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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:19 PM
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Low AltiDude
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Zupair Z1

I think there needs to be a Z1 thread here in the Slope forum. There's another thread in the Flying Wings forum but it's been taken over by people who think this glider needs to be powered and that's just so wrong on so many levels as far as I'm concerned.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Zupair Z1 it's a 68" composite wing that was designed and is marketed by a fellow who lives here in Southern California. There are lots of things to like about the Z1 but perhaps it's most intriguing feature is it will fly well in even the lightest conditions as illustrated by this video from the Zupair website:

Beach Skimming (2 min 4 sec)

I got mine a couple of months ago but I didn't put it together right away because I was at a loss for a way to mount a 2.4GHz RX in it without whiskers sticking out through the carbon. I finally came up with a plan and put it together for the Katie Martin Tribute Fun Fly at Torrey Pines Glider Port a couple of weekends ago, but the wind was coming in at an angle and the slope was eating planes so I decided that wasn't the best place for a maiden flight.

The following weekend I tried to fly it at Kite Hill, but there wasn't enough lift to keep anything in the air for long so that basically turned into a glide test.

Last weekend I went to Glider Point on both Saturday and Sunday and finally got some air time with it. The lift wasn't exactly spectacular either day but there was plenty of lift for the Z1. At one point on Sunday I landed the Z1 and tossed my trusty Weasel out for a comparison flight. I didn't have much trouble keeping it airborne but it didn't fly with enough energy to do much more than just cruise around. Then I tossed the Z1 back out and I could basically roll it, loop it, and fly inverted with impunity in the same lift.

And I can't wait to toss it out into some good smooth lift!

I know there are other Z1s out there that are flown as slope planes so I'm starting this thread so we have a place to swap notes and share our experiences with them. I'm personally aware of several of the Kite Hill crowd who bought 'em but haven't built them yet and a fellow showed up with one last Saturday at Glider Point.

I'll be following this post with some RX installation notes (how I did it) as soon as I can take a couple of photos. I'm getting too much glare from a flash so that will have to happen out in the daylight.

Pete
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
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Nice one Pete, I finished my Z1 a few weeks ago and have been having so much fun with it. It is great at light wind suburban soaring if you can find some small ridges. I haven't been able to get to any large coastal ridges (maybe this weekend) to really let her rip, but have been pinging it up on the fitted bungee hook and it goes great.
I am one of those awful people who also stuck a motor on it , but it does add another aspect to the model's versatility. The pod is just tapped on - set up time is about 5 mins and I can whip it off in about 2.

ZupAir Z1 on the wire (2 min 53 sec)
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Hi Pete, I've got one in the box too. I'll be interested in your rx installation. So many projects...
I was at Bluff Park a while back and my Alula was barely flying. Zach was there flying his Z1. When I landed he started doing loops, one after another, right in front of the rail. I looked at him and said "you can't do that, there isn't enough wind". He just grinned

Dave
I should go build something
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumthinsFishy View Post
Hi Pete, I've got one in the box too. I'll be interested in your rx installation. So many projects...
I was at Bluff Park a while back and my Alula was barely flying. Zach was there flying his Z1. When I landed he started doing loops, one after another, right in front of the rail. I looked at him and said "you can't do that, there isn't enough wind". He just grinned

Dave
I should go build something
Go Build Dave ...

Go Build Dave ...

Go Build Dave ...

Rubio
who is building now...
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:39 AM
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ZupAir Z1

Yeap,
There are four locals at Glider Point that own and fly them.
Fun wings to fly.
They thermal well and get on step quickly on the slope.
More of a fun relaxing plane to fly.
With the wing loading at 4.3 oz/sq ft they fly in very little lift as mentioned and a are delight to fly.
The construction is kevlar/carbon over blue foam and care needs to be taken when handling and transporting. 68" wing is kinda big so a truck bed is very handy.
The plane works well at Glider Point with it's challenging conditions. The build is pretty easy, Pete I just taped the antennas on top of the wing in the kevlar regions.

ZupAir Z1 is ***** or five stars with this GP local.....of course I own a truck and that eases the transport issues....


Alan
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Receiver Install

For this to make sense you need to understand a couple of things:

First, I don't like antennas sticking out of my planes. I really hated the damned 72MHz long wires and I don't feel much different about 2.4GHz whiskers.

Second, I chose the Xtreme Power Systems (XPS) 2.4GHz system when I finally retired all my 72MHz gear and I fly the XPS Nano receivers exclusively. Despite their tiny size they have unprecedented range and they operate reliably down to 2.0V which makes them very suitable for gliders with 4-cell NiMH RX packs in them. But the XPS Nano receivers aren't real carbon friendly. Unlike many 2.4GHz receivers, the two whiskers on the Nano are not individual antennas. They're both part of a single dipole antenna so they need to stick straight out from the receiver board and you can't have something which blocks RF energy between the two whiskers. In other words, you can't simply poke holes in a carbon fuselage and stick the whiskers through like you can with most other 2.4GHz receivers.

There have been some reports of Nano receivers working acceptably in carbon fuselages but I couldn't make one range test in the RX bay of the Z1. I even made a G10 bungee hook plate (RF transparent) hoping it would help, but I still couldn't even come close to passing a range test. So the only conclusion I could come to was I needed to get the receiver out from under the carbon layer and the photos show where I pit it.

