RCU Review: Hitec RCD USA Weekender Zipper


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    Contributed by: Jim Buzzeo | Published: January 2014 | Views: 6853 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Weekender Zipper by Hitec
    Jim Buzzeo
    (AMA 74894)

    Email Me





    Hitec RCD USA
    12115 Paine Street
    Poway, CA 92064
    Phone: 858.748.6948
    www.hitecrcd.com


    From the Hitec RCD website,
    "Mix it up with your friends at the local park or field with our agile Zipper! Easy to hand launch and perfect for lunchtime sport aerobatics or weekend club racing fun, the Zipper features durable EPO foam construction and aileron/elevator three-channel control. Take charge of your fun with a Hitec Zipper!"

    Recently, this fun looking little airplane arrived at my door. Since I have two flying buddies both of whom have a Weekender Zipper I suddenly saw pylon racing and general fun aerobatics in my future. I wasn't wrong!




    • Almost no assembly required

    • Preinstalled servos

    • Preinstalled ESC

    • Preinstalled Brushless Motor

    • Quick and very fun to fly



    • None as Tested


    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?



    Name:Weekender Zipper by Hitec RCD USA

    Price: $109.99 (Price at Review Publishing Date)
    Motor: WB1605 2500kV Brushless Outrunner
    ESC: 10-amp WE10A
    Prop: 4X3
    Functions: 3 Channels -Throttle, Ailerons & Elevator
    Stock Number: 13605
    Wingspan: 23.6 inches
    Wing Area: 93 sq Inches
    Weight: 5.3 Oz.
    Length: 21.3 inches
    Radio Used:Optic 6 - 6 Channel 2.4GHz Computer Radio
    Receiver Used:Minima 6L - 6-Channel Micro Receiver

    Items Needed To Complete:

    • 3 Channel Radio (minimum) and Receiver
    • 3S 400-500 mAh LiPo Battery and LiPo Charger
    • CA glue (optional for use on Stabilizer and Spinner)
    • Paint or covering film








    The Zipper arrived as I would expect from Hitec, in a colorful double box. The sturdy foam bottom of the box protected the contents well.
    Upon opening the box, I discovered a grand total of THREE parts. (Four including the spinner) I had a feeling this was not going to take long to assemble. The Zipper is molded out of EPO foam, which implies a few important things: REGULAR CA glue can be used, (foam safe CA is NOT required) and 'Foam safe' paint is NOT required (of course, test first in an inconspicuous location)






    Right out of the box, the zipper is plain white foam and is NOT painted. You'll be required to paint the airframe unless you're planning on a pure white plane.






    The wing lower surfaces have a small "keel" (or servo arm saver for lack of a better term) just outboard of each aileron servo cutout (to reduce the likelihood of damaging the servos during landing). Inside the box was the fuselage (with motor, ESC, propeller, and elevator servo with pushrod all preinstalled), the wing (which was ready to bolt on, both aileron servos and their control linkages were completely assembled.), the horizontal stab (with preinstalled elevators and control horn) Two molded EPO spinners, a spare prop and the instruction manual.



    Manual


    The manual was absolutely as I would expect from Hitec. Very informative and well written with pictures to help get over any problem areas. I didn't find any problem areas with my airframe. Of course the manual is also available on Hitec's website.


    Download the manual










    I read the directions from cover to cover (taking roughly 5 minutes) and realized the most time consuming part would be painting the Zipper. I've got two friends who have this same airplane, and I wanted a color scheme that would be completely different from theirs since I immediately imagined pylon racing against them. I used the tiny scrap of foam flashing which was connecting the 2 included foam spinners to test the paint I planned to use. I was very glad to see that the paint had no adverse effects on the foam. I did however notice that MASKING the paint may become problematic. The masking tape has a tendency to peel off existing paint, so do be careful not to put masking tape on top of paint.






