"1/2 A" & "1/8 A" airplanes These are the small ones...more popular now than ever.

Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

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Old 08-02-2013, 07:32 AM
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hllywdb
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Default Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

OK, I learned on the small Cox motors in the 60's, thats all we had. 45 years later I still HATE reed motors. Yep, I said it. If it weren't for the medallions and TD's, then later (God bless them) Norvel 061's and 074's I may have given up entirely on 1/2a. Why the rant? I just finally got around to building my first Wee Stick. Plane flys great. But the two Pee Wee motors have resulted in little more than fingers cut to the bone and lots of bad language over the last 4 weeks with exactly 2 flights that went the full 90 seconds of fun. The rest were all the same old rich to lean to rich to quit flights that made me love the baby bees. These motors are both rebuilt, new pickup lines, fuel line over the needle valves, you know the drill.

So yes, Leroy has me considering an outrunner. And I am one of the last hold outs. I own only 2 electric planes. 1 is an electric combat to meet club rules (yes it started as a sure start event but try getting today's RC flyers to get 4 sure starts running at the same time) and the other was a case study involving 2 identically prepared Pacers with built up 9% wings. One with a standard TD with crank pressure feed and a KK needle, the other with variouse combinations of 4 outrunners and 20 or so props. Yes, the TD wins every time. In the spirit of full disclosure I still fly old school so I have no interest in flopping around like a drunk helicopter pilot at 30mph.

So now I am faced with spending $40 to $60 for a used TD 020 and hoping for the best, or taking the easy route and actually enjoy flying the plane. Makes you kind of wonder if Leroy was smirking while he produced all those reedies while secretly investing his own money in Hacker and Castle.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:40 AM
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Default RE: Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

It's a poor tradesman who blames his tools....
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:51 AM
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Default RE: Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

Justify it this way:
There was an electric version of the Sportavia. Cox. Electric.
All is well. Fly and have fun.
Dave
PS I flew one, once. If you thought the regular Sportavia was prone
to tip-stalling, imagine one that weighs 14 ounces more.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:53 AM
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Default RE: Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

Also why I have a large tool box of Snap-On tools. Try removing an old 4 speed HD transmission sprocket with sockets stamped "Made in China"
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: Leroy Cox was the father of electric flight!

Tsk, tsk, I too am no fan of Reedies - gimme a TD every time ('specially them .010s and .020s). I break out my Sharkface and TresFace once or twice every year just to make sure I don't forget the sound and the smell - plus the fine burn of fuel in a little prop cut. Ah good times, good times.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:10 PM
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OK, so I bit the bullet and bought a TD 020. Burnt out the glow plug while running. Added another gasket (2) and burnt out another plug 1/3 way through a tank. I'm running 25% with about 20-22% castor and a 4.5X2 prop. What am I missing? (besides a spare glow head)
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:39 PM
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I have had enough of the reedies too. Still like the TD's, but need a muffler at the field. They were good in the day though, 1960's to the 1980's. Just tired of the reedies rev up, slow down, up, down..... I just ordered another AP .15, cheaper and more subtantial. I have to use up the slimers before I go too far into the electrics. They are kind of the only way to go compared to the reedies. (oh no that was out loud)
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:34 PM
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Any idea why I am losing the glow heads?
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hllywdb View Post
Any idea why I am losing the glow heads?
Old defective head, too much nitro, too lean, old plug element particles fused inside motor, too much compression. Solution? more washers at least? Had a little trouble getting a reply on here without a quote. Keeps signing me out? I will try this anyway for an experiment.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:03 PM
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2 shims, 25%, new head. Go figure. Just ordered more heads from Bernie
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:10 AM
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I think Bernie only has the Pee Wee heads listed, not the TD heads. This will likely solve the burning out issue at the expense of some performance. I haven't kept track of the .020 but assume it is like the .049 with low compression heads, and the better TD ones.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:38 PM
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I don't get the reedie hostility. I grew up with them too, and they were as bulletproof as electric motors.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:14 PM
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I think the biggest reason I have the hostility is that between the reed valve, a less than "precise" needle valve, and way too many places to leak air and fuel, the reedies just never give consistant runs. For instance, if I run any of my many Norvel 1/2a motors, the most I vary the needle from day to day is one click. With the reedies it can vary a half a turn from one flight to the next. Add to that the need for "In-Flight-Mixture-Control" to get a full tank run.

Since I am a glutton for punishment, I just bought yet another Pee Wee, this time NIB. Pulled the tank, changed the pickup to the bottom, and started it. After a couple of break in runs, it will empty the tank. Not that it stays at the same mixture through the tank, but at least it stays running. So I will try flying that one next. Meanwhile, I have reset the piston on the TD 020 and am replacing the venturi, needle, and head as soon as the stuff gets here. I am going to reset the pistons on the other 2 Pee Wees, maybe try new needles, and see if I can get decent results. I will probably take one and put a nipple in the tank attached to the feed line and run an external tank to see if that helps.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:10 PM
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I see. I just retuned them before every flight. Its probably better if that's not necessary.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:35 AM
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When you guys bad mouth reedies certainly you really mean the tank back variety of reed valve engines. The Cox Surestart engines currently available are a completely different animal from the traditional reedie. My experience with the Surestart is that they are easy to start, easy to tune and by far the most reliable of any Cox engine I have run. My engines usually start without a starter or spring start. Just a few flips, tweak the needle a few clicks, launch and then run the entire tank with good power and a clean finsh.

I have had problems with the tank backed reed valve engines but mostly due to a bad venturi gasket. One other problem most people don't think about is the intake slot in the backplate. As your airplane ages and your firewall becomes a bit fuel soaked, you tighten the engine attachment screws and often end up restricting the intake slot. The Surestart eliminates these two problems plus the tank pickup tube which also causes problems in the tank backed engines.

I have 2 friends that fly 1/2A and we are all sold on the Surestarts. In fact we love to Pylon race each other whenever we go flying. Our pylon racers all weigh about 10 to 12 oz and fly plenty fast!. It's a blast to have three three or four screeming reedies all tearing around the course at low level.

I think that even an electric guy could get a Surestart to run!

Last edited by 049flyer; 08-12-2013 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:01 PM
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I don't know if there are any statistics on Cox sales, but I suspect that they sold more reedies any other kind of engine. Didn't every Cox plastic control line plane have a reedie in it? That would amount to a lot if impulse purchases by non-modelers or first-time modelers over the years. Christmas presents and such. That's how I got started.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:44 PM
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Well here is how I ended up.
The NIB pee wee needed a piston reset worse than any motor I have seen. Then I needed to replace the crank with a used one as the back plate wobbled badly. Not bad for brand new junk.

The used one needed a piston reset, fuel line over the needle, and a tank bowl. I tried 3 different clips and the reed still was too tight.


The TD. Was fine after a piston resset, new needle, venturi, new plug, and 2 shims.

Lots of work for a couple of simple motors
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