What' We Call 'Know How'
- Last Updated: 19 February 2012
- Published: 04 January 2012
Why its Here
In some circles, “know-how” means the information that an individual or company possesses but is not generally known and that is used to their advantage. It’s also been defined as closely-held information, together with accumulated skills and experience. It is usually well protected. However, our aim in this section is to share our know-how so you too can explore the world of electric flight.
For many, understanding the technology, or selecting components for an electric model, is a daunting prospect. We want to help.
What its About
Our focus is on matters that are pertinent to electric flight and some of the differences from the IC world.
We will try to point you in the right direction, present as broad a view as possible, and maintain brand independence.
There are many sites that provide information on R/C equipment, radios receivers and servos, aircraft airframes, and construction. We aren’t going to repeat that material.
Because of the positive way electric flight components have developed in recent times, it’s no longer necessary to optimize every aspect of our designs to achieve very satisfactory performance. So for general sports flying, we don’t need to be so picky in our calculations. In some ways, close enough is more than good enough and we have scope for a margin of safety or headroom in our decisions.
Each of the following topics will take you to a separate part of our know-how database. Just click on the graphic.
Sometimes understanding the terms we use isn’t easy. We have a subsection called our Glossary. Here you’ll find a very complete set of definitions and explanations of the vocabulary we use in electric flight.
The phrase ‘best practice’ has been given to the idea of the way accumulated knowledge and experience about what works and doesn’t work will get superior results. So our Best Practice section is more that a collection of good ideas. It describes a range of methods, processes and techniques that are the benchmark for achieving safe, reliable and enjoyable electric flight.
Solutions for the Electric Novice
New to electric flight? Don’t worry about the whys and wherefores. This section has some recommendations that you can accept without needing to understand how they were determined. We think you should be aiming at a fixed wing model, with a brushless outrunner motor powered by LiPo batteries and looking for about a 10 minute flight. Experience shows these setups work.If you already have a model, there are tables so you can make comparisons and select components without needing to understand the engineering behind the information.
Solutions via Rules of Thumb
In 1987, Keith Shaw wrote an article in a US modeling magazine about building and flying electric sport scale. He has variously been referred to as the guru, maestro or master and has contributed immensely to the development of electric flight. At the time, ARFs, LiPos and brushless outrunners didn’t factor into his writings but the principles hold true. His excellent primer for designers and builders of sport scale model aircraft is now 20 years old but some of the guidelines or rules of thumb he wrote about have been absorbed into the electric flyers vocabulary and are often referred to as ‘magic numbers’. This section fleshes out those ideas and gives you the framework to make choices.
Solutions via Software Tools and Formula
When the time comes to fine tune your ideas or you want to research the effects of alternatives then on-line calculators, spreadsheets and software tools are likely to be handy. This section provides a selection of useful aids.
Some Legal stuff
Just to be clear of the terms under which we publish this information see our Disclaimer section.