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  • Model Airplane Engine Plans

    Over the years model airplane magazines have posted plans for home construction engines from bar stock or casting kits. And in more recent years there's been a few posted online as well.

    Recently a number of these plans have been posted online for folks to download at the Engines Page at Outerzone .

    Hope you all enjoy browsing the plans. And perhaps someone might find one appealing enough to build.

    There's always the option for converting these designs to glow ignition as well.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

  • #2
    Wow!
    Thanks BCR, that's quite the collection of plans.
    Always was interested in building one at some point.I still have a few old McCoy and Super Tigre engines laying around that I bought in the 60's and always wanted to roll my own.
    It's on the list if not actually on the table just yet.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia

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    • #3
      I've got a few major things to do but I'm hoping to do a couple of air/steam engines in the next year to get a feel for some of the work. Especially the lapping of the pistons to cylinders. But I'd like to make a simple side port engine that fits into some basic square stock like 1 inch square. But using glow ignition since I'm in North America and it's not easy to get the stuff for proper diesel fuel. Plus I never did like the smell in the clothes from the model diesel fuel at the end of the day. So I've already used a bit of time looking through the list.

      Check back on occasion too. Whoever is submitting the plans to the Outerzone web master has been making regular submissions for the past few months. So there's sure to be a few more in the next few too.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        A new hobby! Oh, yes, a new hobby! That's exactly what I need! Shiny, very shiny, a shiny new hobby!

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah, the days of yesteryear.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
          You will find that it has discrete steps.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
            ...................................... But using glow ignition since I'm in North America and it's not easy to get the stuff for proper diesel fuel. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.
            I have a russian diesel engine of about 0.25 cubic inch, but I have not seen model engine diesel fuel for decades. As I recall, it has ether in it, but as far as I know, has nothing in it that would be considered a controlled substance by the ATF. You can get ether at any auto parts store.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a Sea Fury air cooled model outboard that uses a glow plug. Don't know what I am going to do with this thing, but I imagine on good hydroplane model it probably flies.
              Larry - west coast of Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                I have a russian diesel engine of about 0.25 cubic inch, but I have not seen model engine diesel fuel for decades. As I recall, it has ether in it, but as far as I know, has nothing in it that would be considered a controlled substance by the ATF. You can get ether at any auto parts store.
                He's been gone for years now but Eric Clutton used to run a home sales outfit that sold imported diesel engines and he also made and sold fuel for them. That was quite a long time back though. And he was the only one I know of that was selling model diesel in the US.

                The usual recipe for all my early diesel days was 1/3 each of ether, kerosene and castor oil. Then into that 99% mix was about 1 to 2% of an ignition improver to aid with starting. In my youth that was amyl nitrate. The stuff that later on was used during sex to give a rush to the heart and it was turned into a controlled substance after a number of deaths. That led to us using something else I just can't recall the name of.

                And currently a flying buddy that staunchly holds onto his love of model diesel engines is using the basic 1/3 each with no ignition improver. But that's on .15 and .19 sizes. The small stuff is very hard and iffy to start on a straight 1/3 mix. The trace of some sort of improver really aids with the smaller sizes.

                But absolutely nothing helps with that burnt model diesel smell in the skin and clothes at the end of the day. Thus my desire for glow conversions....

                My buddy is buying case lots of John Deere "starting fluid" the last I spoke with him. Then he vents off the propellant with the cans inverted and once still punches a couple of holes and pours the ether into the mixing container. The other two are, or were, easy to get. Who knows with the current situation.... The castor in this case being the degummed commercial lubrication stuff and not the drug store human consumption type for anyone that wants to try this.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cuttings View Post
                  I have a Sea Fury air cooled model outboard that uses a glow plug. Don't know what I am going to do with this thing, but I imagine on good hydroplane model it probably flies.
                  Yes, they do pretty well on a smaller and lighter boat. Well enough to catch and flip in fact.

                  A bit bigger and more sedate and they zip along a lot more safely and can be sent back and forth across a local park pond three or four times before a small'ish fuel tank runs dry. And since they didn't come with mufflers back at that time you'll greatly annoy flocks of bird and people. Not to mention leaving a slight oil slick on the water from the castor oil....

                  I do seem to recall seeing a racing hydroplane style build article in one of the 50's vintage model building magazines. I think it suggested a guide string held by a couple of friends on either side of a small'ish pond and pulled tight with riding loops on the boat so it crossed back and forth. It was pretty small and flippable as I recall.

                  Mostly I think it would look best on display as a conversation piece.....
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Sea Fury has been living in a plastic bag for a lot of years and when I found it it was stuck but I managed to get it to turn over again with a little oil in the cylinder. I don't know if it it would even run. Probably polish it up and hang it on the shop wall would be a good idea.
                    Larry - west coast of Canada

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BCRider View Post

                      ..........................

