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-   -   "FAI" fuel eh..? (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/extreme-speed-prop-planes-104/9216766-%22fai%22-fuel-eh.html)

MJD 10-30-2009 11:02 PM

"FAI" fuel eh..?
Did everyone else know but me that fuel manufacturers are in the habit of calling fuel "FAI" fuel, when in fact, it is simply a no nitro variant of whatever fuel line it is in?

For example.. Didja know that Cool Power FAI Fuel is: 83% methanol, 17% high viscosity synthetic. No castor. Yeah it says it right on the website. Don't say it on the jug, just says FAI fuel.

***? Seriously. There is a specific meaning to the phrase "FAI fuel" AFAIK, and to call something FAI fuel when it is in fact simply no nitro fuel of some blend or another, is nothing short of intentional misleading. Am I missing something here?


lfinney 10-30-2009 11:19 PM


its identified as FAI to denote zero nitro, per FAI rules, no big deal per se, the 17 percent oil seems to be the norm in europe with the trend going to 10-15 percent oil,using some of the newest synth oils, so as long as it has no nitro, oil content may vary as seen fit by users or manufacturers, the pisser for me is it should be much cheaper to buy...yeah right...

Mike Connor 10-30-2009 11:53 PM



Did everyone else know but me ...

Yep, I think so. :)

combatpigg 10-31-2009 12:40 AM

It costs me about $5 to mix up a gallon of 80/20 from ingredients bought retail.

mk1spitfire 10-31-2009 04:22 AM

About £9 here for Model technics Castor straight 80/20. I thought fai related to castor too.

vertical grimmace 10-31-2009 10:40 AM

FAI works well in Rossi engines which are properly compressed for the blend. Also larger displacement glow engines. FAI may be what all glow engines have to use eventually as I can see nitro being made illegal. No biggie though really. If the engines are set up to run without nitro, they run just fine. Look at the FAI pylon event. Plenty fast.

Ed Smith 10-31-2009 11:12 AM


****? Seriously. There is a specific meaning to the phrase "FAI fuel" AFAIK, and to call something FAI fuel when it is in fact simply no nitro fuel of some blend or another, is nothing short of intentional misleading. Am I missing something here?
The point Mike is making is absolutely correct. True F.A.I fuel is 80% Alcohol, 20% Castor Oil without exception. To use the term F.A.I. fuel to denote just no Nitro fuel is incorrect.

As I understood it many years ago, synthetic oil was not readily available world wide, whereas castor oil was. So to keep things equal Synythetic oils were not allowed. There may have been other reasons but I was not aware of them.

Ed S

lfinney 10-31-2009 11:43 AM

but synth is allowed by the FAI, my take on this issue is thats fuel should list percentages of all ingredients, instead of me trying to find the companies msds sheet to find the truth, about nitro being made illegal, i seriously doubt that, its used in so many things, and the amount guys like us and racer of full sized vehicles is a mere pittance... but the thing i get tired of is the lame maneuvers of the companies trying to tell us how their is a nitro shortage... pure crap:eek:, fuel testing at event both model and full sized events test for nitro or variants not for oil types btdt

Kmot 10-31-2009 12:48 PM

I have used Powermaster Fuel almost exclusively for the past several decades. Their FAI fuel is 20% castor oil. Didn't know anyone elses blend was different. :eek:


lfinney 10-31-2009 12:52 PM

this i copied from axe rossi site

Byron Fuels FAI: 18% oil, (20% castor, 80% synthetic blend) and

Morgan Fuels Omega FAI: 17% oil, (30% castor, 70% synthetic blend)

Ed Smith 10-31-2009 01:39 PM


but synth is allowed by the FAI,
Not so for F3D. I Do not know about other events.

From the current FAI F3D rules set.

5.2.15 Fuel
(a) The organiser will supply fuel to a standard formula for glow plug and spark ignition engines. Its
composition shall be 80% methanol, 20% first pressing castor oil by volume.
Ed S

HighPlains 10-31-2009 01:40 PM

FAI fuel from their own web site:

Its composition shall be 80% methanol, 20% first pressing castor oil by volume.
When "shall be" is inserted in a passage, that is the end of the discussion.

MJD 10-31-2009 07:42 PM

Right, which if so means that every single fuel manufacturer that labels fuel "FAI" where it is not, is guilty as sin of misleading the public.

