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Hot Weather Flying?

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Old 06-21-2010, 10:28 AM
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DblMtn
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Default Hot Weather Flying?

Intermediate glow pilot, starting to dabble in electrics.

I purchased the ElectroStik RxR as my first electric. I live in West Texas, where summers are rather warm. I am having fun with the Stik, but had the ESC shut the motor down when flying on a 103 degree day. The ESC is mounted inside the fuse, with four holes in the firewall for cooling.

My question is, should the ESC be moved to the outside of the plane, or do I need an ESC that handles more amps?

Maybe I need a water cooled ESC.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Hot Weather Flying?

Getting more airflow across the ESC will help. A higher Amp-rated ESC should help as well.

If you mount the ESC on the outside of the fuse (power FET side up), right in the prop wash, that's about as good as you can get for air flow. A couple holes in the fuse and some double stick tape is all you need for that. There's a photo below of a foam plane I made with the ESC on the outside for cooling.

If you currently have power to spare, you could also consider a smaller or lower pitch prop to reduce the power a little, like say an APC 11x7E. I believe your stock prop is an Great Planes 11x8.5E, so an 11x7E will drop your power by about 18%. This is the cheapest & easiest option to try.

The higher amp ESC option will be pricey, so I'd save that option for last.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: Hot Weather Flying?

I imagine if you are flying at 100+ degrees then things could get hot inside, but you really have to look at air flow. Is the ESC getting good airflow? Do you have anything blocking it? I hope it is not wrapped in foam. I have seen glow pilots do that.

Remember that you also need exit air holes. The exit area needs to be 2 -3X the inlet area or the air can't properly flow. As the air heats it expands, thus the need for larger exit holes.

When the plane is on the ground, can you get it into the shade? Be sure to leave it open when on the ground so heat does not build up insde, like an enclosed hot car.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:02 PM
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Default RE: Hot Weather Flying?

Thanks for the tips, guys. I solved my heat problem by moving the ESC outside the fuse. I mounted it on the bottom, where it gets the full benefit of the prop wash. After a flight, the ESC is barely warm, even on a 100+ days.
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