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  1. #1

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    The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Hi guys,

    I'd like to start a topic up about something that has been almost consuming for me -
    I own a wonderful Webra 120 with a BCM pitts muffler. This engine, as described by others, does not miss a beat. Just starts wonderfully and runs as well. It does drink glow fuel, but produces seemingly more power than any sub 30cc gasser will produce.

    I'd like to go a touch faster and can justify having more power ( this is on a cmpro 120 zero). The upfront cost seems steep, especially when it is easier to swallow 65$ cases every few weeks, as a pose to close to 450 for the least expensive 30cc I'd consider (dle 30) by the time all accessories and equipment is purchased.

    So, the ultimate question.

    When does it make sense to just bite the bullet and go gas?

    Do you trade one set of issues for another?

    Does it make sense to go down the road of converting glow engines to gas?

    I am good at tuning the glow engines, and I assume that most principles still apply.

    Please, let's open this up to honest, kind interaction so that people in my shoes can have good info.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  2. #2

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???


    ORIGINAL: harttvboy04

    Hi guys,

    I'd like to start a topic up about something that has been almost consuming for me -
    I own a wonderful Webra 120 with a BCM pitts muffler. This engine, as described by others, does not miss a beat. Just starts wonderfully and runs as well. It does drink glow fuel, but produces seemingly more power than any sub 30cc gasser will produce.

    I'd like to go a touch faster and can justify having more power ( this is on a cmpro 120 zero). The upfront cost seems steep, especially when it is easier to swallow 65$ cases every few weeks, as a pose to close to 450 for the least expensive 30cc I'd consider (dle 30) by the time all accessories and equipment is purchased.

    So, the ultimate question.

    When does it make sense to just bite the bullet and go gas? When you are tired of spending 40 bucks a gallon for nitro and tired of cleaning nitro goo off the plane

    Do you trade one set of issues for another? no, not if you consider you save a bundle of money and have an engine that lasts longer, no heavy field box to carry around

    Does it make sense to go down the road of converting glow engines to gas? no, use a gas engine

    I am good at tuning the glow engines, and I assume that most principles still apply.

    Please, let's open this up to honest, kind interaction so that people in my shoes can have good info.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  3. #3

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    the extra costs don't add up to $100 for a DLE 30, you'll need some gas compatible fuel line, a standard switch harness and standard receiver pack for the ignition module, doesn't have to be fancy, a smaller fuel tank and conversion kit for the tank (Dubro makes the best stopper, haven't tried the new style Sullivan, their old gas one didn't work at all) and a felt clunk (can be found at Home Depot or Lowes in the weedeater parts section for about $9 I think with a couple other things in the pack, $3ish from a small engine shop). Considering the possibility of you having some of that stuff laying around you don't need a whole lot of extra stuff. There's a lot of people that say an optical kill switch is mandatory, but I read of more problems from them than I can justify getting one for, if the engine is set up properly in the first place it's unnecessary...

  4. #4

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    How much do you fly??? The fuel cost factor is about 20:1. In other words the gas engine cost 5% to operate of what a glow engine cost.
    TKG
    Too much power is just about right.

  5. #5
    aussiesteve's Avatar
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???


    ORIGINAL: harttvboy04

    Hi guys,

    I'd like to start a topic up about something that has been almost consuming for me -
    I own a wonderful Webra 120 with a BCM pitts muffler. This engine, as described by others, does not miss a beat. Just starts wonderfully and runs as well. It does drink glow fuel, but produces seemingly more power than any sub 30cc gasser will produce.

    I'd like to go a touch faster and can justify having more power ( this is on a cmpro 120 zero). The upfront cost seems steep, especially when it is easier to swallow 65$ cases every few weeks, as a pose to close to 450 for the least expensive 30cc I'd consider (dle 30) by the time all accessories and equipment is purchased.

    So, the ultimate question.

    When does it make sense to just bite the bullet and go gas?
    In the size range you are looking at, you are right on the cusp of that decision.


    Do you trade one set of issues for another?
    Yes. You add additional weight to the plane, you add the complexity of an ignition system, Ignition power supply etc.



    Does it make sense to go down the road of converting glow engines to gas?
    Generally - NO unless you do it as a hobby and "just because. For a Gasser to be worthwhile, you will want to have roller bearings etc in it and it is rarely justified. Without rollers, you need to run a high oil percentage and there goes the "Clean plane" advantage..



