Zero RC conversion Hobbico's Flyzone Electric Free Flight - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Feb 02, 2005, 04:09 PM
Registered User

RC conversion Hobbico's Zero Flyzone Electric Free Flight model

Hi everyone, been a while since I've posted. Spent the last few months playing with my Tiny-X (great plane)... Though after my last unexpected blunt force ground impact I have a little more rebuilding to do to it.

While digging around I found a gift certificate to the local RC shop (dated 2001) and thought well I can order the part for my HPI-rs4-MT and buy some balsa. Well I got the part ordered and some balsa then started talking to one of the guys at the store, he looked at the Tiny-X and liked it. Well then he pointed out that while I was repairing the Tiny-X, I could spend 2 hours cutting on one the Free Flight models and have a nice throw down spare.

I'm going to snap some pic's of the process and I'll toss them in the post and let you know how it turns out. I should be able to start and finish on it tomorrow night and hopefully get a maiden flight in on Friday Morning
If you have any tips I should look out for etc... please let me know

Parts\Basic Steps
$20 Hobbico Flyzone Zero
$0 4" clear packing tape (for bottom of the wings)
$10 Micro control horns \ control rods \little odds and ends
$0 foam safe glue
$9 180 motor
$0 speed controller, 2 micro servers, micro receiver,1000 2cell lipol, charger, controller
total cost for me $0 (gift cert )

Advice I was given (he's made over a dozen of these) plus some of my own little quirks.

Here's a quickie conversion guide. By no means is this perfect but it's how I'm going to start on the project. I'm going to do a few things not in the list(some are in the list now) Velcro hold for the battery \ esc \ receiver and glue balsa servo rails in mine
You can also convert to ailerons and ditch the rudder

1. Control Area's
Cut along the already molded areas.
To Mount the control areas back on use 1/8" cardboard strips from a small hobby package (Grab a small RC bag, usually little baggie with a printed piece of cardboard folded and then stapled on. This fold in the cardboard will be your bend point for your control surfaces... I'll just post a pic) foam safe glue
Control Horns... pop-in and glue or which ever type you bought.

2. Access hatch.
The plastic hatch on the model will pull off (lightly glued on). Cut out the area inside of this. You now have access to the batteries etc.. To remount the hatch either use a small screw on the front or double sided tape or velcro etc... (Recommend a small screw)

3. Gutting the Model
You want to gut the inside of the model... Be patient everything is glued in but will work loose with a razor or tool of choice (careful with glue removers as some will eat the model)

4. Motor swap
To remove the engine, cut out 1/2 of the inner ring. The engine will then need to be worked loose (more glue) The new 180 motor will be glued back into the same place (the 180 is the same diam, but longer) Use the supplied prop

5. Push rod installation
Grab a bamboo skewer or weapon of choice and make a two small holes one on each side of the plane near the tail. 1 for rudder 1 for elevator
Insert the push rods and attach them to the rudder \ elevator

6. RC component installation
Basically put the battery as far forward as possible using Velcro (some people just glue them in). I don't remember the CG point off the top of my head but I wrote it down.
Servo’s glue one on each interior wall near the access hatch (I'm going to glue balsa strips to the inside walls then screw the servo's on to the rails [easier tear down])
Hook one to the rudder push rod, the other to the elevator push rod.

7. Mounting the Wings
Apply clear packing tape to the bottom of the wings (be sure to go all the way to the inside edge, this way when you mount the wings the tape won’t peal off from the inner connecting edges)
Lowering the leading edge (free flight model, so it has way to much lift)
The soft foam that is wrapped around the model (protects the plane from the twist tie) glue this to the top of the leading edge of the wing (do this either on the bottom of the model or on the wing doesn't really matter)
Glue the wings in place, no real need to screw them on
Last edited by thecurriculum; Feb 02, 2005 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Title sounded funny :)
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Feb 02, 2005, 04:40 PM
Registered User
Magic840's Avatar

This is great I just maidened my conversion about a week ago. My power system however was the feigio brushless ips in an s2 drive spinning a 7x6 prop, with a 2cell 340mAh li-poly.

