The complete radio control model airplane FAQ.
Aspire Sailplane FAQ
I was looking for an electric ARF sailplane and have been told the
Aspire was a good choice. Is there any other ARF that would be similar?
This sort of thing has been discussed on the rec.models.rc.air newsgroup a bunch and the bottom line is that people who sell direct-drive, 2-meter e-sailplanes should be beaten about the head and shoulders with a wet squirrel. These models should have a gearbox and larger, folding prop to work properly.
I do not know of a 2-meter e-sailplane ARF or kit with motor that has a gear box. This would add to the cost of the kit and people not knowing any better would buy the one that was cheaper and that advertised "No gear box is NEEDED." And they wouldn't know any better until they struggled to get just a little altitude. Your best bet is to build something and I would be glad to advise you but only off the net and via e-mail. Cheers -- Ken Cashion
There's probably a good 30-40 2 meter ARF gliders with motors. However, the
Aspire is one of the lightest built (And in electrics you want light!) and best built. If I was to
recommend one out of the 40, the Aspire would be it. Now for tips on the plane itself...
On the stock motor (Direct drive with an 8x4 prop) you must keep ALL Weight to a minimum. I suggest micro servos (.6 ounces each or less....Hitec HS-81s are great and less than $20 each) which you'll need 2 of. Also, I recommend an Electronic Speed Control. I recommend this because you'll want to have throttle control....half throttle to cruise, full throttle to climb, and you'll want to be able to power on/off whenever you want. But the really reason is to save weight. ESC's have built in BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuitry). This uses power from the battery that powers the motor to power the receiver and servos too. This saves 4 ounces of weight....and with that 4 ounces of dead weight, the plane would barely fly, if at all. That 4 ounces of weight is nearly 10% of the all up weight and makes a HUGE difference in flying.
With 2 micro servos, ESC and the stock motor (Use 7 cells....don't use 6 cells as it will barely fly as well....I recommend even 8 cells since you'll probably get more use out of 8 cell packs down the road in electrics, plus the 8 cells REALLY makes it climb well! You can get a 2400 NiCad 8 cell pack for $50....well over 10-15 minutes of flight time on the stock motor!) it will fly fairly well. But for even more power and longer flight times (Almost double...20-30 minutes easily), then buy a $30 motor/gearbox/prop. Using the same 8 cell pack, this motor will be geared 3:1....meaning it will spin a 12x8 prop instead of a 8x4 prop....immensely increasing the climb, and doubling flight time since you will be able to climb faster and fly at a lower throttle setting. Cost is $30 for this combo, available from Tower Hobbies under Master Airscrew...be sure to get the 3:1 combo. You can also find a great ESC (Great Planes ElectriFly 30 amp...about $40) at Tower, along with the Hitec HS-81s.
Lastly, if you do not have a charger, I recommend buying the best you can afford now. The cheapie 6/7 cell chargers are about $40, and you wont be able to charge smaller or larger packs with them. So I suggest spending $90 on the Hitec CG-335. You can charge up to 24 cells (3 7 cell or 8 cell packs at the same time...meaning 3 charged packs in the time it takes to do one!) and lots of different sized packs. But if you do plan to spend that much money, I recommend the Super Smart charger from Dymond RC. Its about $109, but will also discharge and cycle your packs to keep them working better, longer. Plus it has more features that will keep things much easier for you down the road. Spend the money now, not later....buy cheap, buy twice! See it here:
For the 8 cell 2400 packs, you can get them custom built for $50 here:
The plane will fly on cheap $20 7 cell packs (Try to get 1700 and higher in
mAh!) but the 8 cell 2400s will give tons of power and lots of flight time.
Good luck and if you need anything, feel free to email! Jason--
Check out my Electric R/C Helicopter Column "Vertical Charge" here: http://www.ezonemag.com
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Revised: October 05, 2001 .