In Electric flight there are several types of electric flight airframes that offer different flight characteristics. Airframe performance varys by changing drag and lift characteristics.
Electric Flight Airframe – SailPlane / Gliders –
Gliders are well known for their ability to fly for several minutes or even over an hour at a time without power. It’s common for this airframe to perform well with some wind. Wing span tends to be very long with wing loading quite light. Gliders can be powered by a tow plane to gain altitude, tow winch, hand launch, electric motor with folding prop, or thermals and wind currents.
Electric Flight Airframe – Slow Fly / Park Flyers
Slow Fly or Park Flyers are smaller sized airplanes that have a relatively light wing loading. They are designed to travel at slower speeds making it possible to fly around in a park. Wing spans range from about 22″ to 38″ with around 8oz to 18oz. Due to the smaller size and weight, park flyers require very calm wind conditions. The difference between Slow Fly and Park Flyers is the fact that a Park Flyer does not necessarily have to be a slower type plane. It’s not uncommon to find a warbird style plane or more of a trainer style to be considered a Park Flyer. As another advantage, Parkflyers tend to be quite durable. Ideal for beginners but in general can be for anyone.
Electric Flight Airframe – Trainer
The trainer style airframe is just that – a trainer. It is designed to provide excellent flight characteristics that allow a new pilot to be trained. Electric Trainers can be of any size. Most are around the wing span of approximately 50″ long. Trainer airframes provide a quicker glide speed than parkflyers, typically need more space to run but are always quite stable on the controls. Trainer airplanes can be spotted visually by their common high wing setup. Ideal for beginners.
Electric Flight Airframe – Sport Airplanes / Warbirds
Sport Airplanes offer a step up in performance when compared to trainer style airframes. Flight speed and glide speed in general is quicker. Roll rate is also higher. This can be attributed to the visual low or mid wing position on the fuselage. Warbirds are Sport Airplanes with one exception. They are modeled after full scale planes commonly from WW2. Ideal for Intermediate Pilots.
Electric Airplane Airframe – Aerobatic / 3D Airplanes
Known best for their extreme Aerobatic Performance. In general these planes are setup with thrust ratios that exceed their own weight. This provides unlimited vertical with the capability to hang off the prop. 3D Planes have large control surfaces that enable them to have snappy control at slow speeds. Ideal for Expert Pilots
Electric Flight Airframe – Racer Airplanes
These airframes are designed for least drag purposes. This allows them to achieve speeds well over 100mph, (160km/h) occasionally exceeding 200mph. (320km/h) This airframe matched with high power setups results in these incredible speeds. It’s not uncommon to see propeller pitches nearly equal to the diameter of the prop or in some cases higher. Race Airframes are the most demanding on Pilot skill. Ideal for Expert Pilots.