Battery powered rc plane

Battery powered rc plane DEFAULT

Electric RC aircraft are not known for long flight times, with multirotors usually doing minutes, while most fixed wings will struggle to get past two hours. [Matthew Heiskell] blew these numbers out of the water with a 10 hour 45 minute flight with an RC plane on battery power. Condensed video after the break.

The secret? An efficient aircraft, a well tuned autopilot and a massive battery. [Matthew] built a custom 4S 50 Ah li-ion battery pack from LG cells, with a weight of kg ( lbs). The airframe is a Phoenix motor glider, with a m wingspan, powered by a Kv brushless motor turning a 12 x 12 propeller. The 30 A ESC&#;s low voltage cutoff was disabled to ensure every bit of juice from the battery was available.

To improve efficiency and eliminate the need to maintain manual control for the marathon flight, a GPS and Matek Wing flight controller running ArduPilot was added. ArduPilot is far from plug and play, so [Matthew] would have had to spend a lot of timing tuning and testing parameters for maximum flight efficiency. We are really curious to see if it&#;s possible to push the flight time even further by improving aerodynamics around the protruding battery, adding a pitot tube sensor to hold the perfect airspeed speed on the lift-drag curve, and possibly making use of thermals with ArduPilot&#;s new soaring feature.

A few of you are probably thinking, &#;Solar panels!&#;, and so did Matthew. He has another set of wings covered in them that he used to do a seven-hour flight. While it should theoretically increase flight time, he found that there were a number of significant disadvantages. Besides the added weight, electrical complexity and weather dependence, the solar cells are difficult to integrate into the wings without reducing aerodynamic efficiency. Taking into account what we&#;ve already seen of [rcflightest]&#;s various experiments/struggles with solar planes, we are starting to wonder if it&#;s really worth the trouble.

Sours: https://hackaday.com//06/27/electric-rc-plane-flies-for-almosthours/

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Reference: HBZ

Brand: Hobbyzone

DeltaRay BNF Hobbyzone Firebird

Here is the latest model in the HobbyZone FireBird DELTA RAY in BNF version range.Finally a flying wing within the reach of beginners through the stabilisation SAFE system. Its battery Li - Po mA ensures great autonomy. Ready to apairer with a spektrum remote.

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Reference: EFLU

Brand: E-flite

UMX Yak 54 BNF Basic E-flite AS3X 3D

With a mass flight of barely 36g, the UMX Yak 54 3D is light and compact enough to be able to fly it almost everywhere. It comes assembled and ready to fly with one engine, servos and a receiver/controller module installed. Size: mmLength: mmWing area: cm²Weight: 36g Required elements: Transmitter, 6 channels minimum DSMX compatible/DSM2 Battery

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Brand: Multiplex

Solius RR m Multiplex

Glider very modernized natural evolution of the famous EasyGlider of the same brand.A high-performance electric glider with tail in T, cockpit and transparent canopy. Thanks to its healthy behavior and its excellent qualities flight, the SOLIUS offers maximum pleasure not only to occasional pilots, but also the "unconditional" real.

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Reference: FMS

Brand: FMS Model

Jet F - 16 c 70mm EDF PNP FMS

Here is a very nice flying replica of the F Jet Fighter of FMS. Equipped with a turbine of 70mm associated with the kv Brushless motor, this jet will offer you a quick and pleasant flight. The F - 16 Fighter is also equipped with origin of a Electric gear train with depreciation.PNP version: Servos and motors installed. Requires a 6S mAh

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Reference: EFLEU

Brand: E-flite

X-green VTOL RTF Mode 2 e - Flite

The X-green VTol from E-flite is a revolutionary flying wing for a take-off and vertical landing. This wing is very easy to take in hand with 3 modes of flight: In mode multirotoryou will fly as well as with a classic multirotor vertically In stabilized flight modeyou will fly in a classical way with this flying wing and you can use SAFE mode in case of

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Reference: F22

Brand: RC Factory

F Raptor RC Factory EPP Kit

F Raptor RC Factory "FUN series" Size: mm Length: mm Flight weight: g Engine: W Regulator: 10A Servo: 2 x 9g Battery: - 3s (recommended mah) Propeller: 8/4

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Brand: Multiplex

Solius Kit m Multiplex

Glider very modernized natural evolution of the famous EasyGlider of the same brand.A high-performance electric glider with tail in T, cockpit and transparent canopy. KIT VERSION: to assemble and equip.

