Thinking of getting finally) a zagi, few questions though. - RC Groups
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Nov 28, 2001, 11:06 AM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar

Thinking of getting finally) a zagi, few questions though.

Hi all,
after reading all of the prase (and arguments over this wing, tic), i've decided that i will probably get one. However, as the 400 is the only motorized version available in the uk, i was wandering bout a couple o' things.

1: do you really need metal gears i.e. how likely is it that you'll strip non mg ones?

2: will an 8 cell 800AR be good and fit this plane?

3: As it comes with no spars, how many, two or three and where to put them? plus what diameter CF?

4: After i'm used to it, i want to upgrade the motor to either a 450 turbo from WLM or a mag mayhem. thing is, i've never seen a mayhem for sale in uk and 450 falls right in existing mount, right?

5: will make winglets out of coroplast and maybe velcro e'm on but should i make coroplast elevons too?

6: to save weight on glue for spars, is there anything else apart from epoxy you can use safely?

Thanks any one who's brave enough to TAKE ON THIS ONSLAUGHT OF QUESTIONS. list any other crucial mods you think are good.


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Nov 28, 2001, 11:18 AM
Registered User
What about a Viper?

Nov 28, 2001, 01:46 PM
squelchF18's Avatar
Peter, you've made a wise decision. The Zagi is an absolute great airplane and you will enjoy it a great deal. Hopefully these answers will help:

1. I have not striped a servo gear yet, but I bought a used Zagi that came with servos, and one of them had about 3-4 teeth stripped. Fortunately it had little affect on the performance.

2. I'm not sure what those look like, but I have used an 8 cell SR500 max pack that fits perfectly under the canopy. They only gave about 3-4 minutes flight time though, so I bought 8x KR1400AE batteries. These did not fit under the canopy, so I dug out a hole in the top of the wing to make them fit. These will give you very good flight times. Later I added the Magnetic Mayhem motor, which really increased performance, but decreased flight times a bit. This set up still gives better flight time then the sp400 and 500 max batteries.

3. If you don't but in heavy batteries or a bigger motor, you don't really need a spar. But since you are already talking about buying new motors, I would put one in now so you won't mess up your covering later. I just used one aluminum arrow shaft that I got at Wal-Mart for $3. They also sell carbon fiber ones that are a little lighter. I don't know what your availability is over there.

4. Don't know

5. I made my winlets out of 4mil coroplast with the flutes running up and down. I just held them on by cutting a slit in them and running strapping tape to the top and bottom of the wing. I tried the velcro method, but it did not keep them rigid enough for me. I am still using my wood elevons, but it is a good idea to cover them with mono-kote or something similar before installing them. Mine have held up to several crashes. The used zagi I bought had wood elevons that were just painted and they were all beat up.

6. For glue on my spar I used Pro-Bond, which is a glue that activates with a little bit of water and expandes into a hard foam. It is lighter than epoxy and has the benefit of expanding into all of the crevices in the foam. I used a Drimel tool and a router bit to dig a channel in the top of the wing. I put the Pro-bond in and then the arrow. Cover the channel up with strapping tape to hold the glue down, or it will expand outside of the channel and you will have a bunch of sanding to do.

There are several good websites and a lot of good information here about Zagis. Hopefully this helps.
Nov 28, 2001, 01:57 PM
Terry Dunn
mopar_man's Avatar
1. Depends on how rough you fly it. I flew for a long time before stripping any gears. My abuse of the plane caused it to happen. Added servo savers after that and have stripped none since.

2. If the 800 pack is in a block config (2x2x2 like Tricks 1400 and 1700 packs) yes, but the stock canopy may not be tall enough.

3. Plenty of debate here, but this is my suggestion: an A-frame spar composed of 1/8" carbon rod. One rod on each side from root to tip, parallel to and a few inches back from leading edge. Third rod span-wise at CG and long enough to reach aforementioned rods.

4. Yes, but many people add shims to help stabilize the motor in the mount. Maybe someone else can elaborate here, as I use a coroplast tray on my 450 powered zagi.

