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General Need Help Deciding On Gas Or Electric Power?

Discussion in 'Airplanes' started by mudbogger, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    I hope I'm posting this in the correct area, if not I apologize in advance. Anyways I've got back into flying again with my dad after nearly 12 years of being away from it (not counting simulator-time), and so far I'm enjoying myself. My dad "buddy-boxed" with me the first few flights I did, just in case something went wrong. But long story short (and 4 airplanes later-lol) everything is still in-tact and ready for the sky.

    Now with that being said I'm already starting to look for a 5th airplane as a "winter-project" to keep myself busy in what free time I have. The question I have is, are the newer pump-gas or glow motors really better than electric motors for 3D flying? I have a UMX P3 Revolution I've been practicing 3D with, but it doesn't "float" in the sky all that well for hovering/harrier style maneuvers. If I go slow with the P3, it likes to start to drop altitude. As a side note, I've got somewhere around 50 flights with it so far. And I can get away with stall-turns, revolver rolls, low pass "wall-climbing", and things of that nature-but getting to do those maneuvers slow is nearly impossible for me, even on a calm day. So I'm thinking about finding a larger mid-wing airplane (preferably a 2 piece wing) with a balsa air-frame to get flying the way I'd like to. Something like the MXS, or Edge 540 maybe? If any of y'all have a 3D plane like that, could you please post a picture or flight video to see it?, thanks. I know there are lots of videos on youtube and such, but I'd like to hear some honest reviews and opinions.

    Thanks for reading and all advice is appreciated! If y'all want to see pictures of the airplanes or other gear, please let me know and I can add them later on.
     
  2. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    Electric motors are probably the best and easiest to use for 3D type flight over glow or gas motors. They respond quicker to your throttle inputs that any type of fuel engine will respond. The down side with them are the flight length... typical flights are in the 10-15 minute range which for me is just about right. I start getting a little tired when I am ( actually was now ) flying hard and like to take a short break at around that time frame. Another side of this to consider is the size of the aircraft, once you start getting up into the 60" and larger sizes... the airframe itself isn't as responsive because of it's mass ( weight )... so at these sizes... a fuel engine along with the longer flight times they provide... start making more sense.

    So for something up to a 60" inch airframe.... I'd recommend going with an electric motor. At the 60" up to the 70" range, a glow engine. For sizes over 70" start looking at the gasoline engines.

    Another issue with 3D craft... A well engineered aircraft, that you'll pay a little more for... will fly not only more accurately but actually much easier than a cheap one you get at a discount house. A balsa or fiberglass airframe won't "wiggle" in flight like a foamy will.

    There are two brands ( now that they've merged, they are one company ) that I strongly recommend ... 3D Hobbyshop and ExtremeFlight. They make well engineered and high quality planes that you won't be disappointed with. Their after the sales support is also top notch. If you have ANY questions... they are happy to help in any way they can. Their website is at Extreme Flight

    They also now have several lines/brands of aircraft including scale warbirds and more standard aircraft as well.
     
  3. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    Rsdok:
    Thank you for such a detailed reply. I appreciate it! With that said, I've been searching on extreme-flight quite a bit already, just browsing what products they have available. Their products have quite a few positive reviews overall. As far as size goes, I'm thinking about something park flyer sized. So 60 inch wingspan at the most, much larger than that and they start getting hard to travel with. As far as motors go, you gave me alot of helpful info. So thank you for that. The "Wiggle-effect" you mentioned happens to me a lot when I try and hover/harrier my UMX P3. It is a
    epo-foam biplane and has about a 16 inch wingspan. I'd really like to get rid of the "wiggle-effect" all together. Also, I'd like to have a airplane that is easier to see when flying. With the UMX P3 I have, I've been disoriented a few times when flying hard 3D, and that isn't fun to deal with. My big worry is I'll find a larger (60 inch wingspan-like I mentioned) 3D plane with a electric-motor, and I'll still experience instability due to the size of wing-area, and lack of power or bad center-of-gravity, is that true (I'm still new to the 2.4GHz stuff)? I say this because most of the extreme flight (60 inch wingspan) 3D airplanes I've seen, which are balsa air-frames, are intended for a electric motor, not gas/glow...Also, do you have any 3D balsa airplanes from extreme flight close to that size? If so, how well do they fly? Thanks in advance and God Bless!
     