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Reference: ROCG

Brand: Roc Hobby

Jet F/AF Super Hornet 70mm EDF PNP Hobby rock

Here is a very nice flying replica of the F/AF Super Hornet 70mm of Roc Hobby. Equipped with a turbine of 70mm associated with the kv Brushless motor, this jet will offer you a quick and pleasant flight. The F - 16 Fighter is also equipped with origin of a Electric gear train with depreciation.PNP version: Servos and motors installed. Requires

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Reference: V2

Brand: Joysway

Dragonfly V2 BL PNP - Joysway

Joysway with the Dragonfly introduces a new class of models, capable of taking off from any surface. The Dragonfly is able to take off on the grass, on land, on the water, on the ice, or even in hand throwing.

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Brand: Multiplex

Heron RR m BL Multiplex

The Multiplex Heron is a high-performance glider with tail in T and shutters. His elegant wings to the end and bearing profile enable it toexploit the slightest ancestry and if necessary, you can easily put it back through the PERMAX brushless motor.VERSION RR: it is necessary to add the battery, charger and set transmitter and receiver 5 or more channels.

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Reference: EFL

Brand: E-flite

Viper 70 mm EDF BNF Basic E-Flite envm

The Viper 70mm E-Flite is a high performance built for speed, incredible climbs and a significant capacity to the aerobatic flight. To fly, add a battery 6 S, a charger and a radio control 6 lanes or Spektrum DSM2/DSMX.

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Reference: HBZ

Brand: Hobbyzone

Duet RTF Hobbyzone

The Duet RTF by Hobbyzone is a small indoor/parkflyer twin-engine aircraft designed for beginner drivers. It comes complete with remote control. The landing gear is removable to facilitate landing on grassy ground. RTF VERSION: NOTHING TO ADD.

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Reference: EFLU

Brand: E-flite

PT - 17 AS3X BNF E-flite UMX

THEUMX PT - 17 E-Flite is the replica of the famous training biplane used by US pilots during the second world war. Models details such as the apparent ribs, a windshield, the shrouds give the aircraft more realism.To fly: need to add only a remote control DSMX GHz Spektrum 4 or more channels.

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Brand: Multiplex

EasyGlider RR 4 m Multiplex

The new of the most popular of the electric glider version! All modellers know great flight qualities of theMultiplex EasyGlider. It is a great machine for initiation, the discovery of the flight of slope, gliding and aerobatics of base. It is solid, simple and spare parts are easy to find. In short, a great tool to steal any level! Span:

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Reference: EFL

Brand: E-flite

Apprentice S 15th BNF E-Flite

Here is the latest addition to the E-flite range, one of the best early is back in a new version equipped with the latest technology SAFE. VERSION BNF: To fly, add a 4 transmitter channels or more GHz Spektrum DSM2/DSMX

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Reference: EFL

Brand: E-flite

P d Thunderbolt BNF Basic E-flite

The E-Flite P - 47 d ThunderBolt is the replica of the famous warbird. It is original equipped with functional components for short landings and electric retractable landing gear.Its structure Z-Foam foam combines durability and lightness.For more comfort in the cockpit, an AR receiver with technology AS3X comes with the BNF Basic version.To fly, it

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Brand: Multiplex

EasyGlider 4 Kit m Multiplex

The new version of the most popular electric powergliter!All modellers know the tremendous flying qualities of theEasyGlider Multiplex. It is a great machine for initiation, discovery of slope flight, gliding and basic aerobatics. It&#;s solid, simple and spare parts are easy to find. In short, a great tool to steal whatever its level!Wingspan:

