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Written by Fitz Walker
A compact thoroughbred racer
Product Review
As seen in the March 2019 issue of
Model Aviation.


Watch It Fly

The factory color scheme is vibrant and sporty.

There Is Something to be said about the convenience of a small model that can be thrown into the back of a car and flown whenever the opportunity arises, especially if that model offers excellent flight performance and handles a variety of atmospheric conditions.

The Multiplex FunRacer looks to not only be an answer to those requirements, but it is also an attractive semiscale model. Looking much like one of those highly modified P-51 warbird racers seen at the Reno Air Races, the FunRacer is a sleek, club racer-style model that is intended for those who like to fly fast. This hand-launched speed machine comes ready to fly right out of the box.

Assembly

I was immediately impressed with how well the model was packaged. Great care was taken to revent shipping damage by using a combination of bubble wrap and foam blocks that formed a rigid fixture for the wing and fuselage. It would take an impressive act of malice to damage any of the parts in shipping.

When it is unwrapped, you are presented with three major parts: the wing, fuselage, and horizontal stabilizer. An accompanying parts bag contains wing screws, Velcro strips, and an elevator control rod. My model came factory painted in a two-tone orange and white scheme with black trim. There is, however, an unpainted version available for those who like to custom paint their models.

The surface finish of the large-cell Elapor foam is smooth and feels durable and solid to the touch. Speaking of durability, both the wing and tail have carbon-fiber rod reinforcements embedded in them. It was good to see such reinforcement, especially on a fast airplane.

Numerous decals with a semigloss finish are factory applied and give the model character. Some additional peel-and-stick number decals are also thrown in for those who would like to make the airplane more racerlike. All of the servos are factory installed. You will need to supply a Y connector for the aileron servos if you choose not to connect them separately.

At the business end is a striking, chrome-plated plastic spinner encapsulating an APC 10 × 7E propeller. Out of curiosity, I removed the propeller and spinner, revealing a larger than expected 1,160 Kv motor with a seemingly beefy front ball bearing. Equally impressive is the metal motor mount used to hold the motor in place. I could see one putting a lot of power into this machine without worrying about breaking anything.

the aluminum motor
The aluminum motor mount features integrated cooling holes and appears to be quite rugged.

At A Glance

Specifications

Model type: Foam aerobatic

Skill level: Intermediate/advanced

Wingspan: 36.2 inches

Wing area: 255 square inches

Length: 33.26 inches

Wing loading: 19 ounces per square foot

Flying weight: 34 ounces; as tested, 35 to 38.5 ounces

Power system: Roxxy C35-42 1160 Kv brushless motor; APC 10 × 7E propeller; 3S 2,200 to 3,000 mAh LiPo battery

Construction: Elapor foam

Servos: Multiplex MS-12016 MG (factory installed)

Radio: Hitec Aurora 9x

Receiver: Hitec Minima 6E

Price: $179.99 (unpainted) to $199 (painted)

Pluses

  • Great flying qualities and solid construction.
  • Large interior for wide range of battery types.
  • Quick and easy assembly.

Minus

  • Loose hatch magnet.

The APC 10 × 7E propeller will pull the model vertical until it’s out of sight or it hits the International Space Station, whichever comes first.

The included ESC handles up to six-cell LiPo batteries and has a 55-amp (with a 70-amp burst) rating. This gives a good amount of headroom for experimenting with various propeller and battery combinations.

It would be interesting to try a higher cell count and smaller, deeply pitched propeller to see what the airframe is capable of.

There is certainly enough room in the fuselage for a range of battery sizes. A large hatch is held on with a magnet, providing easy access to the voluminous fuselage interior. I did have to reglue the hatch magnet because it separated from the mounting shortly after unboxing.

The 25-page manual seemed large until I realized it is split into five languages (German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish). Whatever language you choose, roughly four pages are used for instruction. With so few pieces to assemble, you don’t need much instruction and assembly goes quickly.

