Balsa Baron

by RCENGINEER91 | March 26, 2017 | (9) Posted in Projects

Welcome Fellow AeroModelers,

Of all the Flite Test designs the Bloody Baron was always my favorite, but I thought the plane was missing something. It took me destroying a Bloody Baron to figure out what the plane was missing. It was missing...BALSAWOOD! So, I decided to do something about it and I balsafied the Bloody Baron, creating the Balsa Baron.

I would like to take this moment to thank Dan & Keegan Sponholz for creating the original Bloody Baron design.


  • Weight (no battery): 14.4 oz (407 g)
  • CG: 30% of wing cord
  • Throws: 12° deflection / Expo 30%
  • Wingspan: 30 inch (763 mm)
  • Motor: NTM 2826 1200kv
  • Prop: APC 8 x 6
  • ESC: Plush 18 AMP
  • Battery: 1300 mAH 3s minimum
  • Servos: (3) HXT900 9 grams

 Image 1) Side by side comparison of the Bloody Baron (left) and the Balsa Baron (right).

Design and Planning

My first step was to build a Bloody Baron so I could get some general dimensions and proper proportions. The only modification I made was adding dual aileron servos. As I built the Bloody Baron I made reference drawings, which included the side view of the fuselage, the firewall, the needed formers, the airfoil shape, and the tail assembly.

Image 2) Side diagram of the fuselage with rough placement of formers.

Image 3) Rough shape of the airfoil.

Image 4) Final drawings of the firewall and needed formers.

Fuselage Construction

Once I compiled the references and drawings, I was able to start the construction of the fuselage. The skin is 1/16 inch sheeting with 1/8 inch X 1/8 inch strips for joining the corners, 1/8 inch plywood firewall and 1/16 inch plywood formers.

Image 5) Side skin using 1/16 inch balsa.

Image 6) Completed wood work for fuselage .

Wing Construction

The wing was the next section that I tackled, with the ribs being 1/16 inch balsa sheet. The main spars (top and bottom) are 1/4 inch X 1/18 inch balsa sticks.  The minor spars (two on top and two on bottom) are 1/8 inch X 1/8 inch balsa sticks. The center two bays were sheeted to add strength and rigidity to the wing, as well as create a surface to mount the wing to the fuselage. 

Image 7) Wing construction before sheeting.

Tail Assembly and Final Sanding

The easiest part of the build was the tail assembly. It is an exact copy of the Bloody Baron. All parts are cut from 1/8 inch balsa sheet. It is very important to pay special attention to the grain direction to maximize strength. Once the tail assembly was completed, the Balsa Baron was sanded to its final shape.

Image 8) Side view of finished sanded Balsa Baron.

Image 9) Front view of finished sanded Balsa Baron.

Covering and Final Assembly

The final steps of finishing the Balsa Baron was covering it with Towerkote (Tower Hobbies brand covering) and assembling the electronics.

Image 10) Covering before detailing.

Image 11) Top view of finished Balsa Baron.

Image 12) Isometric view of Balsa Baron.

Maiden Flight

The maiden flight went off without a hitch, but I needed a couple clicks of down trim. The Balsa Baron flies straight and true, even with an 8 MPH cross wind. The down thrust was perfect with no pitch up on max throttle, and best of all, no bad tendencies. I also did my temperature check and found the motor and ESC to be cool to the touch. It really is a testament to the original design of the Bloody Baron. 

Video 1) Maiden Flight 

Video 2) Stall Test 

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I love the Balsa Baron. I plan on creating a couple more Balsa Barons to refine the idea and create plans that would be featured in another article.  If there are any other designs the community would like to see balsafied, feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading,


GluedFingers on May 8, 2017
Nice job, looks like it wasn't your first balsa build. Really nice job
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RCENGINEER91 on May 9, 2017
Thank you, Its always good to hear that people appreciate the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into these balsa planes.

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nicksta rc on May 18, 2017
now all you need is a nitro engine on the front of that!
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RCENGINEER91 on May 22, 2017
That's not a bad idea! you think a .049 would work?

Or a balsa super bee with twin .049
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Jackson T on May 2, 2018
That's a cool idea! It looks really good. Nice job!
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Balsa Baron