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Retracts

Old 08-15-2016, 02:20 PM
  #1  
hbgandy
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Default Retracts

I'm on the verge of buying a Spitfire ARF. Some have mechanical retracts, others have electrical retracts. What are the differences? How are the mechanicals activated? Pluses and minuses to each? This will be my first plane with retracts so any help and advice will be most appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:36 PM
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firemanbill
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Mechanical retracts are typically run off one servo with control linkages going out to the mechanical portions. Electrics are self contained units that just plug into the gear channel on the receiver.

Mechanical are cheaper and can be more finicky. Electrics are more reliable and also more expensive.

The Eflite spitfire comes with electric retracts and they work really well. I have one and really like it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:20 PM
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dahawk
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I have several planes with retracts. You'll typically see the larger, heavier ply planes using mechanicals. Some not all .Virtually all foamies use electrics. The main difference to look for when shopping for retracts is the pin size. Some lightweight types have a 3mm pin going into a plastic body. No good. You want metal body retracts with at least a 4mm pin. Even in foam planes.

I have a few 5mm pin retracts. Much more HD. The electrics typically work like an on and off switch. Most have a ball screw inside and the pitch of the screw determines its speed.

Hawk
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:33 PM
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solentlife
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I used mechanicals in my models before year 2000 ... now I will not use them.

Electric 'servoless' retracts are now so good that really I see no reason to go mechanical.

My VQ FW190 - has design for mechanicals. Wing has cutout for the central servo and then rods out to retracts .... I fitted electric retracts which are lighter but of same strength.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-0Atc5VckE

That was a reasonably hard landing - but they performed brill and no damage at all.

Here's my Lancaster with electrics ...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJgn9oZu760

I am totally sold on electrics ... I remember all the fiddling and farting around with mechanicals. One hard landing and rods bending / adjustment ...

Electrics have power cut offs - so if they stall or lock - they don't drain the power source. Mechanicals do not have that ... if they stall - that servo will be pulling power trying to operate.

Just my PoV ...

My 90" Lancaster in process of being built has electrics with 4.5" wheels etc. I tested them one day and I could not hold the legs against the power when I flicked the switch !

Nigel

Edit : For some reason which I cannot understand - my Youtube vids are not coming up properly ...
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:48 PM
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fhhuber
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Well... the electric retracts are getting very inexpensive if you compare to the cost of the mechanicals + servo to operate them + the linkage materials.

Sometimes the electric retracts are now cheaper.

Lots less fiddling around for installs and to keep then operating correctly makes the electric retracts win.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:51 PM
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firemanbill
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A lot cheaper than Air Robarts! that's for sure. I have a set going into my Giant scale corsair kit if I ever get around to finishing it.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:03 AM
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solentlife
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For anyone worried about power to electrics - its easy to have small NiMH pack to power them separately. A small 150 - 200 mAh 4.8v pack is more than enough for a days flying.

I wish I had electrics back years ago when I was fighting mechanicals !

Nigel
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:43 PM
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hbgandy
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Specifically, how tough and reliable are the electric retracts used by Flightline and DuraFly? Equal to the E-Flite retracts?
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:55 PM
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dahawk
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I have really have not had any issues with either the Durafly or Flightline retracts. Both are Spitfires. The Flightline's are little more beefier. Are they has good as eflights? Hard to say. Probably a horse a piece.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:21 PM
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hbgandy
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Thanks. Do the DuraFly Spitfire retracts have metal bodys and pins of at least 4mm?
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:53 AM
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I believe they are metal but I think think the pin is 3mm. I'll have to verify.
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