RC Airplanes February 28, 2008
Electric RC planes are available in different types, and each has it’s own advantages. RCToys.com has many planes to choose from, and they can be grouped into these categories.
Beginner RC Airplanes:
Beginner rc airplanes are fun and interesting to fly. They are a great way for kids to lean how to fly in a safe and inexpensive environment. These rc airplanes are generally constructed out of plastic or crash resistant foam, and have integrated internal electronic parts. These features make them ready to fly out of the box, without needing to buy or install anything separately. They are available in two or three channel varieties, and are most often RTF (ready to fly). RC airplanes of this type can provide many hours of fun flying, and replacement parts are available for most models.
The Vortex is a good example of a typical two channel rc airplane.
The Vortex has both throttle and rudder control, allowing it to move freely in three dimensions, without the pilot having to worry about elevator controls. This can reduce the learning curve, and prevent crashes. When you increase the throttle more air moves over the wings, increasing lift and resulting in a climb. Decreasing the throttle allows the rc airplane to descend. When you want the rc airplane to turn, the rudder will change the direction the nose is pointing.
The Vortex Extreme is like the regular Vortex, but with an extra channel been added for elevator control.
This is good for more advanced pilots because it allows the rc airplane’s pitch to be changed without using the throttle. When the elevator control surface on the tail moves, air is directed up or down resulting in the rc airplane changing pitch. When the elevator is used to change the pitch of the rc airplane different maneuvers are possible, such as loops and rolls.
Both of these models are easier to fly and less expensive than their more sophisticated counterparts.
These two rc aircraft use a pod and boom approach to fuselage design, resulting in a lightweight and durable model. The “pod” part is made of plastic and houses the electronics and engine, and also provides a mounting point for the wing. The boom is a carbon fiber rod with the rudder and horizontal stabilizer mounted at the end.
These rc models are an excellent choice for the beginner, as they are both relatively inexpensive and easy to fly and repair. Replacement parts for both are easily available. These rc airplanes are ready to fly right out of the box, and offer an excellent starting place for the someone new to rc airplanes.
Advanced RC Airplanes:
The beginner rc airplanes mentioned previously are fine for the casual flier, but eventually you will want a more advanced model. There are many different hobby class models available, and they all have several common qualities. The electric components that they use are most often standard, and replaceable as discrete modules. This increases the lifespan of the model, and the components can be reused in future rc airplanes. Most have at least three channels used, with extras being available for expansion.
These airplanes can come in RTF (Ready To Fly) form, or ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) form. ARF airplanes require some gluing and minor assembly.
The MiniMag is an excellent example of a serious RC airplane, with three fully proportional channels, and a tough foam airframe. Ailerons are included in the wing, making it expandable to four channel control (the receiver supports this).
The SX3 is another full fledged rc airplane, available with a lithium battery, brushless motor, and four channel receiver with three servos. This aircraft is capable of highly aerobatic flight, and is a good choice for a more experienced flier.
RC planes come in various sizes, but if this is your first model, try to get the largest one possible, it will be more stable.
If you are looking for an rc airplane, our website has many to choose from, and helpful articles.
Information Articles February 22, 2008
There are several common questions that are regularly asked regarding the operation and maintenance of electric RC systems. This article lists the most common questions and their answers.
Which Lithium Polymer Batteries Should Be Balanced?
Answer: Any Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery with more than two cells should be balanced. A LiPo battery is composed of individual cells, and each cell can charge and discharge at different rates. Eventually, the difference will increase until it can harm the entire pack. When charging the pack, a balancer will set all the cells to the same voltage. By not having certain cells charged and discharged beyond their limits, the life of the entire LiPo pack is increased.
What Does the KV Number Mean?
Answer: The KV number on a brushless electric motor shows what speed it will rotate at per volt of input. This will allow you to determine the unloaded speed you can expect from the motor at different battery levels. This number is measured under the assumption that there is no resistance keeping the motor from turning. In reality, when using a motor you would have a load attached, for example a propeller. This load will cause the motor to slow down. The KV rating will not show exactly what the performance of a motor is when a propeller attached, but it will give you an approximation. A higher KV rating is given to faster motors, and a lower one to slower motors.
What’s a BEC?
Answer: A BEC (battery eliminator circuit) eliminates the need for a separate battery to power the radio system. It does this by drawing power directly from the flight battery, and uses this to power the radio. A BEC can also act as a backup system, continuing to draw the last bit of power from the flight battery for the receiver and servos to use even after their is not enough to power the main motor. This will enable the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft even after the engine stops. Most of the time these devices are part of the electronic speed controller, but they are also available as a separate unit.
What Size ESC Do I need?
Answer: There are two factors to consider when choosing an ESC, the voltage and the amperage. The rated voltage and amperage should always be above the maximums that will be used in the aircraft. Select an ESC that is rated for the same or more cells than you plan to use, and with a current rating at least as high as what your motor is rated for.
What’s the C Rating On a battery?
