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Apr 10, 2018, 07:21 PM
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Build Log

Xpress builds a 115" AJ Aircraft Laser 230Z!


Hi guys, building my 2nd AJ Aircraft airplane, a 115" Laser 230Z. I have a MONSTER ZDZ-180 that needs a new home and this airplane should do it nicely.



Last night was all about getting the airplane out of the box, taking inventory of the hardware, and finally getting it onto its main gear so I could store it while I'm not working on it. Please check the annotations on the photos, they state all that was done
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Apr 11, 2018, 12:59 PM
Watts Up
Buck Tracker's Avatar
Sub'ed
Apr 12, 2018, 01:27 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Last nights work involved situating the 115 Laser and my 105 Laser into my van. Tonight I'll work on the 115 some more.
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Apr 13, 2018, 01:43 PM
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Some small forward progress last night. I cleaned up the hole for the carb with a dremel and cut the hole for the fuel inlet for the carb. I just placed an order for the extensions and accessories I will need plus other shop supplies so I can get moving on this as soon as I get servos.
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Apr 13, 2018, 06:28 PM
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Buck Tracker's Avatar
Does the ZDZ 180 have the same mounting pattern as DA 170? If not was a template included for the ZDZ?
Apr 17, 2018, 03:18 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Tracker
Does the ZDZ 180 have the same mounting pattern as DA 170? If not was a template included for the ZDZ?
Same bolt pattern as all of the big DA engines (150/170/200). I have a template that I got with my 180 that has both the bolt holes and the carb cutout on it. I simply used the template for the DA150 provided with the airplane to locate the bolt holes, then based the carb cutout off of those.
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Apr 17, 2018, 03:21 PM
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Over the weekend I did very little as it was mostly spent doing other things. But I did manage to fit blind nuts to the firewall for bolting the engine to (blind nuts make engine removal 100x easier since the engine has to go on and come off probably 10+ times during the build), which I back up using a locknut. This is a solid method for mounting engines and I have not yet had one fail as the bolt is essentially locked in place.

I also bolted the wheel pants and gear cuffs in place using 4-40 bolts and bonded washers. This week I will be focusing on trying to get control horns glued to the surfaces, throttle and choke servos installed, and rudder servos installed (pending the arrival of my extensions).
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Apr 17, 2018, 05:40 PM
Watts Up
Buck Tracker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpress..
Same bolt pattern as all of the big DA engines (150/170/200). I have a template that I got with my 180 that has both the bolt holes and the carb cutout on it. I simply used the template for the DA150 provided with the airplane to locate the bolt holes, then based the carb cutout off of those.
Thats good that the 180 came with those templates. I recenty bought the new ZDZ 97(same footprint as the 90) and it came with nothing.
I've been in contact with ZDZ USA to get these templates but it's taking a very long time.

Anyways I plan to use the 180 if and when I ever get around to buying/building a 40%er.
Apr 17, 2018, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Tracker
Thats good that the 180 came with those templates. I recenty bought the new ZDZ 97(same footprint as the 90) and it came with nothing.
I've been in contact with ZDZ USA to get these templates but it's taking a very long time.

Anyways I plan to use the 180 if and when I ever get around to buying/building a 40%er.
The previous owner/operator of ZDZ USA, Joe Mitchell, was kind enough to provide me a template with the 180. Not sure if any of the motors come with a template through the new owner, but it sure makes it simple to install the engine.

FYI good luck with finding the 180, everyone is hanging onto them since I hear rumors the new 195 isn't living up to the expectation
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Apr 17, 2018, 07:53 PM
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Ya I heard it may be a challenge to find a 180, I might just buy one now even if I don't need it for a while. I had actually ordered a 123" this fall from my local supplier Pro RC and then was told months later that the order couldn't be filled
So got a 105" coming instead but I've got 2x other 100cc planes to build infront of it.

I'm putting the 97 in a EF 105 slick
Apr 18, 2018, 01:51 PM
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Some little work last night, cut out all of the slots in the 2 bolt on exhaust vents last night and worked on getting the elevators ready for servo install. I found that these syringes make easy work of injecting epoxy into the thin control horn slots:

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Glide-Cu...curved+syringe
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Apr 19, 2018, 02:38 PM
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Little bit more work on the 115 last night. Since my Taildragger RC accessories came in yesterday, I decided to get to work on fitting extensions to the fuselage. I used my soldering iron set to 700F to cut through the covering on the fuselage to open up all of the holes, the covering is very thick and doesn't cut as easily as covering on other brands of airplanes I've had in the past- good solid materials right here.

Snaked the extensions to the tail using the preinstalled clear tube. The clear tube is nice because it lets you see what's going on while you're working the extensions back. The preinstalled rudder servo tray (for pull-pull setups) will work excellent as a little cubbie to tuck away the excess wiring and clean up the entire appearance of the airplane. I will fashion a plywood plate to fit over this tray to cover up the wires and I'll secure it using screws to make it removable incase I need to make adjustments in the future. It'll be a good place to mount equipment depending on where I decide to mount everything.

Rudder horns were also glued to the rudder last night. The control horns for the rudder come in 4 pieces, so there's no horn that you have to snake through the rudder while gluing the horn in. They fit snug and center exactly over the hingeline, this will make setting up the servos simple and easy.

Lastly I fitted the slotted vents to the bottom of the fuse to see how much cooling air exits I will need. I ended up opening up the 2 very rear air exit holes in the bottom of the fuselage, coupled with a "D" shaped cutout in the bottom of the cowl, and finally utilizing a low pressure lip, I do believe I will have plenty of cooling airflow for the monster under the hood.

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Apr 20, 2018, 02:37 PM
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Little more forward progress last night. Got the Hitec HSB-9381TH servos mounted to the fuselage for the rudder, I used the TDRC Black Socket Head Screws to accomplish this. They have a nice finish and the 2mm head size is plenty big enough to allow you to drive them in snug.

When I mount my servos, I first set the servo in the hole and drill a single pilot hole. Then I spin a screw into this hole so that it's snug and keeps the servo in place well enough for me to drill the 3 remaining holes. Once they're all drilled, run screws into them and back them out. A few drops of thin CA into each hole hardens the wood up enough for you to tighten the screw down very snug, and it won't ever back out. You only need to tighten the screws so that they just lightly compress the brass eyelet against the wood.

Next up, I decided to work on fitting the fuel tank, a Taildragger RC 50oz I have found provides the thirsty ZDZ180 plenty of fuel for 15 minutes of flight time. I'm more conservative when it comes to flying and I typically land with roughly half a tank of fuel left, gives me about 8 solid minutes of huckin. Since this one has been sitting for a little while it was due for a rebuild. Fresh internals and seals and it's ready to rock again.

Mounted to the fuselage with blue velcro strap- courtesy of, you guessed it, Taildragger RC Beneath the tank is a piece of creative foam that I typically use for baffling. I don't like to let the tank sit on the hard wood so I give it a softer platform to help prevent abrasion from the vibrations. The foam is kept in place using a small dab of Foam-Tac, it's not going anywhere.

Last up, I made a cover plate to go over the rudder servo tray. The airplane came with a nice plywood block off plate that blocks the front of the exhaust tunnel, but since I use the tunnel for venting, I repurposed the plywood. Cut and sanded to shape, it's secured using 4 of the socket head servo screw.

That's all for now, I'm just about at a stand still until I can get more parts in. I may try to work on installing the servos for the engine this weekend if time allows
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Apr 23, 2018, 06:58 PM
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Essential supplies have arrived today
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