RC Planes Faster, More Docile

When I first started getting interested in flying model airplanes beyond the glider and rubber band-powered stages, an electrically powered engine was totally unrealistic…they didn’t make extension cords long enough.

What is referred to today as a “glo” or “glow-engine-powered” for flying model aircraft, probably got its start shortly after Kitty Hawk.

Even then, weight was a big factor in getting model aircraft into the air under their own, on board power. Batteries were too heavy to consider electric so the handheld remote pilots and their audiences put up with the noise and smell of gas-powered flight.

gas powered Electric
Gas powered "Glo" engine Battery powered Brushless Motor

RC (radio-controlled) planes as a hobby has been growing worldwide due to the availability of smaller, relatively inexpensive parts and advancing technologies. A variety of models and styles are available to suit any preference or budget.

Recent advances in high performance electric batteries and motors, a growing number of hobbyists are flying electric powered craft instead of fuel (most often methanol or gasoline based) powered craft, because of their ease of construction and the absence of fuel mess and fuss.

Gasoline powered RC aircraft are still the more popular, but electric is gaining fast because they are on the docile side and are comparatively inexpensive.

The key element in the growth of this hobby is maneuverability. Among the RC pilots today the goals are acrobatics and air-to-air combat.

RC Combat began in Europe and came to the United States in the early 90's. At that time it was only for Scale WWII fighter. In 2005 there will be two scale classes flown at contests. The existing class is called Scale 2610 and the new class is Scale 2548. Scale 2610 planes may fly in the 2548 class but not vice versa.

Scale "2610" allows engine displacement up to a maximum of .26 for singles and .30 for twins. The airplane can deviate up to 10% up or down from true 1/12th scale. Singles may weigh no more than 3.5 lbs and twins no more than 4lbs.

Scale 2548 planes have performance limits to keep the speeds down and are required to have higher scale fidelity for which they may be awarded bonus points. The maximum wingspan is 48" and the plane must be scaled accurately and in proportion to its span.

Just Getting Started in RC Flight, Check In Here

The combat last for 5 minutes. Fliers are given 90 seconds to get airborne. Once the 90 seconds have expired or if all fliers are up "start combat" is called. Fliers get 100 points for each cut on another ribbon, 20 points for launching before start combat is called, 20 points for flying the entire heat, and 4 points for each foot of streamer remaining at the end of the match. Scale combat in the US is governed by the rules of AMA, and it's Special interest group the Radio Control Combat Association.

You'll Find A Lot More on RC
RC Racing Glossary RC-Basics RC-Planes
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RC-Boat-Fishing RC Basics-Guide Radio-Control
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