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This thread is privately moderated by phil alvirez, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Dec 30, 2016, 02:10 PM
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from balsa to synthetics

as i started when balsa was the only material available, i have the privilege to witness the evolution to all the new materials at hand, and use them. at the beginning, you had to build an airplane. not like now, that you can buy it, charge the battery and go fly.
at that time we were modelers. now we are flyers. still, as the final goal is flying, there are 2 kinds of mentalities.
then, we had no chance but learn to build them. the easy way was with kits, that had all that you needed. or from plans. so we developed the skills. then, years later, some began to introduce new materials. plastic was heavy and not so strong, and took many years to reach a level where it could compete with balsa, and even outperform it. i began to use them just for the sake of seeing if could bring any improvement, and eventually settled to a mix of both, even using fuselages already made, because with them i got planes that fly better. its performance is improved, and sustain hardships better. best of both worlds.
but still i see that there are guys of the old guard that keep building planes from balsa. so there is room for both.
what matters is that we all like and enjoy dealing with model airplanes.
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Dec 30, 2016, 04:30 PM
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Good article Phil! I think there more of a connection when you build your own plane whether its balsa or more modern materials. You get a better idea of how things fit together and also a better idea how to repair them after damage imo! Its a great hobby can never stop learning....there is always something new to learn.

Dec 30, 2016, 08:58 PM
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well, of course when you design/build yours you can do it closer to your needs/wishes, except that sometimes you find products that give better results, as it happened to me with the fuselages. i learned that there are some that do the job and are lighter and stronger. i was not trying to save work. also, dealing with fumes and fibers like glass, can be harmful, and you spend more money too. but wings and tails are balsa.

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