                      The usual recipe for all my early diesel days was 1/3 each of ether, kerosene and castor oil. Then into that 99% mix was about 1 to 2% of an ignition improver to aid with starting...............................
                      I'd have thought ether was a pretty good "ignition improver", it lights if you frown hard at it. Maybe the idea was not to get it to initially light better, but to put something in that the ether can light easier than kerosene, and which in turn will light the kerosene. Something like a gaine used with explosives.

                      1/3 seems like a whole lot of castor oil
                      CNC machines only go through the motions

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yep, it was a lot. An earlier buddy that made up his own fuel for FAI control line team racing and for the .15 combat models we flew at the time altered the mix for more kero, probably some change to the ether amount and closer to 25% to 28% oil. There's lots of such recipes online if you're game.

                        The ether is certainly the main ingredient to give the initial ignition. 2 stroke model diesels don't use anything like the compression ratio on regular "four stroke" diesels. They would need to be far more heavier if they did and likely few would be able to flip the props over if they were that way. As it was if the engine kicked back hard during a flip the darn prop would just about dislocate a knuckle ! ! ! ! But there's also no doubt that the little trace of some manner of ignition improver also made them easier to start whatever the reason was. For the very basic 1/3 each the result of not having the percent or two of improver was that we had to over compress them to get them started. They almost instantly sounded very labored and over compressed so we'd back off the compression. And at that point they run fine with just the basic swill.

                        But that's an issue with the smaller sizes since it's a very fine line between over compression, which is OK for a moment, and actually having the piston and contra piston kissing and causing serious loads and damage. Hence why the smaller size engines are better with the added ignition improver to aid the ether.

                        But this meant that fast restarts were not really that practical for the basic 3 part recipe due to the need to increase then back off the compression. If one got to it fast so it was still hot it MIGHT start up. But with the improver stuff one could saunter over, point and laugh at the pilot that crashed, casually pick up the model and within a flip or two it would be running and launched again..... control line combat was SOOOOOO much fun.....

                        It's been years since I thought about all this and tried to recall the fuel issues. It's a long time from my teens to now.... So I'm remembering a lot from the last post to this one.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cuttings View Post
                          The Sea Fury has been living in a plastic bag for a lot of years and when I found it it was stuck but I managed to get it to turn over again with a little oil in the cylinder. I don't know if it it would even run. Probably polish it up and hang it on the shop wall would be a good idea.
                          You should. Get it out and enjoy it even if it is just the occasional glance. If it doesn't make you smile pass it on to someone that will tend to it and be happy to have it. That's basically what a lot of engine collectors do anyway. And frankly for boats electric is just SOOOO much more user friendly.
                          Chilliwack BC, Canada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                            ......................... control line combat was SOOOOOO much fun.....

                            .....................................
                            Mebbe for you. I didn't like control line flying, which is one reason I quit messing with model aircraft. I had single and two engine control line planes, was fine with building aircraft, but just never really liked doing the control line thing. At the time, R/C was expensive and limited, so...............
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BCRider View Post

                              He's been gone for years now but Eric Clutton used to run a home sales outfit that sold imported diesel engines and he also made and sold fuel for them. That was quite a long time back though. And he was the only one I know of that was selling model diesel in the US.

                              The usual recipe for all my early diesel days was 1/3 each of ether, kerosene and castor oil. Then into that 99% mix was about 1 to 2% of an ignition improver to aid with starting. In my youth that was amyl nitrate. The stuff that later on was used during sex to give a rush to the heart and it was turned into a controlled substance after a number of deaths. That led to us using something else I just can't recall the name of.

                              And currently a flying buddy that staunchly holds onto his love of model diesel engines is using the basic 1/3 each with no ignition improver. But that's on .15 and .19 sizes. The small stuff is very hard and iffy to start on a straight 1/3 mix. The trace of some sort of improver really aids with the smaller sizes.

                              But absolutely nothing helps with that burnt model diesel smell in the skin and clothes at the end of the day. Thus my desire for glow conversions....

                              My buddy is buying case lots of John Deere "starting fluid" the last I spoke with him. Then he vents off the propellant with the cans inverted and once still punches a couple of holes and pours the ether into the mixing container. The other two are, or were, easy to get. Who knows with the current situation.... The castor in this case being the degummed commercial lubrication stuff and not the drug store human consumption type for anyone that wants to try this.
                              JD starting fluid is the go to brand for making your own fuel in the US. It’s 80% ether, figure the other 20% into the kero figure. Finding Amyl nitrate for ignition improver is the hard part. Dr Diesel (Eric Clutton) died at the end of last year at 93. Interesting guy, sorry to see him go.
                              If you’re looking for a little different tethered model boat, check out a flash steam powered hydroplane.
                              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ACqLSnaxrH0
                              Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                              Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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