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Feb 15, 2003, 01:24 PM
Registered User
gomarpyle's Avatar

Are small planes better than big planes?

I am thinking so...

I started with a zagi and had fun.... I then got a mini ifo and had even more fun.

I am thinking that going smaller is where I am going to be going in the future (smaller than zagi)... for several reasons..

1. Smaller costs less --- for most things.. motors (brushless), batteries, props, speed controls, receivers, etc.
2. Smaller can be flown more places - Like anywhere almost (especially like the mini IFO)
3. Smaller is more transportable - 24" wings fit alot of places that a 48" wing won't.
4. Technology advances favor small stuff - New Lithium batteries and small brushless motors create a super powerful long duration beast, where as a sp400 sized setup that matched would be either impossible, or too expensive..
5. Smaller has more duration - Slow sticks for over an hour... mini Ifo for 50 minutes? Any zagi's even come close?

So can anyone give me a reason why I'd ever want to get a plane zagi sized or bigger again?
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Feb 15, 2003, 01:35 PM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar
I started back in modeling after 25 years away with a T-33 EDF. Then I discovered park fliers (Mirages, Crazy & Mini Maxxs, HOB cubs, etc.). Then got micro conventional gear and converted Cox Vipers and so forth.

Then the RFFS cama along. Now I haven't built a conventional plane for the last dozen planes or so. None of the little planes I convert cost more that $15, most cost around $6 to $10, and some have been in the $0.89 to $1.50 range. What other way can I go nuts and but 6 new ARF projects for $10 to $30 total? Some of the last models fit neatly in a shoe-box. No more trying to fit them in the car; 3 or 4 fit nicely in a single seat... I can almost do touch-and-goes off conventional planes wings...
Feb 15, 2003, 01:49 PM
Fight On!
mario alvarez's Avatar
I started with a Zagi, moved to Parkflyers such as the Tigermoth and both IFO's and somehow, while a lot of fun to fly, these airplanes just did not have thrill I was looking for. I am now flying larger aircraft such as the Kwik-E and if you call CSD Twister large, well, that is probably the most fun I've ever had with a "large" airplane.
Feb 15, 2003, 02:38 PM
Balsa Builder
Paul Susbauer's Avatar
Small, big, they each have their characteristics I like. Big planes are so graceful in the air, the are much steadier in wind, and just generally fly very well. But then again, little planes are cheaper, and easier to transport.

So what ever you fly, as long as it makes you happy, thats all that matters.

Feb 15, 2003, 02:43 PM
Rip th... Bring the Beer!
chemsurfer's Avatar
I would love to have a variety of sizes, but I'm limited by my ATV (airplane transport vehicle) being a Nissan Sentra... Although I have surfboard racks and maybe I could strap a big plane across......

I would really love to get a micro sized plane together as well.
Feb 15, 2003, 02:49 PM
Registered User
mode1's Avatar
I started with stick and tissue. Fun and inexpensive, fly almost anyplace, not good for wind. Moved to free flight. Fun, costs more, more backup equipment needed (small gas engines, timers, starter battery, etc, much more room needed to fly, AMA required. Moved to control line. Fun, cost more, more backup needed (simular to free flight but larger, more of it, the noise became a factor, hard to find flying circles. Moved to radio control. Fun. The learning curve can get long. Can get expensive. Kits cost more, engines cost more, electronics and other backup equipment costs more and lots needed. Club dues. Larger auto or van needed to transport. Flying fields farther away and fewer. I flew sport, pattern, dabbled with IMAC. The larger planes flew and "presented" better so went larger. Cost went up. Space in home needed for hobby increased. I always seem to need the "best" equipment and bought it. Wife started saying things like "What?, You paid $ 1,250 for your new JRPCM 10X radio and you need more digital servos and battery packs?" My young daught (9, see-post "Jessica's Dandy") is intimadated by the noise and speed of the gas stuff, saw an electric parkflyer, we are building them now. Seems fun. Can fly almost anywhere. Not good for wind. Daughter is happy. Wife is saying things like" Is that all that little airplane cost?" Bob, AMA 10042
Last edited by mode1; Feb 15, 2003 at 04:08 PM.
Feb 15, 2003, 04:04 PM
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
I've always liked small planes for many of the reasons cited above - even long ago when that meant small Cox engines instead of the wealth of capability we have now.

I've had my "bigger plane" phases and have a couple of 5+ lb. planes that are still in flying condition and one a bit heavier that's in the repair queue. And one in particular, the Big-T, gets hauled out to the club field when I have a notion to go there.

