Getting started in the hobby! First planes, first impressions

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That is an odd looking cooling head on that ASP, but then again there is so many variants out there, you never know.
I see, your are prob right, I thought I saw a Chinese 10cc rc plane engine, most likely it was 15cc then.

Was at the club yesterday and a guy with a AX was having issues tuning it, actually his first AX piston tore the liner for some reason, and this brand new one he installed wasn't running right. In the end he said he has a LA 46 which he will put on it. Found that funny. LA again takes the win.

Also, have you tried flying or see someone fly a control line plane at your club?
Another guy I spoke to, purchased a $4 foam plane from a store, added a bell crank and elevator made to work.
Thin plywood firewall and strapped a cox 049 on it. It flew great.
I want to try this, as I have a few 049 cox engines, just need to buy one of those glow plug converters so it can take a standard glow plug.

Managed to land perfect a few times yesterday, was told I can soon take the test and fly solo. :)

You're right about 10cc 2-stroke gassers (and even 6 and 9's,) I just meant within 4-strokes that were also gassers.

My club has a control line area, I haven't given it a spin yet... 😉
A simple, wire -shaft driven control line plane was one of my first forays into flight when I was a wee lad, so it would be fun to revisit that for sure.

I see mention of those peeling liners now and then, fingers crossed it doesn't affect mine. I hope that with my surface engine experience I'll have a head start on tuning and engine care. I'll be running a 15% nitro, 2% castor, 16% synthetic blend that should be good for just about any engine.

Congrats on the flying successes!
 
You're right about 10cc 2-stroke gassers (and even 6 and 9's,) I just meant within 4-strokes that were also gassers.

My club has a control line area, I haven't given it a spin yet... 😉
A simple, wire -shaft driven control line plane was one of my first forays into flight when I was a wee lad, so it would be fun to revisit that for sure.

I see mention of those peeling liners now and then, fingers crossed it doesn't affect mine. I hope that with my surface engine experience I'll have a head start on tuning and engine care. I'll be running a 15% nitro, 2% castor, 16% synthetic blend that should be good for just about any engine.

Congrats on the flying successes!

This is where I am still kinda lost. Oil content.
I purchased a gallon of aero fuel (I think omega fuel) which had 18 oil total, synthetic + castor mix.
Having visited RC forums a number of times, I was told that older engines like to have min 20% castor, so I added another 2% of pure castor to the gallon.
To be hones, be that as it may, all my engines spit a lot of oil out the exhaust, making quite a mess. At least, I know that engine will definitely last a very long time.
I have about 8 gallons Byrons 20% nitro 16% oil RC car fuel, to which also I will just add another 4% castor and use it on my planes.

If I could give one tip, that would be to always mount your engines sideways on a plane, that way exhaust oil spitting is minimal and ends up going underneath the fuselage, rather than having the whole wing and more all oily.
 
little bugger has been cleaned, with just a toothbrush and simple green
I noticed that ultrasonic cleaner was taking away the chrome finish on some engines, not matter which solution I use?

Anyway, I hope you acquire one of these small 4 stroke for a decent price.
Def worth having in your collection.

I tend to run these engines on a test bench first, then look for leaks, and seal as many as I can. New O-rings and high temp silicone usually do the trick.
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This is where I am still kinda lost. Oil content.
I purchased a gallon of aero fuel (I think omega fuel) which had 18 oil total, synthetic + castor mix.
Having visited RC forums a number of times, I was told that older engines like to have min 20% castor, so I added another 2% of pure castor to the gallon.
To be hones, be that as it may, all my engines spit a lot of oil out the exhaust, making quite a mess. At least, I know that engine will definitely last a very long time.
I have about 8 gallons Byrons 20% nitro 16% oil RC car fuel, to which also I will just add another 4% castor and use it on my planes.

If I could give one tip, that would be to always mount your engines sideways on a plane, that way exhaust oil spitting is minimal and ends up going underneath the fuselage, rather than having the whole wing and more all oily.

I hear 4-strokes might be better off with no castor, and the tiniest engines prefer even more, like 20% castor in a Cox .049' - Id like to fly one of those just for the retro factor. What do you run in your 4's?

Nice ASP, I picked up a few of my own- an FS-62V and a Saito FA-40A. Definitely keeping them in the box until my third or fourth build. My engine collection is already spiraling out of control like it did with the surface engines, though I've been able to re-sell a half dozen of those already more or less at-cost.

