View Full Version : begginner electric

07-25-2005, 03:19 PM
I am interested in building an electric plane. I have a transmitter/reciever/and servos. What else do I need to complete a plane (what else besides the motor). What suggestions do you have for a good trainer electric? What is a good low cost electric motor?

Reformed Nitroaddict
07-25-2005, 03:33 PM
Welcome to the site! Before any recommendations, could you answer a couple of questions so that we may better point you in the right direction?

- Have you flown before but are new to electric flight, or have you never flown at all?

- Do you have anyone teaching you to fly, or are you doing this on your own?

- What type of budget are you looking at? Most electric planes will come with a motor already, and when purchasing additional motors, most people upgrade to a brushless setup.

07-25-2005, 06:29 PM
Well I have a Firebird Scout and have flown it a few times. I do not have an instructor. I cannot afford to join a club right now. I just want to know what the 'insides' of an electric plane are composed of. I do not have a big budget so I am really just looking for something to start out with. I dont want a fully RTF kit because I already bought the Firebird Scout RTF, but I want to move up from this plane and am looking for the next step plane. I need to know what else I need to purchase besides the transmitter/reciever/servos to get an electric plane up and running. Any suggestions about a good electric trainer that is not too expensive and maybe a suggestion about what motor to use. Any help would be appreciated.

Reformed Nitroaddict
07-25-2005, 06:50 PM
There are many good choices out there - but I would recommend the GWS kits. They allow you to build some, they are ARFs, they fly great, and are very cheap. Depending on where your skill level is, there are a few choices. If you feel quite confident, and want to step up to a full trainer, not much can beat the GWS E-Starter. It has 4 channels and flies like a real plane. If you feel you are not quite ready for that, the GWS Slow Stick and GWS Tiger Moth bipe are two other great choices. These fly much slower and are only 3 channels.

All of these planes will come with a motor and all gear already. You will only need to buy batteries, ESC, and radio gear.

If you plan on staying in this hobby, go ahead and right away start purchasing lipoly batteries only. They are far better and not much more expensive. Get the best radio you can afford, that way you can grow into it as time goes on.

Here would be two great packages depending on budget for a GWS E-Starter.


GWS E-Starter 350/C = 34.00
Electrifly 20A ESC = 24.00
Kokam 7.2V 1500mah lipo = 30.00
Futaba 4YF Micro TX/RX = 110.00
Hobbico MK II Field Charger = 45.00
TOTAL = 143.00


GWS E-Starter 400/C = 38.00
Electrifly 35A ESC = 35.00
Kokam 11.1V 1500mah lipo = 43.00
Futaba 6EXAS TX/RX micro = 180.00
GP Polycharger4 = 100.00
TOTAL = 396.00

07-26-2005, 02:27 AM
Thanks for the suggestions and info. If anyone else has some suggestions on good electric planes let me know. I already have a futaba 4VF transmitter and futaba 3005 servos. I am getting a reciever that will work with these servos. Most electric planes use micro/mini servos and recievers. I guess later on when I can afford it I will purchase some of these if I cannot find an electric plane that will take regular size servos and recievers. If anyone knows of an electric plane that can take these please let me know. Expecially if it is a trainer.

07-26-2005, 05:27 AM
I think the biggest bang for your buck is the sky scooter. It is an RTF package with everything included. We're talking 72mhz radio with mixing, (I fly my wing with the set-up), and hi-tech hs-55 servos. Good equipment which unlike the cheap park-zone stuff, can be used later in a plane down the road. I learned to fly with one and although I wouldn't recommend starting this way, (there are better first planes), you said you have some flying experience. This would be an upgrade from your scout. It is a high wing aileron plane that flies good right out of the box with the included 7cell battery. With just a battery upgrade to 8 cell, it flies very well. Loops rolls and inverted flight out of the box! Radio shack has an 8 cell battery up grade for $15.00. This whole set up is a whopping $129.00 on sale at hobby people and even the regular price of $149.00 is a bargin! The plane is rugged and very repairable with parts avaliable from several sources. IMHO, for the price it can't be beat. I still have, and most importantly, enjoy flying one. Good luck.

07-29-2005, 11:21 PM
He already has a tx. He just needs one of the above suggested planes, battery and two gws servos, which for now, are cheaper than the Hitec HS-55's that I use. I do love them. Also, an ESC which is reasonable from GWS.:)

07-30-2005, 01:03 AM
I do have a reciever, but its for normal size servos, will it work with micro/mini servos? Or would I have to buy a mini reciever also?

