Micro Servos for RC Airplanes: A Guide to Choosing and Maintaining

Micro Servos for RC Airplanes: A Guide to Choosing and Maintaining

Micro servos are miniature electric motors that control various parts of an RC airplane, including the wings, flaps, and rudder. They are an essential part of an RC airplane and play a critical role in maintaining stability during flight. The servos are connected to the receiver, which sends signals to the microprocessor in the servo to control its movements. The servo’s microprocessor determines the direction and angle of the servo’s output shaft, which changes the position of the control surface. By changing the position of the control surface, the pilot can alter the direction and altitude of the airplane.

There are different types of micro servos available, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Analog servos are generally cheaper than their digital counterparts, but they tend to be less precise. Digital servos, on the other hand, use a digital signal to control the servo’s movements, resulting in better accuracy and more precise control. Brushless servos, which are newer and more expensive, offer even higher levels of torque and accuracy. These servos are the preferred choice for experienced pilots who want to perform complex maneuvers.

When selecting a micro servo for an RC airplane, several factors should be considered. The size and weight of the airplane will determine the size and torque rating of the servo needed. The flying style and complexity of the maneuvers will determine the type and quality of servo required. Other features such as voltage rating, speed, and stability should also be taken into account. Proper installation and maintenance are critical to ensure the servo performs well and has a long life.

Types of Micro Servos and Their Functions

There are different types of micro servos available for RC airplanes, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most common types:

Analog Micro Servos

  • Cheaper alternative to digital servos
  • May not have the accuracy and precision of digital servos
  • Suitable for beginners or simple flying maneuvers
  • Can be found on websites such as Amazon or Horizon Hobby

Digital Micro Servos

  • More expensive than analog servos
  • Use a digital signal to control the movements of the servo
  • High accuracy and precision, making them suitable for advanced flying maneuvers
  • Popular brands include Futaba and Hitec

Brushless Micro Servos

  • Newer and more expensive than analog and digital servos
  • Offer the highest level of torque and accuracy
  • Preferred choice for experienced pilots who want to perform complex maneuvers
  • Popular brands include MKS and KST Servos

Selecting the right micro servo for an RC airplane is crucial in ensuring a smooth and stable flight. When choosing a servo, consider the weight and size of the plane, the type of flying style, and the complexity of the maneuvers. Websites such as Amazon and Horizon Hobby offer a wide range of micro servos to choose from. Proper installation, calibration, and maintenance are critical to ensure the best performance and longevity of the servos.

How do I choose a servo for my RC plane?

When choosing a servo for your RC plane, consider the following factors:

  • Size: Choose a servo that fits the size and weight of your plane. Bigger planes will require larger servos to handle the weight and lift.
  • Type: Digital servos offer more precision, accuracy and speed which is ideal for acrobatic planes. Analog servos are good for slow planes or those on a budget.
  • Torque and speed: Torque is how much force the servo can produce, while speed is how quickly it can move. Check the specs on your plane’s manual and choose a servo that meets the requirements.
  • Brand: Go for trusted brands such as Futaba, Hitec, or Spektrum. They are known for producing high-quality servos.

It is important to note that the servo should not be underpowered or overpowering for your plane. This can result in poor performance.

There are a variety of websites and products available for choosing servos including ServoCity, Tower Hobbies, and Amazon. Make sure you do your research and choose the right servo for your RC plane.

Factors to consider when choosing a servo for your RC plane:
Torque and speed

Factors to Consider When Choosing Micro Servos

When selecting the right micro servo for your RC airplane, it is crucial to consider the following factors:

Factors to Consider Description
Size and weight of the airplane Determine the size and torque rating of the servo needed
Type of flying style and complexity of the maneuvers Determine the type and quality of the servo required
Voltage rating Determines the power input required for the servo to function accurately
Speed Higher speed may be necessary for quick and complex maneuvers
Stability The servo should maintain stability and accuracy throughout the flight

It is interesting to note that some micro servos have unique features to enhance their performance. For instance, some digital servos have ball bearings that increase their lifespan and accuracy. Additionally, some brushless servos have telemetry sensors that allow pilots to monitor the temperature and current flowing through the servo. Websites such as RC Groups and RC Universe provide information about the latest micro servos and reviews from experienced pilots. Consider all these factors before purchasing a micro servo to ensure you make the right choice for your RC airplane.

What size servo do I need?

When determining what size servo you need, consider the following factors:

Factor Considerations
Application What will the servo be used for? Select a servo that is rated for your specific application.
Weight Determine the weight of the objects that need to be moved, and choose a servo based on that weight.
Speed If you require high speed movements, choose a servo with a higher RPM rating.
Torque Choose a servo with a high torque rating if your application requires high force movements.
Voltage Make sure that your servo’s voltage rating matches your power supply voltage.

It is important to research and carefully choose the correct servo for your needs. Websites such as ServoCity.com and RobotShop.com offer a wide variety of servos for different applications. Make sure to read the product specifications carefully to ensure that the servo is compatible with your system.

Installation and Maintenance Tips

Proper installation and maintenance of micro servos are crucial in ensuring they function correctly and last long. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Secure the servo tightly to avoid any movement during flight
  • Ensure the servo arm is firmly attached to the servo gear to avoid slipping or coming loose
  • Calibrate the servo before and after installation to ensure it moves in the correct direction and angle
  • Clean the servo and gently remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in the gears
  • Replace any damaged or worn out gears to prevent any in-flight failure
  • Regularly check the wires for any signs of wear or fraying and replace them if necessary

It is essential to use the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and maintaining micro servos to avoid damaging them or risking your airplane. Websites such as HobbyKing and Tower Hobbies provide a wide range of micro servos suitable for different types of RC airplanes. Moreover, some manufacturers provide firmware and software updates that pilots can use to optimize the performance of the servos. Follow these installation and maintenance tips to ensure your micro servos provide the best performance and durability for your RC airplane.

How do you maintain a servo motor?

To maintain a servo motor, some basic steps can be followed which include:

  • Regular cleaning and inspection of the motor to prevent dust and grime from building up.
  • Checking and tightening all connections and screws.
  • Regularly lubricating the mechanical parts of the motor.
  • Performing regular preventive maintenance by a certified technician.

It’s important to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer. Companies such as Franklin Electric and Kollmorgen provide comprehensive guides on how to maintain their servo motors on their websites. Some products such as the ELM hybrid linear actuator by Nexen Group are designed with maintenance in mind and come with replaceable brushings to prolong the lifespan of the product.


Micro servos play a vital role in ensuring the stability and maneuverability of RC airplanes, and selecting the right servo for your airplane is critical. The type and quality of the servo you choose determine how well your airplane will perform during flight. Therefore, it is essential to consider factors such as weight and size, flying style, torque rating, voltage rating, speed, and stability when selecting micro servos. Proper installation and regular maintenance of the servos will ensure they function correctly and last long. HobbyKing and Tower Hobbies are great websites to find a variety of micro servos, suitable for different types of RC airplanes. With the right micro servos and proper installation and maintenance, you can take your RC airplane’s performance to the next level!