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Plane Balancing

Having built a few balsa planes, balancing was always important in two areas. The first is the way everyone balances their plane, at the CG point, but there is a second point that everyone may want to concider. That second area is from the nose to the tail. After watching many video and watching the directon the plane takes, it appears that a second balancing would be wise.

Place your index finger on the front of the engine and the other finger in line with on the tail. See if the plane balances this way. If not add weight to the light side till the plane balances.

Good point. It is easy to forget longitudinal balancing. If the plane seems to want to roll to one side, but doesn't react well to trimming, it's probably a longitudinal balance issue.

I usually lay the plane upside down, grab the prop and lift it to level. It's not precise, but will show a problem.


Rotor Riot!
I was once making a big glider, around 1500 mm wingspan, but the quality of the balsa in the two spars was so different that it would take a nickel on one wingtip to balance it out. I didn't know much back then, so I made the ribs too thin. Anyway by the time I realized all that it was already too late - so I scrapped the project and it's now collecting dust on my top shelf.