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My First Balsa Build - Willy Nillies, Ace GLH 250 - "What have I done?!" = Balsa Build Along 2019-2020

kilroy07

Well-known member
#1
So, I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about getting into Balsa.
Mainly due to the "stigma" from the local club members (aka old fogeys) when I show up with my latest foamboard creation....

That aside, I've been a hobbyist for as long as I can remember and I always thought "I can do that"... I just don't want to invest a year's worth of time in something that might shatter on the first flight. I "might" have been traumatized as a kid from spending a lot of hard earned money and time on a Guillow's kit, only to watch it shatter....) I still shudder to this day when I see the box with the Tempest picture on it... :LOL::oops::cry:

Along comes the Balsa Build along...
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/balsa-build-along-for-2019-2020.60671/

Finally, experienced builders who want to share and help rather than snear and criticize... Thank you SO much @rockyboy, @willsonman and the others!
For not only sharing your knowledge but taking us noobs under their wing!

So alright, here it is. Awhile ago I ordered the Ace GLH 250. Have to admit, I had a hard time choosing.
I really liked the Eaglet, Barnstomer and who doesn't love the Cub?!
I'm finally (FINALLY) done with a hectic work schedule this year so I figured why not?! It's not like I have like twenty other projects going on (I do!)...

Anyway here we go!
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#5
So this arrived while I was on the road.
IMG_0043.JPG
The unboxing;
IMG_0044.JPG I have some yellow covering on hand. The plan is to make it a two tone yellow/green scheme with the checker being a stripe on the left wing (for orientation.)
I also picked up a motor and servos from W.N. as I really didn't have anything in that size category. I am a tad apprehensive about the size, as I have found that bigger planes just fly better....

First thing I noticed tonight was the retaining clip on the motor shaft was a tad bigger than the hole in the motor mount.
IMG_0045.JPG I used a 1/4" drill bit to widen the hole. I had a piece chip out from the side, but I think it will be okay... (should have soaked it in super glue before drilling.)

Looks like they W.N. have updated the kit with blind nuts... Awesome!!
IMG_0046.JPG Really like this idea, though if I do have to replace the motor, running the wires will be a pain...

I'm really "getting attached" to this plane now!
IMG_0047.JPG

The motor tray needed to trimmed just a bit to make room for the blind nuts (explained in the video....
IMG_0048.JPG

Which reminds me... The only downside to the kit so far is that my instructions were only one sided, and didn't actually include any "instructions" just the cover sheet and the end "set up to fly" section!... :oops::LOL:

IMG_0056.JPG Fortunately there are links to both the PDF instructions and the build video(s) on their website.

So tonight I've gotten to the point where I need to do some soldering and figure out my plan for electronics...
A good place to stop for the night.

IMG_0050.JPG

Well... Okay, maybe a touch of sanding "Just to see how it will turn out."
IMG_0052.JPG IMG_0053.JPG IMG_0054.JPG
While it "could" use a touch of filler and re-sanding, this is my first balsa build and I'd better leave some room for improvement! :LOL:

IMG_0055.JPG
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#6
GLH is a fun build and flies great. There are several build threads here already so take a look at them if you need any help or inspiration.
The only part I think might give me trouble is setting up the servos/control linkages.

How the sheeting in the wings and when is the best time to do like control horns (before or after covering) is what still mystifies me.
(the 3 build videos are great for what they cover, but there is a lot between where they stop and flying begins...) ;)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#7
Looking good! :D

Best time to do the control horns is definitely after the covering is on. They are a pain to try to work around. In fact, any pieces (tail & wing) you can leave separate to cover while flat is usually best - then it's just a matter of cutting away enough covering so you get a good balsa to balsa glue connection to put the parts together.

I haven't done this build yet so I'm not sure about the wing sheeting mystery - hopefully someone who has done this part will chime in soon!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#9
That aside, I've been a hobbyist for as long as I can remember and I always thought "I can do that"... I just don't want to invest a year's worth of time in something that might shatter on the first flight. I "might" have been traumatized as a kid from spending a lot of hard earned money and time on a Guillow's kit, only to watch it shatter....) I still shudder to this day when I see the box with the Tempest picture on it...
Wow, I can relate to that. I dreamed of flying an RC airplane when I was a boy but could only afford Guillow's free-flight kits. Most of which never flew that great. Fast forward 40 plus years. After a few years of building, flying and crashing foam board airplanes I got good enough that I usually came home with all my airplanes intact. Last year I built my first balsa airplane in over 45 years and there's no looking back!

