Zenith F3J/TD

 Specs:

Airfoil:

HQW 3/8.5

Span:134.9 
Area:1067 in2
AR17:1
Loading: 9.0-10.0 oz/ft2
Weight:68-75oz
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CLICK HERE TO SEE MARK BUILD HIS ZENITH STEP-BY-STEP.

Our Zeniths have been on the scene in the USA since late 2000. In that time we learned a lot about these suburb models. I visited the manufacturer in 2004 and spent a week there learning his technique on model making; I have been doing UAV composites since 1986 and composite models before then. I can say that the detail of constriction is extremely high; he takes each layer of material and checks for straightness and position on every layer in every model. The gaps are minimal, the paint is almost transparent (for weight) and all this adds up to a model that will F3J tow for years and years and not show its age, Spar bulge? No way! We still have a few of the original carbon Zeniths flying that are holding up as well as they did when new. The models are light weight and strong. With the advancement of UHM carbon the current wings are stiffer than ever. Let's look at what we have here: A 135" span, 8% thin airfoil, light weight (v tails are 71oz X tails are 75oz) the perfectionists in the crowd will be impressed!

Zenith secrets: For years I have been telling customers to set reflex and use it. The Zenith is a thermal machine and what the designer did was to make his wing mold with an HQ airfoil with 3% camber. Why? When you enter a thermal with your current model you probably roll in a little camber for a better climb. The Zenith is MOLDED in with that added cambe already. This keeps the airfoil extremely efficient because when you camber in your current model there is a "kink" at the hinge line and the airfoil is compromised for higher lift. The Zenith's "extra camber" is molded in and since this is a thermal model and spends more time circling in a thermal the designer didn't compromise the airfoil by "kinking" it. He chose a high camber airfoil series that is efficient while climbing.

If you hear a Zenith owner complaining that it doesn't have "legs" he is doing it wrong! The HQ 3/8.5 when reflexed 3deg will keep up with about any F3J model out there. But the pilot has to enable it. How does your current model cruse out with thermal camber active? It doesn't. Neither will the Zenith until you get into reflex. The designer wisely thought that the high cruse portion of the flight was where to live with the kink.

Zenith set up: You know yourself better than I do and if you can deal with launching a model with vary little added camber, zooming in reflex and staying in reflex until you reach that thermal then set the TE back to "neutral" and thermal out you won't have any issues. But if its seams to weird to you I suggest this: Set your "neutral or cruse" TE mode with about 3 deg reflex, set your "thermal mode and launch mode" at normal TE neutral position and set your reflex at 4 degrees. Now you can easily switch between launch, cruse and reflex just like your current model. I found this "cheat" helps pilots get comfortable with the Zenith right from the start. Hey~ whatever works!

Launching: The Zenith needs very little or no launch camber. If you are launching on braided line (like we do in the USA) and it has little or no stretch then line speed is your friend. Launch the Zenith with neutral camber and about 3/4 the way up get in to reflex and speed the model for the zoom. Push over for a short dip and release then pull almost straight up. Your line has little energy stored so the model needs speed at the top to get a strong zoom.

For Mono: Woohoo! This is where all the fun is. Again I use very little extra camber, stay on tow for about 2.5 seconds get in reflex before you dip for release and zoom vertical for about 5-6 seconds if you time everything right.

I only order the UHM Carbon version now. That's all you need.

Carbon: V tail version 71oz RTF, X tail version 75oz RTF. Full on F3J strength model.

News! The new shipment of Zeniths has the control horns factory installed! This was one area where the early Zenith was lacking. Not any more!

Note: The Fuse is now extra beafy where the wire harness passes through and no more corner cracks. 3 extra layers of carbon were added to that area of the wing saddle.