    I am good at tuning the glow engines, and I assume that most principles still apply.
    Yes they do - as long as you are not good at tuning because you are a "Needle fiddler". If you like fiddling with needles - DO NOT GO GAS. If you like to set and pretty much leave them alone - gas is good.



    Please, let's open this up to honest, kind interaction so that people in my shoes can have good info.

    Thanks!

    Chris
    I am basing the above remarks without taking the cost of fuel into account as you mentioned that is not an issue to you.
    The other regularly quoted reason is for cleaner planes - electrics are cleaner than gas or glow and are readily available in the size range you are looking at.

    In the size range you are looking at
    Gas = lower fuel cost

    Glow = less complexity

    Field box really isn't that much different. I carry my small field box around that I always used. It has a power panel in it and had a small gel cel powering that when I was flying glow. When I fly Gas, all I take to the field is a plane, a small field box, a fuel jug and a radio. Same when I flew glow.

    In larger planes, Gas makes a lot of sense due to fuel costs and the lack of availability of glow power in the sizes. Around 30cc is the real changeover point for those comments, 20cc becomes marginal and les than 20cc gas becomes a "Bling Thing".

    Now I will sit back and watch this thread urill into many pages of personal opinions - just as I have given.
    3W, BME and DA all the way. Proven power, Proven reliability and Proven support equals much cheaper in the long term.

  6. #6

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    I find it surprising that cost of the glow fuel is not an issue in deciding which way to go.
    Apart from that, the extra weight can sometimes be an advantage.

    We once built a 12 foot wingspan "Hots" with an OPS 30cc glow engine and a "large" milo can for a fuel tank. (about 1 litre)
    This would give about a 5 minute flight.

    So 4 flights for the day to the gallon. Expensive even back then for methanol/castor without any nitro.

    When it was built, the balance point was tested. When it was painted, balance point required an extra 1kg of lead at the nose.
    We were well aware of the effect that the weight of paint could have but surprised at just how much.

    Another breed of plane had a Quadra 40cc with spark. Proceedure was, fill the 1 litre tank at home, cost maybe 40cents, take the plane and radio, no box, and fly all day with the flick of a switch and a flick of the prop, no batteries etc..

    Big difference........

  7. #7

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    The OP gives a clue to his position... it is an emotional attachment to the Webra... and there is nothing wrong with that. The engine has been loyal to him and he returns that loyalty by staying with it. There may be some who scoff at the idea of emotional attachment to things but it happens... just watch Tom Hanks in 'Cast Away'.

    I've done heroic rebuilds because of emotional attachment and discarded slightly bruised planes because of none. And... I'm not just speaking of the Webra owned by the OP.... many of us may have an emotional attachment to glow. As for me... I've lost most of mine, with the exception of the sound of a glow four stroke. I've come to hate cleaning up glow fuel mess... especially a two stroke glow. I dislike the cost of glow fuel.

    One area of this debate that doesn't get mentioned much is engine starting. I dislike starting large glow engines. I've a Saito 1.25 that if started by hand, will sting the %^&* out of my fingers. To use a starter, it has to be hooked to 24v and even then spun over and glow applied after it is spinning. Whereas, all my gas planes are easy to hand start.

    IMO, gas became the better choice for 1.20 and above when electronic ignitions made starting very simple and reasonably priced gas engines made them economically appealing.


  8. #8

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Thank you all so much!

    I really appreciate the helpful input. You all bring valid points to the table.

    I do love how the Webra 1.20 runs. Great Engine. No fuss, no BS and it just starts and runs and runs and runs. It also has A LOT of power for it's size and weight.

    I have bitten the Bullet, however. I was able to trade my Saito 180 for a NIB DLE30, and I also have a Tartan Super 77 (44cc) Gas twin on it's way (got it for a steal of a deal). Things that I am afraid of -

    I am certainly a part time flyer, but I do see the trend of flying increasing for me, because daylight after work is increasing. Even now, after work, with that excellent running Webra 120, it is not uncommon for me to go through a half gallon - that is in roughly 2-2.5 hours @ the field, not including setup/teardown time and general 'How are you?' antics.

    I do, however, plan on keeping the Webra - I may put it ona much smaller airframe and use it to create a monster - a life well deserved by a great running engine. I may even acquire another (as part of another deal) which apparently runs equally as well. I am thinking about putting this engine on a .60 spitfire, which really should haul some serious *****. I will be installing a 24 ounce tank for some sort of run time...

    Here are my fears going into Gas.

