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Thread: Va .049


  1. #1
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    Va .049

    I have to admit that 1/2A is not really my thing but Speed is. I have an opportunity to pick up a VA .049 rear exhaust. Knowing nothing about it other then it looks fast what would one be worth and how is the performance?

  2. #2
    MJD's Avatar
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    Which one?

    My MK II RC turns a rubber ducky 5-3 at 25k even on 25%. These are rare and if you have the chance get it and get it now.

    They are stronger than a TD but not immensely so. Either version is far behind a contemporary Fora, Cyclon, Profi etc. Not sure if this will show up properly:


    (go to www.mh-aerotools.de and to Cox and to other small engines at the bottom)

    VA .049 (0.8 cm³)
    Manufactured in 1995(?)
    This small engine comes from Russia and has a brass cylinder with an integral, chromed liner. With its Schnόrle porting, it was a good performer, available with a glow or a Diesel head. Its production has been superceded by the Stels engine shown below. (I am not sure whether this story is correct - all these small engines from St. Petersburg are somewhat confusing).
    VA .049 Mk. I (0.8 cm³)
    Manufactured in 1990
    This is the first production version of the VA .049 engine, featuring a unique, horizontally split crankcase. The engine was developed for free flight and control line contest models. The development by Valentin Aloshkin in St. Petersburg was initiated by Dan Rutherford. The crankcase is held together by a tiny screw on the bottom rear and the black collar behind the drive washer. The piston, running in the nickel plated casing, is also something special, as it consists of a smaller center piston with a «screw on» outer piston. Thus it is possible to adjust the timing by placing shims between the two piston parts. A standard Cox glow head is used and the nicely machined exhaust port flange is tempting me to build a small tuned pipe for this engine... Other samples of this engine are equipped with a head for a standard glow plug.
    VA .049 Mk. II (0.8 cm³)
    Manufactured in 2004(?)
    This is the revised version of the VA .049 engine, now with a conventional crankcase. This sample came equipped a nice R/C carburetor and a muffler. The head consist of a button held in place by a screw on retainer ring. It accepts Nelson glow plugs. The transfer ports have been machined into the chromed brass sleeve, which therefore is very thin in these areas. The wrist pin is contained within a screw in carrier so that the piston has a closed outer surface. Finally the crankshaft with its generous bore has a balanced counterweight. All these measures make the engine good for high performance. The small carburetor has an adjustable stop and an adjustable bleed air hole for low idle speed. Pressure taps are available on the muffler as well as in the knurled backplate.
    These engines are available from Larry Driskill http://www.kittingittogether.com (as of 12/2005)
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  3. #3
    MJD's Avatar
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    Aha, this is what I was really looking for:

    http://www.gregorie.org/freeflight/f1j/
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  4. #4
    combatpigg's Avatar
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    It is not a matter of IF but WHEN will your VA suffer a bottom end failure if you prop it for speed..
    If you can get a FORA, CYCLON or a PROFI, then you will be richly rewarded..but the price is pretty high if 1/2A isn't "your thing".
    These engines will turn a 4.2 x 4 about 35,000+ in the air.

    I think you could get $50 worth of fun out of a lightly used VA and if you end up wanting more, more, more, later on...then you know where to find 10-20% more speed from a 1/2A engine.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  5. #5
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, it looks like a MK1 with glow plug head. I can pick it up for 35.00. I was thinking it would be cool to have a 30" version of my race Macchi. More a conversation peice then a real speed attempt.

