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Large glow engines - are they passing away?

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Large glow engines - are they passing away?

Old 12-15-2013, 01:53 AM
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mixerfix
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Default Large glow engines - are they passing away?

With the price of glow fuel, I am having second thoughts every time I want to take my Skillful for a go. It has an OS 120AX on it and a 600cc tank. So - 8-9 flights and I am out of a gallon of 10% glow fuel which, locally, is about $30.

People here seem to be migrating away from glow - to gas on the higher end and to electrics on the low and now middle end.

M
Old 12-15-2013, 06:33 AM
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1QwkSport2.5r
 
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Glow fuel at my hobby shops ranges from $32-$39 USD per gallon. I remedy my fuel costs with mixing my own. A gallon of 10% nitro 20% oil fuel costs me about $10 to make if that even. I use mostly castor since its half the price of synthetics, and it smells nicer too. Some folks have a hard time getting the raw ingredients for a reasonable enough price or dont want to mess with that so they convert to gasoline or electric. If gasoline engines made equal power as their glow counterparts, I would consider switching to gasoline since its so much cheaper.. But even then you have to deal with the stink of gasoline on your hands, clothes, or your automobile.

I'm resistant to gas. It stinks.
Old 12-15-2013, 07:03 AM
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I think it depends on your locale or region as to how much glow fuel costs. Down here in Texas glow fuel cost is pretty reasonable. But if you go to the wrong hobby shop it can still be very expensive. Some hobby shops charge more and some hobby shops charge a lot less for the glow fuel.

Gasoline spark ignition engines has been enjoying a revival of sorts lately. it started with the giant scale gas engines and airplanes and has been steadily working downwards ever since. NV Engines currently makes and sells the smallest gasoline engine with their .40GX but it uses a glow plug. For the smallest spark ignition gas engines, Evolution has their 10cc gas engine and NGH makes their 9cc gas engine. Saito recently came out with their little 14cc gas spark ignition engine too.


The price has gone up about a dollar US since I took this photo. The cost of different fuel depending on nitromethane content. If you use glow fuel with 0% or 5% nitromethane content, the fuel costs tend to be quite reasonable for glow fuel. But if you like to ue 155 to 20% glow fuel it can start to get expensive then.

Last edited by earlwb; 12-15-2013 at 07:08 AM. Reason: add more info
Old 12-15-2013, 07:15 AM
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For me I went gasoline for 90 size and above planes but will be adding 60 size to the list. I'm running the smaller gassers in the 10,15, and 20cc size with good results. My electrics are typically 5 cell and below. Still have some glow ,mostly 4-strokes and some 2-strokes 60 and under.
Glow engines will always be around but new offerings may be limited......who knows. Fly what you like and what works best for you,

Last edited by flyinwalenda; 12-15-2013 at 02:20 PM.
Old 12-15-2013, 11:55 AM
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right about the 1.20 sized glow engines is where i draw the line....i still have several 1.20 glow engines, but once i saw how well my little dle 20 runs, i dont thik ill ever invest in a glow motor that size
Old 12-15-2013, 02:35 PM
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I can make glow fuel cheaper than petrol (gasoline) fuel. Where I am bulk purchased methanol is cheaper locally than petrol (gasoline). I rarely use nitro methane as a glow fuel additive.

To answer the OP's question, yes, large glow engines are being dropped by manufacturers. Inexorably they will become a thing of the past. Fortunately there will be plenty available pre-loved for decades to come. There are lots of bargains for the 'large glow engine lover' out there.

Last edited by fiery; 12-15-2013 at 06:27 PM.
Old 12-15-2013, 06:05 PM
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I am very lucky to be involved with the local hobby store and get a great deal on my fuel so large glow engines are still affordable to me. I am also associated with brucercengines.com and buy my engines from him directly so save a bunch there too. On the flip side, I have seen a lot of users have just as much trouble with gassers as glow engines at our field.
Old 12-15-2013, 08:13 PM
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I don't see any reason to not use big glow engines. Here is a 30cc glow engine on my big Aeroworks Profile 80 inch Extra. Plus I am using only a 16 ounce fuel tank on it too. 5% nitro glow fuel and it works fine. It is all simply what you want to use, gas, glow, model diesels or electrics. That is what is neat about the hobby, we can all use different things. You know I remember way back in 1979 people were concerned about the cost of glow fuel. So this debate or concern has been going on for like ages now. Quite a few modellers got together all over the USA in groups and made purchases of 55 gallon drums of fuel to use. Everyone in their group would fill up their fuel containers from the drum whenever they needed it, one person kept the drum for everyone.




