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glow fuel

Old 07-25-2015, 06:04 PM
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halflight
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Default glow fuel

what's going to happen to glow flyers
I feel like we are being squeezed out of the hobby in the not to distant future by electric and gas powered
a local hobby shop does not stock glow fuel any more because of the high hasmat cost
I guess it's just supply and demand just like kits

when will OS quit glow engines
I see where they are going to gas also
Old 07-25-2015, 07:27 PM
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jester_s1
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Oh yeah, glow is going out. I could see it holding on in racing since you can't get the RPM from gas that you can with glow, but that will probably be it in 10 years or so. The good news though is that glow is being phased out of the market by new and better technologies. I truly look forward to having reliable gas engines for my .40-.60 size planes. Or maybe I'll go electric when my glow engines are worn out. Either option will work just fine, better in most ways.
Old 07-25-2015, 07:52 PM
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JPMacG
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Some clubs order fuel in bulk directly from the fuel manufacturers. It is delivered by the pallet load and shipping costs are greatly reduced. Some guys mix their own fuel. Methanol is available at race tracks and is inexpensive. Oil can be shipped without a hazmat fee. Nitromethane is expensive and does require a hazmat fee, but a little goes a long way. Most engines run fine without any nitro at all.

There are enough used glow engines available from modelers going to electric or gas to last decades for those who want to fly glow.

Glow is an important part of the hobby to some of us. We will manage.

Last edited by JPMacG; 07-25-2015 at 07:56 PM.
Old 07-26-2015, 08:06 PM
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jester_s1
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I don't see why it's that important, honestly. I'd hate to see glow disappear from the hobby today for sure, but with small gassers being developed now they will improve in performance, come down in price, and be available in greater variety with time. So if in 5 years I have the option to power a .60 size sport plane with glow or gas and I get roughly the same weight and similar power with either, there's no way I'm buying a glow engine. Now it's true that gassers will never match the specs of glow, especially in max horsepower for the weight of engine, but if they can make it up in torque like the OS 15cc gasser does we'll do just fine with them.
Old 07-26-2015, 09:46 PM
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chuckk2
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Electric Power will be more and more popular as the battery weight/ energy ratio improves.
Currently, like other clubs, we buy pallets of glow fuel. Since the club holds the annual SE
model show and swap meet, we can usually get a significant volume discount.
Even so, because of the fuel cost, many of the members are gradually replacing older glow engines with gas ones.
Old 07-27-2015, 12:36 AM
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JohnBuckner
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"Don't see why its that important" Eh. This reminds me so much of almost identical conversations more than fifty years ago when many folks (new born RC proponents) were gleefully pronouncing the death of controlline. Well we never went away and are since the rebirth in the early nineties stronger and growing every day.

Some of us will continue to use two stroke glow, four stroke glow, Electric (flew my first electric airplane in 1959) vintage ignition, modern gasser, diesel, rubber, pulse jet and my latest addition turbine. And you know what money has nothing to do with any of those choices. I will continue to enjoy them all to best of my ability until I croak!

John
Old 07-27-2015, 08:52 AM
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JPMacG
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Right. It is a hobby. Our choices are not based on logic. We do what we think is fun. I think glow is fun. I am not so interested in electric or gas. Just a personal preference.
Old 07-27-2015, 05:22 PM
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I haven't seen glow fuel or engines going away any time soon but I have been seeing the price of glow fuel going up to the point of forcing us away from buying ready made fuel or new glow engines. Any of us that have been in the hobby for any length of time have a large stash of some very high end glow engines and will be using them for a very long time.
I get my fuel on sale but it has gone up to $15.00 a gallon and if it isn't on sale the prices are stupid. Back a decade or so I made my own fuel for a short time. It's really very easy and cheap. Back then I even had a local speed shop where I got my alcohol and nitro. I haven't bothered to look around but it's still out there. Just get a couple guys together and brew your own. If your running two strokes then FAI is cheap and easy to make. I run four strokes and the type I have like about 15% nitro.
Old 07-27-2015, 06:38 PM
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52larry52
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It all goes in cycles. We are a diverse group with differing needs, budgets, and preferences. I prefer glo over electric or gas, it works well in the type of plane I fly, costs are within my budget, and I like internal combustion engines. I don't do any gas powered planes because nothing I own is of a size that exceeds what an glo engine can fly and then I only have to fool with one type of fueling system. (keeping it as simple as possible) It's what works for me. Do what works for you, and don't dump all your glo stuff just because some other "lemmings" in your club are all going gas, or all going electric cause it's new or cool. Change to gas or electric only if it is a better fit for your flying needs or preference. Glo is not going to disappear completely anytime soon. Yes it's market share will be reduced as gas and electric improves but it will always be there. Electric cars are being pushed hard by the nature nuts and the federal government but I still drive a gasoline powered car, how about you?
Old 07-31-2015, 11:13 AM
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my local club has got glow fuel in bulk. 55 gal. It cost about $10.50 a gal. the last time, and that has been a couple of years ago.

