Electric Conversions

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Now that electric flight is past the initial test of survival, the flood of new motor and battery technologies has created a new wave of excitement that has entered the more traditional glow-powered flight segment of R/C. It is now becoming commonplace to convert an existing glow plane from .30 size up to 1/4 scale. As the price of electric flight drops and the performance rises, the excitement of the benefits of clean and quiet electric-powered airplanes will continue to increase.

Welcome to my Electric Conversions page! Please feel free to learn and copy and of my conversions below that have links to full review write-ups. For a general understanding of glow conversion basics, read my Glow Conversions Made Easy page. It is also important to understand the evolution of Lithium battery technology so please read my Lithium Power Solutions page for a better general understanding.

Please visit the Glow to Electric Conversions forum on RC Universe for even more details and information on other conversions from many creative R/C enthusiasts!

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World Models 42% Ultimate ARF

The World Models 42% Ultimate Biplane is made from high quality balsa and plywood construction. It is available in two different color schemes and is light weight yet strong for aerobatic maneuvers. The model offers hand-painted fiberglass cowling and wheel pants. It comes with strong 1/4" thick aluminum landing gear and all the hardware needed to complete the ARF.

I had done many electric conversions on other World Models planes so the time was right to start building a giant scale Ultimate biplane.

For my complete conversion review on the World Models 42% Ultimate conversion, go to  Part1 and Part2

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The Wings Maker Ultimate 40 ARF

The new Ultimate 40 performance biplane from The Wings Maker is now available on-line. It is made from top quality balsa and plywood construction and comes with all hardware and accessories. The built-up upper and lower one-piece wings comes with premium hand iron-on covering film in an exciting new color scheme!

I'll be converting this .40-size model to clean and quiet electric power for my review.

For my complete conversion review on the Ultimate 40, go here.

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The Wings Maker Clipped Wing Cub 48 ARF

The new Clipped Wing Cub 48 from The Wings Maker is available in two color schemes. It is made from top quality balsa and plywood construction and comes with all hardware and accessories. The built-up rib wing and tail section comes with all the control surfaces pre-installed.

I'll be converting this model to clean and quiet electric power. It is similar in appearance and covering scheme of my World Models 1/3 Scale Clipped Wing Cub, but essentially half the size or 1/6 scale.

For my complete conversion review on the Cub 48, go here.

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World Models 1/3 Scale Clipped Wing Cub ARF

The World Models has created the first third scale clipped wing Cub ARF. It comes in three different star burst color schemes and is an aerobatic version of their classic yellow Piper J-3 Cub. The clipped wing Cub and spare parts are available from Airborne Models.

My review will use new products for an electric conversion that delivers 6000 watts of power with a safe spark-free enabling feature.

For my complete conversion review on the third scale Cub, go here.

For my final setup using the AXI 5345, see the end of my build thread on RCU here. I used an APC 22x10 e-prop on 13s2p 5AH packs for about 4000 watts of power. The AXI 5345 power system proved to be a winner.

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Hangar 9 150-Size P-51D ARF

The Hangar 9 150-size P-51D Mustang ARF is a winner! The assembly time is quick and provides a great large-scale experience for scale flying enthusiasts with intermediate to advanced flying skills. The level of exceptional scale detail will catch the modeler's eyes at the flying field and the performance of the E-flite Power 160 motor will leave them very impressed. The model will stay clean using the electric power system and can be flown at all R/C events. The electric power system also allows for using a 4-blade prop for that added a great scale touch on the ground and in the air.

For my complete conversion review on the P-51D, go here.

For my Aerosound R/C Scale Sound System installation on the P-51D, go here.

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World Models 1/4 Scale J3 Piper Cub ARF

The World Model's Piper J-3 Cub 1/4 Scale ARF is the most popular 1/4 scale ARF model on the market. In this review, I'll be converting it to clean and quiet electric power. The J3 Cub and spare parts are available on-line at Airborne Models.

To power my 16lb J3 Cub, I'm using the AXI 5320/28/Jeti 90 Combo for only $408 at Hobby Lobby. This cost effective combination comes with two prop adapters for flexible mounting and can provide burst power over 2000 watts.

For my complete conversion review on the Piper J3 Cub, go here.

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World Models Ultimate 40S ARF

The World Models Ultimate 40S Biplane ARF from Airborne Models comes in two color schemes with the following specifications and key features. Spare parts are also available on-line at Airborne Models.

The power level on a high-performance biplane like the Ultimate must be able to overcome the large drag of having so much combined wingspan and provide awesome aerobatics. To achieve this, I recommend using a 150w/lb to 200w/lb power system. Assuming an all up weight of 5lbs, this puts us in the 1000w motor class as 1000w/5lbs = 200w/lb.

