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Why i prefer balsa planes over foam.

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Why i prefer balsa planes over foam.

Old 07-17-2023, 11:26 AM
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RCoffroadracer
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Default Why i prefer balsa planes over foam.

Had a mishap yesterday. Came home and stared fixing it. You just cant fix a foam plane that took a hit hard enough to break the engine and firewall off.
but balsa and plywood planes you can.
Took me 2 hrs to get it back to 80% fixed. Bottom plywood is on just no picture yet. Decided to go through the engine and replace fuel tank at this time. More pics to come. Will be ready to fly by Thursday. I will alway buy balsa planes as long as i can




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Old 07-17-2023, 02:48 PM
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Old 07-17-2023, 02:50 PM
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ignore the glue on the elevator. I did not do that. this was a free plane. someone used gorilla glue like a dummy.
Old 07-18-2023, 01:02 PM
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this plane never had a fuel tank floor in it. does anyone know how high should the tank sit in relationship to the engine or does it not matter? from the downloadable manuals for the sig kadet that this plane closely resembles, it has a floor but the plans don't show how high. a hangar 9 alpha has a floor too and lifts the tank way up off the bottom too. probably an inch maybe. I need to do this right. this plane was given to me and flew fine before. I use it to introduce friends to the hobby and teach my brother how to fly. I have no idea who makes it. I thought I found a picture of it once but can't seem to find it again. if anyone out there knows if the tank mounting hight is important and where it needs to be could you let me know. thanks!

Update, I was able to identify this plane as a Seagull Arising start. vintage model. they made small changes but this matches the manual really good.

Last edited by RCoffroadracer; 07-18-2023 at 03:06 PM.
Old 07-19-2023, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RCoffroadracer
this plane never had a fuel tank floor in it. does anyone know how high should the tank sit in relationship to the engine or does it not matter? from the downloadable manuals for the sig kadet that this plane closely resembles, it has a floor but the plans don't show how high. a hangar 9 alpha has a floor too and lifts the tank way up off the bottom too. probably an inch maybe. I need to do this right. this plane was given to me and flew fine before. I use it to introduce friends to the hobby and teach my brother how to fly. I have no idea who makes it. I thought I found a picture of it once but can't seem to find it again. if anyone out there knows if the tank mounting hight is important and where it needs to be could you let me know. thanks!

Update, I was able to identify this plane as a Seagull Arising start. vintage model. they made small changes but this matches the manual really good.
The usual rule of thumb is when the plane in level flight the centerline of the fuel tank should be even with the needle valve in the carb. This is the ideal. Often there just isn't room in the fuselage to achieve this so just mount it as high as the fuselage will allow. That will be as good, if not better, than the airplane ever had. You can build a tank floor which judging from the photos might give you enough room for a battery under the tank or you can just slice up some styrofoam to go under the tank.

As for wood vs foam, for me it falls into the same argument as glow vs electric. I know people who can pull off some pretty amazing repairs with foam. Especially in smaller planes brushless motors can easily keep up with their glow counterparts. For myself, I prefer wood and glow, not so much because they are superior but because I have the tools and experience to make them work.
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Old 07-19-2023, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
The usual rule of thumb is when the plane in level flight the centerline of the fuel tank should be even with the needle valve in the carb. This is the ideal. Often there just isn't room in the fuselage to achieve this so just mount it as high as the fuselage will allow. That will be as good, if not better, than the airplane ever had. You can build a tank floor which judging from the photos might give you enough room for a battery under the tank or you can just slice up some styrofoam to go under the tank.

As for wood vs foam, for me it falls into the same argument as glow vs electric. I know people who can pull off some pretty amazing repairs with foam. Especially in smaller planes brushless motors can easily keep up with their glow counterparts. For myself, I prefer wood and glow, not so much because they are superior but because I have the tools and experience to make them work.
that's exactly what I did. also made the fuselage top a hatch instead of gluing the tank inside with no access like seagull made it.
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Old 07-19-2023, 04:09 PM
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Old 07-21-2023, 05:37 PM
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and I'm done. might need to tweek the throttle but otherwise complete. not as nice of a plane as most of you have. I'm just using it for what it is. beat up trainer.


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Old 11-02-2023, 09:28 AM
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After a really good crash & repair I give my plane a vinyl decal " Phoenix tattoo" to remember it. Risen from the ashes.
Old 11-03-2023, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by davecairns
After a really good crash & repair I give my plane a vinyl decal " Phoenix tattoo" to remember it. Risen from the ashes.
Now I'm going to have to make some Joan Crawford decals ala BOC.
Old 11-03-2023, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by davecairns
After a really good crash & repair I give my plane a vinyl decal " Phoenix tattoo" to remember it. Risen from the ashes.
Now I'm going to have to make some Joan Crawford decals ala BOC.
Old 11-08-2023, 08:40 AM
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The ARF fliers don't know what they are missing. It's amazing how much damage can be repaired on a wood airplane! I know from experience.
Old 11-09-2023, 05:17 PM
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I have told the story many times. When I self taught to fly rc with gliders, and then my Sig Seniorita there was a pattern .. Go to giant school field to fly, crash, go home and feverishly repair and repeat ! However the first day I took everything home in one piece I was so excited, just euphoric !!!
I didnt go home.. I drove straight to the hobby shop and bought a new kit ! I had to work on SOMETHING !
Old 11-30-2023, 11:02 AM
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This thread inspired me. I crashed my Eagle 63 (built in 1980) pretty bad. I was close to throwing it out, but now I'll consider removing the covering and attempting repair. Does covering come off pretty good with a heat gun? I've never "decovered" an airplane!
Old 11-30-2023, 11:18 AM
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It varies by brand.
Old 11-30-2023, 11:19 AM
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Heat will soften the adhesive of the covering, but it also makes it more likely to remain on the wood. I like to peel away covering and see how much adhesive (color) remains behind. If it is stubborn, I use heat and deal with getting the "color" off of the wood using strong tape to grab it up. If you are recovering with the same color, getting it perfectly cleaned off isn't a requirement. But leaving behind red color would show thru if you cover it with white of yellow, for example. Recovering is a satisfying part of the modeling side of the hobby.
Old 01-09-2024, 10:03 AM
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I recently got back into the hobby and picked up two nice airplanes. One was balsa wood and covering (3DHS Edge) and the other foam (Eflite Extra 300). Both planes are about the same wing span and had about 10 flights on them. The foam had so much hanger rash, I got rid of it. Balsa planes are just easier to fix, almost like the original condition if done right.
Old 01-09-2024, 11:23 AM
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I prefer to reserve foam for cups and fiberglass plugs myself. Foam airplanes seemed to be designed to be made as cheap as possible and to have a short life so they can sell you a new plane as soon as possible.
Old 01-10-2024, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC
I prefer to reserve foam for cups and fiberglass plugs myself. Foam airplanes seemed to be designed to be made as cheap as possible and to have a short life so they can sell you a new plane as soon as possible.
Even among foam planes there can be quite a range in quality. I had a Sig Colt with a foam wing that held up quite well. When it comes to molded planes I've sometimes wondered how the company can afford to retire a set of molds after what appears to be a short production run. Maybe I have a skewed perspective but it seems like once a batch of airplanes is sold out that is the last you ever see of them.

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