Glow engines will ALWAYS fire and run if….

I had a question today about why a glow engine wouldn’t start after a flight. Here’s my reply…..

Even though a glow plug will glow when you apply a battery to it, it can still be bad. The platinum plating on it can be damaged. It should still fire when the battery pack’s applied, though.

If you have good compression, a good plug, and good fuel, the engine WILL fire. If it won’t fire, then the engine is either too lean so that there’s not enough fuel to fire, or there’s too much fuel (flooded) and the excess fuel shields the plug from causing the fuel/air mixture to fire. Not much to actually go wrong.

If you’re having difficulties, close the needle valve, remove the glow plug, put a rag over the glow plug hole, and spin the engine over for several seconds (or vigorously flip it) to work out any excess liquid fuel that may be in the engine. Replace the plug; use a new one if you have it. Keep the needle closed, but energize the plug and try to start the engine. After a bit, it should fire and run for a few seconds, burning the remaining fuel that’s present. Keep doing this until the engine won’t fire. Then open the needle valve to the normal starting position, prime and start. Be careful to not overprime the engine.

Your engine should start easily. Most starting difficulties are due to something in the technique or settings, and not anything actually wrong with the engine. Again, if you have good compression, good fuel, and a good glow plug, the engine WILL fire.

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How about toggled flaps on your 12FG or higher transmitter?

We were asked how to make flaps work only when the throttle was below a certain point. Here’s how:

You use a condition. Create a new condition, set it to the throttle so that the condition is turned on when the throttle is above the desired point. Go into the AFR section and then the flap channel. Turn on the condition. Set the flap channel to SINGL. Now set the AFR curve to a flat line: RateA and RateB to 0%. Now set the offset so that the flaps are retracted. When you turn the condition on, the flaps should go to the retracted position. When the condition is off, the flaps will work as desired.

If you have more than two conditions, then the condition that has the flaps turned off must be the last one on the list. That takes priority over all other conditions.

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Futaba 8FG Programming 02–User name and new model

8FG—Airplane setup.  First Steps

User name and new model creation

In our first installment to Futaba 8FG transmitter programming, we discussed how you may want to think about what you want to do with it as far as the model setup is concerned.  Now, we’re going to start the programming process.  Continue reading

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Futaba 8FG Programming Guide—Introduction

Futaba 8FG transmitter

The Futaba 8FG transmitter is probably one of the most advanced transmitters available to the modern RC flyer.  It offers features unmatched in other transmitters that have the same number of channels, and has few limitations in its programming abilities.  With a small amount of time getting familiar with how the transmitter should be programmed, you’ll find there’s little you cannot do for the vast majority of models.

The philosophy behind the programming of the Futaba 8FG is geared towards the functions used in your model, and not the actual channels.  Continue reading

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Hi-flier Automatic Kit Assembly

Hi-Flier made some plastic kites that had “automatic” assembly.  That is, there was a plastic slider that held the cross sticks and you would slide it down the main stick until it locked into place.  This put the proper amount of tension and bow into the kit…although the cross stick wasn’t really bowed.  It had true dihedral because the sticks were under very little tension.

Here’s a pic of the plastic joiner:

Plastic center joiner partially unfolded

Continue reading

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More vintage kites…

It’s been well over a month since I went back to the antique market (it’s only on the 3rd Sunday of the month), and found a few more kites.  All are Hi-Flier kites, but of more-recent vintage.  Likely 70’s to 80’s.  While my fiance chatted with our friends, I went through the kits and picked a few more.

The Hustler kite is basically a regular diamond kite with clear plastic except where the airplane graphic is printed.  The main thing is its size…it’s four feet tall!  Also, the back has a gadget that holds the center together.  The kite was “self building” because the sticks were in the gadget and you slid the gadget down the center stick and the two sides came out.  The proper angle was formed and all…no need to add a string to bow the kite.

Another diamond is the “Jonathon Livingston Seagull” kite.  It’s a regular vinyl kite like the red and blue ones in the post below.  I got it because I have an autographed copy of the original book.

The other three are delta-type kites that Hi-Flier made in the 80’s or so.  A Buzzard, and Eagle, and a Mickey Mouse.  The Buzzard and Eagle use four wooden sticks for the keel, the wings, and the spreader that holds the wings apart.  Mickey is a later kit and uses plastic for the keel and wings, but has a wooden stick for the wings.  The Eagle and Buzzard have special plastic fittings on the wing sticks to hold the spreader, but the Mickey kite has grooves in the wing spars for the spreader.  Likely, the Mickey kite has the plastic keel and wing supports in order to keep costs down.  I’ve put up pictures of the backs of the Buzzard, Eagle and Mickey kites to show the differences.

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My old Mach-1

I was looking through a bunch of old pictures I had and found the oldie.  It’s an old Polaroid of me and my Mach-I Pattern airplane from the early 1970’s…about 1974 or ’75.  The pic was old and I displayed it on RC Universe.  One of the members there did a color-correction before I could get to it.  It turned out to be a very nice job, and the colors came out almost perfect.

Unfortunately, the plane met with a spectacular end when I lost orientation in the air, and it went straight down at full throttle.  It hit nose-first in soft earth, burying the nose just past the leading edge of the wing.  The fuselage aft of the wing and forward of the empennage exploded into little sticks.  Almost all of the electronics were destroyed, along with the retracts.  The engine survived almost unscathed, with just the high-speed needle valve broken off.  I just ordered a new assembly and the engine was ‘good as new’ after cleaning out all the dirt.  Sometimes you get a little lucky.

The picture was taken at the Champaign County Radio Control Club flying field just north of the Lake of the Woods county park in Mahomet, Illinois.  The club moved to a more-permanent flying site a few years later.

Anyway, here’s the pic for your enjoyment.

Mach-I Clean

Me and my Mach I--1974 or so

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Nostalgic Hi-Flier Kites

I made quite a score this past weekend.  I was at an antique show/flea market with  my fiance and discovered that one of our friends, who are dealers, had acquired a bunch of vintage Hi-Flier Kites.  There were some some good ones, so we picked them up.  I flew copies of these exact kits when I was a child.  I had quite the good time going through the stack, trying to pick out the ones that weren’t too badly aged or mouse-nibbled.

Our friend told us that they had a large box of kites that came with an estate they’d purchased.  They told us that they’d bring the box with them to next month’s show.  I can’t wait!  I’ve attached the pics.

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Senior Falcon Plans Build

I finally started building a Carl Goldberg Senior Falcon.  I’ve never had one, but have flown others’ airplanes.  I’ve always wanted one because they are such good flyers, and excellent general-purpose models.  The kit’s been discontinued for quite a while, so I’m building it from the plans. Continue reading

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The so-called radio-control aileron trainer

I was reading in one of the R/C web forums that a certain airplane was a good “aileron trainer.”  Now, I’ve always wondered what that means.  Does the person refer to the fact that flying the model with ailerons is more difficult than without?  Maybe it just means that the model is an R/C trainer airplane with ailerons.  Hmmm… makes one wonder. Continue reading

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