How to measure gear pitch on an RC Car

You could have just bought that used RC Car right off of some website selling used RC’s. Or maybe you can’t find an instruction manual for your 5 year old RC car. Now you want to upgrade your gearing, however you are unsure of the gear pitch you need to buy.

Well in my case, I wanted to change up the gearing on a 1/8 buggy that I purchased. So what I did was look at the manual to try and find the correct gear pitch. To my surprise there was no such luck when reviewing the manual. However on the website (tower) where I purchased the buggy there were gear specs listed. I used them and made a gear purchase at the same time I bought the buggy. Upon receiving the new pinions for the buggy and recieving the buggy as well, I ended up throwing a new pinion gear on. To my surprise yet again, the gears were not properly meshing, I definitely had the wrong pitch. The spec listed on the site was not correct.

Did you know it’s entirely possible to measure gear pitch on an RC car? Now that we are passed the long winded introduction, let’s take a look at how we can measure gear pitch on an RC car. It’s quite easy actually.

What you will need to measure gear pitch

  1.    RC gear with an unknown pitch – Can be a pinion or spur gear
  2.    Vernier Calipers (if you don’t have this a ruler can be made to work)
  3.    An internet connection to access this website

That’s it!

How to measure gear pitch


Step 1.

The first step to measure gear pitch is to count the number of teeth that are on the gear that you are measuring.

Step 2.

Next, measure the outer most diameter of the gear. It’s important that you are measuring right to the outside of the gear including the teeth.

Step 3.

Lastly, record the number of teeth that you have either counted or found in a manual as well as the outer diameter that you had measured. Place these values in to the calculator on the gear calculator page.

It’s that easy. The number that the calculator spits out can be used to find a gear that meshes perfectly with the gear you have in your hand. No more guessing pitch values.



Torque vs Horsepower

In this article we are going to look at Torque vs Horsepower and settle that debate once and for all. We will be focusing in on how these terms work for us in the RC hobby.

Many questions that you may see pop up or often question yourself in the world of RC are the following:

What is Power?
What is Torque?
Does Torque or Horsepower win RC races?
Does Horsepower sell engines?
Do Electric Motors produce more power or torque vs gas or nitro engines?

We will be answering these questions throughout.

What is Power? – Torque vs Horsepower

Power is simply defined as the amount of work that can be performed at a specific rate. This just means that if you have power, you can perform work that accomplishes tasks. Generally we are talking about mechanical power when looking at torque vs horsepower. The important factor to remember in the definition of Power is that mechanical power is the product of Torque and RPM, where RPM is revolutions per minute.When we talk about mechanical power we are considering torque already but at a certain RPM. The unit of power is horsepower, watts, kilowatts. etc. Nitro or Gas engines use horsepower where Electric motors use watts or kilowatts. 746 watts is equivalent to 1 horsepower. Before we look at what torque is I will leave you with the formula to calculate Horsepower. P = T ω. Now we will define and better understand what torque is.

What is Torque? – Torque vs Horsepower

Torque production - Torque vs Horsepower

Torque production – Torque vs Horsepower

Torque is best defined or explained by looking at static torque. When we take a Torque Wrench and apply an appropriate amount of force on the handle of the wrench we create a torque at the socket. The force applied at a distance produces a torque that can be used to tighten bolts such as lug nuts found on your car. This torque is static meaning you can not perform any work when peak torque is reached as nothing will move.

Now if we consider dynamic torque, the exact same action is happening except the torque is being applied constantly as a shaft rotates continuously.

In conclusion, torque creates a twisting or turning force to a shaft or flywheel. Torque can be measure in inch-ounces, pound-feet, or Newton-meters.

Torque and Power of Gas/Nitro Engine vs Electric Motor – Torque vs Horsepower

Torque vs Horsepower Curve - Nitro-Gas Engine vs ELectric Motor

Torque vs Horsepower Curve – Nitro-Gas Engine vs Electric Motor

If we consider the torque vs horsepower characteristics of  an electric motor verse a nitro or gas engine, they are fairly different. The power/torque curve of an internal combustion engine such as the nitro or gas engine is quite linear, where power builds as RPM increases and torque increases as RPM increases. Eventually torque levels off and begins to decline.

