The Zlin

The second of the models I obtained from a deceased modellers estate and my first hanger queen.

When I got it most of it had been assembled and those assembled bits where in a bit of a state, the rest in a carboard box, I gave fellow clubmates the opportunity to gets dibs on it not wanting to be greedy and hogging all the goodies but it was apparent I was the only one interested...!

Actually identifying what I had was the first job, some weeks later I was given the plan which turned out to be a Pat French Models The Zlin, until researching this piece I always called it the Giant Zlin but the plan does call it the Zlin.

It is 82" wingspan for 61 2 stroke motors and referred to as Economy Scale based on a 226AS. I have applied a large amount of artistic license, in finishing this as the color scheme and id are actually from a Zlin 26 which was a two seater and this is clearly a single. The decals on the wings fuselage and tail where designed and supplied by tim@modelmarkings.com, I got his details via a BMFA ad.

On the up side this won the club scale comp for scratch built model Easter 2017 'static' as it hadn't actually flown by then.

Fuselage is a basic balsa box with foam veneered front and rear decking, the decking hanging on for dear life, and veneer not much better. I 'managed' to knock the fin off using a door frame with minimal damage to any thing, the fin is also veneered foam which again didn't need much encouragement to part company with the foam. The wings where in the foam cores and on examination they had faired a lot better than the rest.

Getting the old glue off the foam cores and the veneer without trashing both was a major challenge and then getting the two to adhere together was the second, however it all went back together. The wings which should be one piece are actually two piece with not only one aluminium tube jointer but two, the chord is about 16" at the root, this is a big plane.

I spent so long with this model I became very attached to it. I hand made the louvres on the side of the cowl by constructing a plug and then mouling them in epoxy glass which in itself took 2 weeks to complete and there are a number of similar little jobs and when calculating the cost of the bits, the initial investment from £50 had risen to £Alot. The plane is covered in white Solartex, painted with Solarlac and decals applied and given a coat of Clear Coat to fuel proof it, I hope.

None of this helped when the time for a maiden flight came, I was scared of it. I didn't take it off an land it but did fly round once it was trimmed, I tried to land it but made a complete hash of it. I passed the transmitter to a club mate who was standing by 'who I trust' and he got it down in one bit. The ASP 91 was marginal on power and needed a bit of C of G adjustment. Second flight on the same day was a lot less fraught and it behaved a lot better.

The ASP 91 got replaced by an OS 91 bought on eBay for a princely sum, actually a bargain and I believe the manufacturer hype the OS does have more go..

The second time I turned up at the field to give the new engine a go, my trusted mate was nowhere to be seen, so I bit the bullet and had two succesful flights, the OS being slightly heavier up front than the ASP means some of the lead could come out so it all helps the wing loading.

Why a hanger queen! because I still look at it and think of money but I am determined to hack it this year and see if it does do all the tricks.

Andrew's Model Site Web Page

mailto:andrew@ajmckelvey.uk