View Full Version : How much balsa

03-17-2006, 05:46 AM
Over the past few years I have collected a number of free plans from RC magazines. There
are a few bigginer electric designs that I would like to have a go at building. The problem is that my experiance is limited to that which I have read in the above mentioned magazines.
My question is the following: How do I go about esimating how much balsa I should buy?
My local hobby shop is 80 km away and I don't get to go into that town on a regular basis.
Mail order is not always a good option in South Aftica because "fragile" means stamp down on it with all of your might :-}
Your comments please.

Johan Beyers
03-17-2006, 10:28 AM
Balsa is usually sold as planks. Usual sizes are about 100mm by 900 mm (4 inches by 3 feet), in different thicknesses. This should simplify your problem: Roughly plan out which parts go on which plank, and set up your shopping list from there.

(I'm assuming that you haven't flown RC either. My apologies if you are an experienced pilot)

That said, building from plans is usually not the best way to learn to build or fly. If you want to build, try a kit first, as the parts are usually cut out already, which makes the first build easier. I would also recommend getting a trainer plane first. I smashed my first plane very quickly, after spending a lot of time building it, and that put me off flying for a long, long time.

If you cannot find someone to teach you to fly, get a flight simulator like FMS and hook your transmitter up to your computer. It will not make you an expert, but you will be much less likely to crash your plane once you've crashed a virtual one a couple of hundred times. :D

You'll be surprised at the amount of hobby shops that sell online in SA. I would recommend that you join sarfly, an email group for SA flyers, and ask some more specific questions there. The guys are friendly and willing to help, and you'll find some good SA-specific advice there, about buying, shipping and so on. You might even find another flyer close to you.

Link to Sarfly group web page (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sarfly/)

Eflight101 building links (http://www.eflight101.com/building/)

Eflight101 beginners links (http://www.eflight101.com/general/beginners/)

Eflight101 FMS links (http://www.eflight101.com/software/flightsims/fms/)

Hope this helps :)

03-17-2006, 11:23 AM
Thanks Johan.

I'm in Tsistikamma, 50km from Plett, 80 km from Knysna, so model shops are in short supply. I have been looking for an EPP foam trainer that I can plant repeatedly but no luck so far. I have a Speed 500 trainer which is a bit too much to hand launch by yourself and then grab the Tx, been there! The closest chap who flys RC is 20 km away so I will have to go solo from the start.

I have got FMS but have not hooked it up to the TX yet. Where can I get a cable in SA for a JR Quattro?


Johan Beyers
03-17-2006, 12:26 PM
The only TX interface I know of that's made in SA is the one from Hillcraft:


but you should be able to build one yourself:



Parts cost about R10 from an electronics shop if you can find an old network cable or similar for the cable. You might be able to find the parts at RS components or fort77 (Used to be Maplin).


12-22-2009, 05:30 PM
This link is absolutely the best build site I have visited! http://www.airfieldmodels.com/index.html

Right about a flight simulator.

First beginner plane try a super Mini Cub: http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ4800

$99 bucks gets it all - no ailerons but you can crank up the 'pushrod' linkage and do some slick stunts.

12-22-2009, 05:36 PM
Can never have enough balsa:D. You'll be surprised how often you might need some for even the smallest things. Especially if you don't get to the Hobby Shop that often....I would go ahead and stock up friend. Good luck and Merry Christmas to you.