Now when we consider the electric motor, the characteristics are quite different. Torque is exceptionally strong in the lower RPM ranges and then tapers off at the higher RPM range. Horsepower build strongly at the lower RPM range as the amount of torque available is significant. Using the graph to the side, you can visually see the difference between the two power sources mainly in the torque curves.

The nitro and gas engines tend to perform very well at the higher RPM range and the electric motor tends to perform very well at the lower RPM range. The most important characteristic to take from this is the torque curve and how it forms for each power source. Although these characteristics are very evident in general terms, it is important to remember that these curves can vary dependent on specific motor or engine characteristics.

Does Horsepower sell engines? – Torque vs Horsepower

The real answer to this question is not necessarily as technical as much as it is a marketing explanation. When you are looking at power values of combustion engines specifically, you must take this information with a grain of salt. It is easy to publish values in order to make a product appear more superior against the competition.

Now if we change the question so that it reads Does true Horsepower values sell engines? If we can be assured that the horsepower value of a specific engine is accurate, the answer to the question should be – it should definitely help. We will investigate the answer a little further in the next question below.

Does Torque or Horsepower win RC races? – Torque vs Horsepower

This question is rather interesting and often pops up in many forums around the internet, focusing in on which characteristic provides the solution to racing.

Now if you already have read up to this point in the article, you have 85 percent of the answer to this question. This is why:

If we look at the definition of torque, torque is its own entity. When looking at horsepower, power in itself is not its own entity. The interesting part of horsepower is that the equation for it includes torque, where Power equals torque multiplied by RPM! This is very relevant as when we are talking about power, we are really just talking about torque but at a specific RPM.

Consider this question: A car outputs 1 horsepower and 1 pound feet of torque somewhere in its power band at the engine. If we assume no power train losses and look at a transmission with a ratio of 1:1, what is the torque and power after the transmission.

Well this question may appear easy, the correct answer would be, after the transmission we would see 1 horsepower and 1 foot pounds of torque.

Let’s add a twist to the question. What if we use the exact same scenario but with a transmission that has a 1:2 ratio? That is where the output shaft turns once and the engine turns two revolutions.

The correct answer is that the horsepower remains at 1 and the torque at the output shaft from the transmission doubles to 2 pound feet .

We actually gain torque by sacrificing RPM. Remember Horsepower is derived from torque and RPM. Why would we want to purchase an engine based on torque values vs horsepower values when we can manipulate the torque values ourselves and we can NOT change the horsepower values.

What would you Choose? – Torque vs Horsepower

Would you choose Engine One or Engine Two?

Engine One has 0.5 horsepower and 1 pound feet  of torque

Engine Two has 1 horsepower and 0.5 pound feet  of torque.

If it was up to me and I wanted to win races, I would most definitely select the engine that has the higher horsepower. I know that if I require more torque at a certain speed I can just manipulate the gear ratio in my transmission to provide me with a better torque value. However if I selected the engine with a lower horsepower, I can not alter the horsepower value to improve it. Regardless of what transmission is used, the power output never changes.

Therefore engine Two has the most potential to win races.

Conclusion – Torque vs Horsepower

Horsepower wins races, torque just confuses people with what is actually occurring. Horsepower is derived from torque and RPM, when you are talking about horsepower you are talking about torque at a specific RPM. Horsepower accomplishes work, the more of it you have, the more you can do. That is purely by definition.

Nitro and Gas engines have great power curves but the torque curve of an electric motor provides it a large advantage. A stronger torque curve means an electric motor has a lot of horsepower available at low RPM’s. Having a lot of horsepower at low RPM’s is a great way to get a heavy RC vehicle off the starting line.

RC Tools – The must have Tools

This is one topic that often goes unspoken about. Today we will look at the common tools to keep in your tool box. Last minute tuning or adjusting of your RC vehicle is very common just before you are about to fly your plane or drive you Car or Boat. The RC tools that you will need are very important in order to make the necessary adjustments. We will look at the most common RC tools available and which RC tools I prefer to keep in my Tool Box.

C Tool Box and Radar Gun

When will you need to use RC tools?