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Reference: HBZEU1

Brand: Hobbyzone

Stratocam RTF Mode 1 Hobbyzone

Hobbyzone Stratocam is a 2 aircraft twin-engine axes designed for aerial shooting. It will be perfect for the beginner PCB.The aircraft is equipped with the SAFE technology. In the event of loss of control, the flip of a switch "mode panic" Resets the flat plane.The Stratocam is supplied with a small HD camera capable of recording videos or photos on a

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Reference: EFL

Brand: E-flite

T m BNF Basic E-Flite

AS3X® technology 6 channels with servos installed Servo components installed Returning train electric, installed Receiver Spektrum 6 channel ARA DSMX® (installed) Powerful motor Brushless BL15 (installed) Controller E - flite Brushless 40 (installed) 7 micro servos Spektrum (installed) Li - Po S 3, 11, 1V mA (sold separately) Requires a transmitter

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Sours: https://www.nextmodelrc.com/en/rc-electric-planes
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How Electric RC Airplanes Work

Today’s electric RC airplanes can do just about anything a nitro or gas powered plane can do.

In fact, many people have converted their glow powered airplanes to electric model airplanes.

The beauty of flying electric is that there is never on oily mess to  clean up when finished flying.

There is no need for carrying a gallon of fuel. With an electric plane, you simply charge the batteries and go fly!

Parkflyers

Small electric airplanes are perfect for starting out in this hobby. I personally learned to fly with an electric park flyer.

Park flyers are small electric airplanes that usually come with everything installed and ready to fly.

RC electric airplanes are also quieter, safer, and can be flown in fields, parks, and other places where glow powered airplanes can’t (or shouldn't) be flown.

I'll have to say though, there's one drawback that's hard for many of us to overcome  An electric motor just don't sound near as cool and a fuel burning engine!

Let's discuss the different electrical components involved with flying electric airplanes. Be sure to follow the links to pages with more details on each.

If you have a specific question about electric planes, don't hesitate to ask your question here!

Components of Electric RC Airplanes

Image from Castle Creations

An electric RC plane has a motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC), and sometimes a gearbox.  Of course, they all need batteries.

Electric RC Motors

There are two types or RC electric motors used with RC airplanes. The first type seen below is a "canned" motor. This is a standard DC motor with brushes.

The second type of motor is a brushless RC motor. Brushless motors are much more efficient and lighter than canned motors.

Not so long ago, if you wanted to fly large airplanes you had little choice but to use a glow engine or gas engine. That's not the case any more!

Thanks to brushless motors, you can now fly any size RC aircraft without worrying about loud and messy engines.

Brushless motors have revolutionized both ends of the spectrum. The increased power to weight ratio of brushless motors has also brought about an entire new breed of micro RC airplanes. Learn learn how brushless RC motors are so much more powerful than canned RC motors.



Electronic Speed Controllers

An electronic speed controller(ESC) is what controls the speed of the RC electric motor.

The ESC plugs into the receiver. Both the motor and battery plugs to the ESC. As you move the throttle stick, the receiver tells the ESC to change the speed of the motor. 

Pretty simply right?  Actually, there are a few key characteristics and options that you need to be familiar with to insure you choose the right ESC for your airplane.  One of the most important things is knowing the difference between ESC's for brushed and brushless motors.

Learn more about Electronic Speed Controllers Here

Do You Need a Gearbox?

The speed at which an RC electric motor runs most efficiently is often much faster than we want the propeller to turn.  This is especially true with brushless inrunner motors.

A small plastic gearbox between the motor and propeller reduces the output speed and increases the torque of the propeller shaft. This allows the airplane to use a larger propeller that produces more torque.

These gearboxes are really simple. They generally consist of a small pinion gear on the motor driving a larger gear on the output shaft. Gearboxes are most commonly used on small light weight parkflyer electric rc airplanes where minimizing weight is crucial.  

Gearboxes are noisy, they reduce efficiency, and its an added part that can and does get damaged during a crash. Whenever possible, you're best bet is to use a slower higher torque outrunner motor that doesn't require a gearbox.

