Balsa usa bristol m1 - electric - RC Groups
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Aug 11, 2017, 09:28 AM
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Stewart1's Avatar
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Balsa usa bristol m1 - electric

Hi Gents,

I am about to attempt my first build thread for an RC Scale model. I have previously built a detailed up SE5A Flair kit (completed in Dec 2012) which I had great fun doing. It's never been flown because A - I'm nervous and B - My flying club had dissolved at the time. I'm currently in an all lecy club and fancied building the Bristol as an electric flier.
I have been keeping my hand in with modelling the past few years with smaller scale plastic kits. A great aspect of the modelling hobby and it allows me to try to get better with the airbrush.

Anyway, I have been searching for a colour scheme I would like to use and discovered a great scheme by a Pat Cuss from the Dawn Patrol I believe. The scheme is very basic but works for me (light blue fuselage, antique wings, red / white wheels).

I'd be very grateful for advice from anybody as I move along with the build as its a while since I've built an RC scale plane. It's an electric conversion to add to the mix (it will likely be a slow build).

Please see below for a photo of this scheme (hope that's ok Pat). I have also added some photos of my SE5A and and general set up.

Kind regards Stewart R.

Ps - the pictures of the really cool Albatros on my wall are taken off the net. It's not my plane. I would love to build a DVa one day though.
Last edited by Stewart1; Aug 11, 2017 at 11:04 AM.
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Aug 11, 2017, 05:47 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Hi Stewart and welcome to rcgroups! The M1 is a nice aircraft and I'm sure the BUSA version will be a good flier. Is the design for electric or ic? BUSA are usually fairly heavy in their choice of materials and construction so it may be possible to shed a few ounces in the build.
I've built a smaller, Peter Rake designed M1c and it was a great, easy flier. I know you will get help along the way here on rcgroups so good luck with the project.
Workmanship on the SE5a (one of my favourites) looks great.......Pat
Aug 11, 2017, 06:40 PM
Registered User
Stewart1's Avatar
Hi Pat,

Thank you for the nice welcome.

The design is for IC but I'll attempt to convert it to electric. I'll work through this as I go. I'm sure I spotted a thread on RCG about this but I think it may be a challenge.
Thanks for the heads up regarding weight - I'll look at where I can reduce it.
Regarding your M1 Rake build, I'd love to see that. I have actually just ordered a couple of smaller wood pack kits for a Peter Rake designed Eindekker (30" wingspan) and a Nieuport through Belair kits so looking forward to that.
I appreciate your comment about my SE5A.

Aug 11, 2017, 08:23 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Hi Stewart - here is the link to my M1c - the scheme is based on the currently flying British machine - Shuttleworth collection?

There are a few comments from others in my thread about the BUSA model too.....

Aug 12, 2017, 02:50 AM
Registered User
Stewart1's Avatar
Morning Pat,

Wow your Bristol is fantastic. You have made a wonderful job . I really like the cockpit with all the rivet work, Vickers and detail. It looks very realistic.

I noted the BUSA references and will come back to your thread throughout the build.


Aug 23, 2017, 12:21 PM
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Stewart1's Avatar

Quick Update

I have now made a start on the Bristol.

Sides of fuselage built and base pinned down ready for assembly.

BUSA instructions are excellent.

Last edited by Stewart1; Aug 23, 2017 at 04:47 PM.
Aug 26, 2017, 02:05 PM
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Stewart1's Avatar
Update 2.

The fuselage is starting to take shape. It's quite a few years since I've built an RC scale plane and I forgot how much fun it is.


Sep 01, 2017, 03:34 AM
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Werter's Avatar

Bristol M1 Electric

Hello Stewart

While browsing the Forums I have found your build report for the BUSA Bristol. You have found a nice plane to build there, and I also like what you did with the Flair Se5a.

I have built both planes a few years ago too, and had both on a electric setup. As you have asked, I am of course more than willing some information in regard to the M1c out of my experience.

As already mentioned above, the BUSA kits tend to be a bit on the heavy side. And the Bristol flies best when not overweight. With the short nose it is especially important to Keep the tail as light as possible. I have used built up tailfeathers instead of the massive 1/4" Balsa Planks that BUSA want you to use there. I can only advice you to do the same. It is not complicated, just draw the outline of the tailfeathers on a Piece of paper and make it a simple stick build. Also I used Pull-Pull control on Elevator and rudder to save the weight of the pushrods behind the CoG.

An important change you really need to make is to adapt the attachment of the wing to the fuselage. BUSA uses only 2 screws in the Center of the wing, which tend to have the wing leading edge to have some movement during the flight. Here I used a simple dowel at the front of the wing Center section which slides in a corresponding hole in the fuse.

