Balsa Workbench Primary Trainer


Designed by Rob Reynolds

Here’s a trainer that will teach you to build a balsa airplane, and it’s easy to fly.  Mine flew extremely well with the cheap-ola electric motor and generic speed control from ebay.  You can also power it with an 049 glow engine.

This airplane is intended to be easy to fly, but not completely effortless.  Depending on where you place the center of gravity, it has a tendency to drop its nose while turning, so you need to pay attention to your elevator while maneuvering.  You need to learn this anyway, so don’t sweat it.  As long as you have it straight and level it will just hang in the air and give you tons of reaction time.  And I’m not saying that turning it is hard, I mean that you should do it right and everything will be OK.  You can also fine tune the center of gravity to see what the effect is.

I designed the plane to be built without a printed plan.  A lot of guys learn to build by buying a kit, and then they graduate to building from plans.  Anybody with interest and initiative can interpret a plan and build a plane.  Take it one step further and build toy airplanes like a real man, with no printed plan at all.

There is a reason why this kit is designed and sold the way it is.  You like mechanical toys, and you have mechanical aptitude.  So you should learn how to build.  Not too many years ago, everybody had to figure this stuff out using just broken razor blades and magazine plans with no instructions.  I applied the iron-on covering to my first plane with my mother’s laundry iron.  I’m here to help you learn, but you really need to dive in and get the job done on your own initiative.  Don’t worry.  This is an easy project.  All you need is a hobby knife, ruler, glue, sanding block, 18 inch straight edge, and a pair of pliers to bend wire, plus a few items to complete the short kit, which are listed in the kit instructions on the main menu.  If you have no hobby store nearby for supplies, you’re in luck.  Keep reading for the new complete kit.

NEW:  Now you can buy the complete kit, including all necessary wood, landing gear wire, control horns, and clevises.  I’ll even throw in a pair of wheels like the ones in the photos, until I run out of them.

Complete kit $50 plus shipping

Look in the main menu for the building instructions for the Balsa Workbench Primary Trainer.


  • wing ribs
  • dihedral gauge
  • 1/16″ plywood trailing edge plates to prevent rubber band damage
  • fuselage sides
  • fuselage side doublers
  • sides for goofy air scoop
  • nose hatch
  • cowl cheeks
  • chin plate
  • bulkheads and firewall
  • vertical stabilizer and rudder
  • horizontal stabilizer and elevators
  • landing gear spacers and cover plate


Everything in the previous list plus

  • 1/16″ balsa sheet for wing skins and fuselage top and bottom sheeting
  • 1/8″ balsa sheet
  • 1/4″ x 1/4″ stick for wing spar
  • 1/4″ stick for wing leading edge
  • balsa triangle stock for wing tips
  • wing dowels
  • elevator joiner
  • tail skid
  • clevises
  • materials for building push rods
  • control horns
  • glass cloth for joining wings
  • wheels and collars while supplies last

You also get unlimited email support from me until you finish building it.

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