Product Instructions & Tips
We spent countless hours in the field with many different versions of the Flight Deck Work Stand & CG Tester before settling on dimensions and cradle profiles found on the final product. We found that this configuration provides the most flexibility and functionality with the widest variety of RC airplanes possible. If you find that your Flight Deck does not work well with your particular aircraft please contact us and share your experience. Product development is a never-ending process and real world feedback from users like yourself are critical to producing the best possible product. And, as always, if you are not satisfied with your CrewZinn product for any reason we'll do everything in our power to make things right.
CG TESTING WITH FLIGHT DECK
CG Testing with Flight Deck is quick and easy. Simply place the CG testing sticks in the appropriate mounting holes for the aircraft you wish to test, carefully locate the pads on the CG Stickers (or your CG marks), aligning them with the corresponding radii on the CG Location Stickers and you're done.
A NOTE ABOUT CG PADS: The material used to manufacture the CG pads was very carefully selected. We tested dozens of different materials before feeling confident we had it exactly right. The purpose of the pads is to distribute the weight of the plane over a larger area so that dents (or tears) don't develop from testing. The heavier the plane the more of a certainty this will occur without them. By spreading the weight over a larger area, however, there is a risk of compromising the precision of the measurement. This is why we tested so many different versions. The EPDM we use for our pads is the perfect balance between being dense enough to support the plane and compliant enough to conform to dihedral and surface variations and yield accurate CG feedback. While SLIGHTLY more precise measurements can be achieved with the pads removed, using the smaller pad at the tip of the stick, our testing indicates that the difference is negligible on nearly every plane over about 700mm wingspan. Further, balance/imbalance situations occur more gradually with the pads in place, making testing a much safer and enjoyable experience.
A NOTE ABOUT CG TESTING STICKS: The standard CG sticks are 12.5" tall. We did not arrive at this size randomly. With most planes up to 1600mm wingspan, that need to be balanced inverted, the standard CG sticks will put the tail a couple inches above the surface on which your Flight Deck Work Stand is placed when balanced. If your plane is VERY tail heavy it won't fall off the sticks and get damaged, it will simply tilt back until the tail gently contacts the work surface. If you find that dimensions of your plane are such that there is not enough clearance for proper CG adjustment because the tail is in contact with the work surface there are 3 simple solutions (although, in our experience, this very rarely happens with planes with a wingspan less than 1600mm. Most 1600mm aircraft will work normally as well, but there are some exceptions, like the 1600mm F4U Corsair, because of the gull wing). If this circumstance arises you can:
1. Simply move your Fight Deck CG Tester so that when your plane is being tested the tail section hangs over the edge of the work surface.
2. Place a piece(s) of wood or book(s) under the stand to raise it from the work surface.
3. Purchase our Extra Long CG Sticks, which are 18" tall. They work identically to the standard CG Sticks but they are 6" longer and include reinforced pads for heavier aircraft. They will still fit within the standard securing clamps on your Flight Deck Work Stand & CG Tester.
MICRO TESTING PAD
For very small and micro aircraft remove the CG pads from the CG sticks. This will expose the small pad at the end of the CG stick that is there for this purpose.
CG LOCATION STICKER INSTALLATION
1 Choose the best testing width for the aircraft you intend to test. The testing width can be set to 3”, 6”, 7”, 9”, 10”, 13”, and 16”.
2 Use masking tape to mark the testing width on the wings, making sure the plane is centered within the testing width. You can achieve this by placing the plane on top of the CG testing sticks with the pads removed. This will allow you to mark the exact location the sticks will contact the plane (again, take care to insure that the plane is centered). You can also create a simple width template using a piece of cardboard as shown in the image on the right. We recommend using the template first and then verify the location using the actual CG sticks as mentioned above. While we manufacture to very tight tolerances, small variations can occur and it's best to use the actual product to insure absolute precision and alignment.
3 Once you have the measuring width temporarily marked, measure and very lightly mark the CG location on your wings per the plane manufacturer's specifications. Make sure you mark is precisely on the measuring width.
4 Double check the location of your marks by removing the CG pads from the CG sticks and holding the plane over the sticks. Make sure that your CG marks line up with the sticks as accurately as possible. This will insure that, once installed, your CG stickers line up perfectly with the CG measuring sticks, with or without the pad. Take your time with this step to insure accuracy.
5 Install the CG Stickers with the red cross directly over your marks. Be sure that the stickers are oriented properly based on the color of the surface on which they will be installed. For dark colors rotate the sticker so that the white features are facing the front of the plane. For light colored surfaces rotate the sticker so that the dark features are facing the front of the plane.
FLIGHT DECK WORK STAND TOPICS
CENTER CROSS MEMBER RELOCATION
If you need extra clearance the center cross member can be relocated to the lower mounting position. To do this follow these simple steps:
1. Remove the 3 BLACK phillips head screws from either of the aluminum side plates and carefully remove that side plate assembly.
2. Remove the CENTER BLACK phillips head screw that secures the center cross member from the opposite side plate.
3. Remove the center cross member and relocate it in the lower mounting hole of the plate that still has the other two cross members attached.
4. Reinstall the black screw but do not tighten completely.
5. Carefully insert the three cross members into the opposite side plate.
6. Make sure that your stand is sitting securely on a FLAT and LEVEL surface and reinstall the 3 black screws. Do not tighten the center screw completely.
