Moving up from Speed 400s - RC Groups
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Jun 06, 2001, 04:08 PM
Registered User

Moving up from Speed 400s

Every once in a while, my mind wanders to my future. Where will I go as I move up the ladder from speed 400s, I ask myself. I read about BIG electrics, over 6 lbs, pulled by brushless 40s and a fuselage packed with batteries. I look over to my dendted and dirty foamie speed 400 airframes and see quite a chasm between what is and what could be. Too big to jump over in one bound.
So how can one move up in the electric world at a financially and intellectually affordable rate? Are there 600 or 700 kits out there that would begin to bridge the knowledge and experience gap?

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Jun 06, 2001, 04:30 PM
Visitor from Reality
Hi Will,

Been there, done that. Loosely speaking, three or four models that did not really do what I wanted cost as much as the one that did.

My progression included a lot of 400 and 600 models that did aerobatics to various degrees - I can claim to have had possibly the first S400 model in England that was designed as an aerobatic sports model, for one. Ken Myers provided the moral support to jump from 7/8 cell models to a ten cell aerobatic that could really fly like I wanted. Keith Shaw provided the inspiration to make the next jump to 20 cells, 600 watts + and the performance I really wanted all along.

So, the first thing to figure is not how fast you can get an order in, but what do you really want to do in your hobby.

If you see yourself flying a big, brutal, donkey kicking sports aerobatic ship running 700 watts into a six pound model - start saving! If flying your S400s does it for you, why "improve"?

For anywhere inbetween, look to moving to what you want fast. Let's say you have an urge to fly a fairly large, light, slow scale model - I know of folk who've flown quarter scale on 12 or 14 cells. As you can fly already, stick UC on a S400, if you haven't already, and master taking off and landing to order, like regular airplane folk do.

Your first step to your Aeronca C2, for a handy example, could be a Sig LT25 with an Astro 15G and 12 or 14 cells. Enough performance to do some aerobatics, flying manners good enough to look after you while you adapt to flying what will look like a monster at first. I've got stick time on these mid-size Sig kits and they are superb fliers all.

If a 600 model is fine by you - look at the Hobby Hangar "Electric Scout" - do a search in the sports forum for plenty on that spritely high winger. I've seen Gary K's zip around on a $50.00 Velkom, definitely a good little model. The good old GP ElectroStreak can still tear the sky up too.

Ten cell models offer a lot more performance - look up the writings of GWRIGHT on Kyosho Endoplasma motors to see you don't need to spend a lot. Two extra cells per pack over an eight cell ship about covers it. Right now, not a lot in kits without a little 'bashing', too few plans and no dedicated BARFs, but still not out of reach.

Mostly, don't buy stuff you'll regret. Figure out what you want and maybe wait a little to get it. Hope that helps

Jun 07, 2001, 08:40 AM
Registered User

I like your assessment! This morning, before leaving for work, I propped open the latest issue of EFI and skipped first thing to the "Over Here" column, and Lo! The author, a one Dereck someone or somesuch, had much the same thing to say! He has much the same opinions as yourself. I wonder that the two of you never met, since it appears that he and you are expats living in MD.
In any case, I do appreciate your take on getting into the stratum of the hobby where we wish to go, as soon as possible. We've all got limited flying and building time, why spend it on airframes that just don't do it for us?
So now you've started me thinking. The 400s, whilst they're plenty fun, and have taught me some flying skills and electric basics, aren't where I'd like to stay.
Interwar period scale aircraft in the 50-60" wingspan range is the place I'd like to be, along with aerobatic ships that keep my adrenalin flowing. That's where I'll head.
Thanks again for the tips and viewpoint, and I hope you meet Mr. Woodward one day....
kind regards,
Jun 07, 2001, 09:03 AM
Visitor from Reality
Hi Will
Yes, I've heard about that scurrilous scribe. Does all sorts of funny stuff, but he's about three months behind the curve unlike the 'Zone

But his column is easier to read in the domestic conference setting

Best place to meet up is to travel down to our Spring Sizzle (The Best Little E-fly in - Maryland ?) next Memorial Weekend. We get a fair number of folk from the northern reaches of the colonies, due to the proximity to major trade routes and wagon trails.

A fascinating and under-modelled period you're looking at there. Lots of fiddly bits on the flying machines, opportunity to have a decent spot of scale-like performance to keep your club buddies on their toes. Power will depend on whether you have the correct number of wings, or fly one of those new-fangled monoplane things, of course.

The Aeronca I mentioned above was taken off a long ways back OH contribution - the gentleman, who's name escapes me right now, had an 80" one flying on an Astro 15G and all of 12 cells. Very light, built off his own plans. Never could talk him into publishing the design though.

Keith Shaw once went into print saying that a 20 cell aerobatic ship was about the ideal size. If its good enough for Keith, it'll do for me.



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