5th Sep 2001, 21:21
Does anyone know if there are any Zlin 726's operating in the UK or France? I flew a few hours in one in Hungary (HA-SDE at Budaors), and despite my ham-fisted aerobatics loved every minute of it. I'd love to find one a bit closer to home (which is currently Lyon in France), although I guess that the chances of persuading the owner to let me fly it would be very slim!
I haven't flown any other planes from the Zlin 26 series, although they seem to be more numerous. Does anyone have any experience of flying or operating them?
Thanks in advance.
6th Sep 2001, 12:49
Seasoned aerobatic competitor James Black runs a Zlin 526 alongside a Cap 10 out of White Waltham, and frequently does dual aerobatic pleasure flights out of other airfields. I had a flight with him a year or so ago in the Cap 10 and it was a very pleasant experience.
His company is Avia Special on 01707 262774. Hope this helps.
I flew quite a bit in Zlin 526Fs in Bulgaria and they are the nicest planes I have ever flown (I did buy one and bring it back to the UK but never actually got it flying here, which is another story). The 726 is the final development of the Zlin Trener lineage and has slightly shorter wings and a more powerful engine than the 526/526F (210 hp as opposed to 160/180). It is also capable of being flown solo from both front and rear as opposed to rear only in the 526. I have read that the 526 is nicer to fly then the 726 but I'm sure most pilots, me included, wouldn't be able to tell the difference. There are 7 or 8 526s in the UK, less 326s and 226s and no 726s. As far as I know the only one available for hire in the UK is James Black's. Unfortunately the UK Zlin scene was dealt a severe blow recently with the death of Geoff Masterton who looked after most of the aircraft in Britain so there may not be so many around now. They really are superb aircraft though. As for France I think there are a few around - you might try a place called Carcasonne (or something like that), which I have heard mentioned several times in connection with Zlins. Also chap called Yves Duval used to fly a 526 at airshows in France but I believe he was killed not too long ago, although not in his Zlin. Good luck anyway.
[ 08 September 2001: Message edited by: DB6 ]
10th Sep 2001, 21:46
Thank you both for the information. I called James Black some time ago when I saw his advertisement in Pilot magazine, but he said that the Zlin was off-line. I should try again. And I will certainly look into Carcasonne.
The 726 that I flew in Hungary had a 180hp engine. (One of the facts I had to learn before being allowed to fly - in Hungary you get examined by an engineer before being allowed near the controls. I'm not sure if I got all the answers right, or if my instructor friend covered up for me when translating! ) The engine can be supercharged as in the Zlin 142, which takes the power to 210hp.
The performance with 180hp wasn't spectacular, but a vertical roll was possible with (just) enough speed left for a stall turn at the top provided you dived to 280km/h and pulled hard. The handling of the 726 was delightful, though I have never flown another plane which made me use the rudder as much. With every change of speed or change of pitch, you could see the nose move to one side or the other. And what a view over the nose! The strobe effect of the propeller blades and the constant speed unit in aerobatics was mesmerising!
The Hungarian approach to aerobatics was fairly brutal (don't pull 4G if you can pull 6 instead!), and the result seemed to be a lot of rather tired Zlin 526s which couldn't be used for aeros any more. Instead they use them as glider tugs - fun for the pilots.
DB6 - what was the story with not being able to get your 526 flying? Do you still have it?
14th Sep 2001, 23:06
Aeros at Gloucestershire Airport has a Zlin 242 which you can get aero training or solo hire check out their website www.aeros.co.uk. (http://www.aeros.co.uk.)