There are many cases where you will need to use a different assortment of tools. This mainly depends on which RC vehicle you are using at the time and what kind of power source your RC vehicle uses. By nature of the nitro engine, this is where you will most definitely want to have some RC tools available at all times. As you already probably know, the nitro engine requires a different tune nearly every day.Socket Wrench

Common General RC tools

The most common types of RC tools that you will be using include precision screw drivers which is just a fancy way of describing small screw drivers such as the ones in the photo. The second most common tool that I prefer in my tool box is wrenches and or a socket set, Precision screw drivers are excellent for making any tune changes to a Precision Screw Driversnitro engine or just ensuring that all the screws are in fact tight before you go to run that 120km/h on road car. These RC tools are very common in almost any tool box but are especially important for RC as they become used nearly every run. Or at least you should be checking for loose screws etc. A flat head precision screw driver is perfect for preforming that tune on a nitro engines Low Speed Needle and High Speed needle. Most needle valves use a flat head screwdriver to make the necessary tuning adjustments.


The Most Common RC tools – Allen Keys

The mosRC tools - Allen Keyst important tool in my tool box for RC is most definitely Allen Keys. Allen Key screw heads exist a lot of the time in RC land vehicles as well as many RC Airplanes. Come to think about it, they are also all over the place in my RC boat. Allen Keys make excellent RC tools due to there extreme high use. Now one of the biggest reasons of there high use is due to the performance of the screw head. On small screws it is difficult to get a good bit grip when tightening up the screw. Using Allen head screws maximize the grip and reduce the chances for stripping to occur. Make certain you include Allen Keys in your tool box.


RC tools for RepairCA Glue

There are a couple items that I like to keep in my tool box just for those days where there is damage done or I just can’t keep a screw in it’s place well enough. What I like to use is CA glue. I tend to use CA glue a lot as it offers a very quick solution to some minor problems that you may encounter while running your RC. Without CA glue, it’s difficult to re-stick that tire on its rim or that control surface hinge.

The other item I like to keep in my tool box is Loc-tite which is a thread locker. I use the red permanent Loc-Tite for pesky screws that vibrate loose over time. Now just because it says permanent doesn’t mean it actually is permanent. The one easy way to break a screw loose that has fastened using Loc-Tite is to apply heat. There are a couple different ways you may apply heat, my preference is with a soldering iron directly on the head of the screw. This is usually enough heat to crack the screw loose with a bit of force.

Temperature Gun – RC tools

Temperature Meter

This is probably one of my most used and favourite of all the RC tools in my tool box. No matter which RC vehicle I am using on any particular day this tools gets used. After a run of the electric RC’s, I like to get an idea of how hot the batteries, ESC, and motor are getting. This is great for dialing in that gearing on an RC car or for dialing in that prop on a boat or airplane. For nitro or gas vehicles this RC tool becomes an excellent confirmation for tuning. When you feel the RC is running too lean, the Temp gun may be able to confirm this. It’s not always easy finding the perfect tune for a nitro vehicle.




Radar Gun – RC tools

Bushnell Radar Gun

Bushnell Radar Gun

By far my most favourite tool is the Bushnell Radar Gun. I can use it to dial in a nitro powered boat or car for absolute maximum performance. You can really see the difference in how a slight mixture change can gain so much potential speed from a nitro powered RC vehicle. You can also see the difference gearing makes with an electric powered vehicle and combining the two tools makes for a very powerful tuning session. Not only can it be used for dialing in a tune but it can also be used to determine the overall performance of your RC vehicle. This RC tool is great for finally getting to know just how fast that boat or car is traveling. And then you can either impress your friends with the real world results or challenge them by seeing if they can beat the speed you achieved.



RC Racing – RC Boat and Car Racing

What is RC racing?

Radio Control – RC racing is a fun filled, adrenaline pumping hobby that can burn a day away very quickly. RC racing exists for each type of RC vehicle. This includes RC planes, cars and boats. For each type of RC vehicle there are a bunch of different RC racing classes that you can get involved in. This will depend on what your interests are and we will talk about most of the RC classes and what RC vehicle performs well in that category including which specifications help. In this guide, we will mostly be talking about the different types of RC Car racing as well as RC boat racing. Racing often takes a considerable amount of time learning the track and also learning your RC car. In racing, its not uncommon for a good driver with a weak performing RC car win a race against a bad driver with a very good performing car. This applies to all classes of RC racing.

What makes up a good RC vehicle for RC racing?

