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newbie- wanting to get powered w/electric

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newbie- wanting to get powered w/electric

Old 06-07-2004, 08:55 PM
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Default newbie- wanting to get powered w/electric

I'm a newbie to the airplane scene, and I'm wanting to fly electric. I have a Super Stick 40 thats never seen an engine, and I'd like to make it electric and train with it. What motor size, setup, speed control, battery pack size, etc should I use?? I've been into r/c cars for several years, and now want to "spread my wings", so to speak. My reasoning for wanting to go electric is 1) I've never been very adept at nitro engines- tuning, upkeep, etc. 2) I kinda have the feeling that learning with electric will be a little easier (please correct me if i'm wrong on this point) 3)this is also for my son, who, like me, is also nitro challenged.

I've also been looking at an "Acro 50", which is very similar to a Kyosho Flip 3D. Here are the specs on this plane-----

wing span- 55.3"
length- 55.9"
wing area- 715 sq"
"take off" weight (?)- 63 oz (3 lbs, 15 oz)
designed for engine size .36 to .46 2 stroke, or a .50 4 stroke

Is there a way to convert this to electric also? Is there some formula you use to determine electric motor size for different styles of planes designated for glow power? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I hope the pic of the Acro 50 takes ok.

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Old 06-08-2004, 09:04 AM
Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: newbie- wanting to get powered w/electric

I fly it all, and I can tell you that glow power does get easier with experience. With a few simple rules of thumb, anybody can tune just about any engine until it purrs like a kitten, starts on the first flip, and never deadsticks. But, I digress.

First, you need to get the notion of "electric motor = glow engine" out of your head. It doesn't work that way. A closer analogy is "battery = glow engine displacement," and "electric motor = glow engine crankshaft." Not a perfect analogy, but closer. Electric power comes from Volts and Amps, which combine to make Watts, which is the Metric equivalent of Horsepower (746 Watts = 1HP).

Learning on glow vs learning on electric... There really isn't a major difference. Both types of planes are subject to the same laws of physics, so the controls are going to do the same things on each. The only difference is that at most club fields, if you have power system troubles, you'll be more likely to find help for glow engines versus electrics. With the planes you're talking about, you'll definitely want to seek out instruction. Too much money at stake there to try it alone.

The Super Stick will make an OK trainer. Not great, as it's more of a second plane, but with an instructor to bail you out when you get discombobulated and maybe even some simulator practice, you'll do fine. For a plane this size, brushed motors are a bit impractical. Large brushed motors, while still cheaper than brushless, are expensive, and have limited lifespans. Replace a brushed motor once or twice, and you've spent what you would've spent on a brushless in the first place.

A plane this size needs 14-16 "round" cells, that is, NiCd or NiMH to fly as it should. NiCd and NiMH will be less expensive initially, but buy the requisite three packs, and you've spent what you would've spent on a LiPoly in the first place. LiPoly will give you at least three times as much flying time as the highest-capacity NiMH for the same weight, so you can fly three times as long or make three flights, or partially recharge in between flights to extend your flying time.

With 14 cells, or a "4S" LiPoly, my money would be spent on an AXi 4120/14 motor and a 13x8 APC thin electric prop.

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