Jump to content

The Future of IC Engines


Tony H
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I love IC engines and would consider leaving the hobby of doing gliders if I had to switch to electric. 

 

My question is what do people think the future of IC engines is in the hobby?

 

Now that a large amount of people have converted to electric, new engine prices have gone up, choice has reduced, glow plugs have gone up, Nitro fuel has gone up in price and is harder to get hold of. Not to mention some site only allowed electric flight.

 

I have around 19-20 different IC engines currently, so I just hope there is a decent future for them. I am sure if the UK going green will have an affect as another possible argument against them.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tony H

I too prefer IC over electric and agree with some of what you say though I think price increases are just a sign of the times at the moment ,all things seem to be on a upward trend.

I worry that the noise issue maybe the eventual end of IC  over electric but hopefully not for some time yet. I do love the sound of 4 strokes(but only have two in my small collection of planes), 3 two strokes and one electric .Will soon be adding another 2 stroke to my collection.

Kind Regards 

Tony J

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I mostly fly IC but also some electric, convenient for a quick flight in the field at home  As it is hand launch only most of my aircraft are 3s sort of size but IC's can be any size and use the same fuel. 

I recon big two stroke petrol's have led to more noise issues.  

             You never know but with the high price of imported engines and the others out of the market there may be room for someone to produce some decent glow two stroke's in the say 20 to 60 range.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost all hobby related articles  have seen substantial price increases recently. Shortages have been evident for some time  in respect of kits, engines, batteries, balsa and other materials. I think we need to remember that prices were "high" in the past. We enjoyed lower relative prices for a number of years but I fear those days are gone for good. My first 4 channel radio in kit form (HB) took me a whole summer of holiday work to buy!! And then I could only afford 3 servos.

Glow fuel is not that expensive, glow plugs normally last for years and I intend to keep using my IC engines for many years to come. My Enya, Saito, OS and Laser engines are lost-lasting and reliable so I see no reason to not enjoy them for the foreseeable future. 

Oh yes, and I do have electric models too. But you can't beat the sound of a four stroke engine pulling a scale model around the sky. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

all i am going to say is that model diesel engines have been 'obsolete' for nearly 50 years and yet people still use them and will continue to use them. 

 

The only thing that will kill glow engines is when glowplugs run out (wooo lets panic buy :D) as you can mix fuel yourself provided you can do some rudimentary maths. 

 

Noise is a problem, but it can usually be guarded against with proper exhaust and prop selection. My unsilenced saito 45 is quieter than a number of electrics at my club. As for the environment, methanol is friendlier than petrol i would think. If we can coax our engines into running on bio ethanol (not hard) we would be winning anyway. 

 

We are far more likely to be grounded by boris and co selling the airspace to Amazon and google than anything else. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just did some research.

1960    Fish & chips  8p.      Pint of beer      8p.      Gallon of straight glow fuel    £2.00 (only available in pint cans).

1970       "         "       25p.       "           "        15p.         "               "                 "         £1.00.

2021       "         "      £7.00.      "          "     £3.80.         "               "                 "         £13.10.

 

Still think glow fuel is "expensive" ?

 

kevin b         Rose tinted dept.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, kevin b said:

Just did some research.

1960    Fish & chips  8p.      Pint of beer      8p.      Gallon of straight glow fuel    £2.00 (only available in pint cans).

1970       "         "       25p.       "           "        15p.         "               "                 "         £1.00.

2021       "         "      £7.00.      "          "     £3.80.         "               "                 "         £13.10.

 

Still think glow fuel is "expensive" ?

 

kevin b         Rose tinted dept.

 

The cost of glow fuel argument always makes me scratch my head. 

 

This is because its usually aimed at large engines like say a 50cc 4 stroke twin. The argument is they are very thirsty and use a bunch of fuel. 

Long story short, i can have day's flying on one of these said 50cc 4 stroke twins and use less than half a gallon of fuel. Even if i used a full gallon in a weekend (20quids worth) its hardly a great cost when you consider the cost of a model of that size. 

 

Also, as a treat, i buy myself bloomin great steak for dinner each sunday. I am very sure i spend more on sunday dinner than a day at the field. Anyone here love a latte?  few trips to costa or starbucks will easily cost more than a gallon of glow fuel. 

