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Balancers

Old 12-28-2010, 02:18 AM
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Johnnysplits
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Default Balancers

I can't believe that using your fingers is a good way to do it at all, so which plane balancer would you all recommend? If it makes a difference, after learning to fly high and low wing trainers, im gonna be going giant scale gas all the way. Thanks!!
Old 12-28-2010, 03:29 AM
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CGRetired
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Default RE: Balancers

Fingers work almost as well as the expensive balancers. When you find your CG point and mark it on the wing, and you carefully put your fingertips on those marks then lift. If it dips by the nose, well, it's nose heavy. Depending on how much it dips will tell you if you need to remove weight. If it dips by the tail, then you need to add nose weight.

It will definitely get you in the air safely, if done right, but you also have to do it right with the balance stands too. To fine tune the CG, a gizmo of some sort will work. I've read that folks have used pencils mounted on a home made stand with the erasers against the marked CG point, and that worked fine too.

You don't need gizmo's to set the CG, you only need to know where it is supposed to be and then lift the plane at that point. It's not rocket science.

Hey, if you want to switch to gasoline, knock yer'self out. No one will chastise you for that decision. It's not one that I would make, basic suggestions that you move up slowly have already been given. The main point is that the larger scale gas planes handle differently than their smaller relatives. But, as we always say, it's your money. Just be careful of your surroundings. Remember, you are responsible for what happens should you have a problem.

If it were me, I'd fly the first few flights with the new gasser, with an instructor and a buddy box so you can feel the differences and adjust accordingly.

Best of luck, and enjoy!!

CGr.
Old 12-28-2010, 03:35 AM
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Luchnia
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Default RE: Balancers


ORIGINAL: Johnnysplits

I can't believe that using your fingers is a good way to do it at all, so which plane balancer would you all recommend? If it makes a difference, after learning to fly high and low wing trainers, im gonna be going giant scale gas all the way. Thanks!!
I have a couple balancers and I wind up using my fingers most of the time and I get my planes just like I like to fly them. It is just a starting point anyway and then you can fine tune as you need. I am sure the balancers would work better on certain planes that are difficult to use your fingers on.
Old 12-28-2010, 08:48 AM
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Missileman
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Default RE: Balancers

I use the Great Planes C.G. machine.
The nice thing about it vs. fingertips is I can move things around the out side of the airplane, such as batteries or weights, while the plane is on the balancer to find out exactly where it is needed.
Fingertips are acurate enough but I really would rather use my C.G. machine.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXK259&P=7
Old 12-28-2010, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: Balancers

I own two balancers and I still think that the fingers........both mine and my wife's are the best and most accurate. Planes slip off the GP CG machine too easy.........I have a couple of wings that with patches to prove it along with a busted canopy. Fingertips are the bomb!!
Old 12-28-2010, 01:22 PM
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Default RE: Balancers

I use fingers also. Like Luchina said, it's only a starting point anyway.

My usual routine is this: I have the plane ready to fly, minus fuel. Balance it with my fingers. Shift or add weight as needed until the plane sits SLIGHTLY nose-down. How much? Just enough that you know it's NOT tail-down.

Now fly it. If it's sluggish, move some weight aft or add tail weight (in small increments) and fly it again. If it's too sensitive, shift or add weight to the nose.

But once the initial balance is done, I RARELY ever check the CG again. About the only exception would be if I were going to swap in a completely different size or type of engine. Then I will check the CG, replace the engine, and re-balance it to get the CG in the same place that it was with the original engine.
Old 12-28-2010, 02:23 PM
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Luchnia
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Default RE: Balancers


ORIGINAL: oldtyme

I own two balancers and I still think that the fingers........both mine and my wife's are the best and most accurate. Planes slip off the GP CG machine too easy.........I have a couple of wings that with patches to prove it along with a busted canopy. Fingertips are the bomb!!
The human fingers are amazing and you take some of the old timers can almost look at a plane and tell you what you need to do to get 'her' in decent balance range. I watch them and they walk up to the plane stick their fingers under the wings and say something like, "Son, move a tad of that weight up front and try that...by the way, what size prop is that you have on there?"

I built one of those Venessa rigs and it is really nice, but way too much trouble for my liking. It is nice and handy for a plane that you simply don't have any info about.

Also the different designs of the planes and your style of flying have much to do with how you may want to balance. I know I am always messing/experimenting with the balance points on my Twist 40 trying to get it to do things differently because it is so short coupled.
Old 12-28-2010, 03:36 PM
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oldtyme
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Default RE: Balancers

A friend showed me a trick the other day that I had not seen before. I had balanced my plane (fingers of course) and then flown it and it seemed a little nose heavy on the finals for landing. My friend took the plane up and did and inverted 45degree climb and cut the throttle.......the plane's nose dropped and he said that the plane needed some tail weight even though in the shop it seemed to balance OK. I put a couple of light stick-on weights on the tail and we took it up again and did the same inverted 45 degree climb (neglected to say this is a low wing aircraft) and the plane continued for a few seconds on it's 45 degree climb attitude before loosing speed and falling off. I have tried this on a couple of other planes and find this to be a very good test for balance.

