Basic R/C Terminology to get you started
ARF / ARTF:
Almost Ready To Fly. This one's a legitimate abbreviation. An ARF airplane needs a few small finishing touches and you have to install the engine/motor and radio gear yourself. They vary in degrees of completeness, from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Almost Ready to Crash. An rc aircraft that knows something that the pilot is just about to find out.
one of the best training aids, where the student's transmitter is attached via cable to the instructor's. The student has complete control over the airplane, but at the flick of a switch the instructor can take control if the student gets into difficulties.
The part of an electric motor that delivers current from the motor leads to the commutator. They are stationary on the end bell, and must be replaced when they wear down
A type of electric motor that does not use brushes. Instead of brushes, it has fixed windings on the motor can and rotating magnets on the motor shaft. It needs a special ESC, usually called a controller, to provide power.
Two meanings for this in the rc world. First, it can be the number of channels that the model has, ei. 1 channel model may have just motor or rudder control while a 2 channel model will have motor and rudder, etc etc. Second, the channel number refers to the radio frequency which you're using, when using a MHz system. 2.4GHz systems don't utilise the same frequency channels.
A plug consisting of a coil of wire. It is placed in the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine and ignites fuel by means of heat from the coil.
Stands for lithium ion polymer battery. These are the most modern kind of battery pack being used in electric aircraft. They provide enormous amounts of power for their size, especially when used in conjunction with a brushless motor.
Abbreviation for nickel cadmium, a type of metal used in rechargeable battery cell production. Also written as 'nicads', they are a form of rechargeable battery cell used in radio control gear as well as motor battery packs. NiCDs are being used less and less these days, as NiMH and Li-Po batteries take over.
Abbreviation for nickel metal hydride, the other type of material used in rechargeable batteries. They are the successors to NiCDs with much better performance and up to 3 times the capacity for an equally sized battery.
Fuel that you put into the fuel tank on a nitro vehicle. It contains nitromethane, oil, and methanol (methyl alcohol). It is available in various percentages of nitro and oil. For most applications, 20% nitro and 10-15% oil is used. Gasoline powered rcs are also available.
The small electronic device that receives signals from the TX and sends them to the servos/speed control. Also used to refer to the receiver crystal.
- Ready To Fly: RTF aircraft that can be assembled in minutes, usually it's a case of just strapping on the wing. RTFs are very popular these days.
Servo: An electric powered device to operate mechanical controls. Signal comes from the receiver and is typically used to move linkages such as rudder/steering.
The device held by the pilot or driver of an RC powered vehicle. The device is used to convert manual input in to signals sent to the receiver.