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Scratch and Kit Built Aircraft Discuss and share your scratch built or kit built aircraft as well as building techniques, methods, mediums and resources.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
sbonder
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Default New guy question

I am getting back to building R/C. I want to re-start with a BalsaUSA Spad. I know Nitro well, but want to switch to electric. Any big issues in using electric instead of nitro OTHER than the modifications to accommodate the different dimensions of motor, speed controller and batteries?. I can handle woodworking, but don't want to be caught with my pants down about some other issue that did not occur to me. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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Well I'm not a builder like you are but I can say this. You don't have to worry about the vibrations from the IC engines, nor the fuel getting into the wood so there are much less headaches to deal with. You can build lighter as well since the vibration factor is lower.

The main thing is to decide which motor to use and how you plan on mounting it. Once you have that figured out you're set.

I've done quite a few glow to electric conversions and have been very successful with them.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sbonder View Post
I am getting back to building R/C. I want to re-start with a BalsaUSA Spad. I know Nitro well, but want to switch to electric. Any big issues in using electric instead of nitro OTHER than the modifications to accommodate the different dimensions of motor, speed controller and batteries?. I can handle woodworking, but don't want to be caught with my pants down about some other issue that did not occur to me. Thanks in advance.
Go for it. I came back to RC planes last year after a 10 year absence and I am having a blast with electrics. No castor oil to clean up, no noise, can fly at most any large park.

For some planes I do miss the 4 cycle sound but I don't miss the oil, the dead stick landings, the hard engine starts etc.

Have fun!

Dave
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:16 AM   #4
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Default New guy question

Lol electric is a blast man. But I do dead stick landings the only difference is now when I do them it's by choice.

Its never good when you hear "THUD".
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #5
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No really problems...basically the prop doesn't know or care what is turning it .

The main trick is to be aware that the battery will be a fair proportion of the weight so mounting it needs some careful thought (though that's much less of a problem now than it was with the older heavier types of battery).

Steve
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sbonder View Post
I am getting back to building R/C. I want to re-start with a BalsaUSA Spad. I know Nitro well, but want to switch to electric. Any big issues in using electric instead of nitro OTHER than the modifications to accommodate the different dimensions of motor, speed controller and batteries?. I can handle woodworking, but don't want to be caught with my pants down about some other issue that did not occur to me. Thanks in advance.
here is a nice motor that you might want to concider at 2700 - 3000 Watts, its the E Flight power 160 with a HV 110 Castle Creation Esc, use a big seperate battery pack for the servos and receiver, that 1/4 scale Spad always comes out tail heavy, you might want to build the fuse and tail feathers a little lighter,



http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/De...odID=EFLM4160A


E-flite Power System:


My power system plan for the P-51D is to use the E-flite Power 160 outrunner motor and a Castle Creations Phoenix HV-110 ESC. This motor/ESC combination will be powered by a 10 to 12 cell LiPo supply and a 4-blade prop for blazing power and scale authenticity. The power level will be around 3000 watts on the 16lb airframe which will provide an awesome 187w/lb!




The E-flite Power 160 Outrunner Motor is ideal for 160-size sport and scale airplanes weighing 12-20 lbs (5.4-9 Kg), 3D airplanes up to 15 lbs (6.8 Kg), or models requiring up to 2700 watts of power. All the mounting hardware and mating connectors come with the motor.





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Old 11-17-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sbonder View Post
I am getting back to building R/C. I want to re-start with a BalsaUSA Spad. I know Nitro well, but want to switch to electric. Any big issues in using electric instead of nitro OTHER than the modifications to accommodate the different dimensions of motor, speed controller and batteries?. I can handle woodworking, but don't want to be caught with my pants down about some other issue that did not occur to me. Thanks in advance.
Start planning early, before you start to build!

Biggest one single issue - you guessed! You are now about to mount a smaller, more compact motor where the oilburner went. Your 'refueling' needs also must be addressed. If you are planning on using a LiPo battery, you want to be able to easily remove it frm the model for recharging - don't even contemplate an in-place charge, as these batteries have been known to pull off a close impression of an explosion into catching fire.

You don't want to be standing there in pits or your house watching your hard work go up in flames, I take it ?

Weight reduction - some like it, some don't bother. Note the now almost complete abscense of vibration. Here's a chance to look at the structure from one end to the other. It's hard to make a WW1 biplane nose heavy, but you can now look at a really light replacement tail structure - thinner laminated outline, lighter structure inside them, closed loop controls vice hefty pushrods.

Weight reduction may be getting unfashionable as our e-power gets higher and easier, but its still the cheapest performance upgrade and, applied properly, solves some of that tendency of this type of model to come out very tail heavy.

Have 'electrocuted' several glow models - it is possible to come out seriously under the typical glow powered flying weight with a model that can do fine as a sports flier.

Motor - we have a degree of flexibility that the glow lot don't. If you wanted to put in serious effort, a geared 'inrunner' motor vice the popular and easier going outrunner could turn that huge scale diameter prop that benefits a model like you are looking at.

As always, research lots, only buy when confident over purchase.

Have you considered whipping up a simpler sports model - Sig's new Four Star 20 springs to mind, or maybe convert a glow sports model you already have - to more easily pick up the handling clues of e-power?

Good luck

D
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