Along with the new book, I am introducing a sweet deal.
Back to Basics
There are literally thousands of free model airplane plans on the Internet. Many of these were previously published in model airplane magazines. The plans are of excellent quality and a great flying model is almost guaranteed. Building from plans is also probably the least expensive way to get a new model airplane.
There is only one snag. You have to scratch-build these models. There are no kits available. Acquiring the necessary building skills to put one of these scratch-built models together is not hard. The best way to do so is to start by building relatively simple models and then slowly tackle more complex projects.
Sadly, we live in an age of prebuilt model airplanes. We have a great number of model airplane pilots, but not nearly as many model airplane builders as we used to. These skills are not hard to learn, but having some guidance is very helpful. That is why I am so excited about this new book. It is very refreshing to see a book that encourages learning tried and true building techniques.
Working with balsa is very enjoyable. The models come out light and strong. Even if all you are flying right now are prebuilt models, knowing how to repair them would be a handy skill.
About The Book
The book starts out with a description of useful building tools. Rather than just a list of tools, each one is explained in the context of a complete builder’s workshop.
Then it progresses through the construction of four balsa model airplane kits. They are all very popular and fly great:
- Guillows Jetfire – free flight glider
- Sig Thermal Dart – rubber band powered free flight
- Sig Tiger Cabin Monoplane – rubber band powered free flight
- BMJR Ranger 28 – laser cut kit, rubber band powered free flight
The idea is to complement the building and flying instructions that come with each kit. These are all excellent kits and you are well advised to buy the kits so you can make best use of the book. But a lot of the advice in the book is of a general nature. Even if your kits are a little different than the ones chosen by the author, you will still get a lot of value by following the very clear directions and handy tips in the book.
Could a kid use the book to teach himself model airplane building? I think a high school student could be very successful with this book and a little guidance from an experienced adult here and there.
What the Book Is Not
I like this book, but let me make it very clear what this book is not.
There is good information in the book about trimming your model, but it is not intended to be a guide to learning how to fly remote-controlled models. There is little coverage on building with foam. Gas engines and electric motors are only mentioned. This is a beginner’s guide, so information on designing your own model airplanes is pretty much out of scope.
Again, the primary focus of the book is on acquiring balsa building skills. At that, it does an excellent job.
Mark, the book’s author, started building and flying model airplanes in 1941. No, nobody sticks with something that long if they hate it. Mr. Minatelli truly loves model airplanes, and his love comes through loud and clear on every single page.
The book’s regular price is $15.95. It is not a bad value at that price and is in line with other model airplane books such as mine. For the next two weeks ONLY my web store will have a special 25% off price of just $11.99. This is an excellent price for this book and once the sale is over, it is over. The special price expires on September 21.