Types of Batteries

Obviously, the batteries are what supplies power to run the motor, receiver, and servos. The three types of batteries most commonly used with electric RC airplanes are Nickel Cadmium(NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lipo batteries.

But let's not fool ourselves, Lipo's are by far the most widely used these days. Not only with electric RC airplanes, but with most all electronics.

That being said, every type of battery needs to be charged differently and may require different chargers. Be sure to read the directions that come with your batteries carefully.


NiCd batteries are commonly used for transmitters and receivers of both gas and electric RC airplanes. Many lower priced park flyers use this type of battery also.

The main disadvantage of NiCd batteries is that they have a memory. In other words, the capacity diminishes if you do not fully discharge the battery after every use before recharging.


NiMH are similar to NiCd batteries and have less issues with “memory”.  The capacity per weight is more than that of NiCd batteries.

I replaced my receiver NiCd receiver batteries with NiMH batteries and they last about twice as long before having to be charged.


LiPo batteries are a quantum leap from the other two types of batteries. These batteries pack an enormous amount of energy and are much lighter than the other two types.

 LiPo batteries keep a constant power output throughout the flight where as NiCd and NiMH batteries slowly loose power until the battery is dead.

Question about Electric Airplanes or Components?

Do you have a specific question about your electric RC airplane? Have question about component selection? What size battery to get? Problems getting it all to work right?

Don't hesitate to ask your question here. We'll do our best to help you find the answers you're looking for!

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Additional Reading

If you found this page helpful, I highly recommend taking a look at these pages as well.  


Sours: https://www.hooked-on-rc-airplanes.com/electric-rc-airplanes.html

Today, our hobby is enjoying a literal “Golden Age” of RC electric flight. The amount of quality motors, batteries, controllers and connectors is just about limitless as are the types and sizes of airplanes you can fly with E-power.

Even though there are plenty of plug n play packages out there where you get everything needed in one box, the newcomer can find it difficult get started. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced RC pilot, if you’ve never experienced an airplane with clean, quiet electric power, there are some basics you need to know to be successful. Let’s get started.

opener

Today, there are all types and sizes of electric powered models, take your pick.

The first thing that you need to understand with electric airplanes is you have to look at the entire power system as a whole. One that will work together for maximum power and efficiency for the plane you are flying. And with that, you have to understand how much power will be needed to fly your plane safely. Whether you’re flying a lightweight micro indoor flyer or a large 3D aerobatic plane, its performance is based on the amount of power it develops relative to its ready to fly weight. If you get an ARF model airplane, then everything will be included and you’re good to go, but if you are putting your plane together with separate airframe and power system components, then you have to know what will work together.

types

From trainers to sport planes, gliders and electric ducted fan jets, the choices are endless.

Power

Electric motors, propellers and battery packs along with a suitable electronic speed controller make up your power system. But you have to use the correct combinations of equipment for your system to operate properly. To determine the power of your model’s power system, you need to measure the voltage and current while the motor is running. The three important parts of the power formula are amps (A) , volts (V)  and watts (W). But before we can talk about selecting power systems, we need to understand some very basic things about electric power.

motor

Picking the proper electric motor and propeller is a very important first step.

A watt is the unit of electric power in the same way that horsepower is used to express power for an internal combustion engines. You produce a certain number of watts by moving electricity through a device that converts it to power. Movement of electricity through a power system is described by the term ampere (amp), and the force that causes it to move is the volt. The basic relationship between these units with the equation Watts = Volts x Amps (W=VxA.). The most important thing for modelers to understand is that you can produce watts by using a lot of volts and just a few amps or you can use a small amount of voltage and lots of amps. It all works together. What this means is you can use a small amount of battery voltage and a large propeller diameter/pitch size or a larger battery voltage and a smaller propeller depending on the requirements of your model. And to properly power our models we can use a simple rule called the “Watts per Pound Rule”.

Watts per Pound

This categorization is a loose, flexible way to estimate the amount of power needed for a specific size airplane while giving the performance required for safe flight. The rule is really just a guideline to determine how many Watts of power are needed per pound of airplane weight and is expressed as W/lb.

