RC aircraft and flight terms, abbreviations and acronyms - RC Groups
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Mar 27, 2004, 07:56 AM
Registered User

RC aircraft and flight terms, abbreviations and acronyms

This is my second thread, and I want to emphasize that I am really impressed with this web site and forum, it is a great resource and is much appreciated. Having said that much.

HELP! These RC enthusiasts keep saying strange things, so much I just do not understand. ... As the old proverb goes...

What we have here, , , is a failure, , , to communicate.

I know what an “ARF” or “ARTF” is (Almost Ready to Fly), and a few other things too, but so much remains a mystery. I don’t have to know everything, but I know approximately nothing, and I am faced with making a somewhat sizable purchase for my first plane and radio equipment (hopefully by next weekend at the Toledo show!) but I am so uninformed and struggling to learn the tech talk.

I’ve been reading and scanning a half dozen RC mags and dozens of RC sites, so slowly some things are sinking in, but I sure could use some assistance. For example, I think I need to learn about:
  • The specs for props, what does those double number sets mean? I think the first is the diameter in inches, but don’t know about the rest, nor when to use larger or smaller props and why.

    The electronic drive train specifications. Upgrade to “brushless” and “LiPo”, that is about all I know.

    In flight terms
I don’t wan to have to post a new post every time I find a strange “word” or “phrase” or “acronym” or “alpha/numeric specification”

Where are good “user friendly” newbie resources to learn about this foreign stuff? Where’s R/C terms and jargon 101?

BTW, I read some of goofup ’s thread in this forum for Newbies (“New to R/C flight”) and found it very helpful. I know everyone (including himself) says to start out on a 3 channel setup w/out ailerons, but then he mentioned about channel mixing (rudder w/ailerons) on computerized transmitters, so naturally I’m left wondering if I might be able to buy just such a 4 channel mixing computerized transmitter (full house controls, see, I know some things ) and just start out using it as though it was a 3 channel unit by letting the computer handle the aileron duties until I get the 3 channel stuff down pat first. I am considering getting a decent 6 channel radio so that I wont grow out of it anytime soon. Suggestions and comments are encouraged!

I realize that no matter what, I’ll want a gentle high wing model with some dihedral. I’m thinking lightweight and electric and one that is “indoors” capable as the local club does a gym fly once or twice a month. So far goofup ’s two suggestions for which plane to start with seem very attractive to me (with the outside exception of the 4 chnl “aileron” mixing option). Also, I want a rugged design or is easy to fix. Or should I just buy double (or triple) planes for backup? (chuckles, half joking, half serious, I want more “stick time”, not “down time”.)

“If” it’s deemed advisable to go that rout (= 4ch mixing rudder w/ailerons), what aileron planes would be good beginner planes (and indoors capable)?

Thanks for your time and thoughtful consideration.
Last edited by 1Way; Mar 27, 2004 at 08:01 AM.
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Mar 27, 2004, 08:28 AM
Forever TMWT Pilot #11
LcJ's Avatar
First, if you haven't already, go to the bottom of this page and read Electric Fligh FAQ.

I would then just start reading threads.

My opinion of the Aileron Trainer would be either the Dandy Sport or the SmoothE from Doug Binder at Mountain Models. I say this because I have built and flown his planes. They are excellent.

Most of this beyond the particular flight characteristics of certain types of planes is highly opinion oriented. Example. I like Hitech and Futaba radio transmitters, but I much prefer Berg receivers. I like Castle Creations speed controllers and I prefer (at this time) Cheap Battery Packs nimn 650's. I like the razor 400, the himax 2015/54 and the Axi 2213/34. Why? Because I have used them.

There are a lot of great vendors and I have not had a truly bad experience yet.

Read, read, and then read some more and it will start to come. You could also start buying some r/c magazines to help learn the jargon.