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Got my first solo flying day in, I started with the parkflyers to build up confidence, then launched the 1-meter trainer.

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It flew nicely, landed intact on my first attempt, and got a half-dozen more flights in before a gust flipped it on its nose during a touch-and-go, but it'll be an easy fix, especially compared to what it takes to keep a nitro car running...

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That 3D-looking foamie, the Qidi-550, had constant connectivity issues and wound up in a bush. It was dropping connection even during the bench set-up, but for $60 all-inclusive, I can't complain. It's 1 new radio away from being a very nimble 3D plane.

The cheap Aliexpress planes impressed me, for under $50 RTF, I'm hooked. I've already ordered their mini-EDF and flybarless heli.
 
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I hear 4-strokes might be better off with no castor, and the tiniest engines prefer even more, like 20% castor in a Cox .049' - Id like to fly one of those just for the retro factor. What do you run in your 4's?

Nice ASP, I picked up a few of my own- an FS-62V and a Saito FA-40A. Definitely keeping them in the box until my third or fourth build. My engine collection is already spiraling out of control like it did with the surface engines, though I've been able to re-sell a half dozen of those already more or less at-cost.

Got my first solo flying day in, I started with the parkflyers to build up confidence, then launched the 1-meter trainer.

It flew nicely, landed intact on my first attempt, and got a half-dozen more flights in before a gust flipped it on its nose during a touch-and-go, but it'll be an easy fix, especially compared to what it takes to keep a nitro car running...

That 3D-looking foamie, the Qidi-550, had constant connectivity issues and wound up in a bush. It was dropping connection even during the bench set-up, but for $60 all-inclusive, I can't complain. It's 1 new radio away from being a very nimble 3D plane.

The cheap Aliexpress planes impressed me, for under $50 RTF, I'm hooked. I've already ordered their mini-EDF and flybarless heli.

Blame the wind, a classic! I think you will make a fine pilot :)

Me and the little one flew yesterday, 3 batts each. He is only doing ailerons only at this stage.
I fly on my own now, no interventions from the instructor were needed, did a few loops, rolls …. even tried landing and taking off downwind just to get the feel for the difference. Good fun!
I still find landing challenging even with small winds, the plane yesterday just hovered in place a few times, the wind was just pushing it back.
Its all in the throttle control, with tweaks needed frequently as you land.
Park flyers are ok, but just keep in mind that smaller and lighter planes are even more difficult to control.
I believe that once I move onto bulkier balsa models, I will find flying easier.
Will be doing my wings in the next few weeks.

Wow, those engines looks awesome man, looks to me someone can't resist buying. Top quality stuff! I have some catching up to do :)
That small Saito especially looks nice!

Sorry to see you crashed the trainer, for foam I found that cheap gorilla expanding glue works real well, or you can just use some thick CA, although be careful, as some CA will actually melt the foam.

I haven't fired up any of my 4s yet, but will be using the same fuel I use for my smaller OS engines.
I got only one more 4s, its a ASP 91 on the Aichi D3A, a Jap dive bomber. Original owner stripped the glow plug hole thread, which is a nightmare to repair, being imperial and a special size. I have removed the head and given it to an older engineer at the club to have it fixed.

Reason I try to stay away from cheap Chinese radio gear (lesson learnt from nitro cars), is fear from losing signal mid flight.

Keep buying them mate, and please keep me updated with photos and even videos!

Just purchased another cox 049 today, have 3 in total. Same as you, I would like to make one very small nitro plane, just for the fun of it, later on.

Heres my Jap dive bomber awaiting the glow engine head repair

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Blame the wind, a classic! I think you will make a fine pilot :)

Me and the little one flew yesterday, 3 batts each. He is only doing ailerons only at this stage.
I fly on my own now, no interventions from the instructor were needed, did a few loops, rolls …. even tried landing and taking off downwind just to get the feel for the difference. Good fun!
I still find landing challenging even with small winds, the plane yesterday just hovered in place a few times, the wind was just pushing it back.
Its all in the throttle control, with tweaks needed frequently as you land.
Park flyers are ok, but just keep in mind that smaller and lighter planes are even more difficult to control.
I believe that once I move onto bulkier balsa models, I will find flying easier.
Will be doing my wings in the next few weeks.