Answer: The C rating on a battery relates to the maximum current that can be drawn from that battery. A 15C battery can have current drawn from it at up to 15 times the rate that would discharge it in one hour. A 1320mAh (milliamp hour) battery would be discharged in one hour if you were to draw 1320mA from it for one hour), and would be discharged in 1/15th of an hour if you were to draw 15 x 1320mA (19800mA or 19.8 Amps) from it. There are three types of C ratings. Continuous is the amount of current that can be drawn constantly until the battery is depleted. Sustained shows the amount of current that can be drawn for a short period of time. Burst is the amount of current that can be drawn only for an instant. Most lithium batteries will have all three of these ratings printed on them.
Should I use a Watt Meter?
Answer: Yes, the watt meter will show how much electricity your plane is using. You will need a watt meter to determine if your aircraft is exceeding it rated limits.
What Size Prop Should I Use?
Answer: The best size propeller to use is the one the manufacturer of your engine recommends. It is possible to experiment with different propeller sizes, but use a watt meter to determine if your aircraft is exceeding the limits of its electric system. The motor specification sheet will show the voltage, amperage, and RPM of the motor with different propellers.
The Thunder Power RC TP610C balance charger can charge almost any type of battery right out of the box. No extra software or programming is necessary. The simple to use charge menus will have your charging and discharging your LiPoly, A123, NiMh, NiCD and PB battery packs in no time.
The new Thunder Power TP610C chargers are a work of art, finished in a beautiful red paint that shimmers in the light. Our pictures just don’t do it justice – you have to see this charger for yourself! See our new pictures of the Thunder Power TP610C balance charger:
What You Receive When Purchasing a TP 610C Charger:
- Thunder Power TP610C Multi Charger with Built-in Balancer (1-6 LiPoly Cells)
- Alligator clip power supply leads (attached, see picture)
- BL-2 Connector (Balancer multi-adapter. Thunder Power and generic balance adapter plugs)
- Thunder Power TP610C Owner’s Manual
TP-610C Balance Charger Specifications:
- Maximum Charge Rate: 10 Amps
- Charge Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ion A123 Cells: 1 to 6 Cell Packs
- Charge NiCd and NiMH Cells: 1 to 14 Cell Packs
- Charge Lead-Acid (PB) Batteries: 6 – 12Volts
- Power supply sold separately. We recommended a 11-16V DC power supply capable of supplying 10 Amps (example: RipMax Pro-Peak) or a 12V car battery for charging in while at the flying field.
- Remember to never charge or discharge your batteries unattended and always practice safe charging procedures.
For More Info:
Where to Buy a Thunder Power RC TP 610C Balance Charger:
Get the new Thunder Power RC TP610C balance charger at your favorite Thunder Power RC distributor, Draganfly Innovations Inc. www.RCToys.com. Remember, Draganfly Innovations gives you fast, FREE Shipping – anywhere in the world on all Thunder Power RC products.
The Venom LiPo Balance Charger 2-Cell/3-Cell VEN-0653 is a handy little charger for your 2 and 3 cell lithium polymer batteries and at under $30 this little Venom LiPo charger has great value. The Venom balance charger has integrated balance connectors to charge your LiPo battery packs directly through the balance tabs. This means for use with Thunder Power LiPoly batteries you need to have a balance adapter cable to be compatible with the Venom 2s3s balance charger ports. Other brands of LiPo batteries may plug directly into the Venom balance ports with no cable needed.
Thunder Power RC lithium polymer batteries use a different type of balance connector than the type on the Venom charger. But don’t worry, we have a special adapter cable to attach your Thunder Power 2 and 3 cell Li Polymers to the Venom 2s3s balance charger. This Thunder Power Charging Cable for Venom Balance Charger plugs directly into the 3 cell balance port. Thunder Power 3 and 2 cell batteries are compatible with this one adapter. Don’t worry about charging a 2 Cell TP pack using the adapter connected to the 3 cell balance tab on the Venom charger because the two tabs on the Venom charger go to the same internal connections within the charger.
How to connect your Thunder Power LiPo to the Venom VEN-0653 Balance Charger
- Power up your Venom Balance Charger by connecting the included power adapter.
- Plug the male end of the Thunder Power to Venom Balance Cable adapter into the 3 cell balance port on the Venom Charger.
- Make sure nothing is connected to the power/charge leads on your Thunder Power battery.
- Place the battery on a fire resistant surface like a pail of sand or in a LipoSack.
- Plug the balance tab on your 2 or 3 cell Thunder Power RC lithium polymer battery to the female end of the balance charger adapter cable.
- The Venom Balance Charger will automatically start charging and balancing each cell of your Thunder Power Lithium Battery though the balance tab – not the charge/power leads on the battery.
- The charge light on the Venom charger will blink while charging and turn on steady when the battery is fully charged.
- A complete charge will require between 1.5 to 2 hours for a 3s1320 LiPo.
Draganfly Innovations Inc. sells the Venom 2-Cell/3-Cell Balance Charger, the Thunder Power balance charging cable adapter for the Venom Charger, LipoSack charging safety bag, as well as the complete line of Thunder Power RC lithium polymer batteries. Remember, you get FREE shipping on all Thunder Power products!