Best cheap balsa 4 channel plane here?

ShinobiShinobi Club Members Posts: 11
So, I got an urge to get myself another try with an airplane.

I want balsa, that part I'm solid on, my first was an EPO, and it was horrible.

Yes I got a low wing version, but it weighed too little and I spent more stick trying to make it go in straight lines than actually flying it..

I have four metal gear mini servos, 3 kilo I think they are.

A spare 30A ESC with a suitable propdrive motor.

A bunch of beechwood 9 inch props, so that would be a great fit if possible.

The battery I might have to get a smaller one, my current ones are 3S 5000mAh hardcases.

I want a high wing, but one that will allow for some rolls and loops etc.

I've been through the lists up and down, but I can't decide..

Does anyone have a good suggestion for me?


  • WTWUKWTWUK CornwallClub Members Posts: 13,610 ✭✭✭
    Balsa - forget it. One ding and it is all over. Broken wood, cracked joints that you may not even realise are damaged etc.

    Best option is to get an AXN Floater Jet or a Bixler.

    Yeah they are EPO, but make no mistake they can take some serious battering, and even if a wing breaks off - glue it back on, wind a bit of tape around it and off you go again.

    I have an AXN, and would not be without it, even though I have a load of Trex helis, a couple warbirds and a lot of EDF jets. The AXN still tops the list for carefree and relaxing flying, and is a brilliant trainer.
  • DaithiDaithi Belfast,IrelandClub Members Posts: 8,708 ✭✭✭
    Either that or go to outerzone and download a set of plans image
  • SootySooty Christchurch NZClub Members Posts: 6,110 ✭✭✭
    All the low cost balsa planes are on backorder - apart from two high wing trainers.

    They have managed to get us hooked and are replacing them with planes costing twice the price or more.

    If you want good balsa ARFs go to Tower Hobbies.
  • DaithiDaithi Belfast,IrelandClub Members Posts: 8,708 ✭✭✭
    It's cheaper to download and print a set of plans, invest in a good set of modelling knives, pliers, razor saw and Davis plane and then go buy a few assorted sheets of 3" x 36" in different sizes, along with the other odds and ends like wheels, wire and plywood. It will work out a LOT cheaper in the end (but,if things go wrong, there's only one person to blame image)
  • __ozmo__ozmo Club Members Posts: 1
    Foam planes are fine but a nicely built 40 size trainer such as the SIG LT 40 with a nice 46 glow engine or comparable electric is Great. Just because some people have not learned how to or don't want to repair a balsa plane doesn't mean they can't be fixed EASILY. RCers have been repairing them for decades. Any plane can be TOASTED beyond repair.

    I have owned a balsa trainer for over 17 years, many repairs...until that one @#&$ tree!

    Balsa built planes don't heat warp like foam and have other qualities that foam does not have. Still I likes me foamies!
  • WTWUKWTWUK CornwallClub Members Posts: 13,610 ✭✭✭
    EASILY being a variable of course ... Imagine repairing a trashed wing at the flying field on a balsa model and being back in the air the same day ... not likely to happen really.

    I am fully capable of building in balsa/ply/obechi/spruce and the likes - and I do like the 'feel' of well constructed models - they have that 'something' about them that fomaies will never have. But ... one crash and one crash alone often spells the end of a lot of balsa models.

    As a youngster I saw so many of them end up as matchsticks in nylon/solarfilm/solartex bags - and it was shameful to see it. A hell of a lot of beautiful work totalled beyond repair.

    With a foamie, it would take a seriously epic crash to totally destroy one - particularly the EPO/Elapor/ZFoam things that often 'bounce'. Such a crash would do a lot of damage to a balsa model.

    So for beginners to slightly experienced that are not fully happy flying yet, balsa models could be the end of their flying days with the aftermath of a crash (apart from the rare newcomer breed that enjoy the building as much as the flying of course!)

    I like both types! Foamies and wood models. Oh - and self-built composites ones too!!! Whole new ballgame that is! heh heh!!!
  • KeethKeeth KickatinalongClub Members Posts: 901
    Then there's me......

    Build it, fly it, trim it, all works perfect, now what...?

    I know build something else. I'm definitely more of a builder than a flyer.

    There again we get much more time to build than fly.... image
  • SawdustSawdust Club Members Posts: 6,763 ✭✭✭
    " Just because some people have not learned how to or don't want to repair a balsa plane doesn't mean they can't be fixed EASILY."

    "EASILY" is a matter of perspective. It's got bugger all to do with "some people have not learned how to or don't want to repair a balsa plane". It almost always involves time consuming repairs and re covering at home. Foamies can mostly be repaired at the field and back in the air in as little as 5 minutes, now that's "EASILY" fixed.

    " Balsa built planes don't heat warp like foam " I've seen plenty that have.

    I will agree with you that no foamie I've ever flown can compare to a decent balsa and ply model as far as flying it goes though.
  • hairykartshairykarts auk nzClub Members Posts: 649 ✭✭
    best balsa I have is extra 260 BUT BUT , It is not a trainer . Flies gr8 on high expo ( slowly reducing ) u/c weak as so many are . But as a trainer Bixler 2 is good .Ps it doesnt fly through wire fences !!!

    image hairykarts2014-12-06 09:14:40
  • SawdustSawdust Club Members Posts: 6,763 ✭✭✭
    I'm the opposite to you Keeth, The build process is a pain to me, and I get frustrated if anything doesn't turn out absolutely perfect, I over engineer everything glue and reinforcing wise, I absolutely have to modify anything in the existing kit to what makes more sense to me. Bubbled up canopies must go because of the extra aerodynamic drag, there's no real pilot in there that needs to see out ffs. Air intakes to simulate a full sized planes piston engines that need cylinders cooled on an electric model drive me nuts and must go and things modified to feed air to the centre through the electric motor where it's actually really needed. I'm not usually too concerned about scale appearance, I just want them to fly the best they can and the flying part is what it's all about for me. I am extremely impressed by the beautiful highly detailed precise work some of you serious builders do though. It makes me feels so sad though when someone brings their beautiful work of art to the field for it's maiden and crash within seconds from take off, or later for that matter, so much work and attention to detail sometimes completely destroyed in seconds.
  • davedsx11davedsx11 walesClub Members Posts: 40
    Don't know if they are available where you are, but the best flying balsa planes i've ever had were those with Chris Foss's name on the box.Be it ready to fly or ripmax artf wot-4 to learn aerobatics or acrowot's for a more semi-scale look all fly on rails(artf's cheaper than building and fly the same)

    ps it's the ground that breaks em all
  • airwaveairwave Club Members Posts: 3,563
    I would say the ANX for foam.then I would say a 15~25IC stickLINK

    this is a KIT but there are ARF out there to be had.INFO LINK

    good starter and can be nimble. with the set up you post would be very close to a match.

    airwave2015-11-17 21:07:26

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