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Oct 05, 2004, 07:56 PM
Thread OP

What is the general consensus on Motocalc?

I was thinking of buying motocalc and was wondering what you all thought of it.
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Oct 05, 2004, 08:37 PM
From what I've been reading its the best simulation around. But many times the numbers have to be tweeded to fit the real world.

I decided to stick to real world test data on motors, and usually have to dig it up.

Different Strokes.

Oct 05, 2004, 08:40 PM
I have used it for some time, it is fairly accurate and their customer service is great.
Oct 05, 2004, 09:57 PM
Trying to defy gravity...
jimsky's Avatar
I got it to play "what if" games with motor/ratios/props. Using it has taught me a lot, allowing quick checks of changes to power plant systems. Being somewhat new to the hobby I didn't have a vast background to draw upon.

Playing with MotorCalc got me comfortable with zeroing in on changes and/or improvements that could be made. Thrust, current, pitch speed, weight, fly times, climb and glide rates...I finally got an understanding of their interdependence playing with MotorCalc.

But nothing beats building and flying a plane to get real first hand experience. I've done 10 planes in the 10 months I've been involved with this hobby, and MotorCalc no doubt has helped me.

Personally I think it's a good investment. No it's not perfect: it's only a simulation, it's "wrong" at times and I wish there were more component models...but I wouldn't give up either copy I have (home computer and work computer).

My 2 cents, your milage may vary.......

Oct 05, 2004, 10:26 PM
Registered User
Dr Kiwi's Avatar
Its good for finding out quickly what definitely will not work and for obtaining possibilities for what might work. Despite its quirks and inaccuracies it is a very useful tool. I would not be without it.

Cheers, Phil
Oct 05, 2004, 10:50 PM
Thread OP
Thanks for all the input!I have a few different planes but all have brushed motors and all i've learned was by trial and error.I wanted to be a little more precise when I make the jump to brushless.
Oct 05, 2004, 11:29 PM
Registered User
gadzby's Avatar

Not perfect, but very useful...

I'm a newcomer to electric plane power. As with some others in the posts above, Motocalc helped me develop better intuition for the relationships between power system parameters. While I found Motocalc to be good but not perfect predicting thrust/current/power for a specific design in an absolute sense, it predicts relative change very well. For example, by what percentage would the WOT motor current change if prop pitch is reduced from 6 to 4?

In my opinion it's best used to get a power system design in the ballpark, then refine further if necessary via actual measurements and flight experience.

The set of built-in components is admittedly too small (especially for props...); however, you always have the option of downloading the user contributed data, or creating a new entry yourself.

Oct 06, 2004, 03:34 AM
Registered User
I found the simulation to be poor with the small AXI outrunners.
Oct 06, 2004, 03:45 AM
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vintage1's Avatar
If used with understanding, its a fantastic tool. If used blindly without it, it can be very misleading.

The biggest problem is not teh algorithms used, which are accurate, its the data n motors and props and even cells that is inaccurate.

Once you can combine with real world tests to get better data, it gets very accurate indeed.

The algorithms on motors are pretty good: Those on heating effects less so and those on airframe drag very dodgy indeed.

I also find the way its stuck together irritating. I'd prefer to be able to e.g. group multi-engine and multi-blade props with te airframe, not the gearbox etc.

Moto wizard isn't. Its dreadful.

Basically a good tool for the knowledgeable, a dangerous one for the newbie.

Taught ne an immense amount but only after some bilnd alleys due to ignorance.
Oct 06, 2004, 10:27 AM
Nickel what?
Phreakish's Avatar
ever heard of GIGO? Garbage in, Garbage out... If you feed it the right info, you'll get pretty darn close, if you fudge around a bit, you can get something completely wrong!

Once I've narrowed a setup into a 'ballpark' range, I start playing with the constants to 'bracket' the performance, basically checking out the working range of the setup, so I dont back myself into a corner, and blow up my motor/battery on the first WOT bench run, lol.

But I always try to verify my info with those on this board, there's a LOT of people who know far more than me, and they're willing to help! its great!
Oct 06, 2004, 06:37 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by vintage1
The biggest problem is not teh algorithms used, which are accurate, its the data n motors and props and even cells that is inaccurate.
I think the algorithms are to simplistic for outrunner motors. You just can't model an outrunner with the few parameters available to motocalc.
I have had better luck using tables such as from
Oct 06, 2004, 07:27 PM
Motors beat engines!
Motocalc has taught me much, and has helped to design several airplanes now, juggling not just powertrains but also airframe specs to get the type of performance I desired.

Juggle span/chord/airfoil/weights and see what happens to climb and glide performance, see what % throttle is required to maintain altitude ect.

All planes I designed that I modeled first in Motocalc flew well from their first flights, the most recent being this one:

Motocalc is'nt perfect, but its a tool I would'nt be without.

Dean in Milwaukee
Oct 07, 2004, 10:26 PM
Thread OP
Thanks again, You've made up my mind............Dave
Oct 08, 2004, 04:29 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Originally Posted by dkselw
I think the algorithms are to simplistic for outrunner motors. You just can't model an outrunner with the few parameters available to motocalc.
I have had better luck using tables such as from

They ae just as amenable to being characterised as any other motor. Its just that the vagaries of timing and controllers make the data the manufacturers give out less useable.

The heat dissipation of the motor is also different from inrunners.
Oct 09, 2004, 09:24 AM
Thread OP
Don't mean to sound dumb but what is an outrunner or inrunner?

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