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Old 03-21-2017, 12:50 AM
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Build Log
Assembly - AJ Aircraft 115"/123" Laser 230z Unlimited

I am very fortunate to have gotten one of the first AJ 123" Laser 230z's. I'm really looking forward to this for several reasons.

This is my first AJ aircraft purchase and will say I've had a LOT of PM's, facebook messages, texts etc. over the past year telling me I need to get an AJ plane. I guess that is a good testament to current users thoughts on these planes. I decided to go big or go home and dive in with the new 123"!!

Those that don't know me personally I'm a design engineer by education and I specialize in product development and manufacturing processes. I also like to design and build my own planes and modify things to make them my own. It's always exciting for me to dig into products like this to look at the design process used. Since this is a diverse product by design it will be fun to collect some data so lets get started!
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:50 AM
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First the boxes and what you get:

- If you order the 115" version you get (2 boxes) including the 115 fuse (which includes 115 rudder and 115 cowl), 115 wings.

- If you order the 123: version you get the same exact 115 fuse box, the 123" wing box, 123 cowl box and 123 rudder box (4 boxes).

The shipping company accidentally put the wrong sticker on my rudder and it's headed to California but one call and about 45 minutes it was located and re-routed so hopefully I have that by the weekend. No big deal, even shipping companies make mistakes

So since I ordered the 123 I have both cowls here. First thoughts are that they are well build, fiberglass work is nice and not "soft". Weight is right in line with what they should be. Cowl ring is nicely installed from what I see and we'll look closer later. Screws with bonded washers are pre-installed to ensure a nice fit in the end.

Spinner does have a carbon back plate, looks to be well constructed. Some will use it and some will not because of the carbon back plate but it looks very nice. The slots may need to be opened slightly, it did not fit over my 32x11W prop I intend to use.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:51 AM
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Wings and stabs. Wings are amazingly packaged, basically an outer box, hardwood frames surrounding box #2 and the actual wing box inside that. Wings include some nicely usable wing bags.

Wing tube is a full 48" x 1.5" dia. Stabs use a dual tube system instead of an anti-rotation pin, very nice touch.

I've played quite a bit with designing and modifying airfoils to test effects. With that I will not go into details about the airfoil on this plane but what I see is a wing that is going to be very slippery and will draw amazing lines (as you would expect from an AJ plane) but I'm also excited that by looking at it it should have amazing post stall characteristics as well

Stabs are nicely sized with a reasonable width and chord which should be great for precision again but also allow the tail of this LOOONG plane to break loose for some nice 3D. Stabs also have a single servo location that is surface mounted (yaay!!)

Weights are impressive for an ARF. Wings are fairly well matched, considering the gluing process they use you can't ask for too much better on a production set of wings. Stab weights are very nice as well

Wings are set up for two servos with no option for three. The ailerons have a really nicely designed truss system in them that drastically reduces flex. They are very near the rigidity of foam core ailerons. This negates the need for three servos and also reduces any tendencies for flutter on these HUGE ailerons.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:51 AM
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Fuse and rudder are nicely packed in the fuse box, as is the 115 cowling, hardware, stabs, wing tube and gear.

Pics have several weights and measurements for the various parts. If anyone wants a dimension I have not posted let me know. I know some people have transportation fit requirements etc.

Fuse weight itself is a little heavier than I expected, however it is VERY long for a 123" airplane so with that consideration it's on track. This will also be aided by the light wings, stabs etc. so it will all work out to a nice finished weight. It also has a full pipe tunnel.....not just a can tunnel. The top of the tunnel is a strong birch plywood and turns to balsa at the end. Sides of the tunnel are 1/32 or lightweight 1/16" balsa.

Landing gear is a great size. Nothing looks worse on a huge airplane is short stubby gear that looks like an afterthought. This gear is massive and will give it a nice stance. it is also pre-drilled for mounting (typical) but also for the gear cuffs which is nice.

Again, this is the 115 rudder until mine comes back from vacation, but it's very light and I'd expect the height to remain the same on the 123.

NOTE: all the holes are all opened up in the fuse for tubes, pins etc. Nice touch.

I placed both cowls on so you get an idea for your engine choice. I also happen to have another plane in the shop with a 222cc engine so looks like that engine in this plane would require 0-1/16" spacer.....only if you need spinner gap. I know this is the same size as the DA200 so you're all set for the quad Single place is exactly 2" shorter as you can see.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:51 AM
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Hardware and misc. Very typical hardware included. I am one that even on the best of planes out there will go off on my own tangent with hardware. One thing I like that I see is a lot of SAE hardware so it's easy to find replacements if needed. It does even include a package of common replacement parts.

