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BVM Super (Balsa) Bandit

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Old 05-16-2003, 12:20 AM
  #101
Gordon Mc
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Default BVM Super (Balsa) Bandit

Even with two shims per strap though, the straps still close all the way, as seen below.

I'm not sure why BVM didn't just make the engine straps a bit shorter - after all, there is a 1" machine screw pulling the strap closed, so a small gap would seem preferable to a situation in which you think the engine is more securely mounted than is really the case (being misled by the screw bottoming out).

I'll try to remember to ask the next time I call BVM, and pass the reasoning on.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:23 AM
  #102
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Default Bypass cover

I installed the engine in such a way that I minimized the holes that needed to be cut in the bypass cover. Here's the starboard side showing that all I had to do on this side was make a small notch forward of the cutout that goes around the engine mount. This notch is for the cable that has the telephone-style connector on it.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:30 AM
  #103
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Default bypass cover (port)

... and on the port side all I had to do was make one hole for the (Multiplex ? / Graupner ?) connector that carries the power to the glow plug, starter, etc.

I did not find it necessary to make a cutout for the glow-plug, as is shown in the Super Bandit manual.

Additionally, I did not make the slots in the bypass cover for the propane & fuel lines, as I did this a bit differently (see next post)
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:38 AM
  #104
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Default BVM Super (Balsa) Bandit

If you look on the bypass, just slightly ahead of the bypass cover, you will see that I have drilled two holes (on on the left upper, on on the right upper), which now have rubber grommets in them. I used these to route the propane and kerosene lines out of the bypass.

You can also see that I simply mounted the LED board to a scrap of plywood which is retained in place by the same velcro straps as are used to hold the bypass cover on.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:41 AM
  #105
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Default BVM Super (Balsa) Bandit

In much of the rest of the engine installation, I have deviated from the BVM suggestions a fair bit, mostly because I wanted to move parts around to obtain the correct CG without using any ballast anywhere.

I have two 5 cell 1800 mah RX packs up in the nose, and to balance that, I moved a fair amount of stuff backward. The ECU battery is below the engine, next to the lower hatch (protected by thermal blanket BTW), the ECU itself is mounted to the starboard rear of the engine, attached to the fuz side by velcro (and again protected by some thermal blanket); the UAT is just forward of that (immediately behind the main fuel tank) and the fuel pump is just inboard of the UAT.

On the other side, the propane/butane cannister is mounted just behind the main fuel tank, and the smoothstop for the brakes is mounted to the rear.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:46 AM
  #106
Gordon Mc
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Default Fuel tube clearance

I found that the overflow lines from the main tanks pushed up against the rear hatch such that they were getting partially collapsed when the hatch was on.

To fix this, I simply relieved the forward former on the hatch as shown here.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:49 AM
  #107
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Default Fuel filler

I recently had a very narrow escape with my Bobcat, when an air leak in the fuel filler (a one-way Festo valve) allowed the UAT to drain completely, causing a flameout on the takeoff roll.

Instead of using these one-way valves, I now use a Festo ball-valve, as well as having a plugged tube which I push back into the ball-valve after filling. This gives a more reliable "double-redundancy" approach - even if the ball-valve should eventually leak slightly, the plug will at as a backup.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:53 AM
  #108
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Default Engine alignment

Note that when you look up the tailpipe, the nozzle of the engine should be centered in the tailpipe.

Since you can't easily get your hand around the engine to reach any point where you can exert leverage to move the engine upwards if necessary, I found the following simple approach helpful: just tie two pieces of string around the engine - one near the front and one near the rear. Whichever part of the engine needs to be lifted can then be very easily moved by just tugging on the string.

That's all for now - first flight should hopefully happen this Sunday.
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:30 AM
  #109
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Default BVM Super (Balsa) Bandit

Well, the Super Bandit took to the air today for the first time.

I had BVM and Jetcat rep Chris Huhn (pictured here holding the aircraft) do the test flights for me, since he has substantially more turbine experience than I, and you never know when that extra experience may be needed on a maiden.

Seems that the aircraft needed only one click of aileron, and nothing else - which goes to show that the attention to detail in the kitting of the aircraft (as well as some care in the basic construction) pays off in giving you a very "true" aircraft.

Unless something crops up after more flights, that I think is worth passing on, this will be my last submission in this review.

If you have never seen a BVM kit first hand, then I hope that this review may have given you an indication of what one gets for the money, and what the construction type & quality is like.

If you have bought a Super Balsa Bandit, I hope that the review may have helped fill in any areas that may not have been perfectly clear from the manual.

All in all, I found this to be a very good kit. There were a few minor issues found during the construction, but as I pointed out at the very start of the review, I fully expected a couple of teething problems since I asked to have one of the very first kits to be shipped.

BVM's customer support & technical support staff were excellent to deal with, and always went out of their way to help whenever I called up with any questions - and when I called to provide any kind of feedback it was clear that their response was not lip-service, but a clear commitment to understand and fix any issues that were found. I will definitely be sending more of my paychecks in BVM's direction in future...

Gordon
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:38 PM
  #110
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Default Addendum

Coupla points to add now that I'm building another Balsa Super Bandit for a friend....

1) Cylinder door mount.
As mentioned earlier, the cylinder door mount was undersized in the original kit, and it needed to be installed earlier than the instructions told you. I just hacked my way around that in my kit.

With this second kit, the new mounts are still about 1/16" undersized length-wise, but that's not enough to worry about. One point that had not been obvious to me earlier though, is that changing the building sequence to install the mount earlier also needs another slight change... you are supposed to leave the cut-out piece inside the rib until after sheeting at least one side (to prevent the thin portion of rib from breaking when you do your pre-sheeting sanding). Well, with the rib cutout left in place, you obviously can not get the mount through it as is. The obvious solution is to remove just a small portion of the cut-out before assembly.

2) Nose gear flex plates.
I accidentally put the F1 maple blocks on the bottom of the flex plates, instead of on top as the plans show. No big deal - works just fne for me (only downside would be the need to remove one equipment tray to get access to the screws.

On the second aircraft, I put the maple blocks on the top, as stated in the manual. When I turned the fuselage upside down to remove the flex plates (to allow F1 to be fully glued), I found that I could not get access to the screw that holds the rear of the flex plate to the maple block on the starboard side. A small hole (about 4mm) was drilled in the fuz bottom to allow a screwdriver to be inserted.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:17 AM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Mc View Post
... and from above, rear:
What cloth and resin do you like to use for the built up parts. Also is that bondo you use after first sanding of the cloth to fill in low spots? Then prime and use lighter filling compound for pin holes etc. What primer did you use? Rattle Can or K36 Sprayed from the gun?
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:54 PM
  #112
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You may be better off sending a PM the post you are answering is from 2003 that's a long time in anyone's book.

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Old 10-23-2017, 04:20 AM
  #113
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Default BVM Super Balsa Bandit for Sale

Hi All ,

Just putting it here since i once followed this thread . I have a Super balsa Bandit New in box at home im looking to sell .. Is anyone Interested .. Or know of anyone that is .

Brgds
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