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Thinking ahead, balsa in the future...

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#21
For me, working full time and a busy life, electric is much easier and gets me in the air immediately without any fussing around (You just got to charge batteries the night before), Plus with around 10 minute flight times, my attention span is satisfied with electric. When I retire I may get into gas when there is more time to spend out there, but by then the battery technology will probably be on par or better than gas. I have some batteries that have hundreds of flights on them, so the cost factor compared to gas is debatable.
 
#22
I have heard similar discussions when it comes to gas vs electric. For the most part I'm all electric too, but I know I'd still like to have 1 good size gasser in my collection. Part of the reason I have for not thinking much on electric on larger airframes is carrying some of those heavy batteries. With my electrified trainer I did, I ran 2 3S batteries in series which did help some. If I were really running 5S and 6S batteries I'd probably have to get a new charger. My current charger could do it...slowly, but it'd just be better if I had a more powerful charger to handle larger batteries.
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#23
Yes, my charger is a cheap Hobby King one and I'm hoping it dies so I can justify purchasing a nice one, but it just keeps going and going and it does a great job, but slowly...
 
#24
I swear I keep going back and forth on this as far as what I want. It's because there are so many choices to choose from and I would like to try them all if I could. Some other folks recommended the Sig Four Star 40 which looks pretty nice too. And then I've looked back at Mountain Models and think that while they may be a snap to put together, their models seem kinda small to me for the price. AND, I have decided too, to quit being close minded on fuel. I'm gonna start considering nitro planes now too. Maybe someday I'll reach a decision. Well once the holidays are over, I'll see what ends up happening.

To sort of offset my bug for these, I've been digging out my old Hangar 9 balsa trainer and doing some work to it. Having to repair it's horizontal stab plus trying to remove the old covering so I can put the new covering on. I don't have any pics of it at the moment, but I'll probably create a thread on it. I turned it into an all electric model a few years ago.
 

d8veh

Elite member
#25
I swear I keep going back and forth on this as far as what I want. It's because there are so many choices to choose from and I would like to try them all if I could. Some other folks recommended the Sig Four Star 40 which looks pretty nice too. And then I've looked back at Mountain Models and think that while they may be a snap to put together, their models seem kinda small to me for the price. AND, I have decided too, to quit being close minded on fuel. I'm gonna start considering nitro planes now too. Maybe someday I'll reach a decision. Well once the holidays are over, I'll see what ends up happening.
I'd say that there's a cross-over size of about 48" to 60" wingspan where IC engines make more sense than electric considering cost and convenience. Some people like big planes and some like small ones. IMHO, the big planes don't really fly any better, but they're a lot more expensive, so I don't have too much interest in going big. I like to see them though, so I'm pleased that other guys like them.
 
#26
I'd say that there's a cross-over size of about 48" to 60" wingspan where IC engines make more sense than electric considering cost and convenience. Some people like big planes and some like small ones. IMHO, the big planes don't really fly any better, but they're a lot more expensive, so I don't have too much interest in going big. I like to see them though, so I'm pleased that other guys like them.
To me 60" is about where I'd want to stay for a while. I would like to eventually have something larger in a balsa plane...maybe in my retirement years. lol. Guys at our field swear that larger fly better. I feel that the larger are better at handling wind and not being as twitchy as the micro size. But like I said, for me, 60" is a pretty ideal size. Flies good and not too bad to transport around.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#27
To me 60" is about where I'd want to stay for a while. I would like to eventually have something larger in a balsa plane...maybe in my retirement years. lol. Guys at our field swear that larger fly better. I feel that the larger are better at handling wind and not being as twitchy as the micro size. But like I said, for me, 60" is a pretty ideal size. Flies good and not too bad to transport around.
Big planes do tend to fly better in my opinion. As the air does not scale when you get bigger wings they become more efficient and can handle far greater loading. I love large planes but where I fly we are limited to a 2.5Kg weight limit, (Safety reasons), but we do have affiliate clubs that we can travel to, (more remote), where such restrictions do not apply!

Sadly big planes also make big holes when things go wrong:cry:. I have a couple but they are in danger of becoming hangar queens of late. I must get them out and blow the cobwebs off them, it's been a while!

Big is beautiful!