There are two specific characteristics of RC vehicles that is vital to RC racing. These two characteristics unsurprising are achieving an acceptable top speed and maintaining the best handling. The top speed of your vehicle is of course the fundamental part of racing, however being able to handle well is very important. A well handling RC vehicle is on that will allow a high top speed even while in an aggressive turn. This applies for RC planes, cars and boats. In order to have good handling, your RC vehicle must be responsive to control input, have good balance and be able to do this at high speeds often pushing the limits of the RC vehicle, That’s what RC racing is all about.

What to expect for an RC racing day

You will first arrive to your RC race location and begin the unpacking step. Once unpacked you will setup up your station so that you have everything ready that you will need. This includes setting up your startion so that you can recharge your packs after you have raced. Hopefully the night before you have completed all the charging for the first run per pack.  In some cases people will be either in the water or on the track practicing before the day starts. Once the day starts no practicing is completely restricted.

The RC car or boat that you have brought will fit in to a specific class that contains boats or cars similar in specifications as yours. Your class will be called up and this is where you get your final preparation complete, plug your battery in and head toward the starting area. At this point your pit buddy will place your boat or car and the race will take the appropriate starting procedure. During an RC car race there are race marshals that are responsible for grabbing your RC car if it flips over during a race. They will only do so when it is safe. During RC boat racing, if you flip, you are considered a dead boat. A dead boat means you will not complete the race. Any over turned boats will be collected by the retrieval boat at the end of the race.

In RC car racing, an electronic system may be keeping all your lap times etc depending on the club. For RC boat racing this may vary depending on your club.

After a race in your class, it is time to inspect your car or boat and begin recharging your batteries or topping up with fuel. At this point you are prepping to get ready for heat 2 which usually takes at least an hour or so depending on the size of your club and how they structure the classes.

At the end of the day some may stick around to socialize where others may stick around to practice some more. This is a good opportunity if the track allows to get a few more laps in for practice.

General RC racing tips

  • When you are putting together your first RC racing machine, it is best practice to set it up in a box stock configuration using the manual provided by the manufacture. Any tuning should follow after a day at the track and not before ever going to the track. The manuals instructions for setup is what will provide the best average “tune.”
  • Slow and Steady wins the race. You may have heard this saying before but guess what, it’s SO true! When you are first trying to get the best lap times, your immediate focus should be on being consistent, staying on a solid racing line the entire length of the track.Trying to push the car to hard will result in loss of control and you don’t get bonus points for style while your RC car is sitting upside down waiting to be over turned by one of the race marshals.
  • When racing, consider using smooth control input to move your RC in the desired direction. If you don’t use smooth control it often ends in over correcting which in turns slows down your lap times.
  • All other types of RC racing can be determined by visiting your local track and seeing exactly what they run. Every location has different classes depending on the amount of racers in that class. If you want to start racing, be certain the RC car that you are planning on purchasing is supported at your local track. There must be enough cars in the class, as racing yourself is not much of a race!!!
  • Practice – Practice indeed makes perfect or at least close enough. It’s important to learn the track and to learn you RC vehicle. You must know the track inside out in order to get the most effective racing line. For RC boat racing, it’s often a good idea to practice either before or after a racing event. For RC car racing it’s often better to practice after an event to use the same track prep that was used during the day.
  • Preparation is key. Make sure before your track day that you fulfill your requirements list. Batteries are charged, items are packed, spare parts are ready, screws on the RC vehicle are all tight etc. You do not want to be fumbling around at the track for the last minute concerns.
  • Passing. When passing be a friendly racer. Don’t make contact and don’t be super try hard about it. If you plan your passes, they are more likely to be successful. In racing, passing on the inside is usually a good option while going around corners. It’s more common for racers to overshoot the racing line and take a corner wider then they should. This is a perfect time to capitalize on the mistake.
  • Borrow a friend or co-racer to help you throughout the day. Having a pit buddy is an excellent amount of help in RC car and boat racing.
  • As always have fun, that’s what this is all about!!


We will first talk about RC Car Racing, the different classes and what you performance specifications to look out for in order to have the best RC vehicle for RC racing.