  6. #6
    combatpigg's Avatar
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    That sounds like a very good price and I'm sure you will enjoy this project.
    I would equip it with HS 65 servos.
    A Hayes 2 oz tank and Sullivan brand small silicone fuel line. I would run it on crankcase pressure, even if you have to rig your own tap. I've never tried to install a tap fitting on a MK 1, but unless you are familiar with using latex bladder tanks, it is well worth the time to install a pressure tap. I've entered through a mounting lug with intersecting holes, then plugged off the unwanted penetrations with aluminum wire pressed in to the access hole. Size your penetration for 3/32" brass tubing as a press in fit..or use a threaded #4-40 tap fitting.
    The venturi ID should be 5/32" if running pressure at high rpm potential.
    Not sure about the current trend of onboard battery choice for a pair of servos.
    I've had nothing but good results with the Spektrum park flyer RX, but I'm not up to date on all the best options for small radio gear.
    Last edited by combatpigg; 03-01-2014 at 10:51 PM.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  7. #7
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    Thanks CP. I'll have to give the guy a call to see if he still has it. Not sure I will go through with the project but with an engine in hand I would be capable. I would have to check into small RX as I fly Hitec 2.4 and I'm not sure what is available. Thanks again.

  8. #8
    combatpigg's Avatar
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    The early VA is worth $35 just to be able to see how ingenious it's design is inside.
    Some users might not call it "ingenious"..but all would agree that it is unconventional.
    The piston has an adjustable deck height. Make sure to use red Locktite during final assembly of the piston to the wrist pin carrier once you arrive at your desired deck height.
    It is the lightest .049 ever built [as far as I know]. This feature isn't such a big deal for RC, but it made some diference in how quick a control line combat plane could manuever.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  9. #9
    MJD's Avatar
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    And a good pepper upper for TD .049 free flights too. Not an F1J contender obviously. I believe CP is correct about the lightest weight. I have the RYO (roll your own) timing instruction sheet around somewhere if you don't get it with the engine, I read through in recent memory.

    Although not the hottest .049 in history, it will spin a 5-3 with authority and move a 30" Macchi around jest fine.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  10. #10
    MJD's Avatar
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    I realized just now I had the means to provide some weights for comparison:

    VA .049 MkI 34.7g

    Cox Space Hopper .049 37.3g (close!)

    Cox TD .049 45.3g


    All engines weighed in same condition: No exhaust fittings, stock prop screw and spinner cone. Considering a good Space Hopper will run up there with some TD's, the VA is not out of sight beyond the horizon. Though I tend to think it's service life at 20-24k is far better than a TD.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

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    The VA .049 Mk1 makes a decent sport motor-they draw fuel well on the smaller venturi (larger one doesn't make a lot of difference in sport props) and they needle well. It will perform a little better than a healthy TD on sport props (5-3's), but will flat out smoke the TD on smaller props with proper setup. Hopefully for your $35 you get the setup instructions that came with it-should be about 10 pages worth.

    I love the VA Mk1, it's my favorite glow motor of all time. I currently have 11 of them, along with a pre-production variant, and a CL Mk2 and R/C Mk2.

    If you can find a G-Mark .061 carb, they can be made to fit a VA Mk1. Fantastic throttling with this setup!

  12. #12
    MJD's Avatar
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    Funny - it's been a long while since I ran my VA Mk1. I have two and have never flown either.. (loser). I recall when I first ran up the one on the bench, with large venturi and 15% fuel and bladder pressure on a clipped 5.5x2 (around 4.75 or 5x2 IIRC). it wailed, and it pulled harder than I ever felt a TD do. I did not have a tach at the time, but I seriously doubt a TD would have come close to it. Yet I see comments that they aren't much different than a TD. As you suggest, that must be people running them on 6x2 props and the like. As far as I know let them spin and they will indeed leave a TD behind.

    I wonder how the Cox .05 carb would do on a Mk1? I forget if someone has done that yet or not.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  13. #13
    vertical grimmace's Avatar
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    I never really liked the VA mk I. They are very easy to flood, and not easy to clear out. One of the reasons they started to allow electric starters in 1/2A combat, even at the Nats. On top of that, the stock needle is junk. Too course of a thread, and also the venture has to be necked down a little to make needles and running a little smoother.

