Well, after weeks of extra snow in April, and a month of rain in May, June finally gave way to a few days of decent flying weather! As promised, I got to the field ASAP and got some review planes flown… If you missed Part one of this two-part review, or you need a recap, you can find it here: www.rcuniverse.com/articles/review/multiplex-funray
Equipment Recap and Update
Because the FunRay arrives as a Receiver Ready sailplane, very few accessories are needed to get it in the air. Of course, you will need to provide your own transmitter and receiver, and a 3 cell LiPo battery. For this review, I am using my Hitec Aurora 9X transmitter and a Hitec Optima 9 receiver.
The flight battery is a MaxAmps 3S 3250 mAh LiPo with a true 150C rating. While it’s a much higher discharge rating than required for the FunRay, It’ll provide plenty of power for climbing out to find those thermals!
As I said earlier, April brought WAY more snow than I care to think about, and May was just plain wet. So when we finally got a few nice days in early June, my buddy Jim Buzzeo and I met at the field to get caught up on reviews! The breeze was varying from 5-10 MPH, with a sunny, but hazy sky. At this point, I was so ready to get into some good summer flying!
After installing and securing the wings, we powered up the Hitec Aurora 9X transmitter, and connected the MaxAmps battery in the FunRay. The canopy was snapped in place, and the Sailplane was ready for launch. Setting the throttle to just over half power and giving the FunRay a good overhand toss got the plane airborne easily, and adding a little more power let the FunRay climb out with authority!
When the FunRay had climbed to a safe altitude, the trim was checked – a couple of clicks of right aileron were all that were required. The powered glider was now flying true!
One of the neat things about the FunRay is that, yes, it is a powered glider, but it’s also flies quite fast and is aerobatic as well. High speed testing showed that the plane moves along much quicker than we anticipated! The MaxAmps high C rating allowed us to really push the FunRay at full throttle settings without risking over-drawing the battery. The FunRay and MaxAmps LiPo proved to be a great combo!
Slow speed testing proved that the FunRay would drop the nose in a stall, but it slowed to nearly a crawl before doing so. Dropping the flaps slowed the plane even more before stalling, and simply adding a bit of power allowed the FunRay to fly out of a stall easily.
As I stated earlier, the FunRay can also do some aerobatics. Loops and rolls are easy and look really graceful. In Multiplex’s video of the FunRay, they show a video clip of the plane doing a snap roll – we didn’t feel comfortable doing that on the maiden flight, but perhaps down the road we’ll get to that point…. This plane is a lot of fun, and will perform lazy aerobatics with ease!
When it came time to land, we had to go around on the first attempt – the plane has great lift and penetrates well, causing a lot of runway to get eaten up in a quick hurry. Because the FunRay is a powered sailplane, it was easy to push the throttle forward and gain a little altitude! slowing down a little sooner proved to be the ticket, but the FunRay still ate up three-quarters of the runway before touching down. The grass stopped the sailplane in just a few feet – thankfully, the FunRay has some thick vinyl decals on the belly to protect the foam. A few more flights, and we’ll have the FunRay landing at our feet! The folding prop also made it easy to land without worrying about prop damage.
Check out the video of the Multiplex FunRay in action!
Sailplanes have been a part of the RC hobby forever. Though construction methods have changed over the years, and some have changed to include their own power, it’s still one of the purest forms of flight. Hitting a big thermal can keep a sailplane in the air for hours, and can fly so high as to lose sight with the naked eye! The Multiplex FunRay can give you all of this in a simple easy to assemble and easy to fly package. All you need is a battery and a 5 channel transmitter and receiver to get the FunRay in the air. Of course, more channels makes setup easier, and give you more options, it’s definitely not needed to go out and have fun! If you’re looking for a nice looking powered sailplane, look no further than the Multiplex FunRay. As I mentioned earlier, the FunRay is more than just your typical powered sailplane – it’s a fast moving aerobat as well! Go get one – you’ll be glad you did! -GB
Multiplex Aircraft: www.hitecrcd.com/products/airplanes/multiplex
MaxAmps Batteries: www.maxamps.com