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Considering my First Gas Plane - Any Advice?

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  • Considering my First Gas Plane - Any Advice?

    This past Sunday at my club field, there was a large amount of folks that brought their gas warbirds. The coolest one for me was a Galloping Ghost made by CARF (I think?), powered by some Kolm engine.

    Watching a bunch of these birds in flight suddenly made me want to get a gas warbird, and I an contemplating a 15-20cc plane to wet my feet.

    Any words of advise from folks that fly both electric and gas? Recommended websites for knowledge bases and discussions?

    Some background, flying electrics for over 7 years. Primarily 70mm EDFs, FW A10, and my largest warbirds were FMS 1.4m Stuka and BF109.

    And here is the picture of the galloping ghost

  • #2
    Stay electric.


    Sean
     

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    • #3
      My advice is DON'T DO IT !

      Nothing good can come from it.


      Super Airliner, Corsair, Viper, BAE Hawk, L-39, A-6, PC-21, B-25, T-28, GeeBee, Wildcat, Stinson, F-16, F-4

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      • #4
        Nice flight on the P-40 Sean. How are flight times on the larger 12S warbirds?

        I hope to also get into turbines later too, same advice with staying electric? lol

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dirty Dee View Post
          Nice flight on the P-40 Sean. How are flight times on the larger 12S warbirds?

          I hope to also get into turbines later too, same advice with staying electric? lol
          Thanks!

          As you well know, until we have a major breakthrough in battery technology, fueled power systems will give us a longer flight time for the same power output.

          That being said, I was getting a safe 5 1/2 minute flight on "junk" 5000 mah batteries back then. I'm sure I could get 7 minutes with today's higher mah, better quality batteries. My P-40 was going to be my jump to big "gassers" until I figured out I could convert that airframe. Then, while my club mates were fiddling with their gassers at the field, I just plugged in and flew. Not to mention the sound you get from an electric (prop) over the constant weed eater noise from a gasser. Thus, I don't ever see myself getting into a gasser over electric...a 5 1/2 minute flight is the limit of my attention span.

          However, regarding turbines, I think they're a lot more reliable than 2-/4-stroke engines, and provide longer flight times than our electrics. Thus, I hope to be into a turbine next year myself. I don't see myself ever getting away from the convenience of electrics, and I'm not a big fan of messing with fuels, however, as the saying goes, "nothing beats a turbine".

          Sean

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          • #6
            Yea, I really like the convenience of electric. No fiddling, just plug in and go. The smaller gas engines can definitely sound like weedwhackers, but there seem to be a few higher dollar engines that have a much sweeter sound, and are more available as engine sizes increase (though so does price!)

            I do have concerns with having to start the motors, then moving around a plane with an active turning prop to get set up for flying. Sucks that onboard starters aren't really available until you get to 60cc i think.

            Then you have the storage, would need to keep this in the garage as my workshop is in the house, so I wouldn't stink things up.

            I'm heading to my club field this weekend, so I'll be picking peoples brains since there are a fair amount of folks who fly gas warbirds.

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            • #7
              I bought an NGH engine and all the support items & fuel tank for the plane. I could never get the engine to run quite right it would idle fine but surge at full throttle. MRC sent me a new engine I haven't run it up yet. I ordered a new OS engine and going back to glow power on my BUSA Eindecker. I do have several electric planes that enjoy flying when I get the chance that I bought from Motion. I've been eyeing the Flightline Corsair just don't know when I'll pull the trigger on it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dirty Dee View Post
                This past Sunday at my club field, there was a large amount of folks that brought their gas warbirds. The coolest one for me was a Galloping Ghost made by CARF (I think?), powered by some Kolm engine.

                Watching a bunch of these birds in flight suddenly made me want to get a gas warbird, and I an contemplating a 15-20cc plane to wet my feet.

                Any words of advise from folks that fly both electric and gas? Recommended websites for knowledge bases and discussions?

                Some background, flying electrics for over 7 years. Primarily 70mm EDFs, FW A10, and my largest warbirds were FMS 1.4m Stuka and BF109.

                And here is the picture of the galloping ghost
                Go for it. I fly gas, nitro and electric.
                There is quite a few 30cc class gas planes out there. If you dont want to start out with gas on a warbird then go for a nice pattern or 3d plane
                You have to have patience with gas engines. They have a run in period. Its not unusual to have a bit of a sputtering mid range. You want to avoid having the on off mid range though. By that I mean your gas engine goes form idle to a high rpm and skips through much of the mid range. That is the biggest problem I see with gas engines. Once you have ran a few tanks of gas through it though you will find the mid range and power band will be smoother. Your flight times will be at the minimum double your electric. Cost wise is an age old debate. I use ethanol free, "recreation gas". Some call it marina gas because its the type gas people buy for their boats. Like nitro, with gas you will get bogged down with everyone having their own opinion of what oil to mix etc. etc. I ended up with stihl ultra synthetic oil because i can buy it anywhere and it meets all the standards.

