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HomeAircraftHelicopterBeginners Corner › Electric or fuel??/
10-14-2005 11:51 PM  12 years agoPost 1
colin421guns

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nfld Canada

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Hi
I've been lurking here for a while and am interested in hobby helis.
I have noticed there are some guys/gals selling there fuel fired helis or willing to trade for an eletric (ie T-rex). Has electric helis gotten to the point where they can compete in performance with fuel fired helis?

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10-15-2005 01:34 AM  12 years agoPost 2
pudge

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Kentucky

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There are some electric helis that will perform as well as nitro helis of the same size, but the cost is a lot more. The small electric helis perform great, but aren't quite as stable as the larger nitro helis. Generally speaking, bigger helis fly better.

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10-15-2005 01:57 AM  12 years agoPost 3
BC Don

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Calgary, AB Canada

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I have a T-Rex (only 1 flight) a 30 and a 50. The 50 is intimidating to me, I enjoy the 30 and I can see that the T-Rex will be able to do a lot of what my 30 size can once I've got it set up properly. However, the smaller, lighter T-Rex won't handle much wind (or I'll be spending all my time attempting to control it), it doesn't have much inertia in the blades so Autos would be more difficult.

I figure the T-Rex will be good for indoors and calm outdoor weather. The 30 will be my primary learning vehicle and the 50 will be something I use when I get better with the 30 size.

Got Money? Send it to me, I'm a Heli Addict.

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10-15-2005 12:47 PM  12 years agoPost 4
smity777

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California

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From ground zero, a good t-rex set up with batteries etc. will cost about as much as a good raptor 30 or 50.

Both have pros and cons

Nitros Pros: will be more stable, no recharging batteries to fly just fuel and go,

Nitro Cons: Cost more to repair, Need to clean up , Need more space to fly.

T-rex Pros: Small easy to store, Need less space, no clean up, really cheep crash cost.

T-rex Cons: Have to charge (Unless you have the packs and chargers which is then expensive). Small and less stable, Small and can't fly it in super large patterns (not that you need to).

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10-15-2005 01:55 PM  12 years agoPost 5
darrens

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United Kingdom

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Smity has it down, so ditto! However, I fly both nitro and electric, but my electric is an Eolo. This has a blade diameter of 90cm, so is just a little smaller than a 30 nitro. It is a little more expensive than a T-Rex, but has similar stability to a 30 and more performance on the right config (On 4S it will 3D with the best of them). Another electric worth a look in this price bracket is the logo.
The electric is great for flying in smaller spaces such as your own yard (gentle hovering only) or park flying when empty. I would not fly the Eolo when other people are using the park as it is big enough to hurt!
Ultimately, it's great to have both!!!!!

He who dies with the most toys is the winner!

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10-15-2005 02:44 PM  12 years agoPost 6
colin421guns

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nfld Canada

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thanks for the reply.
What do you think about this electric for me to start with?

http://www.signalhobbies.com/EFLH1100 Specs.htm

Colin

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10-15-2005 02:50 PM  12 years agoPost 7
darrens

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United Kingdom

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Not seen the Blade in the UK so i can't comment. Just remember that the smaller it is, the harder it is to handle. The larger the heli, the more stable it can be.
I would not start with anything smaller than a T-Rex personally.

He who dies with the most toys is the winner!

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10-15-2005 06:18 PM  12 years agoPost 8
MicroDOC

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Goleta, CA

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I think that a lot of pilots are switching to electrics, or adding them to their fleet because of the problems we are having flying our nitros or gassers. Many communities are not allowing these "air and noise poluters" to fly anywhere! Almost everywhere we used to fly is no longer available for one reason or another. The weather is also a contributing factor. You can't fly a Raptor 90 in the gym.
Ron…

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it!

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10-15-2005 07:06 PM  12 years agoPost 9
chuckhager

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Clovis, CA

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I have the Blade CP and several Raptor 50 e-conversions. I don't reconmmend getting anything smaller than a 30 size for beginners. The larger helis are so much easier to learn on. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's just going to be a little more challanging with a smaller heli.

I love flying my eRapps. The motor combination I have is actually more powerful than it's nitro counterpart. (So I've been told.) The initial cost to get into electrics is quite a lot more than getting into the nitros, but it really works out about the same in the long run. (If not cheaper) I went with the Raptor 50 because Raptor parts are so cheap and everybody seems to stock parts for them.

I enjoy not having to clean up when I'm done flying and I don't miss all the smoke they put out. The smoke from a heli reminds me of those TV shows where the heli gets shot down and smokes all the way in. The only think I clean up after a flying session are the unfortunate bugs on the blades.

The larger e-helis have a very distinct sound. One of the guys at our flying field thought someone was firing up a turbine when I went to spool mine up.

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10-15-2005 08:53 PM  12 years agoPost 10
colin421guns

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nfld Canada

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Chuckhager
When you say you have a raptor 50 converted to electric but don't recommend smaller than a 30 size, isn't a raptor 30 and rapter 50 the same size?
I thought a raptor 50 was a raptor 30 with a 50 engine. If that is the case have you not converted a raptor 30 to electric?
Also how do you convert a raptor 30 to electric or where do you find info on the net. Maybe a breakdown of the electric componts you use and where you source them would be helpfull.

thanks
Colin

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10-15-2005 10:51 PM  12 years agoPost 11
chuckhager

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Clovis, CA

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A Raptor 30 is smaller than a 50. Blades, boom, engine are all larger on a 50. There are those that have converted their 30's to 50's with a conversion kit.

I converted one of my 50's to electric with this kit. http://www.tppacks.com/products.asp?cat=17


I use a Neu 1515-2Y motor, Kontronik 55-10-32 Speed controller which in my opinion is one of the best ESC's you can buy. And "The Box" by Gary Goodrum. I'm running Thunder Power 10S2P's for battery power.

