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Dec 07, 2001, 11:50 PM
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New Zagi 400X owner!

Hey zagi owners! I am joining your ranks. I am very impressed with all of the feedback and praise about this strange wedge-shaped flying thingy. I have only full house (A/E/R/T) control experience, so I am not sure what I am in for here. I will be using my Jr 8103, so will set up the elevon mixing stuffage. Any advise for a new elevon flyer? I am not new to electrics, so I already have the charger and whattmeter.

My setup is going to be:

- Zagi 400X stock kit
- Hitec 555 rx
- HS-81MG servos

I plan to follow all of the good modification advise posted by ezoners when I build and fly:
- Servo savers
- alternate location of rx install
- motor break in
- contrasting colors (Though I really want to do an all black B2 theme!

Anything else?

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Dec 07, 2001, 11:59 PM
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Oh, how should I cover this thing? I have everything to do UltraCoat plus, including leftover gloss white from my Kavan Partenavia twin project. Is UC plus too heavy for a 400x?

How does this thing handle wind, say 10 mph breeze?

Can't wait!
Dec 08, 2001, 12:58 AM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
You'll fly the thing just fine, Cactus. All the mods you have are spot on but I'd avoid the black scheme. I did it on my latest Zagi as a black bat. Looks cool on the ground, a pain to maintain orientation in the air. No problem in the wind unless it's REALLY gusty in which case, go fly a kite!

Dec 08, 2001, 01:47 AM
As you are an experianced flyer, I would consider a power upgrade right off the bat. I'm not talking Mag Mayhem but I sure wish T450's were still around for newbie Zagi pilots.---Rob
Dec 08, 2001, 12:08 PM
A 480 with 8x1300 and 6x5 still zips along pretty good. Dymond RC is the only place that has 480's in stock. Everyone else seems to be on backorder. I've been tempted to get another Zagi and leave it at a 480 or something a bit more sane for the parks.
Last edited by mtayl; Dec 08, 2001 at 12:12 PM.
Dec 08, 2001, 03:14 PM
If you're going with metal gear servos (good idea) you probably don't need servo savers (unless you don't want to ever have to re-seat your servos in their cut-outs). Elevons, control rods, or foam around servos will yield before your gear train. Having the savers might help save your elevons, though, so maybe it's a good idea.

Because of the grain orientation in the elevons, they can be susceptible to lengthwise cracking/splitting on hard landings. Many recommend covering with a lightweight film (e.g. Oracover, or something stronger than Litespan) to make the elevons much tougher. Keep weight & balance in mind. Some recommend a few strapping tape strips. See Club Zagi "Tips" section.

Here's a good page of Zagi tips links (credit to Terry Dunn):
Terry's Links

See the ESC strain relief tip on the Club Zagi page--highly recommended. Battery streamer a good one too.Club Zagi

When I bought my THL and Z400 they came with coroplast winglets/tiplets. Apparently later 400's and 400X's ship with balsa or plastic. If so, try to find 2mm coroplast (not easy, 4mm is more common) and replace the stock winglets with coro, 4mm if you must. Cover exposed flutes with tape to reduce drag.

If looks matter a lot to you, try to bury all the electronics before taping/covering. Some feel that covering control rods with colored shrink wrap really improves the looks too.

I think you'll find the Zagi remarkably easy to fly once you get used to its manners. Control response in pitch is excellent (at reasonable margins above stall), and in roll, very good. Yaw, of course, is out of your hands. You'll find the Zagi can wobble a bit in yaw when near stall speeds or coming out of turns. It stabilizes quickly as speed comes back up. Program exponential throws on your 8103 (or dual rates if you're more used to them). Good luck and have fun.
Dec 31, 2001, 09:31 PM
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Finally got this thing ready for flight tests...... I used the following mods:

- Velcro strap through bottom of tray to hold battery in place.
- ESC strain rel
- CF Spar on top
- RX in alternate location
- Used Ultracoat Plus instead of tape. (Crome and Black)

Should be ready to do some glide tests tomorrow if the weather holds out! just need to check the throws and the CG.

