Do You Want A Balsa Built Plane? - RC Groups
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Feb 05, 2013, 12:48 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar

Do You Want A Balsa Built Plane?

I often felt the reason people buy and fly ARFs are because they are intimidated by the build or they do not have time to build a balsa kit like the ones offered by Mountain Models or Stevens Aero.

If you had someone to build those planes for you for free, would you consider one of them? Or are those something you are just not interested in? Looking to see if there is any interest out there for this.

The reason I ask is that while flying my MM Switchback today, I thought about so many folks that are missing out on such a great flying plane just for those reasons.

If there were folks that would help you build a balsa plane, or someone that would straight up build one for you, would you be interested in one then?


PS The poll didn't work so please just reply with your answer.
Last edited by Murocflyer; Feb 05, 2013 at 01:36 PM. Reason: No go on the poll
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Feb 05, 2013, 12:55 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
For me, I have both foam and balsa airplanes. I have no problem with either. I don't find the balsa ARF process any more difficult than a foam airplane assembly, other than the time required to assemble it. If someone would build one from a balsa kit for me, I'd have no issue flying it at all. I'd even be glad to pay for their services. I just don't like putting them together, that's all. Lazy? Possibly. But what's weird about me is that I absolutely love the assembly process of helicopters and quadcopters. But I don't like assembling airplanes. Just the way I'm wired, I guess.
Feb 05, 2013, 01:08 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
Just like we have folks willing to teach others to fly; I figure we could so the same with helping folks build balsa model airplanes (since there seems to be so must hesitation with building them).

It's just another way we can help promote model aviation. -Yea, I know, but I can't help it. Always trying to come up with ways to do that.

Feb 05, 2013, 01:16 PM
Registered User
to me its more of a space ,. tools and equiptment, i dont have the space to have rolls of monokote ,shelves for balsa ,a work bench exc,exc. i dont want to bother with buying the tools or equiptment either.since i dont have the space . its just so much easier to just buy an arf .as for getting someone to do it for me i dont like to put time restraints on another person, espicially if there doing it for me, for free . and "knowing me," i buy something i want it done asap not at there leasure , and besides "to me" it takes away the fun of saying i built it . one more thing i would hate to spend hours and hours on a built just to have it crash "lets say on a maiden "at least with a arf , i can just saay , ahhh well time to buy another one
on a side note i build alot of scratch built plane out of foam .so i woud enjoy building a balsa plane .. as for the foam planes.all i need is a box cutter . a ruler, glue and colored tape and there not even in the same ball park as a balsa , so to me no one can say its the same thing buiding a foamy or balsa .i honestly think that balsa kits are a thing of the past . with foam planes dominating the market, and arf balsa kits right behind . balsa builders are artist since balsa building is an art in itself.
Feb 05, 2013, 02:10 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
I think that if cheap and good flying foamie electric powered ARF warbirds and civilian designs had come out in the 60's, the revolution would have occurred back then. Sandman's reply may express how a lot of non-builders think about the subject, like it or not. I think that choice of motor/esc/battery pack, locating and mounting parts and getting the CG right, setting up linkages, doing a decent job of covering, trimming, final assembly and setup for a "successful" maiden flight, in addition to the cost and hassle of obtaining building and covering materials, discourages people from starting to build again or trying it for the first time. Those of us who grew up on stick and tissue modelling will keep building for the enjoyment of it and keep trying to convince others to try it.
Feb 05, 2013, 02:20 PM
AMA 537620
ChillPhatCat's Avatar
I think it's great that we do have all these ARFs, because it does allow all those people with only enough space to store planes rather than build and store them. However, the downside is that the number of kits on the market has drastically dropped over the last few years, giving us less options of what to build (plans of course allow the creation of a multitude of non-kitted planes). It's a blessing and a curse. IMO you have more options when you're an ARF builder/buyer these days.
Feb 05, 2013, 03:13 PM
Unregistered User
It's more about ease of repair for me. I've had a couple of awesome balsa planes but my thumbs just don't communcate, so I've ended up with a winter's kindling a couple times. Until my hands learn to work together its foamfor me
Feb 05, 2013, 04:03 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
Originally Posted by Murocflyer
If there were folks that would help you build a balsa plane, or someone that would straight up build one for you, would you be interested in one then?


