The local hobby store owner was telling me yesterday about an airplane that he is building. It is a 40 sized electric powered plane which he claims should be able to fly for 45 minutes because of the new lithium batteries that he is going to put in it. This is very interesting, but I'm not into electrics. For me half the fun is running those greasy little engines that make lots of noise and smoke. I don't know why, I just get a kick out of it, especially 4-strokes with their little valve trains and extra parts. But the lithium batteries are intriguing, because theoretically I could put them on my receivers, charge them once, and fly for several weekends in a row. And I also heard that if they are stored for extended periods they will not discharge, or at least not noticeably.
Here's what I need to know. The hobby store owner told me that I would need to buy a special charger for these batteries because a standard charger will ruin them. Given the $40 expense for each battery pack, plus another $30 for the charger, would it really be worth it to cough up $150 to power three airplanes? Or am I in for a lot more trouble? Is there anything else about these cells that I need to know? Are they easily ruined? What is their expected lifetime? Are they particularly sensitive to vibration? Are they adversely affected by extreme temperatures? Do they come in tiny sizes for 049 and 020 size glow powered airplanes? What else do I need to know?