Is it time for electric Payload?

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    Duncan McBride

    Just thinking, everybody was having such a good time around the takeoff pad. How about E-payload? If we set the rule so almost everything from your E36 would be used but the fuselage, it would be pretty easy to cobble up something for the next Nats. 36 inch span, 120 gram max weight, 2 cells, ROG. I was thinking of messing with the payload rule to make it a function of battery weight, maybe the payload has to be equal to the battery weight. Or maybe your flight times could be multiplied by the payload weight divided by the battery weight. 30 gram payload divided by 20 gram battery equals a 1.5 multiplier so your flight times are multiplied by 1.5. Maybe that’s too much or too complicated. Let’s discuss amongst ourselves….


    Hi Duncan,

    I think that’s a fine idea. Over on HPA, “Iceman” agrees but is suggesting to just keep it simple by using E36 rules. He would post here but can’t sort out how to register on the NFFS Forum.


    Duncan McBride

    Thanks Randy, I’m on HPA too. I sure would like to hear from anyone who has any ideas to make an event like this work. Like I said on the the HPA thread, the great fun is watching the ROG attempts, and to me the challenge in developing the rules will be to preserve that aspect of the event, while keeping the rules as simple and straightforward as possible.

    Jim Jennings

    I think it is a great idea. Matching battery weight might be a good start. I would reach out to Vic Nippert. He flies electric and is a payload expert.


    A really good TD .020″ will run a 4.2X2″ at 26 K with 50% nitro. (Hopefully this info is accurate.) Then the issue becomes how to run a 4.2X2″ at say 22-23 K using an electric motor powered by a 2 cell Lipo battery. As a curiosity, I might try and match these numbers, but first I need such a prop that can fit on a 3 mm shaft. Conceptually, an E36 wing and stab might be fitted to a payload fuselage with a dummy and a cockpit. Of course this NOT legal but might be fun.

    I don’t think the prop cares if it’s powered by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. Neither would an observer with plugged ears be able to discern each power source. (Note the discussion on a parallel thread.)


    A really good 020 will spin it 22k.
    And won’t start a fire in a crash……..

    Jim Jennings

    Why 2 cells?


    Almost everything I fly is powered by 2S batteries. It is quite possible that a 3S battery might be required in this case.

    The battery, motor, e-timer, BEC and servo are the responsibility of the flier. As soon as one specifies the electric propulsion it immediately creates a NEW event.


    I don’t know if this old Rambler with an itty bitty lectric motor and a 4.2/2 prop would qualify as a payload model, but it’s fun to fly with all the modern bells and whistles. Good stress reliever.


    For payload you also need a removable dummy weighing 1 Oz facing forwards and a cockpit with front and side views. No erectable pilot’s seat is required because the model does not get very high đŸ˜‰ Not sure if these models actually DT. They tend to veer to the left and I think there might be an advantage of having a front wheel that could reduce the prop’s P-effect.

    Duncan McBride

    There has been some discussion on the Hip Pocket forum, and a pretty good mashup of the E36 and payload rules. If we can, we’d like to finalize something to go by, and see if we can hold a very unofficial happening at this year’s Nats. Keeping the discussion there for now, but when we think we have the rules set, I’ll post them here. What do I need to do to hold the event at the Nats?


    To include an unofficial E36 payload event at the Nats you would have to contact John Lorbiecki, who would probably refer you to the Nats’ CD. To be a payload event you guys would need a fuselage that contains the dummy, a way for the dummy to see out (why not let the dummy enjoy the flight?) and at least two wheels. But running a 4.2 X 2″ prop on an electric motor might not produce much thrust however. A 6 X 2-3″ prop might be more suitable….

    Duncan McBride

    After some discussion on the Hip Pocket forum, we have some draft rules.

    E-36 Payload Model Requirements:
    1. 36 inch projected wingspan maximum.
    2. No auto surfaces permitted. After launch, only one movement permitted of horizontal stabilizer or wing, for dethermalization only

    E-36 Payload Power Requirements:
    1. Any type electric motor allowed.
    2. Battery limitations: 2-cell lithium limit or 6-cell nickel limit.
    3. Gearing and folding props allowed.

    E-36 Payload models must carry a dummy pilot having a minimum weight of one (1) ounce and minimum dimensions as as specified for the AMA payload event.

    Dummy Pilot Visibility.
    The dummy pilot must be in an upright position and facing forward with at least one half square inch of visibility through transparent areas to the front and both sides to provide forward and sideward visibility with the head of the pilot.
    Landing Gear.
    Landing gear may be removable but must remain attached to the model during the entire flight. It shall be of such a design and construction so as to support the model at rest in a normal symmetrical attitude and to support the model during completely unassisted takeoffs. The landing gear must have at least two (2) wheels, both of which rotate and function as wheels during takeoff.
    The total weight of the model ready to fly shall be a minimum of seven (7) ounces, including dummy pilot. Ballast other than the dummy pilot or simulated cargo must be permanently affixed to the model. Total flying weight shall not exceed 100 ounces.
    No mechanical device or added power shall be used to assist the model in rising from the ground. A completely unassisted (no pushing) launching is required for each official flight. The model must be held before release in such a manner that its natural resting position on the ground is in no way affected. However, in the event the CD decides the launching area is unsuitable for ROG launching, hand launched flights will be permitted.
    Motor Run/Flight Maximum.
    The maximum recorded duration of each flight shall be two (2) minutes, including qualified fly-off flights.
    The length of motor run is to be considered the elapsed time from the instant of launch to the time when electric power is cut off to the motor. Propeller braking, or unpowered prop run-down, shall not be considered as motor run time. Motor runs may be timed only in flight.
    Flights 1,2, & 3: 10 seconds
    Flight 4 and all following flights: 5 seconds
    Number of Flights.
    Each contestant shall be allowed a total of six (6) attempts to make three (3) official flights. All official and unofficial flights described above are attempts.
    If the three (3) official flights total the maximum allowed, then a series of fly-off flights may be taken. Fly-off flights may continue until the contestant’s model fails to reach the flight maximum. Only one (1) attempt is permitted for each fly-off flight. Fly-off motor run times are as shown in the table above. Overruns after the third official flight to be automatically awarded a “0” score.
    The CD may at his discretion, add further definitions and/or reduce the maximum duration limits due to weather, terrain, or local conditions, so long as adequate notice is given to all contestants before competition begins. However, flight(s) and flight time(s) flown under CD-imposed rule deviations shall not to be considered for record purposes.
    Scoring of Flights.
    Scoring shall be the total elapsed time of the three (3) official flights plus the total of the qualified fly-off flights. Flight duration shall be scored in seconds with all fractions of seconds dropped. Individual flights that exceed the maximum flight limit shall receive the maximum flight limit as a score. An unofficial flight is scored as a zero (0). 6. Six attempts for the first three official flights are allowed, immediate declaration required and 20 second maximum for attempts, overruns being automatic attempts for the first three official flights.


    Well thought out rules. Even a dummy can see out.

    Richard Wegener

    Well, it looks like there will be at least two E-36 Payload ships at the Nats. Obviously, there is no official event scheduled, but Duncan and I are planning on flying our airplanes.

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