PS The poll didn't work so please just reply with your answer.
No, Frank, I'd want to build it!!!

But I do think there would be a market for RTF versions of kits. Made to order would be a bonus I'd think. Some of the oldie moldies could make a comeback like the Top Flight Contender!
Feb 05, 2013, 05:28 PM
Snappy Title On Backorder....
tsymonds's Avatar
I own two ARF planes. A Mini Ultrastik and my ASM P-61 (converted to electric with full sequenced gear doors and a bunch of other changes). Everything else I have is scratch or plans built and all are wood. I grew up on wood kits and after several decades of aquiring both the building skills and all the tools etc I just don't really feel like jumping into foam and starting from square one so to speak. I do think more modelers should try building from wood though. It's pretty rewarding for shure.
Feb 05, 2013, 06:40 PM
Registered User
scottieusa's Avatar
I have no desire to ever build a kit. ARF's are enough of a hastle. I just want to fly.
Feb 05, 2013, 06:49 PM
Registered User
I don't quite get what you're driving at, Frank. Folks who haven't built a kit from MM or SA quite literally don't know what they're missing -- so what would be the motivation to have one built for them?

For folks who buy planes on looks, it's difficult, if not impossible to visualize a finished kit, since there are an infinite number of ways to cover and decorate it. On the other hand, for folks who lack the motivation or skill, it's all too easy to visualize failure.

Conversely, folks who do build such kits can cite any number of good reasons for doing so.

I suppose your question might be relevant to a small set of flyers who have seen one of these kits, like what they've seen, and feel (for whatever reason) that they can't build one for themselves. How many folks are we talking about here? Not all that many, I imagine.
Feb 05, 2013, 06:51 PM
Dude, get me some ice cream!
Felt_ripper 23's Avatar
Originally Posted by scottieusa
I have no desire to ever build a kit. ARF's are enough of a hastle. I just want to fly.
me too

Plus if I build a kit I would probably screw it up
Feb 05, 2013, 07:08 PM
wilf370's Avatar
Look back at the mechanic's illustrated magazines. for the 50-60'.
Guy's where building everything in the garage , boats ,campers tools airplanes.
All most anything was popping out of guy's workshops.
Those days are gone now everyone buys there stuff ready made. exept for that odd duck down the street who still built his own camper out of plywood kinda cheesy.
I think model planes are fast headed tis way. Foamies are proly just a stop on the way.I can see some truly remarkable planes built with 3D printers in the future
that will look incredible making todays foamies and balsa planes look cheesy.
I can see foamies staying around because thee cheap and tough but I think balsa will disappear.
Feb 05, 2013, 07:16 PM
Come fly with us in Henryetta
There are also a number ( a small number thankfully) of fliers who used to build and enjoyed it. But due to issues like health or accident no longer are able to.

They would appreciate the work involved in producing a well built model.
Feb 05, 2013, 07:26 PM
Registered User
I started flying planes in the 60`s when , if you did not build you did not fly.I think ARF`s are alright because there are legitimate reasons why a person cant build a kit or from scratch,but it is sad that it is becoming a lost art.

It is hard to describe the feeling you get when you tell people that you built a plane from scratch,totally awsome !!!! I urge anyone who flys model planes to give it a try, kit or scratch. The memories you can give your kids or grandkids of the two of you building something like that will be some real fond memories they will carry forever and maybe even pass on to their kids.

I am building a Doriner 335 Arrow right now,it is a WWII German heavy fighter developed at the end of the war. There are no ARF`s or kits of these available so it is a scratch project.I am really looking forward to bringing it to the field next spring,or maybe even this fall.FYI,it is easier to repair balsa planes if you have some experience building,otherwise you just have to toss them into the trash.

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