There are so many choices out there these days to spend you hobby dollars. Lots of new tech, a variety of r/c genres, and an overwhelming list of manufactures to chose from. In the end, it is a hobby though and it should be something you enjoy. If it is too expensive, too stressful, beyond your abilities, etc, than chances are some, if not all, of the fun factor has evaporated.
This summer I have been flying everything from tiny indoor 3D foamies to 90mm EDF Jets, it is a great time to be in the hobby... but I will tell you, one of the models that will stick out in my memories for this summer is the Hacker Fun Master being carried by Twisted Hobbys. Yes, that's right... corny as it may sound... the Fun Master... but appropriately named. Fun Master
Now don't be fooled, this might not be the highest power to weigh ratio plane... might not be the coolest plane... won't do sustained torque rolls inches off the ground, but it just may be the one you have the most fun with... for at least a couple reasons.
So.... if your interest is sparked read on. The following are my experiences and thoughts on the Fun Master.
- Made from EPP, the material we have all come to love for it's durability
- High degree of pre-assembly, there is only a couple glue joints
- Bush Tires and simple sturdy landing gear let you fly from any where
- Basic 4-channel operation
- Flys forever on a 3s/2200 mAh battery
For Starters: Is not your average EPP foamie being that isn't NOT a small plane. It has a 47" inch wing span, and on top of that, remember my comment about very little gluing needed? Well, the wing comes in one piece, yes one piece. Completely glued with wood spar and ready to attach to the fuselage. When you first open the box you will notice this right away, the next thing you notice is that there are only a handful of air-frame parts. Looking even closer you will notice that not only is the wing already completed for you, but so is the fuselage. Firewall, landing gear braces, wing saddles, rudder, etc, etc are all attached! Looking a little closer you will notice that this is NOT your typical profile foamie. The fuselage is thick enough to contain all the electronics, including the battery. Looking a little closer yet you will also see that there are also internal passage ways built into the fuselage and wing for all of the wiring to thread through. All this adds up to a quick and simple build. Hacker Models did an excellent job designing all these items into the model and this makes it a perfect fit into the high quality and thought out designs that Twisted Hobbys has come to be known for.
The Build: There is an included Black and White universal hard copy manual included in the kit. There is also a color PDF English only version that can be downloaded from the Twisted Hobbys website from the plane's web page. As with all builds it is a good idea to start by taking inventory of all the item to make sure your kit is complete. Next step that is also always one of the first things I do, is to hook up all the electronics. There is nothing worse that getting everything put together and installed, only to find out that there was a problem with a component that now has to be dug out of the plane. With that said, the design of the Fun Master does allow for very easy replacement of electronic components if necessary.
If you follow along with the sequence of pictures in the manual you will be starting with mounting up all screw lock connectors onto the servo arms. Make sure and have a look at the diagrams for what holes to use in the arms for each of the different control surfaces. If you are not sure whether to use basic or advance configurations... use the advanced, and if the dimensions on your servo arms don't match up exactly to the diagrams, go to the next further out hole. This plane is very docile, even with the advanced setup, so not too worry about having too much control throw. Once you get it up in the air you can set some dual rates and expo if it feels a little to aggressive for you. There is a trick to the screw connectors and attaching their little keeper washers. Don't try and attache these by pressing with your fingers. With the servo arm removed from the servo, put the main body of the screw connector through the servo hole you want, and then with the cupped (concaved) side of the clip facing up, or towards the pin of the connector body, press the pin through the center of the clip against either a small hole in your work surface or a piece of hard foam. This will allow for support of the clip while still allowing for the pin to pierce through the clip.
Next all the servos, motor, esc and control rods are all installed in sequence per the manual. The dedicated power combo kit includes all the servo extensions needed, this is a really nice touch and was a little unexpected. Some of the Z-bends are a little tight, so you will have to tweak them a little or enlarge the horn hole. Just make sure that they don't bind up and everything will be fine. Make sure and take advantage of all the internal passage ways for the wiring, this is a really nice feature of this model and makes for a super clean build. When attaching the elevator, test fit it first to make sure that it engages fully with its intended slots and tabs. The design is to attach the rudder with a single screw, just be mind full that you are screwing into plastic so don't over tighten it. You could also glue the elevator on as well. It is doubtful that you would ever have reason to remove the elevator, except for repair of crash damage.
Main gear is a little tricky to get the keepers over the axles, especially the inner ones. Keep in mind that you want the cupped surfaces facing the wheel hubs. To make it a little easier to push the inner one on, make sure there are no burrs or any raised material at the end of the axle. You are pushing this one on against its natural direction so it is a little difficult. The outer one goes on easy in comparison. Tail wheel assembly is in itself a work of art. You may need to do a little fit-up. Ultimately you want the part attached to the tail wheel to slide through the hole as shown in the manual, and all the way past the tabs. In my build this was a little tight, so opening up the inner diameter of the embedded plastic housing was necessary. Take your time with this if needed. As mentioned this is a very clever tail wheel assembly and you will be glad if you spend a little extra time to make it all work the way it was intended.
Battery bay is on the under side of the plane and very nearly centered around the CG point of the aircraft. Another nice design feature. The bay will hold up to a 2200mAh 3 cell lipo. Any thing in the range of 1800 to 2200 is a great place to start. To get proper CG, and using a smaller battery, make sure that you locate it full forward. The stock build of my aircraft was a little tail heavy. Moving everything as far forward as possible will get you really close. But don't be afraid to add a little weight if needed, this airframe will not even notice it, and it is far move important to have proper CG over lightness. The Winglets are attached with big plastic thumb screws. If you chose to install them, make sure and keep some good pressure on the screw as you are twisting it into the tip of the wing. Keeping pressure on will help the threads to bite in without stripping out. The winglets will give you more stability, but are in no way needed for the aircraft. I flew the first couple flights with them, after that they were removed and saved for later if ever being needed again, like possibly for training a new pilot or something.
Fun Master on Floats If you are lucky enough to live near a place to fly off of water, the Fun Master has a really nice add-on float kit. This float kit includes everything you need and has a very nice water rudder. This kit comes with everything you need and the water rudder is driven via included cable off of the rudder servo. A really nice feature/design of this plane is that it can literally be switch from Bush plane to Sea plane in just a couple minutes. Product link for Float Kit:
Conclusion: This is a quick building airframe and one that will fly off any surface. The big tires will allow for easy touch and goes at the local park and the optional float set will give you a taste of flying off the water with a simple and docile airframe. This airframe is a nice compromise between a profile and a full fuse plane. The fuselage is thick enough to hold all the electronics, but not so massive or wide to be fragile in a crash. With a 2200mAh battery you can putt around the sky for 10 or 15 minutes. It is a lot of fun to do touch and goes either on land or water and has very well mannered inverted flight characteristics if you want to practice up on your low inverted passes. If you are looking for a knock around plane for the park or even considering your first airframe the Fun Master is a good choice and is sure to bring a smile to all her pilots. Product link: Blue or Green