The Multiplex Twinstar


After the successful flights with the 'Electra Fun R/C aircraft' I wanted to try some aerial photography. However the Electra wasn't big enough or strong enough to carry a camera.

So after much research a new plane was purchased - the Multiplex Twinstar II.

Twinstar in Standard Livery

 

The Twinstar had a 56" wingspan, twin engines and a high wing. This second version was made out of highly durable Elapor Foam rather than styrofoam which tends to be more brittle. The kit contents are shown below.

 

 

The kit was comprehensive, as well as the main moldings, it also included motors, propellers, sticker kit, wiring, control cables and illustrated instructions. Most impressive was the finish of the parts, which were all very nicely made and could be fitted together without much trimming or adjustment.

Construction of the kit was straightforward using super-glue with activator and a hot-melt glue gun for joining various parts.

For some details on the construction involved there are a couple of good external web-sites, which are worth reading:

http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4872

http://www.plawner.net/4/twinstar2/twinstar2r.html

There is also a nice gallery of various Twinstar II's at: http://www.plawner.net/4/twinstar2/gallery/twinstar2_gallery.html if you are looking for painting ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some images of the plane ready for it's maiden flight. It was painted slightly differently to the standard design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from the paint scheme the Twinstar was completely stock using the standard 6V 400 Permax motors, the supplied 5x5 propellers and an 8.4V 6 cell NiMH battery.

It turned out to be a great flyer.

This was the first plane I had flown with ailerons but was stable enough to be OK for a novice pilot. The high wing and large wing area meant that it was capable of slow flying without stalling and was stable throughout turns. Landing was simplified with no undercarriage.

The rudder seemed very in-efficient but it could be used to counter the effect of cross-winds.

With the standard set-up the plane could do victory rolls and loops if a dive was used to gather speed.
The plane looked at it's best however when flying scale-like in a fast low pass or slow fly by.

Here are some images of the Twinstar in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low Pass

Banked Turn

Fly by

Landing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landing the Twinstar

Twinstar needed plenty of room to land. Approaches had to be started way out from the landing zone and the engines cut, once the plane was facing the strip. Then a narrow decent angle was used whilst flying into the breeze, to get the slowest ground speed. This way, by the time the plane reached the runway, a steady speed was achieved and the plane would be low enough to touch down.

Getting the plane down in a specific place was not easy because it had a tendency to float on and on. In the end Flaperons were programmed into the radio gear, to help the plane descend without gathering too much speed.

 

 

 Flight 17

On flight 17, a hard landing made the cabin section come loose and it got caught in the starboard propeller. The damage to the cabin was minor but the next flight showed that the propeller had also cracked at the root of one of the blades. The plane still flew but with more noise and a lot of vibration. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once a new propeller had been fitted the plane flew well again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flight 18

Flight 18 was a disaster.

This flight was suppose to test the new propeller but ended with a high-speed nosedive into the ground.

It was not known exactly what went wrong.

The elevator didn't seem to be responding well after take-off and more up elevator trim had to be added to get level flight. The plane was being bought back in for a ground check, when it slowed too much on the final turn and entered a nosedive. Power was cut but the plane would not recover.

 

 

The result was total devastation.

Crash Scene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fuselage had broken in 2 and the elevator had become detached. Both motors had hit the ground breaking the propellers and compressing the engine housings. The cabin was also compressed at the front.

The rudder servo horn was broken and the elevator servo had stripped its gears. One of the aileron servos was broken and the other one had come unstuck. Some wires had been stripped from the speed controller and the battery had fallen out too.

 

Amazingly however, 2 hours later the model looked like this, and the following day it was out flying again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some keen work with the super-glue, hot melt gun and soldering iron had got the plane back together. The paint was touched up and 2 propellers and 2 servos were purchased from the model shop to make it airworthy again. The elevator was re-attached with some small hinges glued into slots cut in the foam.

The crash had proved that not only was the Twinstar very robust but also that the Elapor foam was particularly suited to being repaired.

               

After many successful flights the plane's livery was changed to give it a military appearance.

               

Unfortunately shortly after the plan was re-painted it was crashed into a tall oak tree. In the struggle that followed to retrieve the plane it suffered un-repairable fuselage damage.

The replacement plane was another Twinstar. This time it was completed in the standard form to save time in getting airborne again. The wing from the old Twinstar was kept and modified for photographic flights. See modifications section for details

               

 

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