Have fun!
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#29
I'm hoping to scratch build a Das Ugly Stik cut from sheets/sticks this winter. It was recommended to me as an easy build, and I'm excited to get started. Just have to get a table made to build on! Whatever you choose, be sure to keep us posted!
 
#30
Little update: last night our RC club had their annual Christmas dinner. That one club member approached me last night about selling some of his stuff. He gave me his phone number and said after the first of the year we can get together to meet up and see what all he had. Said he had one plane that was a V Tail, had a pretty huge wingspan (thinking like 80") and he had about $2K in it. :eek: A total of 40+ planes, plenty of engines, and kits still NIB. I'm sure I'll pick something, although I don't think it'll be huge. Makes me wish I wasn't so poor sometimes. :cry:
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#32
.......... Makes me wish I wasn't so poor sometimes. :cry:
AMEN to that!!!! When I was younger, and drooling over the Big Balsa Planes... I always used to say, I'm going to have one of those someday.

Missed that Boat, but. I've got to say, this is a great time to START in this Hobby!! Even if I didn't get the generous help with some FT Aircraft, a couple of Motors, ESCs and Servos.... When I was living "normal poor", this would have been completely affordable to get into!!

Thanks to the Brushless Motors, we can have even .60 sized Electric Aircraft!!! Possibly even bigger.
I've actually built a couple of Balsa Planes! Giullows (misspelled!!). Just rubber band powered, and VERY fragile, but fun to build, flew decent, and even a little feather in my cap, for doing a Balsa Plane!! :p

I may have the same dream..... But I want BIG! With a real Radial Engine. I will HAVE to win the Lottery for that one.......
 
#33
I was contemplating gas or electric in my cub Build, and went back and forth, I really wanted IC for bragging rights and because I think it would look cool. The biggest reason I went electric was simplicity I found an available electric motor in a size that will be more than adequate to pull the 72” wingspan cub around and it didn’t require a whole bunch of modification to install and set up. Which I think is the biggest plus! If I decide later I can more easily convert electric to IC then IC to electric. There aren’t large holes to fill in firewalls and mounting blocks and cowlings. So if you do decide to build I’d suggest build it with electric in mind, the conversion to gas will be easier to make later!
 
#34
AMEN to that!!!! When I was younger, and drooling over the Big Balsa Planes... I always used to say, I'm going to have one of those someday.

Missed that Boat, but. I've got to say, this is a great time to START in this Hobby!! Even if I didn't get the generous help with some FT Aircraft, a couple of Motors, ESCs and Servos.... When I was living "normal poor", this would have been completely affordable to get into!!

Thanks to the Brushless Motors, we can have even .60 sized Electric Aircraft!!! Possibly even bigger.
I've actually built a couple of Balsa Planes! Giullows (misspelled!!). Just rubber band powered, and VERY fragile, but fun to build, flew decent, and even a little feather in my cap, for doing a Balsa Plane!! :p

I may have the same dream..... But I want BIG! With a real Radial Engine. I will HAVE to win the Lottery for that one.......
Yeah, Flitetest has really helped in making the hobby affordable for us poor folk. And yeah brushless motors and their sizes have helped for some larger planes. My balsa trainer originally used a glow engine, but I was able to able to get a .40 size equivalent brushless motor and run it electric.

I'll tell you, those radial engines are nice, but whew, they are expensive. :eek: I think they are cool, but I just don't really have too much desire to get a radial.

My plan goes something like this: continue on building/flying/crashing these foamboard foamies. In the background, gradually acquire what I need to complete a 60+ inch balsa model/kit with preferably a gas engine. I don't mind having some nitro models in there, but for the bigger stuff I want gas.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#35
Yeah, Flitetest has really helped in making the hobby affordable for us poor folk. And yeah brushless motors and their sizes have helped for some larger planes. My balsa trainer originally used a glow engine, but I was able to able to get a .40 size equivalent brushless motor and run it electric.

I'll tell you, those radial engines are nice, but whew, they are expensive. :eek: I think they are cool, but I just don't really have too much desire to get a radial.

