References


0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Any activity that involves technology is bound to be rife with acronyms, initialisms and terms. RC is no exception.


Long form Short form Definition
0-9
2-stroke A type of internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle in a single revolution of the crankshaft, or two strokes (piston goes up and down once).
2.4 GHz A range of frequencies extremely common in radio control. 2.4 GHz radio systems make use of frequency hopping synchronized between transmitter and receiver.
3D An advanced style of aerobatic flying which involves flight below the stall speed of an aircraft. This type of flying relies on propeller thrust rather than wing lift to keep the aircraft airborne.
4-stroke A type of internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle in two revolutions of the crankshaft, or four strokes (piston goes up and down twice).
72 MHz A range of radio frequencies in the FM band. At one time the most widely used radio control flight frequency in North America, now largely supplanted by 2.4 GHz.
Start of Page
A
Academy of Model Aeronautics, The AMA The governing body for radio controlled flight in the United States of America.
Adverse yaw The tendency of an airplane to yaw in the opposite direction of a roll due to extra drag on the downward deflected aileron.
Aileron The control surface at the trailing edge of the wing. Alters the attitude of the aircraft about the roll axis.
Aileron Differential A control setup whereby the downward aileron deflects less than the upward aileron.
Almost Ready to Cover ARC Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Most structure is complete, but covering and some assembly are required (complexity varies from one model to another). The builder typically provides covering, electronics, engine and radio components.
Almost Ready to Fly ARF Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Covering and most structure is complete, but some assembly is required (complexity varies from one model to another). The builder typically provides electronics, engine, fuel system and radio components.
Amplitude Modulation AM Radio waves that may vary in height but are of constant distance from one wave to the next.
Angle of Attack AOA The angle at which an airfoil meets the air.
Angle of Incidence AOI The angle at which the airfoil is positioned relative to the longitudinal axis of the fuselage.
Anhedral The condition of a wing or horizontal stabilizer that is lower at the tip than the root (e.g, British Aerospace Harrier II).
Start of Page
B
Battery Elimination Circuit BEC A device that allows a single battery (ignition for gas engine power, motor for electric power) to also provide receiver power. With electric power, the BEC is usually part of the Electronic Speed Control. With gas power, the BEC may also feature ignition voltage regulation and ignition kill functions.
Bind'n'Fly BnF Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Complete with all components and a Spektrum brand receiver. Owner binds receiver to his or her own Spektrum transmitter.
Buddy Box A transmitter slaved to a master transmitter by means of a cord; used for flight instruction. The radio transmissions emanate from the master regardless of who is in control of the aircraft.
Start of Page
C
Cabane (struts) On a biplane, bracing and load-bearing struts between the fuselage and the centre of the upper wing.
Centre of Gravity CG The point around which the mass of an object is balanced.
Chief Flight Instructor CFI The individual in charge of flight training at a club.
Cyanoacrylate CA A family of adhesives that range from thin and fast curing to thick and slow curing.
Start of Page
D
Digital Signal Modulation DSM The modulation of an analog carrier wave to reflect the digital nature of a signal.
Dihedral The condition of a wing or horizontal stabilizer that is higher at the tip than the root (e.g, Piper PA-24 180).
Dual Rate(s) DR Two or more different sets of throws. May affect one or more control surfaces; usually activated by a switch on the transmitter.
Start of Page
E
Electric Ducted Fan EDF A electrically powered fan inside a shroud housed in the air ducting of a model jet aircraft.
Electronic Speed Control ESC An electronic circuit used to vary an electric motor's speed.
Elevator The control surface at the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer. Alters the attitude of the aircraft about the pitch axis.
Empennage Joint reference for the vertical stabilizer and rudder, and the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. Also known as "tail feathers".
Start of Page
F
Flap A device mounted on the trailing edge of an aircraft wing used to improve the lift characteristics of the wing. Allows for reduced stalling speed and steeper descent.
Flaperon A type of aircraft control that combines flaps and ailerons. The ailerons can be lowered to behave like flaps but still maintain independent operation for controll of the roll axis.
Frequency Modulation FM Radio waves that may vary in distance from one wave to the next but are of constant wave height.
Fuselage Fuse The central structure of the aircraft which contains the cockpit and to which the engine, wings and empannage attach.
Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Tecnology FASST Spread spectrum frequency hopping in the 2.4 GHz range.
Start of Page
G
Gas Gasoline. Not to be confused with glow fuel or engines that burn it.
Glow A type of fuel composed of methanol, lubricating oil and nitromethane; also refers to the engines that burn said fuel. Often erroneously referred to as nitro; not to be confused with gas.
Start of Page
H
Horizontal stabilizer A horizontal plane at the rear of an aircraft which contributes to pitch stability and to which the elevators are attached.
Start of Page
I
