Thrust Angle

by FliteTest | October 17, 2012 | (41) Posted in Tips

Thrust angle is a very important and very overlooked element of RC flight. Chad and Josh go over some of the more common thrust angle setups and show what to look for when adjusting thrust angle.

With the E-flite Taylorcraft 450 ARF as an example, there is a slight right and slight downward thrust angle on the prop.

This right thrust angle will compensate for the motors torque and because the thrust line is below the tail and the wing this rc airplane. The downward thrust angle will compensate for the planes upward pull.

Seafury Funfighter has an extreme right thrust and this is to compensate for the small size of the plane and the torque of the motor.

The Bixler 2 features a thrust angle which is angled up.  Because this is a a pusher plane and the motor is mounted above the the center line of the airplane, the thrust angle is upward. 

Also, because the motor is mounted close to the airplanes CG it will cause the thrust angle to be more dramatic as well.

Our Fowl Flyer was a good example of not having the thrust angle correct for a pusher plane. At full throttle the plane would pull up and when Josh would let off the throttle, the scratch built turkey plane would glide straight and smooth.

Chad's experimental custom designed "Arrow to the Knee" slow stick pusher plane is setup with heavy-duty armature wire that allows to adjust thrust angle and test out the best setup. This is a great idea for scratch builds and custom designs.

But don't let thrust angle overwhelm you, it's always the safest to start with a neutral thrust angle. All of our swappable fuselage planes feature neutral thrust angle and there's an episode on mixing if you'd like to adjust your plane without worry of adjusting thrust angle. 

For more information on the airplanes and articles mentioned in this Fast Tip:

E-flite Taylorcraft 450 ARF
The Bixler 2
Seafury Funfighter
Fowl Flyer - Turkey Plane
Scratch Built - Swappable fuselage Series
Throttle Mixing


stephen on October 18, 2012
Thanks guys I have been learning to with a cloud flier and was wondering why the motor was pitched up at an angle. I was still getting a steep climb at full throttle so have been playing around with elevator throttle mix. Bit of a steep learning curve as I'm a newby to all this. Control line flyer from years ago. Another great tip keep them coming
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rickthebrewer on October 17, 2012
Ha Ha. Arrow to the knee. Smirk
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asoulsdream on October 18, 2012
thank you. I'm building a speed pusher and was just thinking about this. thanks for the help
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Pyrofish on October 25, 2012
How did your pusher that you used the slow stick wing fly?

Thinking of doing something with the extra slow stick kit, something similar might be fun.

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House Of Noob on October 18, 2012
Always good to see a technical video. Thrust angle is always top on the list of "air-worthiness" checks in our builds now. Not doing so has caused at lease one of our crashes.
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musty on October 17, 2012
Thanks so much guys!

I recently got a little P40 from Hobbyking and the motor was kicked severely over to one side. I thought it was just bad quality control and was preparing to take it apart and straighten it up.
Your 3 minute tip probably saved me 3 hours work and a lot more hours of cursing, trying to figure out why it wouldn't fly right (-:
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Reinaldo Moreira on October 23, 2012
This is really cool guys, Can you please explain (different article) how to calculate the thrust and how work the thrust with 4 and 2 engines.
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motomad111 on October 17, 2012
Great tip guys it explains a lot of the issues I am having with the scratch builds. Keep up the good work and keep them coming.
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UndCon on October 18, 2012
I just finished a build for a indoor foamie and I mounted the motor with some rubber hosing between motor and plywood - now I can fine-tune the angles in any direction - and as a bonus the plane got quieter as well. When I find an an angle that im happy with I will secure the 4 tiny screws with some superglue on the threads.

However - my Bixler climbs when I throttle up - and the mount is factory glued in place...I have to sort that
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tramsgar on October 17, 2012
Finally, I was always too embarrassed to ask. Or even google it. Thanks.
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tetenks on February 20, 2014
how the location of the tilt angle of the motor for RC airplane trike which lies under the wing? request information
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Lee Boekhout on August 16, 2017
Hi Guys,
I am converting a two meter sailplane to electric power, (next I want to build a 3 meter) and want to add a power pod above the fuselage. I have had problems in the past with excessive zoom up at higher power, higher speeds, and dive at launch. I want to put the pod directly over the cg. The Sig power pod pictures show the motor pod to be at the same level as the fuselage, but previously that has not worked. Mounting the motor in the nose is extremely tight. Can you suggest a better method of mounting? Or could you provide a at least closer the line of thrust necessary to mitigate some of this discrepancy? When at altitude, the plane flies straight and level. Lee Boekhout
PS. Love your videos, and am envious about your PPG activities.
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obonfa on September 11, 2018
Hi folks, I have an pusher plane, and I found two articles in this forum talking about the thrust line through the CG at the CORD line, and another talking abouth the thrust throgh the REAL CG point, I'm confusing now, which one is the correct?
Link for the threads:
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Thrust Angle