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Zip Hand Launch Glider

By: Dave Taylor

Know of a small field about the size of a tennis court? Then get yourself a Zig HLG and I promise you won't have any regrets.

So what is the Zip Glider? Well it's just a 1000 mm span and built within reason it will only weigh in at 160 - 180 grams. It is guided by 2 channel radio, that's rudder and elevator and the best bit is it's cheap to buy so won't break the bank like some HLGs seem to be able to do.

So how did I first come upon such a gem. Well a good friend of mine purchased one last summer and he soon had his together and flying and I liked what I saw and thought I must have one. It seemed to fly so nice and just hung around in the air and was easily out flying my current HLG glider which was twice the price and had full controls - V tail with rudder, elevator and ailerons. With a glass fuss it did come out pretty light at 225 grams but the Zip in light air was flying better. I just had to get one.

I knew that Flite Hook stocked them but Gary had bought the last one in stock so I had to wait until the Watford Swap Meet to purchase one. At just under 35.00 I think it is very good value as all of the hard work is done for you. The wing is in three parts and it just requires the two tips to be glued to the main wing making sure that they are square of course and that no twist has crept in. The tips have already got a little washout built in so take care. The fuselage is next and needs the pod in which the flight controls fit to be glued to the balsa square which holds the tail end together to be glued on straight. I deviated on this and had an old carbon fibre fishing rod in the spares box. I thought this would make a good boom and proceeded to cut this to length. ZipWell about an inch longer this would help make a longer moment arm which I thought may make it better? The carbon although longer did weigh in at 3 grams less. So it was now time to take care to glue on the tail plane and fin so that they were square. The moving surfaces are already hinged with diamond tape from the factory. Oh I nearly forgot you must fashion a hook from a small picture hook or eye so that you can bungy launch the glider. All of this is on the diagram/instruction sheet. Other parts that need glueing are the wing supports and a peg in the fuss for the band which holds on the wing.

Radio installation which consists of just two servos. I used2 Hitec HS 50 Feather Light and a standard 27 MHz Receiver with the case removed for lightness, all 22 grams of it! Next is a small battery pack of 4 cells at 110 mAh, no switch necessary. The next job is the vacuum formed canopy. This is roughly cut to shape then finished off on a flat piece of wet n dry glass paper until it fits ok. Just a small plastic tongue is glued to the back and this fits under the wing and I used a cocktail stick peg which is a push fit into the front block to hold on the canopy. Control rods and wire are also supplied and these are carefully installed to control the rudder and elevator. I made a small V in mine for fine tuning later on.

Time for the 'big weigh in' and mine came out at 160 grams which I thought was quite light. Gary's weighs just over 180 grams and that does fly really well.

ZipSo how does mine fly? Well after a very short build time the weather was so slow at getting it's act together and it seemed ages before the wind and rain stopped long enough for flying. Finally we got a slot. Conditions were breezy but a little cold and damp. Off we went to our local wreck and right from the word go this HLG felt good and required no trimming on the radio. It flew straight and level. After several more throws it was noticed that the launch wasn't at it's best and it was felt some minute packing under the front of the wing was needed. With this done the launch was better as the glider was leveling off quite nicely. I am flying mine with the CG a little further back then shown on the plans and this may need adjustment on my part before any further flights. We had about 12 flights before we got too cold and it had started to rain so we called it a day.

We both feel that this design has a lot of potential and further flying in good calm warm conditions will tell if I need more trim settings. I'm pleased to bits with the model, it flies nicely and has no bad habits and certainly well worth the money.

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Try FLITE HOOK on Tel: 01703 861541 and ask John or Pauline Hook to put one by for you. You won't be disappointed with this model.

See also: Glider.