•             50W/lb. or less.  Very lightweight micro RC and slow flyers.

•             50 &#; 75W/lb. Sport powered sailplanes and gliders, basic trainers, lightweight scale planes, Vintage RC and RC Assist Free Flight designs.

•             75 &#; W/lb. &#; Basic sport flyers, intermediate aerobatics. scale low-wing designs and medium size warbirds.

•             &#; W/lb. &#; Advanced aerobatics, pattern flying, 3D planes, larger warbirds and EDF jets.

•             &#; plus W/lb. Unlimited 3D aerobatics, warbirds and large jets.

&#;Fast Fact: watts = 1 horsepower

Batteries and Charging

charger

Having a quality multi-type battery charger is an important part of the electric modeler&#;s workshop.

Compared to the NiMH and NiCad (nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium,) battery packs we used just a few years ago, the new generation of lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery packs (often referred to as Li-poly) have totally altered our definitions for power and flight duration. Where the older types of batteries offered volts per cell, (1V under load), Lipo cells offer a nominal voltage V per cell and they provide much larger capacities along with an impressive weight saving. More voltage and more capacity and lighter wing loadings have really improved our airplane’s flight performance.

C-Ratings

LiPo batteries must be charged carefully and with chargers designed specifically for LiPo battery packs. Though there are many new Lithium battery packs on the market with extreme charge and discharge ratings, for the best longevity of your packs you should use a 1C charge rate. (1 times the capacity of the battery) Example: A for a mAh battery capacity.

batteries

Lipo battery packs are the most common used today. It is important to pick the correct one for your model&#;s power system.

As with most things in RC, extremely high performance RC Lipo batteries with very large capacity ratings have become very popular. Some of these high performance packs have very high charge and discharge ratings up to 5 to 15C charge rates and 45C (continuous) and 90C (burst) discharge ratings.

Safety Warning: Because of their internal chemistry, extreme care is required when using and operating LiPo battery packs. Overcharging a LiPo battery can cause the pack to burst and vent violently and can cause the pack to catch fire. As for over discharging, most ESCs allow you to set a low voltage cutoff or use the default which varies by manufacturer. v is the absolute minimum anyone should use as allowing Lipo cells to go below this voltage will damage them. As with any high-energy electrical equipment and battery packs you should always carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.

Fast Facts: LiPo Packs

  • Unlike other types of batteries, lithium polymer batteries can be stored for one to two months without significantly losing charge.
  • Lithium batteries should not be trickle charged
  • Typical maximum and minimum voltage for Lipo cells should be V and V volts per cell respectively.

Another battery type of battery used today are the  LiFe or A (V per cell). Also referred to as Lithium Iron, these are relatively more safe than LiPo cells and are often used for powering RC receivers.

Connectors

connect

Like airplanes, battery connectors come in several styles and ratings.

Connectors are an important element in any electric power system, and you’ll find them in between motors and ESCs and between the ESC and the battery pack. The most important thing to remember is to use the proper size connector for the battery and power system being used. Most of the battery manufacturers today include connectors already attached to the power leads or at least include them in an accessory bag. Using a low quality connector or one that’s too small increases resistance in the wiring and this translates to heat and lose of power. As a rule, you should use as few connectors as you can to maximize efficiency. Many experienced modelers will eliminate the connectors between the motor and ESC by soldering the power leads directly together.

adaptors

Adaptor cables help you manage your battery charger

Most brand name electric equipment has its own brand and type of connector and you need to use the matching type to charge your battery packs. You can however, simplify your life by switching all of your battery and ESC connectors to a generic one. This will then allow you to mix and match battery packs between airplanes and you can use the same charger to service your battery packs. If, the charger has the proper settings to match your packs. The most common at Deans Ultra T-configured connectors and Anderson Powerpole (APP) (also referred to as Sermos connectors). The Deans require soldering and some heat shrink tubing, while the APP connectors can be soldered or crimped onto the power leads with a special crimping tool.

lineup

At the annual NEAT Fair the electric power airplane hobby is highlighted in a very big way.