Jan 01, 2002, 11:12 AM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
Cactus, thats a beauty! Although I don't have a zagi but have a FMA Razor 400. Some differences but a flying wing the same.
Just came back from flying mine on maiden flight. These things are a blast!!! Plus they glide really nice. Mine has a carbon spar built into the wing plus I added the lexan tape for more support and rigidity. Only flew one batt pack but I can tell you that my wing likes to be a tad nose heavy. It cuts the wind fine as long
as its not really breezy. Wind here was from 5 to 10 mph.

Jan 01, 2002, 02:31 PM
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Thanks Dave. I had a blast doing the covering.

I had my first test flights today. Everything went smoothly. I did three glide tests and it just slowly sank to a sliding landing with no left of right roll. Flight four was full throttle after release and she just headed on up at a pretty good rate. She was a little twitchy but the wind was about 10 to 12 mph with some gusts so it's hard to tell what was wind and what was needed trim. I did some climbs and some dives followed by a few hair pin turns. This thing really cuts nice turns! I flew another minute or so and then cut power to see the glide speed... very fun.

I will try to fly it with no wind and check the level flight tracking, but I did not add any trim on my first flights and she was ok.

I am looking forward to some acrobatics and some low altitude manuvering without worrying about impacts with terra-firma!

Those of you who fly Zagis, what kind of exponential do you setup? I am using a JR XP 8103....


Jan 01, 2002, 03:55 PM
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Chrome looks cool but . . .

Watch out with that chrome Ultracote. I covered my Zagi MK II in chrome Profilm (same as Oracover/Ultracote, just UK name) and got terrible glitching / range problems. On subsequent range checks I couldn't even get five feet w/ aerial collapsed!

On closer inspection I found that the chrome Profilm was METALLIC! It conducts electricity! I had effectively shielded my rx antenna, buried in the wing under the covering.

Needless to say, that covering didn't last much longer.

Silver planes can also have awful orientation problems, as I found out, especially if the sun manages to reflect off the covering.

Oh well, you live and learn.

Ben C
Jan 01, 2002, 06:48 PM
He wasn't always evil
AirVenture's Avatar
I had a similar problem like Ben's. I put some aluminum foil tape on the bottom of my Zagi for better visibility. About three stripes of it was right next to the Rx antenna. I got a lot of twitching, nothing serious, but enough to cause concern. A few flights later I took the stuff off, and guess what..No more twitches!

Jan 01, 2002, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for the info guys, but so far I have not had any problems with it. I will be sure to watch it very closely. I don't have any range problems yet. (4 flights).

Maybe the UltraCoat Plus dosent have any metal in it...not sure..

Jan 02, 2002, 12:49 PM
Nice looking plane!

What's with the Blue prop? Did you color it?

You chose the right mods, however I would add some coroplast wingtips and elevons as Dan mention before. The more rigid wingtips seems to help stability in flight
Jan 02, 2002, 01:10 PM
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Clu , the blue prop is the same Gunther as the white one that was shipped with the 400X kit. I got two of these when I ordered the power system for my Kavan Partenavia from Hobby Lobby. I used nice spinners and props for my KP so I had these laying around. I chose to use this prop for my inital flights in case I made some dumb mistakes and broke the white one. I plan to put the white one back on....:-)

For the same reason, I chose to use make foam winglets out of the meat tray foam from the local grocery store. I got black trays and just used the kit winglets as a template. I used one long piece of Velcro to attach each winglet, therefor they are easy to remove and replace and look better than strapping tape. The foam winglets are about 2-3 times as thick as the kit plasic ones and weigh less.

In fact, I used Velcro for attaching the motor tray to the wing, and then Velcro to attach the canopy. I even used the Velcro strap mod that goes under the motor tray to keep the battery in place. I used 3M77 to attach the wing cores and then a light coat under the UltraCoat Plus. My Zagi 400x is sponsored by Velcro......:-)

Jan 02, 2002, 01:24 PM
I used 77 for the wingtips, I just don't like all of the weight of Velcro out on the tips.

Using Velcro to mount motor is nice as well, since then you can swap out other power plants, ie the Mag Mayhem.

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