07-30-2005, 03:16 AM
It will work just fine if its for the tx you have.

08-07-2005, 05:34 AM

How much space do you have for flying? If you have totally clear space of at
least 600'X600', about 9 square acres, approx 6 square football/soccer fields,
then I
can recommend one class of plane. Call this class 1 - CL1

If your space is more like 200X200 (one square acre) then a different plane is
in order. Call this class 2 - CL2

If it is less than that, different again. This we will call this class 3 -

These are my own designations and are based on my subjective ranking of the
space a new flyer should have when learning on his own. An experienced flyer
can fly faster planes in smaller spaces, but a new flyer wants to have more
space so you are not in a constant state of panic trying to turn. Now, you
can get above the edges of the field and expand your space, but if you lose
control, you drop in woods, on top of kids or smash someone's
windshield. If that windshield is in a car is traveling down a road when you
hit the windshield, you could cause an accident or worse.

So much for space. You get the idea.

I feel a high wing three channel R/E/T plane is your best choice for a first
plane. R/E/T will require a little more learning than the two channel R/E
planes but is a better choice as a first plane, in my opinion. These use the
same control inputs as more advanced planes and can be flown in more wind once
you have mastered them in calm conditions.


Below are ARF and simple kit planes. You will need to buy a radio if you don't
one, so you might want to read these articles on radios. The
articles are written for sailplane beginners, but all the info applies to
electrics too.

Entry Level Radios - If you have to go cheap
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=44 (http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=44)

Computer Radios - The recommended path for almost everyone
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=65 (http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=65)

Below are ARFs, wood and foam packages as well as some are very
easy to build all wood kits. In each case you must add your own radio,
servos, speed control, batteries and battery charger. They all come with a

Slow stick - $35 - CL2/3
Best flown in still to under 5 mph breeze. This is an excellent choice for
people who have a smaller space to fly.
Can also be flown indoors in a gym or similar space.
http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_53&products_id=2 (http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_53&products_id=2)
Slow stick Complete Package incl radio - $150
(need battery charger)
http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=56&products_id=602 (http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=56&products_id=602)
The Slow Stick Info Site
http://mattsrc.rchomepage.com/ssir/index.shtml (http://mattsrc.rchomepage.com/ssir/index.shtml)
Discussion Thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=122951 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=122951)
http://www.skrogg.com/sun.wmv (http://www.skrogg.com/sun.wmv)

Tiger Moth - $50 CL 2/3
http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_53&products_id=20 (http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_53&products_id=20)
Tiger moth Complete Package incl. radio - $150
(need battery charger)
http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=343 (http://www.gwsexpert.com/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=343)
Best flown in still to under 5 mph breeze.
This is an excellent choice for people who have a smaller space to fly. Can
also be flown indoors in a gym or similar space. Cool looking little plane.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=GWS1020 (http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=GWS1020)
http://www.backyardflyer.com/BY/articles/tiger_moth.asp (http://www.backyardflyer.com/BY/articles/tiger_moth.asp)

Tipsey - $55 CL 1
Remove the wing and it goes back in the box for simple
protected transport or keep in the car fun!
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/tipsy.htm (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/tipsy.htm)
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/pdf/gr6232.pdf (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/pdf/gr6232.pdf)
http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?sid=498277416&t=article&cat=198&id=3871 (http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?sid=498277416&t=article&cat=198&id=3871)

Magpie - CL 2
I recommend the $55 package with two wings.
Has slow fly/trainer wing AND an aileron sport wing.
Master the first, then advance to the second.
They offer a complete package with both wings and all the electroncis for $160
Makes it so easy to get it right!
http://www.mountainmodels.com/magpie.php (http://www.mountainmodels.com/magpie.php)
discussion threads
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3502851#post3502851 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3502851#post3502851)
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=306795&highlight=SmoothE+build (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=306795&highlight=SmoothE+build)
Video - slow fly wing
http://www.mountainmodels.com/Magpie.wmv (http://www.mountainmodels.com/Magpie.wmv)
Sport wing
http://www.mountainmodels.com/MagpieSP.wmv (http://www.mountainmodels.com/MagpieSP.wmv)