  4. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    Quality wise... both 3D Hobby Shop and Extreme Flight are almost identical if not the same ( since they are now the same company ). In fact, both owners of each would even recommend the other's product before they joined forces... they are that good.

    I've only owned/flown 3D Hobby Shop models and not any of ExtremeFlight's ( I do have other non-3D planes from other companies )... as should be evident in my signature. Pick the one you want by personal preference since you aren't going to have a quality issue with any of their aircraft ( from either brand). My favorite sizes are in the 48"-51" range... they are easy to transport and have some of the stability of a larger airframe. With airplanes, the larger they are, the more stable they tend to fly because they aren't affected by wind as easily. If you are coming from a tiny 16" wingspan... there won't be any comparison.

    As long as you use the recommended equipment and follow the assembly instructions... you won't have a CG problem or a power problem either.

    What frequency your radio is ( 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz or whatever ) has nothing to do with flying really... how good the quality the radio equipment is ... is what matters. If you are going to get a radio ( because you don't have a good one yet or whatever ), get one with at least 8ch or more... It isn't the number of channels that is important ( to a point ) it's the other features that radio's with that number of channels ( or more ) brings with it. If you can get one that also can store model setups on a SD Card... it's worth it so you can switch out models if needed quicker than reprogramming by hand.
     
  5. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    Rdsok:

    As far as radios go- I currently have a Spektrum DX8-G2. I like the menus alot, their easier for me to understand than Futaba's systems (no offense intended to those that use futaba radios). It has a SD card slot built-in, and supposedly holds up to 250 models in the memory. I gotta agree with you on the 8 Channel platform, the features that radio has built-in are incredible. I almost got a Spektrum DX9, but the price at my hobby shop was about a $100 more, so I stuck with the DX8.

    In regards to airplane sizes, a lot of folks are telling me the same thing, "the bigger they are- the better they fly...". Which is true. Also, I was talking to some friends at my local flying field, and almost everyone recommended electric power over gas. Reason being- better control response, power-to-weight ratio, and overall longevity. Gas airplanes require more attention than I thought, even if they don't leave the hangar for awhile...I always thought for big balsa airplanes gas was the way to go, but that doesn't seem to be the case for a airplane in the 50 inch - 60 inch wingspan range. Electric motors get the win this time. And you are right about following the directions and matching parts the way the airplane was intended, I agree 100%. My long term goal with this next airplane is to have a 3D mid-wing airplane that will fly fast or slow (When I want it to), perform slow "floating-style" 3D maneuvers, look nice, while too being able to have a nice cruiser, all in one airplane. Instead of just pushing limits the entire flight-time, every time. Now to go do some web-surfing, and see what this next airplane is going to cost overall...Thank you for your time & input- God Bless!
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't remember if I have flown Randy's planes but I have seen the quality and it is really good. And I would do electric if small or gas if large. No nitro. Way too messy.
     
  7. callsign4223

    callsign4223 Administrator Staff Member

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    After all the issues I have had with nitro trucks, I think I'm done with anything but electric. It's just easier to deal with for someone who doesn't get to fly regularly. My birds are always ready to go when I get a spare minute. My skills on the other hand tend to be rather rusty LOLOLOL
     
  8. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure each of offered the other a shot at the "sticks" of our planes... but didn't ever actually take each other up on it... Either we were too happy with our own planks, or didn't want to chance at crashing someone else's... :D
     
  9. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    Howdy y'all!
    I just got some free time today and thought I'd give everyone a quick update. I still have my UMX P3 Biplane, and I did end up buying a larger mid-wing airplane recently. I decided to get the Sukhoi SU-29MM (Gen-2) by Horizon Hobby / E-flite. The airplane went together nicely. I got it put together and programmed in about 1 hour or so. The wingspan is 44" across and its powered by a 3S 2200Mah 30C Lipo battery.

    Now here is the downside to the airplane (in my situation at least)...After assembling the airplane, double checking the instructions to make sure everything was programmed correctly, performing a range-test, balancing the Center-Of-Gravity (or CG), and charging up the Lipo battery, I managed to catch a nice and fairly quiet evening to go and test my Sukhoi SU-29MM for its maiden flight. Keep in mind this airplane has built in AS3X Stabilization, with the additional "SAFE-Mode", and Telemetry all on board. Going into the flight I was excited and curious at the same time to see what the new technology could do. Also before this flight, I'd never flown a airplane or helicopter with "SAFE-Mode" available. My UMX P3 Biplane has AS3X, so I've had some experience with that previously.