Glow fuel will last a long time if its keep out of "light" , "heat", and humidly. It is a pain trying to get enough to buy " right now" as no one wants a 55 gal. drum around. We have had people say they will but "X" number of gal. and back out when the fuel show up. They others have to buy more, but at the cost savings its worth it.

I still like glow, but have a large number of elect now.

One good side is buying used engines is much cheaper. I have picked up some used planes at swap meets with nice Saito engines on them for little bit of money.
Old 08-01-2015, 11:50 AM
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Chuckc21
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Why would you not want to go for electric or gas. I have one more glow engine left and it will be replaced with a gas engine when it is wore out. Gas is way cheaper than glow fuel, allowing me to be able to fly more for less. I LOVE IT!!
Old 08-01-2015, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckc21 View Post
Why would you not want to go for electric or gas. I have one more glow engine left and it will be replaced with a gas engine when it is wore out. Gas is way cheaper than glow fuel, allowing me to be able to fly more for less. I LOVE IT!!
I'll take this as a serious question and answer it. For people just getting into the hobby going glow isn't the best way to go and I wouldn't recommend glow to anyone new. With the advent of the new battery technology electric is a good way to go, I even have one little electric plane on hand. However if your going into bigger planes then electric can run into a pile of money. If you have deep pockets then it is a good choice.
Gas is a better choice for people like myself. I have been into this hobby sense 1956 and have always loved anything with an engine. I worked in a small engine repair shop so there aren't any surprises about gas engines. I have a couple nice gas engines on hand. Anyone wanting to get in the hobby and stay wet I recommend going gas.
The reason I don't go all gas is simple, a no brainer for those of us that have been around for a while. Retirement money doesn't allow a lot of us to start over.
I have really nice high dollar glow engines under the bench, a lot of them. I like YS and have ended up with a lot of them over the years. Can't sell them and get any money for them. A few weeks ago I paid $20.00 for what was supposed to be a parts engine. Someone tried to replace the bearings and gave up?? That means I just got another high end YS glow engine for 20 bucks and the price of a new set of bearings. About another 20 bucks.
You are correct, gas is cheaper, a lot cheaper but going from glow to gas is out of my means so I buy my fuel when on sale and stock up.
If need be mixing my own fuel comes out a bit more then gas but I have to mix it in at least 15 gallon batches. I don't like the idea of storing that much fuel here at home. At one point in time I used to store a couple 55 gallon drums of mixed gas for my sand dragster but that made me nervous too.
Anyway, if anyone decides they want to donate a big bunch of the new gas engines to me so I can break away from glow power I'll thank you very much. Until then I will stick with glow. I don't care for the cost of the fuel or the smell. My YS engines don't wear out either. Good engines are worth rebuilding and it's cheap.
Question Answered.
Old 08-01-2015, 04:02 PM
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Chuckc21
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Did not mean to offend anybody, just saying that I have fly ALOT. I have burned a little more than two cases of fuel this summer, and there is 6 gallons in a case. The price of the glow fuel is eating me up, that's why as soon as that engine bites the dust I will put a gas engine in it and never look back. Every plane of mine form now on will be gas.
Old 08-01-2015, 04:57 PM
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Didn't offend but I thought maybe a couple of the guys would donate a couple of the new little gas engines if I cried loud enough. When I moved here it was still mostly glow powered planes then the cheap Chinese gas engines hit the market. All of a sudden glow engines were far and few between and the planes started getting bigger. This was at a time when I was building smaller planes again. The DLE 30 was king for a long time. Then the 111 has taken over and I see bigger engines being used on our club web site right now.
I just sold my G-62 and the biggest gasser I have now is 40cc.
I just came in from the shop, I opened up a YS diaphragm to clean it and do a check, now I stink like glow fuel.
Tomorrow I will work on my electric. PM glow fuel is still about 15 bucks a gallon. I'm thinking when it hits 20 I will get out of the hobby.
Old 08-01-2015, 05:08 PM
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Fuel is well over $20/gallon here in NY.
I worked pretty hard last summer trying to find sources of methanol and nitro, to mix my own. Not too much success.
Certainly not success as measured in finding low-cost sources.
There is a care repair shop nearby and the owner has a top-fuel dragster, so he has both methanol and nitro.
He has offered me access to his stash.
Maybe I can trade for a plane???
Old 08-01-2015, 05:47 PM
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At one point I had all the alcohol I wanted for free, we had an injected sand digger on straight alcohol and the guys mother worked at a Rail Road warehouse and got it for him in 55 gallon drums. I was only flying U-Control at the time and didn't need it. Then in Merced Calif. the Super Shop had it in 15 gallon drums and would order the nitro. There was a Hobby People in Modesto that had nitro on the shelf.
I haven't checked but the Vegas Raceway is just down the road and I'm sure the people at the drag strip would know where to get the items needed to brew my own.
Cost today??mI know the nitro went way up in cost!
Old 08-02-2015, 06:20 AM
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I fly mostly .40 to .60 sized 2-strokes. I usually go through about 5 gallons of glow fuel in a year. I have been paying $15 a gallon, so $75 total fuel bill for a year of flying. To put this in perspective, the round-trip drive to the field in my SUV costs me (twice a week during flying season - about 50 trips) about $500 per year.
Old 08-02-2015, 07:19 AM
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JPMacG, "AMEN !"
Old 08-02-2015, 07:27 AM
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In California the price of 10% glow fuel is $25 a gallon. I tried gas once but the smell turned me off so I continue to fly glow and electric.
Old 08-02-2015, 09:09 AM
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I don't care for gas or electric, I fly glow exclusively. I've taken a few steps to prepare for the decline of glow.

