The Wing Maker Ultimate 40 Review
2 - 4
Review by Gunnar Hovmark, Staff Contributor
Transmitter: Spektrum DX5e
Receiver: Spektrum AR400
Receiver battery: Instant 6 V 2500 mAh NiMH
Aileron servo: EMax ES3104MA, Throttle, elevator and rudder servos: Futaba S3003
Engine: Enya 35-4C, weight 410 grams including my home made muffler
Propeller: APC 11x6
Misc: Radio power switch with Futaba charging socket, silicon fuel tubing and some 3 mm brass tubes, extra 100 mm servo wire
- Easy assembly
- Looks cool
- Flies great
- High quality hardware
- Wide track landing gear
- Convenient size
- Clear plastic cowl template, neat idea that I hadn’t seen before
- It’s a bit too easy to rip the landing gear off
I’ve had an Enya 35-4C on a shelf since 1988, and thought it was about time to get it airborne again. The Enya 35-4C was one of the first mass produced four-stroke glow engines, introduced around 1980. Not very powerful, but reliable and easy to handle.
I decided that I wanted an aerobatic ARF plane, and after some web browsing I chose the Ultimate 40 from TWM (The Wings Maker/The World Models). I knew from the start that my engine would make the plane a bit underpowered, but I took a chance with that.
Assembly is easy. The manual is very good. The routing of some pushrods and the design of the wheel spats have been changed since the manual was printed, but you shouldn’t get any problems with that. Note that the instructions for the fuel tank are not in the manual, you need to read the little leaflet that comes with the tank.
Engine mount, links, pushrods and all other hardware is of very good quality, with one exception: the little metal thing that’s supposed to attach the throttle pushrod to the servo arm. On the other hand, half a page in the manual is dedicated to it, so if you read that you’ll be fine. Use thread locker whenever the manual says so! The hardware kit is very complete. There are even screws for attaching the engine to the engine mount, and sponge plastic to wrap around the receiver.
The manual recommends CA glue for the control surface hinges. The ordinary Loctite that I keep at home is way too fast for that, so I used epoxy instead.
The firewall has a couple of large holes in it, don’t ask me why. I don’t like to get oil into the fuselage, so I covered the holes with thin plywood, then painted the entire firewall with my favorite fuel proof paint. (Alcro Entré floor paint, Swedish brand.)
I installed the engine according to the manual, with the prop driver exactly in the recommended position. The cowl allows you to put it several millimeters further forward, and that may be a good idea. I had to add some extra plywood inside the fuselage to have something other than thin balsa to hold the cowl screws.
Something I really like with this model is the clear plastic cowl template, something I hadn’t seen before. You just trim the clear plastic cowl to fit nicely over the engine and muffler. Then you wrap it around the ”real” fiberglass cowl and draw the outlines of the openings you need on the cowl.
With my engine I got the CG position a couple of millimeters behind the position given in the manual. I fly like that and it works. Most people who buy this plane will use a bigger engine, and then CG position will not be a problem.
The Ultimate comes with a spinner, but the propeller axle on the Enya 35-4C is too short to fit both my propeller and the spinner, so I fly without the spinner for the time being.
Total weight of my Ultimate is about 2150 grams with a little fuel in the tank.
Taking the wings off is cumbersome, there are seven screws to remove, so I store and transport my Ultimate with the wings attached. Fortunately the wing span is only just over a meter (42 inches).
The TWM Ultimate 40 is a rigid and slightly heavy design, meant to have a powerful engine and fly fast. The engine I chose lacks the necessary power as expected, but it works. My loops look pathetic with my engine, but otherwise the Ultimate is very aerobatic. There are ailerons along the entire trailing edges on both top and bottom wing, and the tail control surfaces are adequate. General flying characteristics are very nice. Aileron turns look good, so the rudder is needed only for aerobatics and on the ground.
Landing speed is a bit high, so this is not a plane for beginners. The runway at my club field is narrow, and I’ve actually landed the Ultimate in the rough area beside the runway three times. On two of those occasions the landing gear broke off. The good news is that it’s a very clean break, so it’s very easy to glue the landing gear back on again.
This is a well made plane and a very complete ARF. If you’re a reasonably experienced pilot and want a compact glow powered aerobatic biplane, then this is for you. The video below is not mine, but is a good representation of what you can expect to see.