View Full Version : how many batteries?

08-03-2005, 04:21 AM
Ok, I know you a reciever, battery for reciever, ESC, motor, mini/micro servos, extension cable, ect inside of the plane. But besides the battery for the reciever is there another battery required inside the plane? I am new to electric and trying to understand everything that goes inside of an electric plane. I am trying to make a list of parts to purchase, but am not quite sure if I have everything. So far I have decided on 3 GWS naro servos, GWS estarter plane w/400 motor, Greatplanes ESC, Futaba 9" servo extension. I already have the transmitter and a futaba reciever. What else am I missing? Also, any better suggestions on servos, ESC, plane, ect let me know. One last thing...is there an electric plane that can use regular size servos?

Reformed Nitroaddict
08-03-2005, 02:25 PM
dus10 - Welcome to Wattflyer!

To answe your questions - Unlike a gas plane, where you need a seperate battery to power the receiver and servos, an electric plane uses a circuit in the ESC to step down the voltage of the main battery to power both the motor and the electronics. So, no, only one battery needed.

If purchasing a GWS E-Starter, then the equipment you would need beyond the plane, TX and RX that you already have, would be:

3 micro servos, the GWS ones you listed will work fine, and are very cheap. An ESC, if going with the 350motor, get a 10A ESC minimum, if the 400 motor, a 15A minimum. And of course you will need a battery and charger. I would recommend getting a minimum of two batteries to start, but you would be happier with three.

Take a careful look at which E-Starter you purchase. The 400 model will actually fly very poorly compared to the 350 model, unless you run the motor on a 3S lipo battery pack. If not going lipo and sticking with nimh packs right now, then you will need to go with the 350 version. Also, you won't need the servo extension, there is plenty of length in the stock wires to do everything.

To answer your question about standard size servos, the larger planes similary in size to a 40 series glow plane can use them, but not really any of the smaller park flyers under 25-30oz.

08-03-2005, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the help. Just to clarify things a bit. I just bought a NiCd battery pack for my futaba reciever and from what I gather from your explanation you do not need a pack to power your reciever like in gas planes. The reciever is powered from the battery pack that hooks into the ESC right? So the Nicad battery I purchased is useless for electric. You also explained about the 40 size electric planes, are there any out there? If so can you tell me one.

Reformed Nitroaddict
08-03-2005, 08:13 PM
- That is correct, the battery used to power the plane also powers the rcvr - you can return the batts you have purchased for the receiver.

Someone else just asked about 40 size electric trainers in another thread - and I listed several with vids and cost breakdown. Here is the link:


08-03-2005, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the help. I think I will hold onto the nicd battery though since I plan on going both electric and gas and will need that battery for my gas trainer. Besides I cant return something off ebay. Dont worry thought it was a new sanyo nicd batter from a person with a high seller rating.

08-07-2005, 06:27 AM
Most 40 trainers can be converted to electric power. You will need a large brushless motor ( $125-$250) a brushless speed control ( $75-$150) and large battery pack, prefferably lithium, ($100-$300 each ) Now you can save $10 per servo by using your standard size servos and $20 by using a standard size receiver.

My point is that, if you have a big enough budget, you can fly ANY model plane with electric power, but once you get past about 3 pounds the price starts to get steep. Next year, that will push up a bit to maybe 5 pounds as the cost of motors, ESC and batteries suitable for larger planes come down.

Our club president just purcased a pattern plane, about 66 or 70 inch wing span that weighs about 20-25 pounds and has about 38 pounds of thrust out of is electric motor. The plane goes full 3D, but the price is in the thousands.

So, state your budget and we can set you up with anything you like. :D

The real action in the electric market is under 3 pounds using mini and micro electronics and 2-3 cell lithium or 6-9 cell NIMH battery packs.

Here performance can be mild to wild and it is very cost effective. The planes are smaller and can be flown in smaller fields. Most don't need a runway and some can be flown in your living room.

Of course there are electrics that go over 100 mph on cheap Speed 400 motors. So there is plenty of range for everyone.

We even have reversing propellers so planes can back out of a dive. :o

If you don't have a big budget, stay in the 8 oz to 24 ounce range and you can have a ball at a very affordable price. ;)

08-07-2005, 07:17 AM
Since Im a begginner I dont want to set a big budget for my first plane. Something simple, but that doesnt look like a big piece of foam flying through the sky. I cant afford brushless right now so its gonna have to be brushed. I have the transmitter, reciever, and ESC already. I already have 4 Futaba 3004 servos, and a nicad battery for the reciever. Im trying to avoid having to buy excess stuff, but will probably have to buy micro servos. The planes that I would still be able to use the bigger servos would probably require a brushless motor.

08-07-2005, 11:31 AM
Please provide more specifics as to what radio, receiver you have and what speed control. The receiver battery and servos you have will not be used so you can stop listing them.

There are three ways for you to get started.

RTF - complete package including everything - Under $200

ARF - Mostly prebuilt plane. You add radio, mini or micro servos, light receiver, appropriate ESC, appropriate motor battery, motor battery charger ( radio charger will not work)

Kit - Some to a lot of building of the plane. You add radio, mini or micro servos, light receiver, appropriate ESC, appropriate motor battery, motor battery charger ( radio charger will not work)

You see you pick the plane FIRST, then you buy the rest to fit it. If you buy the electronics first, then you restrict yourself as to what plane you an buy.


How much space do you have for flying? If you have totally clear space of at least 600'X600', about 9 square acres, approx 4-6 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 - CL3

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.

When you tell us the details of your electronics and about your space, we can tell you about planes.

Finally, do you have a coach/instructor or are you trying to lean on your own.