5. Yes, 4mm thick with flutes running span-wise. Adds tremendous durability with a minor weight penalty.

6. Elmers Pro-Bond (polyurethane glue)

I also highy suggest you add a strain relief to the ESC. There is a pic of how to do this on the "zagi mods" section of my site. I got the idea from the "club zagi" site, so you can see it there too.

When you order the kit, get an extra roll of tape in a contrasting color. Put the darker color on bottom. Solid color zagis tend to cause vertigo.
Good luck
Last edited by mopar_man; Nov 28, 2001 at 02:03 PM.
Nov 28, 2001, 02:07 PM
AMA 697691 / FAA 13675
Hi Peter,
[list=1][*]You don't need metal gears for a stock Zagi. The HS-81 servos work well.[*]The 800AR, 1400AE, and 1700AU cells are meant for the 400X model.[*]A 5/16" carbon spar or aluminum arrow shaft works well.[*]The Permax 450 Turbo and MPI Cobalt 4014 both are Speed 400 diameter.[*]If you cover the balsa elevons with Oracover, they are plenty strong.[*]Use aliphatic resin for safe and light foam gluing. Plumbers GOOP also works well.[/list=1]

Good luck!
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Nov 28, 2001, 02:23 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
NO need for expensive mg servos, phew.
i would like my zagi to be aerobatic for about 8 mins. so want to save weight. what is the target weight for a battery then, what type of cells etc cos i have NO idea when it comes to, SCR, AU, AE AR,............

thanks again
Nov 28, 2001, 02:50 PM
AMA 697691 / FAA 13675
It sounds like you really want the 400X model.

The difference between the Zagi 400 and 400X models are just the battery tray/canopy design and the addition of the carbon spar.

The carbon spar adds structural strength and the 1400AE or 1700AU cells add duration to the model.

Assuming that you have the 400 model, you can either try using the standard tray with 8-cells of 1000mAh NiMH for more duration or mimic the 400X tray by cutting a rectangular opening for the 1400AE pack. You will also need to cut the canopy a bit higher than normal.

For a detailed picture of the 400X tray, check out my article called Electrfying the Mongo Jr.

Good luck!
Last edited by Greg Covey; Nov 28, 2001 at 02:52 PM.
Nov 28, 2001, 03:47 PM
Registered User
In answer to your questions:

1) I stripped the plastic gears on my first day of flying. Now I'm not saying that you, like me, will fly into a tree on day one . . .

I'm very happy with the HS-81MGs, haven't had a problem since. Mind you, I haven't crashed since.

2) Yep, you will NEED an 800AR pack (or better) with a 450T. (You could also use the 1300 CP pack if you can get it to fit). Make sure you DO NOT cut the canopy on the specified line, it will need to be quite a bit taller. I made this mistake and realised that I'd have to get a new canopy (got it from Steve Webb).

3) I used one spar on the CG line. It stops just short of the EPP leading edge on each side. I think it's about 23 to 24 inches long.

You will NEED a spar on the 450T set up, as some have found the hard way. The Zagi without a spar will just rip apart at the glue joint at the wing roots, and flap (!) ungracefully to the ground.

On my first Zagi, I used epoxy to secure the spar, but this was very heavy. I guess about 3-4 oz extra. So on my Zagi MKII I installed the spar without ANY glue whatsoever and have had no problems so far. Please read my method here for more info.

4) Not really, but it is quite easy to fit a 450 in with a bit of ingenuity. See thread here.

5) Yep, velcro is a good idea. Originally I glued the 'tips on with epoxy, but in the aforementioned crash they ripped clean off. Now I have them stuck with velcro, and in a hard landing they just pop off with no damage to the airframe.

I haven't tried correx elevons myself, but I'm sure it is a good idea.

6) See question 3.

Oh yeah, the other advantage to having removable 'tips is that you can make new ones with varying amounts of lead on them for different set ups. My 400 set up uses normal 'tips, but my the same plane on the 450 was a bit nose heavy, so I use 'tips with a bit of lead on them.

