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Scratch build and kits

MKolm1911

Balsa/Nitro= the best
#1
Now when I say scratch build or kits I don’t mean foam kits. Let’s just be honest here this hobby was founded on balsa ply construction and has been proven to work since the early 1920s. Now I’m not cracking on the “FOAM” community but I’m not convinced that electric is better than glow/gas. Anything from 40 size up it’s not worth getting electric motors speed controllers batteries a lot of money for any 40 size up. And have half the power and flight time cut in half. I have been in this hobby for 8 years and my father has 40 years in RC. We have old super Tigre 49 that he bought in 1988 and never been rebuilt still kicking like the Italians wanted it to. So I want to see if any electric motor can last 30 years of flying with no problems. The point of this post is to try to get people that think building and tuning a engine is hard and it’s not believe me I just want people to build and fly airplanes like it was meant to be glow and gas airplanes fly like real airplanes they really do. My brother got in to the hobby couple years back he has foam electric and balsa electric airplanes and he will be the first to tell you that balsa flys better. So if you want to fly electric FLY BALSA.
 
#2
What you say is truthful but first let’s examine the truth first off scratch building is a lost art! today is filled with instant gratification. Secondly balsa has mass and it requires power to move mass thus for the light building techniques of using foam was born, because the lighter you build=longer flight times and better performance however the lack of inertia causes it to fly like a feather. Under power, it moves around somewhat like an airplane but power down and it floats about like a feather. Balsa built planes unarguably fly more like a real airplane particularly the larger ones. Third I have piloted RC aircraft for 35+ years flying glow gas and electric in all sizes and shapes I currently own close to 100 airplanes if you are looking for hi performance that would go to the glow boys, long inexpensive scale like flights would go to the gas fellas and of course electrics have there place as well but I’m with you I would like to see more of them in balsa. I have many proven balsa designs that are easy to build and awesome performers to anyone interested in trying a simple scratch build.
 
#3
What you say is truthful but first let’s examine the truth first off scratch building is a lost art! today is filled with instant gratification. Secondly balsa has mass and it requires power to move mass thus for the light building techniques of using foam was born, because the lighter you build=longer flight times and better performance however the lack of inertia causes it to fly like a feather. Under power, it moves around somewhat like an airplane but power down and it floats about like a feather. Balsa built planes unarguably fly more like a real airplane particularly the larger ones. Third I have piloted RC aircraft for 35+ years flying glow gas and electric in all sizes and shapes I currently own close to 100 airplanes if you are looking for hi performance that would go to the glow boys, long inexpensive scale like flights would go to the gas fellas and of course electrics have there place as well but I’m with you I would like to see more of them in balsa. I have many proven balsa designs that are easy to build and awesome performers to anyone interested in trying a simple scratch build.
Welcome to the community missil mist, look forward to seeing more from you here.
 
#5
What you say is truthful but first let’s examine the truth first off scratch building is a lost art! today is filled with instant gratification. Secondly balsa has mass and it requires power to move mass thus for the light building techniques of using foam was born, because the lighter you build=longer flight times and better performance however the lack of inertia causes it to fly like a feather. Under power, it moves around somewhat like an airplane but power down and it floats about like a feather. Balsa built planes unarguably fly more like a real airplane particularly the larger ones. Third I have piloted RC aircraft for 35+ years flying glow gas and electric in all sizes and shapes I currently own close to 100 airplanes if you are looking for hi performance that would go to the glow boys, long inexpensive scale like flights would go to the gas fellas and of course electrics have there place as well but I’m with you I would like to see more of them in balsa. I have many proven balsa designs that are easy to build and awesome performers to anyone interested in trying a simple scratch build.
not sure if your still active but would love to build a scratch build balsa...haven't gotten into balsa since my brother stepped on my first Cessna kit when I was 10 years old...now 33 back in hobby but with foamboard. ...let me know if yiu could share the design plans. thanks !
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#6
I have owned and built it all over the years. I prefer electric. I do have large gassers. But my latest build is a 60cc sized electric. I agree with balsa flys better... sort of.... I do have a few foamies that fly better then any balsa airframe of the same plane ever has. I shy away from glow due to mess. I do have 40 and 60 sized glow planes, they look good hanging up, never take them out to the field anymore tho. The appeal of FT style planes for me is the quick build, the low cost, and the raw fun of just not giving a crap is you pile it in.

