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Top RC Zero from Gator R/C

Old 05-06-2021, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Hot Rod Todd
I finally got the maiden flight done on the Zero. I had to add a bit more weight to the nose, but other than that there weren't any issues. The EME-70 with a 23X10 Xoar pulls it around great and provides excellent noise as it flies by.
Gorgeous pictures!
Did you use any remainings of your crashed plane in your 2nd one? In fact it looks exactly the same... means very scale like.
Your first plane was an inspiration for me to buy this model.
Happy landings!
Old 05-06-2021, 08:09 AM
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I couldn't use much from my first Zero. I did use the exhaust stacks I made, the tail wheel retract, the struts and wheels. My first Zero was one of the early TopRC kits. I noticed that even though I used almost the same equipment, the new Zero took quite a bit more nose weight to balance. I believe the new Zero has a bit thicker fiberglass through the tail and fuse than the old one. I normally would choose a new paint scheme, but because the choices are slim for Zero's I decided to use the same scheme on the new one. I did switch to Pneumatic Gear, I always seem to like it better than the electric. Looking forward to taking it to some events this year and getting a bunch of flights on it.


Old 05-06-2021, 04:19 PM
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Well done guys !
I had to add 1.5kg to mine to get it to balance. Last flight I had a wheel fall off mid flight I don't have the inner doors on mine and the grub screw to the axel must have come loose.
so make sure you check them it will save you a lot of hassle ......I still have not found the wheel.
Old 05-06-2021, 04:53 PM
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That explains everything. I was always curious how some guys managed to save so much weight comparing to the others.
I ordered for mine carbon wing tubes. This is already less 300 grams comparing to alu tubes. Should be able to remove abt 100g of lead from the cowl. I have to go below 15kg to participate in semi scale national competition F4H-P class.
I'm also thinking to make new canopy from scratch. I hate this bad alignment with a big gap especially on left side of the fuselage. Should have been done better...

Last edited by darod07; 05-06-2021 at 06:23 PM.
Old 05-06-2021, 06:22 PM
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I bought Carbon tubes for mine too. Factory Aluminum tubes are crazy heavy and for no reason.
Update.
I gave up on the TOPRC main retracts for our Grass runway. They look pretty but are poorly designed. Retrofitted it with Robarts now and my problems went away.


Last edited by bradley; 05-06-2021 at 06:25 PM.
Old 05-06-2021, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, I saw couple of videos where original struts giving up after not so hard landings. Reliable and strong landing gear is something you need to invest first for heavy warbird. Otherwise you will regret.
My Electron retracts and self made struts so far so good. On my maiden I had unexpected heavy "touch and go". I believe original Top Rc struts would have been damaged already.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:36 PM
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Bradley , what was the failure in your TopRC mains ? I had actuator motor and repeat controller issues before it even made it of the work bench and finally upfit the TopRC mains with Robart actuators into the TopRC gear . A little fabricating and retreading the trunion block add a Robart controller on 9v and they now look and work very well .
Old 05-07-2021, 05:29 AM
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Bending of the paper thin and soft piston. Bent 3 so far and tossed them all now. Robart ones are working perfectly. TopRc strut linkage is incorrect and poorly thought out. Springs are also way too hard.
I too had to replace a motor that never made it off the bench originally.
Like I said. They look pretty, but failed engineering 101.

Last edited by bradley; 05-07-2021 at 05:35 AM.
Old 05-07-2021, 07:14 AM
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My Struts are from a very early version of the retracts TopRC offered. They have held up well, and with the robart air retracts I think they'll make a good combination.


Old 05-07-2021, 08:08 AM
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Hot Rod Todd-Those are a different design completely i see in that picture. Can't really make out the scissor linkage? It appears there isn't one?
New style is very soft steel on the piston and only .125 inch wall thickness. A Machinist in our club looked at the pistons for me. He said this. "Its just cheap Chinese steel".
Springs installed are about as stiff as my F150 springs......
Old 05-07-2021, 08:13 AM
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Yep, those are what you got way back when the first introduced the TopRC Zero. No scissor linkage. Looks like they found some cheap version to put into the newer retract set. I'd go with Robart anyway, they sell a full combo now. Better yet, Legend Hobbies has the Sierra retracts in stock to fit the TopRC Zero.
Old 05-07-2021, 08:59 AM
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Good info. thank you. Robarts are working great now. Always wanted to try some Sierra's however. Heard great things about them.
Old 05-13-2021, 02:21 PM
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I just received my Sierra retracts ( they are beautiful) to use if the stock legs don't hold up .
BTW : Those using the Saito 90R3 how much engine down thrust are you using ? Also where have you settled on CG I'm at 155 and it's still pretty docile with about 30% expo on elev. , just wondering if any are flying a more rearward CG than 155 . The reason I ask is I fly at some pretty short fields and need as little roll out as I can get . Lots of flap and some power gets me a steep slow glide but need more elev authority for flare that only a more rearward CG will get me there . Just don't want to overdo it and have to" re- do it " if ya know what I mean
Old 05-13-2021, 04:14 PM
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I would; like to see a picture of the Sierras if you could? They are on my list for my next project.
Old 05-13-2021, 04:22 PM
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And here they are !!
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:25 PM
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Tojo says he likes them ...Alot ...l
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:54 PM
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Damn....those are beautiful.
I'm jealous.
thanks!!
Old 05-14-2021, 04:28 AM
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Hi,

does anybody know, if Darrell from Sierra Giant sells the struts seperately?
I went electric on all my planes and just need beefy legs, that fit into my Electron actuators...

Regards,
Juergen
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:58 AM
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I started out at 155 back, but added some additional weight. It could just have been from an inaccurate measure of the CG. In any case, I'd be careful about going too far back to get more elevator authority. Too much elevator on the landing is what will cause a tip stall when you get the CG back a bit. I also found that on this plane it helps a lot to mix a bit of down elevator in with the flaps. It allows it to settle better. It's difficult to land if you have to push down elevator.
I got a few more flights on mine the other day without any issues. It's ready to go for the season.

Old 05-14-2021, 05:16 AM
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Todd , Thanks for the input 👍
How much engine down thrust are you using ?
Old 05-14-2021, 05:25 AM
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I just used the stock firewall alignment for down thrust. On both Zeros it has been good, no noticeable trim difference between throttle settings.
Old 05-14-2021, 06:24 AM
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Thanks , I'm at 3 degrees down per the firewall as built . It has a slight balloon on throttle off from a speed run , so I may reduce it to 2 down and retrim . I've never had to have 3 down on any of my other warbirds Hellcats , Mustangs, other Zeros , so I was curious about it .
Old 05-14-2021, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by blackbox747
Hi,

does anybody know, if Darrell from Sierra Giant sells the struts seperately?
I went electric on all my planes and just need beefy legs, that fit into my Electron actuators...

Regards,
Juergen
If you find out that answer on "Just struts" let me know. Those Sierra's are the ticket!
Old 05-14-2021, 03:08 PM
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The Sierra and the Robart struts are the same length and have the same shaft diameter (.500") going into the retract .
Old 05-14-2021, 03:13 PM
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Sorry about the upside down photo

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