I won this at my clubs Christmas Party raffle. It is the pre-built version of the foam airplane kit and it comes with all necessary equipment in the box. The plane has the motor, esc, servos, installed already. The radio is a single stick 3-channel. It is on 27Mhz AM.
It looks like a real quick build so as a distraction from my Pilatus PC-6 I decided to assemble it.
First thing I did after removing all the parts from the box and their plastic bags, was yank out the AM receiver and replace it with a Spektrum AR6100E.
The manual included is the full construction manual, so you have to pick out the pertinent areas for the ARF version. So far I have drilled the wing bolt holes and installed the wing, which has been removed again to complete the build of the model. Next I cut out the section of the horizontal stab as shown in the manual. Some of the pre-cut and assembled parts still need to be sanded to remove the bubbling from the hot foam cutter and just some general rough edges. I have dry fitted the empennage and will epoxy it in place tomorrow.
Overall the model looks okay. I don't really like foam airplanes, and I would not have bought this outright. But since I have it, I will fly it. One thing different about this foam airplane is the wing and empennage. It is foam but has a smooth hard skin. I wish they could have done that too the fuselage as well. I hate the typical bumpy, crumbly ice chest foam that is used there. The windshield is tinted a brown color, not scale at all. The side windows are just stickers. And the registration numbers are black when they should be gold.
Got this model 99% finished today. All that is left is for me to connect the linkages to the servo horns. I do not like the Z-bends method they used and I will need to go to my LHS and buy some Dubro mini EZ-Lock connectors. After that she will be ready for her maiden flight.
So, the rest of the story:
The landing gear fairings were too long and bowed out rather badly when the wheel forced the bottom part of the leg fairing against the backing plate. I trimmed a little bit at a time from the top of the fairing until it lay flat.
I tried drilling pilot holes and inserting the backing screws, but the fairing would twist out of shape every time I lightly tightened the screw. My solution was to cut some small square stock and glut it and the top of the fairing into place. Once this was done I was able to drill the pilot holes and insert the screws keeping everything in line correctly.
The opening in the cowl, behind the dummy radial engine, was minuscule. I didn't like that. So I cut away all the material from around the dummy engine. It is quite effortless to do this using a #11 Xacto knife.
I first removed the cowling from the plane, of course.
I installed the cowling and prop, and I left off the spinner. The real Mister Mulligan did not use a spinner.
The windshield has some cutout areas at the top to allow the wing to seat its leading edge into the windshield. The manual would have you glue the windshield into place early on in the build process. But this could cause problems later if you did not measure the wing fit first!
I placed the windshield onto the wing and then seated the wing on the fuselage. Once I saw where the front of the windshield contacted the fuselage I made a mental picture and then lifted the windshield up and layed down a bead of foam safe CA and then put the wing and windshield down into place and held it tightly until the CA cured and tacked the windshield into place. Then I removed the wing and finished the gluing job, eventually sealing it completely.
I went to my LHS today to purchase some EZ-Connectors. Got home, clipped the z-bends off and rotated the servos 180°. Got everything connected, and set the throws according to the instruction manual. Elevator throw is 5mm each way, which seems rather little to me but I will try it. Rudder throw is 10mm each way.
Stock motor and stock battery, I taxi tested on my living rooms carpeted floor. It has plenty enough power to easily taxi on carpet.
I'm ready to maiden her. I am hoping I can connect with someone so I can get video of the flight.
I'll be interested in how the maiden goes. I have the kit plane just waiting for me to start. I have read some other forum posts on this kit with mixed reviews. Some say it is twitchy and prone to tip stalls. Keep us posted.
The maiden flights were successful, if not a bit harrowing.
The first thing noticed by a friend was that the left wing was warped. I had not noticed it myself, but when he pointed it out it was very obvious. The warp looked like it would induce a rolling moment to port.
The first flight:
I walked out to the runway, and the wind was blowing a right to left pattern. I tried to ROG and the plane instantly got squirrelly and did ground loops. After a few attempts I realized the wind had switched 180° and so I tried to ROG going the opposite direction and got airborne.
The wind was estimated to be blowing about 4 or 5 knots. Mister Mulligan, at full power on the stock included 7-cell 600 mAh NiMh battery, did not have enough beans to fly forward and gain any ground. I struggled to get the airplane back over the runway. This was complicated by the plane wanting to roll left, and my having to counter with right rudder. So basically, the plane could not move. It could not fly forward, and to prevent a rollover I had to give right rudder, which prevented the plane from moving left back over the runway.
Eventually I got it close enough and it ran out of forward power anyway and came down on the edge of the strip. Light damage, only one landing gear fairing came loose at the top.
While on the runway, I switched out the stock battery to a 3S 730 mAh LiPo.
The second flight:
Instant power! At least triple the power as before. Mister Mulligan leaped into the air! But, the LiPo weighs about half as much as the NiMh. I now had an aft CG condition. With a rolling moment. At least I had power! I tried to fly him smooth, but it was very difficult. The plane was twitchy alright, but not by design. By fault of a warped wing and bad CG.
I brought it down safely though, and called it good.
Straighten the left wing warp; and re-balance with the 3S LiPo. I won't be flying it on the stock NiMh anymore.
Thanks TD. I was just looking at it, and I think all I need to do about the left wing is sand the leading edge in one area a bit. It seems like it was sort of 'over molded' or something like that. Then re-balance it for the little 3S LiPo and she should be ready for more and hopefully smoother and longer flight.
Thats the sharpest looking plane out there,you did a hell of a job getting it down in one piece.I bet a brushless setup would really turn it on.I noticed it looks a lot like the Monocoupe Im building,do you know if they are related down the line? Good luck with it. Brutus
Sorry for the late response, I just found that discussion.
Your video looks like my initial experiences with this model. Meanwhile, I added a 2 mm plywood strip under the upper edge of the gearbox to increase the down thrust. In addition I am using a 8x3.8 prop replacing the original. Now it goes like a real parkflyer!
My buddy Gerry (simano) had one of these and I video recorded his maiden flight back in September 2009.
At first we thought that the Rudder Travel adjustment had to be reduced and we had a bit of wind that day, however, the more Gerry flew this model it was determined that it suffers from lack of Vertical Stab Forward Keel.
A simple addition of a sloped Vertical Stab Keel coming along from the front edge of the Vertical Stab to perhaps about 2 - 3 inches forward and glued on top of the Fuse would allow very good stability in flight and reduce the tendancy of wandering side-to-side so much!
I can provide a simple example of one such model that has this Vertical Stab Keel extension and that's the famous GWS Beaver ARF foam model. Certainly it has a little more wing span but, the keel no doubt provides a very stable flight.
Of course the typical Mulligan model does not have but, if you are trying to improve it's flying abilities....well.......