View Full Version : Glo conversion - New to electrics

02-28-2006, 01:10 AM
I have an ARF that I'm anxious to convert to electric power. It's an entry pattern type sold by Hobby People.
Sportsman Aviation EXCELLERON
Span 58 inches
Wing area 565 sq.in.
Weight ready to fly 5.5 - 6 pounds (with .50 2cycle or .70 4 cycle).

I've been building and flying model airplanes for 65 years, from H/L gliders to 1/3 Scale monsters, so I figured I'd have no trouble switching to electrics. WRONG! I've been reading various web-store sites and several electric forums and I can't seem to decide on the proper combination of motor, ESC and li-po battery.

I think that the AXI 4130-20, Hyperion 4025-12 or the Horizon Hobby Eflite Power 60 would fly this plane, but what ESC, battery and prop do I need. I have sufficient ground clearance for a 13.5 inch or maybe 14 inch prop. I looked at FMA direct's BalancePro HD LiPo battery and charger system which seems ideal. The 4000 6S2P pack looked like it would be enough power, and a 60 amp. ESC.

Am I in the ballpark? It seems that the more I read the more uncertain I become. Any suggestions will be appreciated.


Edit by Skyrider - Please move to 'Glo to Electric Conversions'.

Matt Kirsch
03-02-2006, 05:14 PM
Electric is a different thought process, that's for sure. With any internal-combustion solution, your entire power system is buttoned up in a nice neat little package that you hang off the firewall. Not so with an electric.

Electric is more like building up a race engine from scratch. If you've ever watched those hotrod how-to shows on TV, you'll know that there are all sorts of different blocks, cranks, cams, rods, pistons, heads, valves, lifters, pushrods, intakes, carbs, etc., and it's up to you to choose parts that not only give you the performance you're looking for, but also fit together and work together without destroying each other.

It's not quite as complicated as all that, though. Your four main components in an electric plane are: Battery, ESC, Motor, and Propeller.

What might help in your understanding is to stop pulling motors out of context, and start talking about battery/motor/prop combinations. Without a battery and a prop, a motor is just a refrigerator magnet.

The amount of power you'll need will depend on the type of plane, and how you want to fly it. I'm not familiar with the plane you're converting, so can you describe its intended use?

You're in the ballpark, if the plane is a 3D design. Otherwise, you're over the border into Overkill Canyon. :) I would recommend the 6S1P 3200mAh BalanceProHD pack rather than the 6S2P 4000mAh pack. The 3200mAh pack will hold voltage better and discharge more efficiently. Plus, it's lighter and less expensive. You'll get more flying out of the 3200mAh than the 4000mAh, quite frankly.

You'll need to extend the landing gear if you want to use any of the motors you listed, though... They need to spin 15" or larger props to get the power to the air. I would use the AXi 4130/16 rather than the /20, too. The /16 is roughly the same motor as the Power 60, and the "cooler" /20 version needs to spin an even larger propeller for the same power output.

03-02-2006, 07:25 PM
Thank you Matt, I've already replaced the landing gear and can now swing a 15 inch prop. I'll go with the AXI 4130-16 motor and the 6s1p 3200 mah battery. I'll post my results after the first flight.


Matt Kirsch
03-03-2006, 01:28 PM
Visit www.modelmotors.cz (http://www.modelmotors.cz) and choose a prop that draws about 40 Amps. I think a 15x10 will make you crap your pants on a plane that light.

I'm running the 4130/16 on a 6S Kokam 3200 pack with a 15x8 Graupner prop on my P-40. Really, babying the system. I think the plane weighs 9lbs, but you wouldn't know it to see the thing fly.

03-05-2006, 06:49 PM
Thanks for the advice Matt. I've ordered several props and an Astro Flight wattmeter.


03-05-2006, 08:40 PM
Some conversions - find a similar plane and go from there.



03-31-2006, 12:03 AM
Final report:

I have completed and flown the Excelleron. All up weight came out at 7 lbs. 1 oz. I used the AXI 4130-16 motor and Jeti 77 Plus OPTO ESC with a UBEC. The battery is a 6S1P FMA Balance Pro HD - 3200mah. It's been flown with an APC 14x10E and 15x8E props. I've completed 5 flights averaging about 9 minutes. The batteries recharge in about 20 minutes using the Balance Pro HD charger.

I'm very happy with my first electric conversion. :):)


Matt Kirsch
03-31-2006, 09:12 PM

How's the vertical? If you need more, I know people that are running 15x10 and even 16x10 props on that motor, with that battery pack... Those Kokam 3200s just take a licking and keep on ticking.

04-12-2006, 12:17 AM
Thanks Matt,
The vertical performance is surprisingly good but I intend to experiment a bit with props. I haven't had much flying since the last post - my Balance Pro charger went bad and I've sent it in for repair.