Wow, those engines looks awesome man, looks to me someone can't resist buying. Top quality stuff! I have some catching up to do :)
That small Saito especially looks nice!

Sorry to see you crashed the trainer, for foam I found that cheap gorilla expanding glue works real well, or you can just use some thick CA, although be careful, as some CA will actually melt the foam.

I haven't fired up any of my 4s yet, but will be using the same fuel I use for my smaller OS engines.
I got only one more 4s, its a ASP 91 on the Aichi D3A, a Jap dive bomber. Original owner stripped the glow plug hole thread, which is a nightmare to repair, being imperial and a special size. I have removed the head and given it to an older engineer at the club to have it fixed.

Reason I try to stay away from cheap Chinese radio gear (lesson learnt from nitro cars), is fear from losing signal mid flight.

Keep buying them mate, and please keep me updated with photos and even videos!

Just purchased another cox 049 today, have 3 in total. Same as you, I would like to make one very small nitro plane, just for the fun of it, later on.

Heres my Jap dive bomber awaiting the glow engine head repair

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That cowled 4-stroke looks awesome! Can't wait to get mine running.

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Fixed mine up, got another good day of flying in. Waiting on a generic GoPro & headband to start recording some flights. It's performing admirably as a first beater. It'll do loops & aileron rolls, and handles dead-sticks very gracefully. No crashes this time, though the motor did feel & sound a little rough from last time, but that just added a realistic buzzing noise to the flights.

Radiolink hasn't dropped signal on me once yet, I'm pretty happy with its performance thus far.
 
That cowled 4-stroke looks awesome! Can't wait to get mine running.

Fixed mine up, got another good day of flying in. Waiting on a generic GoPro & headband to start recording some flights. It's performing admirably as a first beater. It'll do loops & aileron rolls, and handles dead-sticks very gracefully. No crashes this time, though the motor did feel & sound a little rough from last time, but that just added a realistic buzzing noise to the flights.

Radiolink hasn't dropped signal on me once yet, I'm pretty happy with its performance thus far.

I am waiting on the ASP91 engine head to come back with its glow plug threads repaired, so I can fire it up.
You seem to be doing well with your learning how to fly, and by the sound of it are already flying solo?
These first plane of ours are are write off tbh, if it teaches me and the boys flying I will be amazed. We were very close to hitting the ground last week.
Was kind of hoping it does crash so I can get turbo timber, saw one locally for now too much.
I realized I have few AS3X SAFE receivers, and am thinking of getting a small plane and flying by myself in the local park. SAFE should help with this, however its a bit of puzzle on how to set it up on my DX8e.

I am thinking about purchasing the micro mini stick from Real Hawk on Ali, and setting it up with a cox 049 nitro engine.
Was thinking maybe we could both start on these at some stage and share ideas.
I will get the whole plane with the covering and all.

Will post a pic soon of my engine collection, its all 2 stroke though.

I have fired up my little ASP FSR30. It runs well, still I think you can beat the simplicity and reliability of a 2 stroke.

 
I am waiting on the ASP91 engine head to come back with its glow plug threads repaired, so I can fire it up.
You seem to be doing well with your learning how to fly, and by the sound of it are already flying solo?
These first plane of ours are are write off tbh, if it teaches me and the boys flying I will be amazed. We were very close to hitting the ground last week.
Was kind of hoping it does crash so I can get turbo timber, saw one locally for now too much.
I realized I have few AS3X SAFE receivers, and am thinking of getting a small plane and flying by myself in the local park. SAFE should help with this, however its a bit of puzzle on how to set it up on my DX8e.

I am thinking about purchasing the micro mini stick from Real Hawk on Ali, and setting it up with a cox 049 nitro engine.
Was thinking maybe we could both start on these at some stage and share ideas.
I will get the whole plane with the covering and all.

Will post a pic soon of my engine collection, its all 2 stroke though.

I have fired up my little ASP FSR30. It runs well, still I think you can beat the simplicity and reliability of a 2 stroke.


That thing is singing, I would never guess it was only a .30 from that throaty rumble!

I've got my mini-stick kit in hand, it'll be my first balsa build to sharpen my skills. I'm not sure if the included films are nitro-fuel resistant, it'll take some experimentation. Definitely going to be posting about it!