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                • #9
                  Electric flight is almost hassle free. EDF jets have come a long way too. If Tesla were alive today, we'd probably be using "wireless electricity" to power the planes. Would be nice if Elon Musk could offer the RC world a line of Tesla batteries that give 20 minutes of flight time! Fuel still has it's place and I'd love to have a turbine and all that goes with it...

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                  • #10
                    I've been flying for 4 years. The first 2-1/2 years were electrics then I got into glow and never looked back. I'm flying .46, .55., .65, and .75 OS engines. The heavier balsa design, sound , smell, durability, and repair ablility make flying these planes a much richer experiance. The planes act and feel more realistic. Foam plane landing gear often fails over time on our grass field and the the finish is always subject to nicks and dents no matter how carful you are.
                    Cons are the expense of glow is greater. More equiptment is needed. There is less availability of planes. The clean up takes time. Noise may be a factor where you fly.
                    My advice would be to try a 40 size glow plane first to see if it's for you.
                    I'll be moving to gas when I move to a larger planes.
                    I still enjoy my electrics especially for quick and easy flying. I just get a bigger bang out of the glow.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dirty Dee View Post
                      This past Sunday at my club field, there was a large amount of folks that brought their gas warbirds. The coolest one for me was a Galloping Ghost made by CARF (I think?), powered by some Kolm engine.

                      Watching a bunch of these birds in flight suddenly made me want to get a gas warbird, and I an contemplating a 15-20cc plane to wet my feet.

                      Any words of advise from folks that fly both electric and gas? Recommended websites for knowledge bases and discussions?

                      Some background, flying electrics for over 7 years. Primarily 70mm EDFs, FW A10, and my largest warbirds were FMS 1.4m Stuka and BF109.

                      And here is the picture of the galloping ghost
                      Find the right airframe(aircraft) that you like, be it a warbird or not. I fly a lot big aircraft all gas. If you setup and bench run your gas engine then tune it just right it will be hands off and run forever. If you slap it into something and go fly it your going to be playing hell for not taking the time to do it right.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would say you need to do what you like. If you have an interest in something, you owe it to yourself to at least try it. If it doesn't work for you, sell it, toss it, shelve it, and move on. I've been building & flying stick built glow/gas planes for 25+ years and loved every second of it. However, in 2019 I ventured out into the world of EDF's because I have always LOVED JETS! There have been some trade off's that I am still trying to tolerate and accept like the pathetic flight times. EDF flight times suck, plain and simple! On the other hand, they are plug and play, no mess, no cleanup, no tuning, no fiddling, no fussing, no significant noise, no transporting issues due to size, no extra field equipment to haul around. So, until I can afford a Turbine Jet, I will stay with the EP & EDF's. I don't see me ever going back to the big gas/glow stuff.

                        Honestly, I think you just need to ask yourself, what is it you want to enjoy most out of flying any one particular style/power source of aircraft. What aspects of gas do you like? What aspects of glow do you like, what aspects of EP do you like. Lay it all out and go with one or even all. No one says you have to stay with one style of plane/power source. Personally, I have found that the EP stuff can be a good deal less expensive than some of the initial costs of flying the larger fuel stuff and that is a large factor in my choices. As a result, I very seldom buy anything new anymore (plane, engine, retracts, etc.). I try to find good deals on used stuff as often as I can. If you do go to gas, again, I would find some used stuff that you can save some money in case you decide the gassers are not for you.
                        https://vf59.weebly.com/

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for keeping this thread going, guys. Excellent input from everyone!

                          Dirty Dee You are skilled and technically minded so I don't see you having an trouble embracing gas. 15cc is a nice place to start. There are many options in that size range, none of which should give you any flying worries since you're a confident Freewing A-10 driver. It appears you have an active club friendly to gas, and in my mind that is often the most important element. The practical advantages of having a field with gas flyers makes the early phase of exploration less worrisome because you have access to firsthand knowledge. Setting up an engine, breaking it in, servo choices, fuel mixes, maintenance routines, prop selection and tuning, etc are all easier to digest when discussed in person.

                          Your fellow flyer's Galloping Ghost is a stunner!

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                          • #14
                            Yea, thanks all!
                            Cold weather and the wave of holidays got me side-tracked so I didn't dig much into this the past few months.

                            That's correct Alpha, my club has a lot of gas (and turbine) flyers so there are plenty of people to get help and advice from. After I made the thread, I had a discussion with a few folks at the field and haven't been swayed from getting one. There is a swap meet coming up so I may try to pick up a 15cc plane, or otherwise I was eyeing the Hangar 9 Hellcat. Though cost definitely adds up when you start from scratch, so I'm hoping to find something at the swap meet to keep things affordable while I figure out if it's right for me.

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