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10-15-2005 11:53 PM  12 years agoPost 12
colin421guns

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nfld Canada

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to chuckhager
thanks for the info. I checked out the site and the conversion kit from your post.
Sorry for my ignorance but I don't understand some of the terms you used.
Such as "the box"
If I understand this right I first would need to buy:

Raptor 50v2 kit
one conversion kit
one electric motor
speed contoller
battery
charger
gyro
tx and rx with servos

Would this be a complete setup to be able to fly?
I am seriously concidering this option. Not too many nitro guys speeking up in protest.

You see i have absolutly no experiance in nitro or eletric so If I'm going to invest time and energy into learning to power a heli I want spend my time wisely. Tuning, tweaking and setting up nitros seem to be just as complicated as learning electrics. I know it may be more costly to get started in eRaptors but at $30 a gallon here in eastern Canada for fuel I may save money in the long run as my electricity is free.

Colin

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10-16-2005 12:34 AM  12 years agoPost 13
chuckhager

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Clovis, CA

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"The Box" is the conversion kit that you listed. Your list is most of the parts. There are a few other things you will need as you go along. You might want to consider a UBEC from the same source in the link above as well as changing to the Raptor 30 gear set for a better gear ratio. This is a pretty hot setup and has great power.

Almost forgot. Do you have a simulator?

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10-16-2005 12:48 AM  12 years agoPost 14
colin421guns

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nfld Canada

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to chuckhager
thanks for the info and yes I have a sim. I bought G3 about 3 weeks ago and am
able to hover the dolphin pretty steady. I'm planning on spending the winter learning to fly the sim at the same time aquiring the hardware to fly. it will be a while before I'm flying but it will be worth it.

Colin

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10-16-2005 01:55 AM  12 years agoPost 15
Martan

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Charlottesville, VA USA

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LOVE that paint job.

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10-16-2005 02:31 AM  12 years agoPost 16
cnk

rrApprentice

NJ

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In my opinion, there are pro's and con's to both. I currently fly only electrics. They're great because they're quieter and easier to use. Just charge up, fly, and then pack it away when you're done. There's no engine tuning, messy fuel, or cleaning after flying. However, the one thing that you should consider is that you really have to spend a lot of money to have enough battery packs so that you're not just flying 2 packs and then having to pack it up for the day because you have to recharge the batteries.

LiPo's are great, but they're still very expensive. Just consider the 10S2P packs that you'd have to get for the eRap50. They run $420 each. You get around 15-20 minutes worth of flight and then you have to either stop and recharge or pony up another $420 for another pack. When you're trying to learn how to fly, the more flight time you have, the faster you'll learn. With nitro, you can just add fuel and fly. The key to nitro is the tuning, which can be difficult if you've never tuned a nitro engine before.

There are also other things to consider such as whether or not you have a place to fly nitro as the noise is sometimes an issue as mentioned above. To be honest, I'm actually thinking about picking up a nitro heli just so that I can spend more time flying and less time charging. For the price of a battery pack, I could buy a lot of fuel and get much more flying time. In the end, there's a lot to consider. Best of luck.

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10-16-2005 03:26 AM  12 years agoPost 17
chuckhager

rrKey Veteran

Clovis, CA

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I buy several packs and have a deep cycle marine battery in the back of my SUV to keep me flying throughout the day. Yes, lipos are expensive. One $420 pack is like buying 14 gallons of 30% at $30 a gallon.

A properly maintained lipo should get you 300 to 500 cycles. If you do the math, lipos are cheaper. Only if you don't trash a pack in a crash or other means.

For me the benefits of electric out weigh the cons. But that's just me. Nothing wrong with nitro. It's just not my cup of tea.

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10-16-2005 03:59 AM  12 years agoPost 18
cnk

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NJ

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I guess that's my point. 1 pack is equivalent to 14 gallons, which is a lot of flight time. Yes, by the time you're done with the 14 gallons, you'll probably still have the battery pack and still be able to fly. But even with a battery in the trunk to charge up the pack, you still have to wait in between flights. I haven't switched to LiPo's yet, but if they charge like my NiMh's, then you're still talking 1-1.5 hours to charge each pack. So through the course of 1 day, you may only get 4-5 flights in whereas with nitro, you could get much more then that. If you were to buy a 2nd or 3rd pack, that means even more equivalent gallons of fuel and flight time.

You also have to keep in mind that cost does not just include money put out for the battery packs or fuel. Time is also a cost factor for most people. So in the end, nitro may still be more "cost-effective" for some.

As I stated before, it all comes down to what you want and there's a lot to consider.

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10-16-2005 02:42 PM  12 years agoPost 19
colin421guns

rrNovice

nfld Canada

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There is alot to consider isn't there. $420 american is around $600 Canadian and at $30 Canadian a gallon for glow fuel that's 20 gallons. Thats alot of flying for the price of one 10s2p.
Chuckhager let me ask you did you start with nitro and then move on to electric?

BTW guys thanks for your input so far.

Colin

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10-16-2005 04:20 PM  12 years agoPost 20
camt10

rrKey Veteran

ny

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i started out with the rap30 kit and quickly wanted more so its now a 50 with hyper nitro birds are great if you get a good engine not much tunning difficulties ive read alot and the 50 pretty much is the consensus of great starter wish i read before got my 30 but ohh well they are more stable fly better in the wind and more power when your up to it and at the learning stages you can tone down to suit your needs i have no experience with big electrics but i love the sound and power of a nitro motor little electrics are not the best to learn on im going to get a t rex for flying at work on break like the fact plug and play but not for extended flying just as a supplement

TO CRASH OR NOT TO CRASH

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