|HSD Zeroflighter (2 min 34 sec)|
|Propeller:||12X6 three blade|
|Radio:||Pilot's Choice 2.4HZg 6 ch|
|Servos:||12g x6 metal gear|
|Battery:||14.8V 3200-4000mAh 30C Lipo|
|Motor:||Brushless outrunner motor, 3715-4S/600KV|
|ESC:||40S,Pro brushless ESC,2-4S|
|Price:||Check at Banggood|
When the Japanese attacked the US at Pearl Harbor the Mitsubishi "Zero" was one of their nasty surprises. They were light weight, highly maneuverable, had a long range and their pilots were among the best trained pilots in the world. HSD has done a stunning job of capturing this plane in their 1100mm wingspan model. It has a detailed plastic cowling made with a durable plastic and a beautiful finish. The foam looks very good with nicely molded in features and lines in the foam. The Zero is powered with a 600Kv brushless motor, 40 A brushless speed controller and a 4S LiPo battery pack. The majority of the plane is constructed of durable EPO foam that is impact and shock resistant. The paint finish is excellent as are the electronics. It comes with 6 digital metal geared servos installed and electronic sequenced retracts with metal struts. It is a PNP model so I supplied my own Spektrum DX-9 transmitter and seven channel Spektrum receiver. I am using my balanced Graupner LiPo charger and 4S 3200mAh and 4000mAh LiPo battery packs to power the plane.
As pretty as she is on the ground she is even prettier in the air! HSD has manufactured another wonderful flyer with this Zero. Any aerobatic you would expect to perform with a warbird can be performed with this Zero. She flies bigger than she looks and that is without any special electronics to help with the stabilization and control of the plane. With her size I can leave her assembled and transport her to the field in my Prius ready to fly. That is my overview now I will quickly cover the assembly and get her in the air.
Parts Needed for Assembly
While I have come to expect parts to be securely and safely packed in the box they come in HSD did an outstanding job with the Zero! There was no chance of parts coming in contact with one another in the shipping process unless the box was destroyed. It came in a very sold brown box and my parts arrived in great shape. The finish and paint job on the foam was exceptional! This plane like most foam planes had four molding circle marks on the under side of the wing. These were not noticeable in flight and caused me no concern on this plane.
The Zero had the little circle of molding bumps as shown below found on molded foam planes. These are noticeable probably because they are on all foam surfaces and so they have more exposure. While I would prefer that they were never there I don't plan to do anything about them. The rest of the foam surface is very smooth and the paint job really does look excellent but I also know some of you will feel the need to sand and remove these bumps. Even with these minor flaws I think the finish and paint is very high quality.
The plastic nose cone and the plastic cowl both appear to be well made and while not crash proof I think they should hold up well to normal handling and flying. Time will tell, but at this point it looks exceptional.
The wing came as a one piece wing with servos for the flaps and ailerons already installed and connected as were the electric retracts on the landing gear. No assembly was required for the wing.
The rudder came attached to the fuselage and its servo horn was already attached to the control rod connected to the rudder servo. The horizontal stabilizer came in two halves with the elevators attached. They were separately bagged and shipped in their own separate foam spaces in the shipping boxes. I installed the supplied red aluminum rod into one of the horizontal stabilizer halves and slid it into the molded space for it in the fuselage. There are plastic boxes mounted in the stabilizers and smaller ones in the leading edge of the elevator. These fit into each other and lock together to secure the stabilizers in the fuselage and link the two elevators together.
The first step I did was mark one pair of the servo wires with a blue marker so I could unplug them and run the wires up into the cockpit from the bottom of the wing saddle. I unplugged the electric retract, the flap servo wires and the aileron servo wires from the controller and ran the wires up to above the wing and into cockpit. There I plugged in the pair I had not marked with a blue marker and then the matching connectors that I had marked next to them and finally the pair of wires that were different on the other side of the controller.
I now had six connectors to plug into my receiver but all four corners on each connector was square and could not fit into my Spektrum receiver that way. Using my hobby knife I trimmed two corners off of each connector so that I could plug them into my receiver.
With the connectors trimmed I fit them into my receiver. I connected the flight battery to the ESC and I bound the receiver to my transmitter and made sure all control surfaces were working in the correct direction.
When I first went to install the wing I found the supplied electric box was preventing the wing from fitting into position. That is why I moved the electrical box up into the cockpit as described above. With that out of the way the tongue on the front of the wing fit into the fuselage's wing saddle front area. The back of the wing was secured in place with the two supplied wing bolts as shown below.
The propellers came attached to the back plate of the propeller spinner. It slips onto the propeller shaft and fits onto a nut on the back of the propeller spinner plate. I then secured the propeller in place with the supplied washer and nut that came on the propeller shaft. I tightened the nut using my crescent wrench and the propeller was securely in place.
With the propeller in place I installed the propeller spinner in place with the supplied bolt that screws into the propeller shaft.
The decorative antenna that installs into the canopy and a screw in the bottom and there was a hole in the bottom of the antenna mount in the canopy. It appears it was designed to have the antenna mount with the screw. Unfortunately, the mounting hole was so big the screw fit right through it. Accordingly, I glued the antenna in place.
I decided to add a picture of some instruments to the front of the dashboard area. I had such a picture and I cut out a set of the gauges and glued it in place with the canopy glue. I had an American military pilot figure wearing goggles that was the right size for the Zero and I covered his face with a scarf. I glued him in place in the cockpit. I used my canopy glue and glued the canopy onto the cockpit. I secured the canopy in place with rubber bands while the glue set up and dried. After 24 hours I removed the rubber bands and my canopy wit pilot and instrument panel was ready for the plane.