    I see people futzing with their Gas engines all the time. Eventually they get their engines running right, but that to me is time that I'd rather be flying. I am NOT opposed to learning, as that is a goal of mine out of all this. I may find that I just learn to set the engine up, and leave it alone as many have said both here on RCU and on other sites (not dup posting, just reading other threads). My hope is that I have out of these 2 engines an engine with just as much power, if not more, and speed as my Webra. Amazing, as it really does seem that the Webra 1.20 (20cc) still competes in the power department with today's 30cc gassers.

    The simplicity of the glow carburetors is amazing compared to the pumping Walbro/DLE carbs of today that seem to be very sensitive to micro particles. I have also noted that fuel systems are a bit more picky on gassers than they are on glow engines.

    Thanks again to everyone! Putting this all in one place for me helps to ease this transition, since in the recent past I have ditched everything essentially that I was not attached to. I try not to keep too much crap around .

    Thanks all!



  9. #9
    thailazer's Avatar
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    I just made the decision to try a gasser thanks the the "Cost of Glow Fuel" thread running. It is not about cost for me, but for realism. RCU member MTK (Thanks MTK!) opened my eyes to the fact that you can run aviation fuel in a gasser, which adds the smell of real flying into the picture. The weed eater smell has kept me away from gassers up to now, but with radios needing revamping, I figure this is a good time to give gas a shot. I fly a lot off my own runway so all this makes sense.

    For nostalgia reasons, I just bought a brand new ignition Tartan 77 twin. My RC mentor from 20 years ago had a single Tartan and I always loved how that ran and sounded. I know there are stronger engines around, but we all have our own reasons for what we do in the hobby. Pretty familiar with reed valve two stroke engines as well so that helps.
    Tiger Flyer #49

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    I'm converting my raptor 50 to diesel to try that. I've ran 2 cases of heli mix 20% at over a 100 bucks a case just this first part of the flying season.
    But a lot of the fuel is for the 90 sized raptor, when the engine starts, you can almost see a whirlpool in the tank.

  11. #11
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    My larger planes 120 size and up are gas an now with the new gas engines I'm starting to convert the 50-90 size .  I'm currently running an EVO 10GX 10cc and it has as much power as it's glow equivalent and I can run 30+ minutes on 8 ounces.
    I am still going to keep a few of the smaller glow 4-strokes in service but for the most part  what isn't already electric will  be gas....eventually. 
    Brian Ray

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Gas is a problem for heli's because of heat, diesels run cooler to my understanding.
    But I'm like you, everything I have will be gas or diesel by the end of the year.
    I can sell my OS 120's for about the price of a DLE 20 so it's a no brainer.

  13. #13
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Personally, for weight, size, power, fuel costs, etc.; all things considered, I would say 20cc is the "break point" where it is better to go gas. Just my opinion....

    AV8TOR
    If it is not SCARY, it is NO WHERE NEAR powerful enough!!
    All R/C planes have expiration dates---> It's just not printed on them anywhere!

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    20cc used to be my break point, now its 15cc with the newer evo15gx. Mines only been run on the test stand but its doing fine there for now. Wont have a plane for it till late summer maybe. They have a 10cc (10gx) that a lot of people like.
    Having said that, I still love my saito 1.20's. Best engines I've ever had.
    Edwin

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    I do have a Super Tiger .90 converted to run gas and I like it very much. Normally I don't advise converting glow engines to gasoline because they lack cooling fin area for gas use, but I run it on an airplane without a cowl, and I make sure to never run it lean. (Yes, I know a properly designed and executed, cowled cooling system can be even more effective than an open engine.)

    But, I think 20cc is a better all in all break point when considering weight, size of appropriate plane, scale effect, etc. That's just me though.

    AV8TOR
    If it is not SCARY, it is NO WHERE NEAR powerful enough!!
    All R/C planes have expiration dates---> It's just not printed on them anywhere!

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???


    ORIGINAL: thailazer

    I just made the decision to try a gasser thanks the the ''Cost of Glow Fuel'' thread running. It is not about cost for me, but for realism. RCU member MTK (Thanks MTK!) opened my eyes to the fact that you can run aviation fuel in a gasser, which adds the smell of real flying into the picture. The weed eater smell has kept me away from gassers up to now, but with radios needing revamping, I figure this is a good time to give gas a shot. I fly a lot off my own runway so all this makes sense.

