View Poll Results: How would you rate this build thread
Good coverage of build and kit quality 30 96.77%
Not so good 1 3.23%
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Jun 03, 2010, 12:37 AM
Balsa Dust Vs Foam Dust
plane_tech's Avatar
How about this one... while installing the cabin carpet in an A320 tonight, carpet that the customer supplies, to their EXACT specs... yeah right...
The center aisle, consisting of 7 pieces, 6 were within 1/4" of being perfect on length, and 1/32" of perfect on the width. O.k. we can deal with this.
The last piece, 3/4" too long, 1-1/2" too wide....Hmmmm now what do you tell the customer that supplied the parts and the plane is due to leave tomorrow?
Funny thing was, the engineer who did the dwgs for the new series birds was at our shop about a month ago and was asking about this. He didnt think it was funny when we told him the dimensions are off 75% of the time. His response? "Well we always check all the dimensions on the each upgrade to make sure they are still right. Problem is they do this before the seats, wire harnesses, etc are in. Go figure.

The problem is, I see this all the time, and not just at work.
Why is it that we have become a society that will accept mediocrity as an acceptable excuse to poor craftsmanship? Maybe thats why its easier and faster to get an ARF than it is to build from a kit or scratch build. But why is this the popular answer?

Thankfully there are true craftsman like Kevin to help fill in where the big guys wont. Everything I have seen of this plane so far shows that there are people out there still that care about what they do, and are proud of it. Kevin, even though I am not on the list for the Zip33, I feel your pain. I am sure we all do. Would I be willing to wait an extra week or so? You are [email protected] straight I would. And I would have no problem picking up the extra shipping either... I say this while eagerly awaiting the Zalon.... Motor and ESC are all packed away safely awaiting to thrash the local site.....

Sorry for the sidebar rant...
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Jun 03, 2010, 12:40 AM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
The guy who delivered it was from a local courier and didn't even blink. SOP for Hawaii. All buss up.

I appreciate the compliments and the offer to pay the shipping. But that wasn't the deal, so I'll deal with that. Again thanks.

The old "If you want something done right, do it yourself" seems to be the rule of the day.

There is another side to this. As you likely know by now, I've traveled fairly extensively, and have my own perspective on workers around the planet. Having either directed many nationalities on projects, or been a team member myself. What I see, and this is obvious to many of you, is a somewhat unique penchant of western companies ditching their experienced personnel for far lesser paid replacements. In product design, we try to move the older designers into mentoring, team lead, or management positions. I experienced this myself. The edge dulls, and fresh designers have the pulse, as well as having an unencumbered perspective to innovate. The older guys like me know what works, so we just steer the team away from the edge, but let them have their head. Manufacturing is different. Just dump the experience and cut costs. So they are often left with managers who have little experience or time to build up pride (which is spurred by confidence) and have nearly no idea of what's right. If the company has cut other sections of the workforce, or replaced personnel on the line for the same reasons, it's the blind leading the blind.

The problem for us as a national economy, is that we are slicing and dicing at the very time when we can't afford to make mistakes. We are cutting costs without looking at the impact even a year ahead. Likely because we replaced our experienced accountants and analysts with lower paid personnel.

Cheers,
Kevin
Last edited by KJMDES; Jun 03, 2010 at 05:09 AM.
Jun 03, 2010, 12:46 AM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
The sad part, or one of the sad parts, is that this is not confined to the States. It has been getting worse in Europe with each passing year, and China is catching the fever of faster, cheaper, NOW!

I guess we just have to focus on our own little piece of the universe, and hope that we can endure the Bozo's awhile longer.
Last edited by KJMDES; Jun 03, 2010 at 05:10 AM.
Jun 03, 2010, 12:59 AM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
And yeah, I am stunned by the response many people have to critique. It's often either denial or deflection.

So moving forward, I'll get nine kits out Friday or Saturday, and deal with the cutter for the other eleven wing sets. Then, I will put all production on hold till our cutter is up and running.
Last edited by KJMDES; Jun 03, 2010 at 01:33 AM.
Jun 03, 2010, 01:24 AM
that's gonna hurt...
Kevlar, sorry to hear all this, I know you have put a lot into the plan. It would be easy to pack it in, but I sense you will not.

I hope it doesn't sound like a broken record, but as one of the few which has actually built and flown the 33, this ship is really worth the wait. I'm a full blown composite junkie ( also Kevin's fault by the way ), but I was excited to receive and build my 1st wood kit in a long time. For several weeks, Kev got a phone call every weekend with comments and questions about the build. Every night after work, I slipped out to the garage, trying to get at least one more step completed. Once the maiden was done, I wanted to share my excitement immediately.

So Kev, don't let the b*st*rds get you down. The 33 is special, and your customers want you to stay the course.

Bruce
Jun 03, 2010, 01:25 AM
Sky Surfers
-=RCpeterV=-'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJMDES

The old "If you want something done right, do it yourself" seems to be the rule of the day.
A fellow firefighter and myself spent most of our careers "keeping the wheels from falling off" 'round the firehouse.

The Bell Axiom....."If it's meant to be, it's up to me" still rings true.

Gotta love the guy .
Jun 03, 2010, 02:53 AM
PWP!
ajroahkni's Avatar
Sorry Kevin. Hate to see packing carnage like that.

Though, those photos of the box had me doing that "lol" thing. I think the tape says: 'FRAGILE. DO NOT C DO NOT"

Thus, i'm blaming all damages on the taper, not the shipper. Obvious that the notice could have been clearer.

