A word about the new Outrunner Class:
We've been flying this class for awhile now, and have a group of pilots who've done their best to create the "perfect" Outrunner class plane. I went the farthest afield, custom building a composite based on Drela-like design elements.
Others have built planes from this list
at Niagra Frontier Models or have a WindDancer from Polecat Aeroplane Works. You gotta love the low cost, excellent workmanship, and good performance attributes of these planes. Design Emphasis: Lightweight is worth something, but wing span is worth more.
I've emphasized lightweight on my plane but have just 72" span, and count on the benefits of getting to higher altitude quicker. I took this lesson from Lenny Keer of Colorado, who has won Speed 400 the last two years with an old Mirage hand launch conversion to electric. Most everyone else has gone 2 to 2.2 meters, and they aren't that much heavier, plus they didn't have to build the components but took advantage of the ARFs. One fellow built his WindDancer from a Kit, modifying and taking lightweight to the ragged edge.
Anyway, the climb performance of this low cost solution (Drela-inspired ship, Hacker A20-20L, PolyQuest 1500 mAh 2S-Lipo, 17.5 oz. AUW) is classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to...