    For nostalgia reasons, I just bought a brand new ignition Tartan 77 twin. My RC mentor from 20 years ago had a single Tartan and I always loved how that ran and sounded. I know there are stronger engines around, but we all have our own reasons for what we do in the hobby. Pretty familiar with reed valve two stroke engines as well so that helps.
    Good luck with the Tarten,they were a beautiful built engine. May make you learn a new language.We used to call them Tarten of the month as they made many changes. First thing change the Delorto carb to a Walbro.
    BCCHI

  17. #17

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???


    ORIGINAL: harttvboy04

    Thank you all so much!

    I really appreciate the helpful input. You all bring valid points to the table.

    I do love how the Webra 1.20 runs. Great Engine. No fuss, no BS and it just starts and runs and runs and runs. It also has A LOT of power for it's size and weight.

    I have bitten the Bullet, however. I was able to trade my Saito 180 for a NIB DLE30, and I also have a Tartan Super 77 (44cc) Gas twin on it's way (got it for a steal of a deal). Things that I am afraid of -

    I am certainly a part time flyer, but I do see the trend of flying increasing for me, because daylight after work is increasing. Even now, after work, with that excellent running Webra 120, it is not uncommon for me to go through a half gallon - that is in roughly 2-2.5 hours @ the field, not including setup/teardown time and general 'How are you?' antics.

    I do, however, plan on keeping the Webra - I may put it ona much smaller airframe and use it to create a monster - a life well deserved by a great running engine. I may even acquire another (as part of another deal) which apparently runs equally as well. I am thinking about putting this engine on a .60 spitfire, which really should haul some serious *****. I will be installing a 24 ounce tank for some sort of run time...

    Here are my fears going into Gas.

    I see people futzing with their Gas engines all the time. Eventually they get their engines running right, but that to me is time that I'd rather be flying. I am NOT opposed to learning, as that is a goal of mine out of all this. I may find that I just learn to set the engine up, and leave it alone as many have said both here on RCU and on other sites (not dup posting, just reading other threads). My hope is that I have out of these 2 engines an engine with just as much power, if not more, and speed as my Webra. Amazing, as it really does seem that the Webra 1.20 (20cc) still competes in the power department with today's 30cc gassers.

    The simplicity of the glow carburetors is amazing compared to the pumping Walbro/DLE carbs of today that seem to be very sensitive to micro particles. I have also noted that fuel systems are a bit more picky on gassers than they are on glow engines.

    Thanks again to everyone! Putting this all in one place for me helps to ease this transition, since in the recent past I have ditched everything essentially that I was not attached to. I try not to keep too much crap around .

    Thanks all!


    Futzing with the engine is usually the problem. Learn to adjust the carb on the DLE tune it and leave it alone. Use fuel filters and learn where the fuel filter screen is on the Walbro type carb.Make sure spark [plug cap is all the way on the CM-6 spark plug.If engine does not have a NGK CM-6 spark plug buy one for it. The RCEXL spark plugs are OK but do not come in the DLE engines.I have 12 DLE engines all run great.I have engines with Walbro carbs that I have not had to adjust for years Summer and Winter.
    When the Spark plug cap isall the way on the snap ring should be past the hex on the spark plug.
    BCCHI

  18. #18

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    I think Evolution engines has pushed the bar down as far as the .40 size plane.

  19. #19

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???


    ORIGINAL: AA5BY

    I think Evolution engines has pushed the bar down as far as the .40 size plane.
    One of the big issues I see with the Evolution very small gas engines is the weight. TheNV (Norvel) .40 size (6.5cc) gasoline glow engine could be a real game changer for small and lightweight gas engines.

    NV (Norvel) .40 size (6.5cc) gasoline glow engine thread


  20. #20

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    A 90 size plane will normally do fine with a 20cc gasser. I tried a 15cc gasser on a 60 size Extra and it flew like a brick.
    Same engine on a 60 size stick was fine, the huge wing would carry the extra weight.

    So 20cc is the point where I get a gasser.

    The needles on a gasser will take some time to tune, a rpm gauge makes it a lot easier.
    But once they are set, you can leave them alone for a long time.





  21. #21

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Yes, weight is always a factor. With some models requiring nose weight, a gas engine doesn't always mean a weight penalty. I've a .60 size Mustang that had added nose weight and when converted to 15cc gas had no weight change.

  22. #22

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    WoW! I can't believe how some guys' have to have their hand held, because they are smart enough to figure things out on their own? Either you want to do it or you don't.
    Team Evojet.us ; JPO Yearly Member.

