Size limit on RC planes?

As silly as this may sound, is there a limit on how big an RC plane can be
before someone official (like FAA) gets a bug in their butt? Wifey and I are
just getting into the whole RC thing, and as I was watching the History channel
(subject UAV's) the thought occurred to me. Who's to say we can't fly an RC
ultralight?
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your
eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to
return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply to
Disco -- FlyNavy
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There certainly is. In the UK I believe the limit is based on weight and anything over 20kg requires approval/certification from the CAA. I expect the limit in the US is probably similar, but someone else can no doubt advise.
Tim
Reply to
Tim
Depends what country you are in. If you are "just getting into" it you may want to contact a local club, find out who the controlling group is (MAAC, etc) and check on their website. Gord Schindler MAAC6694
Reply to
Gord Schindler
I believe that once it gets into the "man-carrying" category, it comes under the FAA.
Chip Hyde flies a 1/2 scale Ultimate. I bet a very small midget could get in...
-- Paul McIntosh
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
I don't know about wingspan, but the wt. limit is 55 lbs.
Reply to
Joe D.
As far as I know, there is no such rule in the USA. If it carries a person, the FAA gets involved. As of yet, there is no government rule. However, from what I am seeing some are building, it is only a matter of time. It will be a shame that the FAA will make rules we all will have to live with just because some turkey wanted a huge, man size, model. What's the point for a huge R/C model other than just because!
Reply to
IFLYJ3
The size issue is relative. If you fly by AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) rules, as far as I know there is no size limitation but there is a weight limit of 55 lbs unless granted a waiver. If you choose to fly independently, unless you put a person in the plane, I don't think there is any restriction. However, you will be fully liable for whatever damage, injury, etc you may cause. As you and the "wifey" are just getting into RC, I would strongly recommend that you find a local club and get an instructor. You wouldn't climb directly into an F/A 18C for primary flight training and this is no different. It may look easy but having flown both full scale and RC, RC is harder as there is no direct feedback and when the plane is headed toward you, the roll controls are reversed from your perspective. I've seen way too many full scale pilots fly the 30 sec profile and total a perfectly good plane just because they thought that since they fly the big ones, these are a piece of cake. Other than that, knock yourself out!! This is an extremely rewarding hobby.
Jim W. and I agree, Fly Navy.
Reply to
Black Cloud
That would be AMA weight limit. However, there is nothing in the form of government regulation which limits the size of an R/C Model. Make them as big as you want but, be prepared for the attention it will eventually attract! And that doesn't stop local laws from being enacted and enforced. Local parks to me have "motor vehicles prohibited" posted. Guess what a model airplane is according to the local judges?
But there is a lot of discussion going on with regard to UAV's flying in the national air space. Rules, procedures, etc are being discussed by the industry, military and the FAA. UAV's currently are not allowed in national air space except for testing purposes for their possible eventual inclusion in the air space. UAV's will fall under FAA control once they are allowed into national air space.
Models have been mentioned in these discussions but more for clarification as to what constitutes a model versus a UAV. Presence/use of some form of auto pilot has been suggested as a characteristic identifying a UAV and not a model. Any wonder why the AMA wants to ban auto pilots?
Reply to
C.O.Jones
I once did engineering work for a company that made advertising blimps, both tethered and R/C. The FAA does get involved in these non man carrying vehicles. For one thing there was a requirement for tear strips certified and set to 1500 feet. I have a vague recollection of some other requirements, but can't recall specifics.
The AMA weight limit of 55 lbs is for non-inspected model aircraft. You can go heavier with inspection. Many movie R/C models are very big and very heavy. And, as mentioned elsewhere, nothing requires you to belong to or follow AMA guidelines. However, if you embarked on a special project you would be well advised to follow their safety guidelines as much as possible.
Oh yea, I struggled with a 110" Ugly Stik for a couple of years. Moving that sucker back and forth to the field, storing it at the house, and not being able to get it through any of the openings into our field's pit area gives you a whole new perspective as to how big of an airplane you ought to have. The current owner got it for a very reasonable price. Lemme see, a full scale R/C ultralight is right on par with that man carrying, rubber band powered, R/C controlled airplane that was in RC Modeler several years ago.
Good luck, and post pictures when you get your ultralight flying........
Reply to
Tom Minger
The FAA will make such future rules because AMA have thus far failed to adequately deal with the growth in model size over the past two decades.
AMA ignores models under 55 pounds, because apparently a 54 pound 15 ounce model is considered perfectly safe.
As to the point of large models, the old saw about a picture being worth a thousand words applies quite nicely :
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I've seen mpeg videos of the taxi tests, and the model is amazingly accurate and every bit as detailed as the rider scale version.
The model slowed in a very scale-like manner when the spoilers popped up and the brakes were applied.
Some things can only be done well when the physical size of the model crosses the threshold where implementation of all the salient bits becomes possible.
I've followed the B-52 development in various mags, and the landing gear portion of that model is nothing short of astounding. IIRC the only thing missing from the landing gear system is the automajik cross-wind capability of the real McCoy.
I should be so lucky.
Reply to
Fred McClellan
The 55 pound limit is an AMA rule, not law. Models over 55 and under 100 pounds are subject to inspection, inspection, and more inspection, annually. All under AMA rules.
Under UMA rules, you need and can get a waiver for models over 100 pounds.
There is no national law regarding models, and the only FAA 'edict' thus far is an advisory circular regarding operation of models near or on an airport, where the models have to stay below 400' AGL.
Reply to
Fred McClellan
| Local parks to me have "motor vehicles prohibited" posted. Guess what a | model airplane is according to the local judges?
I'm sure the answer you're looking for is `a motor vehicle'.
Though you might see it as an excuse to get into gliders :)
Reply to
Doug McLaren
If they banned parkflyers on the grounds that they had motors as well, you could then ask them to ban disability scooters on the same grounds :-)
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
In Canada the legal limit is 35 kg (77.2 lb). Reference Canadian Aviation Regulation 101.01, Interpretation secion.
Dan
Reply to
Dan Thomas
I would pay to see you try that tact here! I can't begin to list all the groups and organizations that would throw themselves at you in a frenzy! When they were done with you, your passport would no longer be welcomed in this country and I seriously doubt the UK would welcome you back either.
Come on DH. Try it! Please!
Reply to
C.O.Jones
AND CARS!
-- Paul McIntosh
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
Yes genius! Cars are restricted to the designated areas better known as parking lots.
Let's have a group "Duh" for Paul!
Reply to
C.O.Jones
Don't be obtuse.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Given that parks are recreational places, I can't see a problem with that, actually.
But my wifes teenage nieces are bloody dangerous on their grandmas new scooter.
Damn thing has far to narrow a wheelbase to be stable.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
55 pounds max takeoff weight except under special waiver.
No SIZE limit, so if you can build yourself a wet-weight 747 at 55 pounds, then you can RC it.
--- Rich
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Reply to
Rich Lockyer

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