This plane flys great and slows down real well. If you would like to know anything I did I would be happy to let you know.

Feb 02, 2005, 06:19 PM
Registered User
Magic840 looks nice ( I see you did the aileron conversion)

Magic840 I will take you up on your offer (Thk's), does everything sounded ok on my build list then? Would you recommend changing or adding anything?

I will look tonight to see if you have a thread already on your plane, if not please feel free to post it here...(if you do and the answers are in a post I'll find them)

Setup - Generic 9 dollar 180 Motor (No gear box; going to use stock prop) Battery 600mah 7.2v (2 cell lipo pack) While the battery is going to overdrive the motor a little, I'm not going to worry about it.

how fast is the top end speed are you acheiving with the motor \ drive system you have. I really don't know squat about the new motors available today and tyring to figure out the who, what, where and where of the them

Which reminds me I still need to upgrade the motor on my Tiny-X (I want unlimited on that puppy now )

Sorry the list just keeps going
Flight time?
And finally could you post a couple pics of where you mountied the aileron servo (well actually just a pic of the guts would be nice to)

Feb 02, 2005, 07:04 PM
Registered User
Magic840's Avatar
I don't know the exact top end speed but it is over 25mph. The plane has enough thrust to pull itself vertically out of my hand, that is how I launch it. Flight time is around 10mins with reserve, using a 340mAh 2s lipo.

Everything you want to do sounds fine. I don't know how well it will fly with only R/E/T, but I have heard as long as you leave in the dihedral it is fine. I suggest using the new blue arrow 4.3-gram servos; they are light and inexpensive at 14.50 each. I made the wing detachable but usually leave it on because I leave the battery in it when I charge. Here are some pics of the inside, wing and firewall.

Feb 02, 2005, 07:51 PM
Hooper, full throttle!
Tommy D's Avatar
Nice Job guys!

If the GWS P-40 does not come along soon I'm going to do one of these little Zero's or P-40's!
Feb 02, 2005, 10:44 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
Iīve done two of these Flyzone conversions (both A/E/T).
First was a Zero, and that was pretty much a failure. The plane would fly just fine, until you even looked funny at the aileronstick which would result in a snaproll and a deathspiral with no chance of recovery. I think that the problem was the torque of the geared GWS IPS drive with itīs huge prop. Having a 2s Kokam 1020mAh Lipo battery (smallest I had at the time) probably didnīt help things.
The second one was the P40. While I still used the 1020mAh Kokam Lipo, I put a GWS EDP direct drive in it. Flew very well actually, though it was easy to tell that she would have been happyer if she hadnīt wheighed so much.

Anyway, with something like a 350 sized Lipo, DD motor and preferrably the light 3-4 gram) servos that are now available at a low cost, I think these planes would be very easy to get to fly well.

Tommytorino, do one anyway, itīs not very much work, and itīs a lot of fun when it works out as planned!

Anders O
Feb 02, 2005, 11:03 PM
Registered Snoozer
Ju388's Avatar
Awesome! I have a couple of these and a P 40 now it looks like a wiser hand has posted the conversion. THANKS! I'll dig out the Tora Tora Tora tape and hit the work bench!
Feb 03, 2005, 05:43 PM
Registered User
Thk's for all the great input everyone
I don't know how I missed these on the board the last time I was here. Most likely I looked at them and didn't really thing about how small they where and how easy of a conversion this is.

I think I'm still going to go R/E/T only on this one... I just want a lazy flier that has a little speed if wanted... Either thing I've heard pretty much says I'll get that... It looks like if I do full throws that a snap roll should be possible...?

