You must not only select various RC equipment to promote redundant and safe operation, but you also have to decide on the level of detail fidelity you want to achieve. For example, do you want to simply construct and fly a semi-scale airplane that resembles the full-size subject that has exposed switches? Or do you hope to conceal these items for added to the overall realism?
As expert RC scale designer and builder Dave Platt has said time and time again, “The subjects that require the greatest number of working channels have the least amount of room for radio gear.” Scale models— and, in particular, giant-scale airplanes—often have multiple servos to actuate a single control surface. Additionally, in more complex builds, numerous servos are also required for various functions handled by items like pneumatic cylinders to actuate sliding canopies, landing-gear doors, and other options. Factor in a scale cockpit interior and you realize the truth of Platt’s statement! Let’s examine a few options behind redundant power options with respect to a given aircraft and the available space needed to secure each component, and how certain items can be concealed for improved scale appearance.
While building a scale aircraft, it is important to analyze your model in comparison to the full-scale subject. Examine the real plane’s panel lines and access panels as these can be possible areas to conceal certain electronic items like heavy-duty switch assemblies, charging jacks, etc., and centrally locate as many components as possible to prevent excessive wiring. With an idea of the general available space that each item requires, you can begin a search for the required equipment you’ll need. Specifically, this list includes receivers, batteries, switches, extensions, voltage regulators, and external power-supply units with regulated output voltages.
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