View Full Version : Is there a good electric flyer book?

10-12-2005, 05:51 AM
I am new to electric flying, but, I am trying to go fisrt class all the way. Is there a good book that will inform me on watts, amps, volts, esc's, props, batteries and motors?

10-12-2005, 07:29 AM
I am new to electric flying, but, I am trying to go fisrt class all the way. Is there a good book that will inform me on watts, amps, volts, esc's, props, batteries and motors?

As far as I know there is not. And if you did find one and it was over 6 months old, it would be out of date for the most part. Especialy batteries. Technology for electric flight has been growing and changing so fast in the last few years, your best bet to stay on top of things is to just keep reading and asking questions on these message boards.


Walt Thyng
10-12-2005, 02:36 PM
kc: go to Ken Myers' EFO site and read the articles, newsletter etc. It's the best e-power site out there and the monthly e-letter is fantastic. The only e-power book of any value right now is Astro Flight's and it's out of date and very technical (not to mention full of Bob boucher's prejudices)


[email protected]

Matt Kirsch
10-12-2005, 02:39 PM
Volts, Amps, Ohms, Watts, Series, Parallel... All are basic electronics concepts that have no special meaning with regards to electric aircraft. If you can find a book on electronics, that's where you should start. Physics texts often include this information.

But, I have to confirm what Rugar said... As far as a book specifically dealing with electric aircraft, there's nothing out there. You'd think there would be a heck of a demand, but the landscape is changing so quickly that there's no way a book written now would be of much use in 6 months, and there's no way to tell where the industry is headed.

I'm a big proponent of visual aids, so if you want to get into electrics, dive in and get yourself a plane. Every size, shape, and type of plane imaginable has been electrified at this point, and there are several experts wandering the halls of wattflyer.com that are more than happy to help you work through what you need. Things are so much clearer when you're on the sticks. :)

10-12-2005, 06:46 PM
Every book I have seen on electric flight was written prior to 2000 so they are very out of date.

Magazines, forums and the like are your best bets. Find someone who flies electric.

10-12-2005, 06:52 PM
I am new to electric flying, but, I am trying to go fisrt class all the way. Is there a good book that will inform me on watts, amps, volts, esc's, props, batteries and motors?

Sounds like you have some flying experience so I presume it is with glow powered planes. I wrote this for someone else today. Maybe you will find something useful here. ;)

First of all there are a TON of ready to fly electric plane packages. Nothing to build, nothing to figure out. Open the box, charge the battery, less than 2 hours to do final assembly, then go fly or crash.

Most are pretty tough and can be a good way to get started on the cheap. YOu can get some pretty good RTF packages for $130-$200 for a three channel plane, battery, charger and radio. Either Totally built or needing less than two hours final assembly. Most are 30 minutes or less.

Flying electric is not much different than flying glow. Just the power system
changes so you have to learn about motors, speed controls and batteries.
Power is measured in watts rather than horsepower or displacement. Watts =
Volts X running amps

So if your motor draws 8 amps at 8.4 V your motor is drinking about 67 watts.
That would be a good typical figure for a Speed 370 or speed 400 motor set up
in a 16 ounce plane. Flies well, basic aerobatics, good climb rate. But not
burning holes in the sky or flying 3D

If you are running this using a brushed motor, like a speed 400, about 40-50%
of that power makes it to the prop.
If you are running a brushless motor then typically 70-90% of that power makes
it to the prop, so input watts is only half the story. That is why brushless
motors are all the rage. They cost a lot more than brushed motors, however
prices are getting closer together.
If you get into planes over 2 pounds and you want some performance, brushless
is the way to go!

Some old standby guidelines, based on brushed motors, that might be a good
starting point.

For casual or easy sport flying, scale like flying, about 35-50 input watts
per pound is a good benchmark. Many slow flyers do fine on 30 watts per

For aerobatics, about 75 watts per pound seems to be a good starting point.

For 3D, about 100 watts per pound seems to be the benchmark I have seen used
most often.

These are rough rules but they are a starting point.

So if you are building a 2 pound plane and want it to perform some good
aerobatics, then a brushless motor that draws about 150 watts would be a good
starting point. Assuming 8 cells ( 9.6V) you will need to be feeding that
motor at WOT about 15-16 amps.

That helps you pick your motor, your speed controller and your battery pack.

Motor needs to consume 150 watts or more
ESC must handle at least 16 amps ( 20 to be safe)
Battery pack needs to be able to deliver 16 amps ( again figure 20) at 9.6V
Prop will be selected for that motor based on what watts ( voltsXamps) you are
looking for and what that motor/battery set-up can deliver.

Even in the glow world, .40s are not all equal so it is in the electric world.
The difference is glow is based on 50 year old technology that isn't changing
much. Electric is evolving very fast with new motors, speed controls and
battery technology hitting the market every year. And it only gets better and
cheaper! Good stuff!

Some resources you might find helpful.

New Electric Flyer FAQs
http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/a105.shtml (http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/a105.shtml)

Electric Motor information
Click on Motor Chart link on this page too
http://parkflyermotors.com/secure/shop/custom.asp?recid=11 (http://parkflyermotors.com/secure/shop/custom.asp?recid=11)

If you are interested in small electrics in the 8-24 ounce range (parkflyers
size) I can highly recommend any of the planes from www.mountainmodels.com (http://www.mountainmodels.com)
and their support is outstanding! They sell the right servos and stuff for
the planes too. Ask for their help. They won't steer you wrong.

Also the planes from Multiplex are excellent. Crafted in a resilient foam,
called Elapor, they fly great and are very durable. I have flown their Easy
Star and the Easy Glider and several people in our club have their Magister.
http://www.multiplexusa.com/models/ParkFliers/PFmodel_fs.htm (http://www.multiplexusa.com/models/ParkFliers/PFmodel_fs.htm)

If you like flying wings, Zagi is the big brand name in this slot
www.trickrc.com (http://www.trickrc.com)

I hope that was helpful.

10-13-2005, 05:29 AM
Getting Started in Backyard Flying by Bob Aberle ISBN 0-911295-56-9
published 2002 WWW.Backyardflyer.com (http://www.Backyardflyer.com)

Gloria Wells

10-13-2005, 05:52 AM
Ed it sounds like you are an electric god. Thank you very much for your post. Thanks to the rest of you too. I am going to start making my own electric r/c bible.

10-13-2005, 05:56 AM
Just stuff you pick up from hanging around the flying field, the magazine racks and the forums. If you read enough and fly enough, some if it sticks. :)