Balsa USA Smoothie Build Thread - RC Groups
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Dec 27, 2012, 12:01 AM
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Balsa USA Smoothie Build Thread

I finally got to open my Christmas present and get to start my BUSA Smoothie build . The Manual they give you in the new kit is first class and better than the 2 pages of instructions included with the original. Will be spending a day or two reading the instructions, studying the plans, and figuring out how to convert it to electric and still keep it around 4 lbs. I have an AXI 2820/12 and with a 12/6 APC E prop I should get 4 1/2 lb max thrust with a 3s 4000 mah lipo. I am planing on starting the wing first and will be using 2 aileron servos instead of the torque rod setup. I cut up the plan to make it more manageable taped the wing section onto my Building Board, then punched out the ribs to get ready for the wing build. The ribs weighed 2 1/8 oz so the weight is building up fast. Here's a picture. John
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Dec 27, 2012, 11:19 PM
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thechannelmast's Avatar

cool looking plane

i have built one from plans cut my own balsa and the wing was a little diff to build but when it was done look good one tip.on the wing tips i did not use the basla blocks mine were trace and sheet it look like i did all the hard work . p.s. i also did not use none of the balsa blocks and it was gas and was around 4.2lb
Dec 28, 2012, 12:45 AM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
This a nice kit to bash into a warplane... or are you building it stock.
Dec 28, 2012, 11:17 PM
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It would make a nice warplane, but I am going to cover it in sport colors. I started on the wings today. I first checked the spars for warps and bows and matched the slight bows I found so they were facing each other, The Assembly Manual given with the kit is very precise and complete (I had to order it from BUSA as my kit was one of the old ones), and I have been following it. I blocked up 1/8 " under the spar near each rib then T pined the spar to the plans. I used the 3/8" extra spar 1/8 " forward of the aft sheeting to block up and support the aft ends of the ribs. Using 1/2 " sharpened tubing I drilled holes in the two full center ribs and two wing ribs for the servo wire. I am only going out two ribs from the center for the servo but that should put the control horn 1" outboard of the torque tube wire in the original plans and I will not have to use a servo extension. After all the prep, I just set and CAed the ribs aligning them with the plans and making sure they were square. I will finish up the wing half tomorrow as I am not allowed to finish the build before the end of winter (the boss wants to keep me out of her hair for a few months). John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Dec 29, 2012 at 12:40 AM.
Dec 29, 2012, 08:34 PM
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I finished framing one wing half today and got started on the other. The wing is fully symmetrical so you build both wings from the same plan, that saved allot of extra hassle. John
Dec 30, 2012, 05:11 PM
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I joined the wing half's together this afternoon. Everything looked square with a 1" dihedral as per the plans, so I epoxyed the dihedral brace onto the center spars. Next job is the L/E sheeting. John
Dec 31, 2012, 05:29 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
I built one many, many years ago .... a great (but fast) flying bird! Enjoy the build, especially carving the fuselage's nose
Dec 31, 2012, 05:58 PM
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I had forgotten to put in the center rib, good thing I check my work. The center rib is two rear 1/8 " pieces that you laminate and place aft of the wing joiner. The front half rib is two 1/8" pieces that you laminate and then notch out for the dowel rod used to set the wing into the fuselage. After you notch the front rib, you cut out identical pieces from scrap balsa to sandwich the dowel rod glue the front rib onto the wing. When you are ready to mount the wing to the fuselage you will drill a hole in the leading edge and into the preformed pocket. John
Dec 31, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Tailskid, I figured it would be fast with the thin fuselage. I am building it electric, and hope to keep it around 4 lbs so I can use a power 25 size outrunner on 3 cells. I can see allot planning going into the fuselage. If I have to I will use cheeks instead of a cowl. John
Jan 01, 2013, 01:08 AM
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tailskid2's Avatar
Just a LOT of balsa, that isn't a Smoothie
Jan 02, 2013, 09:23 PM
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Tailskid. just as long as it flys like a smoothie. I got the forward sheeting on the port wing today. I used thin C A for the bottom section and thick C A for the top. I pined and weighted it down and it came out without any warps or twists. My thick C A is pretty low so I don't even want to start on the other wing, so I can either drive 100 miles round trip to my LHS (which is not so local) or order on line. I have a cold and don't want to go anywhere so I ordered some Slo Zap from Horizon. Will be taking a break until my order gets here. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Feb 19, 2013 at 01:10 AM.
Jan 03, 2013, 01:09 AM
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tailskid2's Avatar
I also use two types of CA to attach sheeting. How long does it take to get an order from Horizon?
Jan 03, 2013, 03:12 PM
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On Dec 26 I ordered from Tower Hobbies and Heads Up RC. The HURC order arrived on Friday (2 days), The Tower order arrived today (8 days). I don't expect my CA from Horizon before next Tuesday. I just ordered some Stand Offs from HURC but did a pretty substantial order from Tower, covering for the Smoothie, 1/16" and 1/4" plywood, Tail wheel bracket, Spinner, a supply of E Z connectors, a supply of control horns, a supply of 2 56 control rods, canopy tint, 22" sanding bar, and 220 grit sandpaper. I should have enough of a stash for this and another build. John
Jan 03, 2013, 03:40 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
Good Luck with the Monokote....I've heard some bad comments about the 'current' stuff. I still have some 10-15 year old rolls and have no intentions about purchasing new covering from them.
Jan 07, 2013, 03:36 PM
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While I was waiting for my thick CA I sheeted the bottom front of the starboard wing, then made servo mounts for the ailerons. I used 1/16" plywood strips between the ribs, and a servo as a guide. then some scrap 3/32" balsa to fill in around the servos. The servos I will be using are the iFlight 25g's from Heads Up RC . I tested the servos and they all work. They are about the same as HS 225's but much cheaper. Anyone used these servos? John

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