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Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Old 07-15-2013, 07:14 AM
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ser00
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Default Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Hello everybody,

I decided to go ahead and build a Balsa USA Enforcer as a late summer project instead of a winter project (though, here in Houston, we do not really have a winter). One of the reasons I decided on the Enforcer is that first, it is a delta wing and there are not may build forums on them. Now, it has been a long time since I built a kit so I am taking this build slowly. I do invite everybody to chime in and offer advice, suggestions, funny stories, tips, techniques or what ever you wish to contribute. I might implement what you suggest or maybe not. I have been wanting to build this kit for a while now (I have three more Enforcer kits waiting to be built too). I have thought of several mods to do for the Enforcer such as canards and vertical stabilizers tilted inward. But, I think that it would be best to just build it according to plans (I will be adding Spring Air Retracts though).
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:19 AM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

One thing that I have to say about the kit so far is that the die-cutting on this particular kit (meaning this box / this kit only) is horrible. It seems to be more die-crushing than anything else. The biggest complaint is that the cut does not go all the way through the wood. This is not that much of an issue on the balsa because I can sand the back of the balsa to help pop it out, but it is very difficult to do this with the plywood parts (fuselage sides, etc). Overall, not a big issue. I will just need to be extra careful in removing the parts and carefully (gently) sand those pieces that have some roughness to them or little balsa "hangers" on them.
Old 07-15-2013, 09:30 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

I'm not too picky, I enjoy all builds! I'm subscribed!
Old 07-15-2013, 09:43 AM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Well, I went ahead and drew the lines for the formers on the sides of the fuselage. I used a flexible ruler so I could line it up easily with the hash lines on the plans. As you might be able to tell, I am using magnets and a metal table to build instead of pins and a ceiling tile. I still use pins here and there but mostly I will use magnets. Next, it is time to laminate the two plywood firewall pieces together. In the instructions, it states to use pins around F8 to help guide F9 on top of it. Well, magnets and extruded aluminum angle will have to do. What I find interesting is that the instructions said to use thick CA to glue the two pieces together. Call me old school but for anything dealing with the firewall, I am going to use 30 minute epoxy.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

I built two enforcers using magnets. Yes, epoxy for the firewall and check and double and triple check that you fuse is absolutely parallel and that the angle of the firewall at the rear is absolutely correct and that it is square with the fuse. Once you get that done the rest just falls into place.
BTW - I picked up a bunch of "welders magnets" at Harbor Freight which I find most useful. The BIG ones are great for insuring fuse sides are square and perpenducular. Plus they are heavy which is a bonus.

Good luck - it is a fun aircraft.

Dan
Old 07-15-2013, 02:50 PM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Yes - I too have the magnets from Harbor Freight. I believe that they carry three different sizes and I picked up all three. I also made my own set of fixtures from www.airfieldmodels.com. That is what inspired me to use magnets. Thanks for the tips on the fuse and firewall. As I said, I am going to take this build slowly and hopefully steady (try to dedicate 30 minutes a day to it). I plan on using Elmer's carpenter glue whenever possible. I know that the pictures look a little strange in their exposure. I guess I will use the good camera to take pictures from now on. On the firewall, I placed it on the table (with a thick metal plate on top of it) that has a 100lb pulling strength magnet underneath it and placed a metal plug cylinder on top of it (15lbs wt) and let it sit over night. Dan, did you make both Enforcers per the instructions or did you do any modifications /extras?

Happy flying and soft landings!
Old 07-16-2013, 01:19 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

I made both per the instructions. I built one for someone else.

Good flying airframe....