I'm also interested in the between-.049 and .10 engines, like the Thunder Tiger GP-7, Norvel .074, and SH-7 engines, and they've got a few models about the right size for those, too.

I've gotten a couple solo flying days in, most recent one with no crashes! I bring that inverter-brick that I was using to preheat my onroad nitros and field-charge my batteries as quickly as I use them up.

I'm amassing a mini-flyer collection, I've found I can enjoy a toy-grade flyer a lot more than I would a toy-grade truck. That mini Aliexpress plane, "F949" I was posting about earlier has a gyro you can toggle on and off which is just as effective as SAFE, except the whole thing costs under $45. It's throttle, rudder & elevator only, so it's got kind of a weird, "driving a car around" vibe and it can't do rolls, but it will do loops (with the gyro off).
 
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That thing is singing, I would never guess it was only a .30 from that throaty rumble!

I've got my mini-stick kit in hand, it'll be my first balsa build to sharpen my skills. I'm not sure if the included films are nitro-fuel resistant, it'll take some experimentation. Definitely going to be posting about it!

I'm also interested in the between-.049 and .10 engines, like the Thunder Tiger GP-7, Norvel .074, and SH-7 engines, and they've got a few models about the right size for those, too.

I've gotten a couple solo flying days in, most recent one with no crashes! I bring that inverter-brick that I was using to preheat my onroad nitros and field-charge my batteries as quickly as I use them up.

I'm amassing a mini-flyer collection, I've found I can enjoy a toy-grade flyer a lot more than I would a toy-grade truck. That mini Aliexpress plane, "F949" I was posting about earlier has a gyro you can toggle on and off which is just as effective as SAFE, except the whole thing costs under $45. It's throttle, rudder & elevator only, so it's got kind of a weird, "driving a car around" vibe and it can't do rolls, but it will do loops (with the gyro off).

It spins that 10x6 quite happily at nearly 10k rpm.

The micro mini stick, I haven't ordered yet, been spending $ on tools and probably some stuff I will never end up using, but still nice to have none the less.
Please let me know which glue are you going to be using when putting the micro stick together?

The small engines, I decided to go with cox, as I think its the most widespread, there are plenty of spare parts out there...etc, and I believe they are still being produced? Are there other brands out there, more common than cox?

Good idea about charging the batteries on the go, just be careful with charge current, usually the faster you charge them, the shorter the life of the battery. We have a quad battery charger on site at the club, solar charge, so that's quite handy.

I also had my solo flight the other day, no buddy box, it was all up to me... windy condition landing I find challenging.

What do you mean by a toy grade flyer?

Few more very interesting things I purchased, tools...tools...tools, love the tools!

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That's a nice collection, is that a foam cutter or a jigsaw of sorts? I've got some mini-tools I think will lend themselves well to the plane crafting, namely the tiny drill press and table saw.

I don't know of anyone else still in business doing .049 engines, it's pretty amazing that Cox is still producing them, or at least has enough stock to keep sales going.
Edit: Norvel currently offers a .049 engine and a few others in that size range.

I know SH Engines has a .07 aero engine in current production that only weighs 100g, nearly identical to their 1/16th surface engine, just with a smaller cooling head and closed backplate, the rest of the part #'s are the same.

I'm going to try putting the balsas together with plain wood glue, Titebond Original, might thin it with a little water if I need. I have some 30-minute epoxy to reinforce critical areas / coat the engine bay like I hear one should, though I've also go some urethane sealant I read may be just as effective and lighter.

By toy-grade I just mean sub-$100 RTF's that include a cheap radio/remote and unbranded battery. I got the FX9630 EDF, ~$50, and carved out the battery bay to take a 500mah 2S, based on the reviews suggesting more weight in the nose anyway. It's pretty clever, it only has the 2 "elevon" control surfaces, but uses mixing and differential thrust to create "full" 4-channel control.

1000010168.jpg


I also got a cheap gopro knockoff (EK7000), and I have a narrower field-of-vision lens on the way to make it better for RC recording...

 
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Started the balsa build, glad i'm practicing. The instructions suggest super glue to tack things into place and white glue to reinforce it, but I'm getting good results just applying a thin bead of wood glue with a toothpick and holding the parts together for a minute or so. That already creates a joint stronger than the surrounding wood anyway, so I don't see much point to clamping or reinforcing it with extra glue afterwards, maybe just laminating key areas to reinforce the wood itself.

