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Old Sep 10, 2012, 01:48 PM
The New Guy
Joined Aug 2012
61 Posts
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Electric or glow power a newbie would like your opinion.

Greetings fellow pilots,

I have already invested in a Real flight Simulator, a Super Cub and a PZ p-51 Mustang (which has yet to see flight). I am going to make another investment for a trainer and after the trainer plane. Foamees are not very popular at my flying field that I go to. I did want to stay with electric however I am open minded. Can you please tell me the pros and cons for going electric or going glow power? I feel it may be economically wise to make a choice up front because of the investment in batteries or glow related items (I am still a newbie so I dont know all the items)

Thanks
Robert
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 02:20 PM
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aurorae's Avatar
Joined Sep 2008
673 Posts
Well, you are posting in the electric forum, so everyone is going to tell you to go electric.

For smaller size planes, there is no reason to go with glow. Glow is noisy, messy, takes longer at the field to get the engine tuned.

In my opinion, the only reason to go with liquid fuel nowadays is if you want to go with a really big plane. When you start talking motors > .60 size, the batteries start to get way expensive.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 02:26 PM
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dedStik's Avatar
United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
5,416 Posts
Glow is messy, fuel is around $16 a gallon, using an 8 ounce tank you can get 16 flights from a gallon of fuel. I could go through that in a weekend. After each flight you will have to clean your entire plane, glow residue will eventually destroy your plane. You have to tweak the motor prior to every flight. It's noisy, you will be limited to where you can fly.

Electric is quiet, there is no cleanup, models are generally lighter and smaller (you can sometimes fly in schools or parks without disrupting surrounding neighborhoods). A lipo is about as much as 2 or 3 gallons of glow fuel and will last much longer. There is no cleanup after a flight.

Even if foam models aren't very accepted at your field you can still find plenty of balsa and ply models that are electric.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 03:33 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
4,755 Posts
I have been flying with a few ex glow/gas guys of late, and they all say the same thing..........."Go electric." for all all the reasons that dedStik menitoned above. One gentleman even told me that he had the plywood firewall on one of his fuel planes fail because it finally go too saturated and softened with oil and residue from the fuel. I pesonally have nothing against fuel RC vehicles, I have two nitro RC trucks, but for my planes, I will stick with electric. It's just cleaner and easier.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 03:42 PM
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NE Texas
Joined Jan 2008
557 Posts
When I fly with my glow friend, I can get in two, sometimes three flights before he gets his started and running right. If you go glow, you'll spend a lot of frustrating times tinkering with the engine when you could have been flying electric.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 09:12 PM
Joined Nov 2011
935 Posts
I love the smell of nitro, so I really hope that some of the OTHER pilots keep flying it.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 09:52 PM
The wind caused that!!
hoghead5150's Avatar
United States, OK, Poteau
Joined Jul 2012
617 Posts
i've been asking myself this same question. i'm new, and i have an electric plane, but the flying field was mostly glow planes, and one of the guys that flies here in our town with us is a glow engine guy. here is what i've seen.

electric is easier to get going, no mess, not much noise. the glow engines are loud (unless you go 4 stroke gas or something like that), are messy, seem to be kinda quirky as sometimes they don't seem to want to run right.

i could see glow engines in a large sized plane as the electric motor and battery would have to be huge, heavy, and expensive to power say a 15lb plane with huge wingspan. but i don't see myself getting into anything that big, my 58in wingspan plane is plenty big!