Case in point: Mike Modeller always believed that FAI fuel was 80% methanol, 20% castor oil since that is what is is defined to be. MM buys a jug of FAI fuel and a jug of low nitro cas/syn blend and with an additional dash of castor to maintain total oil at 20%, mixes up a batch of fuel that he feels is a real nice package for the job at hand, namely running some European racing engines of which he is particularly fond. So MM proceeds to run one of his engines 4-5 times, and everything seems okay. Later, for some reason the issue of FAI fuel is bugging that same modeller because of no more than the color of the jug, and he looks up the manufacturer's website to find out that they blend 83% methanol and 17% synthetic oil and call it FAI fuel. Boy is MM pissed! Luckily, the fuel MM made was sufficiently endowed with lubrication to do a decent job, but the point is that the reknowned engine manufacturer and many afficianados of said brand stress the value of significant percentages of castor oil for longetivity in the high-strung environment in which they thrive, and MM thought he was being diligent but was foiled by misleading product names. If I was MM (which I am) I would be pissed at the late discovery.


combatpigg 10-31-2009 09:34 PM

IIRC, FAI fuel for C/L combat is either 5 or 10% nitro.

lfinney 10-31-2009 10:01 PM

it would be honest of them to simply label it zero nitro fuel, i love the wording of the FAI re castor oil, of the first pressing, next someone will tell me they can tell by the smell:) so is castrol benol legal and maxima 927? and does powermaster add its pwrpak additives to its FAI fuel, they say its in every product.....inquiring minds wanna know

what puzzles me the most is castor oil is cheaper than any of the synth oils, so why not give them castor? unless marketing data show that most modelers want synth based oils for sport flying

smoknrv4 05-19-2011 06:20 PM

Were do I get ingredients to make some of this? Otherwise I have to buy a 4 Gallon case of it from the LHS.

combatpigg 05-19-2011 08:16 PM

I bought a barrel of methanol for $3 a gallon a few years ago. It's probably over $4 a gallon now. I bought it from a Chevron distributor.
You could ask around your local drag strip or sprint car track for local suppliers who would sell you 5 gallons or so.
For the castor, go directly to Sig MFG.
Same goes for Klotz oil, either deal direct via mail order or ask the local racers.

MJD 05-20-2011 05:18 AM




I order TC-W3 by the case for my Yammie, from the local bike shop. You might be able to do the same for the above.

(BTW if this comes up: when you see oils that say "50:1" or "25:1" on the bottle or data sheet, those are not suggested mix ratios. Always mix per individual engine requirements. Those numbers are the most you can dilute them and retain film strength.)

There are industrial chemical suppliers in Ontario where you can buy methanol in 20l pails. One of them is http://www.alphachem.ca.

ACS grade is >=99.8% pure, HPLC grade is >=99.9% pure. I suspect ACS grade is fine. I can't tell you what kind of price you will get, but it might be okay, might not.

BTW I run my OPS now on regular Omega (15%) with 5oz castor added per gallon. I have a pack of 10 head shims, I can spare a couple if you want to set it up for a some nitro. If that is why you are asking about FAI fuel.

smoknrv4 05-20-2011 11:36 AM

Would like to try some to run thru the engines after use, getting rid of all the nitro left in them, I forgot to put after run oil in my Jett 90 last year and you should feel the bearings, feels like sandpaper, and they say "don't use after run oil",WHATEVER!

bob27s 05-23-2011 08:50 AM

who was suggesting not to use after-run oil ?

smoknrv4 05-23-2011 11:06 AM

Morgan fuels... which is what is available around here. In fact on the COOL POWER label is say: WARNING...DO NOT USE AFTER RUN OIL. I don't use cool power though , I use the OMEGA which is castor.

vertical grimmace 05-23-2011 04:10 PM

I have never liked Morgan fuels. Omega, cool power whatever. No surprise they offer such bad advise

smoknrv4 05-23-2011 04:33 PM


ORIGINAL: vertical grimmace

I have never liked Morgan fuels. Omega, cool power whatever. No surprise they offer such bad advise

Why? Any particular reason, I've never had any issues with the Omega.

Pylonracr 05-23-2011 07:31 PM

Same question.  I have probably burned 50 gallons of Omega fuel and never had a problem.  I do add 2-3 oz of castor to every gallon of fuel I open.  I use after run oil when I remember.

MJD 05-24-2011 06:17 AM

I have no issues with Omega, due to its wide availability around here (nobody up here carries SIG fuel, dangit!) it has been my standard sport fuel for ages. After all it is just methanol, nitromethane, and 17% of a standard 70/30 syn/cas blend - not rocket science. Like I would do with any other fuel that wasn't the blend I needed, I add castor for certain applications, such as +5% castor for ducted fan engines for 10.1% castor, 11.9% synthetic.

AFAIK most or all of the bad rap for Morgan fuels is from people running Cool Power and not realizing it is 100% synthetic and not treating their engine accordingly.

Or as in my case in starting this thread, buying their "FAI" fuel and stupidly thinking it was actually traditional FAI fuel. Fortunately I only got to the stage of a couple of rich 2-c runs on a low-load bench prop before learning this, and the P/L had some time on it already anyhow.

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