For years my family has been going to the Shuswap Lakes in British Columbia for our annual summer vacation. This vacation is generally packed full of wakeboarding, boating and working on the tan, but this year I wanted to add a little bit of R/C flying to the mix. I have never flew off floats before and figured this vacation would provide the perfect opportunity. Since I would by flying off the boat I wanted a plane that would be simple, quick building, easily stored, and electric. After browsing various ready-to-flys, almost-ready-to-flys, and kits, I chose the Multiplex Fun Cub as it was full control including flaps and I had a set of Hobby Zone Super Cub Floats kicking around.
The Multiplex Fun Cub is an Elapor foam 5 channel airplane including the optional flaps. This plane is a kit compared to ARFs and RTFs and some basic building and assembly is required. The fuselage comes in 2 halves that need to be glued together using medium CA glue. The instructions call for the elevator and rudder servos to be mounted in the “cabin” section of the plane just under the wing utilizing standard torque tube push rods. For simplicity and after reading the reviews of the aircraft being nose heavy, I chose to install the elevator and rudder servos in the tail of the aircraft, 3D plane style, using one short push rod. This worked great but requires a couple of servo wire extensions and you must remember to install and route your servo wires before you glue the fuselage halves together.
Looking at the bland white foam I decided the Fun Cub needed some color, so inspired by the full size Carbon Cub paint scheme I decided to paint the plane as well. Never painting foam like this before I did a quick Google search to see what paint method people were using. After reviewing some forums and YouTube videos I decided to prepare the foam by cleaning it with 100% Acetone followed by masking off the areas for paint. I painted the foam with Testors Hot Rod Red Enamel spray can paint applied in 3 coats. The paint turned out quite well and held up to the hot weather and water with ease.
For electronics I used a hodge-podge of gear I had kicking around my hobby room. For a motor I used a Turnigy D3536/8 motor, 50A Birdie electronic speed control, OrangeRX R710 receiver (this receiver has turned out to be great), and a mix of Hobby King, JR and Hitec servos. All of this powered by a 2200mah 3 cell LiPo battery. The Fun Cub by design requires a front mount style electric motor, however I modded my Fun Cub to allow for a rear mounted motor utilizing a lite-ply constructed firewall installed and assembled before mounting the fuselage halves together.
The floats that I used are the Hobby Zone Fun Cub floats. These worked perfect and were mounted by cutting out the wire slot, epoxied lite-ply mounting plates, and secured with Dubro plastic wire gear mounts.
Now for the fun stuff. I tested the plane off land before taking it to sea. The plane comes with HUGE, add your David Windestal accent, tundra tires that let you fly off almost any type of field condition. This plane flew great from its very first take-off; just slight trimming was required. The plane is quite docile but on high rates you can pull off some nice scale-like aerobatics including rolls and loops. As expected when you hit the flaps you’re going to need to add some down elevator pressure or program it in. Flying with the flaps at about 15 degrees provides for great short field take-offs and full flaps allows for slow and steep approaches…lots of fun. Just remember to add a bit of rudder in your turns as the Fun Cub isn’t quite a bank and yank airplane.
Off the water the Fun Cub lives up to its name. It is a complete natural on the water and the Hobby Zone floats work perfectly. With 15 degrees of flaps the plane takes off with ease with no squirreliness even in boat chop. Landings are easy too using either take-off or landing flap settings, the plane is stable and slow and touches down with little tendency to bounce off the water.
Formation flying!? Flying the Fun Cub off the back of the boat was great, the weather was warm, winds calm, and the sky was blue! After getting a bunch of flights in and feeling pretty comfortable with the plane I figured it might be fun to fly alongside the boat while it was driving and this turned out to be awesome! With the flaps out I could slow the plane down enough to fly the plane in formation with the boat as it was driving down the lake. It was too cool to explore the lake while in motion, and needless to say it turned the heads of other boaters and houseboats, as this small R/C plane lead a boat speeding down the lake!
This Fun Cub definitely lived up to its name, especially after adding the floats! Give it a shot. You won’t regret it!