The Gas-powered Combat Wing

The Gas-powered Combat Wing

Dave Mordecai first contacted us at Zagi in search of distributors in the UK and has modified competitor wings to better fly the slopes in Wales.

“I contacted Zagi USA because of the short fall in the market for a good product like the powered Zagi. Every model of this size now has an electric power system, and I’m not sure if that’s beneficial to our sport,” Dave said.

Being more of a traditionalist, he and his friends have changed the competitor Zagi-style wings to carry an OS 15 engine. He says that he has reached altitudes of 7000 ft while at full throttle.

“It was a design a friend made about 18 years ago and I thought it would be good fun to replicate it again,” Dave said. “The first day out they had 60 flights each and are as durable as the slope-soaring version in the case of directly hitting the floor with full throttle!”

Dave, who’s been flying RC aircraft since age 4, has flown most fixed combat wings. He’s competed at national and international competitions. He and his friends also are show pilots, participating in demonstrations flying new and upcoming models, he said. Additionally, he helps host an annual competition between Wales and Bwlch in South Wales.

“We keep it simple and have a few rounds like limbo, balloon popping, tag, to keep it interesting,” he said.

Original Zagis haven’t always been easy to purchase locally, so he and his friends modified a J Perkins wing to better fly in Wales, which consists of the slopes that require ballast to penetrate in the conditions there. His modifications consist of the following:

  • (Take) a big bread knife and cut off the front approximately 80mm back from the nose.
  • Glue a bit of light ply (1/8” or 1/16”) after cutting it to the shape.
  • Bolt motor and mount on to that then glue the front end back on obviously cutting out the bit for the motors.
  • Take the Sullivan 2-oz slant tank and recess it behind the engine bulkhead.
  • Cut out a square that will fit your Rx, flat Rx pack, and switch as far back as possible.
  • Line he sides of the square with balsa and cover the bottom with thin ply (1/32”) and make a hatch for the top.

Dave lamented that assembling and modifying RC aircraft may be a dying hobby for the younger generations and also a lost learning opportunity. He appreciates learning the related skills needed to build and fly a wing: mechanical engineering, aeronautical design, electronics, woodwork, engine mechanics, and learning to fly.

“These days, it’s become a case of buying a box and everything is in there ready to be plugged together, flown, and when finished with, thrown away,” Dave said. “(They) basically take the satisfaction of designing building and operating away from the user! Zagi brings back those memories (and) gives you the satisfaction of saying you have actually built it, and it flies with a motor that has a piston!”

We hope he buys the real thing soon!

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