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Old 07-17-2014, 09:22 PM
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I consider anything that can be flown with up to a single 6S 5000 pack as a good choice for electric, with bigger quickly becoming more expensive and cumbersome. Having said that, my two new birds this year are a heli that runs 12S and a 30cc-size aerobat that runs 10S. Go figure.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:28 PM
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It is a choice, but there are objective differences.


In larger systems electric is heavier, costs more per hour of operation, has shorter flight times. Generally, more punch, always quieter, and for most people they require no "tuning". Gas systems have longer flight times, can refuel and fly in minutes, have a sound that many find appealing, require some level of skill to tune properly, and require dealing with hazardous fluids and fumes.


The preferences come in which of these attributes matter to the individual pilot. I wouldn't try to tell someone what is best for them, only to describe what the characteristics of the systems are. They both fly and are good.


With oil and radios the objective differences are harder to find.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 PM
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I use the 6S batteries from my 60" electric in series to run my 30cc on 12S. So I didn't need any additional investment for batteries or charger. I did run it on 6S for a while with batteries parallel but I had the motor rewound for 12S. Motor and ESC run much cooler. Proof that more cells don't have to weigh more. Just make sure you have the same watt/hr and the higher voltage should be more efficient. If I fly lazy circles I can stay in the air for 25+ min in 3700mah. Fly harder and I get about 10 min.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:33 PM
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You can't fix STUPID
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Some setups do require some changes in the timing for different pole motors. Seen a 3/8" shaft snap clean on one due to improper setup.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike 48 View Post
Come on people. There are advantages and disadvantages to either power system. To argue electric is better than gas or gas is better than electric is ridiculous. No one is going to win the argument on either side.

You use whichever you prefer and that it that. I fly mostly gas but that is because I already have all the support equipment that is necessary for gas/glow operation and I grew up on internal combustion engines. That by itself doesn't mean it's better than electric. It's just what I'm more used to. I do have a couple of electric planes plus an electric mid size heli (nothing larger than 3s power.)

The argument over gas vs electric is like the argument over which oil is best or which brand radio is best. It's all personal preference, nothing more.

Mike 48
You must have missed the point of the thread. We are not discussing which is better. We are expressing our personal views and opinions about the point where we think electric power may become impractical, for whatever reason.

For some people it is cost. For some it is the ability to charge ( me ) and for some it is just a preference for a particular type of power system.

If I read the posts correctly, it seems that most of the people in this thread fly both. The question and the topic was to learn at what size or for what other reason they feel that it is better to switch from electric to fuel, and why.

Frankly I think this has been a very healthy and enlightening discussion.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:45 AM
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Planes are too big for electric at the point where you decide that the batteries cost too much!!
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:14 AM
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$25 is my limit!
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:25 AM
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Check it bleed,bro was on.
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Quote:
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Planes are too big for electric at the point where you decide that the batteries cost too much!!
That is part of my thought process too
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
Planes are too big for electric at the point where you decide that the batteries cost too much!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakwards View Post
That is part of my thought process too

OK gents, at what point do you think the batteries cost too much? Remember this is a request for your personal opinion about what works for you.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:06 AM
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Check it bleed,bro was on.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
OK gents, at what point do you think the batteries cost too much? Remember this is a request for your personal opinion about what works for you.
100.00 a battery is to much IMO
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
OK gents, at what point do you think the batteries cost too much? Remember this is a request for your personal opinion about what works for you.
$1200... A buddy and myself are working on an A123 powered 35%...already bought the cells to make the battery. Maybe more info latter.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:39 AM
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I have never used A 123s. Tell me why you went that way?

Lower cost? Faster charging? Lighter weight? Longer flight time?

Inquiring minds want to know.


For anyone not familiar with A123 batteries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A123_Systems
http://www.a123systems.com/lifepo4-battery-cell.htm

A123 Systems, LLC is a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion (lithium iron phosphate) batteries and battery systems for the transportation and commercial markets. A123 Systems LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanxiang Group, is a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and energy storage systems for transportation and other commercial and industrial applications.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:48 AM
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When do planes get too big for electric powered flight?

My personal limit is 30cc. Anything under that goes electric. At that point gas has a weight penalty for ign, batts, and fuel tank. Electric setups below this are generally 6s 5000 or less, making 30min recharge cycles possible on a 12v system, but ac power is a must. I have a 2000w generator for non powered fields (doubles as emergency backup power for the house).

Also the smaller gas engines don't seem to meter fuel as well so there is trouble tuning.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:35 PM
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When I started this discussion, what I wanted to hear and discuss were the factors that influence people’s decisions. You can certainly put enough watts into a 40 pound plane to fly 3D with electric, but would you want to? If not, why not, and by that I mean each of you personally.

This is not an electric vs. glow vs. gas. This is a discussion about how people make decisions. I have found it very interesting and very enlightening. I have this same discussion going on several forms and despite that the forums are different and, to some extent the pilot’s interests are different the overall trend has been similar in each discussion.



Interestingly, 30CC gas seems to be a common break point regardless of what people are flying. Now, what you put that 30 CC in probably varies from group to group, but that seems to be a common point were people are saying that e-power is too costly or charging is too inconvenient or something else would cause them to stop at this size or the would switch to gas.

I originally thought the line would be drawn by weight but we are talking about the engine choice, not how you fly or what planes you fly so it makes sense that you would draw the line by engine size rather than weight. For one group a 30 CC engine might go on an 9 pound plane for 3D. For another group 30 CC might be 12 pounds. But 30 CC seems to be a common break point.

Another major factor seems to be the availability of 110 power at the field. If there is 110V power at the field then there seems to be a tendency to go up in engine size because you have better charging resources. If there is no 110 at the field then the tendency is go lower in engine size. Some people feel generators are fine and others would not even consider it.

It is also interesting that most of the discussions have been measured in watts or CC for gas. Not a lot of discussion based on glow engine sizes. I would guess a 30 CC gas motor might be comparable to a 160 2 stroke glow motor or something like that, but that is not coming up. People seem to be saying, "I fly electric up to something, often 30 CC size planes, then above that I fly gas."

THAT has been the biggest surprise to me. It is electric below X then gas above X and not a lot of people talking about electric below X and glow above X. This implies that people feel electric stacks up very well against glow but that it is not a good replacement for gas above about 30 CC.

Naturally there are those who crave the scream of the engine and the smoke and the smell and all. In that case electric doesn't even get a consideration. They might fly some electric micros or even something in the .15 size in electric and then it is glow above that, but I am not getting a lot of comments about glow overall.

And there are those who will only fly electric because it is clean or quiet or reliable or that is all that is allowed at their field, or .... whatever the reason. And whatever their top motor size is, that dictates the largest plane they will fly.

In the end it is all very individual. The factors vary but the themes are quite similar across all the discussions I have running. Even the discussion on Wattflyer, an all electric forum, follows the same pattern.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:36 PM
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Glow is a dying source of power. I have a couple glow machines left that I rarely fly. They'll get converted to electric when I get the chance. Too many drawbacks compared with either electric or gas power.
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