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Just getting started!!

#1
So. I am getting ready to do my first build. Have never flown before. I have been into rc cars for a while so the electronics knowledge mostly carries over. However one thing I never had to consider was the weight of the batteries. I will be using a esc and motor that can handle 3s. I have some 2&3s lipos around for my cars. They are 5000mah. Can I use these if I balance the CG correctly with them? Also I have some 18650 Lu ion battteries. I can run them in parallel and series (2p3s). To get amps and voltage needed. Anyone use these??oh and I will probably build a Flite Test P40. So I am thinking it will be big enough to handle weight of battery?? I know I should use the tiny trainer. But... lol. I need to practice building and reaping as well. Lmao. So I figure I’ll crash with a little harder plane. Also my wife is building a “LongEZ “. Any advice is appreciated. Thx!!
 

CarolineTyler

Well-known member
#2
I don't think any of the Flitetest designs can take a 5000mAh battery and fly decently except for maybe the FT A-10, even then its on the heavy side. I have made two of the FT Long-EZ and in my opinion, it's not a great flying plane - very very sensitive to roll and not easy to keep stable in the pitch.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#3
Small, light lipos for planes are often under $10 each, most big FT designs use 2200mah 3s, the rest are all sub 1000mah. You can’t fly a big heavy battery like that in a small, light airframe.
Buy some cheap packs when you decide on which plane you want to make first.
You don’t have to start on the Tiny Trainer, it’s just easy to build, simple to fix, modular, can run on 2 or 3s with an 1806 2400kv motor and is capable of full acrobatic and vertical flight, off two sheets of foamboard.
If you want to fly something different look at the mini Scout, it’s easy to make, can fly slow or faster and uses the same motor and esc as the TT.
 
#4
Ok. Sounds good. I have some drone lipo batteries I can use(in series) while I wait for other batteries I order. I live in Lubbock Texas and it is ALWAYS windy. Lol. I was just thinking a bigger plane would help me with learning in these conditions ? Not sure tho. Thoughts. And thanks again!
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#5
3S 2200s are probably the most common for most FT planes. 5000's as @CarolineTyler pointed out, will be too big/heavy.

As for the LongEZ...I'm still working on mine and getting used to launching it. One thing I will say, is that the LongEZ's wing/canards are only as thick as a piece of foamboard. They will snap easily in a crash (had to reinforce mine already). You probably should build something where the wing folds over (probably 99% of the other FT designs) that way it's thick enough to take some abuse while you're learning/flying.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#6
So. I am getting ready to do my first build. Have never flown before. I have been into rc cars for a while so the electronics knowledge mostly carries over. However one thing I never had to consider was the weight of the batteries. I will be using a esc and motor that can handle 3s. I have some 2&3s lipos around for my cars. They are 5000mah. Can I use these if I balance the CG correctly with them? Also I have some 18650 Lu ion battteries. I can run them in parallel and series (2p3s). To get amps and voltage needed. Anyone use these??oh and I will probably build a Flite Test P40. So I am thinking it will be big enough to handle weight of battery?? I know I should use the tiny trainer. But... lol. I need to practice building and reaping as well. Lmao. So I figure I’ll crash with a little harder plane. Also my wife is building a “LongEZ “. Any advice is appreciated. Thx!!
5000mah is huge for the normal FT design. There are a few that can handle it tho. One of which would handle it easily. The FT Kraken!! HUGE twin wing. Bixler literally built this to haul big things. So, a 5000mah 3s battery would work great, would have tons of flight time. As far as a few others, maybe closer to normal sized planes, the Legacy, the Explorer, and the Storch all have huge wings. BUT, keep in mind, that huge battery will cause you to carry more speed on take offs and landings and possibly bigger motors/esc's to keep it flying. I personally build a blunt nose versa and had 2 x2200mah in it and it flew great, 20+ minute flight times.
And my last idea, pick a design you like and make it bigger. This is a little harder to do for a begginer builder but it's not bad. I sized up the FT Spitfire to 125%, glued in the power pod for strength, and added in a removable 🐢 deck to get into the pod. I fly with 1x2200mah but with how slow it flys I believe it can handle a 5000mah easily. Keep in mind when sizing up tho, you'll need bigger electrics too. The motor on my 125% spitfire does 3500grams of thrust. Almost triple the normal c pack motor power.
Here's a pic of the removable 🐢 deck.
20180819_143819.jpg

Here's the Spitfire next to my normal sized FT Mustang for size comparison.
20180819_144148.jpg

And here it is all painted up.
20180902_172928.jpg

Anyway, I would suggest getting a few 2200mah 3s batteries and start with normal sized planes. The batteries are cheap, less than $10 each and LOTS of planes use them.
Anyway, enjoy the hobby and let us know which path you chose and progress with the hobby!!
 

Merv

Well-known member
#7
I agree with @CarolineTyler and @FDS, a 5,000 mAh battery is going to be large for FT planes. There are planes large enough to handle the weight.