    However to make a long story short...I took off with my Sukhoi SU-29MM, and yes "AS3X" and "SAFE-Mode" were both "ON" before take-off. I let it climb out to a decent height, and went to make a left-turn, then everything went crazy. Both ailerons went to full-deflection and that sent the airplane into one very fast left-roll as it was also starting to fall. The end result was that the left-roll sent the airplane into a tree, so the maiden flight was unsuccessful unfortunately. As far as I know that should NOT be possible with "SAFE-Mode" or "AS3X" turned "ON". So I now have a scratched-up front cowl, need a new propeller, and some new wings.

    Just out of curiosity...
    Does anyone have the same airplane? or any suggestions as to why this might have happened?
    Also, has this happened to anyone else with a diffeent "AS3X / SAFE-Mode" airplane?
    I'm thinking it was a receiver issue. I don't see what else would've caused it to happen. I'd like to know how to fix it before I fly it again. Thank you in advance for any information you can share. - God Bless!
     
  10. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    Could you be talking about the receiver's failsafe mode instead of "Safe-mode" .... if so, that is something you must setup/program before you enable it and each receiver is a little different in what functions it has. One way it sets what the throttle does when it goes into failsafe mode but not the other channels ( sets it to the value the throttle has when it was bound )... another failsafe sets all of the channels to their setting when it's bound... If it was something like that second one and you had your ailerons not set level during the bind... it could do something like what you described.

    I don't have that plane or one like it... and I've never flown ( nor do I want to fly ) with a gyro in a plane...
     
  11. Admiral

    Admiral Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mudbogger, there is something wrong there if you had the Safe-Mode setup correctly and hit the Panic button it should have gone to "upright, level flight" according to the spiel, either the setup wasn't correct or the receiver/FC is faulty. I would be checking with the hobby store where you bought it they may be able to tell you what went wrong and make a claim if it was the fault of the equipment.

    Whenever you fly something with the Bailout style options it's best to test the option on the ground to make sure that it appears to be doing what it should before you fly it for real.

    E-Flite Sukhoi SU-29MM RC Plane | Buy Planes from Modelflight

    PS. I have never used Safe-Mode but did help my bother in-law set it up on a Cub when he was learning, it appeared to work on the ground but was no use avoiding the tree he crashed into.
    PPS. Just a thought, you didn't happen to have the plane upside down when you Bound & setup Safe-Mode did you? that may explain the roll.
     
  12. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    Rdsok - Thank you for your reply.

    Admiral - As far as checking with my local hobby shop goes, I haven't contacted them. I did reach out to Horizon Hobby directly regarding my situation, and I'm currently waiting for a reply. To answer your question about binding the receiver and transmitter, the airplane was upright, just sitting on the landing gear on a carpet floor. It wasn't on its side or upside down. Also, my dad helped me test the "AS3X" and "SAFE-Mode" systems before we went out to the field, making sure no servos needed to be reversed and that the airplane was responding appropriately to movement and correcting itself, as it should. And everything seemed to work correctly when we double-checked the programming for both the airplane itself and my transmitter (or radio), thats why my guess for the problem is a receiver issue. Also as a side note, none of the servo leads where loose when I arrived at my local flying field and I put electrical tape on the aileron leads because they connect by the use of a Y-Harness adapter to the receiver. However I know when my airplane hit that tree, the right wing aileron servo wire was yanked out of the Y-harness adapter running to the receiver..I hope to hear back from Horizon Hobby and be back to flying my Sukhoi SU-29MM soon. Thank you for your reply.
    -God Bless y'all!
     
  13. mudbogger

    mudbogger Member

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    Howdy once again!
    I just thought I'd share a quick update on my Sukhoi SU-29MM airplane situation. So after talking with Horizon Hobby and realizing where the problem was, apparently the factory receiver used in my airplane DOESN'T have "Safe-Mode" it has a alternative known now as a "Panic-Recovery" function. So to make a long story short, I was able to fix my airplane and got two successful flights out of it today! I'm also glad to report that the airplane didn't need much re-trimming on my transmitter to get it back to normal, flying flat and straight. Once the airplane was trimmed-out, everything was smooth flying from then on. Thanks again to all y'all for your input and help. Happy Flying and as always, God Bless y'all!
     
  14. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Glad you got it figured out! And awesome about those two flights! I need to get out and do some flying again soon!
     
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