Glossary:

Ampere (Amp): The standard unit of electric current. The current produced by a pressure of one volt in a circuit having a resistance of one ohm.

Battery Eliminator Circuit (BEC): &#; A circuitry that allows the battery that runs the motor to also power the receiver and the servos. This is often built into the ESC

Brushed Motor: The traditional type of electric motor where brushes make contact between the rotor and the stator. The touching of the brushes essentially creates the timing and current to make the motor spin correctly.

Brushless Motor: Type of electric motor used in RC electric aircraft. Brushless motors are much more powerful than traditional brushed motors, and are commonly used in electric aerobatic aircraft. They can be inrunner or outrunner motors.

Current: The flow rate of electrical energy. Measured in Amps

Capacity:  Is a measure of how long you can draw a specified current from a battery. It is measure in Amp Hours (Ah), or more commonly for the scale of equipment used for electric flight, mill-Amp Hours (mAh).

Electronic Speed Controller (ESC):  The thing that controls how much current is given to the motor and hence how fast the motor runs. Often they have a BEC (see above) built in.  There are two main types &#; brushless and brushed.

Horsepower (HP): A measure of the rate of work. 33, pounds lifted one foot in one minute, or pounds lifted one foot in one second. Exactly watts of electrical power equals one horsepower.

Inrunners: Get their name from the fact that their rotational core is contained within the motor&#;s can, much like a standard ferrite motor. They run inside the can.

Li-Po: Stands for lithium-ion polymer battery. These are the most modern kind of battery pack being used in electric aircraft. They provide enormous amounts of power for their size, especially when used in conjunction with a brushless motor.

 mAh (Milliamp Hour): A measure of a battery&#;s total capacity. The higher the number, the more charge a battery can hold and usually, the longer a battery will last under a certain load.

NiCD:  Abbreviation for nickel cadmium. They are a form of rechargeable battery cells used in radio control gear as well as motor battery packs. NiCDs are being used less and less these days, as NiMH and Li-Po batteries take over.

NiMH: Abbreviation for nickel metal hydride batteries, they are the successors to NiCDs with much better performance and up to 3 times the capacity for an equally sized battery. Only Li-Pos top NiMHs.

Outrunner: The other type of brushless motor, where the outer shell, or &#;can&#;, of the motor rotates with the shaft. The extra inertia produces more torque, so outrunners are more powerful than inrunners and rarely are geared.

Power:   For electric models this is a product of voltage and amps and is measured in watts.

RPM (Revolutions Per Minute): The number of times an object completely rotates ( degrees) in one minute

Voltage: A unit of electromotive force that, when applied to conductors, will produce current in the conductors. Voltage is also referred to as electrical pressure.

Watt: The amount of power required to maintain a current of 1 ampere at a pressure of one volt when the two are in phase with each other. One horsepower is equal to watts. Watts are the product of volts and amps.

meter

A power meter is a handy piece of equipment to have to check how your airplane power system is operating.

 



Sours: https://www.modelairplanenews.com/tips-for-getting-started-with-electric-airplanes/

Rc plane powered battery

Electric RC Airplanes

Without doubt electric rc planes (Electric Power or 'EP') have been responsible for bringing a huge number of people in to the radio control flying hobby over the years, and it's easy to see why.

When I started creating RC Airplane World back in , Ready To Fly ('RTF') electric planes were only just becoming readily available and affordable. Just a few companies were producing the foam RTFs that we've come to know and love, and many traditional aeromodelers saw them as a flash-in-the pan novelty!

But electric power had indeed truly arrived and the relative low cost and convenience of an EP Ready To Fly plane proved irresistible to the beginner pilot. At the time it was hard to imagine just how popular, and advanced, such rc planes would become, but with hindsight it's not at all surprising.

An early HobbyZone EP rc plane

Above: an early pod-and-boom style EP RTF.

Instant Foamie Hits!

Manufacturers quickly recognised a keen market and it didn't take long for RTF electric planes to become established products in the hobby. EP trainers particularly found their own niche.

