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Finding balsa trainer

IanT

Well-known member
#21
Hi, I'd like to get myself a balsa plane that'd be easy to fly. I only had one plane(FT scout) and one glider in the past. And I found this balsa kit on hobbyking. Is it fliable for a beginner ? If not do you have any recommendations for any kits ?
Word from the wise, when balsa planes crash or land hard they are more difficult to repair than foam planes.
When I started flying again 18 months ago, I bought a Volantex Trainstar Ascent from Banggood. I think it cost me about £120 (GBP) at the time , Its a plastic body with foam tail and wings. It was PNP which means it came with everything except the radio gear and a lipo battery, this was my main trainer plane while I was learning to fly solo. Its still is a great flier and very forgiving so perfect for learning or throwing around the sky doing basic aerobatics. I have had a few rough landings and one was even 30ft up a tree. It survived all these mishaps with minor scratches and one new control horn.
I have now progressed to a balsa WOT trainer, which I converted to electric from a nitro engine. I can fly it now with ease and confidence, but I am well aware that it wont take the same abuse as my Volantex took when I was learning.
So my advice would be, dont be to eager to by a balsa model. There are some excellent foam trainer models on the market, they are sometimes cheaper, easier to fly and more resilient when your learning.
Ive lost 2 balsa models in crashes both of which now reside in my attic in pieces and are likely to stay that way for some time. However, all my foam planes are still in perfect working order and ready to fly, even though some have had some rough landings and bumps. At the end of the day its your choice what you decide to fly, but dont forget crashes are part of the hobby and what you break you have to fix.
 

0__0

Active member
#22
I just realized something interesting about the Kadet Mk II. The shipping to where I live is "QUITE" expensive, meaningly the airframe (just the balsa parts) costs like 250$ for me... So I had to find a model that's available where I live, which I did. I found a model that's very similar to many trainers on the market. It is the SF Tri 40 II. Does anybody know this plane ? If yes is it a good trainer and a fairly easy build ?
 

IanT

Well-known member
#23
Try looking for an Arising star good steady high wing trainer, I am sure there are plenty knocking about second hand. I was only offered two of them about 2 months ago, one ready to fly with a nitro fitted.
Once people get through the first stages of learning with a trainer, they get shelved moving on to low wing planes etc worth scouring Ebay etc to see whats for sale ?
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In the UK you can pick one up for £130 GBP (PNP), that's approx $173 USD.
That's with engine and servos etc
 

IanT

Well-known member
#27
If you dont want Balsa then get a Volantex, either the Trainstar Ascent or if you want a cheaper option which is slightly smaller there is the Trainstar Epoch both great trainer planes.
You can buy as kits and add your own motor servos etc or as a PNP, just needs a battery and 4ch radio setup.

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I have the Ascent brilliant trainer but you cant go wrong with either of them, check them out on BANGGOOD.
 

0__0

Active member
#29
My post was very unclear excuse me. What I want to say I that I am looking for a Balsa Kit(to build myself) trainer and NOT an ARF plane.
 

IanT

Well-known member
#31

Bricks

Well-known member
#33
This kit is known to be one of the best balsa trainers you can build
I actually have one sitting here that I picked up almost complete just very minor stuff adding some color trim to tell top from bottom and that is about it. It is a very nice looking plane and with the wing size should be a great flyer and relatively slow flying when need be.
 

0__0

Active member
#34
Yeah, In know Sig has good planes, the only problem is that shipping to where I live costs like 150 $ at Sig's and there are no shops that sell these models without 100+ $ shipping.
 

clolsonus

Well-known member
#36
I am seeing lots of good advice here. I would just like to reiterate that a scale Cub is not an RC trainer (even though it's a full scale trainer.) For balsa, you definitely want to go with a more traditional style trainer. They are designed with wider margins for error and are very forgiving. From a flying standpoint, something a little on the larger size is nice and something with light weight contruction (light wing loading.) Many of the traditional 40-size trainers a surprisingly fast and heavy. I really like the Kadet Sr. (or maybe the seniorita.) The telemaster is also great. I'm sure there are many other great choices that make great balsa trainers. However, if you want to learn the basics of flying first, sims are great and FT foamboard designs are great. Honestly, the storch flies so much like my telemaster ... it would be a great trainer with the added benefit of mishaps being a lot less costly and thus flying and learning a lot less stressful.

As an analogy, I know how to sail, but not intuitively. So I need light winds and for things to move pretty slowly so I have time to think them through. It's similar when building those brain connections between your eyes and your thumbs. A lighter/slower more stable airplane can really help slow things down so your brain can stay caught up until your thumbs start to figure out what they are supposed to be doing on their own.
 

clolsonus

Well-known member
#38
Maybe you are looking for something super specific that isn't available from european sources? You can't be the first one to get interested in RC airplanes in Europe ... there must be hobby shops and clubs and resources there you could tap into. Back in the old days, the old timers built from plans. There are 1000's (probably millions) of plans available. Many of them don't have all that many curvy parts to cut out and the rest are just sticks you cut to length and sheeting. (There are good tricks to making a bunch of matching wing ribs by hand for example.) In modern days you can probably find somewhere with access to a laser cutter if you hunt around and beg a little. That makes cutting the curvey parts a whole lot easier. It really comes down to how badly do you want to work for it and how creative and innovative you get to leverage what resources you do have. This can be tremendous fun actually and very interesting, so keep us posted on how your project goes.