    The AME was better. But I would save my quarters for the Profi or Cylone. If it were me. It was not that long ago that I sold off the last of my VA engines.
    \"let\'\'\'\'s just say, they will be satisfied with less\" Ming the Merciless

  14. #14
    aspeed's Avatar
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    I checked a bunch of .049's last year. I may have posted this somewhere, but will do it again. All of these were just average, the CS was real bad until I made a new turbo plug head, then it was good. The fuel was 10 or 15% and a 4.2 - 4" prop was used with no muffler on all of them. TD 22,900 rpm, GZ 17,000 (21,000 with the turbo head) CS 27,000, early split case RYOT VA 22,900, Stels 23,800, Norvel 22,500, and Wen Mac, not the reedy 19,500. I missed the reedy Cox stuff for some reason. Too cold out now. I still have to check a couple new ones, Fora .049, and AP .06

  15. #15
    MJD's Avatar
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    Interesting - VA and TD same rpm on the dot.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  16. #16
    aspeed's Avatar
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    The day I did the first test, the McCoy/Wen Mac actually beat the GZ. That surprised/disappointed me. I kind of wonder what the Black Widow and Babe Bees will do with that prop. It is fairly small. They wouldn't fit in the test stand. I have modified it since. It is just really cold now. I should have stayed in Florida for another month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJD View Post
    Funny - it's been a long while since I ran my VA Mk1. I have two and have never flown either.. (loser). I recall when I first ran up the one on the bench, with large venturi and 15% fuel and bladder pressure on a clipped 5.5x2 (around 4.75 or 5x2 IIRC). it wailed, and it pulled harder than I ever felt a TD do. I did not have a tach at the time, but I seriously doubt a TD would have come close to it. Yet I see comments that they aren't much different than a TD. As you suggest, that must be people running them on 6x2 props and the like. As far as I know let them spin and they will indeed leave a TD behind.

    I wonder how the Cox .05 carb would do on a Mk1? I forget if someone has done that yet or not.
    The 5.5-2 is a lighter load that one would compare to a typical 'go-fast' prop for the TD. They were ported and timed to make power at lower rpm that made props like the 5-3 square tip viable. Prop choices were much more limited for most of the TD's life, unless you were a serious CL flyer and then you either cut down or molded your own props.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJD View Post
    Interesting - VA and TD same rpm on the dot.
    Not when the engine isn't set up for the prop, weather, and fuel..... That's the beaty of the VA-I used one of mine in a helicopter!

  19. #19
    MJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeviousDave View Post
    The 5.5-2 is a lighter load that one would compare to a typical 'go-fast' prop for the TD. They were ported and timed to make power at lower rpm that made props like the 5-3 square tip viable. Prop choices were much more limited for most of the TD's life, unless you were a serious CL flyer and then you either cut down or molded your own props.
    The VA instructions steer you towards treating it like a miniature F1C engine and not a familiar Cox. I understand about the different operating regimes - the static thrust generated by the VA on the clipped 5.5x2 coupled with the
    rpm and noise were a real eye opener back when I got them.

    I'm not sure how top end differs on the MkI and MkII, but I tached my VA MKII RC at 25,300 on a 5-3 rubber ducky.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  20. #20

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    I haven't run my MK2's, but word I got back when they were being used at the NATs was that the Mk2 was quite a bit more powerful than the Mk1, and less fragile.

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    It's been nearly 20 years ago that I got my first, VA MK 1. It was the first, new, 1/2A offering that was affordable at 50 dollars and it used modern, AAN technology. For 35 bucks today, with inflation, it's a bloody steal.

    Good advice so far but let me add that you MUST use an all castor based fuel of at least 20% oil. Or at least one that is half and half, castor/synthetic. Be wary of fuels that say castor/synthetic blends, some have only a token amount of castor. Like Cox engines, the piston pin is completely shrouded, the pin sees very little fresh lubrication. Only castor will give you decent life in the wrist pin area. When Dan Rutherford was selling them, he had to take out the piston pin carrier and file notches here and there to allow the pin to get some lube.

    A G-Mark throttle was first tried on mine, back then, and was OK but not perfect. The addition of an adjustable airbleed made for virtually perfect throttling.

    The Cox RC .05 throttle is the better choice as it has the quite necessary, adjustable airbleed.

