Thread Tools
Dec 08, 2017, 03:41 PM
Registered User
Discussion

Cold weather flying rules


Apparently late November is not the most ideal time for me to have gotten my plane. But like anyone else new to a hobby, I really want to fly it, even at this time of year.

What are the things I should be aware of when flying in cold weather? Right now the temps in Iowa are low, but there has been no snow, so I have lots of clear runway surface. The plane I am flying is a UMX T28 Trojan S, using eflite micro 1s 150ma/h 45C batteries.

Thanks in advance for any answers!
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 08, 2017, 04:20 PM
Flying a Falcon or a 3D model.
fauconnier's Avatar
Small batteries like yours don't like cold at all. Capacity drop very fast. Bigger, 3S +, support cold a lot better. Keep them inside your coat and expect shorter flying time. You can keep your hands warm inside a transmitter muff.
Dec 08, 2017, 04:29 PM
Registered User
superlazy's Avatar
Keep yourself & your batteries warm, Everything breaks much easier in the cold!!!! Thats all I have
Dec 08, 2017, 05:21 PM
Sure, I can fly after sunset!?
Don't be surprised if you suddenly lose all power in less than a minute, maybe much less. Been there done that with 1S batteries in sub freezing temperatures.
Dec 08, 2017, 05:38 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by mybad
Don't be surprised if you suddenly lose all power in less than a minute, maybe much less. Been there done that with 1S batteries in sub freezing temperatures.
What if it is a little above freezing? At what point do the batteries tend to start degrading? Does use of the batteries help them warm up and function better, since doesn't discharging them give off some heat?

It looks like I may not get the chance to fly anytime soon anyway though, making cold weather the least of my problems. I'm quickly learning what an extremely frustrating state Iowa is for this hobby. It is almost always windy. I have no idea when the weather will go my way next, but the forecast for tomorrow is winds up to 26 mph, the forecast the next day is winds up to 19 mph, and on and on it goes.
Dec 08, 2017, 05:52 PM
Sure, I can fly after sunset!?
1S batteries are so small that they cool off almost immediately. Any heat given off by discharge is negligible. I had a couple small helis that ran off 1S batteries but gave up trying to fly them in freezing temperatures. 15 second flights are no fun.

Above freezing? The warmer it is, the better. You'll just have to try it yourself. Be sure to fly in an area where you can land immediately.

Personally, during the winter I fly my umx T-28 inside a soccer arena!

Now, 3S 1300 batteries are another story. I routinely fly my 3S planes off the snow.
Last edited by mybad; Dec 08, 2017 at 05:58 PM.
Dec 08, 2017, 06:13 PM
Sure, I can fly after sunset!?
1S batteries are so small that they cool off almost immediately. I had a couple small helis that ran off 1S batteries but gave up trying to fly them in freezing temperatures. 15 second flights are no fun.

Now, 3S 1300 batteries are another story. I routinely fly my 3S planes off the snow.

Uh, until the second week in January. That's when we head to our winter home in Tampa.
Dec 09, 2017, 01:23 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
There is no temperature where the battery suddenly says it's OK. It's a sliding scale sort of thing. Room temp is best. Cool will see some reduction. Cold is worse. Below freezing and you get what the others are warning you about.
Latest blog entry: Garden Gliders
Dec 09, 2017, 02:08 PM
I think it's time to fly.
Rhea's Avatar
You can try insulating the battery on the plane by taping a piece of EPP foam (the kind used inside padded envelopes) over it. It won’t help a lot but it will keep it out of the direct airflow. Keep the batteries in your shirt pocket until you stick one on the plane.

I fly micros outdoors in the winter now and then but if you can find an indoor—golf dome or gymnasium—venue it is more enjoyable.
Latest blog entry: All things that fly.
Dec 09, 2017, 02:31 PM
pull up -- PULL UP!!!
If they'll fit the plane, get some quality tiny whoop batteries like these:

https://www.amazon.com/220mAh-Batter...+battery&psc=1

They're not immune to cold but you're starting with a lot more energy. As everyone said, keep exposed to body heat until you install them and insulate them either individually, or after installed on the plane. I use a simple masking tape cover, trapping as much air around the battery as I can. As for winds, my desert forecast calls for wind every day too. But that doesn't mean all day. Maybe mornings or evenings will be suitable. Use an internet weather site that forecasts hourly.
Dec 09, 2017, 06:21 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Look for someplace to fly indoors , especially if you get a Night Vapor . Here is a list of SOME indoor choices :

Gym
Warehouse
Skating rink
Church
Dec 13, 2017, 05:29 AM
Registered User
Grup's Avatar
I see degradation at 10 C (50 F). As noted above, it is a "sliding scale", ie, it just keeps getting worse as you get cooler. Or better as you warm up to room temp.

Regards
Dec 16, 2017, 04:51 PM
Registered User
Well, I certainly lucked out today. I got weather that almost never happens in Iowa on December 16th, and on a Saturday no less. First, the high got into the 50s, and second, it was nearly calm conditions (which if you've ever been to Iowa, you know almost never happens). And third, it hasn't snowed yet this year (also rare), so there were nice dry conditions for walking out into the field. Overall an awesome day!

Which means I didn't get a chance to try putting tape over the battery to insulate it and keep it out of the airflow, but I'll give that a shot soon enough I'm sure. I doubt I'll get this lucky again even in this month, let alone January.
Dec 17, 2017, 10:26 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
Look for someplace to fly indoors , especially if you get a Night Vapor . Here is a list of SOME indoor choices :

Gym
Warehouse
Skating rink
Church
Got a Vapor Lite. I wanted a night vapor, but sadly, they are still putting DSM2 receivers in them, and my DXe only speaks DSMX.
Dec 17, 2017, 10:27 PM
Registered User
By the way, are there any rules of thumb about flying in a very light drizzle? Is that always a no because it could damage the electronics?


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Cold Weather Flying. Sunbiz1 Electric Plane Talk 53 Jan 06, 2018 07:35 PM
Discussion Cold Weather Flying Gloves Chophop Electric Plane Talk 3 Nov 12, 2016 07:33 PM
Discussion Flying in cold weather? renyizhang Electric Heli Talk 10 Dec 20, 2015 02:50 PM
Discussion Safety Tips for Flying in Cold Weather DJI INNOVATIONS Multirotor Drone Talk 0 Dec 10, 2015 08:57 PM
Discussion Cold weather flying. giodog2000 Hand Launch 23 Nov 17, 2015 06:52 PM