The Best Type of Battery for RC Aircraft

The Best Type of Battery for RC Aircraft

31 Jan, 2024

The world of remote control (RC) aircraft is both fascinating and complex, with numerous variables to consider when optimizing performance. One critical component that significantly impacts an RC aircraft's efficiency is the type of battery used. This article aims to shed light on the best types of batteries for RC aircraft, considering factors such as energy density, discharge rate, longevity, and safety.

hilong RC aircraft battery

Hilong 850mAh 14.8V 4S1P 70C Li-PO Battery Pack for Aircraft FPV


Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries


Arguably the most popular choice among RC hobbyists, Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries offer a high energy-to-weight ratio, making them ideal for applications where weight is a crucial factor.

High Discharge Rates: LiPo batteries can support high discharge rates, necessary for the sudden power demands of RC aircraft.

Lightweight and Versatile: Their lightweight nature and ability to be produced in various shapes and sizes make them suitable for different RC aircraft models.

Considerations: However, LiPo batteries require careful handling due to their sensitivity to overcharging and potential for thermal runaway. They also have a relatively shorter lifespan compared to other battery types.


Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries


Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are often considered the "old reliable" of the RC world. While they may not offer the same performance characteristics as LiPo batteries, they have their own set of advantages.

Safety and Durability: NiMH batteries are less prone to damage from overcharging, making them safer and more durable.

Ease of Use: They are easier to maintain, with no need for balance chargers, unlike LiPo batteries.

Considerations: The downside is their lower energy density and heavier weight, which can impact the aircraft's flight time and agility.


Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Batteries


A newer player in the RC arena, Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries, are becoming increasingly popular due to their unique advantages.

Higher Energy Density: Li-ion batteries have a higher energy density than LiPo batteries, translating to longer flight times.

Longevity: They also typically have a longer lifespan, reducing the frequency and cost of replacement.

Considerations: However, Li-ion batteries don't support high discharge rates as well as LiPos, making them less suitable for high-performance RC aircraft. They also require specialized chargers and careful handling to prevent overheating and potential fire risks.


Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries


Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are another option worth considering, especially for those prioritizing safety.

Stability and Safety: LiFePO4 batteries are known for their stability and safety features, being less prone to thermal runaway compared to other lithium-based batteries.

Long Lifespan: They boast a long lifespan, comparable to Li-ion batteries.

Considerations: On the flip side, they have a lower energy density and discharge rate than LiPo and Li-ion batteries, which may limit performance in demanding RC applications.


custom RC aircraft battery

Hilong 850mAh 14.8V 4S1P 70C Li-PO Battery Pack for Aircraft FPV


Choosing the Right Battery for Your RC Aircraft


There are additional factors that one should consider when choosing a battery. These include the battery's capacity, voltage, discharge rate (C-rating), and compatibility with the RC model.


Battery Capacity


Battery capacity, measured in milliamp-hours (mAh), determines how long your RC aircraft can fly on a single charge. Higher capacity means longer flight times, but it also means a heavier battery. Therefore, finding the right balance between flight time and aircraft weight is crucial.




The voltage of a battery is directly related to its power output. In LiPo batteries, for instance, each cell has a nominal voltage of 3.7V. Batteries with more cells will have a higher voltage, and thus, more power. However, the RC aircraft's motor must be able to handle this increased power to prevent potential damage.


Discharge Rate (C-Rating)


The discharge rate or C-rating of a battery indicates how quickly it can deliver its stored energy. A higher C-rating means the battery can support more demanding power requirements, essential for high-performance RC aircraft. However, a higher discharge rate can also lead to faster battery depletion.




Lastly, compatibility is a paramount consideration. The chosen battery must fit within the aircraft's battery compartment and connect with the existing power system. It's also important that the battery's power output matches the aircraft's motor specifications.


In addition to these factors, the charging equipment required for different battery types should be considered. For example, LiPo batteries require a balance charger to ensure each cell charges equally, while NiMH batteries don't.

Moreover, the environmental impact of different battery types varies. NiMH batteries, for example, contain fewer harmful metals than nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries and are easier to dispose of responsibly.




Choosing the best battery for an RC aircraft involves considering the type of battery, its characteristics, and how well it aligns with the specific requirements of the aircraft and pilot. By understanding these aspects, you can enhance your RC flying experience and prolong the lifespan of your equipment.

Hilong Battery uses an advanced automatic lamination process and superior material, based on standard production and strict inspection, delivering users a dependable and high-performance battery. Its energy density, safety, charge retention, high drain performance, self-discharge for long-term storage, inner resistance, etc. all show excellent. For any custom-made RC aircraft battery inquiry, do not hesitate to contact us.


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