For my complete conversion review on the Ultimate 40S, go here.

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Bullit High-Speed Delta Wing ARF

The new "Bullit" ARF from Hobby Lobby is a high-speed delta wing design. The Bullit has a 33" wingspan and is 27" long with a flying weight around 36oz. This is a glow-to-electric conversion that is easy to accomplish using the recommended components. The wing is easy to hand launch as there are finger grips built into the bottom. When powered by the recommend components, this delta wing has a broad speed range and is capable of flying slowly with light and easy landins. Open up the throttle and the Bullit lives up to its name! The plane is not difficult to fly but due to its high speed it is not for the novice.

For my complete conversion review on the Hobby Lobby Bullit, go here.

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Senior Telemaster ARF

The new Senior Telemaster ARF from Hobby Lobby is one big value! It comes right out of the box pre-built and covered
for less than you could build it yourself. The ARF design is so complete that even all the control surfaces are already attached. I'll have plenty of fun converting this plane to clean and quiet electric power using my own setup design.

My plan was to use the AXI 4130/16 on a 6s BalancePro HD Lithium pack for a safe conversion to clean and quiet electric power. Since weight is not an issue on the Senior Telemaster ARF (other than needing some for proper balance) using NiMH cells is also a good solution for a lower cost.

For my complete conversion review on the Senior Telemaster ARF, go here.

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Black Horse Model Decathlon ARF

The Hobby Lobby Decathlon ARF is a semi-scale plane that delivers strong aerobatic performance with an AXI Outrunner Brushless motor. It is a quick build ARF that comes with all the major parts pre-built and pre-covered with quality hand iron-on Oracover®. The factory painted fiberglass cowl and wheel pants are pre-finished. Construction is conventional built-up balsa and ply, which is both lightweight and strong. A well written 16-page manual was accompanied by a small sheet of finishing decals.

For my complete conversion review on the Black Horse Model Decathlon ARF, go here.

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UltraRC Icepoint 2-meter Pattern Plane

Ultra-RC has a fantastic looking 2-meter pattern plane called the Icepoint. The design was based upon the success of their 3D Quest, to cater to the flyers wanting a cost effective alternative to the more expensive artistic freestyle type designs. The construction consists of the traditional “built-up” balsa and ply techniques but the building time is greatly reduced as the wing is pre-mounted, joined, and, glassed. The stabilizer is an adjustable two-piece design.

The Icepoint hovers and 3D’s very well, but you have the best of both worlds in that it flies competitive FAI with the best of them. A key trademark of this plane is that it is very light and has superior knife edge performance with very little (if any) knife edge coupling required. Although the model is typically powered by a YS 1.40 or OS 1.60, I will be converting it to clean, quiet, and, most importantly, highly reliable electric power!

For my complete conversion review on the UltraRC Icepoint, go here.

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Hangar 9 33% Edge 540

My review of the new Hangar 9 33% Edge 540 high-performance aerobatic ARF will include a conversion to clean and quiet electric power. The plane was designed by TOC competitor Mike McConville and is constructed from durable, lightweight balsa and plywood, covered in genuine UltraCote® for an expert look. The Edge 540 includes a two-piece wing and stab that ensures convenient storage as well as easy transport to the flying field.

For Part 1 of my conversion review on the Hangar 9 Edge 540, go here.

For Part 2 of my conversion review on the Hangar 9 Edge 540, go here.

For Part 3-D of my conversion review on the Hangar 9 Edge 540, go here.

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World Models P-82 Twin Mustang

The World Models Manufacturing Company has re-created a scale version of the P-82 Twin Mustang meant for two .40-size glow engines.

The quick build ARF has the following features:

bulletPremium hand iron-on covering film
bulletFuel proof decals and factory painted pilot figures
bulletFunctional split flap and pre-installed retracts
bulletComes with all hardware and accessories

My conversion project will use two AXI 4120/14 outrunner motors with the radial mount set. Note that the less expensive AXI 2826/10 or /12 motor would also work well in converting this classic warbird to clean and quiet electric power. In either case, I choose the Jeti JESAP40P Advance PLUS 40 Amp Opto Brushless Controller.

For my complete conversion review on the World Models P-82, go here.

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Great Planes Little Toni

The Kontronik Brushless Set 600 can convert the Great Planes Little Tony "Cosmic Wind" from glow power to GO power!

The GP Little Tony flies fantastic! The Kontronic 600 set provides incredible speed and power for this scale model.