I have changed over to using only Enya engines, and only a limited range of sizes, .049 to .40, making it easy to stock many years worth of parts.

I too have noticed that glow fuel is getting harder to find, and more expensive when I do find it. Fortunately I am a resourceful type, and am able to source fuel components locally and mix my own fuel. The hardest component to buy locally is nitro, so I buy whatever fuel I can find, especially high nitro car fuel, and add oil or alcohol as necessary to get the blend I need. Alcohol and oil are pretty easy to find locally, nitro not so much.

Glow flyers will need to become a bit more creative as time goes by.

Last edited by 049flyer; 08-02-2015 at 09:21 AM.
Old 08-02-2015, 01:00 PM
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Long live the glow heads!
Old 08-02-2015, 02:18 PM
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Glow fuel expensive? Is money truly the problem? If so, one answer to the high cost of glow fuel is to fly smaller planes. Pretty hard to run 6 gallons a year through .25 size glow and smaller aircraft.

Just think how much you'll save! Don't need a truck, trailer, 8 high dollar servos per plane, and $25 props. Small planes are cheap and engines even cheaper. I easily get 6 planes in my Ford Focus which gets almost 30 miles to the gallon.

I'm thinking it's not really about money. Folks around here spend WAY more on other things related to their part of the hobby than fuel.

Last edited by 049flyer; 08-02-2015 at 02:33 PM.
Old 08-02-2015, 03:50 PM
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There is no true answer to this, we are what we are and like what we like.

I am a glow kind of guy, but elect is very nice also. I am at the stage of trying Gas, will see how that goes. But I don't think I will ever be over my love of glow, when the cremate me, I might ask for glow fuel !!!!!!!!!!!!

anyway, enjoy the hobby as I have. I will try anything twice !

sticks
Old 08-02-2015, 03:52 PM
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I myself will continue to fly glow.I only fly no more than a few gallons a year mostly (I dont fly like I use too) and I usually pay no more than about $23 a gallon which is very affordable for me
so I have no problems with that. I mostly fly .40 to .90 size anyways and have no intention on going gas or electric anytime soon. Don't need to. I'm also still happy to be using my 72Mhz radio gear and have no intention of changing that either.
Old 08-02-2015, 04:00 PM
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Oh hell, remember, nothing lasts forever ! LOL

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