Zagi models are a unique type of RC plane that looks and flies like a glider, mostly. Zagi models are built out of foam and are driven by an electric motor. For those looking for an easy to fly glider that is quite responsive and smooth to control, Zagi models are your perfect weapon of choice.
Zagi models were created out of expanded polyprolylene (EPP) foam to replace the Balsa wood & tissue based models that were prone to extensive damage on hard landings. The models were designed to have minimum parts so as to ease the construction and flying techniques. Zagi models are a version of radio controlled models that resemble the USAF B-2 stealth bomber in principal and in flight. The shape is based on the wings of a plane without the torso in between.
The planes are motorized by a rear-mounted electric motor with the standard version providing about 20-minutes of flying time. The pusher-motor system ensures minimum damage in case of heavy landings and ensures a slower, more controllable flight. Zagi models were designed for slope-flying, a concept where you can just throw the model into the air, off of a slope, and watch it glide & fly on the updraft for as long as you want before landing it. The plane follows the principle of thermal soaring where it imitates soaring birds. The model catches rising air-currents and glides on them, similar to birds like eagles, condors and vultures, enabling a long range flight without extensive dependency on the motor.
Zagi models, based on EPP foam are strong and can withstand many a hard landings. You can use them for combat flying where the entire concept is to knock other Zagi models out of the sky. The models are easy to build due to their few parts and are great for beginners, even though there are more complex models available as well.
Due to the difficulty in reading air-current patterns, non-motorized Zagi models were not for everyone. As a result, electric motors have been added to the models to enable flying in all conditions. Although more expensive, they are as sturdy as the regular models and offer greater versatility in terms of control on the flight.
Zagi models have a unique way of landing, called 'crashing'. It isn't any different from a normal plane crash, however, that is the only way these 'wheel-less' models can land. The EPP foam along with the tape covering ensures minimum damage due to a solid construction method that holds the plane together. Zagi models are extremely stable on impact, and quite versatile to sustain damage and carry the engine & servo load without causing any damage at high performance speeds.
You will find that Zagi models are mainly available in do-it-yourself kits where you get the wings, engine parts as well as custom plastic parts that make the model fly, along with 4 rolls of tape and a detailed instruction manual. Carbon spars are a part of the higher end models and house the electronics of the plane. The motor fits seamlessly into the tray and can be secured more easily than you expect.
For beginners, there are many models that allow you to spend a few fun-filled hours in building it, followed by many more spent in flying it. With expert versions of Zagi models, you get to choose between combat models, slope combat models (that use air-currents to glide) and many more. So whatever be your level of expertise, do not hesitate to go in for a Zagi model if you are interested in a different style of RC model flying altogether. If you need more incentive, then there is the Zagi candy, a tasty incentive, which accompanies every Zagi model kit.