Last edited by earlwb; 12-15-2013 at 08:17 PM. Reason: add more info
Old 12-16-2013, 03:04 AM
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15% Cool Power fuel is $25 a gallon here on the remote edge of the frozen tundra. (Northern NY state) $80 for a 4 gallon case. When I go to Indianapolis to visit my wife's family I buy 4 Gallon cases @ Hobbytown USA North in Casleton. It costs me $68 or $16.99 a gallon.

A little research & planning can save a lot on glow fuel.
Old 12-16-2013, 06:17 AM
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There is just no way that the hobby is nearly as cool when you are flying coffee cups with fan motors and flashlight batteries.

Internal Combustion is the only way to go.
Old 12-16-2013, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by on_your_six View Post

Internal Combustion is the only way to go.
I couldn't agree more. +1
Old 12-16-2013, 06:51 AM
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The large glow engines don't need nitro and not much oil. If you use castor oil you can make glow fuel for about the same or less than gasoline. Probably less when you consider the gas engine needs oil as well.
Old 12-16-2013, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sport_Pilot View Post
The large glow engines don't need nitro and not much oil. If you use castor oil you can make glow fuel for about the same or less than gasoline. Probably less when you consider the gas engine needs oil as well.
When you consider that hauling smelly gas inside your car on a regular basis is more dangerous than hauling methanol based glow fuel, "gas" engines become less desirable.

If you must buy a trailer or pick up to haul your gear to the field to avoid the above, you are adding considerably to the cost of running the "gas" engine. I regularly hauled a 1 piece wing 95" WS Sr Telemaster & all of my gear in an '85 Volkswagan Golf so a trailer or pickup isn't an absolute neccesity.

Last edited by SrTelemaster150; 12-16-2013 at 08:20 AM.
Old 12-16-2013, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sport_Pilot View Post
The large glow engines don't need nitro and not much oil. If you use castor oil you can make glow fuel for about the same or less than gasoline. Probably less when you consider the gas engine needs oil as well.
Keep in mind that glow engines burn almost twice as much fuel as gasoline engines so even if the per gallon price is the same, the glow engine will use more fuel than a gasoline engine will. However, gasoline engines stink. Glow engines smell much better IMHO. Or really any engines that run glow fuel for that matter.
Old 12-16-2013, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
Keep in mind that glow engines burn almost twice as much fuel as gasoline engines so even if the per gallon price is the same, the glow engine will use more fuel than a gasoline engine will. However, gasoline engines stink. Glow engines smell much better IMHO. Or really any engines that run glow fuel for that matter.
Not wanting to get an argument started here but CDI reduces the (glow) fuel consumption considerably. For those that want to do that, the discontinuance of almost all of Saito's large multi-cylinder Glow engines is a disaster.

The "gas" craze is typical of the American market. So many will change when in reality, when all factors are considered, it's not that big of an improvement.

Last edited by SrTelemaster150; 12-16-2013 at 07:58 AM.
Old 12-16-2013, 07:57 AM
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here in madison, wi we have 2 hobby shops within minutes of each other, one sells 10% for 18.00 gallon, go to the other one and its 26.00 gallon for 10% (same brand) needless to say i won't be going back to the shop with 26.00/gal fuel, they have high prices on everything else in that shop too
Old 12-16-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SrTelemaster150 View Post
Not wanting to get an argument started here but CDI ruduces the (glow) fuel consumption considerably. For those that want to do that, the discontinuance of almost all of Saito's large multi-cylinder Glow engines is a disaster.

The "gas" craze is typical of the American market. So many will change when in reality, when all factors are considered, it's not that big of an improvement.
I thought about it after the fact, but I forgot you can run a leaner mixture on ignition, but your consumption is still higher than gasoline. The stoichiometric fuel/air ratio of gasoline is almost twice the fuel/air ratio of methanol. If you add nitro your burning a little more yet. I'm not trying to argue, just want to keep the facts right.

