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  1. #1

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    Big electric helis?

    I'm curious, why would one want to convert a 700 size heli to electric? Wouldn't nitro be more "efficient" as far as power and flight times?
    The only reason I can think would be for noise, but I would think that even an electric that size would be noisy anyway... of course I'm a newbie and don't know. So, what are the advantages of electric over nitro on large helis?

  2. #2

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    Jester - I'm not sure one is more "efficient" than the other. Not even sure how one would measure efficiency differences. It is true that you can get more flight time from a nitro. Lipo batteries typically get 6 to 8 minutes. Nitro can go 12 or even more. In reality though, 8 minutes is actually quite a long time, at least for me it is. I have yet to see a nitro heli pilot stay up for much more than that anyway. As far as differences go - well, here's a few. Lipo batteries keep getting better and cheaper. Nitro fuel keeps getting more expensive. In either case, it's easy to spend a couple hundred bucks a season on batteries or fuel. (with a 700 size heli) Batteries do have a limited life span and a hundred or so cycles seems to be the limit right now. Convenience is a very big issue. Electrics require less "busy" work - no fuel to haul around, no pumps, glow starters, much easier clean up after flights. Noise is an issue and nitro engines are noisier and spew a lot of smoky fuel. There are "electric only" fields for that very reason. I do think the nitros still hold the lead for raw power but electrics seem to be catching up quickly. I do have a couple nitro planes but my helis are all electric and I enjoy the fact that I can do some light practice (hovering) in my yard without complaint. I'm sure my neighbors would notice if I started a nitro engine in the yard.

  3. #3

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    I have no experience with any nitro vehicles other than hearing other people's nitro cars race down the street. I guess you're right - the nitro would still be a lot louder. And I didn't think about all the extra stuff that goes along with running a nitro vehicle.
    Thanks a lot for the response.

  4. #4

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    I built a large electric Chinook heli. It was originally powered by an align 90. However after a few testflights I decided to convert to electric to eliminate vibration and oilsmoke issues. Since my conversion, I may never go back to nitro. When the batteries are treated as fuel, The cost per flight, nitro vs lipos is about the same and at the end of the day my model sounds scale, there are no punishing vibrations and my model is clean. I also enjoy that I can just plug in and i'm ready to go, no starting, no adjustments, peformance is always the same and it only takes 1 hour to charge for a 10min flight.

  5. #5

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    TJ - got any photos of the Chinook? Love to see it.

  6. #6
    Moderator BarracudaHockey's Avatar
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    RE: Big electric helis?

    #1 reason is POWER

    There's no comparision between a 90 nitro and a 700E power wise.

    Scale of course there's lots of reasons. Paint doesn't need fuel proofing, less vibration, sounds like a turbine etc.
    Andy - Helicopter Forum Moderator
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    www.JaxRC.com

  7. #7

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    Another reason is that F3C hovering requires a really sweet running IC engine which can be hard to acheive from one day to another. And as mentioned above, power, i think a 90 size engine is pumping out around 3 - 3.5 hp as opposed to the electric which i think is around the 6hp mark, and of coarse no flame outs with eletric.

    Still IC for me any day though

  8. #8

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    RE: Big electric helis?


    ORIGINAL: snobelt

    Jester - I'm not sure one is more "efficient" than the other. Not even sure how one would measure efficiency differences. It is true that you can get more flight time from a nitro. Lipo batteries typically get 6 to 8 minutes. Nitro can go 12 or even more. In reality though, 8 minutes is actually quite a long time, at least for me it is. I have yet to see a nitro heli pilot stay up for much more than that anyway. As far as differences go - well, here's a few. Lipo batteries keep getting better and cheaper. Nitro fuel keeps getting more expensive. In either case, it's easy to spend a couple hundred bucks a season on batteries or fuel. (with a 700 size heli) Batteries do have a limited life span and a hundred or so cycles seems to be the limit right now
    I think your times are a bit off. From what I have seen and read, electric times and nitro times are about the same. Doing 3D averages about 5 to 6 minutes. With the technology of lipo's and electric motors, I believe that the performance difference is very similar these days and is more of a preference.

    Trex 450 Pro / Trex 500 / Trex 600E
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  9. #9

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    Big reason. easy to operate and maintain. Once setup an electric starts first time every time. If its cold it starts. if its hot it starts. after its been sitting all winter it starts. 1st time every time.
    You Had me at Hover!

  10. #10

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    The bigger they are, the better they fly. The cost of doing a big heli that turns 710mm blades is realatively expensive, that is probably why it is not common.

    But in a situation where the cost is similar, (e.g. the cost of getting my relatively bigger Century Swift 16, that uses 550mm blades, into the air, was about the same as either of my two 450s, which are much smaller, as they use 325 mm blades), then IMHO, the choice is hands down to the bigger Swift.

    Consequently my 450's have seen very little flight time since my first Swift. I have since sold one of the 450's, and if it wasn't for some winter indoor opportunities, I would probably have sold the other by now.

    These bigger 550mm bladed helis may cost more to repair when one crashes, but because they are so much easier to see and because they fly so much better and predictably. I find I seldom crash them (only once last year!!). So I have found even my cost of operating them to be less!

  11. #11

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    RE: Big electric helis?

    the ele 700 will more clean, low noise, longer flying life,battery cycle well. The lipos becomes better quality, lower price, electri heli will be a great trend in future.


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