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        Yippee! New kit from House of Balsa, Electric Commander

#1 Dennis Sumner Mar 13, 2011 04:10 PM

New kit from House of Balsa, Electric Commander
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I have been asked to build the last pre production prototype for the Electric Commander from House of Balsa.

It is nice in this day and age to still have some of the original kit manufactures still making kits.

I am not planing a real detailed build thread but will post pictures of my progress.

the Commander has a wing span of 40" and has 180 square inches. It has a very complete set of instructions and no plans come with the kit or are needed.

Don designed this model to be inexpensive so it it powered by (2) speed 300 motors with Graupner props. It is designed to accept a Thunder Power 3S1350battery and uses a Jeti 12 amp speed control. To simplify the build it has a set of decals and suggested to shoot a coat of Krylon clear on the model and fly!

The wing goes together pretty quick, here are the results of about an hour of work.

For more details you can contact House of Balsa



#2 Dennis Sumner Mar 13, 2011 04:14 PM

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The stab had the characteristic Commander dihedral and the kit includes some neat tools for sanding the angle and gluing the stab halves together.

#3 sgtdirt Mar 14, 2011 05:40 AM

looks very cool!

#4 Dennis Sumner Mar 14, 2011 06:17 AM


It was designed for modelers that would like to build a twin but worried about wiring a twin, what motors and esc to use etc. Don at House of Balsa has really taken all of the guesswork out of building a twin. The use of Speed 300's also helps to reduce costs. I am still flying Mark Rittinger's original Sportwin with Speed 400's on Lipoly's and the performance is very good. Every year I fly it at the MidAm people are surprised that it has brushed motors....


#5 Bajora Mar 14, 2011 09:13 AM

A little Commander?! How cool! I think I will hang out here and watch this one.

#6 sgtdirt Mar 14, 2011 10:09 PM


#7 taekwondo Mar 14, 2011 10:32 PM

I like it.

#8 Dennis Sumner Mar 15, 2011 05:19 AM

From building two twins from plans, one of the more difficult things to do is align the nacelles and get the thrust lines correct. (both left and right and up or down) On the EC the 1/16 wing skins have slots so they line up with tabs on the the spars. There are nacelle alignment marks on the bottom sheeting. Once the nacelles are built you slide them into place working from the tips and glue in place. ;)

I will post some pix when I get to that point...


#9 Dennis Sumner Mar 19, 2011 01:49 PM

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Fuse and Wing progress:

I sheeted the top of both wings then started on the fuse.

The fuse is an easy build with all formers and crutch keeping things straight during the build.

Here are some pictures of the fuse progress....

#10 Dennis Sumner Mar 19, 2011 01:56 PM

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More progress on the fuse with the elevator servo mounted, push rod tubing installed, top and bottom sheeting installed and nose block glued on and shaped.

The last fuse former has a notch that aligns the stab and will be glued in from the top and bottom. Here are pix showing the stab dry fitted and the angle gauge to set the fin in relationship to the stab.

Tomorrow I will build the nacelles and continue work on the wing.


#11 _HypnoToad_ Mar 20, 2011 12:08 AM

Looks like an awesome kit,any idea on what the price will be?


#12 Dennis Sumner Mar 20, 2011 06:57 AM


I have heard less than $100, contact House of Balsa for more details.

I understand the the price of balsa has been going up and the availability has been a challenge. For those of us that like to build I don't find the price out of line.


#13 Dennis Sumner Mar 20, 2011 12:37 PM

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Here are some pix of the unique bottom hatch with (4) 1/2" wheels. The flying prototypes are able to ROG off a hard runway. According to HOB they hold the fin and go to full throttle then release and ROG.

#14 Dennis Sumner Mar 20, 2011 12:41 PM

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Wing progress:

After you glue the leading edge balsa on you need to shape the leading edge. I like to use a piece of blue painters tape on the wing sheeting to protect during early shaping, then remove and finish with a nice long true block. House of Balsa even includes a gauge to help get the leading edge shaped properly....

#15 Dennis Sumner Mar 21, 2011 06:18 PM

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Gluing wing halves together:

R1's set the dihedral angle. Sand sheeting flush with R1's, check with dihedral tool then glue together. There are also 1/8" dowel pins to aid alignment.


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