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Balsa USA Force One build

Old 01-05-2014, 09:30 AM
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mgnostic
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Default Balsa USA Force One build

I am starting the New Year with the new build of an old kit. The Balsa USA Force One is a design that has been around for quite a few years. BUSA still has the kit in their catalog. This particular kit that I am building was probably manufactured back in the 1980's if not earlier. One of my auction going buddies picked up this kit as part of a box lot when the contents of a small town drug store were being sold off. What he got for his money was a box of balsa parts with bags of hardware. There were no plans or instruciton manuals. Knowing that I build Airplanes he passed the box on to me. Looking through the parts and decals I sorted out that the box contained two apparently complete kits, a Top Flite Holy Smoke that I build several years ago and continue to fly and the Force One that will be the topic of this thread. Thank goodness for the internet. Top Flite had the Holy Smoke Manual available as a down load and I found someone with a set of Holy Smoke Plans here on RCU. BUSA continues to sell the kit and sold me a set of plans with the instruction manual. In comparing and contrasting Kits over the last 35 years I can say that BUSA has improved their manufacturing processes. In comparing the kits of 35 years ago with those today I would say that the die cutting and wood selection are better. This will be my second NOS BUSA kit. The other was the Bristol Monoplane. I have been happy with all of their products, the kits are just better manufactured now.
On to the kit. The Force One is a delta wing with a .40 size engine mounted in the middle of the airplane. The pusher propeller fits in a slot near the center of the aircraft. The plane was designed before computer radios were common and is designed with the intention of a central elevator and ailerons on the wing tips. There is no indication on the plans for mechanical mixing for elevons. This is similar to the situation that I found with the Holy Smoke. My solution was to mount the servos on the bottom of the wing and use the delta wing mix in my JR radio. I have been very happy with how this worked and will go with the same process for the Force One. Per the plans the wing is sheeted across the span of the propeller slot and open bay with cap strips on the outer sections. This would be okay on a Monocote covered plane but I am going to go ahead and sheet the entire wing so that I can cover it with lightweight fiberglass. The only other major change I am planning on at this point is using a O.S. 46 engine. The plane was designed to fly with a K&B .40 but my K&B has been worn out twice and lives in the parts box now. The attached picture is from the catalog. At this point I am leaning toward a pseudo military paint scheme.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:35 AM
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Here are the beginning of the construction. The wing is built upside down on the plans. I will be running a nyrod through the port wing for the radio antenna. I still fly 72mhz FM. The W-1 ribs are lite ply and have a mild warp but will be straightened in the course of construction. This isn't going to be a particularly speedy build. I will post as thing happen.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:14 PM
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Ribs all in. The bottom spars, which are spruce have been added. The sheeting process starts with the area around the propeller cutout. I started to add the leading edge only to discover that the 1/4 by 5/8 in leading edge stock was missing. Luckily I had some 1/4 inch sheet that I could cut for the leading edge. The the trailing edge sheeting was added. Next step will be sanding the leading edge flush with the ribs so that the leading edge sheet can be added. After that I will go off the reservation by sheeting the entire bottom of the wing. After the bottom is sheeted I will lay out the location of elevon servos. I cut some holes in the center ribs to all for the servo leads. The propeller cut out is interesting in that it tapers in front and in back. Some planning will be required with engine placement in that the OS .46 is a little longer than the original K&B .40. .
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:04 PM
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Well cracking right along. The leading edges are on and the spars are in. The picture with the red and blue tubes shows where the nyrods are going. The red nyrod will house the antenna and the blue will operate the elevons. In one picture you can see triangle stock on wing rib w-3. Originally the would have supported the cap strips on either side of the fin. Now it will stiffen the upper wing skin. The wing bottom is now fully sheeted. The gaps at the nose are an area that will be trimmed when the fuselage is attached. You may have noticed the weights. They are one pound ingots and are being used to insure that the wing stays flat while the spars and sheeting are installed.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:29 AM
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malitape
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Hi Matt,
Subscribed