Just my 2 cents,
Andy
Old 12-28-2010, 04:29 PM
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Gray Beard
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Default RE: Balancers

Depends on the plane but if it's small enough then the GP CG machine. Giant scale then I have been known to hang them and use a plumb Bob. I can just as often use the mark one finger. As mike pointed out, it's just a starting point for me and will change often during flight testing. A bit nose heavy is my starting point then I start working back until I hit the magic point.
Old 12-28-2010, 05:14 PM
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Johnnysplits
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Default RE: Balancers

Hey thanks everyone for all the advice!!! And CGr, i'll be taking things slow...not jumping into the giant scale stuff that fast.
Old 12-28-2010, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: Balancers

Almost all of the giant scale airplanes give you a CG point in reference to the wing tube. I usually pick up the airplane by the tube with the canopy off either wrapping my fingers around the front of the tube or the rear depending on where the instructions say to CG. Once close I go fly and let the airplane tell me what adjustment to make. I too do the 45 degree inverted upline but I keep about 2/3 power and am looking to see the airplane self level in about 5-6 seconds. Another little trick is to do a knife edge. If the airplane pulls to the canopy it is noseheavy if it tucks to the gear it is tail heavy. Of course it has to be an airplane capable of knife edge flight for that to work.
Old 08-13-2016, 05:34 AM
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I'm back...almost six years later and still no plane. Got involved with crawlers and still doing the large scale gas trucks. Anyway, I do want to thank you all again for your input. I have a sim on the way and soon to follow, an Eflite apprentice s15e. It's going to be a very slow progression into what I would eventually like to have (giant scale gasser) due to my financial situation since getting divorced.
Old 08-13-2016, 08:09 AM
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There's nothing wrong with starting slow. Get the Apprentice, balance it right , and enjoy it as long as you want to.
Old 08-13-2016, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
There's nothing wrong with starting slow. Get the Apprentice, balance it right , and enjoy it as long as you want to.
I will learn to master it before I move on, that's for sure!
Old 08-14-2016, 07:36 AM
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In case you're still wondering about balancers: fingers work fine on reasonably small planes. If you move on to giant scale, you can't beat a Vanessa rig, which is described in detail elsewhere (do a google search). You can make one out of stuff you've probably already got, it's more accurate than you need any balancer to be to be, and you can balance any plane on it, right-side-up or inverted, and leave it there while you move components around.
Old 08-14-2016, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
In case you're still wondering about balancers: fingers work fine on reasonably small planes. If you move on to giant scale, you can't beat a Vanessa rig, which is described in detail elsewhere (do a google search). You can make one out of stuff you've probably already got, it's more accurate than you need any balancer to be to be, and you can balance any plane on it, right-side-up or inverted, and leave it there while you move components around.
Yes I did take a look at that balance rig on youtube. I'll keep it in mind if I ever can get into a giant.
Old 08-15-2016, 08:28 AM
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I wouldn't bother with the Vanessa Rig for an Apprentice but for anything a little bigger I would . They are easy to make , can be kept over your work bench or where ever you usually balance your planes . Up until I made my VR I used my fingers , the GP CG machine , or things that I made that were plane specific . The Vanessa rig has saved me lot's of time . When I first started using it I didn't trust it because it was so easy ,I had to double check with my fingers to make sure I was balanced . The Vanessa Rig is not just for giants , its for any planes . you may need to modify a few things depending on the size and weight of your plane but this is all easily done . By the way sorry you had to go thru a divorce . The end of a relationship can be very hard even if the relationship was bad . Get a dog , they are faithful and loyal and love you no matter how many planes you buy .

Last edited by bikerbc; 08-15-2016 at 09:40 AM.
Old 08-15-2016, 12:38 PM
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Johnnysplits
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Originally Posted by bikerbc View Post
I wouldn't bother with the Vanessa Rig for an Apprentice but for anything a little bigger I would . They are easy to make , can be kept over your work bench or where ever you usually balance your planes . Up until I made my VR I used my fingers , the GP CG machine , or things that I made that were plane specific . The Vanessa rig has saved me lot's of time . When I first started using it I didn't trust it because it was so easy ,I had to double check with my fingers to make sure I was balanced . The Vanessa Rig is not just for giants , its for any planes . you may need to modify a few things depending on the size and weight of your plane but this is all easily done . By the way sorry you had to go thru a divorce . The end of a relationship can be very hard even if the relationship was bad . Get a dog , they are faithful and loyal and love you no matter how many planes you buy .
I actually have her dog lol
Old 08-17-2016, 10:12 PM
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J330
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Originally Posted by Johnnysplits View Post
I actually have her dog lol
Congratulations. Welcome back to the forum.
Old 08-18-2016, 03:01 AM
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Johnnysplits
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Originally Posted by J330 View Post
Congratulations. Welcome back to the forum.
Thank you sir

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