Not sure if an electric would be good for a newbie?

Being a complete newbie, and knowing nothing about batteries and all this electrical stuff,
I am thinking that perhaps I should stick with a gas engine until I gain some experience
and knowledge. I was first attracted to this site by the possibility of such a light system.
But the more reading I do, the more I can see that I have no clue how to put together and
then maintain an electric system. Let alone do that on top of learning how to fly at the same time.

I still love the ideas and design. I will be lurking about seeing what new developments

I hope that’s OK with everyone.

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Actually, I’m inclined to say that it’s a great newbie engine, with none of the nuances of the typical gas powered engine (e.g. torque steer, engine runup, constant spinning blade of death while running [where applicable]). Plus this thing a SUPER light, which makes takeoffs/landings a bit more forgiving.


The flying part yes, I agree. It’s a great concept.
What I’m worried about is all the electrical stuff.

I’m sure I could learn, given time, but right now I am clueless.

I’m horrible when it comes to electrical theory and understanding, but after doing some research and some math learning; I feel a whole lot better. I still don’t trust the LiPo batteries much, but the more flights that get talked about here, and the more time goes by and nobody reports an issue, the more faith I have in it.

Dear lord no!!!
I wanted to go with electric when I started last last yr then rushed into it and got an ICE… I regret that decision.
The weight of the ICE for the short flights you need to train with is too much. You asked any experienced pilot that has gone from ICE to electric and the weight savings for training to take off would have been preferred!
But I wont try long to convince you… get a big back pack and put 65 pounds in and kite a bit,then take 20 pounds out and kite some more.
Good luck
Cheers, Patrick

OK, I welcome your opinion.

I know the weight will make a huge difference. I was thinking along the lines of a smaller
engine, like a snap 100 or something similar. (with a clutch)

Anyway, I can’t afford anything just yet. I still have to get some training so once that
happens I will have a better idea.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Once you build your kit or buy a pre-built one there really isn’t much to know to run it. Plug in the batteries, flip the switch, press the arm button, push the throttle.

You will be a lot happier learning with the electric. It’s a lot safer because of the weight and anti torque. Plus it’s cheaper and little to no maintenance.

The lack of noise alone makes it safer to learn because you can actually hear your instructor.


I still remember my instructor shouting “Turn left… No! The other left!” as in my cerebral overload I’m turning right :wink:


Once you build your kit or buy a pre-built one there really isn’t much to know to run it. Plug in the batteries, flip the switch, press the arm button, push the throttle.
gliderpilot (quote)

Hmm, there seem to be a few threads in the build and power system categories that
would indicate otherwise. I am clueless when it comes to electrical stuff.

I can solder wires and apply electrical tape; that seems to be the pinnacle of my electrical
skills. Anything more, I would need clear and direct instructions on what to do.

By the way, if I bought the pre-built kit, can I get the batteries in Canada?
I thought I read a while back that people were having trouble with that.

Perhaps you misunderstood what I said. Maybe you should go back and re-read the first sentence of that quote! Yes there are things you need to know if you are going to build your own. Or you can buy a prebuilt kit and not have to worry about all that technical stuff. Although building the kit is really only as technical as making sure you get good solder joints and put all the right wires in the right places. However, my point is: when it comes to flying and learning to fly the electronics are as easy as turning on your phone and making a phone call. You don’t have to know how to build a cell phone to be able to use one! So, the simplicity of running the OpenPPG is ideal for learning for all the reasons I listed and won’t in any way interfere with learning to fly.

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I see.

Thanks for your input.

It’s going to come down to a choice of which do you want to learn - electric motors, or gas engines? Every PPG pilot is a mechanic. Gas engines are just as technical and problematic to work on, and in some ways, more so.

It seems there is enough built-up kit, plus instructions, plus community support that one should do ok as a noob with electrical here. But do plan on learning along the way, to the point where you are no longer a noob. It’s not as though you need to understand all the electrical science, such as motor Kv calculations, or circuit design, etc. That’s been done for you here. And IMHO, it does help to have good tools (not a crap radio shack soldering iron), good wire cutters, and figure out how to size and use heat shrink properly (heat gun is best, but you can cheat and use the soldering tip to shrink it). You can use electrical tape, but I personally would never rely on that, not even for my RC projects, let alone something I put myself in the air with!

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Yes, I can see you are right. There is a good community here, and lots of
information to share.

I am still wondering about getting batteries shipped to Canada.
Do they have to be ordered and shipped separately?

Yes the batteries ship directly from the factory to save on shipping it twice.

OK, thank you for your speedy reply.

I also apologize if my ignorance has offended anyone.


IMHO No one here is going to get offended by people asking questions. That’s what a forum is for! Occasionally I’ve seen a bit of disagreement to the replies to questions posted but at OPPG A: it’s rare & B: has never degenerated into name calling and hostility. So ask away!

Amen to that one. :smile:

After a bit of research and reading what experienced pilots said about the openppg design, I can see it’s advantages. The light weight and no torque are tough to beat. I’d better get studying up on lipo batteries and chargers .

@Pdwhite will be putting out a video explaining the basics of using the charger he recommends.