    AMA Turbine CD Waiver Holder- BVM F-16, CARF-Viper, Flash, 44%Giles, Extra 330, 1/8th scale F-18, flying r/c since I was 11 years old.

    Dan Sharp

  23. #23
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Neither, go to the dark side........electrics
    Keep your wings level
    Club Saito Member #693

  24. #24

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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    ORIGINAL: av8tor1977

    I do have a Super Tiger .90 converted to run gas and I like it very much. Normally I don't advise converting glow engines to gasoline because they lack cooling fin area for gas use, but I run it on an airplane without a cowl, and I make sure to never run it lean. (Yes, I know a properly designed and executed, cowled cooling system can be even more effective than an open engine.)

    But, I think 20cc is a better all in all break point when considering weight, size of appropriate plane, scale effect, etc. That's just me though.

    AV8TOR
    I have tried ONE conversion and was not happy with the results because of the need to mix special fuel for that particular beast.

    I tend to agree with the 20cc comment as it includes the size of aircraft that allows you to separate the receiver from the ignition system and all of its parts. Yes, even with 2.4 Ghz that can be an issue and I DO wear a belt and suspenders!

    I started the move to gas about 25 years ago and now only have a few glow engines. I have a 25ABC, 32ABC, 46ABC, and 61ABC - all OS. I kept them because I MIGHT build the kits bought for those class of engines. I think the 61 is NIB, but I am not sure where it got stored. As for 4 strokes, I have Saitos, a 30, 2 56's, an 80, at least one 91, and a 150. Those are becoming less and less used as I get more and more fun out of my gassers.

    Part of the issue with the gassers is, as someone said, no fiddling with the engine. Get it right and leave it alone. The first issue that bites many is cooling but we fast learn that you need at least 2 to 3 times the air exit as inlet. The other issue is that the mixed up gas NEEDS to be kept in a air tight container to slow down 'weathering' and you need to run your airplane dry at the end of the day to prevent the aging and evaporating fuel from leaving a hardening oil deposit inside one of the carburetor lines - almost small enough that you cannot see it. The other thing is using a good filter system. I like the felt clunks, but then I am almost always out of step.

    Once you get used to those things, you can join in on the "What is the right oil to use" flame fests where the 'know it all's' joust with the 'seen it all's' and be part of the party.
    Jim Branaum AMA 1428
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  25. #25
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    RE: The Ultimate question - when does it make sense to go gas from glow???

    Having no experience with gassers < 20cc, I cannot comment on that size range of gas engine.
    However, having flown almost every size glow engine for 30 years before moving to gas, I can compare the overall handling of gas engines as superior to glow in every way.
    Now I realize (as the first post stated) that there are indeed fantastic glow engines in both 2 and 4 stroke that are easy to start, reliable, great throttling, with excellent power to weight.
    The beauty of gas is that MOST gas engines meet all those criteria - the RULEs rather than the exceptions.
    Inverted operation is excellent with Gas, which makes them better for most scale applications.
    They are generally less sensitive to heat and large propellers.
    MUCH less expensive to operate.
    IMHO, MUCH more reliable.
    Once adjusted, you will rarely, if ever, have to touch the carburetor needles AND the carburetor has a built-in pump making tank placement a non-issue.
    Electronic ignitions provide timing advance, which makes gas engines operate more smoothly and efficiently than any 'fixed' timing engine.
    Gas produces 1/10 the mess of even the best tuned glow engine.
    Gas exhaust does NOT require fuel-proof paints, thus, you can buy Krylon, Rustoeum, or any number of readily available and CHEAP paints at your local hardware store or WalMart.
    IF you need fuel on a Sunday, just take your bottle of 2 stroke oil to the local gas station and mix some up!
    The days of 'converted weed wacker or chain saw engines' that were heavy, fixed timing "shakers" are far behind us. There are now scores of "purpose-built" RC aircraft gas engines offered by many reputable manufacturers. Gas engines are on the rise... glow's best days are on the wane...
    I don't want to open a can o' worms, but since "diesel" was mentioned, I would caution you - IF you are interested in enjoying and possibly improving your RC engine experience based upon the many reasons listed above, do not even consider a diesel. As this is not a diesel forum, I will not list the reasons, but trust me, they are MANY! Just ask WHY almost no one uses them? 'nuf said.
    And as much as I hate to admit it, ELECTRICS are also the wave of the future. Motors, batteries and controllers are superb, and getting better every day.
    If you make the move to gas, you will never regret it...
    The older I get, the faster I was...


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