This letter came from Charles Pipes:
Hope this finds you in good health and spirits
Having now built 2 Zeros I finally am getting around to official comments on
The 2 Zeros were my first attempt at foamies. Also my first high speed
models as I have only flown high wing trainers and slow biplanes.
As far as the building went, I must say your website was the major selling
factor of me trying the models. I was able to decided before hand on the
issue of how hard they would be to build. It was great to be able to check
the PC to see photos of the method.
On the first Zero I mounted an O.S. .40 FP and built it per the plans and
left out the spar. On the early flights I used a 10-6 prop off of a trainer
but later moved up to a 10-8. I launch it underhand and it still goes out
like a rabbit even with the high pitch. I set the throws at around a 1/4 "
on both ailerons and elevator. This was a mistake and I now run them closer
to 1/8th. With the .40 I spend most of the flight at 1/3 to 1/2 throttle
and she is a blast. Having crashed it (I must say due to no fault of the
design) into my truck and once into the dirt. The thing is almost
indestructible. After a few flights and the two crashes it experienced a
failure in the wing butt joint and the wing started to pull up into a "V"
when I would pull up sharp in a turn. I replaced the wing, with a new one
that I put a 1/16 the ply spar in that went out 11" on each wing. I just
took the assembled wing and sliced down through it with a hack saw blade and
glued in a plywood spar that ran clean though from top to bottom. I did go
ahead and tapped it as if it didn't have a spar and must admit that it is
heavy (3.51b) The only thing I have done different than the plans is that
I did not cut the hatch for the fuel tank in the coro-plast sidewall. My
logic was that if I need to get to the tank for a minor repair I could cut
it later. Mean time I added strength to that side of the model around the
firewall. It may have come in handy when I flew it into the back of the
truck and then straight into the ground. Both crashes by the way only ended
up with some wrinkles in the tape and 2 broken props.
Learning from the First Zero I have built another. Actually I have built it
to lure others in our group into trying to start a combat group.
I figure to let them fly the first one so I will have someone to play with.
I have used the bamboo skewer spar method on the second one and an old K &
B. 20 on this one. So far the model has come in at about 2 and 3/4 Ib.
Hope to put it up in the air this weekend if the weather holds.
As far as the flying ability of the .40 size it is rock solid. I have never
been that brave at low aerobatics and must say the Zero brings out the
hotrod in you. Like you say "It's only a 30.00 (editors note: it is $36 dollars) dollar model "so its ok to
make an inverted pass at 4 feet up or high speed pass with your belly
dragging in the dirt. I only need to find me a group to combat with.
Charlie follows up with a few other comments:
Well we still don't have a Combat club yet but interest is growing every
time I bring out the 2 Zeros. Terri has just gotten one of your 51s
and bought everything to build it with an OS 25 and a Hitec flight pack. I find
it interesting on the amount we have in the different models as I built mine
out of garage sale parts and radios and only have around $100.00 in each of
the Zeros and he has ended up with around 300. I have currently loaned out
the original model I bought to try to perk up interest in the idea of combat
here. I flew against it last week and even though 2 people have had it and
it has hit every thing from trees to cars it still looks and fly's well. You
should receive at least 2 more orders for F4Us. One of the big selling points so far besides how tough they
are is the fact that we don't have to go to the flying field to fly. We all
have pastures or fields near our homes where the grass is to high to land
our "Nice" models at but can crash into after a round of fun. I've noticed
an attitude change that comes over people when they fly these a few times
concerning what is important. If I were to flip my Stearman on it's back
while landing I would tend to get a lot of cat calls. Friday I got the
comment "Great landing" after ending up with the nose stuck straight into
the mud after I dead-stick punched through 2 trees to get to the runway .
The only important thing now is the fight. Of coarse the old guys at the
field think us young kids (47) are nuts and still stick to their 4 Stars and
fly in circles.