HobbyZone Super Cub LP and Apprentice

Horizon Hobby's Super Cub and Apprentice 15e quickly became two
very popular electric rc trainers.

Foam RTFs soon became widely available, in varying quality, and various manufacturers started pushing the boundaries to see just what they could produce. It didn't take long for companies such as Horizon Hobby®, well established in the radio control car world, to start producing hobby-grade quality airplanes and helicopters under various brands such as HobbyZone®, ParkZone® and E-flite®.

Multiplex, a German company, was also quick to jump on the band wagon, and Megatech was another US company producing a range of electric RTF planes. Whilst the latter has come and gone, Multiplex remains a strong competitor in the general radio control industry.

Along with known brands, many unknown "Who??" companies, typically based in the Far East, also saw a serious marketing opportunity and quickly began flooding the market with, let's face it, some airplanes of questionable quality!

Mass-produced balsa/ply electric rc airplanes were much slower to appear, simply because manufacturing times and costs were higher. Traditionally constructed RTFs were few and far between, and even now this sector of the market remains very limited in terms of choice.
The Almost Ready To Fly (ARF or ARTF) sector, however, did take off (pardon the pun) and ARF airplanes became very widely available, as they still are.

Converting IC rc plane to EP is easyOf course, ARF's aren't limited to electric power, there are many intended for IC. But such is the popularity of electric power, many ARF rc planes nowadays include an EP conversion kit.

My Seagull Edge (that I actually won in a prize draw!), shown right, was one such ARF meant for IC that I converted to electric power. This kind of conversion is very commonplace now, and again it just goes to show how much the hobby has progressed in recent years. Roll the clock back just a few years and converting such a plane to realistic electric power would have been a real struggle, and very expensive.

On the topic of my EP planes, my first ever one was an MFA Magicfly that I bought somewhen in the mid s. Way before foam planes, brushless motors and Li-Po flight packs, it was a traditional balsa kit with a brushed motor and heavy NiCad batteries.
Its first flight lasted a few seconds because it was so heavy and underpowered. I was so disappointed that I didn't even bother rebuilding it - I returned to good ol' IC power and didn't fly another electric plane for about 20 years!

MFA Magicfly from the s

Above: stock photo of the MFA Magicfly.
Mine never flew like that!

The Power of Electric Power

In the very early days of EP (pre mass-production), electric rc airplanes were underpowered. Brushed motors and gearboxes were the order of the day, along with heavy nickel-cadmium batteries. It all made for a pretty poor powertrain setup, resulting in poor flight performance. Of course some modelers had success, but I wasn't one of them!

Thankfully those days are gone and EP planes are now at the point where they can match - even exceed - an IC powered plane in terms of flight times and performance. As a case in point, members of the UK RC Aerobatic Team have mostly swapped to electric power now!

Powerful brushless motors, electronic speed controls and lithium-based battery technology all add up to flight performance that was unthinkable from an electric powered plane not so many years ago.

Brushless motor, ESC and li-po flight pack

Above: the brushless motor, ESC and li-po flight pack all combine to give IC a run for its money!

Small is Beautiful?

So we know that electric power has transformed the radio control flying hobby over the years, since about the turn of the century. Wow, that really sounds like a historical statement!

EP gave the hobby a face-lift, and because electric foamie RTFs became so widely available at affordable prices, they really gave the hobby some great exposure. Wannabe aeromodelers who had previously thought of the hobby as a bit nerdy and expensive to get in to, and difficult to learn to fly, suddenly saw the opportunity that such planes gave them. Hence, radio control flying rocketed in popularity and was no longer a 'dark-art' pastime!

But another huge advantage that electronic advancements gave us was that radio controlled planes, and helicopters, could be made smaller than ever before.

HobbyZone ChampRC planes like the Champ were an instant success - they were cheap to buy, relatively easy to fly and could be flown in a much smaller space than traditionally needed.
The 16" wingspan Champ, based on the full size Aeronca Champ, was a massive seller for Horizon and brought countless new flyers in to the hobby. At the time when I had my RC Airplane World forum, I would say that the Champ was one of the most popular choices for pilots wanting to self teach.

