Help! Switching a nitro plane to electric


New member
Hello! Gotta quick question. I want to change a 40" wing Tower Hobbies trainer from gas to electric. My brother built it over 20 years ago, and has never been flown. He passed away 13 years ago, and I took position of it. It is a .40 engine. was looking at your powerpacks and wondered if the "C" pack would be big enough for it. Kinda starting over you could say, I flew alot of control line,and old single channel R/C in the 70's when I was 13-14 years old. I'm 61 now and would like to see this old bird fly. Thanks


Old and Bold RC PILOT
When doing a Gas to Electric conversion I start with the original motor size in cu in. In your case it is 0.40 cu in.

Then I multiply the cu in by 2000 to give a power requirement for the electric motor to be fitted. In your case it would be 800 Watts.
Next is to find the original specified propeller and look for a motor of the appropriate wattage to drive the original sized propeller at peak power!

With the motor finally selected then it is time to specify an ESC that can handle the required motor current and voltage as well as a battery that can safely supply the voltage and current.

That should give a ship with very similar performance but often with either a shorter flight time than original or a bird that might be a fair beit heavier. I recommend that the lighter and shorter flight time be the preferred option.

DO not avoid high cell count systems as they really do perform better at higher wattage!

Just an oldies way of specifying a conversion!

Have fun!
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Elite member
Get that bad boy fired up and running on gas! Build a Tiny Trainer to learn on, then you won’t need to crash your beautiful gasser. Plus you will have a transmitter to use with it if you get a 6 or 8ch.
Just find a good space to fly it in.


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Staff member
If you have not flown for many years, I’d recommend relearning on another plane. You will go through several planes learning to fly. Save the high value plane for later.
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Master member
It is going to get expensive to change that over to electric I would keep it Nitro it sounds like it is already setup. Pull the engine off and pull the tank out, clean the tank out put new fuel line in the tank check the clunk make sure it is clean. For the engine I would pull the back crankcase cover off being careful of the gasket and carburetor off flush everything out really good with Acetone Lacquer thinner or even carb cleaner. Coat everything with Transmission flued assemble hook up new fuel line and see if that bad boy will start. Only real cost is new fuel line glow fuel and more then likely a new flight battery pack.

If the engine is really stiff heat it up with a hair dryer get it warm and work it back and forth the oil in Nitro fuel is castor oil and it gets very stiff with age.
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