ROAR RC racing

You may find that if you are researching RC racing, you will very frequently run in to this abbreviation or name. As a means for describing exactly what this actually means we will take a few sentences to make this clear. First ROAR in the past has stood for Radio Operated Auto racing however this has been updated to Remotely Operated Auto Racers. ROAR is the sanctioning body of the most competitive RC racing in north america. This includes Canada and USA. So what does this all mean? This essentially means that the organization ROAR is responsible for creating and documenting the rules for RC racing. As a baseline for any club, ROAR rules simplifies the racing process. When looking for certain RC car parts, for example a motor, you may see ROAR approved in the description making it clear that it can qualify in a specific racing class.

Short Course RC racing

Short course RC racing is just as the name implies. It is a type of RC racing that consists of off road vehicles on a relatively short course. Most indoor short course tracks are composed of compacted clay where outdoor short course tracks may be composed of compacted dirt or clay. This entirely depends on the location. The race may last several minutes and lap times are approximately 20 seconds depending on the size of the course. Indoor courses tend to be smaller in length by nature. Short course racing have tracks that include smaller jumps. A well timed jump determined by your entrance speed before the jump can make the landing flawless.

Short Course vehicles have the appearance of a heavily modified pickup truck.

If you wish to race in the short course classes, a good tip will be to purchase a wide short course truck as this will increase the handling capability. Consider upgrading the stock tires on your truck as traction will be the only way you will be pushing the trucks limits.

A good beginner short course RC racing truck is the Traxxas Slash 2WD. This is a brushed 2WD vehicle that will teach the skills neccessary to guide a truck around an RC race track.

On Road RC racingRC On Road racing

On Road RC racing is a type of racing that is for all out speed. If your main goal is to achieve a high top speed this is by far the way to go. On road RC racing cars can achieve a speed approaching the 100km/h mark on a relatively long straight away. Most of the on road cars can be geared to have a top speed higher then this point. Acceleration of these cars are excellent, allowing for the car to be sling shot out of corners. It takes a lot of practice to get the timing perfect in order to get the perfect lap times around a specific RC race track. As with all types of RC car racing, tires are the most important part of the car to consider. Without the proper amount of traction on a course, it is impossible to get around a corner or even accelerate out of one without spinning out. You will find many on Road racing cars to use foam slicks. Foam slicks are excellent for prepped tracks, however you will rip the crap out of them if run on the streets. There is a GT 1/8th scale class that run street tires rather then foam. They don’t provide nearly the same amount of traction as the foam tires but they provide that awesome scale look and even screech around corners on a prepped track much like a full scale tires would.

RC Drag racing

RC drag racing operates exactly as you would see it at your local full scale drag racing track. The drag race has a predetermined length and consists of two lanes. The racing cars are placed at the starting line and the lights on a tree count down until you see green. When the green light hits, you jam the throttle and hold on for a few seconds until you cross the finish line. Your time is reported for the start to finish length of the track. The type of car used is one very specific to drag racing. Why you ask? Well, this type of racing unlike the others takes a much different sense of handling in the vehicle, The type of handling demanded for drag racing is a car that can handle a sudden surge of power while staying straight. This takes a good suspension setup in the rear to not fold up at the torque levels that the car is exposed to. The car does not need to turn, usually the turning radius is heavily reduced by the nature of the RC car. If you haven’t seen a scaled down version of this type of racing class, you better take a peek. It’s quite wild to watch the intense amount of straight line power.

RC Boat racingmill lap - RC racing

The most common type of RC boat racing is oval racing. Oval racing consists of a bunch of buoys placed around in an oval pattern. Generally 4 buoys are responsible for the 4 turns to make up the oval. An oval race typically begins by mill start. The mill start is one where once your boat starts the mill laps, it must stay on plane. A counter starts at 30 seconds and all boats must be placed in to the water and running before this time expires. Then a second counter starts at 30 seconds and counts downward. Once the counter hits 0 the race starts. If you happen to cross the start line of the final mill lap prior to the counter counting to 0 you must finish that lap and your first race lap will start once you return to the starting line. The RC boat racing mill start requires you to precisely time your laps so that you cross the line just after the counter hits 0. A perfect timing can have your boat screaming across the starting line which is very beneficial. An improperly timed mill lap can leave your boat at a very slow speed or very far away from the start line as the counter hits 0. The rest of the racing may be counted in terms of either laps or timed. In either case you want to stay ahead of the pack and at top speed. It’s not uncommon for an RC boat to remain at 100% throttle for the duration of the race. This of course takes a very well setup hull that can handle full throttle in the turns.