My watch-strap motor mount makes motor swapping at the field feasible and quick, so I need an equally quick method of adjusting balance. And what way to be adjust balance than at the tips, where the minimum amount of lead is required?

Just make sure the 'tips are actually on, and make sure you fly with the right 'tips!

Finally, if you are using the 450T, use the Aeronaut 6.5 x 4 Carbon Electric Prop. It's by far the best prop on this motor on the Zagi (on 8 cells).

Hope this helps,

Ben C
Last edited by Ben C; Nov 28, 2001 at 03:49 PM.
Nov 28, 2001, 04:19 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
unlucky that you stripped your gears
clever that watch strap idea, might do that if straps aren't too spensive. so what pack would you recommend from the overlander site for an aerobatic 8 min flight? can't be above 25!
is a 450 zagi as fast as a stock twinjet on 8 cells? just wanted to know........
Nov 28, 2001, 11:18 PM
Registered User
I decided to get MG's for my servos. i have striped 4 now. those trees always swat me out of the sky, followed by a tip to tip cart wheel and then i pick it up and throw it again. i would recomend coroplast elevons. i have shaters the original balsa.
Nov 29, 2001, 01:19 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by Peter W
unlucky that you stripped your gears
clever that watch strap idea, might do that if straps aren't too spensive. so what pack would you recommend from the overlander site for an aerobatic 8 min flight? can't be above 25!
is a 450 zagi as fast as a stock twinjet on 8 cells? just wanted to know........
I got the watch strap from Debenhams. It me cost about 4.

With the 450T, the best pack for value is the 8 cell 800AR. I just checked the Overlander web site, and it's going for a new low price of 22! Great deal, mine were more expensive.

You could use a new 1300CP pack, it has the same power output as the 800ARs and it is the same weight, but the cells are quite expensive, and I'm not sure if you can get them in the UK yet. Plus, they won't fit in the Zagi tray as they are the wrong shape ('Sub-C' not 'A'). You'd have have to do a load of modifying.

Personally, I'd get the 800AR pack if you only want to use it in the Zagi. But if you can be bothered to do the mods, and pay the extra, get the 1300CP pack. I get about 6 mins of flight with the 800ARs so in theory you could get 9-10 mins of flight with the 1300CPs. Your choice.

And no, the 450 zagi isn't as fast as the stock Twinjet. It's fast, but not that fast.

One more thing, Overlander packs are definately the way to go. They are assembled to a very high quality. I've had a very bad experience with an Al's Hobbies pack - if I didn't check it with the whattmeter before flight I wouldn't have found the loose connection on one of the power leads. The weld had come off!

Good luck,

Ben C
Nov 29, 2001, 01:40 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
ahh! i was thinking of the 22 800 AR pack but someone said they wouldn't fit the 400 unless in a certain configuration?
would it fit if it was ====?
zagi is for fun flying and holiday plane
Nov 29, 2001, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Nope, it has to be in a brick (2x2x2) config. It will be twice as tall as the 500AR pack - that's why you have to cut the canopy taller than specified in order for it to fit.

Because this pack is heavier, you have to mount it further back, but this is not really a problem as the brick configuration is shorter than the standard 500AR pack.

The 2x2x2 brick config looks like this from the top:


And like this from the ends:


Ben C
Nov 29, 2001, 03:50 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
right let's get this clear, a pack MUST be brick to fit? but i SWEAR i saw a guy put a non-brick in! And his was a 400! is the tray not long enough or something?
why can't you get the 400x in england! it's soo anoying!
so, there are no ( nicad) pre-assembled packs out there that will fit my to be zagi 400?
so what your saying is that the stock canopy has a line where you are meant to cut and you're saying not to cut there but to make it taller, right?
want 8 mins of fun!
Nov 29, 2001, 04:00 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by Peter W
is a 450 zagi as fast as a stock twinjet on 8 cells? just wanted to know........ [/B]
Why... are you trying to race someone?

Is a twinjet running on 2 x 480's faster than a zagi running on a 450 or would I also have to upgrade to 10 cells?