The 20-cell CP2400 NiCd pack is being upgraded to a 6s4p configuration of ElectriFly 1500mAh Lithium cells. This will provide a 1/2lb drop in weight while increasing the flight duration by 2-1/2 times.

Read my original "How To/Review" in the December, 2004 issue of Model Airplane News!

Check out the March 2006 issue of Quiet Flyer for my latest 2200w Lil Toni power system hop-up. That's 244w/lb.!

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Graupner Extra 300S "AXI-fied"

Although many new electric Almost-Ready-to-Fly Airplanes (or ARFs) are entering the R/C market almost daily, the widest range of choices for larger size planes, .40-size and up, are still the models intended for glow flight. Today’s ARFs use lighter materials and have much less over-building than their predecessors. Many electric power systems offer a similar mounting footprint as a glow engine making for easy glow-to-electric conversions that perform with unparalleled reliability.

The Graupner Extra 300S was designed for a .40-size glow engine but easily converts to electric flight with very few changes. The beautifully appointed Extra 300S has a large 63” wingspan, 46” overall length, 639 sq. in. wing area, and is meant to fly at around 6.5lbs with glow fuel.

My goal for this project was to use a maintenance-free, direct drive AXI motor and demonstrate that it is not only easy to convert the plane but that it actually flies better with clean and quiet electric power!

Check out my RCU review for complete details on my .40-size Graupner Extra 300S conversion to electric power.

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Hangar 9 F4U Corsair

 

For my complete conversion review on the Hangar 9 Corsair, go here.

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Hobby Lobby Skylark

Check out my RCU thread for complete details on my .40-size Hobby Lobby Skylark Pattern Plane conversion to electric power using an AXI 4120/14 direct drive outrunner motor. Watch for the review in Quiet Flyer magazine soon!

You can also check out Super Skylark e-conversion thread here.

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Lanier Razor 3D

Check out my RCU thread or review for complete details on my .30-size Lanier Razor 3D conversion to electric power using an Aveox 27/39/1.5 geared motor.

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Hangar 9 AT-6 Texan

Check out my RCU thread and review for complete details on my .60-size Hangar 9 AT-6 Texan conversion to electric power using a MaxCim 13Y geared brushless motor.

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Graupner Extra 300S

Check out my Web page for complete details on my .60-size Graupner Extra 300S conversion to electric power using a MaxCim 13D geared brushless motor. This plane was also featured in the November, 2003 edition of Quiet Flyer magazine.

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Graupner ShowFlyer

Check out my Web page for complete details on my .60-size Graupner ShowFlyer 3D conversion to electric power using a MaxCim 13Y geared brushless motor. Watch for the review in Quiet Flyer magazine soon!

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Hobby Lobby Monocoupe

Check out my RCU review for complete details on my .90-size Bohemia Models 1920s Velie Monocoupe conversion to electric power using a big AXI 4120/14 brushless direct drive outrunner motor. Also, check out my RCU thread for my Monocoupe on floats conversion.

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Vmar Easy 3D

The VMAR EASY 3D ARF is a lightweight 3D capable design with a symmetrical 50" span wing and an all up dry weight of 4.25 to 4.75 lbs. The design uses hand-chosen light weight balsa directly from block stock and a new transparent POLYCOTE ECS covering. The POLYCOTE ECS covering utilizes Ultratough Polyester, enhanced graphics and detailing inside the covering and very minimal Sure Seal Seams to produce a totally fuel proof, high strength, lightweight, ultra durable covering. The main gear set offers premium strength and light weight! All this adds up to premium 3D performance on a very rugged design! I'll be converting the new Vmar Easy 3D from glow power to clean and quiet electric power.

For my complete conversion review on the Vmar Easy 3D, go here.

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Hacker Arrow 3D

Check out my Web page for complete details on my .60-size, 7.5lb, Hacker Arrow 3D conversion to electric power using first an Astro Flight 625G geared Cobalt motor and then a MaxCim 13Y geared brushless motor.

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Fun-Key .30-Size Extra 300S

Check out my RCU review for complete details on my .30-size Extra 300S conversion to electric power using an Astro Flight 625G geared Cobalt motor.

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Balsa USA Taube 40

Check out my Web page for complete details on my .40-size, 5.1lb, Balsa USA Taube 40 conversion to electric power using an inexpensive R/C car motor, a geared Kyosho Endoplasma.

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Graupner Monsun Trainer

Check out my Web page for complete details on my .30-size, 6 lb, Graupner Monsun Trainer ARF conversion to electric power using an inexpensive geared Kyosho Endoplasma.