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Balsa build to replace EFlite Valiant 1.3m

#1
I was flying my Valiant today and noticed it was flying a little wonky. A close inspection after landing revealed that pretty much every joint is loose. The motor mount, wing mount, rear stab mount, etc. I am slowly learning 3d flying so most of my time is spent with the Timber X and my Hacker Xtra Vector but this plane is still my favorite and never gets left behind when I head to the flying field. I will get the gorilla glue out and try to get it back in the air but since I was planning a balsa build for the winter, why not build a replacement, but bigger. At least 70"-80" wingspan. From a quick search I could not find a plane named Valiant outside of EFlite so I assume they are the only ones licensed to use the trade mark. From cursory inspection, the Telemaster may be similar. So I am looking for suggestions/advice.

Do I:
Buy another EFlite Valiant 1.3m
Buy the EFlite Valiant 10cc
Build the Hobby Express Deluxe Telemaster 40 Kit
Build the Old School Model Works Robinhood 80 Kit
Build the Balsa USA Citabria Aerobatic Pro
Any other kit I have not discovered yet.

Price is not really an issue since I expect this to be a forever plane but under $300 for the kit would be nice. I have plenty of spare hardware and electronics.

I appreciate any suggestion and advice.
 

clolsonus

Active member
#5
The best choice boils down to what you really want to do, but if you are looking for something relatively easy and relaxing to fly, the telemaster is a great option. (The FT Storch flies just like the telemaster, and the FT Legacy is pretty much a foam board version of the telemaster, just not balsa.) I have the Sig Kadet senior and that is also a really great plane -- pretty big, light weight construction, can do basic aerobatics, or just putter around looking like a real airplane. I don't know if you can get the Sig Rascal in kit form, but that is one of the coolest planes I've ever flown. The Rascal used some combination of two competition sailing airfoils (top vs. bottom), has an eliptical wing, and flies like an arrow, but can slow down and act like a trainer too. Got to fly the 110 version years ago and it is awesome. I saw recently you can get a 168" version in kit form ... that's on my dream list for some day.
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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#6
Between the Telemaster and Kadet mentioned above, the Kadet is an easier build. Depending on your building experience either can still be a big project - for a new balsa builder the Kadet would give a better chance for successful building and subsequent flight. I've got a Senior Telemaster for a future re-build project (I've never flown the senior, but built and flew a Mini Telemaster - it's fantastic) and also a Kadet Senior with an electric motor. The Kadet is a great design that is relaxing for a seasoned pilot and also easy enough for a newer pilot to master. I recently picked up a second Kadet Senior to re-build with a gas engine, and also have 2 more partially built from kits to play around with.

Clolsonus mentions the Rascal, and I agree 100% it's a beautiful design. I was lucky enough to pick up a Rascal 110" (never flown) for a steal of a price, and it's on my list to get built and flying for next Spring. I'm not sure what sizes they offer in a kit, but it's certainly a harder build than the Kadet or Telemaster. Everybody I've talked to that has flown a Rascal has raved about it.
 
#9
Thanks for all the great responses. I definitely came to the right place.

Definitely adding this one as an option.

Have you built a balsa kit before?
I have built balsa before. I am confident I can take on the most complex of builds so that is not issue.

I was leaning toward this one already, thanks for the vote!

The FT Storch flies just like the telemaster, and the FT Legacy is pretty much a foam board version of the telemaster, just not balsa.
I have not flown either of these but the Storch seems comparable so another nod to the telemaster.

Between the Telemaster and Kadet mentioned above, the Kadet is an easier build. Depending on your building experience either can still be a big project - for a new balsa builder the Kadet would give a better chance for successful building and subsequent flight.
I count this as another vote for the Telemaster. :)

I don't know if you can get the Sig Rascal in kit form, but that is one of the coolest planes I've ever flown. The Rascal used some combination of two competition sailing airfoils (top vs. bottom), has an eliptical wing, and flies like an arrow, but can slow down and act like a trainer too
I saw this kit on the SIG website and the wing foil reminds me of the Valiant and is probably why I like it so much. It gives the plane the characteristics of what I like to call "slippery but predictable" and is capable of above average acrobatics. Too bad they only offer a 49" and 168" version. That 168" version is something to work up to. I did notice the 80" ARF that is very tempting.

Interesting, wish it was a larger kit.

Thanks again for all the great responses. The Hobby Express Deluxe Telemaster 40 Kit is a front runner for now. Does anyone have experience with Hobby Express?
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#10
Haven't ordered from Hobby Express since they were bought by Carolina Custom Kits last year and saved from extinction. They do seem to be an active and ongoing operation, and according to the facebook threads they do ship kits and people get the box of goodies they paid for.