 

And besides, you cant buy petrol at the moment anyway ? 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll just add doom and gloom, nothing about ic or electric as its about who's left in the hobby in 5, 10 and 20 years time.

 

Very very few entering the hobby (youth) at a grass roots level and the older members slowly dying off. There might be a few niche area's of the hobby/sport left but at some point it will reach critical mass and implode.

 

Combination of lack of modelers/flyers, legislation, public perception and noise (NIMBY), how long has it got? IMHO 15 to 20 years max.

 

So on a positive note, enjoy it while we can.

 

PS our hobby/sport is like any other, we can make it as expensive as we want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some good points every one has made. I guess glow fuel isn't so expensive. I would be interested in the mix ratios mind you ?.

 

I just hope IC continues because it is used so often to try to close flying sites and making clubs switch to electric only.

 

Like you say much of the recent expense is the times. One of the main reasons there is less choice is because SC, ASP, AP, MDS, Irvine has now gone (if you buy new).

 

I think there is a gap for a decent lower end manufacturer for 2 strokes between .10-.60 but they would be competing with cheap second hand market (people switching to electric).

 

I don't dislike electric, I just find it is somehow less exciting, less challenging (too easy), and there is something about glow engines, I like to see the smoke, hear the engine and smell the fumes...... maybe I am a weirdo!

 

I agree that I don't see any young people joining the hobby these days sadly. As Chris said eventual the numbers won't be enough to continue the hobby once the large numbers of older members go. Hopefully not for a good while yet.

Edited by Tony H
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Tony H said:

Hi all,

 

I love IC engines and would consider leaving the hobby of doing gliders if I had to switch to electric. 

 

My question is what do people think the future of IC engines is in the hobby?

 

Now that a large amount of people have converted to electric, new engine prices have gone up, choice has reduced, glow plugs have gone up, Nitro fuel has gone up in price and is harder to get hold of. Not to mention some site only allowed electric flight.

 

I have around 19-20 different IC engines currently, so I just hope there is a decent future for them. I am sure if the UK going green will have an affect as another possible argument against them.

 

 

I'm with you too Tony.  I'm flying since 1986 and mostly ic engines.  Yes in the last ten years I have acquired a few electric planes.  But my heart still lies heavily with two and four stroke engines.  I hope they never die out.  There's nothing to take the place of the sound of a fourstroke with a smoke trail across the sky. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at a large model recently it was for 40cc-50cc petrol two stroke or 12c electric. two decent size 6c lipo packs would cost about£200  so 4 sets of batteries would be about £800. That would give you around 30 mins. flying . I would expect a gallon of petrol would give a lot more flying time. 

I fly both electric and glow, both have there advantages but I prefer glow for the duration I like to have a flight of at least 10 mins . and not worry about draining the battery. Where I fly we have no problems with noise and with careful setting up I have no problems starting engines most times, my most reliable engine is a Laser 100, I use the recommended fuel and plug it starts easily every time and has only had one notch on the needle altered from the factory settings. this is my first Laser but it won't be the last. There has been comments on the price of engines, Laser engines are made in this country with a great back up service and advice plus a very competitive price. 

No connection just a happy customer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having mostly 4 strokes the price of fuel isn't that much of a problem, and my 20cc + are petrol so cheap but noisy ? having a model field in the middle of nowhere the noise is only a problem with the older electric glider flyers ( only one, no names ) 40 plus now in our club, only the helicopter flyers are going electric, still 3 of us with the noisy, smoky and oily ones?

 

As for the SC, ASP, AP, MDS, Leo, etc,,, glad that they have all gone I can spend my time flying and not fiddling with their owners engines,,?

 

Latest news, in our club a purist electric flyer has actually bought a methanol 2 stroke powered one, there is hope yet,,,?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Paul De Tourtoulon said:

... Latest news, in our club a purist electric flyer has actually bought a methanol 2 stroke powered one, there is hope yet,,,?

Knowing their sort, he'll probably convert it to electric!

 

PS. I have an ASP 30 FS and an SC 32 two-stroke. They both run well.

 

 

Edited by David Davis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to pick up the point on young members coming in/dying hobby i see it a bit like this. 

