In RC fields the electric drive system is well established now. In control line circles some more hurdles had to be overcome. When Peter Germann suggested to include this power system into FAI rules, reactions were not exactly enthusiastic. Only a short time later - and here we have a modern technology, with a number of definite advantages, and on a competent performance level, at that !
There’s quite a number of people with open eyes and ears waiting for the moment when the situation will allow them to enter the electric game, provided a degree in electronics is not required. Progress doesn’t always appear in top of the world sport levels; interestingly enough it can start on what we use to call the sport area. Indeed many clever minds seem to shy away from the “competition” idea in order to keep their very own freedom of invention, development, and joy.    
For those interested in information about electric happenings I’ve collected some data. Clicking on the small pictures will open a bigger version. Included are the deeds performed by serious aerobatic flyers as well as some very successful attempts made by intelligent and ( as we say in German ) “cross thinking” individuals. I have already presented Thierry Saunier’s airplane on a separate page of this website. On the page you have opened now you will find some clever solutions; starting with a simple profile stunt model, covering a unique drive system installation, and finishing with a fascinating multiple sport acrobat.
      Living in a highly populated area Christoph Holtermann has severe problems with finding a suitable flying field. A not so noisy machine would make his search for a flying field much easier, so he chose to convert his simple Messerschmitt Me 109 profile stunter into a silent stunter as a first step. The attempt was quite convincing. The specifications:    
                                           
                                                                             
airplane 35 size Messerschmitt profile
motor Strecker LRK 295/15
controller Tchechian MGM
battery 4/3200 , 2200 mAh used
prop Graupner CamProp 11 x 4
timer Zitron
lines 18,20 m , lap time 5 sec
Overall weight was slightly heavier than the “wet” version, but still acceptable.
Convinced by this positive experience Christoph took the next step. For this he decided to rebuild his “Cobra” and replace the old reliable ST 51 by an electric cylinder. He managed to cramp the electric stuff in a manner so there was no change of CG location. Interesting result: apart from some very small hunting ( Christoph attributes this to the reduced moment of inertia ) the airplane flies pretty much the same as before. Actually he has used this Cobra in competition war and in some cases his better flights were performed with the electric version. Specifications:
 
airplane Cobra ( Henk DeJong design )
motor Graupner Compact 480 12 V ( Axi 2820/12 )
controller MGM governer mode with prop brake
battery Graupner Lipo 4/3200 ( 2100-2400 used )
prop APC-E 11 x 5,5
timer Zigras set for 5,5 min
lines 20 m, lap time 5,1 sec
                   
At 1650 Gramm the E-Cobra has almost the same weight as the ST version ( 1545 g, but with empty tank ). So there's no real weight disadvantage.
                 
After a lot of experimentation Ulrich Kappler has finally detected what the controller instruction manual failed to tell him. Ulrich wanted to power a Nobler with those inaudible and invisible electrons. He spent a lot of thought to find a practical way for mounting the motor, battery, and controller.
               
. In the end Ulrich came up with an ingenious solution by combining the whole drive set in one unit which is bolted to the fuselage bottom front. Two socket head cap screws hold this unit and allow quick and easy access to those “intrinsic values”. Specifications of his drive set:
   
   
airplane Nobler
motor Axi 2814/12
controller Yeti Hacker Master
battery SAE Han 3/2500 ( lightest found )
prop APC-E 10 x 5
timer Zigras heli mode
lines 18 m, lap time 5,5 sec
Ulrich’s Nobler doesn’t have a clear coat yet. At 1030 gr it’s lighter that his FOX version. With the final clear coat it should come out the same weight as the wet version.    
Now let us look somewhere beyond the “edge of our dish”, as we say. Not all of our friends are purely competition oriented, concentrating on the sole target of constantly honing their aerobatic skills. Instead there are free minds who prefer to enjoy the freedom of their creativity, test unbeaten paths, and surprise us with some exciting solutions now and then. Whenever I meet Jan Odeyn of Belgium he can offer a new astonishing solution ( the kind of idea which makes you think “ why didn’t I get this idea !” ). Having played around with electrics for several years he’s now got the knack of this stuff.
           
                 
        While being quite a decent stunt flyer he also likes to play with throttle equipped airplanes - and now he does it the electric way with exactly the same reliable performance as he did it with his two stroke engines. He's already famous for his crazy stunts.    
   
   
airplane Bearcat derivative profile
span 90 cm
weight 650 gramm with battery
motor BMI, 75 gramm
controller 25 A
battery 3/1500
prop 9 x 4 APC-E
                 
Jan has perfected his hover manoeuvres to a breathtaking level - he quite nonchalantly manages to wave his free hand for the photographer ( I somehow doubt if I could do this while performing a precise Square Eight !! ).
The secret lies in the handle. A servo tester ( powered by a small battery ) is controlled by a small slide potentiometer, moved by the thumb. Impulses are lead to the lines which are very thin insulated fishing lines, and then to the controller in the airplane.    
Watching Jan fly gives the impression that he just doesn’t know what slack lines are - even in the hovering moments ( I’d better say “minutes” - ‘cause he can do it just as long as he feels like ).
Since Jan also flies Carrier he saves his best trick for last. Keeping the airplane in vertical attitude exactly at deck height, he slowly guides it sideways close to and over the deck. Then with a quick but soft “down elevator” and motor shut off he touches the deck and catches the first rope !!! Mindboggling.

    Now this story may not be exactly the kind of information the dedicated aerobatic pilot prefers to read. Nevertheless I found this interesting and funny experience well worth mentioning. As already stated above we all can learn from each other. Sometimes helpful advice comes from sources outside of our world; especially on the electric circuit where the learning curve is still rather steep.

Valuable information is available on the Internet. Detailed explanation for Phoenix brushless controllers can be found on www.castle creations. com . Those who consider using the French JMP timer will find a comprehensive user guide for their 2 function CL timer on www.bsdmicrorc.com . A pdf file with detailed instruction manual can be downloaded.

Now if I only could find a high quality controller for my right hand !