Good Luck

Dan
Old 07-16-2013, 08:23 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

subscribed.
Old 07-16-2013, 12:12 PM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Thanks Dan for the wishing of luck! As I have said before, this will be a slow build. The laminated firewall is done. The next task is to mark the area where the firewall will attach to the back of the fuselage. Then, cut 1.5 inches of 1/2" triangle stock to glue to the fuselage side to allow more surface area for attaching the firewall later. It states to leave enough room for the wing bolt plate. I would suggest that you mark the line for the firewall and then mark the line for the wing bolt plate. Following the instructions to have the triangle stock edge flush with the top of the fuselage, the two lines do not form a 90° angle. It actually forms roughly a 86° angle. Also, I think that the length of the triangle stock is too long at 1.5 inches. I carefully measured the length for the triangle stock, cut it and sanded one edge of it to 86°. Again, the manual states to attach the triangle stock with thick CA but I am going to use 30 minute epoxy will milled fiberglass like I did with the firewall. Now, this might seem like I am splitting hairs when it comes to the angles, but doing it this way allows the wing bolt plate to lay flush on top of the triangle stock and aligns it to be flush with the wing cradle too. In the last picture, I flipped the fuselage sides over and marked where the firewall aligns and drew three dots. This is to mark the location (more or less) to "pin" the firewall to the fuselage sides with bamboo skewers or rounded toothpicks. This will give the firewall/fuselage connection more strength.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:10 PM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Well, finally found some time to work on the Enforcer. Life (wife and twin 19mth old twin girls) needed my time for than I did but I found some time today to spend out in the workshop. I cut the longerons for the fuselage sides. I payed very close attention to the angles of the joints and carefully cut them. I am really proud of the angled cut on the one longeron (actually, I dial in the angle into the disk sander and slower shave the balsa away). I glued the longerons to the fuselage side with carpenter's glue and all I can say is that you can never have too many clamps. While waiting for the glue to dry on longerons, I went ahead and started to glue together one of the vertical stabilizers. I only glued two of the three pieces together. Once they are dry, I will glue on the third piece. Finally, never assume that the straight sides of cut balsa is straight. Always sand the sides. I use a piece of aluminum angle with 150 grit sandpaper and slower sand the gluing edges. If done properly, you shouldn't really see a joining line. Later tonight, I will finish up the first stabilizer and glue the longerons to the other fuselage side.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:45 PM
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ser00
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Well, I decided to add the extra balsa on the firewall before the firewall was attached. This allowed me more room and control to glue the scrap balsa to it and sand it to shape. I decided that I would glue the firewall to one fuselage side at a time. This allows me to make sure that I have a good bond and not create a mess in the process. Again, I am using 30 minute epoxy with milled fiberglass to give a strong bond. Once the epoxy has hardened (overnight), I will pin the firewall to that side. I made some "wood" nails to pin the firewall. I will put two on each side, staggering them so they are not in line with each other.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:57 PM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

I am thinking about doing some simple mods to the Enforcer. I want to add some small canards and LEX to the plane. The first three pictures show roughly what I would like to do. Total lifting area added in front of the CG is 25 square inches. I am curious how much this will affect the CG considering how much wing (1000 square inches) is behind this small mod. Any suggestions out there? Does anybody think that the CG would be greatly affected (no more than 1/4 inch movement at most)? I would like some opinions or suggestions. Anyway, I went ahead and drilled two holes in the side of the firewall to pin it. I put wood glue inside the holes and slightly tapped the "wood" nails in. I then went ahead and let it dry. I put the other side of the fuselage on and epoxied it to the firewall. As you can see, I made sure that both fuselage sides were parallel to the table (look at level bubbles) and that the firewall is perpendicular to the table (see angle). Once this dries, I will pin the other side of the firewall.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

subscribed:   I am thinking about building one of these.  i had a friend that built and flew it a while back. It was a real pocket rocket and would roll on in the blink of a eye just a real cool bird over all. 
Old 07-31-2013, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

here are a few mods i have done

for more info and photos email: [email protected]

Bill
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:42 AM
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Default RE: Balsa USA Enforcer Build...

Magnets are great I have been building with them for years I have 4' x 8' table with a sheet of 16 ga galvanized sheet metal on it, its great, I use the clear carpet protector film to cover and stick the plans to the table it comes in a 30" wide roll. also saves the plans from getting ripped, ca wont stick to it. when you done build just cut around the edges and roll up plans for next time

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