Model type: Glider
Skill level: Beginner and beyond
Wingspan: 59 inches
Wing area: 556 square inches
Flying weight: 18 ounces
Radio controls: Ailerons and elevator
surfaces: Elevons and drooperons
Materials: EPO foam; carbon fiber
Airfoils: Zup1060 and Zup1065
Needed Transmitter with flying wing/
to complete: delta wing mixing capability;
two-channel receiver; two
metal gear servos; receiver
Assembly time: Two to three hours if builder
is installing servos; less than
an hour for the preinstalled-servo version
Price: $90 kit; $120 ARF
• Smooth and predictable flight performance.
• Exceptional aerobatic performance.
• Assembles from the kit quickly.
• Elevons are preinstalled and prehinged.
• Constructed from durable foam.
• Markings applied at the factory.
• Initial electric motor package performed
• It is not a master of light lift or high wind
AT A GLANCE ...
Zulu weighs 18. 1 ounces. The 59-inch
wingspan, with no tip-grab hardware,
was too long and bulky for me to
productively handle. I did not enjoy hand
launching the Zulu, nor was it successful
A slope flying friend calls electric flight
“slope in a can,” and I have dabbled in it
from time to time. After some successful
small slope and “slermal” flying, I
was looking forward to an enjoyable
experience with a motor on the Zulu.
The supplier sent the recommended
power components, and although
the motor easily mounted on the
preinstalled motor mount bulkhead, it
did not develop enough thrust for me
to comfortably fly it. In bench testing,
mine developed 12. 45 ounces of thrust,
and my flying weight with an 800 mAh
three-cell power pack was 20 ounces.
The Zulu was not fun for me to fly
with electric power. I sent the power
pack back for testing and evaluation. A
company official mentioned that he is
searching for a more powerful motor for
electric flight with the Zulu.
It is superb, glorious, sublime, lovely,
and delightful on the slope—when solid
lift is available, that is. This sailplane
does not like to be flown in scrappy,
crappy, gusty lift. The Zulu, more than
other sailplanes, is stable, smooth, and
predictable in the hands of a Slope
Soaring newcomer, and yet it can excite
an experienced Slope Soaring pilot.
On low rates, it flies like a kitten
purrs. When in high rates, the aerobatics
get snappy and it can perform some
maneuvers formerly reserved for the
hyper-aerobatic Voltige Très Près du
Relief (VTPR) sailplanes.
I did my initial flight testing on a
small, shallow, gradual, turbulent, low-lift inland hill surrounded on four sides
with trees. It’s not much of a hill, but it’s
close to home. The Zulu was not much
fun there until a thermal came through.
There are other slope gliders that surpass
the Zulu in these conditions.
Out on the coast, in smooth air with
plenty of lift, all is different. The Zulu
becomes fun to fly. Its flight is so smooth
and predictable that it encourages bold
aerobatic flying and experimentation,
and yet will calm down for an easy,
restful, lazy-day of Slope Soaring.
On low rates, solidly carved turns,
big inside loops, uneventful inverted
flight (moderate forward stick pressure
needed), and rolls are easy, but require
some elevator work to keep them axial
on low rates. Stall turns are no sweat
with that big vertical stabilizer. Cuban 8s
parallel to the ridge look and feel great.
When flown intentionally into a
forward stall, the nose dropped only a
few inches and the airplane immediately
resumed flying. I noticed no tendency to
fall off to one side in the stall. In my 55
flights, I did not notice a tip stall. This
constitutes fine stall performance and
gives the pilot confidence when flying
On high rates, it’s more of the same
except quicker and snappier, yet just
as predictable. This airframe inspires
confidence in learning and practicing
aerobatics. On high rates, with more
speed entering the maneuver, rolls
become more axial and a smidge of
elevator is needed to smoothly complete
To me, no aerobatics performance
evaluation is complete without trying
outside loops. I cannot remember flying
such smooth, accurate, and good-looking
outside loops with another sailplane.
If the designer told me that this model
was designed for outside loops, I would
believe him or her.
One avid Zulu flier commented
about its flight performance, “One of
the first things I noticed about having
the drooperons was how much more
forgiving the model is when flying close
to the ground. It seemed like there was
always something left in the stick if
you push it further, especially when it’s
I agree—the Zulu does feel as though
there is always something left in the
stick. This flight characteristic inspires
confidence when practicing and learning
How much of the Zulu’s exquisite
flight performance is attributable to
the drooperons? I cannot say, because
I did not fly it without drooperons. It
flies great with drooperons. For more
information about how and why the
drooperons work, see the owner’s
manual and the two online sites listed in
Planned landings on top are uneventful
and predictable, and inadvertent bad
landings did not wreck the airframe
in my testing. In my 55 launches and
landings, I bent the nose out of shape
twice and I was able to bend it back into
a functional position. I have not yet had
to use glue to make repairs.
The owner’s manual mentions
and details High Control Deflection
67 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2016