Regarding the 18650's, the 2C discharge is a limiting factor. The higher energy density is a plus, they are mostly used for endurance planes. I believe the Titian battery brand uses 18650's. https://www.gettitanpower.com/
 
#8
I don't think any of the Flitetest designs can take a 5000mAh battery and fly decently except for maybe the FT A-10, even then its on the heavy side. I have made two of the FT Long-EZ and in my opinion, it's not a great flying plane - very very sensitive to roll and not easy to keep stable in the pitch.
5000mah is huge for the normal FT design. There are a few that can handle it tho. One of which would handle it easily. The FT Kraken!! HUGE twin wing. Bixler literally built this to haul big things. So, a 5000mah 3s battery would work great, would have tons of flight time. As far as a few others, maybe closer to normal sized planes, the Legacy, the Explorer, and the Storch all have huge wings. BUT, keep in mind, that huge battery will cause you to carry more speed on take offs and landings and possibly bigger motors/esc's to keep it flying. I personally build a blunt nose versa and had 2 x2200mah in it and it flew great, 20+ minute flight times.
And my last idea, pick a design you like and make it bigger. This is a little harder to do for a begginer builder but it's not bad. I sized up the FT Spitfire to 125%, glued in the power pod for strength, and added in a removable 🐢 deck to get into the pod. I fly with 1x2200mah but with how slow it flys I believe it can handle a 5000mah easily. Keep in mind when sizing up tho, you'll need bigger electrics too. The motor on my 125% spitfire does 3500grams of thrust. Almost triple the normal c pack motor power.
Here's a pic of the removable 🐢 deck.
View attachment 130805

Here's the Spitfire next to my normal sized FT Mustang for size comparison.
View attachment 130806

And here it is all painted up.
View attachment 130809

Anyway, I would suggest getting a few 2200mah 3s batteries and start with normal sized planes. The batteries are cheap, less than $10 each and LOTS of planes use them.
Anyway, enjoy the hobby and let us know which path you chose and progress with the hobby!!
Very nice. ! I had thought of making it bigger. But probably should learn to fly first. Lol. Gonna order some batteries and start with existing plans. And by the way of all their designs. The spit fire is my favorite. Paint job looks great.
 
#9
Anybody ever try lithium ion batteries. The ones used for hover boards and scooters have a decent discharge rate and high energy density. ?? Just a thought. My mind is constantly turning these things over and over and over. Lol. Oh look a squirrel.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#10
Very nice. ! I had thought of making it bigger. But probably should learn to fly first. Lol. Gonna order some batteries and start with existing plans. And by the way of all their designs. The spit fire is my favorite. Paint job looks great.
The spitfire is SUPER easy to fly too. I'd consider it a warbird trainer for sure. And to answer your previous question, bigger does fly better. In wind too! Welcome to the addiction. Lol
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#11
Anybody ever try lithium ion batteries. The ones used for hover boards and scooters have a decent discharge rate and high energy density. ?? Just a thought. My mind is constantly turning these things over and over and over. Lol. Oh look a squirrel.
Don't quote me on this, but I believe those batteries are heavy. Really heavy. They we're designed for ground use, not flight. Feel free to look up replacement batteries for em and check the weight tho.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#12
Lithium Ion is fine for constant load geared applications but is less good in variable load, direct jobs like turning a prop at 25k rpm. The chemistry is used in some lightweight FPV birds like the Strix Nano Goblin that you cruise around with a slower turning prop, but in pouch cells not metal ones.
As noted metal shelled Liion tool cells are HEAVY! You want light, high energy density batteries for flying.
Trust us, if there was a simpler, cheaper way than using $10 lipo we would be doing it!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
I have a 3200mah 3S Kinexsis battery that I flew in my Sea Duck. For that, the bigger battery actually was kinda nice; I got more flight time AND it gave me a little more nose weight to it.

Li-ion batteries are MUCH heavier than lithium polymer, and really aren't designed for flight. The Strix Nano Goblin is probably the only plane I know of that uses a Lithium ion battery, using 2S 18650 cells. That thing is SCARY fast, and can fly for 60 minutes, but I can only realistically fly it for about 10 minutes before I start getting tired/nervous at the flight line that I'm going to run out of juice. :) That said, it's RARE that you'll find it used in other setups...They're just too heavy for what they crank out in power.
 
#14
Gonna order some from Banggood. I have had quite a bit of good luck with those ZOP power brand lipos in my cars. What c rating should I get. Minimum and max. If possible?? Only reason I asked about Li-ion was I have them here laying around. Thanks. 🤙
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#15
Much as I despise Hobbyking, their Turnigy brand batteries are a good quality, cheap battery. I'd recommend them over what you can buy through Banggood. And while they ARE a little more expensive than some brands, Venom batteries are AWESOME - every single one I've bought has come with adapters that will allow you to go from EC3 to XT60 to Deans. They're high quality, from what I've experienced, and I have yet to have one hit with puffing or less charge than when I first bought it, and I've been using them for over a year now.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#16
@CrimsonKing70 Battery choice depends on what kit it’s going in and with what motor. As a general rule I never buy anything below 40c discharge, but the actual output depends on the battery capacity.
Decide on a plane first, then get a battery. I only buy Hobbyking but Flureon and Tattu are good. I don’t buy no name brands for cheap on lipo, as you cannot guarantee the quality of them.
Flite batteries can be exposed to more damage than car ones and it’s harder to manage the final cell voltage in a plane without practice or telemetry.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#17
And, as a recommendation, get at least TWO batteries. That way, you can have one charging while flying on the other. It stinks when you're down for 30-45 min. between flights because you're having to charge your battery. While I enjoy talking to other people at the field while my battery is charging, I'd much rather be flying! :)
 
#18
I flew my FT Cruiser with a 5000mah rc car battery for a while but its a big plane. (And also needs a lot of nose weight as designed) maybe something to keep in mind on future builds!

I found some high discharge 18650 batteries and built them into cells for an endurance fpv build a while ago. Worked great, over an hour flight time, but heavy. Wouldn't recommend doing unless you have a good reason to need them...