What are RC Linear Servos

RC linear servos are a plug and play replacement for standard rotary servos. They use the same 3-wire connector as standard rotary servos (power, ground and signal). The difference is that they offer linear motion. They are ideal for a variety of RC applications including sliding airplane canopies, retractable landing gear, air brakes, steering and various lifting functions on excavators, loaders, dozers and other scale equipment.

Why use linear servos

There are a couple of main reasons that hobbyists choose to use RC linear servos in their projects.

1. Rotary motion isn't great for all applications

Rotary servos are great, and can be used to create linear motion but it requires much more engineering to do so. 

2. Higher force

RC linear servos provide more force than can be achieved with a standard hobby servo. The L16-R for example, has an impressive max force of 45lbs depending on the gearing.

3. Simplicity

Some hobbyists just don't want to bother creating complicated linkages and mounts to make a standard servo work for their model. RC linear servos come with a hardware kit and clevises that make it easy to mount on any project.

Linear servo projects

Below are some examples of projects that have been built using Actuonix's line of RC linear servos. 

1. Sliding Plane Canopy

This 79" P40 model plane was built by Lou DiMarco. Wanting to add a realistic touch to the plane, he decided to make the canopy slide back and forth. For this, he used an L12-100-100-6-R linear servo. Lou has built an amazing model here and it's a perfect example of how putting in a little extra effort can really make your model stand out!

2. R2D2

This R2D2 model was built by Douglas Bickert. The attention to detail on this model is amazing. The R2D2 responds to voice commands by Douglas and performs various functions that are driven by Actuonix micro linear servos. This project is a great example of what's possible when you commit to building something truly unique.

3. RC Excavator

This machine is one of many custom builds by RCP57. Check out his YouTube channel for all of his amazing custom models. This Bruder Cat 320 conversion uses a continuous rotation servo to rotate the top of the machine, while four linear servos lift the boom and stick, as well as the bucket. This is a great example of an application where it just doesn't make sense to use rotary servos as high force is needed.

4. RC Quadcopter Retractable Gear

This Hoverthings VC550 was built by Ian Greig. The retractable landing gear is a custom built addition and is powered by four L12-R linear servos. The ability to retract the gear while in flight makes this model far more impressive.

The world of RC linear servos is rapidly evolving and as new models become available, talented hobbyists like the ones mentioned above find new and interesting ways to use these devices. If you are a hobbyist that needs linear motion for your next project, we offer the widest range of linear servos available.

Our 21 models range in stroke from 20mm through to 200mm and feature maximum forces from 2lbs-40lbs to cover a variety of applications.

Want more information? Check out our popular line of RC linear servos and their specifications here.