Multiplex Easy Star fixed wing trainer

I beat the living shit out of this thing.

The Multiplex Easy Star makes an excellent trainer for someone who has no idea what they are doing. I can attest that it can fly directly into the faces of large rocks and recover with generous applications of strapping tape and Goop adhesive.

Eventually all learning curves get less steep and I began to spend more time flying the thing than crashing it. I added a Skylark Tiny onscreen display (OSD) with GPS to give me the distance and altitude of the plane at any time in my FPV goggles. That way even if I can’t see it with my eye, I always know where “home” is and can fly back. That’s the theory so far, anyway. The OSD also shows how much battery life I have left, the current power consumption and the ground speed.

It carries a 2200 maH, 11.1 volt lithium poly battery, which provides 30 – 40 minutes of flying, depending on how aggressive I fly it.  Seems like a long time as I’m pretty beat by the time it lands. The battery also powers the FPV camera and transmitter. I’ve had it up to 2,000′ above ground, and I’m sure it can go a lot higher if I push it.

It’s a dirt-simple plane to fly, as it has only two control surfaces, the rudder and elevator. There are no ailerons. To turn the plane uses only the rudder and sort of wallows around. Sloppy, but it’s easy for us morons and it works. However ultimately I wanted something with ailerons to get comfortable with in anticipation of the Techpod. So I got myself a Bixler 1.1, which is sort of an Easy Star clone, but with ailerons. But the Easy Star served me very well.

This is the cumulative result of 45 minutes of crashing perpetrated by someone who actually knows how to fly real aircraft but is new to R/C. This frigging hand-eye coordination stuff is hard!  Makes for a nice lawn dart though.

This is the cumulative result of 45 minutes of crashing perpetrated by someone who actually knows how to fly real aircraft but is new to R/C. This frigging hand-eye coordination stuff is hard! Makes for a nice lawn dart though.

After copious amounts of Goop and strapping tape, the EZ Star as it finally evolved (survived?). It's one battered aircraft.

After copious amounts of Goop and strapping tape, the EZ Star as it finally evolved (survived?). It’s one battered aircraft.

That's a ReadyMadeRC FPV camera on the nose and behind it is the GPS antenna for the Skylark Tiny OSD. At the upper right is a Castle ESC for the motor. And yes, the nose pretty much IS strapping tape. But it flies just fine.

That’s a ReadyMadeRC FPV camera on the nose and behind it is the GPS antenna for the Skylark Tiny OSD. At the upper right is a Castle ESC for the motor. And yes, the nose pretty much IS strapping tape. But it flies just fine.

The motor is a Himax HC2815-2000 (275 watts!) turning a 5.5" propeller. The transmitter is one of my favorites, a 600 mW 5.8 GHz ImmersionRC unit. Note the antenna cable dives into the fuselage. I mounted the antenna on the bottom for better coverage.

The motor is a Himax HC2815-2000 (275 watts!) turning a 5.5″ propeller. The transmitter is one of my favorites, a 600 mW 5.8 GHz ImmersionRC unit. Note the antenna cable dives into the fuselage. I mounted the antenna on the bottom for better coverage.

Here's the bottom of the fuselage showing the antenna protected by lots of strapping tape. It's pretty safe there as the tail of the plane usually crashes last.

Here’s the bottom of the fuselage showing the antenna protected by lots of strapping tape. It’s pretty safe there as the tail of the plane usually crashes last.