 

Kids generally want to play on their xbox. Building models is too time consuming and difficult with no instant gratification. I know that is a generalisation, but its held true in my experience. I have also seen that many parents find it easier to plonk Jr in front of the Xbox and do their own thing than actually spend time with them. I know that too is a generalisation, probably an unfair one, but my sister in law is a school teacher and she says she sees it all the time and i saw it loads of times when teaching at my old club. Its actually quite sad. In any case, with modern child protection laws we also had plenty of keen youngsters told it couldnt happen once it was discovered the parent in question could not just abandon their kid with us at the field. I remember one chap in particular saying that expecting him to stay at the field for at least 3 hours was unacceptable as he might miss kickoff. Personally i would consider missing any and all football to be a blessing but there we are. 

 

The other thing preventing kids getting into the hobby is the nanny state. When i was 8 years old i could pop to the model shop and buy an airfix kit with glue, paint, thinners, a decent knife etc. Now...not so much. This does limit their ability to get started without help. 

 

In my time model flying i have always been the youngest regular member at all the clubs i have flown at. Some younger kids have come in for a short time but they then fade away. 

 

What i have seen however is more adults with disposable income joining the hobby later in life. ARTF etc makes it much easier to just parachute into it and many achieve a decent standard very quickly. They spend big usually too, get all the best toys, and often pack it in after a fairly short time as they have both been there, and done that. I think they are selling themselves short as i still learn things after 25 years, but if they think they have done it all then who am i to argue?

 

I suspect this trend of transient modellers will be how things are going forward with far fewer doing it as a life long passion. There is nothing wrong with this in a sense, and it will ultimately keep the hobby alive, but it is a change from how things used to be. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, kevin b said:

Just did some research.

1960    Fish & chips  8p.      Pint of beer      8p.      Gallon of straight glow fuel    £2.00 (only available in pint cans).

1970       "         "       25p.       "           "        15p.         "               "                 "         £1.00.

2021       "         "      £7.00.      "          "     £3.80.         "               "                 "         £13.10.

 

Still think glow fuel is "expensive" ?

 

kevin b         Rose tinted dept.

While I don’t disagree with the sentiments or conclusion, where were you buying your beer in 1970?  I recall my early (underage) visits to various pubs in 1971 in the supposedly expensive Southeast where bitter was 12p a pint!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Jon - Laser Engines said:

Just to pick up the point on young members coming in/dying hobby i see it a bit like this. 

 

Kids generally want to play on their xbox. Building models is too time consuming and difficult with no instant gratification. I know that is a generalisation, but its held true in my experience. I have also seen that many parents find it easier to plonk Jr in front of the Xbox and do their own thing than actually spend time with them. I know that too is a generalisation, probably an unfair one, but my sister in law is a school teacher and she says she sees it all the time and i saw it loads of times when teaching at my old club. Its actually quite sad. In any case, with modern child protection laws we also had plenty of keen youngsters told it couldnt happen once it was discovered the parent in question could not just abandon their kid with us at the field. I remember one chap in particular saying that expecting him to stay at the field for at least 3 hours was unacceptable as he might miss kickoff. Personally i would consider missing any and all football to be a blessing but there we are. 

 

The other thing preventing kids getting into the hobby is the nanny state. When i was 8 years old i could pop to the model shop and buy an airfix kit with glue, paint, thinners, a decent knife etc. Now...not so much. This does limit their ability to get started without help. 

 

In my time model flying i have always been the youngest regular member at all the clubs i have flown at. Some younger kids have come in for a short time but they then fade away. 

 

What i have seen however is more adults with disposable income joining the hobby later in life. ARTF etc makes it much easier to just parachute into it and many achieve a decent standard very quickly. They spend big usually too, get all the best toys, and often pack it in after a fairly short time as they have both been there, and done that. I think they are selling themselves short as i still learn things after 25 years, but if they think they have done it all then who am i to argue?

 

I suspect this trend of transient modellers will be how things are going forward with far fewer doing it as a life long passion. There is nothing wrong with this in a sense, and it will ultimately keep the hobby alive, but it is a change from how things used to be. 

 

I'd say this is a fair assessment on the situation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...