How to Choose the Right RC Airplane Battery for Your Aircraft

rc batteries

Flying RC airplanes isn’t just a hobby; it’s a passion that fuels adventure and skill. Among the many parts of these aerial wonders, the battery is crucial, determining how long you can fly, how well the plane performs, and how safe it is. Picking the right RC airplane battery is vital for a smooth flight. In this blog, we’ll explore how to choose the best battery for your aircraft, ensuring it performs well and lasts a long time.

Understanding Battery Basics

Before delving into the selection process, it’s important to understand the basics of RC airplane batteries. There are mainly three types: Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lithium Polymer (LiPo). Each has its strengths and things to consider.

  1. NiCd Batteries:

These batteries are known for their robustness and ability to deliver consistent power output. However, they suffer from memory effect and have a lower energy density compared to newer technologies.

  1. NiMH Batteries:

NiMH batteries have better energy storage than NiCd ones. They’re also eco-friendly and don’t suffer much from the memory effect. Beginners and casual flyers like them because they’re dependable and affordable.

  1. LiPo Batteries:

LiPo batteries are the best choice for RC airplanes. They pack a lot of energy into a small space, are lightweight, and don’t lose power when sitting unused. However, they need careful handling and upkeep to stay safe and undamaged.

Factors to Consider

Selecting the right RC airplane battery involves evaluating various factors to match the battery’s specifications with your aircraft’s requirements. Here are the key considerations:

  1. Voltage and Capacity: 

The battery’s voltage should match what your airplane’s motor and speed controller need. Also, the capacity, measured in mAh, decides how long your plane can fly. Bigger capacity batteries give longer flight times, but they might make the airplane heavier.

  1. Size and Weight: 

The size and weight of the battery affect how well the airplane balances and performs. Ensure that the battery fits comfortably within the designated battery compartment and does not exceed the recommended weight limits.

  1. Discharge Rate 

The discharge rate, shown as a multiple of the battery’s capacity like 20C or 30C, tells you how fast the battery can provide power. Higher C ratings are suitable for high-performance manoeuvres and faster aircraft.

  1. Chemistry and Safety:

Consider the inherent characteristics and safety precautions associated with different battery chemistries. LiPo batteries, for instance, require specialised charging equipment and storage practices to prevent overcharging, overheating, and swelling.

  1. Brand Reputation and Quality:

Choose RC batteries made by trusted brands known for being reliable and high-quality. Though they might cost more at first, investing in good batteries can save you money in the long run because they perform better and last longer.

Matching Battery to Aircraft

After considering the important factors, it’s time to find the battery that fits your airplane’s needs and how you plan to use it.

  1. Trainer and Beginner Aircraft:

If you’re new to flying or using your plane for training, focus on reliable and easy-to-handle batteries. NiMH batteries with moderate capacities and discharge rates are forgiving and provide steady power, making them great for beginners.

  1. Sport and Aerobatic Aircraft: 

Aircraft meant for fancy tricks and fast moves need powerful batteries. LiPo batteries with high discharge rates and capacities are perfect for providing the quick bursts of power needed for aggressive flying.

  1. Scale and Long-Endurance Aircraft: 

For scale models and planes that need to stay in the air for a long time, pick batteries that can last a while. Choose high-capacity LiPo batteries with medium discharge rates. This way, you get long flight times without losing performance.

  1. FPV and Racing Drones:

As FPV racing drones become more popular, they need batteries that can handle quick acceleration and keep up high speeds. That’s where LiPo batteries with super high discharge rates and small sizes come in. They’re crucial for getting the best performance in racing competitions.

Maintenance and Safety Tips

  1. Storage and Charging

Keep LiPo batteries in fireproof containers at room temperature and away from extreme heat or direct sunlight. Use a LiPo charger with safety features to stop them from overcharging and monitor charging progress.

  1. Inspection and Testing

Check your RC batteries often for any damage like swelling, holes, or wires coming apart. Use a battery checker or voltage alarm to monitor individual cell voltages and ensure balanced charging.

  1. Disposal:

Safely dispose of damaged or depleted batteries following local regulations and guidelines. Do not puncture or burn LiPo batteries because they could start a fire.


Picking the perfect RC airplane battery is crucial for top-notch performance, durability, and safety during your flights. By knowing what to look for, you can choose a battery that fits your plane’s needs and how you like to fly. Always focus on quality, dependability, and following safety rules for a smooth and enjoyable flying experience. With the right battery, you can soar through the skies without worries. Happy flying!