Hitec Weekender Zipper



Buy, build, and fly in the same weekend
Written by Geoff Barber
Watch this small-field sport aircraft in flight through a video.
Featured in the Spring 2014 issue of
Park Pilot.

Specifications

Type: Sport ARF
Skill level: Intermediate
Wingspan: 23.6 inches
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Length: 21.3 inches
Price: $109.99
Info: www.hitecrcd.com


Features

• Durable EPO-foam construction
• Three-channel control (aileron, elevator, throttle)
• Servos, ESC, and brushless motor preinstalled
• Small size is great for fully assembled transportation and storage
• Large magnetic canopy/battery hatch for easy battery changes

Abridge Review Highlights

Hitec radio systems have been around for a long time. The company has recently introduced a new line of aircraft under the “Weekender by Hitec” name. Weekender refers to the assembler’s ability to get the airplane ready and fly it in the same weekend.

The Zipper is a small ARF (Almost-Ready-to-Fly) park flyer that can be painted, assembled, and flown in only a few hours, putting it in this Weekender lineup. Its size makes it a great little model that can be flown nearly anywhere. I plan to keep mine in my SUV for spur-of-the-moment flights!

The hardest part of assembling the Zipper is deciding on a paint scheme. The airframe arrives in plain, white EPO foam or, as I like to think, a blank slate. This allows the assembler to use his or her imagination to come up with an eye-catching paint scheme. After a quick run to the local home improvement store, I decided on black, red, and white. Taping off the parts of the airplane that I didn’t want painted required the most time, but the result was worth it.

With the parts painted and a silver tape stripe between the red and white, I began assembling the model. I slid the horizontal stabilizer through the tail of the Zipper, and a few drops of thin CA held it in place. The manual stated that the CA was optional, but I felt better with the stabilizer glued in place. I then inserted the elevator pushrod into the swivel and tightened the screw.

I ran the aileron servo wires through a hole in the wing saddle of the fuselage, and the attached wing using a single 2 x 16mm screw. After applying a drop of medium CA to the painted spinner, it was pushed onto the propeller.

I secured the Minima 6L receiver inside the fuselage and installed the battery. The CG was found, and when the Zipper correctly balanced, I secured the hook side of the included Velcro strip in the forward section of the fuselage. I attached small piece of the fuzzy side to the battery, and snapped the magnetic canopy/hatch in place.

I cut the elevator and ailerons free from the stabilizer and wings. With that, assembly was complete and it was time to head to the field!



The Zipper has few parts and requires minor assembly. The motor, ESC, and servos are preinstalled.




Coming up with a unique paint scheme is part of the fun. Here are the painted parts, ready for final assembly.




Assembly has been completed and the Zipper is ready for flight. Even with paint, the completed model is only 5.3 ounces.



The Zipper looks fast setting still, so I was prepared for the airplane to be a real speed demon in the air. A quick hand launch had the Zipper flying, and I was immediately impressed! I added a click of down-trim on the elevator for hands-off level flight.

I pushed the throttle stick to full and the Zipper quickly moved across the field, but it was still manageable. Because of its small size, it looked like it was going much faster than it really was. Pulling the throttle back, I was ready for the Zipper to fall out of the sky. To my pleasant surprise, the model slowed nicely and flew easily at half throttle.

Aerobatics are fun, although slightly limited without a functional rudder. Aileron rolls and loops are plenty of fun and easy to do, along with a split-S and Cuban 8s.

I set the timer on my Hitec Optic 6 Sport transmitter for six minutes on the first flight, so when the timer beeped, I brought the Zipper in for a landing. I was amazed at the long glide slope—the Zipper just didn’t want to quit flying!

The Weekender series is a great addition to the Hitec name. I really like the Zipper—it’s an economical, small-field model that anyone with low-wing flying experience can enjoy! My hat goes off to the designers at Hitec for bringing us the Zipper!


Flight Video




Article: 

4 comments

G00d Plane

We use the Zippers for mini-pylon racing and they are the perfect plane.

Does the zipper from Hitec slope?

Flys great on the slope....no prop...no motor....350mah nicad battery , gets the flying weight down to 4.6 oz....and the wing loading down to 7.12 oz/sq ft.
Swap out the .032 elevator control rod (over kill) with .025 music wire...c/g 1/8 inch back from recomended. You'll like it!

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