Electric vs. Gas... - RC Groups
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Dec 21, 2001, 03:23 AM
Registered User

Electric vs. Gas...

Hello all. I come on here and read all I can and go to the hobby shop to buy a Sky Scooter and he tells me not to get electric cause it doesnt pull outta mistakes good if you ever make a mistake and it has more power when you need it. I personally never owned gas powered I dont know the maintence on them but I have had electric cars and trucks all my life and I know everything about them and know the hassles and do's and donts. I just wanna get everyones opinion on the subject.
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Dec 21, 2001, 04:29 AM
ChrisP's Avatar
10 reasons why I fly electric :

1. No charging of glow plug batteries and starter batteries any more.
2. No worries that the fuel has 'gone off' or 'got old'.
3. No charging of receiver batteries.
4. The only thing that has to be charge before I head off to the field is the transmitter and that's on a controlled permanent charger anyway.
5. I build smallish models with 400 / 600 motors so most of them fit in the car with the wings on.
6. I can easily get 3 or 4 models in the car so I have a spread of performances to cover changes in weather.
7. They don't drip on the inside of the car.
8. Because of 7 I don't feel that a station wagon is a must anymore. And I really did want to drive something other than a station wagon.
9. I don't have to clean them after flying.
10. I love multi-engined planes and they are much easier with electric.

So do I still fly glow ? Occasionally. My 'rule of thumb' is that anything that would take a motor such as an OS 48 Surpass or bigger is for me too expensive as an electric.
Dec 21, 2001, 06:46 AM
Crash Master
Gene Bond's Avatar
Go to a different Hobby Shop!
Dec 21, 2001, 06:58 AM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
More power means more speed in a nose dive crash. The hobby guy needs some education. Its not so much the power, its the altitude of your model when you make a mistake. Screw up when your 10 to 20 feet, meet the turf! I'd go to another hobby shop too. Buy your scooter at www.servocity.com

Dec 21, 2001, 08:11 AM
Tell that to George Zipp!
mikeb33's Avatar
With a fuel plane there is power to burn You taxi for 30 feet and pull up, and it goes up. That part is easier.
With a Sky Scooter you will hand launch and have to resist the temptation to pull back and try to climb. You need to gain speed in a level flight first then start a climb. When I first stated I made this mistake many times, always stalling after a launch. The good thing is if a Sky Scooter hits the ground, chances are ther will be no or minimal damage. If you put a 5 lb PT40 in the dirt chances are there will be heavy damage that you don't know how to fix because you didn't build it in the first place(ARF).

I do have both kinds of planes and I really like my GP Big Stik 40 with a OS .46FX. Fast, manuverable, flies for 20 minutes, but I still seem to fly electric more often because it's so damn easy. Hell, I'm throwing my E-plane and Sky Scooter in my work truck this morning in case I finish work early today

Good luck,

Dec 21, 2001, 09:19 AM
Registered User
The guy is right in that telling you there isnt as much power with electric to get out of a mistake is you need to at low altitude.
Flying electric should make you a better pilot though as you will learn to fly "on the wing" instead of just pointing it upwards and giving full throttle.
Both types are just as fun though.
Dec 21, 2001, 09:35 AM
Visitor from Reality
If you know electric cars well, you are probably halfway here, though you could do well to consider using your car batteries in bigger packs for a larger sized model. That really only applies if you have a flight instructor and are learning in the usual way.

If you are on 'teach yourself', something like a SS is a great idea, as you're going to break things - lots of things, plenty of times. There's a good reason why 'full sized' pilots learn by flying with an instructor ...

I flew glow for years, tinkered with electric some and then found out I could get all the performance I needed out of an electric model that I got out my glow models. Most of my reasons for electrics look like ChrisP's - unlike him, I actually went out and bought a wagon last year. That's a different tale, mine isn't quite your Ford Taurus type wagon

I can also get two 60" aerobatic ships in the wagon, with a couple of smaller models.

My main attraction to electric was split between a challenging way of doing things and that I could fly on a silent flight only site that accomadated my models of the time, instead of a local glow club that had gotten far too crowded.

Ironically enough, I have now outgrown that silents only site and am off back to a real flying site. Many of my electrics are now somewhat larger than my old glow models, most look just like glow models but don't have that irritating whining noise and covering of old oil.

I still have a couple of old glow engines someplace and if I really fancied another glow model, I could go out and buy one. But there's no need to right now.

