Zipper rips in Paradise - RC Groups
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Aug 28, 2003, 03:44 AM
Free as a bird now.

Zipper rips in Paradise

Jono flew his newly aquired Zipper for the first time today.

When we all arrived at about 2:00 pm, winds were light, barely flyable. Marc Wax (Waxer) was there, and I was really worried that Marc wasn't going to have much fun.

Fortunately, the winds soon picked up and settled into a nice steady 15 mph or so. 15 mph is not great by Maui standards, but at Kahakuloa it is plenty enough wind to provide lift for anything you might want to fly.

Jono was VERY nervous. He told us he had barely slept in two nights. This was due to nerves and to spending long hours on programming and setting up the plane.

I tested the air with my 53 oz Phoenix, and it flew fine. I convinced Jono that there was plenty of wind for the Zipper, and after a final check of controls and trim, I heaved it off the edge of the 600' cliff for him. (It's always so much easier to chuck someone else's plane on it's first flight. Heheheh)

The launch was good, but the plane appeared to want to dive. Jono quickly added a few clicks of up trim and the plane became nice and stable on pitch. Soon the plane was on step and flying great. The zipper has great speed and energy, and it grooved like it was on rails.

The late afternoon sun really lit the brightly colored plane right up, and it looked really gorgeous in the air.

Jono flew the plane for a at least a good solid 45 minutes before he allowed us to talk him in to trying some landing approaches. He was very nervous about trying a landing, and he probably would have flown until dark if we had let him.

His nervousness was again unfounded. The first go around was a little high and a little hot, but the plane looked rock solid. The next time around Jono greased it right in for a perfect, gentle, sliding landing that stopped right at his own feet. WHOHOO!

I don't think I've ever seen a pilot with a bigger grin on his face after a maiden flight. Well done Jono!

Here's a few pics.
Last edited by Brian Courtice; Aug 28, 2003 at 12:41 PM.
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Aug 28, 2003, 03:47 AM
Free as a bird now.
Marc and Steve observe as Jono carves up the Maui sky.
Aug 28, 2003, 03:48 AM
Free as a bird now.
Another look.
Aug 28, 2003, 03:49 AM
Free as a bird now.
Last one.
Aug 28, 2003, 03:57 AM
Registered User
Lil' Johnny's Avatar
Great shots Brian, Always good to hear a successful maiden, I wonder if you guys tell young slopers over campfires of unsuccessfull maidens that ended in horrifying plunges to the deep water below, only to be found months later floating in the Molokai' channel Tell you what, I miss the Islands more and more each time you post Thanks for the great pics and rundown of the zipper..............

Aug 28, 2003, 04:03 AM
Free as a bird now.
Hehehe. You really got me laughing Johnny because I could tell a few nightmare stories just like that!
Aug 28, 2003, 04:04 AM
Registered User
Lil' Johnny's Avatar
Not to highjack, but any of them yours
Aug 28, 2003, 05:03 AM
bjaffee's Avatar
Awesome! Glad to see that airplane flying again.

To be honest, I sold that plane because I wasn't entirely happy with how it flew. I had really thought maybe I had built it wrong, as there was a slight bend in one of the elevons, and I wasn't sure if it was just the elevon that was bent, or if the wing was twisted. It was fast in really good lift, but in any other conditions, my other planes flew better. That's why I sold it at the local hobby shop (rather then ebay)...I wanted to make sure that the person that bought it could take a good look at it first.

Eventually, though, I came to the conclusion that the plane was just quirky. Even those who love the thing seem to comment on the same habbits that I had noticed with mine.

Maui, OTOH, seems like a great place for it. My friend visted Brian there last year, and with the way he described the lift in "average" conditions, the Zipper should be ripping it up every day!

I wonder if the guy who bought it from the LHS actually tried to fly it. If he flew it on a light lift California day, he would have probably been dissapointed, I guess.
Aug 28, 2003, 06:34 AM
Do anything for a Mach 1
jonoknight's Avatar

The Zipper Zips !

Nice pics as always Brian! Sweet !

After a shaky start (my set-up was a little nose down!) the zipper was a blast to fly. She seemed like she would prefer stronger wind than we had today (12-16 mph) and she did not like to slow down, just as you say bjaffee. Although, at slower speeds (read: relatively), she was still maneuverable and responsive.

But once she was on step (as they say) she was very quick to respond and seemed to have a good bite in the air, turning hard and tracking well. Half pipes will be really fun with better wind and dare I say it... ballast!

Pylon turns were good on the occasions when I must have done something right, with lots of speed on exit. Rolls just got better the faster I flew her.

Speed passes were LOUD. She screams, no, she shrieks... It must be the hole at the back of the fuse where the control horns are.

Also there was a slight tendency for the pitch trim to change depending on the speed she was flying. A little up trim slows her down for a gentle, dead stick, level flight. With a little down trim she would fly faster, flat and level. Normal you say... But momentarily diving to get even more speed, and carve the sky a little, and the nose would gently start to rise again as speed picked up after the transmitter sticks were centered. More clicks of down trim to adjust... just flying faster now, flat and level...

There wasn't enough wind to try more than 8 down clicks on the trim... Puzzling behavior? (I'm not complaining as I quite like this, it makes you work the trims during the flight for different speeds & flight performance. Andy Ellison mentions this same "zoom" behavior when he reviewed the 48" Zipper on his web site.

Next time I'll try moving the CG back a little (1/16") and see if this behavior changes any.

Thanks again for Steve for selling her to me and for bjaffee for building her so well.

Your baby now lives in paradise !!
Last edited by jonoknight; Sep 01, 2003 at 07:37 PM.
Aug 28, 2003, 07:01 AM
bjaffee's Avatar
I've found that type of changing pitch trim behavior to be common in most of the plank-type planes that I've flown.

The roll rate is very good. You can crank in quite a bit of aileron, but do keep the elevator throws pretty low.
Aug 28, 2003, 09:26 AM
Just tape it, it'll fly
Pete-O's Avatar
Ah... it is so good to hear of another one of these in its element. I've been wrestling with mine for a while now, waiting for the right day, trying to get the CG right, putting it on a rock instead of grass when I decide to move the CG (thus ending its day)...that sort of thing. Finally last sunday, all of the elements came together and I put it down in one piece. Man, that's a fast roll, ain't it? I'll get a wingeron after this.

Maybe I'll post a pic later. I'll take it at lunch, but it won't be in the air, I'm sorry to say. It doesn't look nearly as good as Jono's, but maybe if I stand back a bit...

Aug 28, 2003, 02:21 PM
Just tape it, it'll fly
Pete-O's Avatar
...or maybe if my camera sucks...

Aug 28, 2003, 02:22 PM
Just tape it, it'll fly
Pete-O's Avatar
And the backside...
Aug 28, 2003, 03:14 PM
Free as a bird now.
Your Zipper looks great Pete-O! I like the bright green and the checkerboard. It makes it look fast just sitting there.

I have a Zipper myself that has been half built and collecting dust for a year or two. You guys are inspiring me to finish it up!
Aug 28, 2003, 03:25 PM
Just tape it, it'll fly
Pete-O's Avatar
Thanks for the kind words, but the bad resolution works like the "vaseline effect" on old movie stars. You can just sort of make out the scratches on the bottom, not to mention many other blemishes that I won't tell you about. If it wasn't for the front end of this thing being filled with epoxy, it would have been terminal some time ago, but I think it's survived my learning curve.

I was going for the fast look, wanted to make it entertaining to look at. But believe me when I say that I put a minimum of effort into its appearance. Well, sort of.


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