My plan goes something like this: continue on building/flying/crashing these foamboard foamies. In the background, gradually acquire what I need to complete a 60+ inch balsa model/kit with preferably a gas engine. I don't mind having some nitro models in there, but for the bigger stuff I want gas.
That is a great way to go. I crashed these foam planes for two years before I started moving up. Got a couple ARF's ( that I do like to fly) and have recently started into balsa. Finally feel like my flying skills can handle the nicer planes. Having some good flight time with these foam planes makes you more confident when you get a chance to fly one you've put a lot of time or money into. Still love my FT planes, though! Just finished a viggen recently.
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#36
Yeah, Flitetest has really helped in making the hobby affordable for us poor folk. And yeah brushless motors and their sizes have helped for some larger planes. My balsa trainer originally used a glow engine, but I was able to able to get a .40 size equivalent brushless motor and run it electric.

I'll tell you, those radial engines are nice, but whew, they are expensive. :eek: I think they are cool, but I just don't really have too much desire to get a radial.

My plan goes something like this: continue on building/flying/crashing these foamboard foamies. In the background, gradually acquire what I need to complete a 60+ inch balsa model/kit with preferably a gas engine. I don't mind having some nitro models in there, but for the bigger stuff I want gas.
I used to Race 1:8 Scale Nitro Buggies.... Pain in the ARSE!!!
If I am someday Blessed to go Big, I'll SKIP Nitro, and go straight to Gas!!

I had a 1:5 Scale Gas Buggy, 36cc Zenoah. BEST, most reliable IC powered RC I've EVER had!! Forced to sell it recently....... REALLY miss that one.
 

Bricks

Master member
#37
For the under .40 size plane electric to me is the way to go anything over gets a gas engine I got lucky and ran across a deal on 5 Evolution 10CC and 2 NGH 17CC gassers. Already have 2 of the 10CC and one of the 17`s in planes already . Fun to fly the 10cc as 8 ounces of gas will give me almost 20 minutes if not putting the throttle to the mat. Gotta luv these small gas enginesmuch cheaper to run and no charging batteries or the expense and time.
 
#38
I'm going to revisit this old topic as it's been on my mind again. And it's made me realize that the year is half over and I still haven't done anything about this yet! :eek: One of my goals for this year was to start on some sort of balsa kit.

So from my next paycheck on, I am going to put back a little bit of money to save up to get some sort of kit or 2. I had actually been seriously looking at the 1/4 scale J3 from Sig and then a little later on, picking out a gas motor for it. I may also still check with that club member to see what large scale kits he has and how much he wants for them (yes I haven't asked him yet...I'm a slacker!).

So that's where I stand. I figure once I have enough saved, I'll start checking around. Wish me luck!
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#39
I have a Sig 1/4 scale clipped wing cub kit that I'm probably starting next. Sig makes nice kits, way better than the Great Planes kits I have been working on. I'm going to stay electric all the way as it is so much nicer than messing with gas stuff and 1/5 or 1/4 scale sound very nice with the big props and electric motors. The big gas twins are really cool, but it's a hobby in itself and expensive messing with all that.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#40
I'm going to revisit this old topic as it's been on my mind again. And it's made me realize that the year is half over and I still haven't done anything about this yet! :eek: One of my goals for this year was to start on some sort of balsa kit.

So from my next paycheck on, I am going to put back a little bit of money to save up to get some sort of kit or 2. I had actually been seriously looking at the 1/4 scale J3 from Sig and then a little later on, picking out a gas motor for it. I may also still check with that club member to see what large scale kits he has and how much he wants for them (yes I haven't asked him yet...I'm a slacker!).

So that's where I stand. I figure once I have enough saved, I'll start checking around. Wish me luck!
Keep an eye out on RC Groups Classifieds, Facebook marketplace, eBay, and local estate sales for used kits too - you can sometimes find them for half the price or less compared to buying new. Especially once they are "partially started" - hardly anyone seems interested in buying those so you can get some great prices!

I have a Sig 1/4 scale clipped wing cub kit that I'm probably starting next. Sig makes nice kits, way better than the Great Planes kits I have been working on. I'm going to stay electric all the way as it is so much nicer than messing with gas stuff and 1/5 or 1/4 scale sound very nice with the big props and electric motors. The big gas twins are really cool, but it's a hobby in itself and expensive messing with all that.
Nice! That should make a great tow plane or float plane too!