Good luck,
Latest blog entry: RC Logger's Eye One Xtreme Quad
Mar 27, 2004, 11:28 AM
Registered User
Good advice. I would also suggest that you get used to using the "Search" function when you want to know something about a particular item or term. They've pretty well all been covered here at some time or other. To get you started the "other number" on a propeller is the "pitch". A search on "propeller pitch" will find you loads of information, possibly too much .

The Beginner Information at http://webpages.charter.net/rcfu/ contains plenty of useful information. There's also a helpful glossary of common terms on the AMA site http://www.modelaircraft.org/templates/ama/1098_2.asp and a much larger one at http://www.airfieldmodels.com/inform...sary/index.htm

Good luck - Steve
Mar 27, 2004, 01:39 PM
Forever TMWT Pilot #11
LcJ's Avatar
Thanks for coming in Steve.

That is one reason I enjoy posting here. I don't have to worry about being incorrect or incomplete, because others will come in an together we usually make a complete, correct answer, which is what new people need.

And what I still need.

1way, just join in the fun and keep learning.

Latest blog entry: RC Logger's Eye One Xtreme Quad
Mar 30, 2004, 08:20 PM
Registered User
Thanks guys, but I still have not found any info about Prop specifications, and the motor and electronics stuff is one huge confusing , , , issue.

Anyone have info on Prop specs?
Apr 01, 2004, 02:23 AM
Plane Crazy
The question about prop specs is hard to answer bc it is deeply inter-related to other complex topics in RC e-flight.
Generally, you can loosely compare pitch to gears in a car. Imagine the prop moving throough the air like a screw, the pitch designates the distance covered by one full turn of the prop.
(this is already an average bc tip and root have different pitch bc the have different speed through the air)
So a small number can be compared to let say first gear in a car, and a large number to 5th gear. It's a loose comparison, but you can get the picture.

So the obvius next question is, do you want to be fast, or do you want climbing power?
and following that: How much power does your motor deliver at what rpm?
If you are using direct drive, the proppeller will spin much faster so only a small diameter prop works, if you are using gears, you can use a large prop.

But how prop diameter, pitch , gear/no/gear, type of motor , voltage used etc work together is VERY complex.

So what you can do is:
* select a plane and first try what is recommended before altering anything.
* search for it in this forum and see what others have found works
* Ask your LHS or club members
*play around with motocalc (search for it in this forum)
* if you decide to go brushless (much more expensive) go to a vendor ( I know that Kontronik does offer that service) and tell them your aiplane specs, and what kind of performance you like, and they will likely quote you a solution.

I don' t know if that helps
I am also not sure about your flight experience
Generally, it's easier to start with a rudder/elevator plane and learn ailerons later.
Don't aks me how I found out but it was expensive.

Assuming from your question you have little or no flight experience, I'd not worry about props to much in the beginning.
Find a plane that helps you learn eye-hand coordination and recognizing flight attitudes without causing to much damage in the process.

my personal favorite her is the Easystar from Multiplex, costs around 60 $.
Its simply the best teach-yourself-to-fly-plane around, built in 2 hrs, very crash resistant, eays to repair, flys itself, and still fun to do wild things later on.
Have a look a the three threads in this forum (they discuss motor mods as well as props to your hearts contend there)

part I https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...92#post1840592
part II
part III

Warning : it'll take you a weekend to go through all 1200+ posts
Last edited by splash99; Apr 01, 2004 at 02:26 AM.
Apr 01, 2004, 03:13 AM
Registered User
splash 99, thanks for the info, ...

"So a small number can be compared to let say first gear in a car, and a large number to 5th gear. It's a loose comparison, but you can get the picture."
End quote

... that was basically what I needed.
Jan 10, 2014, 06:20 AM
Registered User

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Hi, i found this list with a few abbreviations listed.
Hope it helps. I've bookmarked it for the same reason as it's all a bit much for me to take in and remember whilst i'm learning.

Jan 10, 2014, 09:51 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Rather an old thread you dug up, 2004.

Just look in the 'Sticky' threads of this forum and you will see the Beginners Dictionary.