Hobby shops will always try to peddle a newcomer a 46 sized glow powered BARF trainer, and all the support gear they want you to buy. They have to - it's their livelihood.
Dec 21, 2001, 11:45 AM
Registered User
f2racer's Avatar
My top reason to fly electrics:

It's convenient. I don't have to carry a bunch of field accesories to the flying field. In fact I don't have to go to the flying field, any schoolyard is adequate for my parkflyer.

My top reason to fly glow:

It's more challenging. There are more variables to contend with, the planes are generally faster, and I get a greater sense of satisfaction out of getting in 4-5 flights in my 2 hour trip to the flying field.

Do you plan on getting some help via a local club? You may want to inquire the members what their preference is. The large majority of flyers at my club fly glow. It's easier to get help some of the times.
Dec 21, 2001, 12:38 PM
F5D father
Tuomas Pietinen's Avatar


I can say that most of our club activity is towards electric flying. This because we are less picky on the weather, the motors run every time, and we have spare batteries with us. I can fly 5 flights in one 3 hrs session and most glo guys spend half of it preparing for one flight.

Ok, the top guys make it quick, but generally the response is "those are easy planes you have!". I fly everything from indoor to F5D and most of the glo planes ARE heck a lot slower than the e-pylon stuff that is growing popular here. I have brushless stuff, that is about the price of a good 4-stroke and give more RPM than the 4 stroke that I replaced it with.

So, I donīt think I gave anything good away when turned to e-flying, much more alternatives and testing than the same old 4-sroke or 2-stroke that worked the same 30 years ago. No more painstaking fuel-proofing of plane and sticky fingers. Yes, the e-planes are more fire hazardous, but doesnīt methanol burn nicely too? The best thing about e-power is that you CAN build any kind of plane with it.

Have fun! Iīm having!
Dec 21, 2001, 06:14 PM
Registered User
My local hobby shop owner has been a friend of mine for 6 years or so thru my hobby career. He taught me alot. He owns a 51 member Flying Club. Very nice people. I have tons of people willing to help me learn flying. I doubt I need an instructor with a sky scooter and plus I like leanring on my own. I have tons and tons of feilds by my house and in my back yard I have 466 acre feild and a lake to fly over or whatever. ( I dont know if I will be flying over the lake haha) There is only 4 people in the entire 51 member Flying Club that only flys Electric. Tommorrow I am going to the flying feild and watch a few people fly and see whats going on. I never seen a plane fly except from a distance so im kinda excited about seeing that. Thanks for the replys Have A Good Weekend!!
Dec 21, 2001, 06:36 PM
Hitec/Multiplex USA
MikeMayberry's Avatar
ChrisP- I think it's funny that 2 of your reasons for choosing electric over gas are not charging batteries! LOL
Dec 21, 2001, 07:15 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by Dereck
Hobby shops will always try to peddle a newcomer a 46 sized glow powered BARF trainer, and all the support gear they want you to buy. They have to - it's their livelihood.
Sorry but you are wrong, all hobby shops do not do that. The one I work at sells the firebird over the trainer for most people, especially kids as its cheaper and easier to learn if you are going to do it by yourself.
If you are going to a flying feild and to have someone train you on a buddy box, like it or not the glo trainer is better as more people will be able to help you. The only exception is those rare site where they are electric majority or electric only, which are the minority in the US.
Last edited by Cue; Dec 21, 2001 at 08:25 PM.
Dec 21, 2001, 07:32 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
And there is always development and advancement in technology in the field of electric flight. with glow, an engine is an engine and rarely, big leaps are seen. electric just ' APPEALS' to me more anyway. i hate the way glow guys put their oily mits inches away from a huge nasty prop whilst fiddling to get optimum performance? and no cleaning is a BIG advantage.


starts first time

although. it has to be said, glow is cheaper wonce you're set up..... only like 20% though. ????
Dec 21, 2001, 08:27 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by Peter W
And there is always development and advancement in technology in the field of electric flight. with glow, an engine is an engine and rarely, big leaps are seen.
And why do you think that is? Engines dont need "improving" electrics do.
I fly both but some models just arent as good as they would be glow, no way around it.
Dec 21, 2001, 08:33 PM
Registered User
Peter W's Avatar
okay chill CUE!
i was just saying you won't die of boredom with electric flight. it's not always same old same old.
planes are better than helis.

heli power:
electric, turbine, glow ( petrol )

plane power:
electric, turbine, rubber, petrol, glow, co2, compressed air, steam ( yeap steam !), thermal activity, slope lift, any i missed?

no one get offended about planes being better k?

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