Ignition cutoff A component installed between receiver and ignition that allows the ignition to be shut off from the transmitter. Used with gas engines.
Impound A method of controlling transmitters on the 72 MhZ band; transmitters are placed in isolation and may only be used by the holder of the pin for that specific frequency.
Ignition Battery Elimination Circuit IBEC A component that allows a gas airplane to share one battery between the ignition and the receiver, saving weight, space and, often, cost. Some IBECs have additional features such as ignition voltage regulation and ignition cutoff.
International Miniature Aerobatics Club, The IMAC The international governing body for model aircraft aerobatics.
Start of Page
J
Start of Page
K
Kit Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Will likely include all parts necessary to build the airframe. May or may not include formed parts such as engine cowl(s), landing gear, etc. May or may not include such build components as general hardware, hinges, push rods, wheels, etc. Requires complete build and covering. Builder provides electronics, engine, fuel system and radio components.
Start of Page
L
Leading Edge LE Forward edge which meets the airflow.
Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFEPO4 Battery chemistry with cells of 3.3V each. Thermally stable with long cycle life and hold a charge for a long time before use
Lithium Polymer LiPo Battery chemistry with cells of 3.6V each. Thermally unstable and prone to explosion and fire when improperly treated. Long cycle life and hold a charge for a long time before use
Start of Page
M
Milliamp-Hour(s) mAh Units of battery capacity.
Mode 1 Transmitter configuration. Elevator and rudder on the left stick, throttle and ailerons on the right stick.
Mode 2 Transmitter configuration. Throttle and rudder on the left stick, elevator and ailerons on the right stick.
Mode 3 Transmitter configuration. Elevator and ailerons on the left stick, throttle and rudder on the right stick.
Mode 4 Transmitter configuration. Throttle and ailerons on the left stick, elevator and rudder on the right stick.
Model Aeronautics Association of Canada, The MAAC The governing body for model aeronautics in Canada.
Start of Page
N
Nickel Cadmium NiCd Battery chemistry with cells of 1.2V each. Thermally stable, prone to self-discharge, suffers from memory effect.
Nickel Metal Hydride NiMH Battery chemistry with cells of 1.2V each. Thermally stable, somewhat prone to self-discharge, high energy density.
Nitro Short for nitromethane, a component of glow engine fuel. Often used erroneously to refer to glow engines or glow fuel.
Start of Page
O
Start of Page
P
P-factor Aerodynamic phenomenon experienced by a rotating propeller at a high angle of attack. Results in left yaw for a propeller that is rotating clockwise and right yaw for a propeller that is rotating counter clockwise.
Pitch Rotation of the aircraft about its lateral axis; controlled by the elevators on a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
Plug'n'Play PnP Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Complete with all components except receiver and transmitter. May require minor assembly.
Polyhedral The condition of a wing or horizontal stabilizer that changes angles between the root and tip (e.g, Vought F4U Corsair).
Polyvinyl Acetate PVA An aliphatic rubbery synthetic polymer glue commonly known as white, carpenters' or cabinetmakers' glue.
Port Refers to the left side of a craft when viewed from above or behind. Unlike "left", "port" is an absolute reference and does not change based on point of view. Red navigation light (if used).
Pulse Code Modulation PCM Method used to digitally represent sampled analog signals.
Start of Page
Q
Start of Page
R
Radio Control RC Control of a model through the transmission and reception of radio signals.
Radio Frequency RF Rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves.
Radio Frequency Interference RFI Disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source.
Ready to Fly RTF Degree of completion of a new model aircraft. Coomplete with all components, including transmitter. May require minor assembly.
Receiver Rx Radio device in the airplane which receives radio signals from the transmitter and sends them to connected devices such as servos.
Roll Rotation of the aircraft about its longitudinal axis; controlled by the ailerons on a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
Rudder The control surface at the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. Alters the attitude of the aircraft about the yaw axis.
Start of Page
S
Starboard Refers to the right side of a craft when viewed from above or behind. Unlike "right", "starboard" is an absolute reference and does not change based on point of view. Green navigation light (if used).
Start of Page
T
That looks about right TLAR Correctness of fit or form as judged by an appraising eye.
Throw The amount of travel in a control surface. Specified by linear measurement (inches, cm, mm) or angle (degrees) from centred position to full deflection.
Torque A twisting or rotational force.
Trailing Edge TE Rearward edge from which the airflow departs.
Transmitter Tx Radio device held and controlled by the pilot. Sends signals to the receiver in the aircraft.
Start of Page
U
Start of Page
V
Vertical stabilizer A vertical plane at the rear of an aircraft which contribtutes to yaw stability and to which the rudder is attached.
Start of Page
W
Wing A rigid plane that extends from the right and left of an airplane and provides the bulk of the lift.
Wingspan WS Total distance from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other.
Start of Page
X
Start of Page
Y
Yaw Rotation of the aircraft about its vertical axis; controlled by the rudder on a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
Start of Page
Z

Start of Page