the glow engines do sound awesome tho, and the smell of nitro is nice. i see both have their good and bad points.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 10:16 PM
I just want to go fly!
walter3rd's Avatar
United States, MD, Towson
Joined Aug 2012
2,239 Posts
i love the smell of nitro too, but i would not want to deal with the mess. electric all the way!
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 04:20 AM
Registered User
United States, NY, Center Moriches
Joined Feb 2012
157 Posts
In my 10 or so months flying and belonging to 2 clubs, one of which is electric only, the other is glow, gas or electric thats a question I have asked also. It seems that with the old timers that fly glow and gas at one of my clubs its not about alot of flight time. They might fly once or twice during their trip to the field. The setup time with glow seems to be a pain and the messy to say the least. Then they fiddle with the engine and do alot of muttering under their breath. Gas is cleaner, runs better, less tuning and nowdays they are making smaller gas motors to accomadate a bigger range of planes. The cost is higher for the engine. I fly electrics only right now but just bought 2 wet planes. Electric is just easier, cleaner, noise friendly. I guess its a personal choice.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 05:12 AM
Glow 😡 no no no
Australia, SA, Evanston Park
Joined Mar 2010
4,646 Posts
I used to fly glow but now I am all electric, there is no reason to go back even for a large model, I am planning a 60size Hurricane and it will be electric.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 04:09 PM
wbuttry
sikeston mo
Joined Apr 2009
362 Posts
if you are gonna go with fuel planes go gas dont go glow we used to have a all glow club then me and a few others started tinkering with electric planes now 95%of the die hard glow heads only fly electric and the other fly glow and electric seems like glow is on it's way out to me dontget me wrong i love glow the smell the smoke trail all of it except cleaning up a plane afterwards..
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 08:21 PM
Once you taste flight...
skydvejam's Avatar
United States, VA, Fort Belvoir
Joined Dec 2011
2,757 Posts
I have both Nitro and electric, the upside of glow, you hear your planes motor shift from a distance, and that oh so sweet glow smell. Downsides, about 20 bucks a gallon for fuel, PITA to tune, and yes you have some slime to clean.
Upsides, it is rather cheep for a .40-.60 size motor, just got a .75 size for 60 bucks with a pitts muffler, same setup for electric would be quite a bit more expensive. Glow motors you just refuel and go, after you tune the motor, my .40 takes me about 2 minutes to tune if that, the .75 is much higher compression, mounted sideways, and takes from 2-20 minutes to tune.
Electric is a bit more upfront cost, but in the long run it would save you some cash, and allow some easier flying, although it is also more dangerous, not just from the Lipo perspective, but you know for sure when a glow motor is ready to go, electrics have caused way more injuries, make sure your fail safe is set right, turn the plane then the TX off, and keep clear of that prop once the battery is in. As long as you keep these thoughts in mind, and always treat it with respect E-power is great.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 08:32 PM
Joined Nov 2011
935 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydvejam View Post
I have both Nitro and electric, the upside of glow, you hear your planes motor shift from a distance, and that oh so sweet glow smell. Downsides, about 20 bucks a gallon for fuel, PITA to tune, and yes you have some slime to clean.
Upsides, it is rather cheep for a .40-.60 size motor, just got a .75 size for 60 bucks with a pitts muffler, same setup for electric would be quite a bit more expensive. Glow motors you just refuel and go, after you tune the motor, my .40 takes me about 2 minutes to tune if that, the .75 is much higher compression, mounted sideways, and takes from 2-20 minutes to tune.
Electric is a bit more upfront cost, but in the long run it would save you some cash, and allow some easier flying, although it is also more dangerous, not just from the Lipo perspective, but you know for sure when a glow motor is ready to go, electrics have caused way more injuries, make sure your fail safe is set right, turn the plane then the TX off, and keep clear of that prop once the battery is in. As long as you keep these thoughts in mind, and always treat it with respect E-power is great.
You are right, glows growl before they bite, electrics just sneak up and get you. I like to use a throttle cut switch on the TX to keep runaways from happening but the best thing to do is respect the prop at all times.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 10:59 AM
The New Guy
Joined Aug 2012
61 Posts
Thank you all. These are excellent comments and are very helpful. I have learned more about electric.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 10:11 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
3,954 Posts
One thing I know about electric. When I advance the throttle the motor will go. Even if I shut down in flight I can restart at will. Glow just won't do that.
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