Electric hotliners are nothing but the faster versions of electric sailplanes. Built along the same lines, electric hotliners are also known to have large wingspans and an electric motor. Despite the similarities, electric hotliners do have certain differences brought about mainly by the power of the engine and the material they are made with, which gives them the edge in speed over electric sailplanes.
Electric hotliners are a relatively recent term to describe these high performance electric sailplanes. In the early stages, hotliners were nothing but faster versions of sailplanes with ailerons. Hans-Dieter Levin was known to the be the first man to have coined the term 'hotliner' when he tested the Aeronaut Sinus, a particular model, with a speed 600 motor, a larger propeller and a 7 cell nickel-cadmium battery pack. Although this configuration didn't help the plane climb at a steep angle, there was no doubt that a new form of electric sailplane was in the making and soon, technology began exploring the extent to which electric hotliners could travel.
The main feature that differentiates an electric hotliner from an electric sailplane is (no not the engine) the material that makes the entire plane's body. While electric sailplanes are made of wood, electric hotliners use lighter materials that are durable, yet capable enough to bear the pressures of fast flight and heavy landings. Most electric hotliners are made of fiber glass or even carbon fiber. While these materials are better, they are certainly more expensive and if you are looking to buy one, then be ready to shell out anything between $300 to $1000 for a base version.
Foam is also a popular material used in the core of the plane due to its ability to hold shape and still not affect the overall weight of the plane.
While building an electric hotliner at home requires a high level of expertise, you can easily buy a ready-to-fly or almost ready-to-fly model from any model or hobby store. There are several manufacturers who make electric hotliners and these are incredible in their own right.
The lower level sailplanes come with ailerons while some of the competition-based versions come with 3000 watt motors. These electric motors are so powerful that an electric hotliner can climb at an angle of almost 70 degrees or even more. Electric hotliners are ideal for climbing rapidly to great heights and there, the engine is cut off with the plane coming down on glide-power and gravity, while the flyer performs various maneuvers on the way down.
There are many popular models of electric hotliners such as the Sprinter Hotliner, a plane made of fiberglass, using the latest CNC technology.
Generally considered one for more experienced users, an electric hotliners is one of the most exciting RC planes available today, one that can easily enchant even the most professional flyers. A brilliant category of RC planes, electric hotliners are a must-have, especially if you are remotely interested in high speed flying.