My electrical Setup is a Turnigy motor in the 300g class with 500kv and a 15x8 Propeller. With a 5s5000mAh I have usual flight times around 8-10 minutes. It is a bit overpowered, but a smaller Motor or battery would have to be replaced with lead anyway.

Otherwise the M1c is a very docile Flyer, with Trainer like flight characteristics. Altough it wants to be flown mostly with rudder and with the ailerons only for support. So you will Need either to Train the usage of the rudder, or do it like me amnd mhave a good amount of rudder mixed to the ailerons.

I hope you find some use for the Information above. And of course here are some pictures of my Bristol (Still in use after 7 years)

Best regards

Sep 03, 2017, 02:17 PM
Ay up it's warped
mtbrider's Avatar
The SE5 in electric would be lovely.
Sep 04, 2017, 07:08 PM
Registered User
When a fellow club member passed away two years ago , there was a nearly finished M-1 in the basement. It was covered in fabric and already had servos in the fuse but not the wings. In fact there were no extension wires in the wings at all and no holes in the ribs to run them through.
So now I suspect I will have to remove the bottom covering from the wing or at least from that part from where I need to run the extensions and drill some holes in each rib as well.
I hate to cut away such a fine job he did on the covering but I see no other way. The plane has not been painted yet except for the tail feathers which is kind of a yuckey baby s*** color so off goes the covering and a repaint.
This will be electric as is my BUSA Fockker E III/ .40 size.
Sep 05, 2017, 06:34 PM
Registered User
Stewart1's Avatar
Thank you for the comments chaps.


Excellent tips. I will take those on board and will use a built up construction for the tail feathers and let you know how I get on. I thought the planks looked strong but unnecessary.

Same too with the fuse dowel.

In regard to the electrics, if it flies at scale speed on that set up then I'll likely go for that. I see it was it the Turnigy 4260 you used. I can't see any of those available now. Do you think the 4250 - 500kv Aerodrive would be suitable instead.


Sep 05, 2017, 09:27 PM
Registered User
Personally, I'm not a fan of Turnigy. I tend to use Scorpion, Cobra and Hyperion . My BUSA E III .40 flies fine with a Cobra 4120 series motor and 4S pack.
Over where you Live, Stewart, I have no idea where you could buy Cobra motors.
Sep 06, 2017, 03:37 AM
Registered User
Werter's Avatar
Hi Stewart

The Turnigy 4250-500 will work perfectly as it is also in the 300g range. Generally I think every brand of motor in that weight and KV range should work.

On the topic of Turnigy/Hobby-King Motors, I can say that I use this type of setup (300g Motor/ KV 500-550/ 15x8 prop and 5s5000mah Battery) in 6 different planes with the oldest one now running since 2010 without a problem. I always went with the data of the Motors and didnt give much thought about the specific HK brand. Worked always like a charm. But I am sure that I would have the same result with any make of Motor like Hacker, Scorpion or whatever. I just never changed as I had never a problem with the Hobbyking motors and the price is quite good.
On a side note I have to add, that my experience with the bigger motors from HK for my planes with 10 or more cells was spotty at best, and I have completely changed to Hacker Motors for everything above 6 cells.

But now back to the Bristol. Do intend to use the KAVAN Spinner that is seemingly available now? Seems not too expensive at roughly 30 US$.

Best regards

Sep 06, 2017, 04:51 PM
Registered User
Stewart1's Avatar
I'll look at those motors you mentioned too by way of comparison and for other projects and will also check availability of them in the UK too.

Ok great, I do think I'll go with the 4250 - 500 Aerodrive for this project after hearing about your experience with the Turnigy's.

I googled the Kavan spinner and it looks excellent however I was hoping to install a mock radial engine and go without the spinner. I think that would look awsome but am unsure how much it would affect the aerodynamics of the plane.


Last edited by Stewart1; Sep 07, 2017 at 05:12 PM.
Sep 12, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Stewart1's Avatar
Well, I have now finished the basic fuselage construction and it's on to the wings.

Chaps, I'm about to buy the Turnigy 4250 - 500 and I was looking at the Turnigy 5s 5000m (20C) batteries because they are quite a good price however they seem to be out of stock in various shops.
Do you think the same battery would be ok at 30C ?
I don't want to burn the motor out or overheat it because the spec of the motor is listed as approx 57 amps.
Robin, what batteries do you use and can you please advise on a speed controller. Hope that's ok and appreciate any help.

Mt - thanks for the comment about my SE5A.



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