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Author Topic: alternative to balsa??  (Read 2627 times)
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B.karthik
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« on: May 17, 2009, 09:34:23 AM »

i am beginner and made a few handlaunch glider with successful flying and now due to financial problem i cant afford to get balsa sheets as here in INDIA the cost is high.so i decided to switch over to anyother rawmaterial which is cost less,,
please guide me in which material i should choose..what are the choices..Huh
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Tmat
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 11:33:18 AM »

There are a few alternatives to balsa. Thin Card stock (paper) can be substituted for tail surfaces and spruce, or other hardwoods (Lime, Basswood etc) can be used for fuselages. Cardboard has been used for wings before. If you look at White-Wings models (a brand of kit gliders), you can see examples of handlaunch or catapult gliders with no balsa.
Various types of rigid foams can be used for wings but will require some form of reinforcement (foam is not as stiff as balsa). The foam used for fast food trays can be used for wings. Depron is a brand of foam that people have used with success.

You will find however that while you can indeed produce serviceable gliders using alternative inexpensive materials (no balsa) that there is a reason why balsa is preferred.

What about making some small rubber powered models from stick balsa and tissue or plastic covering? The reasoning is that they require a very small amount of balsa per model. Handlaunch gliders use a fair amount of balsa per airplane.

Tony
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Tmat
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 10:27:30 AM »

Here is the white wings website:
http://www.whitewings.com/
You can see that very little balsa is used.
I think that it is best to limit the size of models made with alternative cheap materials, as they do lack some stiffness.
This .pdf file from White Wings shows the construction method of their best performing models to good detail. http://whitewings.com/Instructions/PDF/highperformance_d.pdf
I hope this helps you.

Tony
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Wout Moerman
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 01:46:29 PM »

Which material do you have? Silk, bamboo, foam, paper?
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Rubber FF scale:
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Duco Guru
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 04:39:49 PM »

A simple Google search indicates that a strong, lightweight wood is grown in India. The name is "p-o-o-n" I recommend a search for p-o-o-n suppliers. In America, there is a very different connitation for the word Grin Grin Grin

Guru
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thymekiller
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 07:48:47 PM »

Those look pretty cool. I may have to try one later.

thymekiller
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