The one-piece wing is attached to the fuselage with two nylon bolts. Next is the horizontal stabilizer, which slides into place on the tail and is self-aligning via a raised tab in the center. After double-checking the alignment, the stabilizer is glued into place with medium CA adhesive.

the kit has
The kit has only three major pieces to assemble. The model can be completed before the battery has finished charging.

the horizontal stabilizer
The horizontal stabilizer slides into place and is then glued.

there is plenty
There is plenty of space in the fuselage for a variety of battery packs.

control surfaces
Control surfaces use durable, easily adjustable linkages. The ailerons have aerodynamic covers as shown here.

After that, the only thing left to do is install the elevator control rod. The control surfaces use stout plastic horns with metal pushrod connectors held in place with setscrews. The only modification I made was to change the proprietary battery connector from the Multiplex brand to a type I use.

Out of curiosity, I decided to measure the current draw with the recommended 3S 2,500 mAh LiPo battery. At full power, the motor drew 50 amps, so if you want to try anything more than three cells, a smaller propeller will be necessary.

With the control throws set up according to the manual’s recommendation, it was off to the field. Although I recommend that you have someone hand launch the aircraft for you on the first flight, I was able to successfully launch the FunRacer without assistance.

Using an underhand toss is my preferred method, although an overhand throw worked as well. One thing to note is that the model will exhibit a slight torque roll to the left upon launch, so I advise not launching at more than 2/3 throttle.

The model is extremely responsive right out of the gate. The control throws look slightly mild on paper, but in the air, they are effective. I recommend that you do not use more aggressive settings until you have first flown the model.

Flying

The FunRacer is speedy and tracks well. The bright color scheme is easy to see, and at no point did I have any issues with visual orientation. The first flight using the recommended center of gravity (CG) location seemed rearward for my taste, so I settled on a location roughly 10 mm back from the reference point instead of the recommended 18 mm. Forward stalls were mild with only a slight wingtip drop, so I think I found a good balance.

Because it is a four-channel model, you can do nearly any aerobatics that such a control setup allows. Loops, rolls, and stall turns are a breeze to do, and snap rolls are surprisingly energetic. When I eventually turned the aileron rates up slightly, rolls and snap rolls were blindingly fast.

Rudder authority is impressive as well. The model is capable of horizon-to-horizon knife-edge passes with only a slight amount of elevator coupling. The FunRacer flew equally well inverted and I felt comfortable doing so close to the ground within the first flights. You can fly the model aggressively without fear of breaking anything or overstressing it.

It is a racer after all, and at full throttle it doesn’t disappoint. The APC 10 × 7E propeller will pull the model vertical until it’s out of sight or it hits the International Space Station, whichever comes first.

The manufacturer claims 100 mph speeds out of the box. This, of course, likely depends on air density and battery quality. Using a radar gun, my model was clocked at 86 mph in full-speed, level flight with a slight quartering wind. That’s not quite to specifications, but still impressive on only a three-cell battery.

The recommended battery size is a 3S 2,500 mAh battery pack, which I used for the maiden flight. Upon discovering that a 3S 3,800 mAh LiPo battery pack I had was only 1 ounce heavier, I decided to give it a try.

The FunRacer showed no difference in performance with the extra weight. If anything, it seemed to have slightly more power. Conversely, my flights with a 2,200 mAh battery pack worked just fine because there is plenty of room in the fuselage for CG adjustment, but the flight time was slightly reduced. Be sure to use battery packs that can handle the amp draw.

Landings take a little preplanning because the little model is slippery, and it is easy to overrun the intended landing spot. Control authority is good all the way down to the flair and touchdown. It won’t float like a trainer, but it will slow down adequately, and it handles well at slow speeds.

Summary

I found that the Multiplex FunRacer is not only fast and aggressive, but surprisingly aerobatic, yet quite tame when throttled back. Hand launches are slightly quirky but easy to get used to. The vibrant color scheme and sleek lines add to its mystique as a thoroughbred racer in a compact package.

Manufacturer/Distributor

Hitec/Multiplex

(858) 748-6948

www.hitecrcd.com

Weekender Warehouse

(858) 748-6948

www.weekenderwarehouse.com

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