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What do you feel are the most exciting advancements that effect electric flight?

Old 05-29-2018, 08:29 PM
  #1  
AEAJR
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Cool What do you feel are the most exciting advancements that effect electric flight?

I remember when electric airplanes were slow, heavy and had no duration.

Now they are fast, light and can do anything.


So, have we reached our peak?

What has come along to make things even better?
  • Advancement in battery technology?
  • improvements in electric motors?
  • New aircraft materials?
  • New control systems?
  • New radio advancements?

What do you see that is hot in the hobby that we should all be looking to employ in our electric flying?
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:30 AM
  #2  
yorkiepap
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
I remember when electric airplanes were slow, heavy and had no duration.

Now they are fast, light and can do anything.


So, have we reached our peak?

What has come along to make things even better?
  • Advancement in battery technology?
  • improvements in electric motors?
  • New aircraft materials?
  • New control systems?
  • New radio advancements?
All of the above.... and, I do believe that the main benefit & growing interest & involvement is the cost that has continually declined with all the advancements with EP & electronics in general.

What do you see that is hot in the hobby that we should all be looking to employ in our electric flying?
Hi Allan,
For me, since last year, FPV has really hooked me hard. I fly all EP as it suits my flying at home & on the great 55 acre farm adjoining my property. I also belong to a great local club with a great flying field. I have (2) gliders & (1) sport plane setup for FPV & recently bought a starter quad & just maidened it yesterday. It is such a different flight parameter that takes a bit of practice to get proficient although looks quite interesting & challenging. FPV has made it possible to really have the "feel" you're in the cockpit.....love it.

Denny
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:40 AM
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The next big thing will be better battery technology. The Lipo was a quantum leap over NiCAd for electric flight. Now we want batteries that are more powerful and lighter yet. This is the case especially in the EDF world where flight times are typically 3-4 minutes.

Look for a major change in chemistry coming.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:40 AM
  #4  
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The good old ESC is one of the best developments. We used to use micro switches for ON/OFF.
Now throttle is fully proportional.

I also love the computerised flight controllers that have adopted the technology developed for Mobile phones and can be programmed for fully autonamous flight.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:58 AM
  #5  
birdDog
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Gyros.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:06 PM
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Agree with gyros and other flight stabilization products, they are taking the RC world by storm. First was the SAFE and AS3X that got the ball rolling and has enabled countless people the ability to learn to fly. (As long as they never turn it off).

I recently got the QQ Extra with the Aura controller in it and am getting ready to test it out this weekend hopefully.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:49 PM
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quorneng
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To me the biggest advance in RC has been the reduction in cost!

However the very popularity of such advanced but relatively cheap technology is bringing in ever increasing legislation which may in turn limit its popularity and thus costs will increase and/or availability disappear.

It appears you can't "have your cake and eat it" at the same time at least on a long term basis!
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by quorneng View Post
To me the biggest advance in RC has been the reduction in cost!

However the very popularity of such advanced but relatively cheap technology is bringing in ever increasing legislation which may in turn limit its popularity and thus costs will increase and/or availability disappear.

It appears you can't "have your cake and eat it" at the same time at least on a long term basis!
Have to agree ... you only have to look at the Drone market ...

In terms of quantum leap - the single most important change has to be Battery Technology ... the use of Lithium based cells.

I can remember MicroMold and their Electric Heli ... useless !! Others with NiCd powered gliders ... pray it actually flew with the weight !

LiPo and LiFe have brought models surface and air so far forward that it now rivals traditional for all uses.

The next important step of course was FOAM .... I had an all foam Mk5 Spitfire back in the 1980's designed for Glow 40 power ... it looked very scale - but it flew like a brick ... Compare to todays foamies !!

Nigel
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:24 PM
  #9  
AEAJR
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My first 2M e-glider had a speed 600 brushed motor, 8X4 prop and ran on a 7 cell Sub C NiCd pack. 2100 mah capacity, 8.4V and 18 ounces. Talk about bricks.

Climb to about 400 feet took about 2 minutes and completely drained the battery pack. I think the full set-up, with battery was about 54 ounces.

Today my Radian hits 650 feet in 28 seconds on a 1000 mah 11.1V pack that weighs about 4 ounces and it only takes about 1/4 the capacity of the pack to do it.

Big difference. The whole plane only weighs about 28 ounces with battery.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:47 PM
  #10  
ron_van_sommeren
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
... What has come along to make things even better? ...
China.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:32 PM
  #11  
park
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Originally Posted by quorneng View Post
To me the biggest advance in RC has been the reduction in cost!

However the very popularity of such advanced but relatively cheap technology is bringing in ever increasing legislation which may in turn limit its popularity and thus costs will increase and/or availability disappear.

It appears you can't "have your cake and eat it" at the same time at least on a long term basis!
YES !
As a teen in the 70’s making about $50 a week and my auto mechanic father making $200 a week (we all did much better later in life) all I could afford was a few Guillows rubber powered models. A couple of times I was taken to a RC field up to Austin, Texas watch them fly. I don’t remember the cost but it was way more money than we had and I use to fantasize about making those Guillow models fly remotely, what silly idea.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:04 PM
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firemanbill
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Originally Posted by ron_van_sommeren View Post
China.
LOL, well there is that.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:40 PM
  #13  
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I agree with everything brought up so far... but a couple more thoughts.

