motor mount areas these are needed for strength. The pre-installed motor should stay plenty cool with the large air inlets in the cowl.

The pre-installed, metal geared servos should be plenty tough enough to handle the task at hand. Only the arm of the rudder servo protrudes from the fuselage, while the rest is tucked neatly into an inverted mount in the foam. Speaking of foam, the design and layout of the foam work on this plane is very well done! All the mold lines and cutouts are perfectly placed.

The cockpit interior decal is a nice touch, complete with an instrument panel, it adds a nice touch to the plane. The large battery hatch makes it easy to swap batteries quickly at the field, and is held in place by plastic clips. There’s even a cooling slot cut into the hatch and fuselage to allow airflow over the motor, ESC, and battery!

I’m really digging these control surfaces! They’re all pre-hinged, and even the control horns are already installed! Look at all that surface deflection as well – this is going to be one aerobatic airframe! Like the fuselage, there are plastic hard points installed in the stab and fin to assist mounting and keeping the plane assembled.

The wings are ready to go, right out of the box – the metal-geared servos are pre-installed, and the pushrods are even connected to the ailerons! Like the tail, there’s plenty of deflection for mind-numbing aerobatics.

One of the things that I really like about the HoTTrigger 1400 V2 is that it incorporates Graupner’s unique wing mounting/locking design. This mechanism is so cool and simple to use! This is one of the first airplanes I’ve EVER had that I really don’t mind removing the wings!

The tinted canopy adds just the right amount of attitude to give the HoTTrigger a cool look. The included propeller and foam spinner are easily attached when ready, and the landing gear is ready to install right out of the box!

There are three included allen wrenches – I think that’s all you will need to assemble the HoTTrigger 1400. The list of hardware is also quite small, including just a few nuts and bolts, a small Y-Harness, a couple pieces of Velcro, and two ready-made pushrods – Yes, that’s it for hardware!

There are several sheets of decals included with the plane as well. Lots of numbers, small letters, and red and blue decal sheets make up the Competition scheme of the HoTTrigger 1400.

Personally, I really like the new scheme included, which has really funky ‘torn’ decals and gives the plane a real bad-attitude look. These are the decals I’ll be installing on my plane. Speaking of…….


Remember when I said to check the box for decal placement? Yeah, I kinda missed that part. So, I looked at the small images in the manual and put the decals on as best as I could. It still turned out pretty cool! By taking my time and getting a good starting point, all of my decals went on smoothly. Take a look at the wings and tail sections for my placement – you can, of course, put as many or as few decals on as you’d like as well!

Again, most of mine went in the right place, but you can do whatever you’d like to customize your plane!

I placed a washer on each of the landing gear machine screws, and set the landing gear in place on the fuselage. There are metal blind nuts installed in the gear mount, so a drop of ZAP Z-42 blue thread locking compound was added to each of the machine screws.

The machine screws were secured using the included allen wrench, and the plane was set on her wheels. I’m already really liking the look of this plane!

The vertical and horizontal stabilizers were fit together and inserted into the open end of the tail. As you can see, there will be PLENTY of control throw available for some really wild aerobatics!

I inserted the pre-assembled tailwheel bracket into its slots in the rudder and fuselage, and secured it with a single machine screw.

A second machine screw is inserted deep into the tail to secure the stab and fin to the fuselage. Make sure that you do not over-tighten this screw. With that, the tail and tail wheel assembly was installed!

With the servos and control surfaces centered, I adjusted and installed the elevator and rudder pushrods. These were nearly perfect in length, and required only minimal adjustments to make them work perfectly. I also really liked the fact that the double control horns trap the ball link, and a machine screw and lock nut serve as the pin in the clevis for the control horn.

The included pilot figure is really nice, but he really needs a little color added to make him stand out a bit. I used a couple of colors of acrylic paint to add just enough color so that he wasn’t pure white. The body of the pilot was glued into the recess in the cockpit using ZAP thick CA and a little shot of Zip Kicker.

A couple more drops of  ZAP thick CA and a quick shot of Zip Kicker secured the pilot’s head to his shoulders. He now looks like he’s ready to fly! There are small strips of double-sided adhesive tape pre-applied to hold down the canopy. I started pulling just a small portion of each of the strips backing away, and bending it over on itself to get ready for the canopy installation.

The canopy was set in place on top of the tape strips, and the backing was then removed little by little while the canopy was pressed into place. In addition to this, I also cut thin strips of clear ‘tape’ from the excess clear decal sheeting to go over the outside edge of the canopy. Between the double sided tape on the inside, and the clear strips covering the outside edges, my canopy should stay in place quite well! A small hole was drilled at the rear edge of the canopy to allow pressures and temperatures to equalize easily in and out of the canopy.

I slid the wing joiner tube into the left wing half, and then slid the tube through the fuselage. As the wing got close to the fuse, the servo wire was guided into the fuselage and routed to the radio/battery compartment.

All that remained to attach the left wing to the fusealge was to close the wing latch on the bottom side of the wing. It snapped closed, and held the wing tightly against the fuselage.

The right wing was installed in the same manner as the left wing, and the HoTTrigger was really starting to look good!

Inside the battery compartment, you’ll find a small guide tube and a recessed area – this is for your receiver. Well it’s for a Graupner 6 channel receiver, at least. Others may fit, but you might need to do a little custom trimming. The Graupner GR-12L fits perfectly in the recessed area, and the guide tube directs the antenna out the bottom of the fuselage. I really like this setup!

Because I’m using a 6 channel receiver, and my Graupner mz-32 transmitter, there’s no shortage of channels for this airplane. I opted to forego the included Y-Harness, and program each aileron flap on its own channel. This is one of the easiest and cleanest installs I have seen in a smaller foam aircraft.

The 4S 2200 mAh LiPo battery was slid into the holder, and secured with the pre-installed hook-side velcro strap. I did have to install the included loop-side velcro strap on the battery, but this was as simple as pulling off the backing and placing the strip on the battery.

At this point, I turned on the mz-32, connected the battery, checked the motor shaft to make sure it was spinning in the proper direction, and checked and adjusted the control throws and dual rates. THIS IS ALWAYS SAFER WITH THE PROPELLER NOT INSTALLED!!!


When I was satisfied with the electronics setup, the propeller and prop adapter were slid on to the motor shaft and secured by tightening the collet nut. A single allen head machine screw holds the spinner in place. With that, the Graupner HoTTrigger was ready for a balance check. The recommended Center of Gravity (CG) is in the center of the wing latches on the bottom of the wing. Personally, I would balance this plane inverted, but at least the center of the wing latches will give you a good point of reference on the bottom side of the wing.

Teaser Photos

She’s all ready to fly – well, just as soon as I find that darn runway…  While I wait for some of the snow to melt, here’s a few teaser photos of the HoTTrigger 1400 Competition V2 and my Graupner mz-32 transmitter!


Though I haven’t gotten to fly it yet, I’m really liking this plane so far. It has a cool look, and assembled easily. Add your favorite transmitter, receiver, and a 4S 2200 mAh LiPo battery, and you’ll be flying in no time – well, that is if you don’t have any snow on the ground…  I promise you all that I’ll get the HoTTrigger 1400 V2 out flying just as soon as possible!

Until next time, my friends – Happy Landings!

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