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Scratch Building FT Explorer and Bronco in Balsa

#1
I have been playing around with model aircraft of various types for a while and decided I wanted to build either the FT Explorer or Bronco. The catch is I am in Australia and getting stock of foam board isn't the easiest as I have come to realise after visiting a number of hobby stores and searching online. Yes I know its possible but when working on a limited budget and storage space, I would rather buy in smaller quantities of balsa material as needed than the packs of foam boards.

What I am seeking is any tips or tricks on converting the FT plans for use with balsa, any considerations that I need to make in terms of material thickness, etc and I guess there would possibly be a difference in the size of the motors needed. Any help would be grateful. I have tossed the idea back and forward a fair bit between the pros and cons of balsa vs foam so not looking for any criticism, just helpful advice please.
 
#2
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?21771-Balsa-version-of-BanditJacksRC-Piper-J3

The link above is a conversion I made. Hope it helps you a little.
Just identify on the plans the lateral and above view and draw the formers or do like I did, make a fuselage of sticks. The wing just use the above view and use any airfoil database to make the ribs. A Clark Y airfoil is really floaty and easy to fly.

http://airfoiltools.com/search/inde...m[grp]=&MAirfoilSearchForm[sort]=1&yt0=Search

To identify where the firewall goes just cut the lateral view of a Power Pod and put it on the lateral view of the plans. That way you know the place and angle of the firewall
 
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#3
Thanks for the info Gabrielete! That Piper is certainly a nice build and I hope my own build will eventually fly as well as yours.

I am leaning more to the Bronco as a base build since most of my RC experience has been with twin motors. Will probably also add some form of landing gear to reduce the wear and tear on the fuselage when landing. As for the airfoil, looking at the Clark YH airfoil. Not looking for anything high speed so will go with a longer slightly wider symmetrical wing and build it to a 4 channel specification for the time being.
 
#5
Thanks Ram! Not exactly the same Bronco although I have considered building that particular model and will likely build it later down the track. Definitely don't expect the wings to be built the same as the foam version and will probably use somewhere around 8 or 9 ribs per side for a decent wing span.