The tailwheel looks usable and good quality. The carbon spring looks well made. This is something I normally replace out of the box because I fly at so many different fields through the year I find the stock ones never last, but I will take a closer look at this one as we go.

Wheels look good and usable, they have the typical bronze insert so you'll have to watch dirt so your not the guy with the squeaky wheels. Axles are good quality 1/4" and 100% usable which is nice.

The wheel pants seem on the smallish side for the plane but are excellent quality and extremely light. I'll be looking at those closer as well because they will be used. I do intend to use 5" white rose wheels so we'll see if they fit tomorrow. Gear cuffs are nicely made and ready to install.

There is assorted firewall drill template as well canister and pipe mounts included. There is a single servo box for your throttle servo as well as a canopy bottom plate and back plate. There is also some vented bottom fuse plates for air exit.

The rest of the hardware packs we'll get into but I can see some nice looking black G-10 control horns that will look nice. I'm looking forward to testing those and checking geometry etc.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:36 AM
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Nice
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:21 AM
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:44 AM
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It looks great, I am jealous! Not just to be a contrarian, I much prefer metric (M3) over 4-40, because everything else is metric (servos, engine screws, etc) so only one set of allen wrenches is needed and M3 is slightly bigger. Also, the wire tailwheel will be bent soon, EF is now supplying a very nice aluminum clevis type on the new Slick that will be more durable.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoffman View Post
It looks great, I am jealous! Not just to be a contrarian, I much prefer metric (M3) over 4-40, because everything else is metric (servos, engine screws, etc) so only one set of allen wrenches is needed and M3 is slightly bigger. Also, the wire tailwheel will be bent soon, EF is now supplying a very nice aluminum clevis type on the new Slick that will be more durable.
I'll see as I get in, It's not uncommon for ARF factories to use a mix of SAE and Metric hardware. Example is the canopy screws. Also not uncommon to see SAE threads with metric allen heads. Only reason I typically don't care for Metric hardware on an ARF is often the threads are cut kinda shallow and with the super fine threads they don't hold quite as well. They just like to keep you on your toes
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:54 AM
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Yes, at least be consistent, one way or the other.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:30 AM
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Interesting that they give away 2 rudders and 2 cowls.
Seems like added waste in cost for parts and shipping.
Guess you could sell those to guys when they crash...

Tony
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatechguy3 View Post
Interesting that they give away 2 rudders and 2 cowls.
Seems like added waste in cost for parts and shipping.
Guess you could sell those to guys when they crash...

Tony
I look at it the other way. By streamlining the way they offer it they are actually offering two different airplanes and LOTS of different options. Getting a lot for your money and the only thing salvaged are two fairly inexpensive parts. Truck freight generally you can almost ship two complete planes for the same price as one so shipping cost is the same if they ship you two boxes for the 115 or four boxes for the 123.

That's why if you have friends that are interested in planes and you are going to make purchase it's always a good idea to group the order into one shipment. Literally cuts your freight in half most times.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryscustom View Post
Wheels look good and usable, they have the typical bronze insert so you'll have to watch dirt so your not the guy with the squeaky wheels. Axles are good quality 1/4" and 100% usable which is nice.
I did notice squeaking wheels on my ARS. Anyone got tips to squash the squeak?
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolei Zinsli View Post
I did notice squeaking wheels on my ARS. Anyone got tips to squash the squeak?
I have done powdered graphite with success: https://www.google.com/search?q=powd...hrome&ie=UTF-8

I have also cleaned them with compressed air or an electrical circuit spray cleaner and then apply a dry lube spray.

What you DON"T want to do is "oil" them. Any type of oil will attract dirt and actually make them squeak quickly and many times worse.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:03 AM
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One thing I thought I had on hand was a fuel tank, so I had to get one ordered up from taildragger RC. I got the 50oz tank, I've used a pile of them and they are great quality: http://www.taildraggerrc.com/rtf-fuel-tanks/

Also waned to do a pilot but it looks like the Large G-force pilot is just barely too tall. I ordered the medium but will double confirm when he shows up. I have a large one in a plane but it looks like he's about 1/2" too tall. Stay tuned on that: http://northwestrc.com/GForce-Pilots_c_107.html
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