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Gas newbie

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#2
"Clean" as in not dirty? Or do you mean easy, or inexpensively?

What size gasser are you thinking, smaller ones like 9-17cc, or bigger 20cc, 35cc, or larger? The supplies needed aren't crazy, but can boil down to personal preference. I like using an electric starter to spin my gassers, it's far quicker and easier than hand-propping, but obviously requires buying a starter motor & battery.

There are also different types of ignitions - old-school coils or the new style electronic ignitions. Each have their advantages/disadvantages - small engines are usually electronic ignition.

Then there's the whole gas tank thing, how to plumb the lines, what type of lines to use, etc.

Tuning is an entire world of additional discussion, although my experience has been that once an engine is tuned it seldom needs any further tweaking.

Gas/oil ratio, safe storage of gas, gas pumps to fill the tank, etc are also things to consider.

If it helps, I've got a bunch of "rescue" build threads in the balsa forum that can give you good info. Look for the thread on my rebuild of a Goldberg Eagle 2, or a long build thread on 1/4 scale Cubs (the thread covers at least two of them I've owned, probably more?).
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#5
In my opinion, once you get into models that need more power than a 6s can give, you should consider gas. There is a learning curve but once you get the hang of it it's very rewarding and often more economical than electric.

One of the beauties of gas is that the weight is concentrated better in the nose. I've tried several gas-to-electric conversions and it's hard to do because you often have to add nose weight. Batteries can rarely be placed far enough into the nose to get it to balance. In the end the model is heavier than it should be.
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#7
In the same boat as you. I'm looking into gas, It's pretty expensive though!

My question: Is Gas or Glow better?

I have found gas to be more affordable, but glow gives you more power for your weight. Glow also smells better. Typically I'll fly anything 60-size or smaller glow or electric. If you can fit a 20cc gasser or bigger in it gas is my go-to. DLE is my preferred engine brand.

Gas may seem expensive, but if you factor in batteries, ESC, and motor along with a charger and possibly an extra set of batteries, the price becomes comparable. Also, the weight savings of gas are not insignificant.
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#8
I have found gas to be more affordable, but glow gives you more power for your weight. Glow also smells better. Typically I'll fly anything 60-size or smaller glow or electric. If you can fit a 20cc gasser or bigger in it gas is my go-to. DLE is my preferred engine brand.

Gas may seem expensive, but if you factor in batteries, ESC, and motor along with a charger and possibly an extra set of batteries, the price becomes comparable. Also, the weight savings of gas are not insignificant.
I like DLE and DA for 50cc and below. GP is my favorite brand!! They haul our planes with almost too much power!
 

CrazyFastFlying

Well-known member
#9
I have found gas to be more affordable, but glow gives you more power for your weight. Glow also smells better. Typically I'll fly anything 60-size or smaller glow or electric. If you can fit a 20cc gasser or bigger in it gas is my go-to. DLE is my preferred engine brand.

Gas may seem expensive, but if you factor in batteries, ESC, and motor along with a charger and possibly an extra set of batteries, the price becomes comparable. Also, the weight savings of gas are not insignificant.
Glow fuel is also REALLY expensive compared to Gas, right?
 

CrazyFastFlying

Well-known member
#13
Maybe if you mix your own and use very low nitro content. It hasn't been that cheap for over a decade.
How do I mix my own?

Maybe I should get a Gasoline airplane.:unsure: Is there a way to convert a glow engine into gas? What would happen if I tried to use 2-stroke gas in a 2-stroke glow engine?
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#14
How do I mix my own?

Maybe I should get a Gasoline airplane.:unsure: Is there a way to convert a glow engine into gas? What would happen if I tried to use 2-stroke gas in a 2-stroke glow engine?
Well, gasoline needs a spark to ignite. Glow engines use a glow plug, which reacts with the glow fuel to create ignition. So, putting gas in a glow engine would do nothing.