SmoothE - E$50 CL2
Easy to build Balsa and foam kit. Build as 3 Channel Slow Flyer
Optional 4 channel aileron trainer when you are ready
http://www.mountainmodels.com/smoothe.php (http://www.mountainmodels.com/smoothe.php)
Discussion Threads
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234349&highlight=SmoothE+build (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234349&highlight=SmoothE+build)
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205796&page=19&pp=15 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205796&page=19&pp=15)
Funny video
http://www.mountainmodels.com/SmoothEsmall.WMV (http://www.mountainmodels.com/SmoothEsmall.WMV)

Carbon Falcon ARF - $140 including servos
Almost nothing to build. This may be the ultimate take it with you plane
Folds up to almost nothing for travel or for keep in the car fun!
http://www.acesim.com/rc/p2/p2.html (http://www.acesim.com/rc/p2/p2.html)
http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?t=article&cat=198&id=4236 (http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?t=article&cat=198&id=4236)
http://www.acesim.com/rc/p2/videos.html (http://www.acesim.com/rc/p2/videos.html)

Frog - Foam kit CL2 - $39
http://www.foamfly.com/customer/product.php?productid=18399&cat=&page=&XCARTSESSID=04d939c11f21a1aae3acfe94b8213f09 (http://www.foamfly.com/customer/product.php?productid=18399&cat=&page=&XCARTSESSID=04d939c11f21a1aae3acfe94b8213f09)
http://www.foamfly.com/Plans/Frog_Instructions.PDF (http://www.foamfly.com/Plans/Frog_Instructions.PDF)

Dandy - $42 - CL2
Wood kit
http://www.mountainmodels.com/dandy.php (http://www.mountainmodels.com/dandy.php)
Complete package - $122
Build thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359035 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359035)
http://www.mountainmodels.com/dandy.wmv (http://www.mountainmodels.com/dandy.wmv)

Dusk Stik $40 CL2
Balsa Wood Kit
Similar to GWS Slow stick or ParkZone Slo-V in design
http://www.mountainmodels.com/duskstik.php (http://www.mountainmodels.com/duskstik.php)
Complete package with all electroncis - $112
http://www.mountainmodels.com/duskstik.php (http://www.mountainmodels.com/duskstik.php)

T-IFO - $75 including Motor
http://www.flyifo.com/htmlpages/tifo.html (http://www.flyifo.com/htmlpages/tifo.html)
Complete package with radio - $275
http://www.flyifo.com/htmlpages/ordertifo.html (http://www.flyifo.com/htmlpages/ordertifo.html)#
http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4117 (http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4117)


Have you considered an electric glider? Usually larger than the typical
parkflyer, they also tend to be quite stable and fly a bit slower, which makes
them easy to fly.

If you would like to try soaring with the birds, then an electric glider might
be a good choice. These planes are launched with an electric motor. They can
be flown around using the motor, like a parkflyer, or they can be flown to
height, then the motor is turned off and you hunt for thermals, just like the

They can do loops and simple aerobatics, but are really optimized for thermal
soaring. The Aerobird and the T-Hawk, which are often mentioned as first
parkflyers, glide and thermal pretty well, but they come with fixed props.
These planes include folding props which make the plane more streamlined and
so it can glide better than a fixed propeller plane.

With these planes you get a good first plane, a good first electric and a good
electric glider. It may not have been what you were thinking, but it may be
exactly what you were looking for.

Easy Star - RTF - also listed above CL1
This is a Park Glider - can be flown as parkflyer or glider
Great keep in the car plane!
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240025.asp (http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240025.asp)
Easy Star - ARF - Add you own radio gear
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240009.asp (http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240009.asp)
Discussion Thread on Easy Star
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258656 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258656)
Video - touch and gos
http://plawner.org/video/easygo.wmv (http://plawner.org/video/easygo.wmv)
Video - Testing the plane's behavior
http://plawner.org/video/easystar.wmv (http://plawner.org/video/easystar.wmv)

Ascent - this is a park glider ARF - CL2
It can be flown as a parkflyer or a glider
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFL1075 (http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFL1075)
http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?t=article&cat=237&id=4233 (http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?t=article&cat=237&id=4233)

Easy Glider - This is probably too large to be considered a park flyer but the
combination of great flying ability, tough Elapor construction and great
thermal or slope soaring ability makes this an excellent first electric
sailplane. - CL2

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKHS8&P=7 (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKHS8&P=7)
http://www.multiplexusa.com/models/ParkFliers/EasyGliderE.htm (http://www.multiplexusa.com/models/ParkFliers/EasyGliderE.htm)
http://www.modelspot.com/mpx/easyglider.htm (http://www.modelspot.com/mpx/easyglider.htm)
http://www.multiplex-rc.de/cms/vorschau/upload/d_videos/easyglider_electric.wmv (http://www.multiplex-rc.de/cms/vorschau/upload/d_videos/easyglider_electric.wmv)
http://www.elflight.dk/video5/easy-gl-hang.wmv (http://www.elflight.dk/video5/easy-gl-hang.wmv)
Discussion Thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=347989 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=347989)

If you are not familiar with soaring, it is a lot of fun. Flights can be as
short as parkflyer flights, or can last for hours, if you find lift.