But I surely get FAR MORE flying time out of the little ones, and one of the little ones is a Todd's Models Wing-E, which can handle some wind, so that isn't a deterrent, either.

And now that we have lithium polymers and can fly for 30 minutes or more at a time...... wow.

I am hoping I'll be able to afford to move to lithium technology for the bigger planes, but for now I'm going to be flying the small planes a bunch, and always will like 'em.
Feb 15, 2003, 04:09 PM
Registered User
In my experience the smaller the plane, the more accurate the building has to be to get it to fly right. External forces affect the flying more, the harder it is to buy components to fit the plane, e.g. you can't walk into your local model shop and get it, and generally they are limited to indoor flying or on flat calm days. And if you've got big fingers like me, the harder they are to build and the more fragile they are to handle.
Feb 15, 2003, 04:27 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
Basketcase's Avatar

Re: Are small planes better than big planes?

Originally posted by gomarpyle
So can anyone give me a reason why I'd ever want to get a plane zagi sized or bigger again?
All the points you made are true.

I started with the small stuff and recently bought a Zagi.

The reason... WIND!

After being grounded too many times by the wind blowing on the only days I can fly I gave in and bought a Zagi, it's fast, loud and obnoxious but the wind doesn't bother it much and it'll fly when nothing else is able.

And the wind can ruin a perfectly good flight at the last second during landing, with the Z the landings aren't very critical.

I prefer the small stuff and fly it all I can, but when the weather is not cooperating, I'd rather fly the wing than stay home.

Feb 15, 2003, 04:48 PM
EFlight=Fun,Big-T=BIG FUN
Whenever possible my electric foamie big bird (Big-T with 8ft) comes out first. And he handles wind better than my small ones (but that BIG wing really floats). When in a hurry, I grab Wally Wonder Wing.
Bernard "Crash" Siegel
Feb 15, 2003, 06:04 PM
Registered User
RiBell's Avatar
big vs small or small vs big?
A debate that could go on forever.
a bigger airplane will fly better, handle more wind.
there is a cost issue a "standard servo 42oz tq"
will work very well in the 3lb to 8lb airplane it is also the most inexpencive. go big giant scale ( 8ft+ wingspan more than 20lbs) servo costs can easily top $100 These airplanes fly very realistic can handle a lot of wind but the need a lot of space and a lot of cash. I think that they fly the best.

Go small Parkflyers
Costs on small stuff like ESC's and batt's, chargers starts to climb again. Not anywhere as much as the huge airplanes.
A small plane will not handle as much wind but can be flown in a smaller space. almost any park around the corner will do and batt's aren't that noisey.
The debate goes on.
I've got a GWS Beaver I think it's small.
I've also got a Sig Spacewalker 1/3 scale 104" wingspan 23lbs.
then there's a couple more inbetween.
They all have there place, we are all different as people in what we like (good thing eh)

Remember that they all fly a bit different and pick what you like.
Feb 15, 2003, 07:14 PM
Registered User
gomarpyle's Avatar

Zagi 400x battey pack weight

I am thinking about building a minispeed wing... For less than the weight of a zagi battery I can have a fast agile durable wing that can fly 10 - 40 mph. I am not sure they do great in the wind, but I am willing to test it out....

I can agree that zagi's are great in wind... I have had mine out in 30+ mph and it still flew great. ( I had to walk downwind a few times to get it when the battery died) I hope the MSW will be able to handle wind as well.

Gliders probably need to be big in order to get good performance.
Jul 24, 2014, 03:05 AM
Registered User

The answer for flying small electrics in wind

I was out of the hobby for a few years and got back in buying and flying a litttle
Hobby zone Champ.
I soon discovred that uou couln't fly it in any more than a few knots of wind.
I kept seeing ads for the Spektrum AS3X receiver equpped models which are also small and could be supposedlu flown in a fair amount of wind.
Anyway I bought one and installed it in my Champ, along with a separate aileron
Servo which I have connected to the rudder.
I can fly that model in winds now that keep some bigger models on the ground and
Highly refommend it
For those that aren't familiar with it it's a micro sized receiver with 3 gyros that will stabilize s model about the roll pitch and yaw axis.
Because I only am using 2 channels (elevator and rudder) it is now stabilzed about the pitch and roll axis.
If anyone has any questionss let me know.
Jul 24, 2014, 04:41 PM
Registered User
What is the criteria to tell good from better?
Jul 24, 2014, 07:36 PM
I eat glue
When the wind is calm, I fly my Tritle lightweights, wind picks up, I fly the 60" size birds. When I want real nice realism, I'll fly 1/4 scale electrics, WWI types and Cub types. They don't need the big expensive servos.

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