It’s very much important for any beginner or advanced flier to a radio control flying hobby, to have some first knowledge of an operating system of the RC Airplanes. This will help the flier to get the most out of your RC plane, and this primary technical expertise will help you to become the best-skilled flier.
This article will help you about getting started in this exciting and addictive hobby along with some technical and operating knowledge. The operating system of any RC airplane is more or less similar to the real aircraft. This is very simple as you have the same flying object which is reduced in size.
So, How Electric RC Airplanes Works:
The Electric RC Airplanes operated and controlled through major four controls. These major controls are Throttle, Elevator, Ailerons, and Rudder. These are also called primary functions.
The elevator along with ailerons and rudder are recognized as control surfaces of the RC plane. The control surfaces are the attached sections of the flying surfaces which include wing, tailplane, and a fin. These control surfaces are movable elevators, and ailerons move upward and downward, whereas the rudder moves left and right.
These movements modify the airfoil shape of the entire flying surface i.e. wings, tailplane and a fin, and thus changes the amount of lift, downward aerodynamic force and side force which is likely to be generated by that flying surface. The airplane will accordingly react to these changes in force. This movement of the control surfaces is known as deflection, or it is also referred as a throw.
Let’s understand how these controls enable RC plane to fly smoothly.
Throttle /Motor power:
The throttle on an electric RC airplane is also called motor power. This controls the speed of the engine of the RC plane and thus how slow or fast the propeller rotates. The aircraft will go faster when more throttles are applied, and the plane will go slower when fewer throttles are used. This also affects the speed at the time of takeoff and landing. This works by shifting the amount of fuel and air that goes into the combustion chamber of the engine.
Many basic electric RC planes may not have a throttle; they may have just on/off switch instead. These kinds of planes have electronic speed control (ESC) that controls the power supply to motor through your Tx stick movements.
When electric RC plane is in the air throttle controls forward speed and the rate of climb and descent due to the different amount of the lift which is generated at a different speed.
The elevators control the horizontal pitch of the RC airplane. The elevators are the attached section of the horizontal stabilizer at the rear, and they are the only major control surface.
The Changing the degree of angle of these elevators controls the upward and downward movement of the plane. If the elevators go up the airplane will also go up and if the elevators go down the plane will also go down. In simple words, it controls the position of the nose of the plane upward or downward.
The upward or downward deflection of these elevators leads to change the volume of down force which is generated through tailplane. Other than required to climb or dive elevators also affects the airspeed of the RC plane.
The basic function of the ailerons is to control the roll of RC plane. Ailerons work through the change the volume of lift generation over the wings of the plane.
Smooth airflow over the wing surface is disrupted by the upward movement of ailerons, and these reduce the lift slightly on that wing and vise verse. As a result of this, the RC plane tilts and therefore rolls toward the side which has less lift.
When elevators and ailerons are applied together RC plane is pulled round into a banked run; the upper elevator causes the nose to pitch around in that direction, and the ailerons cause the RC plane to roll.
It is not necessary that all RC planes have ailerons. They can make it more challenging to operate if you are a beginner. Ailerons are mainly used in all aerobatic drills that require a rolling motion.
The rudder in the RC plane controls the Yaw of the plane. It turns the plane to the right or left. It is the hinged section of the vertical stabilizer that is fin at the rear.
Moving the rudder to the right will cause the plane to turn right and vise verse. When the rudder has applied, the nose of the RC plane will point to either right or left, the rudder alone may not make an aircraft roll like ailerons can do.
The rudder is also crucial on the ground, to control your RC airplane tracking straight during a takeoff run or landing roll, in case your plane is not having a steerable nose or tail wheel.
Besides these major controls, there are some other useful controls which help RC plane work smoothly like retracts, flaps, and channel mixing.
Retractable landing gear:
Retracts are the retractable landing gear which folds away into the wings or fuselage of the airplane once the plane has taken off. The retraction of the landing gear is operating by the flicking of a switch on the transmitter, generally either on the 5th or the 6th channel. Retracts can be operated mechanically though servo which is driven by compressed air or recently through electric worm-drive.
Flaps of the plane:
On the trailing edge of each wing, flaps are located. They are useful to generate more lifts when the cruising speed is slow and at great deflection, to slow down the RC plane close to landing by causing extreme drag.
Flaps are operated with a toggle switch or in some planes with rotating the dial on the transmitter.
Two individual channels can be mixed to act together through computer or radios. A small amount of rudder is applied by default when you operate the ailerons this is an example of channel mixing. The primary purpose is to produce a clean turn and prevent the effects of adverse yaw.
These are some general operating controls of RC planes. The control functions vary from one simple RC plane model to latest fully featured RC plane model.
To know your RC airplane controls is vital for you to enjoy your RC plane model to its fullest and get the most out of the RC flying hobby. You must have primary knowledge how your RC plane will be operated how it will respond to remote or transmitter inputs.