For a 1/3 mile course you must complete 6 laps. For a 1/4 mile course, 8 laps are to be completed and for a 1/5 mile course 10 laps are required to be completed for all classes of RC boat racing.

RC Boat SAW racing

On this site you may have seen “SAW” setup, only for experienced boaters. This is a type of racing that represents straight away record speed. This is where you must complete 2 passes averaging the highest possible speed. These setups are very commonly done in such a way that does not allow the boat to operate for much more time then it takes to do the 2 passes. These boats are at their limits and only run for 10-30 seconds max. It takes a lot of experience to get the setups correct but the rewards are very promising. Speeds of over 140km/h or 80mph can be expected from these boats in full race trim.


RC Hobbies – Which one is for You?

The non technical guide to getting started in RC. Be informed – start here. RC (Radio Control)

Which RC hobbies are for you?

So you arrive at this page and your immediate question is, which RC hobbies are for you? Such a simple question has a fairly lengthy answer. The good thing is there are quite a few to choose from and the bad news is, there are quite a few RC hobbies to choose from. With such a large selection of RC’s to try out, you may really dial in your personal preference, as there really is no limit. It’s fun, rewarding, great for the family and most definitely addicting for everyone.

RC Hobbies are great for all ages, age really does not matter. Skilled pilots over the age of 70 are having just as much fun as a 10 year old son or daughter. RC hobbies is a great way of adding another activity for families to enjoy. In many cases heading over to the local club can bring about a solid day’s worth of social entertainment as well as fun.

Most of the RC hobbies on radiocontrolinfo are from four mainstream groups and these groups can be broken down in to further more specific groups, which are lastly broken down in to three different power sources for each RC Vehicle class. The final selection after you have dialed in to what vehicles type you want to start with, is the most challenging to select from. There is simply just so many to choose from. RC Hobbies are a great hobby, let’s go through this:

The first group for RC Hobbies is by type.

Types – Grouping 1 – RC Hobbies

The four mainstream types of RC hobbies are:

  • Radio Control Airplanes
  • Radio Control Boats
  • Radio Control Cars
  • Radio Control Helicopters


As we were talking about above, these 4 different groups can then be broken down further. We will now break these down in to the power source options.

Power Source – Grouping 2 – RC Hobbies

In general there are three different power sources available to provide the mechanical energy for you RC vehicles. These power sources include Electric, Gas and Nitro. Each power source has its advantages and disadvantages. As a summary here they are.

Electric Advantages:

Electric power is a clean, quieter source of power. Maintenance on an Electric motor is quite low where only the bearing are a wear item on the motor. Ease of operation is excellent and nearly plug and play in all types of RC. Speed capability is high actually very high!

Gas Advantage:

Large size for all application of RC Hobbies is very appealing. The Gas engine used to propel the RC vehicle is easy to operate and requires minimal tuning. Realism in terms of smoke, sound and power adds to the RC excitement. Longest potential run time of all power systems.

Nitro Advantage:

Quicker potential speeds in comparison to the Gas engine. Smaller RC vehicles with lower costs.

I would highly recommend that someone new to the RC hobbies world would stick to Electric power for their first RC vehcle. It is the most reliable and offers the best learning experience of all power sources.

Classification – Grouping 3 – RC Hobbies

Lastly we will break down the 4 mainstream types of RC hobbies in to the final sub category. The final sub category defines the classification of a specific Group. For example, if we look at the cars we drive to and from work each day, these can be broken down in to Luxury Cars, Economy, Sports Cars, ect. We will now do the same with the different types of RC Hobbies.


To read further about any of the RC hobbies, follow one of the links directly under the description paragraph.

  • Radio Control Airplanes
    • Trainer Airplanes
    • Pattern or Aerobatic Airplanes
    • 3D Airplanes
    • Ducted Fan / Jet Airplanes
  • Radio Control Boats
    • Sailboats
    • Scale Boats
    • Performance Boats
  • Radio Control Cars
    • On Road RC Cars
    • Off Road RC Cars
  • Radio Control Helicopters
    • Co-Axial Helicopters
    • Collective / Fixed Pitch Helicopters


Now that you know how each RC vehicle type is broken down, we will go in to further detail for each RC hobbies vehicle category and then steer you in the direction where you can read and learn further. We will first start with Radio Control Airplanes.

