Glow to 400 speed How to convert - RC Groups
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Jun 03, 2001, 09:19 PM
Registered User

Glow to 400 speed How to convert

Does anyone know what type of plane can be converted from gas to electric in the 400 range? Does a 400 set up convert to an .049 in power? Thanks for any thoughts.
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Jun 03, 2001, 09:46 PM
Visitor from Reality
Hi James
Well, it does, and it doesn't. My first sports electric - had wheels, would take off the ground from them - was a semiscale TEAM Minimax I designed around '93 for an 049. After we lost our site to noise complaints, I hauled out the Cox and fitted a Graupner S400 7.2V, 6 x 4 prop and seven AA sized nicads. With an average sized receiver, an ESC about the size of half a brick and the above, I actually had a flyable electric model.

The downside was a 16oz model that was flying at nearly 24oz! It was safe in a calm - lots of wing with low AR and some washout - but a pig and a half in a wind. Without starting the downwind turn thing up again, what happened to her was that a sudden change of windspeed could easily take her from flying to stalling. At the higher weight, the stall and normal flying speeds - the ESC was close to a switch - were too close for comfort.

She spun out of a low turn one day and got filtered into small pieces of wood when I got her out just before hitting a hedge.

So, the answer is "Yes, with reservations". An 049 ship with a lightened off framework, small RC gear and a decent ESC feeding off 600AE cells is feasible. A glow for E swap in a heavily made, already built model - could be tricky.


Jun 03, 2001, 10:47 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Some work, some don't. If you're experienced with electric power systems and familiar with airframes and weights, then have at it! Otherwise, you need to either: find a kit designed for e-power, or get recomendations from someone who has succesfully converted this model to e-power.
Jun 03, 2001, 10:49 PM
Registered User
Dereck is absolutely correct.. any plane can be converted to s400... all you have to do is keep the weight below 20oz.. 16 to 18oz ideally for flying that is worthwhile.. good luck, and let us know how it works out.
Jun 03, 2001, 11:16 PM
Registered User
The Herr Engineering line of .049 planes generally convert well to S400, they even sell conversion kits now at their web site. The kits are a dream to build, with excellent laser cutting.
Jun 03, 2001, 11:20 PM
Registered User
Johnfish's Avatar
I find it interesting that my Goldberg Eagle 2 kit had an option in the instructions to build for electric power. I already had the LA 40 when I discovered this. I have been getting regular instruction with this plane since april and it flys great. Very gently but my instructor has done some great aerobatics with it including hovering.

But its such a heavey plane I wonder how it would fly as an electric. I will have to check the instructions and see what e motor they recomend.

Has anyone else seen this option included in the instructions of other glow kits that they have built?

Jun 05, 2001, 12:36 AM
Registered User
Thanks to everyone who responded. I've flown glow for about 10 years, and want to get into electric. I have a Zagi on the way, and was just wondering what I could use the electrics in if I ever get bored with it.
Take care, James
Jun 05, 2001, 01:25 AM
Registered User
I have a Goldberg Eaglet 50, converted to a taildragger with an Astro-15G w/ 12Cells... Running 11X7 prop (yes, I know it can handle more) It will climb at 45 degrees for about 7 minutes... The plane weighs 4 + lbs (batteries weigh 24oz)

It flies like a high-wing trainer, but I need to switch to flaperons... Landings are a little hot for my tastes...
Jun 05, 2001, 10:46 AM
Registered User
I don't know if you can get access to back issues of Model Airplane News or if they have back articles on line. They do have an e-mail address The October 1998 issue has an interesting article on electrics that work. It comes with charts listing planes, span, area , and weight. It also has which motor, prop, and the number of cells to use.
Jun 05, 2001, 11:18 AM
Registered User
I converted a J3 Piper Cub 48" span to electric. First used a s400 7.2v with 3.7 gearbox turning a 11x7 prop and lithium ion batteries and it flew very good. Not a lot of power but very stable. My longest flight was 86 minutes with this setup.
My next setup was a direct drive s600 8.4v motor with 10 cells and a 8x4.5 prop. Now this was a fun setup to fly, much more power and could climb out very fast. This setup actually flew better than the s400 version but with a lot shorter runs. I finally lost the model one day doing a flat spin when the ground came up to quick and with the plane being over weight I over corrected the spin and it went into the opposite spin and smack and that was that.
Jun 06, 2001, 01:29 AM
Registered User
I have been flying and designing 1/2 A size planes for quite a while but I am new to designing for speed 400s. From my experience I believe the 6v 400 is a bit weaker and lot heavier than the T.D. It seems to make better torque at lower revs though. I am currently working on a speedy pylon like design with about 140 wing area and a 6 to 1 aspect ratio. I plan to use a sleek fuse a thin wing and a lot of pitch.

With a gear drive the designs with more area and drag are possible like the new cutie by SR batteries. It is an adapted .049 kit. As a matter of fact there other kitÖI think itís called the x-250 or something like that, looks a lot like the super joy stick I flew 15 years ago with a .15.(with dowels in the wing instead of cf rods)