I purchased this plane, used. Having flown the stryker made me think that I should be able to handle this bird. NOT!! At any rate, crashed on second flight. Mostly broke the nose area. Put in box for later determination as to its future. Ran across this thread, and it stirred my interest since it is a nice bird and I am partial to delta wing birds. Not being an experienced builder, I will follow your thread with great anticipation. Good luck with the build and lots of pictures, please.
Old 01-14-2014, 10:49 AM
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Welcome to the thread. A stryker should be good training for the delta wing handling but I bet the weight and higher landing speed of the Force One could certainly be an issue. Please note that I am kit bashing mine a bit with the addition of a fully sheeted wing and changing up the controls for radio mixed elevons. One thing about a model that you built yourself is that if you like it then you can can essentially keep rebuilding it till there are no original parts left.
Old 01-15-2014, 04:50 AM
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Thanks for the response. I agree with your style of building. Having many ARF's, craft worthiness is often an issue. I modify a lot, especially to strengthen many critical locations on the frame. I always like new ideas and to generally just learn. That is why I am particularly interested in your thread. I am a visual person, so as time allows, pictures are appreciated.
Old 01-16-2014, 07:28 PM
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A little more work done. The bottom is all sheeted and I have started on the top. One thing I have notices are some differences in the plans and the sheet wood that came with the kit. The sheet stock across the trailing edge was about 1/4 inch too short. Given the provenance of the kit any wood other than the die cut stuff may not be original to the kit. Since I am sheeting the entire wing I am deviating from the plans anyway so it isn't that big of a deal. Starting on the upper surface I led off with the trailing edge strip followed by the leading edges. Then the prop cutout was sheeted. I added some trailing edge stock to the propeller cut out to stiffen it up a bit. This was done more to prevent problems while sanding and handling the model than out of any concern for flight loads. As the medel is sheeted you can start to see the slots where the fins will sit. I pondered the idea of canting the fins inward and painting to look like a stealth fighter but I have discovered that dark monochromatic planes become a hole in the sky at any distance. I'll wrap up with a photo of most of the upper sheeting done. At this point my cheap science kit scale says the wing structure weighs a smidge over 15 ounces.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:03 PM
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You really are making progress. Great pics, thanks
Old 02-02-2014, 08:25 PM
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It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. Between a bout of stomach flu, the weather and life in general I haven't done much but I have accomplished a little. I completed the wing sheeting. This is a place where I differed from the plans in that I fully sheeted the wing. This will allow me to glass the entire structure rather than using an iron on coating. the areas that are not sheeted will be trimmed away for mounting the fuselage. The point at the very front of the aircraft will be trimmed back several inches
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:41 PM
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Next I made some progress on the fuselage. The sides are first trimmed with triangle stock. This is facilitated by making lots of slices partway through the triangle stock to render it flexible enough to follow the contours of the fuselage side. It is easiest to start at the front and tack it down as you proceed down the length of the fuselage side. Once it is firmly glued down then a second set of cuts are made to make the triangle stock flexible enough to build in the taper in the fuselage. Note that once the formers are built into the fuselage and it has it's taper the triangle stock will not sit perpendicular to the sides of the fuselage, It will slope to the inside of the fuselage and will need some sanding to provide a consistent gluing surface.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:02 PM
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The fuselage is a very simple structure except for the fact that it doesn't build flat on any axis. The locations of the formers were marked on the insides of the fuselage sides so that they could be accurately and most importantly symmetrically located. I als marked the centerline of each of the formers. Once everything as sort of tacked in place I set the fuselage on to a couple of pieces of 2X4 and used a flexible steel strait edge to make sure that the fuselage lined up straight from front to back while the pieces of 2X4 acted as Jigs to make sure that no twist would be built into the fuselage. I pinned and weighted everything down and then glued all the joints more securely. The triangle stock at the firewall was glued in with epoxy for security. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am using an OS .46 engine that is a little longer than the K&B .40. To accommodate this I shortened the fuselage by 1/4 inch to move the firewall forward. I hope I have calculated correctly otherwise I may have to make other adjustments to the fuselage or the slot to fit the engine. I will mount the engine temporarily before I do the final gluing of the fuselage to the wing to check the fit.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:06 PM
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Here are a couple of shots of the trimmed wing and the engine mount and nose gear mount.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:10 PM
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I will wrap up for the evening with a couple of shots of the sheeted fuselage and one of the fuselage mocked into place.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:52 PM
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I will wrap up for the evening with a couple of shots of the sheeted fuselage and one of the fuselage mocked into place.
Old 03-07-2014, 12:43 PM
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malitape
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Hey Matt,
Nice work so far. Great pix as well. Thanks for posting.

Old 04-20-2014, 08:22 PM
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Subscribed!

Nice job so far Matt. Keep up the good work!

I just bought one of these kits so I'll be watching your build with interest. I'll probably build it as designed when I finally get it on the table. Personally, I would keep the elevator. You can always mix in (or not) flaperons through a mode switch.

I have an OS 45 FSR or a Magnum Pro 45 to put in this one. One thing that always bugged me about the design was the rear facing engine and resulting awkward muffler setup. I think a slick way to resolve this is with an upright Pitts muffler and to have it go through the wing to vent out the bottom.
Old 04-21-2014, 02:47 PM
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My flying buddy and I built 2 of these years ago when they first came out. He built his with working rudders and used a K&B 40. The working rudders were worthless as al they did was induce a yaw. Mine was powered with a OS 28 FSR and was as fast as his. It was a blast to fly. The plane was very docile at low speeds but the roll and climb rate was unreal on full throttle. Tons of room for the radio gear. .
Old 05-15-2014, 06:43 PM
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I have been away for a bit due to working on the kids cars etc. Getting back to the build I have attached the fuselage to the wing and finished sheeting the fuselage wing joint.
Old 12-03-2014, 03:08 PM
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Hi Matt Kirk:

Recently aquired a used Force One plane and have no instructions.

Will appreciate if can tel C.G. of this bird.

Thanks

Juan
Old 12-03-2014, 04:39 PM
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I'm still pecking away at my Force One but I checked the plans. The CG is 2.25 inches ahead of the mounting slot for rear landing gear or 15 inches ahead of the trailing edge of the wing.
Old 12-04-2014, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for your fast reply.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:51 PM
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An interesting collection of planes. I am planning to finish my Force One with Quik-Poly and fiberglass with an RAF paint job.
Old 12-04-2014, 09:44 PM
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Matt that is a very interesting plane design, while I have no interest in delta planes I find your build a joy to watch, always a chance to learn something new. I get a feeling it will have a nice paint job and will look forward to that, the rest of the work is nice as well.

Leroy
Old 12-06-2014, 06:40 AM
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Matt

Sorry to bother you with more questions.
Your build and pictures have been invaluable for my edf intentions for this plane.

Intend to use a hayoe 90mm edf with a arc motor 36-75-1.5 for a estimated 2000watts of power
With 7lb plane.

The 15 inches are from elevator trailing edge or hinge line?

Nice to find real builders nowdays.

My planes in picture are a bashed long ez 46 for turbine wren44, the turbine ruin3d and the transformed to pusher electric with a weight penallty of a pound recently crashing it. Waiting for a repair. Look for my build. The other one is a rbc ta-183 70mm edf. The prop on3 is 3d ship mojo 60.

PLEASE ALSO INFORM SURFACE MOVEMENTS.

cheers,

JUAN
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