In better (for the rest of us) news, sounds like you are abandoning all outsourcing and have the capacity to mfg everything (going Zaero-forward) in-house. Sweet!
Jun 03, 2010, 05:05 AM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi John,
Keep thinking your going to stop by, but still don't hear the gravel stirring. Anytime. I have something for you in the goodie box.

Oh yeah, this was the taper over there. Pure and simple. I think they stopped the guys here from playing socker with the Toshiba boxes awhile back.

Yep, how cool is that? Start making your wish list now. If only it cut carbon plate. Ummmmmmm..................

My mini mill will only cut 2x5 inch stock, but that is perfect for SlotLogic plates. Hint, hint

Cheers,
Kevin
Jun 03, 2010, 06:46 AM
Taranis Tyro...
MattyB's Avatar
Keep fighting the good fight Kevin; my mate and I have decided against the 33, but we are definitely intersted in the larger version as and when it becomes available. Quality outweighs speed every time in my book!

Matt
disappointed in his homeland on this occasion!
Jun 03, 2010, 03:39 PM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
I'm in the fight, swinging and dodging. No worries.

Belair did get back promply, and are cutting the missing panels now. Confused as to the packaging damage. It's a lesson, something we all need here and there to keep us awake.

Cheers,
Kevin
Jun 03, 2010, 05:56 PM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
In case I've missed you on the waiting list, below is the current update. If you don't recive the email, drop me a note and I'll add you.

As will be noted, I have reversed my position on breaking up the orders. See below for details.

Zip33

I've put off doing this update, because frankly, its been a challenging few weeks. As some of you know, we received the wood yesterday and it was missing ten wing sets. The cutter has achknowledged the error, and is making it up now. I expect them to ship any day, and be here next week.

There was also an error in making the ribs, and this seems to be a glitch with the cutters software, so I am doing a suppliment to point out the ribs and their number, like the original draft of the manual. I've already burned all the CD's, so this will be printed and dropped in the box.

I was faced with two choices regarding shipping. One, make a mess of the shipping and send out kits to the first builders on the list, or two, just wait for the other wing sets. Now that I've been assured they will ship immediately, I've decided to wait. And I am asking the same of you.

On the up side, we have a new VesaLaser 50 watt burner coming in about two weeks. This is not only a great advantage for production, it will also expand development of the new designs coming soon, and allow us to help some builders with thier projects.

So if you can wait, bare with me another week. If this has all been too much for your sensibilities, I am prepared to refund your money. No problem. Its totally your call, no worries.

Zip55

The Z55 is looking good. I've been plugging along at at a pace that should coincide with the laser showing up. Along with all the headaches and logistics of getting Zaero off the ground, the timing is about right!

It looks like I'll hit the mark at 6.5 oz/sqft on the loading. Possibly lighter. The structure is stressed for ballast up to 11 oz/sqft. I've revived my SlotLogic wing drive system from the eighties, as the laser cutting tech looks like a good match for production. Plates will laser cut Delrin or cnc'd with the mini mill. I'll try cutting it on the laser, as I've been assure Delrin will cut well, but I'm a bit skeptical, so will play with it.

Don't look for images of the 55 mechanics untill preproduction. I don't want to advertise the system before release.

The electronic configuration is set with a few builder options. Like the Z33, the battery option is tight. Everything in this fuse is tight. You'll be able to make up the 6V pack from 2/3 AA cells, or find a 4.8V flat pac. Here are the options;

Thermal - UltraLight configuration;
6V
2) HS-55 or 5055 digital tail servos
2) HS-65MG or 5065 digital wing servos

Light Slope;
6V
2) HS-65 tail servos
2) HS-65MG or 5065 digital wing servos

Heavy Slope;
4.8V
2) HS-65MG or 5065 digital tail servos
2) HS-85MG or 5085 digital wing servos


Unless lightning strikes, the proto will be flying by the end of the month!

Zalon

The Zalon is getting less attention than I'd like, but it is moving forward. I've upgraded my design software just for this design, and its looking far better on curve generation for the solids. The fuselage I've been building is sized for a 30mm spinner. A 32mm is also possible. The airframe will be stressed for up to 375 watts and the fuse will accept LiPo pacs up to 2100 4S. It is a six servo design, and you'll need wing servos equivalent to the D-60 Dymond in size. The tail will accept HS-55 or 65's.

Cheers,
Kevin
Last edited by KJMDES; Jun 03, 2010 at 09:34 PM.
Jun 03, 2010, 10:20 PM
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KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
John Araki (Zip33 Video) came by to pick up a sample kit I put together today. Number 1 on the list and local, I wanted him to check out the kit and let me know if I've missed anything.

Go John!

Cheers,
Kevin
Jun 03, 2010, 10:45 PM
Registered User
KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
Hey Bruce,
Did you get my email 5/26?

And thanks for the endorsment!

Cheers,
Kevin
Jun 03, 2010, 11:44 PM
PWP!
ajroahkni's Avatar
Thanks for the very cool tour of Zaeroworks and the kit, Kevin.

The manual is awesome. The "MultiJig" is trick....guys, you use it to align the V-tail angle and then set the tail during the build. It is then used to set up incidence AND cg, and finally looks like you can use it as a stand as well. Very clever.
Jun 04, 2010, 12:55 AM
Registered User
KJMDES's Avatar
Thread OP
And.........It lasts about 12 hours in a mouse stove.

Good to see you today.

Forgot to tell you that a revised electronic suppliment will be ready about Monday. It will be added as a print in the kit for those who purchase the stage 2 or 3. I'll send it as a PDF. With the ports in the aft skins, you can now build the entire ship, and wire it later, so don't let that hold you up.

Cheers,
Kevin


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