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flight charicteristics

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Old 08-01-2003, 09:01 PM
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jocool282
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I was wondering how an electric aircraft with a wingspan of ~42in would compare with its gas powered equivalent in the air. Do electrics behave in a similar maner in the air or do the gas powered aircraft fly more like real planes?
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:51 PM
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Peter Khor
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Why would one fly more like a real plane than the other?

fwiw real planes (Cessna class) never have the power-to-weight ratio of a gas R/C plane that we're spoilt with. Many basic brushed electrics have basically similar performance to real planes, and you have to "fly on the wing", not the motor/engine. With brushless and a lightweight R/C electric plane (you don't have to beef up an electic plane like a gas plane, saving quite a bit of weight), which is off-set by battery weight (unless you consider Li-Poly cells) will easily give you similar gas performnace and more.

Then there's Reynold's numbers to deal with when you scale down a plane; a 42" plane will never fly "more like real planes".
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Old 08-02-2003, 03:41 AM
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lol let me clarify myself, I was in a bit of a rush earlier. By fly like real planes I ment will an electric fly scale like. In some of the wav. clips i've seen they seem to be very high strung and sensitive to small inputs and or wind. how well will a 42" high wing electric w ailerons perform in breezy conditions compared to a heavier gas powered plane?
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Old 08-02-2003, 06:49 AM
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Electrics will NEVER sound scale
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:47 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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The power system does not determine the flying qualities of the airplane. Part of it is design, but generally speaking, the builder of the airplane is the final authority on how the airplane flies. If he/she builds it crooked, balances it incorrectly, puts in too much control throw, etc., the plane can have some undesired characteristics. The person at the sticks can also be a big influence on how the plane is perceived to fly. If you're herky-jerky on the sticks, the plane will look like it flies poorly.

The bottom line: Electric does not mean that the plane will fly poorly, or will be hard to control.

Heavier planes will penetrate the wind better, and will be more stable in less than ideal conditions. In <5mph winds, I doubt you can tell much difference. In calm conditions, you may notice the heavier plane needs higher throttle settings to maintain level flight, and tends to overshoot on landing approaches. This is, of course, assuming the EXACT same plane, with different amounts of weight.

With cutting-edge battery and motor technology, you can build an electric plane with no weight, duration or power penalty, if you spend enough money. Using more conventional gear, you can build a plane that's comparable in weight to its glow counterpart by building the airplane itself lighter, but usually, electrics will end up a bit heavier.
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Old 08-04-2003, 05:46 PM
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Thanks a lot Matt
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