21 ft. 9 in.
28 ft. 2 in.
56 U.S. gals.
The Czechoslovakian Zlin Z-50
acrobatic design dates back to the early 1970's. It is one of the very first aircraft manufactured using CAD.
The aircraft is built with a maximum power to weight ratio, using a
Lycoming 260 h.p. engine at its heart. The wing is built strong, while
wing loading was kept at a minimum. The air frame is equally as
strong, resulting in an aircraft that can withstand a positive nine
times and a negative 6.5 times the forces of gravity.
The airplane soon started winning aerobatic championships. Engine
horsepower was upped by 40 in 1981, further increasing performance.
Flying the Zlin Z-50 is exhilarating and confidence building. Pilots
appreciate the comfortable adjustable seating arrangement that takes
some of the stress out of performing aerobatic maneuvers.
Starting the airplane produces a mellow rumble from the Lycoming engine, with
surprisingly little vibration transmitted into the cockpit. During
taxiing, applying the brakes takes a firm push. The aircraft does not have a brake for parking. Turning takes a bit of muscle.
The softly sprung landing gear are wonderful for smoothing out rough terrain, but produce a wallowing
motion of the aircraft. However, the aircraft's smallish wheels limit flying from unimproved runways.
Taking off in the Zlin Z-50 is as simple as advancing the throttle. There is
minimal engine torque to counter. However, with the throttle wide
open, you will be pushed back in your seat. The airplane does not fly itself
off of the runway, and needs some back stick to get into the air.
The light aileron pressures, along with a similar feel of the elevators can
make first flights in the airplane a bit twitchy, even for experienced
pilots. Aileron pressure does increase as the plane approaches
maximum speed. The large rudder of the aircraft keeps it tracking
straight, perhaps a bit more than desirable in an aerobatic aircraft.
The rudder has very strong authority, and all controls are well
balanced. The aircraft can achieve roll rates in excess of 300
degrees per second.
The ailerons take a bit of getting used to. Not only are the control
inputs extremely light, but minimal stick deflection results in a great
amount of throw.
The power available in the Zlin Z-50 results in very fast acceleration. The
aerodynamic design results in an aircraft that will quickly reach its
maximum speed, particularly while descending. The aircraft pitch is not sensitive to changes in speed, and minimal trim control is necessary.
Using a slight amount of nose down elevator trim during normal flight will result in inverted flight with neutral stick.
Entering a low speed stall in the airplane doesn't produce any dramatic
reactions. Stalls result in a straight ahead mush with a wing
eventually lowering. Recovery is uneventful.
Aerobatic spins and stalls under power, both inside and outside, are also easily
recovered from. The aircraft side slips easily. When the
propeller is used to slow the aircraft, it offers excellent control. The straight
line flying tendencies of the aircraft do limit knife edge flight.
Landings are as easy as with most other less aerobatic tail dragger aircraft. Turning final can be done
as slow as 75 mph. The aircraft provides excellent control feel, giving
advance notice at speeds approaching a stall. Your view will
be limited to out the sides of the aircraft during flare. The softly sprung undercarriage absorbs the impact of less
than perfect landings without bouncing. Control during roll out is
excellent, even during moderate cross winds. There is no tendency to ground loop.
The Zlin Z-50 can bring out the very best in an experienced pilot, yet make a
newer pilot look good. It provides an excellent combination of high
performance, ease of handling, and reliability.
Many Zlin Z-50 aircraft are still flying today. A total of 79 Zlin aircraft of all types were produced.
Pictured directly above is the Zlin Z-50 from NitroPlanes. It has a wingspan of 40" and is 31" long.
You will need a Speed 400 type motor to power it. Weight is around 2 3/4 lbs.
The NitroPlanes Zlin Z-50 with a wingspan of 56" and length is 43" needs a .46 two stroke or .52 four
stroke engine. Weight is about 5 1/2 lbs.
NitroPlanes has a larger Zlin Z-50 with a 70" wingspan that is 56" long. It needs a 1.20 two stroke or 1.60 four stroke
engine and weighs about 9 1/4 lbs.
The Zlin Z-50 by HobbyKing, pictured above, has a 47" wingspan. It is ARF with a length of 40" and weight of around 2 3/4 lbs.
The larger Zlin Z-50 by HobbyKing's wingspan is 65" with a 54" length. A .46 two cycle engine or the electric motor equivalent will power it. You
can also check out the thread about the Zlin Z-50. It is at RCGroups, written by Jim15256.
Horizon Hobby has a Zlin Z-50 made by Seagull Models. Its wingspan is 68" and length is 49". The ARF can be powered by .90 two cycle or 1.10 four
cycle engines. Construction is all-wood and weight is around 10 lbs.
The Zlin Z-50 by Patrick Deslandes Designs wingspan is about 95 1/2" and length is about 75".
Graupner's Zlin Z-50 has a 37" wingspan and is 29" long. It is of all-wood construction with a weight of around 26 oz.
The Zlin Z-50 by RC Hobby, UK wingspan is 63" and it is 49" long. The fuselage is glass fiber and wings are balsawood
over foamy. All up weight is around 4 3/4 lbs.
The Zlin Z-50 from Great Planes has a 58" wingspan and is 52" long, with a weight of around 6 3/4 lbs. From .46 to .55 two cycle,
from .52 to .70 four cycle, or the equivalent electric motor will power it.
The picture just above is of the Zlin Z-50 from Styrolan. It was built by Milo of RCGroups. Wingspan is 40" and length is 31".
A Speed 400 type motor is necessary to power it. Weight is approximately 22 oz.
Yongkang Fly Models has the 40" wingspan Zlin Z-50 that is equipped with a brushless motor.
Yongkang Fly Models also has the 70" wingspan engine powered Zlin Z-50.
The Shenzhen Model-Fans Zlin Z-50 wingspan is 65" and it is 53 1/2" long. Engines can be a .60 two stroke or .91 four stroke.
Weight, all up, is about 7 lbs.