It seems as though there's a lot of competition in the gas engine market these days, and there are a few names that everyone is familiar with. Some of the big ones are DA, DLE, and 3W - just to name a few. There's more to the gas engine game than just them! Over the past decade, several smaller companies have sprung up - some have stayed, and some have gone away. But, just because these smaller companies may not be as well known, doesn't mean they don't have good products at good prices!
RCGF, a Chinese manufacturer of gasoline engines, designs and manufactures engines specifically for 'the RC aircraft market. They have a line of gas engines as small as 10cc, all the way up to 120cc! With single cylinder engines ranging from 10cc to 60cc, they're bound to have an engine to fill your need.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the RCGF 10cc beam-mounted engine - one of the smaller gas engines on the market. With a side exhaust and rear carburetor, it's bound to fit in nearly any cowl.
Engine Type: 2 Stroke Gasoline Engine Cylinder Displacement: 10cc (.61 ci) Weight with Ignition and Mufflers: 1.26 lbs (570g) Weight w/o Ignition and Mufflers: .93 lbs (420g) Bore x Stroke: 27.5mm x 19.6mm (1.08 in x .77 in) Carburetor: Rotating barrel carburetor designed by RCGF
The RCGF 10cc gas engine arrived in the company's signature blue box, packed in dense foam. A sheet of decals is included to adorn your favorite model! The 10cc engine comes with nearly everything needed for installation in any aircraft.
RCGF has included their new ignition module, which is capable of handling up to 8.4 Volts input - this means that a 2 cell LiPo or LiFe battery can be used without a regulator. Because of the engine's small size, the standard plug has been replaced by a 1/4 - 32 spark plug. These plugs are tiny!
A two-piece composite engine mount designed for the small engine is also included, as well as an expansion-type muffler and hardware.
The casting and machining of this engine look very nice - no major blemishes or pitting to be found anywhere. A single metric nut and knurled prop washer should do well to keep the prop secure.
The last photo is of the RCGF 10cc engine sitting next to an O.S. .52 four stroke glow engine. As you can see, the over-all dimensions are relatively close!
This little gasser has a unique carburetor design. Because of its small size, the carburetor is different than a standard Walbro-type pumped carb. The diaphragm fuel pump is driven by a neoprene pulse line off the crankcase. The clear line on the pump delivers fuel to the barrel-type carburetor. A white insulator gasket separates carburetor from and seals it to the crankcase with help from a single machine screw. I'm a little skeptical of the single screw design, but I'll hold judgement until I've run the engine.
The crankcase holds a single reed and cage, and the engine's back-plate is actually part of the reed block!
As I usually do, I disassembled the carburetor to inspect for debris - and, as usual, I found a clean carb! One last item included in the box is a very small screwdriver. RCGF was kind enough to include a screwdriver to use when adjusting the single needle valve on the carburetor.
Though the manual is not engine specific, it does a great job of covering all the basics - from which oil to use and how to perform the 'break-in' procedure to helpful tips on troubleshooting and safety. The manual I received was in full color as well!
I will be installing the new 10cc gas engine in my SIG Kadet Senior Sport - this plane has been my 'go-to' aircraft for testing new RCU product reviews. For the first time in its life, the Kadet is going to have a wet-fuel power source installed. Yes, I'm actually converting FROM electric power TO a gas engine!
Before I could install the engine, I had to remove the motor, ESC and motor box from the firewall. Thankfully, the Senior Sport has a motor box that's simply bolted to the firewall! With a clean firewall, I could begin the engine installation.
Because I will not be reinstalling the cowl on my Kadet for this project, engine spacing was not a concern. Depending on your installation, it may be necessary to attach the engine mount to the firewall first. Since I didn't have to worry about spacing, I attached the mounts to the engine first. A few quick measurements made this a simple task, and the mounts drilled easily with standard drill bits.
With the engine attached to the mounts, it was easy to align, mark, and mount the assembly on the firewall. I decided to attach the fuel pump to the outer face of the beam mount.
Though not exactly part of the engine installation, assembling the fuel tank correctly is vital to engine operation. I like to use a 3-line setup - this makes it easy to fuel and de-fuel the aircraft. For this task, I rely on a DuBro Fill It fueling system. The assembled tank was secured using the original Velcro battery straps. The fuel and vent lines were then run through the opening in the firewall and secured.
A 30" 2-56 pushrod and ball link (also from DuBro) were used to fabricate a connection between the throttle servo and carburetor. I did have to remove some wood from the firewall to allow clearance for the ball link as it moved.
The ignition module was placed inside the fuselage, next to the fuel tank, and secured with an additional Velcro strap. The cooling slot in the firewall was the perfect size to allow the spark plug cap through. The 1/4 -32 spark plug was installed and the plug cap was snapped in place. A pair of machine screws and washers held the expansion muffler to the cylinder head.