These Willy Nillie kits build a lot easier and faster than the old die-cut balsa kits. The laser cut parts make it so easy it's almost like cheating. I'll be watching your GLH go together.

PS - Does anyone remember the first GLH? Carroll Shelby designed the Omni GLH for Dodge back in the eighties; a four cylinder turbo Mustang eater. They named it GLH for "Goes Like Hell".
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#12
GLH is a fun build and flies great. There are several build threads here already so take a look at them if you need any help or inspiration.
So I just tripped over your construction guide... Man, I CANNOT thank you enough!!!
SO many small nagging questions I had are all answered now... (I think!) :ROFLMAO:

Well done man! (y)(y)

For others who are building the GLH (or probably any other Willy Nillies kit) I seriously recommend you check out the PDF build guide!
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/willy-nillies-glh-250-assembly-guide.60522/
 

Turbojoe

Well-known member
#13
when is the best time to do like control horns (before or after covering) is what still mystifies me.

I always cover making sure the area immediately around the control horn slots is VERY firmly attached. I then use a low watt pencil soldering iron with the smallest possible tip to easily open the slots for the horns. It also works exceptionally well for opening screw holes in covering. An Xacto knife will work fine but I always have a soldering iron(s) on the bench and just got used to using the soldering iron method.

I'm starting to think this little GLH might be my 3rd Willy Nillies kit.

Joe
 

vhandon

Active member
#14
So I just tripped over your construction guide... Man, I CANNOT thank you enough!!!
SO many small nagging questions I had are all answered now... (I think!) :ROFLMAO:

Well done man! (y)(y)

For others who are building the GLH (or probably any other Willy Nillies kit) I seriously recommend you check out the PDF build guide!
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/willy-nillies-glh-250-assembly-guide.60522/
Like everyone on here, I just want to contribute in some way. Glad you found something useful in it.
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#15
Like everyone on here, I just want to contribute in some way. Glad you found something useful in it.
could I ask a favor?
I have a plan for my electronics, but would like to see how others did their servos, receiver and ESC (location, mounting methods etc.)
A quick pic would be great!!

Thanks in advance!
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#17
Another day of building and another day of errors... :rolleyes:

These came in the mail today so I can finalize my ideas on electronics.
IMG_0066.JPG

This was my first mistake... Doh!
IMG_0065.JPG

There were others again dealing with this part...
I sanded the ends to match the leading edge... turns out the flat matches the back of the hatch.... :oops:
So, there will be a gap on mine.... (Oh well, that'll be one thing I can improve upon next time.)

I also forgot rib 2A on the first wing.... That was a pain to put in later! :mad:

I did have some issue with getting the servos to fit... and I'm not sure if that's just by design.
Not sure if putting the servo seated before gluing in the doubler (Rib 2A) would have helped that or not...

More often than not I'm pretty sure most (all) of the issues today were with me...
LOTs of "distractions" and my head was elsewhere...

here's where I stopped for the night though.
Got pretty far.

IMG_0068.JPG

Weather looks to be good Thursday/Friday... hoping to have three new planes to maiden!!!!
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#18
Another day of building and another day of errors... :rolleyes:

These came in the mail today so I can finalize my ideas on electronics.
View attachment 152007

This was my first mistake... Doh!
View attachment 152006

There were others again dealing with this part...
I sanded the ends to match the leading edge... turns out the flat matches the back of the hatch.... :oops:
So, there will be a gap on mine.... (Oh well, that'll be one thing I can improve upon next time.)

I also forgot rib 2A on the first wing.... That was a pain to put in later! :mad:

I did have some issue with getting the servos to fit... and I'm not sure if that's just by design.
Not sure if putting the servo seated before gluing in the doubler (Rib 2A) would have helped that or not...

More often than not I'm pretty sure most (all) of the issues today were with me...
LOTs of "distractions" and my head was elsewhere...

here's where I stopped for the night though.
Got pretty far.

View attachment 152008

Weather looks to be good Thursday/Friday... hoping to have three new planes to maiden!!!!
Looking good!
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#20
Got some time to work last night.

Except for the ailerons I think I'm ready to cover.
IMG_0098.JPG

I revisited my error with encouragement from @Joker 53150 to fix the tapered leading edge of the wing.
IMG_0092.JPG
Then realized the hatch has a lip anyway... Oh well...
IMG_0096.JPG

Speaking of the hatch, I decided to magnetize it.
IMG_0093.JPG IMG_0094.JPG IMG_0095.JPG

Tail surfaces are all shaped and ready to cover.
The fit for the Horizontal stabilizer was pretty tight, slight crack towards the very front of the slot... But I think it will be fine.
IMG_0097.JPG