    The very, very, early versions were nickle plated all over, inside and out. I have two of them I got from,,,, well, I wish I could remember.

    As an RC engine, mine do their best work on a 5.5 X 2 APC prop on 25% nitro delivering 22K. More nitro is better but make sure your oil is at least 20% and all castor or half and half, as mentioned.

    I still have 5 of them and with today's micro radio gear,,, the possibilities are endless.


    The best prices and excellent quaility, micro radio gear can be had at HobbyKing. My old Cannon stuff looks positively HUGE in comparison.

    I've been tied up with serious health and family issues for the last 5 or six years but got out to the park last summer. Most times I'm ignored but now and again, youngsters and even adults who have flown WalMart lekkies would come up and be amazed that such tiny engines were even possible. The kids especially get a real kick out of the noise, smoke and fury that the litle guys put out.
    Andy Woitowicz
    On YouTube as hopeso
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af4dQNa60_w

  22. #22
    MJD's Avatar
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    Wow, not good to hear. Hope things are improving..?

    As far as I know if you don't run them to the max they will hold up fine. I like the idea of the Cox .05 carb, I recently bought one to try on something.

    Omega fuel is 17% oil, 70/30 syn/cas as an example = 5.1% castor. With added 6% castor it becomes roughly 23% total at 50/50 syn/cas. That's my usual 1/2A brew, unless I can (rare) find a quart of SIG Champion 25% 50/50 at the LHS, then I start with that instead.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

    Revver Bro #231

  23. #23

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    MJD,

    To be honest, it's been pretty grim. To be even more honest, it's taken some measure of pharmaceuticals to keep my emotional balance. A couple of posts back I went on a tirade trashing lekkies in an over reaction to someone who I thought was trashing engines. Upon reflection and investigation, I found to my horror that that was not the case, the poster was doing a tongue in cheek thing. You know that old commercial, here's your brain on drugs, showing eggs in a frying pan? Dead on.

    The good news is that I'm getting weaned off the stuff and things are getting better. Engine work is the best therapy of all and beats basket weaving by a large measure.

    Back to the VA. Your fuel is spot on. Most blends are shy of castor but as they are only 17% total oil, they benefit from adding castor to up both percentages.

    A good many years ago, I had this experience with Sig fuel. I ran Sig's all castor ( 20% oil) 10 % nitro and got some nice numbers. At the same time, I tried a spiked, (with extra castor) blend that had 25% nitro. Got the same numbers on both. Sig is the best, 1/2A fuel that I've seen. Is their castor better, or was the true nitro content of the blend not as advertised?

    No matter, I have settled on 25 % Cool power with extra castor to take it up to about 23% total oil content.

    On Norvels, which do well on an all synthetic fuels, I've found that Cool Power delivers a lower, reliable idle than others, even their Omega, castor/syntetic blend.

    Have not used Sig fuel on Norvels, as it's hard to get, (for me) and I save that for the VAs.
    Andy Woitowicz
    On YouTube as hopeso
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af4dQNa60_w

  24. #24
    aspeed's Avatar
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    Interesting that you don't think castor is needed on the Norvels. I usually put 3 oz. in most to my purchased fuels. I really am not a believer in castor, but use it anyway ;-) Anyway, the reason Sig fuels may work better than your other mixtures may be because the nitro is often shipped with a 50 - 50 mix of methanol because of regulations. Depending on sources, this may not be figured into the mixture? Possibly.

  25. #25

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    Well, that's not cast in stone. It's just that Cool Power is also good in larger engines and getting fuel is always an issue where I live so standardizing works for me. In any case, a quality castor such as Sig offers and also Klotz Benol is always good to have around. When I run in an engine, I usually add some castor mostly because with ABC type of engines, as opposed to ferrous devices, we need shouldn't ever run them rich at the outset and castor can help.


    Interesting point about Sig nitro but I;d think that they'd do the math to give you precisely what it says on the bottle,,, but you never know.
    Andy Woitowicz
    On YouTube as hopeso
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af4dQNa60_w


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