All that remained was to install the propeller and spinner - I will be using a Falcon 13x8 Beech wood prop for break-in and flight testing.
Falcon Propellers and Bob's Hobby Center at Steve's Hangar
Bob's Hobby Center at Steve's Hangar is the US distributor for Falcon Propellers. They offer a full product range - i.e. gas wood props,electric wood props, carbon spinners for gas and electric applications, and carbon fiber props for both gas and electric. At the 2014 Extreme Flight Challenge, 13 out of the 15 competitors flew Falcon Props!
As well as being the US distributor for Falcon and Xoar, Bob's Hobby Center is a great, full-line hobby store with knowledgeable, helpful employees. If you're in Orlando, Florida, stop in at Bob's - you'll be glad you did! You can also find Bob's Hobby Center on the web. If you're looking for a full line of high quality propellers, look no further than FALCON PROPS!
The break-in procedure is relatively basic, and simply recommends running the engine for the first 20 minutes on the ground. With a full tank of fresh gas/oil mix (I use 91 Octane Non-Ethanol gas with an ashless 2-stroke oil at a 30:1 ratio), I tried starting the engine. I have a cordless electric starter that I use on all my gas engines 30cc and smaller - while they can be hand started, the electric starter turns the engine over much quicker and draws fuel in just a few seconds. This was the case with the 10cc as well, and it was easy to see the fuel moving through the lines. The fuel made it to the carburetor quickly, and the engine sputtered a few times and died. After trying twice more, I decided to richen the needle valve (remember, there is only one on this barrel-type carburetor) about 1/8 of a turn. I spun the engine again with the starter and the engine came to life and stayed running.
I let the 10cc run for a few minutes just above idle to warm up before advancing the throttle any farther. When the engine had reached normal operating temperature, I opened the throttle a little more. The engine stumbled slightly and a thick plume of smoke came from the muffler. After a few seconds, the engine's RPMs came up and it was running very nicely. Using my digital tachometer (connected to the ignition module) I adjusted the throttle so the engine ran at approximately 2,500 RPM.
After running the 10cc at 2,500 RPM for approximately 10 minutes, I started advancing the throttle again - the engine responded well! I ran the throttle up and down a few more times before setting it back to 2,500 RPM to run through the rest of the fuel tank. All-in-all, it took just over 35 minutes to get through the first tank of fuel. With the break-in run done, it was time to head to the flying field!
As luck would have it, I didn't have to wait but a few days for the weather to cooperate, so I loaded the Kadet Senior Sport in my truck and headed for the field. After assembling the plane, I set it on a starting stand and filled the fuel tank. All my last minute checks were performed, and the RCGF 10cc gasser was started using my cordless starter. The engine came to life quickly and settled into a nice idle - I let it warm up for a few minutes on the stand, while I got my camera equipment ready. At this point, I handed the transmitter off to my great friend and video pilot, Jim Buzzeo. Jim put the Kadet/RCGF 10cc engine through a flight so I could shoot some video for the review.
The Kadet was taxied out to the grass strip and readied for take-off. The throttle was advanced, and the engine responded nicely, even still running rich! One of the things I love about my Kadet Senior Sport is its flying characteristics. A light wing loading and large tail surfaces make it one of the nicest flying planes I have. The Kadet gained speed quickly and took off easily - it was clear that the RCGF 10cc gasser and Falcon 13x8 prop were a great combination for my trusty Kadet! We ran the engine at nearly every throttle setting imaginable and the 10cc gasser performed well throughout the test. Still set rich on the needle, the engine did 'garble' a little in the mid-range, but that was to be expected. I would suspect that it will clear out as the needle get leaned out. Check out the video to see how well the engine ran!
As Jim brought the Kadet around to land, it was clear that the idle was set a bit too high, so as the landing gear touched the ground for the third time, Jim hit the throttle kill switch. With that, the maiden flight for the RCGF 10cc gas engine was complete, and I couldn't have been happier with the way the engine ran! On subsequent flights, I was able to lean the needle a little more, and bring the idle down to the recommended 1,800 RPM. The Kadet really seemed to like the lower idle as it would settle in nicely for three-point landings!
I really like this 10cc gas engine from RCGF. Its compact size will lend to installation in small cowls, and it runs very reliably! The machining and casting work are well done, and make for not only a good running engine, but a good looking engine as well! So the choice is yours - $25-$30 dollars a gallon for glow fuel, or $5.00 for a gallon of oil/gasoline - the savings is incredible! Well done, RCGF engines, well done!
4029 E. Golden Acres Drive,
Sierra Vista, AZ. 85650
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.