• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Glow Power (RIP)

epiper93

Active member
#1
This is a question I am very interested in the answer to. Do you guys think Piston power is dead? I fly electric but honestly I don't think it has near the power of glow engines. I really dont. Do you think it will live on, or are we looking at 15 year complete extinction? Your thoughts?
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#2
I fly electric glow and gas what I see more then anything guys switching more to gas for cost savings so I do see glow going down the road eventually unless they lower glow fuel prices but that will be years and years down the road. I know with the newer small gas engines I am switching more of my planes to gas. Currently 5 Evolution 10cc gassers and 2 17cc NGH gassers 1 30 cc gasser and 17 nitro planes. With 12 electrics which are smaller planes using 3S and 4S 2200mah batteries except one which takes 6S 5200mah after that one with the cost of batteries now all my larger planes are nitro or gas.
 

Userofmuchtape&glue

Posted a thousand or more times
#3
Well, electric is really taking off (sorry!) but I think that most of the people who have been in the hobby for more than 10 years have got piston power planes. So yes the future is electric, but glow still alive and kicking (sorry again!)
 

epiper93

Active member
#4
I fly electric glow and gas what I see more then anything guys switching more to gas for cost savings so I do see glow going down the road eventually unless they lower glow fuel prices but that will be years and years down the road. I know with the newer small gas engines I am switching more of my planes to gas. Currently 5 Evolution 10cc gassers and 2 17cc NGH gassers 1 30 cc gasser and 17 nitro planes. With 12 electrics which are smaller planes using 3S and 4S 2200mah batteries except one which takes 6S 5200mah after that one with the cost of batteries now all my larger planes are nitro or gas.
You and I have similar schools of thought. Which is awesome lol, I have 2 evolution 10cc and one runs great, the other runs terrible, no mid range, never dead sticked but came terribly close, tore carburetor apart countless times, to no avail. Anything bigger than a .32 gets a glow or gas...my opinion.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
I think the move for fuelies will be to 4 stroke gas engines and will probably if not already fall under EPA regulation. I do not how ever see liquid fuel going by the way side as you just can't beat the sound of them screaming thru the air or across the ground when compared to electric stuff. Besides some ones gotta make the neighbors angry so they can complain to other like minded people who will get into fuel powered RC just to be annoying. :p
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#7
epiper are they both pumped carburetor?

As far as I know EPA is not doing anything about the small engines we run. no different then lawn mower engine etc now some are going fuel injected when you get into the 20hp and up.

Cost of setting up a large electric is way more then setting up a Nitro or Gasser plane so there will be a limit for some people and future cost of operation in the long term will favor gassers. If they could get the smaller nitro 40`s and under to run on gas then I think Nitro would be more limited but as of now they cannot make them reliable. With OS making a gasser using only a special glow plug instead of ignition box this may help the under 40 size nitros , weight is huge on the smaller planes.
 

epiper93

Active member
#8
epiper are they both pumped carburetor?

As far as I know EPA is not doing anything about the small engines we run. no different then lawn mower engine etc now some are going fuel injected when you get into the 20hp and up.

Cost of setting up a large electric is way more then setting up a Nitro or Gasser plane so there will be a limit for some people and future cost of operation in the long term will favor gassers. If they could get the smaller nitro 40`s and under to run on gas then I think Nitro would be more limited but as of now they cannot make them reliable. With OS making a gasser using only a special glow plug instead of ignition box this may help the under 40 size nitros , weight is huge on the smaller planes.
The first one, was not a pumped carbeurator. However the 2nd one is. Which is the one that runs right.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#10
The first one, was not a pumped carbeurator. However the 2nd one is. Which is the one that runs right.
The unpumped carbs the tank level placement is critical and as short of a run as possible. Other things to check the fuel nipples have a blue gasket under them which are junk easiest is to use a little locktite on the threads versus making a new gasket, when installing the venture make sure the O ring is good and apply down pressure on the venture as you tighten up the screw. These 2 things have cured many mid rpm problems and double check all fuel lines for tiny cracks had that one happen to me took 2 weeks before I found my problem could not even see the crack and it was new fuel line. Worse comes to worse going to a pumped carb cures about all problems with these small gas engine.
 

epiper93

Active member
#11
The unpumped carbs the tank level placement is critical and as short of a run as possible. Other things to check the fuel nipples have a blue gasket under them which are junk easiest is to use a little locktite on the threads versus making a new gasket, when installing the venture make sure the O ring is good and apply down pressure on the venture as you tighten up the screw. These 2 things have cured many mid rpm problems and double check all fuel lines for tiny cracks had that one happen to me took 2 weeks before I found my problem could not even see the crack and it was new fuel line. Worse comes to worse going to a pumped carb cures about all problems with these small gas engine.
Thanks Alot for the Tip!!!!
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#12
If we work on the principle that 4 stroke is more economical than 2, gas (petrol) has a higher calorific value than methanol and use recirculating lubrication rather an mixing the oil in the fuel then the specific fuel consumption (gals/hpHour) is greatly improved.
All this is well understood but why on earth would you need to bother about it for a model plane?
Going back to 1960 there was a 10 lb limit for RC model planes in the UK. The endurance record for such a plane had just been set, if I remember correctly, at 15 hours using a fairly conventional high wing plane with fuel held in two external sprung loaded 'bladder' tanks under the wing and using 2 stroke glow with petrol added to the fuel.
My Dad was a serious model engineer with an interest in small internal combustion engines after reading the report in the Aero Modeller suggested an engineering approach would produce a much better result.
As a keen 14 year old aero modeller we discussed what would be the likely minimum power that would be required to fly a 10 lb plane and how much of that could be fuel. It seemed possible that a 'good' 5 cc (0.3 cu in) would fly an efficient glider type plane and structurally 50% fuel weight should be feasible.
Much of course would depend on the engine used and given that he had longed to make a small IC engine he designed and built a 5 cc petrol 4 stroke aero engine to find out.
It took nearly 2 years by which time the 10 lb plane limit had been scrapped and the FAI had abandoned the model plane 'endurance' category!
On its display stand for the 1962 Model Engineering Exhibition now with its 'performance' carburettor. The initial 'get it going' one is underneath.
Display1.JPG

