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Glow Power (RIP)

Bricks

Well-known member
#21
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...
I understand completely what you are saying for me anything over roughly 48 inch wing span it gets an IC when you have to start paying over $100 per battery and $100 or more for an ESC is where I draw the line. I have a Reactor roughly 52 inch wing span that I repaired to fly electric by the time I purchased batteries motor and ESC I had over $500 for roughly 6-8 minutes of flying time. If I would of left it IC $50 for a used engine and another $25 for peripherals and 10-15 minutes flight time no charging or waiting for batteires to charge gas and go. The $425 dollar difference buys a lot fuel. Noteing I love the smell of Nitro burning I miss that part with my gassers.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#22
I understand completely what you are saying for me anything over roughly 48 inch wing span it gets an IC when you have to start paying over $100 per battery and $100 or more for an ESC is where I draw the line. I have a Reactor roughly 52 inch wing span that I repaired to fly electric by the time I purchased batteries motor and ESC I had over $500 for roughly 6-8 minutes of flying time. If I would of left it IC $50 for a used engine and another $25 for peripherals and 10-15 minutes flight time no charging or waiting for batteires to charge gas and go. The $425 dollar difference buys a lot fuel. Noteing I love the smell of Nitro burning I miss that part with my gassers.
I hear ya. I like the big birds, but they're a pain in the buttocks to transport in a Mustang GT...It's one reason why I don't take the Sea Duck out to the field anymore. If I do, I can pretty much ONLY take that plane, and nothing else because I can't fit anything else in the car.

Oh, and finding nitro at the LHS is getting more and more difficult; the guy who runs the shop was telling me that people buy it, but he doesn't stock it much because he'll only get 1-2 people asking for it a month, and then complain about the price - $25/gal is a little pricey for them.

I get both sides, but for me, it's just a little easier to deal with electric (at least for the size I'm flying).
 

JennyC6

Well-known member
#23
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...
Fuel power systems are much safer. You can't get bit by an engine out of the blue like you can an electric model and, tellingly, the safety adage of 'Remove prop before adjusting servos' only became a thing after electric flight became a thing.
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#24
Everyone to their own but to consider that over 48" span deserves an IC rather overlooks what the plane is and its weight. Yes a "heavy weight" 48" is likely to be more expensive when powered by electric but then much of the original reason for it being heavy weight was because of its IC power.

If built specifically to use the advantages of electric then the size/cost limitations are rather different. This is particularly so if applied to jets or scale multi engine planes.

Glow is certainly not dead but with Gas (petrol) having big advantages for the biggest planes its 'ideal' application is becoming more limited.
Just my own opinion.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#25
I will agree with you not ALL planes over 48 inches deserves IC it does come down to airframe, as I would not take my 3D Hobbyshop Demonstrator and put an IC in it. At our field we have many planes under 48 inch wingspans running an IC engine it`s no different then choosing a transmitter it is up to the individual how one goes about it, and how much they ae willing to spend to get to the end goal, which is getting the airframe in the air and what they want to get out of that experience.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#26
I think for me it sorta varies.

Due to my income situation at the moment, any fuel powered engines aren't going to happen unless they are given to me for free or very cheaply.

Now in terms of long term, I have decided that I will pass on glow UNLESS (like above), it's given to me or I can get it cheaply. Glow fuel is so much more expensive than gas in terms of fuel. Eventually I'd like to at least have a few larger scale balsa models that I would like to run gas on. And if it's 60" or smaller I'll stay with electric.
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#27
I grew up flying glow, now I just can not stand the mess. The fuel is pricey, but that does not matter much to me. I do fly gas tho, much less mess! As far as "power". Electric is about torque. Swinging larger props at reduced rpm. You can get motors that will spin rpms similar to glow, but they are not common, and useful in mostly speed planes. I like the characteristics of electric, instant power, huge torque. In my giant scale planes electric is just insane.
Of course there is always the other reason to go electric. No dead sticks. In my big gassers, dead sticks close to ground while in a bad attitude has caused more damage then anything. My 60cc sized electrics never seem to get damage, and I fly them harder.
Electrics past a certain size get expensive compared to gas, in both initial investment and the on going costs of replacing twin $250 lipos every few yrs. I buy about $1000 (4-6s 60c 5000mAh) worth of batteries every yr. I buy about $40 in gas and 2 stroke oil every year.

In the end, pluses and minuses to everything, just have to decide what is important to you.
 
#29
Giant scale electric can be very viable. Some of the electric costs mentioned here are shaded towards being more expensive than it needs to be.

I fly a 1/5 scale Pica Waco YMF-3 with a $100 185kv outrunner that turns a 20x12 prop very well and gives the plane super far beyond scale performance. The 100amp ESC was about $100. The 2x 4cell 5000 packs were about 100 for both.

However, I never charge to cost of a battery to a single model. I use these packs in several models, both prop and EDF. This is true for each of the many electrics I own.

I can get about 200 flights on this pair of batteries with proper use and care. $100 divided by 200 gives a battery cost of around .50 per flight. If the Waco was glow, it would have at last a 16 oz tank. With glow at $24/gallon, that 16oz tank costs 3 bucks.

If I used a gas DLE 20, it would have a tank of around 12oz and the gas cost per flight would be about 20 cents, for something like a 10 minute flight. Very economic.

I think, other than time of flight, electric holds up well in this comparison. Add in no motor maintenance, no model clean up and no fuel smell in my minivan, and electric is a winner for me, up to about 30cc size models.
 
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SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#31
Treat that engine with care. Enya does not make any more and parts are very limited if you can get them. We used the Enya 60XLF-4 (reworked) when we flew helis. Being a rear exhaust with a tuned pipe, it would suck up 14 oz of 15 % nitro in 5 min. That was when nitro was about $8 a gallon.
I will! It's already been heavily used, but I couldn't beat the price on it
 

L Edge

Well-known member
#32
Actually, gas and glow are on the way out.

Not for cost or what pilots favor, but the noise level it generates compared to electrics in general. It is getting to the point that even an electric will be considered as noise pollution if you use say a 6S 4 inch prop annoying the neighbors.
In fact, many clubs will let you fly early mornings with electric where gas/glows can't be flown until 9 or 10 AM and need a quite muffler.