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Hacker Models Zoom Zoom 4D Review

EPP (Expanded Poly Propylene) aircraft have become popular thanks to their durability. Jay Smith tests the Hacker Models Zoom Zoom 4D both off ground and water.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:35.4 inches
Wing Area:330 square inches
Flying Weight:13.9 ounces (15.8 ounces w/floats)
Length:36.2 inches
Wing Loading:6.07 oz. / sq. ft. (6.89 oz. / sq. ft. w/floats)
Servos:4 - JR Sport SM22
Transmitter:JR 12X
Receiver:Spektrum AR6100
Battery:Thunder Power 1320mAh 3S LiPoly
Motor:Torque 22T/930
ESC:Castle Creations Thunderbird 18
Prop:APC 10 x 4.7
Distributor:Hacker Model

If you are looking for a durable sport or 3D EPP airplane, Hacker Models has you covered. They have several sizes available and all come with pre-painted graphics. Floats are also available, and switching between floats and landing gear takes only a couple of minutes and can be done in the field or at the pond.

The Zoom Zoom 4D is just the right size for easy transport but big enough to handle the wind.

So what's in the box?

Kit includes:

  • Painted EPP foam fuselage and wing
  • EPP wheel pants
  • Hardware (EZ type connectors, pushrods and horns)
  • Prebent landing gear
  • Elevator & Ailerons already hinged
  • Large assembly manual with pictures and text instructions

Kit requires:

  • Motor
  • Propeller
  • 3s LiPoly battery
  • 4 servos
  • Receiver
  • 4 channel minimum transmitter

Used for this review:

Assembly

The Zoom Zoom 4D looks great right out of the box, and the ailerons and elevator don't need to be hinged. You can expect completion in about 4 hours. Also keep in mind that EPP foam does not require the use of foam safe CA.

The builder needs to:

  • Install reinforcement wire for the wing and fuselage
  • Install motor box and the power system
  • Install the rudder
  • Install Aileron, Elevator, and Rudder Horns
  • Install radio system
  • Glue Wing halves and Install wings
  • Install landing gear

Wing and Fuselage Reinforcement

The instructions call for wire to be installed in both sides of the fuselage and both sides of the wing to add strength. To do this you must cut a slit in the foam, and insert the wire. I chose to deviate slightly by using a slightly larger carbon fiber rod on the underside of the wing. This kept me from having to cut a slit in the top of the wing where the pre-painted EPP looked so nice.

Motor and ESC Installation

The Torque motor required a small amount of foam to be removed at the back of the opening so that the motor would not rub. The motor is bolted to the ply motor plate included with the kit. The instructions call for cutting a small slit in the fuselage for the ESC.

Rudder and Elevator

The elevator requires that you attach a small piece of wood to allow both elevator halves to move together. The control horn has a slit in it to fit over the wood reinforcement. The horizontal stab and elevator are then glued in the fuselage.

The rudder hinges to the aft of the fuselage using the included pin hinges that are poked into both the rudder and the fuselage and glued into place. A hinge wire is then bent to length, per the manual, and inserted through the pin hinges. It is then stuck into the fuselage at the bottom and glued in place.

Radio Installation

The manual provides the locations for the builder to make the cutouts for the servos. I wrapped each servo in blue painterís tape and glued them in for easy removal later, if necessary. The manual also suggests cutting a place for the receiver but I opted to Velcro it to the bottom of the fuselage. The aircraft comes with an extended double-sided aileron horn that you are instructed to glue onto the servo horn included with the servo. I chose to screw it in as well to be sure it doesn't come loose.

Note: If using the included pushrod connectors, be sure to get them quite snug. I had the rudder connector come loose on the first flight.

Completion

The Zoom Zoom 4D comes with foam wheel paints that I opted to leave off as I will be flying off both a paved runway and grass.

I deviated slightly with battery placement and decided to Velcro the battery on the bottom of the fuselage and use a Velcro strap to keep the battery in place. The instructions call for an opening to be cut in the fuselage to accommodate for the batteries. The placement is just behind the landing gear mount, and I was concerned about weakening this area.

The CG was set at 120mm behind the leading edge of the wing per the manual. Throws were as much as I could get with 40% Expo on all controls.

Flying

The first flight was behind the house in a grass field. An underhand launch at 3/4 throttle and she took to the air. After some trim adjustments, I began trying some basic aerobatics. The Torque motor had decent vertical performance at 150 watts. Knife edge performance was good and didn't have too much coupling. Hovers were fairly stable but needed a little more elevator throw to lock them in. Rolls are both relatively fast and axial. Snap rolls are also fun but on the second snap roll the rudder locked hard over. Once on the ground, I found the pushrod had come loose in the connector and jammed with full right rudder.

The flight for the video was done on a paved runway in about 15 mph winds. Michael Ramsey was kind enough to fly her so I could take the video. He found the Zoom Zoom 4D to be a delightful flyer even in the wind. He noted on the solid knife edge and inverted performance and enjoyed the harrier landings into the wind.

Takeoff and Landing

The Zoom Zoom 4D can take off from a hard surface into the wind in 3-4 feet. On grass, I found it was difficult to keep her from nosing over so I prefer to hand launch. Landing is a nonevent. The aircraft slows down nicely, and I like to keep a little power on through touchdown.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Characteristics

Because of its durable EPP construction, the Zoom Zoom 4D is most fun down low doing knife edge and inverted passes. Inverted harriers are also a breeze. It is also a good 3D trainer, and I have been practicing my hovers much lower than with other aircraft.