Trainer Airplanes – RC Hobbies

The very first airplane type is known as the Trainer Airplane. Now if you are reading this, chances are this is where you will or at least should start. A trainer airplane is best known for having its wing high up on the fuselage.Trainer airplanes are airplanes in the RC hobbies world that allow for slower flight characteristics both in speed and handling. Both of these conditions is exactly what you should expect from a plane that will be your first. A slower reacting plane is a plane that is not as sensitive for new pilots reacting to how the plane is flying. This is due to newer pilots tending to over control the plane with lots of directional change inputs. A slower flying plane is a plane that allows for more time to react to change in direction. Trainer airplanes can be scale models of full size airplanes or new models created by RC manufactures. It is highly recommended to start here should you choose RC Airplanes.

RC Electric Airplanes

Pattern, Sport, Aerobatic Airplanes – RC Hobbies

This classification of airplane deals with airplanes that have a much higher flight envelope then Trainer airplanes in the previous paragraph. A Pattern plane gets its name for being able to precisely fly specific patterns with excellent aerobatic flight characteristics. The design of the airplane is significantly different which allows the airplane to travel at faster speeds while handling very well. Handling is directly related to where the wing is placed on the airplane. This class of airplane typically has the wing mounted low or in the middle of the fuselage. The airplane must be quick to react, which in return makes it very responsive to input control and takes an experienced pilot to control. It is highly suggested that new pilots work their way up to this level. Starting here makes it very difficult to have high chance for success.

RC Electric Airplanes

3D Airplanes – RC Hobbies

3D Airplanes are a very interesting class of airplane. This type of airplane can literally do any type of maneuver in the trick book. This is achieved using an airplane that is light in weight, has control surfaces with high surface area / deflection angles, and just add power. Lots of power!! Having more thrust then what the plane physically weighs is what allows this type of airplane to hang off of the propeller similar to a helicopter. The extreme sensitive input control at super slow speeds makes this class of airplane best suited for highly experienced pilots.

RC Electric Airplanes

Ducted Fan / Jet Airplanes – RC Hobbies

Ducted Fan / Jet Airplanes are one of the most thrilling classes of airplanes. You can most definitely expect very fast forward flight out of these airplanes. Handling is generally excellent when the plane is at speed however slow speed handling is sluggish by nature. We briefly summarized the available power systems for RC’s in general above. This is one of the only RC types that features a fuel breathing power source other then what was mentioned. Ducted fan jets are powered by electric motors while the full on scale jet is powered by a Model Jet engine. The sound that comes out of these extreme machines match identically to the full size jets as the engines are designed around the same concepts. The Model Jet engines are just smaller variations with a more simple design. Unfortunately owing one of the Jet Engine powered jets require a second mortgage, you can most definitely travel to your local model airplane club and see if you can see one of these amazing airplanes in action. You will be hooked for sure. The people flying the Jet powered Jets have already climbed the RC Plane ladder. It takes a lot of experience to work up to this level. Just remember, start slow and work your way up and after several years of  you may find yourself here.

Electric Ducted Fan Jets

Sailboats – RC HobbiesRC Sailboat - RC Hobbies

Sailboats are a great way to enter the world of RC Boats. Sail boats are controlled the same way a full size sail boat is controlled. One channel or stick on the radio controls the Sail and the second channel or stick controls the rudder. Typically the Jib is controlled simultaneously with the main sail. There are different size classifications for RC Sailboats. The most popular size class is 1 meter where the size refers to the hull length of the boat. Sail boats are quite quick for being powered by the wind, don’t let this fool you. Sail boats are highly recommended for new boaters as there are several almost ready to run kits out there that make the builds quite simple.

Scale Boats – RC Hobbies

Scale boats are boats that look identical to a full size boat. Most of the scale boats available are modeled after ships, tugboats, and even submarines. The level of detail that the manufactures include in these hulls are of the highest. Some scale boats offered or built by RC Enthusiasts have fully functioning system on board their scale boat. This may include gun turrets that can be operated, yes operated to shoot small BB’s or operated to rotate to different angles. Other items include motorized cranes, motorized fire hoses that have a water pump on board. Only the imagination is the limit of what is possible. Anything can be built and fixed to the boat hull. Scale boats must travel slowly in order to represent the scale speed of that particular model which means if you are looking for some fast fun filled excitement, this is not where you should start. However if you appreciate high detail or appreciate a highly detail filled build, this is for you.