I programmed my Spektrum DX-9 transmitter for this plane. In the process I programmed the sounds for: retracts up and retracts down. I programmed triple rates for ailerons, elevator and rudder at 100%, 85% and 70% for ailerons and elevator and 100%, 95% and 90% for rudder.
Next I went to balance the Zero and the recommended C/G was between 65-70mm back from the wings leading edge. I started using the recommended 4S 2200mAh battery and the plane was very tail heavy and I didn't have the battery secured by the installed strap if I went all the way forward. I found I could fit my 4S 4000mAh battery in place and my Zero balanced at the 70mm point. I have several 4S 3200mAh batteries and with 3/4s ounce of lead on the forward end they also balanced the plane. This gave me three battery packs with which I could power the plane properly balanced. I flew the HSD Zero that way and then i came back and added a sound system supplied by Banggood. The sound system is reviewed separately at: Sense Innovations Sound Review
Two other items I completed was gluing the gun barrels into the wing and installing and removing the snap in drop fuel tank. It does not drop in flight but is a detail that can be easily added or removed as it snaps in and out of the bottom of the wing. I used a drill bit to slightly expand the holes in the wings for the gun barrels and then used CA to glue them in place.
The plane has six control functions and for basic flight I will discuss the first four: throttle, ailerons. elevator, rudder and retractable landing gear. The landing gear works very nicely! Both wheels drop together but when I go gear up they close one at a time just as the real plane's gear did. This action is controlled by an electric board that all of the wing electronics plug into. As mentioned above I moved this board to the topside of the wing. I secured it to the right side of the fuselage wall with Velcro. Behind it I secured my Spektrum 7 channel receiver.
The main four flight controls worked very well together. I found I could adjust the throttle for fast or slow flight and the plane stayed fairly close to level flight from half throttle on up. Some climb at either speeds but nice stability. I could make turns with just ailerons and elevator but found adding in about 25% rudder made the turns smoother and more realistic looking. I experience no problems or bad habits in flying the Zero and was well pleased were her handling in normal flight. I rate her a very nice flyer! When I later added a sound unit with one speaker this added 3 1/2 ounces with the sound unit and another ounce in lead to properly balance the plane. This brought the weight up to 67 ounces. She still handled and flew well but her rate of climb and top speed in level flight were both slightly reduced. Because I was using a larger battery then the one recommended in the manual I was getting nice long flight times. I got ten minutes with a 3200mAh battery but I now limit my flying time to 8 minutes if possible with that battery and ten minutes with the larger 4000mAh battery.
The Zero's landing gear is not to close to the fuselage. This makes it easier to avoid accidents on take offs and landings then planes having gear close to the fuselage. Still I strongly recommend every effort be made so that you can takeoff and land going into the wind. Cross winds make wing touches and possible crashes from tipping possible. Just plan ahead and be prepared and you should be fine. On takeoffs I like to advance the throttle slowly and build up speed to get air flowing over the wing and tail and make the control surfaces active. If you slam the throttle forward the plane may lift off before you really have enough control with the control surfaces. Finally, I am always ready with the rudder to counter torque if I try and fly too soon. That said the plane when taking off into the wind has always performed well. Likewise landings made into the wind with the motor still powering the plane have also gone well. Be sure to slow way down before trying to turn as the plane will touch its wing tips to the ground on the outside of the turn if you try and turn while still rolling too fast.
Simply put: By thinking before I act I have found the plane performs both takeoffs and landings very well.
The Zero is equipped with split flaps. Taking off, flying with and landing with the split flaps in take-off position did cause the Zero to fly slower but there was no significant flare upwards due to these flaps in the take-off or half way position. I limited my use of the landing flaps to when the Zero was on final, slowing down and only about 10 feet above the runway. The full flaps in those conditions caused her to slow down even more and settle down. I found the split flaps, especially in take-off position fun to use and not difficult to keep the plane on the desired flight path and in good control.
The main aerobatics I have performed have been axial rolls and loops and she performs both of them well. For the rolls I like to start with a very slight climb as I enter the roll. If the speed is too low she falls off at the end of the roll. With 3/4s or full throttle the rolls are nice throughout. She flies inverted very nicely. She flies slightly better without the sound unit as it adds weight but she still handles well. The people I know that have one enjoy the heck out of flying her and i feel the same way. Watch the main flight video and judge for yourself.
No! It is a low wing warbird and I recommend beginners start with a high wing trainer plane. This is an excellent plane once the pilot has advanced to the intermediate flight level. I do not recommend it for the beginner.
You Tube video demonstrating the electric retracts and the split flaps.
|Video on HSD's RC Zero's Electric Retracts & Split Flaps (1 min 12 sec)|
The following videos were taken with the optional Sense Innovations sound unit installed and operating.
Flying a lap at the field with the flaps in take-off position.
|The HSD Zero Demo Flying with Half Flaps (1 min 45 sec)|
The major flight and sound demonstration video.
|Demonstration flying the HSD Zero with ESS Air Sound Simulator (6 min 32 sec)|
I want to thank Banggood for supplying this plane to RC Groups for review. I want to thank my friend, Chris Tapangcura for flying my Zero so I could shoot pictures and video for this review. My thanks to the RC Groups' manager and to our editor for their assistance with this review.Last edited by Michael Heer; Nov 16, 2015 at 04:12 PM..
United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Nov 2003
A superb, thoroughly detailed review of the HSD Zero. I could not agree with you more with the pro and con of this beautiful plane.
The only other comment is the horizontal stabilizer rod weighs approximately .5oz or 15grams. It takes a considerable amount of weight up front to counteract for balancing. I'm thinking carbon fiber rod here instead.
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