Like everyone else, we're huge fans of the Multiplex EasyStar
, a cheap, sturdy and good-flying powered glider. It's a great aerial imaging platform (see our how-to here
), but a bit small for a full suite of autopilot electronics. Fortunately, Mutiplex makes some bigger birds, too: the $195 Cularis
and the $70 EasyGlider
People (such as our own Paul Gregory--see his build tips here
) have tended to go straight for the larger Cularis in seach of room and lifting power for bigger cameras and more electronics, but Stewart Long from Pict'Earth
, who tried that, has just written in with some cautionary advice and a surprising recommendation.
"The increased size of the Cularis has not allowed us to use larger cameras that we could with the Easy Glider. the wings are larger, and with more lift, but the Cularis that we set up was too nose heavy , even without a camera. We tried counterbalancing the setup by placing the servos in the rear of the plane, but the plane remains overly nose heavy. We have also had a difficult time with the wing spar, servo connection and latch mechanism. Because of this the plane flutters a little bit like the Easy Star.
So, the Cularis provides some interesting features, but I see a lot more bang for the buck with the Easy Glider. The materials cost is half with the Easy Glider, the flight of the wing is great, and the center of gravity in the Easy Glider allows for more tinkering. From an RC operations standpoint it was not very difficult for me to start using the Easy Glider after starting with the Easy Star.
Here is the setup for the Cularis:
- Motor Dymond Gunther
- ESC Hacker 70
- Prop Cam 14X9.5
- Lipo generic 2s3p (2 cell x3)
- (Approx 450 watts, with 75 degree climb.)
Easy Glider (photo setup shown):
- Motor: "Multiplex Permax 480-4D , and Multiplex Permax 480-6D. The 4D is more powerful, and will fly a heavier plane. With the 4-D full throttle is too high, I take off with about 60% throttle. The disadvantage to the 4-D is that it wears down the lipo battery over time. This has not proven to be a big problem though, because we have lost batteries at a higher rate"
- Speed Controller: "Castle Creations Thunderbird" 36 Amp
- Propeller: 6/4 plastic. "The first number is for thrust, the second number is for speed. The higher the number, the higher the value. For our platforms we want to have more thrust than speed."
- Lipo: 3 Cell 2100 mAh