Small, quiet electric planes (Park Flyers) that allow you to fly at places other than AMA fields has helped expand RC flying. This is how I became a RC flyer!

The major advance I see happening right now is telemetry included in both RX and TX for the same cost as previous versions without that capability. In general, TX and RX capabilities are going up and up fast. Kind of like PCs back 10-15 years ago. I really like telemetry! Realtime and logged data of current and voltage while flying is fantastic. It's easy to physically try out props when your radio can provide all of the data needed to assure you that you will not damage anything.

I am hoping that there is a major break thru in battery technology next, not just for RC, but everything that uses batteries now. I see articles every so often promising lighter, more powerful and safer batteries. Hopefully those will come soon.

Steve
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:25 PM
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Believe it or not.....with the mergers of RC affiliations, buy-outs and alliances being established amongst several (what's left of the) "big" names in the industry, in the last 5yrs, the transfer of intellectual property and research/development has expanded. Freeing up old copyrights and patents that had been locked into "prioritized" expansion.

Recent examples are those of Futaba & TDK, JR PROPO & Dee Force Aviation, Hitec (Airtronics) & Multiplex, HPI & Hobbico........the list goes on........Even Spektrum (Horizon), E-Flite, Hanger 9 and Parkzone had previously joined hands to consolidate the fledging market influences.

If those examples don't serve as results that expanded the technology, reduced costs associated with production, increased technical advancements and reduced consumer expenditures.......then what else has accelerated the lower consumer cost's, moderen techno availability, and seemingly, the slower rate of newer equipment being consumer ready we see today...?

It would seem the "peaks and valleys" (surges), the industry had seen in the last 10yrs is (or has) come to a place where "advancements" are now much slower to develop and the introduction of "not-so-ready" crap that we "beta" tested on our dime, has finally been reduced to a sensible and marketable plateau.....thanks to the bankruptcies that led to the mergers/but-outs the more successful products providers "deep pockets" gouged us with in the past.........Thank You Horizon, Hitec, JR and Futaba for allowing us to be your Guinea Pigs all these years and make it possible for you to remain in business........LOL

Last edited by pizzano; 06-02-2018 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:08 AM
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As with nearly everything from dishwasher to RC .... the change in Electronics has been revolutionary. From analogue to digital, from large to miniaturized ... the advances have been huge.

This along with change of building materials, design and the improvement in ARTF to the ARF / PnP etc. have all helped to create an RC world today that is a far cry from yesterdays ...

Many decry the lack of copyright regard in the Far East - but that has in itself brought about changes that we have benefited from. Radio Companies have been forced to recognise that no longer are we willing to ransom our bank accounts .. radios today are so cheap and capable compared to not so long ago - it is mind boggling.

I look at the models I fly today and what I flew so many years ago.

1. Lighter today significantly
2. Scale is far better than before but with good flight character - unlike the difficult to fly scale renditions before.
3. Electrics that really work and rival all other motive forms.
4. Radios that are so programmable that makes even Apollo Moon Mission look like a baby walk !
5. Scratch-build in foam for a few $, quickly and easily.
6. Glues and materials that make it so easy.


Its not a matter of company mergers and breaking proprietary barriers, its not just the advent of gyros, foam, cheaper radios ... its not one aspect ...

Its the total market and its developed state. Its like comparing a Steam driven car to a Tesla Car today ... advancement of technology, design and control. All contribute to the ongoing changes.

Back in the 70's when we were struggling with glow powered Ducted Fans .. if anyone would have said we could buy an Electric version that would fly faster, longer and cheaper ... we would have called the Funny Farm doctors to take the idiot away !!

Nigel
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:04 PM
  #16  
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Landing in one piece. To me, that's an exciting advancement!
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Stay Quiet View Post
Landing in one piece. To me, that's an exciting advancement!
Ha ha!!
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:01 AM
  #18  
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Brushelss, Lipos, and EPP.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:15 AM
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Today I flew some autonamous flights with my PX4Pilot on a Quadcopter. Funny thing was, I didn't even take my TX out of the cupboard. Everything was done on my Laptop.
I am having trouble coping with this stuff. It is too exciting.
I wonder if there is an autonamous fliers anonamous?
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:29 PM
  #20  
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As several other have already mentioned, I think battery technology has been one of the key developments in recent times but it's still the area that has some way to go.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:51 PM
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Manufacturing. Way back when, the closest thing to an ARF was one of the Cox control line planes. Not like today where you can walk into just about any store and find an ARF or RTF of some kind for sale.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:06 PM
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I'm going to be the black sheep here and throw in the monkey wrench. I am of the "ain't broke" crowd, and have found that every time they introduce something new into the hobby it has only succeeded in making it <em&amp ;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;more&a mp;amp;amp;lt;/em> complicated and <em&amp ;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;less&a mp;amp;amp;lt;/em> appealing (to me).. In fact much of the new technology it seems has become little more than an excuse to cram more and more "stuff" into our planes and transmitters that really, few of us even saw a need for before (and still don't!).<br />&a mp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br />As with "smart" phones, they are creating <em&amp ;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;their own</em> need.<br />&a mp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br />That being said, brushless motors and the advancements in battery technology has been very welcome. I started in the hobby at the beginning of the LiPo days and it is so much better than nickel cells
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