Now when I find a P-40 at the local shop I will have to say the aileron conversion will happen. I want some climbing axial rolls occuring after the high speed low alitude flybys occur

Magic840, I think I will look into the "blue arrow 4.3-gram servos". The one's I have now will still be put in, but once I fix the Tiny-X I'll need them back for it. and 30 bucks should be withing my budget by the time I get the Tiny fixed

Well I have to work a little late tonight but I should still have time after everyone else goes to sleep to work on the zero (anywho I think it will be worth a 1/2 nights sleep) I'll get some pics posted tomorrow.
Feb 04, 2005, 02:50 PM
Registered User
only spent around 15 minutes of time on the plane...

Cut the top and gutted the stock parts
Wasn't to bad to remove the battery and control board. Cut around the edges of the board prying back the stock glue and then slowly pry the board loose from the corner. Cut around the on\off switch and battery port (some glue was around the edges on mine) Toal time spent to remove about 3 minutes

Engine removal (about 3 minutes)
Cut the left inside front of the cowl (The flat inner circle inside of the bell cowl). After remove the left side you will see the motor is glued between 2 foam supports. Cut the motor loose and worked it free. At the back is another piece of foam (The stock motor is boxed in) Cut out the foam along the back the new 180 is longer. Ready to glue in place once I attach the new wires

Cut the Rudder and Evelators
What I needed now was a skewer to make the push rod holes and to make the middle attaching brace for the rudder. Couldn't find where I put them, so at this point I stopped working on the zero. Roughly 15 minutes of effort(clean up time included) and 35% of the work is already complete.

I'll post some pics later
Feb 04, 2005, 03:10 PM
Hooper, full throttle!
Tommy D's Avatar
Hmmmmm I have a LPS but I wonder, would a Direct drive J250 work on this little model?

What do you guys think??

Feb 04, 2005, 03:25 PM
a really nice guy, really
Ralph Brekan's Avatar
I Have One; You'll Need Pico Everything. I Couldnt Finish Mine With Naro Gear. Dd J250 Would Be Perfect (scale)
Feb 04, 2005, 03:35 PM
Registered User
seems like if you used the same method as Magic840 and cut the cowl off and then add a small fire wall\engine mount it may fit. Just check on the lwh and compare it to the stock IPS drive size. From the pics it looks like he has plenty of room.
Feb 04, 2005, 03:47 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
I wouldnīt say that there is "plenty" of room, but I had no problem in fitting an IPS drive in the Zero.
However, I would personally use a direct drive system. The GWS EDP 50 had plenty of power to fly the P40, without the torque-roll issues of the IPS setup I used in the Zero. I used the stock prop from the kit, cut down just a bit.

I know that a lot of people have been using the IPS succesfully, so it sure can be done. For me however, direct drive was the solution that worked best.

Anders O
Feb 04, 2005, 04:25 PM
Lipo sucker
Cpt.Krunch's Avatar
Yeah, a J-250 DD is perfect. I use a 2 cell 340 or 700 lipo in mine and it is really fast. My buddy calls it "the green blur". But wait, try the ME-109. It may not land as slow...but yikes! what fun for $20.
Both have the wings sheeted and Plantraco RX with 4 gram servos on A/E. Around 5 oz AUW. Pretty durable too.
my 2 bits...
Cptn. K
Feb 04, 2005, 04:48 PM
Registered User
Nice work Capton
Ok finally got around to uploading a couple of the pics
01_Getting Started.jpg

02_BraceStickingOut.jpg (The wing brace was not pushed far enough into the wing.. with the setup both wings are at a "jacked" angle when mounted)




Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alert anyone built an electric free flight glider? b36roxs Free Flight 2 Apr 20, 2007 08:35 PM
electric free flight rotccapt Free Flight 7 Nov 24, 2004 11:51 PM
Electric free flight motor Vonbaron Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 6 Jun 10, 2002 07:14 AM
Electric Free Flight Competition SteveS Electric Plane Talk 1 Dec 07, 2001 04:05 PM