Performance Boats – RC Hobbies

Performance Boats are just that. Boats that are built to perform and by perform we mean speed and handling. A performance boat is a boat that can achieve over a 20mph speed where the average speed of most RTR boats in this category are 30mph or higher. There are many different types of performance boats that have different handling and speed characteristics. For example a monohull is great for rougher water conditions but a Hydro style hull is excellent in top speed and handling performance.
Although there are many ready to run boats on the market that offer a very quick entry to boating, many hobbyists enjoy putting together a high performing boat. When starting out in performance boating it is recommended to purchase a RTR boat. This is the most reliable way to begin enjoying the hobby, however as your confidence and knowledge builds in RC boating building a boat is just as fun as running the boat.

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On Road Cars – RC Hobbies

On road RC vehicles are best known for performing well on a hard compact surface such as asphalt or concrete. There are some on road RC Cars that perform well indoors on carpet. Some different popular types of on road RC vehicles include drift cars, on road circuit cars, and on road top speed cars. Drift cars are designed to be able to throw the rear end of the car loose in order to drift around corners. This takes a great amount of control in order to feed in the correct amount of steering and throttle input. On road circuit cars are cars that are designed with a moderate top speed but can also handle well in order to race competetively around an on road track. These cars may obtain a speed of around 40 to 50mph. Top speed on road cars are not as common but are very impressive. These cars are designed to achieve speeds around or over the 60mph mark. There are only a couple ready to run models that are capable of these speeds out of the box. A great level of control is required at these speeds. If you are new to on road RC cars, you will most likely want to take a look at drift or circuit / track cars.

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Off Road Cars – RC Hobbies

Off road cars are RC vehicles that are capable of handling terrain the is not smooth and flat. There is a wide range of terrain covered in this area of RC. Although we call these RC cars, many of them are in fact trucks. A light off road RC is known as the buggy. The RC buggy is designed to handle hard packed dirt. High offroad speeds are its advantage, however the buddy must stay in light off road terrain. On the other side of the spectrum are RC Rock Crawlers. Rock Crawlers are best known for being able to conquer the most wild off road terrain. These RC vehicles are able to crawl over almost anything that you throw under it. Typical speeds of off road vehicles range in the 10-35mph region. Outside of this range on the higher end are the off road buggies. If you are looking to enter the world of RC land vehicles this is one of the best areas to start it.

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Co-Axial Helicopters – RC HobbiesBlade mCX2 - Co-Axial Helicopter - RC Hobbies

If you are interested in RC Helicopters, Co-axial helicopters are the perfect place to start and highly recommended before moving in to some of that more challenging helicopter types. Co-Axial helicopters get their name from having two counter rotating main helicopter blades. The blades that are counter rotating are placed co-axially which just means above the other main set. Co-Axial helicopters offer a very stable flight, so stable that just about anyone can pick up a controller and have tons of fun. Now of course there will be crashes. Co-Axial helicopters are typically smaller which offers excellent crash resistance due to there low weight characteristics. If you are looking for your first Helicopter and have never flown an RC vehicle before, this is by far the place to start.

Collective / Fixed Pitch Helicopters – RC Hobbies

Fixed Pitch Helicopters is a step up from the Co-Axial Helicopters mentioned above. A fixed pitch helicopter has only one main set of rotor blades and the pitch or angle at which these blades rest are fixed. A change in altitude requires increasing the speed or decreasing the speed of the main helicopter blades. In comparison to the Co-Axial helicopter, a fixed pitch helicopter is less stable. The helicopter requires a constant control input in order to maintain a hover. This is the way a full scale helicopter flies and only adds to that sense of realism.
Now a collective pitch helicopter takes this yet another step ahead. The collective pitch rotor is capable of varying the pitch. This allows the motor to maintain a constant speed to rotate the main blades, and when more pitch is feeded in through input controls the helicopter changes altitude. A collective pitch helicopter allows the helicopter to perform more aerobatic maneuvers which can be seen in 3D flight. It is highly recommended to be very comfortable with a fixed pitch helicopter before moving on to the Collective pitch helicopter.