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Old Oct 27, 2012, 09:18 PM
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Joined Oct 2012
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Getting Myself and My Dad Back Into RC Planes

Ok, small background here, I graduated a few years ago with a bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and am currently emplyed as a low voltage control systems engineer. I have some modeling and basic RC experience, and lots of motorsports (cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats) experience, so I'm quick to learn the details of RC planes. Don't be afraid to throw out complicated terms and jargon.

My dad used to be very much into aviation and RC planes, but hasn't done much in the hobby for about 20 years. I thought it would be really cool to buy a nice RC plane for him for christmas that we can fly together. I have my heart set on a multi-engine warbird. The first model me and my brother build with my dad when we were young was a B-17.

I don't mind buying a RTF or ARF kit, but I'd rather build a kit and choose my own motor/battery set-up. I plan on buying 2-3 more planes (probably 1 every christmas), so I want to get a battery and TX that I can use on several different platforms. I don't really want to get a "trainer" plane, since my dad will do most of the flying, and he's very experienced, and I want something that I will continue to fly, not something that will collect dust after my next build.

I have my eye set on the B-25 kit from HobbyKing:http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html
since I want something with flaps, retracts, and bomb bay, and I suspect it will fly pretty easily. Its $99 for the KIT, or I can get a ARF (minus batteries & RX/TX) for ~$300.

I've put some preliminary choices together for a complete package with the KIT and I think I can save quite a bit of money, and build a better plane with the KIT over the ARF version, but I'm nervous that I'm headed in the wrong direction.

My EE gut tells me to get higher voltage batteries (4s, 5s, or 6s), and powerful motors, but I'm not sure if I'm headed in the right direction with this train of thought. I'm thinking I want larger batteries (3300Mah or so) with larger motors for more power and longer flight times. But maybe that will just weigh too much and I'm better off with something lighter? One reason I'm thinking 5s or 6s batteries is I want to do an EDF build in the future, and it seems to me high power EDF motors often take higher voltages.

I'm also not sure if more powerful motors (700-850W range) are any good for this aircraft, since it comes with 3 blade propellers, and I'm not sure where to source higher pitch ones to make use of the extra power, and I don't want to weigh it down to make it hard to land. I'm just the kind of guy who wants the biggest/baddest/fastest thing. Sometimes I need to be reminded to take a chill pill.

If anyone actually read my whole post, I would really appreciate some pointers, or motor suggestions, or if a twin engine warbird is too ambitious, or that there is no advantage of doing a 4s, 5s, or 6s system over a 3s. My budget is flexible, but I was planning on spending $400. Thank you!
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Last edited by PhysicsDude55; Oct 27, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
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mcnowhere's Avatar
United States, OR, McMinnville
Joined Aug 2011
1,442 Posts
Welcome, you have a large amount of questions. Where are you located and where will you fly?
Once you decide on a bird like the hobby king I'll bet there is a thread on here that will have mucho info for you.
The Tx will or should be your 1st purchase and that will be money well spent if you get the right one. The brand that most others use at your locality would be the best, they can help you learn the ins and outs. Sounds like you need at least 7 ch if you are wanting flaps bombs etc.
You sure its just your dad flying and you don't want a trainer for yourself?
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 07:28 PM
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United States, OR, Canby
Joined Aug 2011
2,380 Posts
That plane would have way more than scale power at 100w per pound of flying weight, that would be two 50w motors.

Unless you want to cut up a lot of foam figure out what is the largest battery that will fit in the battery compartment and go with that.

Put your money into a good TX, Futaba or Spektrum with as many channels as you can afford so you don't have to upgrade the TX as your airplane addiction grows.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 01:21 PM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
4,992 Posts
Hey Physics, welcome to the forum. Although I understand that your Dad has experience, 20 years is a long layoff. I appreciate your not wanting a "highwing" trainer, but the B-25 you have your mind set on will probably be difficult to fly, especially if it is a twin or quad motor plane. May I suggest an RTF or RX-R plane to get you reacquainted with the hobby? I would suggest getting a low wing trainer like the Parkzone T-28 Trojan. The Trojan is a 4 channel plane that can fly very docile and slow and can fly fast over 50% throttle. It also has tricycle landing gear which makes it easier to land than your typical "tail dragger." You might want to check out a Spektrum DX6i; the DX6i is the perfect starter radio with a 10 model memory and plenty of programming options.
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