What I did was carve the new bay into the wing and cored a hole through the foam between the original receiver bay and the new one. Then I removed the sticker cover from the RX, unsoldered/removed the pins, and soldered in four 5" pigtails which I made out of the male ends of light duty servo extensions. Why four pigtails? 1 for power, 2 for elevons, and one for the binding plug.

Then I poked some holes in the foam for the antenna whiskers and shoved a couple of pieces of 0.047" plastic pushrod sleeve in them. Then it was a simple matter of feeding the antenna whiskers into the pushrod sleeves, laying the RX board down in the bay, removing the pins from the pigtail plug housings, shoving the wires through the hole from the new to the original RX bay, replacing the pigtail housings, and slapping a piece of Scotch "Book Tape" over the new RX bay.

And there you have it. The rest of the build was pretty standard. I used Hitec HS-5055MG digital servos because I had them and they fit the servo bays and I went with the basic "control horn through the top of the wing" install. I'm using a flat pack of 4 Eneloop AAA cells and it took 1.75 oz of lead in the nose to put my CG at 1-3/8".

And it works. In fact, it works real well and it doesn't detract from the sleek lines of the Z1. About the only thing I'd do differently if I did it again is make the pigtails about an inch shorter and use the little 2-pin JST connectors for my battery plug.

I'll post some setup notes and flying impressions in another post.

Pete
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Last edited by PGR; Jun 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:34 PM
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Setup notes & flying impressions

As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up with a CG that was 1-3/8" forward of the trailing corner of the vee with 1.75 oz of ballast in the nose. I'll undoubtedly play with the CG to see what happens, but I'm very happy with how my Z1 flies at that CG.

I'm a "high rates" kind of guy so I went with Zach's suggested +- 9mm of elevator throw and +- 15mm of aileron throw with lots of expo for my initial setup. The Z1 was completely controllable with that setup but +- 9mm of elevator is a LOT more than the Z1 needs, at least at a 1-3/8" CG. Full elevator input would stall the wing and literally stop it in the air. Roughly half stick would produce square turns and tight, quick loops with a 5-6 foot radius. I'm talking "Jaysus, did you see that?" kind of stuff! My guess is +- 5-6mm of elevator throw at full stick is all the Z1 will need, but I've still got some testing to do.

As for roll (aileron) rate, +- 15 mm of travel seems to be the point of diminishing return and it certainly doesn't have a blistering roll rate at that travel. The Z1 has a 68" span and it isn't going to roll real fast, but that's certainly not a complaint. The Z1 is all about graceful carving and if you really want to "impress" you can always thumb the elevator to the stop.

Well those are my initial observations. I still haven't had an opportunity to fly my Z1 in anything near what I would consider ideal conditions for it, but I'm just blown away by how well it flies in marginal conditions.

Pete
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
ZupAir Z1 is ***** or five stars with this GP local.....of course I own a truck and that eases the transport issues....
It gets my seal of approval too:



And it even fits quite nicely in my Mitsubishi Mirage if I fold down a rear seat.

Pete
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 02:39 AM
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I'm interested. A 2 piece option would be really cool.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 07:37 AM
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That would be quite doable. The kit comes with separate wing halves and it would just be a matter of fitting cf tubes (2 sets) into the wings (through the cf spine) to link them up. Then you could join them with fibre tape with black tape on top of that to produce a nice finish..
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Made it out to the beach last weekend and gave the Z1 it's maiden coastal soaring flight. The forecast an hour before I got there was for 20kt winds increasing to 30kts so I did not hold out much hope for getting a flight in. But, when I got to the slope there was a piddly little 2kt wind struggling up the slope, just the conditions the Z1 was designed to take advantage of.

Here's a short vid. The launch and first couple of scenes was in the 2kt breeze with a stronger wind later on in the vid. Because of its tough wing and thin foil, the Z1 can fly in a wide speed range. This is such a fun model - love it.



Z1 flying wing ridge soaring (1 min 46 sec)
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 08:47 PM
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Nice video Kiwi!

I went up to Glider Point here in Southern California yesterday and stuck an 808#16 key fob camera on my Z1 and a helmet-mounted Contour+ on my head and flew a couple of video flights. My intent was to combine the air-to-ground and ground-to-air footage into a mashup and post it but there was something very wrong with how I had the Contour+ set and the video was useless. That kind of killed my enthusiasm about the project, but I guess I need to compose something from the key fob video and post it.

This afternoon I took the Z1 and a couple other planes to Bluff Park. Zupair Zack was there and for awhile there were 6 or 7 Z1s present, but never more than 3 in the sky at one time. The conditions were just about perfect for that kind of plane and I had my video gear with me, but I was having so much fun flying that I forgot to get it out.

Pete
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 01:36 AM
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Ok, here's a quick mashup I composed of video I shot with an 808#16 keychain camera stuck to the nose of my Z1. The slope is Glider Point in Yorba Linda and the lift was actually marginal and turbulent because the wind was coming from too far west, but the Z1 took it all in stride as long as I didn't let it get too deep.

Zupair Z1 at Glider Point (4 min 11 sec)

Pete
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Z1 at Catalina Island

Z1 at Catalina Island (2 min 15 sec)


sorry no sound so humm to your self...
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 06:47 PM
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funner than a bunch of monkeys on a banana boat..
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