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Nov 20, 2004, 11:45 PM
cousin Dave

JW60 with or without ballast, advice wanted

I'm just starting my JW60. I'm interesting in learning to DS, so I bought a JW60 because of its durability. I purchased a ballast kit for the M60 and now its decision time. Do I install the ballast.

I've read lots of threads about the JW60 not needing it ballast, so now I'm torn. I really want the option. But lazyness and the multiple posts saying the JW60 doesn't need ballast is giving me pause.

So its time to decide. I have the top spar glued in and the bottom spar is ready, but I stopped in order to cut the ballast slot. Should I???

Question 2. The JW60 instructions say that the CG should be at the 2.75 inches from the leading edge. I'm confused because the slight wing sweep makes the leading edge come to a point. So should I measure from the point back 2.75 inches and cut the Ballast slot?

Thanks for the band width. Now tell me your thoughts.
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Nov 21, 2004, 12:09 AM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
its hard to say....

for ONLY frontside flying, the Ballast is kinda useless... the JW gains NO extra speed from ballast... but it does help with retention learning to DS.....

the 60" JW will fly in 6-8mph at 32oz-45oz.... ballast will hurt in a crash, but will help getting BACK up the hill if you go to deep or the backside is dirty...

PERSONALLY... i just build SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER STUPID strong... and there are good weight results... a 60" JW weighing around low 40oz range is NICE, will still fly light, and carry tons of energy... remember, in DS"ing the cleaner the plane, the bigger and faster the laps can be..

i wouldnt use the balast.... but its your call... id just build it SUPER strong, take the weight and enjoy the plane...

hope i answered something, lol.... goodluck... if you can goop the fuse, DO IT... its another way to pick up some weight and will help in the durablity of the plane... goodluck

Nov 21, 2004, 12:21 AM
cousin Dave
Thanks for the insight. I remember your previous posts about no ballast and was hoping that you help me out. I'm still may add the tube and if I do, tell me about he CG point. I guess I should be measuring from the pointed tip of the LE? 2.75 inches back. I guess thats a dumb question.

I am planning to Goop the fuse too, but I can't seem to find any bidirection fiber tape. I can only get the single fiber direction. Should I go ahead with just the single direction fiber tape, or wait till I can find the good stuff?

I understand that the JW is the fastest plank foam plane in DS. Something like 150 mph. Even faster than the M60. Now was the plane ballasted up?
Nov 21, 2004, 12:24 AM
part of the problem
Might depend on your conditions. If you have lots of wide open space and wind, I would consider the ballast. My learning curve has involved lots of contact with the terrain.

So, although not critical to your success...

recommend don't ballast based on....

1. Most seem to think it doesn't need it.

2. For learning, the lack of ballast will slow things down a bit and help with durability. Agree with King, build stupid strong with a few oz of permanent weight in tape, goop, etc.

3. Its harder to build with ballast than without.

You can strap weight on these things without too much difficulty for those extreme days.

(pay no attention to my moth post mortem thread)

Last edited by merrelland; Nov 21, 2004 at 12:31 AM.
Nov 21, 2004, 01:08 AM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
if you really want the option.. yeah just throw it in if your at that building point.... and the CG is PRETTY dead on from spec's... some like it AFT that for super handeling but i fly it exactly there...

yes the JW did 156mph, now bowman is not human (lol) and MOST will never achieve that speed... his JW was a 60"er, 45oz with a 45mph santa ana day... so it was pretty porky considering an average build usually turns a mid 30oz range and expected weight is like 32-35oz or something like that..

best place that commonly has the bi-directional strapping tape is Staples or Officemax. Hobbypeople advertises it and usualy has it... its about DOUBLE the price of regular strapping tape.. i would use Bi-Directional just on the fuse for supreme durability... and only the standard on the wing... give 2-3 GOOD strips across the bottom and TOP of the wing over the spar, 1 across the leading edge and X the heck out of it, overlap if you want, just use a good ammount.... sand/clean the wing, 3m77 the epp, strapping tape the heck out of it, Scuff the strapping tape then cover.. use ultracoat if you can, it REALLY adds to the overall strength of the plane and will eliminate ANY chance of flutter or wing twist.

i pick up my kit tomorrow so this part im NOT SURE about... i THINK he is including it inthe kit now... if not, you should do it... it helps on a few levels... get some 1/4"x1/4"
hardwood for the trailing edge... it will help with the overall strength and really makes a nice surface to attach the elevons. and will also help stop warp if the iron is too hot applying the covering... so if its not in the kit yet, go get some, a great 2-3 dollar investment.

goodluck with the build.... aim for a 40oz plane and you simply wont need ballast... the energy is amazing.. and for best results keep it clean... try treating it like a glass plane as best you can... if you get a tare in the covering, use good quality tape and fix it as soon as it happens... it will make a big difference in speed.... goodluck

Nov 22, 2004, 02:25 PM
cousin Dave
Hey King and Merrell,
Well I wimped out and did not install the tube. Just lazyness and a little uncertainty that I would get it correct stopped me. Plus, I'm hearing the bird flys great without the added ballast. Why fix it if its not broken. I will save the ballast tube kit for my next plank wing. I'm not saying when, but I see a M60 in the future. But first, I'll get this JW60 flying and DS'g. I bought a roll of Solartex today. I still have to find the heavyduty strapping tape. Nobody in town sells the stuff. I can only find the light weight strapping tape.
Thanks to both for your comments.
Nov 22, 2004, 02:28 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
they have it at if you have the patience order a roll or two for future projects...

the m60 is a nice plane... accepts ballast very well too.... definatley put it in that one..

Nov 22, 2004, 06:33 PM
Will fly for food
davidjensen's Avatar
I just finished a Gulp SR and have only flown it once. In the 30 to 35 mph winds it needed 10+ oz of ballast to keep in the wind. My Gulp is 37.5oz w/o ballast. I added 6 slugs (approx 10 oz) and it was much better but could have used more. I only get to DS once or twice a year as no good DS sites are near Seattle. Installing the tube is not that much trouble. If you can find a Staples (or other office supply store) they have the good tape. It is expensive stuff at $7.95
Last edited by davidjensen; Nov 22, 2004 at 06:39 PM.

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