    There was a small amount of flashing leftover from the molding process which needed to be removed from the area between the flight controls and their respective flight surfaces. This took me roughly two minutes.
    Once the zipper was painted I could begin the task of assembly, which I realized was not going to take much time. Hitec has done almost all the work for you.
    Assembly can be broken down into four very simple steps:

    • Attach the elevator pushrod to the pre-installed elevator horn connector, slide the stabilizer through the fuselage and tighten the connector.
    • Attach the wing by tightening the single wing hold down screw.
    • Plug the Servos into the receiver.
    • Charge the batteries and go fly.

    Assembly does not get much simpler than this!







    Anyone with two hands can assemble this airplane in fifteen minutes flat. (And can probably eat a sandwich at the same time) I did add a drop of CA to secure the Horizontal stab, the manual calls this step 'optional'. Securing the stabilizer and spinner are the only places you'll need glue. I should note, although the Zipper is quite capable of most aerobatics, it does not have a controllable rudder (although it would be a very simple task to add one)



    Final Touches





    Once assembled, the Zipper was straight and true. I peeled the backing from the receiver's double sided tape, and stuck the receiver in an open spot roughly next to the Elevator servo. After plugging the esc and servos into the receiver, all flight controls were checked and moved in the correct direction, including the motor. I added the correct 3 cell, 500 MAH Lipo battery and checked the CG. It was spot on per the manual. The LAST thing to do was to glue the spinner to the front end. This time I chose Beacon Foam Tac adhesive, because I know it stays flexible and can easily be removed without harming the foam. I was very happy with the way the Zipper turned out, but if I had it to do again I would have chosen a color scheme that was not as time intensive. OK, it's time to go FLY!




    Sometimes I wonder why I live in Minnesota... Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the people here and you can't throw a stick without hitting a georgous potential flying site.. what could be better than that?? Calm winds and temperatures ABOVE zero, THAT's what could be better. When we arrived at the field, it was indeed sunny-ish, and almost perfectly calm. And eight degrees farenheight. EIGHT. I realized I'd better keep my car running with the heat on full.

    Since the Zipper is a 'toss and belly lander' (it does not have landing gear) it was a simple matter of breathing out to see which way the wind was going, then run the throttle to middle or better and give a light toss directly into the wind. I will say the zipper flew very well, almost right out of my hand on the first two video flights. when it was time to get footage of a good hand launch, my hands were so numb I could barely hold the little Zipper. (ok, enough with the excuses! :) if you'll check out the video you'll see my (not so) lovely hand launch!)

    In flight the Zipper behaved very well. It did not show any bad tendencies and was performing well. I tried one horizontal roll and remembered the name of this airplane... it IS indeed a 'Zipper'. Rolls were exceptionally quick and I was able to get some nice big round loops for the camera. I made a slightly descending turn toward myself, smoothly opened the throttle to full and allowed the Zipper to settle in level flight as it went past. 'This is certainly a quick little airplane' I muttered under my breath. As it zipped past me I did a pylon type 'bank and yank' Aileron / Elevator turn. The Zipper was on it's way back to me faster than I could say Jack Rabbit, and then it was past me again. GREAT STUFF!

    I flew the little Zipper around for as long as my flash frozen fingers would allow, then brought it back towards me to see what an approach looks like. The approach looked VERY nice. The Zipper slowed down almost to a crawl, I was prepared for it to be unstable or mushy when slowed down (simply because of how nicely it flew at wide open throttle) but the Zipper surprized me again! About two inches high, I gently flared, and the Zipper skimmed in and stopped in about two feet. I was grinning from ear to ear.





    Hitec The Weekender Zipper















    I found the Weekender Zipper to be a great little airplane! It can be flown fast or slow, handles aerobatics well, and can be used as a secondary trainer, pylon racer, or just as an all around sport airplane you can toss in the trunk for an afternoon of pure flying fun. It's very simple to assemble, rugged and durable, and looks just great. The new flying season is almost upon us, better grab a Weekender Zipper before they run out!





    Hitec RCD USA
    12115 Paine Street
    Poway, CA 92064
    Phone: 858.748.6948
    www.hitecrcd.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Hitec RCD USA Weekender Zipper

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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