7. Make sure that your Flight Deck stand has not twisted and still sits flat. If it wobbles at all simply grip both sides and gently twist until it sits flat and level.
8. Install the CG sticks into the 2 outermost holes of the center cross member. Use them to align the cross member to insure they are straight up and down. Tighten the center black screws on both ends making sure that the cross member doesn't rotate while tightening. Reference the CG sticks during this step to insure they remain perpendicular to the surface on which the stand is sitting.
9. Verify stand is still sitting flat and level and all screws are tightened securely. If the stand wobbles, slightly loosen the screws on one plate and repeat steps 6-8.
Use the hardware magnet on the lower cross member to secure loose hardware while working on your plane.
The slotted holes just under the cradles are for use with securing devices such as bungee/elastic cords (cords not included). Use care when securing your plane with elastic cords as they can damage the surface of your plane if they are too tight. If you find that you need to secure your aircraft to the work stand we recommend finding the most elastic mini bungee cords you can find. Depending on the size of the airplane these can still, sometimes, be too tight so use care when searching for an appropriate elastic cord. TIP: You can usually find small pipe insulation at your local hardware store. If you slit the insulation and insert the elastic cord into the insulation it will provide a layer of protection between the cord and your plane.
ADDITIONAL TIPS & NOTES
INSERTING CG STICKS
Our cross members are made of solid, top grade maple. The holes drilled in the cross members for the CG sticks are honed to the tightest tolerance possible to allow the sticks to be inserted and prevent any unnecessary wobbling of the sticks. Maple, however, is an organic material and is susceptible to environmental changes, especially temperature and humidity. As those conditions change the holes can swell and shrink by very small amounts. These can sometimes be enough however, because of the tolerances we maintain, to create a noticeable difference in the ease with which the sticks are inserted and/or the amount of play in the stick after it’s inserted. This is all perfectly normal and will not affect the performance or accuracy of your Flight Deck.
If you find that you are having a hard time getting the sticks into the holes don’t force them! Simply twist the sticks as you gently guide them down through the hole. You’ll find that they easily find their way home with this method whereas a brute-force attack will only create frustration.
CG TESTING WEIGHT LIMIT
Use caution when testing planes over 8 pounds with the standard CG pads. There is a theoretical weight limit to the CG testing capability of Flight Deck when using the standard CG pads. This is an inexact science, however as the first point of failure will be the plug in the standard CG pads. Because the plugs are secured with adhesive it’s difficult to established a definite, consistent failure point. We have repeatedly tested up to 12 pounds without failure, however. If you intend to test planes heavier than 8 pounds, routinely check that the plugs have not dislodged. The carbon fiber CG sticks with the standard CG pads removed, however, can support hundreds of pounds.
FOR HEAVIER AIRCRAFT: Purchase our EXTENDED CG STICKS, which are 18" tall. They work identically to the standard CG Sticks but they include reinforced pads for heavier aircraft. They will still fit within the standard securing clamps on your Flight Deck Work Stand & CG Tester.
CARE AND CLEANING
Your Flight Deck Work Stand & CG Tester is designed to be virtually maintenance free. Keep it free of dirt, grease, fuel and other contaminants and it will provide a lifetime of dutiful service and always look as good as the planes you place upon it.
The cross members are unfinished Maple, so avoid saturating them with any fluids. Clean them with a damp cloth and dry them as quickly as possible to prevent fluids from penetrating the fibers. Maple is an extremely hard wood with a very dense grain and can survive a lot – which is why we use it. Use common sense and you shouldn’t have any problems for the lifetime of your product.
Should the side plates get dirty or stained, they can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. For heavy cleaning, use a little WD-40 (avoid the CrewZinn logo when cleaning with anything other than water). Always clean with the grain. This same method can be used to brighten them up if they become dull with age and use.
100% MADE IN THE U.S.A.
American manufacturing is slowly dying, unfortunately, but we are intent on always making our products where they belong – in America with American labor.
We guaranty your Flight Deck RC Work Stand and CG Tester against manufacturing defects for the life of the product. Should you find that anything is amiss with your Flight Deck please contact us immediately and we’ll do everything in our power to remedy the situation. Even if you just have suggestions for improvements we want to hear from you, we love hearing from our customers and learning about their experiences with our products. Plus, we love talking RC whenever we get the chance!
ABOUT REVIEWS AND FREE CG STICKERS
If you are happy with your product and/or service, a good review will insure that we are able to continue to develop and produce quality products for a long time to come. And we’re not above rewarding you for taking the time to share you experience by way of a review. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your positive review and we’ll send you a CG sticker pack on us.
In today’s marketplace, products (and companies) live and die by product reviews. We are very proud of our products and take great care in their development, in the selection of quality materials, and in every step of their manufacture. But, no matter how strict the quality control, problems will arise. If you find that there is a problem with our product or with your order experience PLEASE give us a call and give us a chance to make it right before posting a negative review. We are a small, family owned company taking our swing at the American Dream and a handful of negative reviews can be the difference between success and failure. If we put out a bad product or bad service we deserve what we get, but please give us a chance to address any issues and if you aren’t satisfied with our solutions then post away. But you won’t need to. We’ll make it right.
On behalf of myself, my wife and partner, our children and our future grandchildren, THANK YOU for purchasing a CrewZinn product. We hope you enjoy it for years to come!
John & Gladys Zinn