This article may be helpful in understanding lift and the fun that e-gliders
offer to the electric flyer.

Finding Lift
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=57 (http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=57)

08-08-2005, 03:09 AM
Tower has an ARF SuperStar Elec, part #LXAPD1. The plane is complete with motor, battery, ESC and prop. All you need is a three channel radio with two servos. Receiver and servos standard size. I have one and it flys like a trainer. You can easily up grade to ailerons with a wing sold by Tower. Might go to their site and checkout their Elec airplanes. I paid $119.00 for mine but they are down to $73.19 plus shipping.

08-08-2005, 06:08 PM
I will cast my vote for the Slow Stick! :)

08-09-2005, 08:04 PM
Slow stick is good. One thing to keep in mind other than space for flying is weight. The GWS stuff is really great stuff, inexpensive and well any modeler can make just about anything fly.

Check out your local clubs and see if anyone has some gear they are selling or getting rid of. Most clubs not all will have a spot where they list things for sale or trade. Could be someone needs the servo's and receivers you have and you can trade for something smaller.

We sell a lot of the GWS Slow Sticks. The glider is 21.00 and the Arf is 35.00. Reasonable. Ours have the eps400c motor in them. I think you could use what you have as we have one with a camera on it. So it will take a little more weight. It is slow and easy to fly if you have it balanced and mother nature isn't to frisky that day.

Actually the one we used last weekend belonged to someone else. He has his camera on it already.

Eflite has an inexpensive charger but may I recommend you look at the mutliplex multi purpose charger. That is a hot little charger and will grow with you.

That is my two cents worth. Because once you get the electric buggy boo......you will be assimilated into the lipo world. Lighter is better. :)

08-09-2005, 08:23 PM
I cast a 100% vote for the Slow Stick! I have two. Used camera with mine with no problem.

I still use mine, any time the wind is low enough, for practice on low level flying, precise turns and other techniques near the ground! In a short time it totally cured my orientation concerns, in other words, which way to move the stick when the plane is coming toward you, away from you, side ways, upside down (it will fly inverted after some practice).

When I can't fly my other planes due to lack of air space the Slow Stick is "flier of choice" for me!:)

I have a video of it at My Homepage. Click on my name at the upper left and select homepage. You will be taken to a list of my vid's where you can find the Slow Stick vid and several others. You are welcome to view them all! They are all home vids, edited to remove the most boring parts, ground shots, sky shots, feet shots, etc.:D

08-10-2005, 01:00 AM
The slow stick is ok if you have only the room of a baseball field in which to fly. It is fragile, you will go through a bunch of propellers. And the slow stick can handle verly little wind.

If you have an area the size of a soccer field, the Easy Star is better. It's tougher, handles more wind, and you will not break it's propeller being that it is a pusher. It can handle the gear that you have. See the comparison of starter planes here, the slow stick was disqualified as being too fragile:


08-10-2005, 02:39 AM
I upgraded props and, now, DO NOT break props on my Slow Stick. I can fly in 8-10 mph winds. It just depends on what upgrades you apply and whose flying. Never said it was the end all!:) It's just fun and easy to learn with. I'm sure yours is, also!:) Like I said, I use mine where I can't fly my faster planes. I have, among other planes, a brushless Stryker that flies 75mph in almost any wind slower than a tornado.:D

Reformed Nitroaddict
08-10-2005, 02:44 PM
Duster makes a good point - I learned on a Slow Stick, and did break some props until I learned how to land, but never broke the plane itself. It was a great plane for me to learn with and I woudl recommend it to anyone.

10-05-2010, 07:42 PM
Hello everyone: Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but will give it a try.

I like to build and fly blue foamies. They are cheap and easy to repair or rebuild. I can buy cheap servos from several online sorces but Can anyone tell me if there is a cheap reciever that will be combatable with a Spektrum 6 transmitter. 50, 60 bucks a pop get a little expencive if you want to fly several airplanes.

Thanks ahead of time. Larry