Electric combat plane vs. gas combat plane - RC Groups
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May 20, 2002, 08:35 AM
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Electric combat plane vs. gas combat plane

Are there any electric planes that would be competitive in a gas combat event without getting into brushless motors and other expensive stuff? Our events go for 5 minutes. Is it allowed? If so what motor , gearbox , esc, and battery pack would work best? RCNutt
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May 21, 2002, 04:41 AM
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drewjet's Avatar
Being a RCCA combat pilot I have thought alot about this myself. one posability I have thought about is a twin endo powered setup. After flying the kwik-e, I think doubling its power and wingspan may do the trick, but I haven't had the time to do it yet. Hope to hear other ideas as well
May 21, 2002, 07:25 AM
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Paul's Avatar
If you’re talking about the AMA 1/12th scale combat event (750) the answer is no.

I did quite a bit of looking at the available options about a year ago when I wanted to compete in combat. The 750 rules allow any electric motor and any number of batteries as long as you stay within the 3 lb. total weight limit.

Flame away if you wish, but in my opinion the electric technology is simply not available right now to compete with the gas planes in this event, regardless of cost. You could easily come up with an electric plane that meets the class criteria and be able to fly in competition, but not one that would have the performance to actually be a serious competitor in this event.
May 21, 2002, 05:02 PM
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drewjet's Avatar
the rcca rules have changed and allow for higher weights in the scale twins, depending on wingspan. Also twins are now allowed in open as well and there is an allowable extra 1/2 pound for electrics.
May 21, 2002, 05:21 PM
Motors beat engines!
I built a jk aerotech 1/12th zero with a atomic force and 8 cp 2400's 3.8:1 with a 12x10.

Plane flew very well, and was timed at 64 mph. Lots of fun, and flew about 5 wide open minutes. Weighed 50 oz, but could lose 4 or 5 oz easily.

That being said, its performance simply was'nt up to the levels that a .25 powered plane would have been.

It would be tough to get in more than 10 cells with one endo and still be less than 48 oz. A good .25 prob makes over 1 hp, and you'de be trying to compete with about .4 to .5 hp at the same weight. Gearing and big props can make this deficiency less noticable, but the gas planes will still make life tough for you.

You'de have a very nice flying plane, but just not fast enough to be competitive without going brushless and even then you'de have trouble getting the 5 minute run, especially without getting really weak by the end.
May 21, 2002, 07:20 PM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
We're doing some combat at our club. We've made our own formula within the AMA combat restrictions. We use a maximum of a .30 size engine and 4 lbs. maximum weight. Electrics are limited to 8 cells. We started with 3 minute heats and have recently changed to 4 minute heats.

My first attempt was with a Battle Floyd ( most of the glow guys are using them) on 8 cells, and a MMR geared. Weight was about 50 ounces. The plane had enough climb but the speed was a bit slow. The killer though was a high wing loading that didn't allow the plane to turn sharply or loop tightly enough to be competitive. It would snap or fall out of tight maneuvers.

My second attempt was with a scratch built flying plank of about 500 sq. in. and about 46 ounces, so a nice low wing loading. A trinity Speed Gem Ruby 16 turn, geared 3.5/1, on 8 cells gave me just enough speed and it was very maneuverable. I could make the 4 minute heats OK, but 5 minutes would have been tough with the 1900 SCRs I use. You really have to go full throtle the whole time. The plane was just too delicate though. It's sitting on a shelf, after some damage, waiting to be repaired.

I'm on our combat committee and I'm going to see if I can get the guys to go along with a 10 cell limit. I'd still like to do an electric combat plane, and I think I've found the right airframe. It's an EPP combat flying wing called the Predator, from Tufflight. 48 inch span, 600 sq. in. and a glow weight of 2.5 to 3 pounds. Designed for a 25 glow. I think that powered right , 5 minute heats with competitive performance are possible.

I'm flying a glow powered Battle Floyd now in our combat meets. It's my only glow plane.
May 21, 2002, 11:04 PM
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oldpilot's Avatar
Cut out all the chatter about this wossie stuff trailing tapes and trying to cut them etc:

Get an all EPP electric FULL CONTACT COMBAT plane and knock 'em out of the sky.

There are plenty to choose from, and they can be powered as hot as you like.

Most are Zagi type flying wings, but the new all EPP, Electric, PSS , E-Tucano from Canterbury sailplanes is really hot.


Cheers. Patrick.
May 22, 2002, 10:39 AM
Registered User
Here are the rules:

There was a compitition out my way last weekend. Here are some observations:
Open (Class A) is for .15 engine, plane under 3lbs.....
The motors (only .15) on these planes put out almost 1.5 HP!
http://www.novarossi.com/index_ing.html (look for NOVA FX15)
The plane flies over 100MPH level.
The competition lasts for 10minutes.
These guys run 25%+ nitro, and the tuned pipe is as long as the plane is. RPMS are in excess of 33K.
Anybody want to take one on?