stable in-flight performance of the Tucan, could make it a good
trainer for pilots who want to build hours on low-wing aircraft.
Although the 12 x 6 propeller stepped up the overall
performance of the Tucan a notch or two, I found myself
desiring more power and performance from this fine-looking
The lines of the Tucano are sleek and sexy. This airplane
looks fast even setting still on the ramp.
The fixed gear is sturdy and gets the job done and then
some, but outfitting this advanced jet trainer with the optional
electric retracts so that it can be flown with the gear tucked up
and out of sight, is an upgrade worth pursuing! This model begs
to be flown in the same aggressive, high-speed manner that
military pilots fly Tucanos.
Although all of my initial flights were made using the fixed
undercarriage, I was anxious to explore the in-flight performance
when equipped with retracts. The Tucan was designed to accept
a set of DSR-46T electric retracts as an alternative to the fixed
tricycle gear, without the need for modifications.
I was unable to find a set in the US, possibly because this
model only recently appeared in the distribution channels. I
ordered a set from EPF Hobby in Taiwan (EPF part number
R46121). The tricycle retracts arrived at my doorstep less than a
The set is attractively packaged in a compact, rectangular box
and features a controller module to which all three retracts must
be connected. This module then attaches to the gear channel on
your transmitter. A final connection must be made, in the form
of a DC power source in the range of 6.0- to 7.4-volts DC. I
used a short servo extension with male connectors on both ends
to jumper this port to an unused connection on my Spektrum
AR7000 seven-channel receiver.
A sheet of paper included in the box covers basic installation
and wiring instructions, and includes product dimensions.
Installation proceeded without a hitch, but the wire struts must
be cut to fit. A rotary power tool fitted with a cutoff wheel
makes this step quick.
Thread-locking compound was used on all set screws and a
quality hex driver tool was used to ensure that they were all
Take care when making the connection to the nose wheel
steering-control horn. A small indexing mark indicates the
neutral position and the horn must be in this location when the
nose gear retracts. Deviation could result in the nose gear stalling
I cannot quantify the improvement to flight performance
with data, but my perception was that the Tucan’s top speed
improved with the gear stowed. The cycle time of the DSR
retracts is approximately 4-5 seconds lock to lock. The sight of
the tricycle undercarriage slowly pulling up into the fuselage and
wing as the Tucan climbs out is cool!
The Tucan’s all-up weight with the DSR-46T electric retracts
and the larger Thunder Power Pro Power 45C 3,800 mAh 3S
LiPo was 4 pounds, 2 ounces.
There is plenty to like about the Multiplex Tucan. The fixed
AUGUST 2013 www.ModelAviation.com
Similar to the full-scale Tucano, the Tucan is fully aerobatic and can perform all of the basic aerobatic maneuvers. It is an easy-flying, low- wing Sport Scale model.
tricycle gear and M-Frame design create a robust model that
permits operation from grass airfields, even those that are
The battery compartment is large and easily accommodates
the recommended three-cell 3,200 mAh LiPo. Larger packs can
also be used because the battery compartment is above the CG.
The recommended 3S power system provides adequate
power to haul the Tucan with authority, with top speeds
reaching approximately 75 mph. Similar to the full-scale
Tucano, the Tucan is fully aerobatic and can perform all of the
basic aerobatic maneuvers. It fits the bill as an easy-flying, Sport
Scale low-wing model.
I wish that the hotter 5S power system and recommended
retracts were available in the US. I like the way the Tucan
performs and looks with the retracts installed. Perhaps as this
new model becomes more rooted in the distribution channels,
these options will be more readily available.
Although the graphics are eye-catching, I find myself
dreaming about finishing the Tucan in one of the military
schemes used by the various air forces flying the full-scale
airplane. This model should serve as a capable platform with
which to create a nice, scale-looking Tucano. There is plenty of
room in the cockpit to add scale details.
(Ed. note: Mike Mayberry from Hitec recommends a Hacker
A40-14S swinging a 14 x 7 propeller for pilots looking for a 5S
As exciting as the Tucan is right out of the box, having one
dressed out in a real-world military scheme, with electric
retracts and a 800- to 1,000-watt power system, should help to
fully capture the thrills of the full-scale Tucano!
Horizon Hobby (E-flite)
Eagle Tree Systems
Landing Products/APC Propellers