Every model has a Center of Gravity (CG) which is provided by the manufacturer and found in the manual. Not all aircrafts have the same CG but can mostly be found at 25-50 percent of the wing chord back from the leading edge of the airplane. Determining the right CG in your plane will give it a balance and hence, a safer flight. There are several ways to balance your airplane’s Center of Gravity and will be discussed in this blog.
- Ensure that your plane is ready to fly meaning that everything including the battery is in place.
- Place the tips of your middle fingers of each hand under each wing exactly on the line of the CG and some inches out from the fuselage sides.
- Carefully lift the plane up and let it depend solely on your fingers for balance.
Once your airplane is depending on nothing but your fingers, carefully inspect its position. A balanced plane will either be leveled or the nose will slightly be pointing downwards, If the tail points downwards this means that the plane is not properly balanced because its tail is too heavy.
If you do not wish to use your fingers, you can always purchase a Center of Gravity Balancer, also called a Center of Gravity Machine which is even more precise than the finger method. When choosing a CG Balancer, ensure that it supports the weight and size of your model as they come in varieties of several shapes and dimensions. This Balancer uses the same technique that you perform with your fingers except that it takes the place of your fingers and provides you a more accurate result.
The above methods are used to check the fore-aft balance of your airplane. That is, through the tilting of the nose or the tail. Below is a balancing technique for the roll balance i.e, the tilting of the wings.
Some pilots skip this balance test, however it is just as crucial as the fore-aft balance because a plane that has one heavier side will roll and turn naturally, to the heavier side. To perform this check, you will need nothing but some thread and these steps:
- Loop quite a length of thread between the spinner and the fuselage.
- Loop another length of thread around the end of the fuselage as close as possible to the tail.
- Using both hands, hold both pieces of thread and lift your plane up.
Once your airplane is lifted, if it rolls to one side you need to add a little weight to the wingtip of the lighter side until the plane gets leveled. You can either tape the extra weight to the wingtip or go the extra mile and set them into the wingtip to hide them. Don’t forget that if you use tape, it will add an additional weight to the ballast.
Confused about whether to check the balance of your war bird with the gear down or up? Well technically, most war birds have their main landing gear not too sharply bent forward, so there is barely any difference in weight distribution between when the gear is up or down. However, it is more common to practice the balance with the gear up.
This is as simple as balancing your airplane gets. Have happy SAFE flight from HobbyGulf.com