However, despite the fuel consumption, I would have no reservations for running big glow engines. I probably won't go much larger than 23cc though, mainly because I don't want to build anything that big.
Old 12-16-2013, 08:21 AM
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$13 a gallon (small US size one) Ritches Brew at Toledo. I pick up what I need for the year when I go there. I seldom go through a gallon a year. I have been playing more with my Sig Wonder lately than the bigger stuff. I think the smaller stuff is going away more so than the bigger ones. By the time you hook up your trailer on to the the pickup, assemble the plane with a bit of help, tie it down, get everything checked out.... The price of fuel is negligible. I am 15 minutes to my field and spend more on gas for the van than I would on fuel for a plane. Mixing methanol and oil on a bigger motor takes less oil than say a .46. The oil is the expensive part (and nitro) There is also a weight savings over gas. Gas is really taking over though, even with the extra batteries, regulators etc. I don't think money for fuel is the only reason big glows are thinning out. I see a lot of planes worth more than any of my cars being pulled by diesel trucks and trailers that are worth as much as a house.
Old 12-16-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SrTelemaster150 View Post
When you consider that hauling smelly gas inside your car on a regular basis is more dangerous than hauling methanol based glow fuel, "gas" engines become less desirable.

If you must buy a trailer or pick up to haul your gear to the field to avoid the above, you are adding considerably to the cost of running the "gas" engine. I regularly hauled a 1 piece wing 95" WS Sr Telemaster & all of my gear in an '85 Volkswagan Golf so a trailer or pickup isn't an absolute neccesity.
I have two gas powered planes and I am converting a third from glow to gas. My chief reasons for change are economy and the elimination of slime. I haul my planes to the field in an SUV - with a little care there's no gas smell.
Old 12-16-2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by grosbeak View Post
I have two gas powered planes and I am converting a third from glow to gas. My chief reasons for change are economy and the elimination of slime. I haul my planes to the field in an SUV - with a little care there's no gas smell.
A carry Formula 409 & Windex to eliminate the "slime". Cleaning the airframe allows for a thourough post flight check.
Old 12-16-2013, 08:45 AM
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You can thank our federal government for the demise of the availability of nitro methane. All nitro is now imported because the EPA closed our manufacturing plants. This in turn ushered in the resurrection of gas engines and electric motors. I still fly glow both 2 and four cycles engines. Gas engines and electric motors are here to stay and nothing will turn this around sad to say.
Old 12-16-2013, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
You can thank our federal government for the demise of the availability of nitro methane. All nitro is now imported because the EPA closed our manufacturing plants. This in turn ushered in the resurrection of gas engines and electric motors. I still fly glow both 2 and four cycles engines. Gas engines and electric motors are here to stay and nothing will turn this around sad to say.
I buy pure nitro for $55/gal with free shipping. How the free shipping, I don't know. Last gallon I got through Amazon believe it or not. Redeemed points and got it 40% off to boot. So just because it's imported doesn't mean you can't get it at a semi-reasonable price.
Old 12-16-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
You can thank our federal government for the demise of the availability of nitro methane. All nitro is now imported because the EPA closed our manufacturing plants.
And I suppose there was no plausable reason for that huh?
Old 12-16-2013, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
You can thank our federal government for the demise of the availability of nitro methane. All nitro is now imported because the EPA closed our manufacturing plants. This in turn ushered in the resurrection of gas engines and electric motors. I still fly glow both 2 and four cycles engines. Gas engines and electric motors are here to stay and nothing will turn this around sad to say.
Nitromethane is still being manufactured in the United States by:

ANGUS Chemical Company

A Subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company
Old 12-16-2013, 10:57 AM
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The EPA didn't close anything. Angnus is still makeing nitro in the US. They have an aversion of selling pure nitro to anybody they don't know are handling it properly because there is a very remote chance it can explode. No matter there has only been one known explosion of pure nitromethane reported a rail car I believe. They will no longer sell pure nitro to drag racers and will only sell for RC use when blended with 50% methanol. Drag racers and fuel blenders want 100% nitro so they buy from China.

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