If you like big gassers, head over to flying giants. If you are into glow, go for it!
Want to build balsa, it is the most supported way there is.
Want to build cheap disposable planes, you are in the right place.

All that matters in the end is you do what you like to do, and have fun doing it!
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#7
I also agree that the big, petroleum fueled planes are way cool. Made out of balsa, carbon fiber, fiberglass, whatever. They seriously rock. For me personally, though? I can not build well (though I'm working on it) I can not fly well (though I'm working on it) and because I can build a plane for a couple bucks and laugh about a crash, I am having a ball!

Does it fly like a real plane? Heck, I don't know. I do know that it flies and I made it myself out of $2 worth of foamboard. I don't think balsa building is a dying art or elitist. I do think I would not have gotten into this hobby if that were the only route available. It's the simplicity, affordability and repeatability of the FliteTest planes that got me into it, allow me to enjoy it and keeps me coming back for more.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll go "all in" and build a big gasser. I can guarantee it would never happen if I hadn't first gotten into the RC flight hobby thanks to what FliteTest has created. I appreciate that your not busting on our foamboard airplanes. I hope I was able to explain a little bit of why we do it the way we do.

Welcome to our family MKolm1911! You're here now. Don't just talk about it. Start a build thread and share your style of the RC Flight journey with us. Heck, I'd follow it and cheer you all the way, whilst dreaming of building my own. ;) Who knows? You may inspire a convert or two. :)
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#8
Actually flying models go back a very long way indeed but the modern versions first started with bamboo, silk, tissue and cotton thread. Only later when Balsa became freely available and at a reasonable price did the modern form of Balsa building commence. That was using the tissue and dope covering of course.

Later came the plastic covering films and the old timers back then complained that it was not the proper way to do things and besides the film was much heavier than doped tissue covering. At around the same time as covering films emerged so did foam cores for wings. They were easier to use but generally heavier than a built up wing.

All foam aircraft became common when the manufacturers realized that it takes only seconds to pump out a plane Vs 30 minutes or thereabouts for a balsa kit!.

Now we have FB planes and similar.

The real truth is that any material you use to build a flying model is valid. Balsa, foam, bamboo, Plywood, CF, Fiberglass, Cardboard, plastic sheet or even 3D printing are all good and proven materials. To denigrate any material is to cut yourself off from the whole world of flying model aircraft.

The same goes for propulsion systems. Electric, Gas, (2 and 4 stroke including diesel and rotaries), Rocket motors, rubber power, Jet engines, and even un-powered planes, (aka Gliders), are all valid systems and should be embraced equally!

Building materials and propulsion systems vary as do the planes that use them and all are to be admired. Sure each has a particular area of superior performance or a special attribute which makes them special.

Balsa is not better and neither is any other building material they are just different! As for propulsion I can fly electric almost anywhere including public parks but there are areas where flying IC engined models is definitely illegal and could even be considered as antisocial.

Its all horses for courses to me. I own a broad mix of different planes and propulsion systems for those aircraft, I ENJOY EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM!

Just the thoughts of an Oldie!

have fun!
 

jross

Well-known member
#9
Balsa airplanes are a poor choice for beginners and, correct me if I'm wrong, this forum and FT are about getting people into the hobby and "building positive memories". Fun.

I built a large balsa glider as a teenager. It crashed and was so difficult to repair, I gave up. It was a decidedly negative experience and part of the reason it took me 40 years to try again. The foamies have been way more fun because they're easy to repair, fly well and don't take days to build.

Puritans drive me nuts and let's get serious. No scale RC plane will fly like the original aircraft regardless of build materials. Flying is about fun, not what material you build your planes from. Suggesting one is better than the other is pointless. It's this mentality that keeps people from joining their local RC club as discussed here on more than one occasion. Stodgy old ways. Horse and buggy thinking.

If you want to fly a pile of kindling, go for it. I'll be sticking with foamies whether foam board or molded.

Let's build the hobby, not poo poo what others do.
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#11
If you build balsa to learn, join a club, buddy box. I don't like seeing sad faces at the field.
If you build foam do the same, you will have a much better experience!
If you can not get help, build cheap and easily repairable.