The size of the plane is perfect to fly in smaller areas, and it has the power to complete aerobatic maneuvers. When it is time to land she slows down to a walking pace with a slight headwind.

Zoom Zoom 4D on Floats

The floats are easy to assemble and require two holes in each float to be drilled for the landing gear. I drilled the holes by hand using a drill bit to keep them straight. The floats we complete in less than 10 minutes.

I was very impressed with how easy it is to switch from landing gear to floats with the Zoom Zoom 4D. It can be switched over in the field without any tools in less than two minutes! The floats, like the landing gear, are pushed into wooden mounts in the fuselage.

The 4D had no problem getting out of the water in less than six feet with the Extreme Flight Torque motor. The floats do add some drag to the airframe and puts the CG slightly further aft.

Aerobatics with the floats installed are not a problem; however, they are not as crisp and graceful. The only problem I encountered was by placing the receiver on the bottom of the fuselage it got a little wet after several touch and go's. It is well out of the water on the floats but was effected by splashing water. I may move the receiver or cover it to keep it dry in the future.

Is This Plane For A Beginner

While a model made of EPP foam would be good for a beginner due to its durability, the Zoom Zoom 4D is definitely not for a beginner. This aircraft would make a good second aileron airplane or for those looking to further themselves in aerobatic or 3D flight. Don't be afraid to push it as it will take some punishment.

Photo Gallery/Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

The Hacker Models Zoom Zoom 4D is as versatile as it is tough. The ability to fly it without landing gear, with landing gear and with floats without tools really makes it fun. The EPP foam construction gives you more confidence in trying maneuvers down on the deck with less fear of going home early for repairs.

Pluses:

  • Versatility
  • Tough EPP Construction
  • Colorful scheme makes for easy orientation
  • Lightweight

Minuses:

  • Included pushrod connectors may come loose if not overly tight
  • Included wheels are too hard (Replaced with foam wheels)
Last edited by Angela H; Apr 21, 2009 at 10:44 AM..

Discussion

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Old Apr 27, 2009, 10:54 PM
Crashasaurus Dumbthumus
road_rascal's Avatar
USA, MN, Apple Valley
Joined Dec 2008
1,506 Posts
Very nice. I may have to add this to my collection. Looks like fun!
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 12:28 AM
Registered User
ekotil's Avatar
Athens, Texas, United States
Joined Jul 2004
1,669 Posts
Zz

Good report! Great video! Outstanding landing! Had to turn OFF the music!
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 01:14 AM
WARNING: May contain spam
Xpress..'s Avatar
United States, CA, Alpine
Joined Oct 2007
20,936 Posts
Nice review! It's almost suprising how well a 3D plane can still fly with floats
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 01:38 AM
Want to Fly, Have to Work
BeerBatter's Avatar
Orlando, FL
Joined Feb 2003
990 Posts
I'll take "the model" please
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 11:59 AM
3D it
kell0993's Avatar
grandjunction, CO
Joined Feb 2007
511 Posts
where can i get one???
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 12:18 PM
Registered User
JWilliams2's Avatar
NY State
Joined Jan 2007
2,833 Posts
I clicked this review for the cute model
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 09:09 PM
Team 3DHS
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San Antonio, TX
Joined Sep 2004
15,632 Posts
Great review Doc.
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 02:38 AM
GorillaGlue, Tape...I'm good
SillyCornValley, CA, USA
Joined Jun 2007
216 Posts
Great model!

The plane isn't bad either.
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 02:21 AM
living in Japan member
Belgium (Europe)
Joined Oct 2002
393 Posts
Nice review
one question
you mention you need 4 servo's. Do the ailerons use one servo per wing or are they moved by one (center) servo. By looking at the pictures I would say 1 central servo but then I wonder where you use the 4th servo.
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 05:49 AM
Timelord
Doctor Who's Avatar
USA, IN, Muncie
Joined Mar 2002
2,412 Posts
Good catch. It actually only uses three, Aileron, Elevator and Rudder.

I replaced the aileron servo with another as I had an issue with the gears so that must be why I was thinking four when I wrote it. Oversight on my part.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anatak
Nice review
one question
you mention you need 4 servo's. Do the ailerons use one servo per wing or are they moved by one (center) servo. By looking at the pictures I would say 1 central servo but then I wonder where you use the 4th servo.
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 05:10 PM
Flying low is expensive.
pdiddyg40's Avatar
United States, CO, Boulder
Joined Jul 2008
2,398 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekotil
Good report! Great video! Outstanding landing! Had to turn OFF the music!
I agree with it all! great job! Can't agree too much with your music choice though.
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Old May 01, 2009, 07:20 AM
ModemMisuser
Lafayette, IN
Joined Dec 2007
1,095 Posts
Bah, don't listen to em Jay. That's a killer take on Sanitarium...!
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Old May 01, 2009, 12:08 PM
explore!...
Kristian k's Avatar
Slovakia
Joined Jul 2008
199 Posts
Yeah, I don't agree as well, although the music was missing something (a female voice I guess) I still liked it. It wasn't something that really fit the plane though, it was different, but I liked the music very much, could you tell me the name of the song, please?

and nice vid and review!
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Old May 01, 2009, 12:10 PM
ModemMisuser
Lafayette, IN
Joined Dec 2007
1,095 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristian k
Yeah, I don't agree as well, although the music was missing something (a female voice I guess) I still liked it. It wasn't something that really fit the plane though, it was different, but I liked the music very much, could you tell me the name of the song, please?

and nice vid and review!
That's an acoustic version of "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", a classic Metallica song. Not sure who did that remake, though I assume it's Apocalyptica.
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