The only good way I've found to mix glow fuel would be to buy 5 gallons of 50/50 nitro/methanol, buy some methanol, and some Klotz and mix them in the correct proportions. It's a large investment that should only be undertaken if you are committed to flying glow.

They make gas conversion kits for glow engines but you would be spending significantly more (for the engine plus the kit) than it would cost to get a new DLE equivalent that's designed for gas from the factory.

Converting glow airplanes to gas is not that bad if they are at least .90-size. They make smaller gas engines but they don't have a great reputation. I really enjoy flying glow and I eat the costs of fuel because I can get the airplanes for so cheap, due to a super low demand.
 

CrazyFastFlying

Well-known member
#15
Well, gasoline needs a spark to ignite. Glow engines use a glow plug, which reacts with the glow fuel to create ignition. So, putting gas in a glow engine would do nothing.

The only good way I've found to mix glow fuel would be to buy 5 gallons of 50/50 nitro/methanol, buy some methanol, and some Klotz and mix them in the correct proportions. It's a large investment that should only be undertaken if you are committed to flying glow.

They make gas conversion kits for glow engines but you would be spending significantly more (for the engine plus the kit) than it would cost to get a new DLE equivalent that's designed for gas from the factory.

Converting glow airplanes to gas is not that bad if they are at least .90-size. They make smaller gas engines but they don't have a great reputation. I really enjoy flying glow and I eat the costs of fuel because I can get the airplanes for so cheap, due to a super low demand.
Ok, well I guess mixing my own glow fuel is out of the question then.

Maybe I should stick with electric for now.

BTW, what size gas engine would be equal to a .40 size glow engine?
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#16
Maybe I should stick with electric for now.
A decision many of us have come to...

Electric has every other option beat on nearly every aspect, except maybe nostalgia... and that is coming from someone who rides horses to chase cows for a living and who's daily drivers include a 20 year old pickup with almost 400k miles on it and an antique thats 45 years old...

I grew up drooling over internal combustion models, still do, but the reality is that they would never fit into my fleet and the lifestyle I have now and, as cool as they are, they are not worth the effort for me...
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#17
Ok, well I guess mixing my own glow fuel is out of the question then.

Maybe I should stick with electric for now.

BTW, what size gas engine would be equal to a .40 size glow engine?
I would go for a NGH 9cc. One of our ngh's is now running perfectly. Our evolution 10gx has been an amazing engine, it just is a smidge too much power and weight
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#18
The route I think I am going to take to get into glow will be to go to swap meets and find a motor I can get for cheap, or maybe a whole plane I can slowly refurbish. Rebuild the motor so I learn as I go, do as much research as possible and buddy up with someone who knows gas/glow and work my way into flying it, kinda a game plan goal to hit for this upcoming summer. I don't want to invest to much money in it to begin with but I would really like to try that side of the hobby. If I like it I will continue to pursue it and grow a more solid collection
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#19
The route I think I am going to take to get into glow will be to go to swap meets and find a motor I can get for cheap, or maybe a whole plane I can slowly refurbish. Rebuild the motor so I learn as I go, do as much research as possible and buddy up with someone who knows gas/glow and work my way into flying it, kinda a game plan goal to hit for this upcoming summer. I don't want to invest to much money in it to begin with but I would really like to try that side of the hobby. If I like it I will continue to pursue it and grow a more solid collection
I think that is a solid plan! Or check the RCGroups classifieds for good deals on engines. I highly recommend OS. My saito has been a major pain in the rear to get going. The compression in the engine was so strong that it snapped the landing gear on my poor zeus.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#20
I think that is a solid plan! Or check the RCGroups classifieds for good deals on engines. I highly recommend OS. My saito has been a major pain in the rear to get going. The compression in the engine was so strong that it snapped the landing gear on my poor zeus.
I have been watching vids on glow and gas lately, it's funny you mention Saito. I think I might like the 4 strokes. Most say they are more reliable and efficient. Plus I think they sound more scale too