The UMX range of micro rc planes was particularly impressive, and continues to be so. The Piper Cub, P Mustang, Pitts Special, F to name a few have all been subjects of this range, and I've had a few myself. They really are a lot of fun and testament to what has been achieved with electric rc airplanes.

More recently, the British company MicroAces has taken things to a whole new level with a range of incredibly detailed 1/24th scale planes, mostly from World War One. Supplied in kit form, the planes are constructed from thin Depron foam and plastic and fly on a 1S li-po cell.
I have the Sopwith Camel and it really is a work of art. Not so long ago such a product would have been nothing more than a child's dream toy!

MicroAces Sopwith Camel

Above: the MicroAces Sopwith Camel, a 1/24th scale electric rc plane.

A big powerful brushless motorAt the other end of the scale, electric motors can be bought large enough to power huge scale rc planes, so there really is no limit to what can be achieved with electric power in the rc flying hobby these days.
Imagine how big the plane needs to be to use an electric motor like this one shown!

Points to Note When Choosing Electric RC Planes

With so many EP planes available, choosing a suitable model does need some consideration.

Fortunately the process of selecting the right plane for your needs can be kept simple so long as you keep a few basic guidelines in mind.
Here are a few of those thoughts that you should remember when choosing and buying your first electric rc plane:

  • Planes that are of a high wing design (i.e. the wing sits on top of the fuselage) always make the best ones to learn on because of their natural stability in the air. Typically these are trainers which you can read about here.
    An alternative to this design which is also beginner-friendly is the rc electric powered glider.
  • An RTF (Ready To Fly) airplane is far better if you have no modelling experience; it's the best way of getting airborne with the least amount of frustration. More about RTFs here.
  • Size matters! A plane with a wingspan of between 30 and 50 inches is the optimum size for learning. Much smaller and you'll have trouble seeing what it's doing, much bigger and it could be too much of a handful. That said, micro-size planes do have their place for beginners, especially if you're limited with your flying area size and/or budget.
  • Check out availability of spare parts before you buy - you will need them at some time or another. A proper replacement part is a safer option than a bodged repair.
  • Choose an rc plane that is durable and easily repairable after minor damage; for example, foam planes are tougher and easier to repair than balsa wood ones.
  • Be aware of who you're buying from - with the increased popularity of the hobby in recent years comes the increase of unscrupulous sellers who are only interested in your money rather than your success in and enjoyment of your new hobby.
  • Number of channels is important. The common options for beginners are 3 or 4. A channel is a controllable function of the plane, and essentially 3-channels makes learning easier, but 4 gives you more fun. You can read more about rc airplane controls here.
  • Do research. Internet forums and video sites are great places to seek further advice, or ask at your local hobby shop or club, if you have one.

The above pointers only scratch the surface, but my e-book The Beginner's Guide To Flying RC Airplanes will answer all the questions you have about getting started in radio control flying with an electric plane.

Well hopefully this article has introduced you to EP within the hobby. Learning to fly an electric rc plane is a fun and exhilarating experience but you do need to simplify the game as much as possible in your early days.
Keeping the above points in mind should help you do that, and once you've got a few hours flying under your hat and built up some confidence then you can consider moving on to larger and faster planes.

 

Related Pages

Related pagesBeginner rc airplanes.

Related pagesRC trainer planes.

Related pagesThe Beginner's Guide To Flying RC Airplanes.

Related pagesRTF rc planes.

Related pagesRC powered gliders.

Related pagesRC flight simulators.

Related pagesLearn to fly rc planes.

Related pagesHow to fly rc planes.

Related pagesGas vs. electric rc flying.

Related pagesThe Watts per pound rule.

Related pagesElectric rc.

Sours: https://www.rc-airplane-world.com/electric-rc-airplanes.html
BEST CHEAP RC electric CRASH RESISTANT/DURABLE aeroplane for LEARNING 3D FLYING: E-flite Ultimate2

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