With a ringed piston and a hemi head with 45 degree inclined valves it matched a 'cooking' 5cc 2 stoke for power with only a small weight penalty.
It also used a dry sump with an ingenious recirculating oil system so it ran on straight gas (petrol) from the garage.
At the time I doubt there was an equivalent any where in the world.

He also prepared this drawing.
5cc2.jpg

It uses the underside of the piston as a pump with one way valves in the back plate so the crankcase is alternatively below atmospheric pressure so sucking oil in and feeding it to the big end and then above atmospheric to blow it via a separate pipe back into the oil tank.
At full power it had virtually half the fuel consumption of a 2 stroke but even more important its part throttle consumption was whole orders better. An important characteristic for a plane that would need ever reducing power as the fuel load burned away.
My Dad's exhaustive testing indicated the engine would be able to run on a declining 5 lb fuel load for well over 24 hours. Of course it never did or even fly come to that.

I still have the engine and did consider putting it in plane but it is now firmly retired particularly as I do not posses the engineering skills to repair it in anyway.
 

JennyC6

Well-known member
#13
If glow is dead my entire fleet of model aircraft are all zombies. including the ones I'm building as I type this.


FT Long-EZ with a Cox 049. Glow isn't dead...
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#14
If glow is dead my entire fleet of model aircraft are all zombies. including the ones I'm building as I type this.


FT Long-EZ with a Cox 049. Glow isn't dead...

Your right but the cost of glow fuel if you can find it has driven more towards gas then anything and now with the smaller .10cc size gassers much cheaper to run. The draw back is the added weight on smaller airframes this is where glow really shines.

We are in the process of getting supplies together to mix our own glow fuel.
 

JennyC6

Well-known member
#15
Your right but the cost of glow fuel if you can find it has driven more towards gas then anything and now with the smaller .10cc size gassers much cheaper to run. The draw back is the added weight on smaller airframes this is where glow really shines.

We are in the process of getting supplies together to mix our own glow fuel.
S&W Fuels will mix and ship whatever witch's brew you want for a very reasonable cost(about 28$ a gallon on average), and my LHS sells Omega 15 and Sidewinder 20 for about the same per-gal price. Currently I draw the line at 60 size...anything below that, glow all the way. Anything 60-size...4-cycle glow, 2-cycle gas since 4-cycles just sip the fuel. Anything beyond 60-size burns gasoline. FWIW my NexSTAR 46 with its Magnum 52 4-cycle will fly for over half an hour on a 360cc tank whereas that same plane powered by an OS 46AX would only fly for 10-12 minutes! Large part of why I like 4-cycles so damn much, just sip the expensive go juice haha

Plus, OS has the GGT10 and GGT15 2-cycles which are glow ignition but burn regular 87 octane 2-stroke mix. They don't carry the weight and battery penalties of CDI but bring with it the lower operating costs of gasoline fuelled engines. Prolly what I'd use in a 60-size bird if I went 2-cycle. Saito has me covered for gas-burning 4-cycles down to 15cc.
 
Last edited:

Bricks

Well-known member
#17
As of right now by buying and mixing our own we have the price about $15-$17 a gallon depending on how much Nitro and most glows will run on 5% Nitro unless you get into the 1/2 A`s. One of the reasons for mixing our own is in the club we have some running the big SuperTigers 2500 and 3000 and they like there fuel so much that they seldom fly them because of cost of fuel. Some are on a fixed income and cannot afford to update too gassers.
 
#18
Glow certainly isn't dead in my club, I and most other members mix our own fuel, last time it cost me $2AU liter methanol, $16AU liter nitro (99.9 pure), $65AU 5 liter caster oil, $80AU 5 liter synthetic oil (Klotz)
 

JennyC6

Well-known member
#19
funnily enough it's cheaper for me to buy at the LHS than brew my own. I...can't get my hands on nitromethane. Anywhere. If I can it's stupid pricey. I can't brew up an equivalent to Omega 15 for less than the cost of Omega 15.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#20
It's a weird thing for me. I know there are people who love it, but I think glow and gas engines are reserved for those people who are flying HUGE birds and want something specialized. While it has longer flight times and more power, it's also more messy, and honestly, seems to be more dangerous, from what I've observed. All of the guys at my field who have injured themselves have been directly due to the engine throttle getting stuck on, or a hand start that catches a part of their body wrong (like a finger tip, forearm, chest, stomach). It's all through what I've observed, mind you, but I see fewer people going the route of fuel motors and more going electric...