Aircraft Fuel

Model Aircraft fuel is again different to either car, buggy and helicopter fuels. Unlike car and buggy fuel that often has very low resistance to RPM due to a jump or a helicopter fuel that is near constant speed with great variations in torque- aircraft fuel is under constant load due to the propeller being fixed to the crank shaft. This may seem that it has less need for quality product- not so- model aircraft engines are the oldest on the planet- they were there well before boat, helicopter and buggy engines. In fact all other engines developed from the simple old aircraft engine.

Originally there were no glow plugs, only diesel engines- not that they ran on diesel- not as we know it in cars and trucks BUT because they were compression combustion engines. The fuel consisted of 1/3 Ether, 1/3 Castor Oil and 1/3 Kerosene. Some of the brave added some IPN to give it more oomphh!  My first engine was even more advanced- it was a Mc Coy - a petrol engine with a small Champion spark plug, coil, battery and contactor attached to the crank shaft- a total dog of an engine- you had to be part engineer, part magician and part doctor to get it to work. when the first glow plug engines arrived we had no Methanol and had to make a type of what is called to day “Bio Fuel” by using Alcohol- “Ethanol”. We bough it as Methiolate of Spirits (Metho), a Purple liquid in a glass bottle.

 So! whoever tells you that Bio Fuel is a new idea is either very young or very ill informed. Nitromethane came a lot later and was mostly only available in the USA. today it is a different story- we are all vying for the top spot in fuel bending and only the mentally fittest, toughest and HONEST will win- the rest will fall by the wayside.

Model Aircraft engines of today are strong- reliable and easy to use PLUS you can buy any amount of brands, blends and concoctions in a bottle from a hobby shop. This does not mean that they are all good. The demands of society dictates differently- margins are always under pressure and cheaper solutions are permanently looked for. This has one and only one outcome- to make cheaper fuel you have to buy cheaper and less reliable ingredients- well - at Ozzie Traders we only buy the best- and only the best- we can guarantee that- we refuse to compromise and if we can not remain in business - or remain fit and find other solutions to make margin then we must give it up- we will not compromise on the quality that the engine manufacturer requires.

  Modern model aircraft engines will run on oils as low as 10%- the rule of thumb is that the larger the engine the less oil it requires- but if you tamper with the porting of the engine, run the engine too lean, reduce the airflow over the engine you will need more oil- not just any oil- first pressing castor oil of a light honey colour. Adding synthetic only will not solve your incapabilities. If you meddle with the porting of the engine to get an advantage over your competitors- expect problems- your engine will run hot- will have serious wear and create all types of issues. If you can not go fast through flying better then take up gambling or gardening- it will be a lot less expensive. A typical .25 size engine requires around 15% to 20% blended oils in a combination of castor and synthetic- with a NITRO addition from 0% to 15%. A large open cowl engine of say 20 cc to 25 cc can get away with 10% 12% plus oils. A .120 size engine can quite comfortably run on 14 to 16% oils BUT if you tamper with the engine or run lean or reduce cooling you will need at least 23% oil with no less than 14% castor. If you insist on running low oil- be prepared to pay the price for trying to be unfairly competitive. You can not buy a win by making power- you first have to learn to fly in that envelope.
In 2000 we were commissioned to make the FAI fuel used at the Bundaberg Pylon Wold Championship. We set a world speed record at that meet and there are guys around today that still talk about the even power that was developed at that meeting. We have been making FAI Racing fuel for the Victorian Pylon Association for the past 9 years and still the quality is as good as what was made in 1999 when we started. Quite some record!!

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