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I wound up with a little bit of twist in the fuselage, good lesson going forward to check for that in addition to just the squareness of individual joints.

One lesson already learned, look ahead and plan your cuts. They say to cut 2x 70mm pieces of balsa, but don't specify that you should cut them from different pieces so the remaining lengths will work for the other cuts you need. I made it work by splicing the length where it passes through a bulkhead, but it would've been easier to plan all my cuts before starting.

I'm not sure if this will be large enough for a Cox .049, maybe a .020? Someone even fitted one to one of cheap planes I tried and was duly impressed with-
 
Started the balsa build, glad i'm practicing. The instructions suggest super glue to tack things into place and white glue to reinforce it, but I'm getting good results just applying a thin bead of wood glue with a toothpick and holding the parts together for a minute or so. That already creates a joint stronger than the surrounding wood anyway, so I don't see much point to clamping or reinforcing it with extra glue afterwards, maybe just laminating key areas to reinforce the wood itself.

I wound up with a little bit of twist in the fuselage, good lesson going forward to check for that in addition to just the squareness of individual joints.

One lesson already learned, look ahead and plan your cuts. They say to cut 2x 70mm pieces of balsa, but don't specify that you should cut them from different pieces so the remaining lengths will work for the other cuts you need. I made it work by splicing the length where it passes through a bulkhead, but it would've been easier to plan all my cuts before starting.

I'm not sure if this will be large enough for a Cox .049, maybe a .020? Someone even fitted one to one of cheap planes I tried and was duly impressed with-

After watching a few videos on scratch builds, you will need a thin and thick CA glue. When to use them is another story, I haven't figured it out yet.
I think for soft balsa joints, once in place, a small squirt of thin glue gets the bonded together as balsa easily absorbs it?
I would use epoxy for the firewall only.
For the rest I was thinking of getting this glue.
I'd like to avoid having to hold parts together for so long.

I thought this kit is fully laser cut?

Pretty sure them flying on YouTube with a cox 049, it will have to do, as the price of 020 engines is quite high.
I saw a toy grade $4 foam plane a few weeks back running a cox 049. Used for control line though.


a nice collection, is that a foam cutter or a jigsaw of sorts? I've got some mini-tools I think will lend themselves well to the plane crafting, namely the tiny drill press and table saw.

I don't know of anyone else still in business doing .049 engines, it's pretty amazing that Cox is still producing them, or at least has enough stock to keep sales going.
Edit: Norvel currently offers a .049 engine and a few others in that size range.

I know SH Engines has a .07 aero engine in current production that only weighs 100g, nearly identical to their 1/16th surface engine, just with a smaller cooling head and closed backplate, the rest of the part #'s are the same.

I'm going to try putting the balsas together with plain wood glue, Titebond Original, might thin it with a little water if I need. I have some 30-minute epoxy to reinforce critical areas / coat the engine bay like I hear one should, though I've also go some urethane sealant I read may be just as effective and lighter.

By toy-grade I just mean sub-$100 RTF's that include a cheap radio/remote and unbranded battery. I got the FX9630 EDF, ~$50, and carved out the battery bay to take a 500mah 2S, based on the reviews suggesting more weight in the nose anyway. It's pretty clever, it only has the 2 "elevon" control surfaces, but uses mixing and differential thrust to create "full" 4-channel control.

I also got a cheap gopro knockoff (EK7000), and I have a narrower field-of-vision lens on the way to make it better for RC recording...

Ah mate, way ahead of me as usual, you are already flying jets!!
That's a scroll saw, apparently one of the best tools to have for butting thin ply and balsa. Tried it, works well.
I had a look at that SH 07, looks weird, like you said its shrunk car engine, no hard connection for the exhaust too, just a silicone sleeve.
Use two part finishing Zpoxy resin for fuel proofing the firewall and the tank bay area. Zpoxy is great, and comes in two big bottles, so it will last you a lifetime.

Love your mods and experiments, also trying to always find the most cost effective solution.

Please keep me updated on the micro stick especially.
Is the plan to run off the cox attached to the engine fuel tank, or install a separate one in the nose/fuselage?
I'd like a separate tank in mine, probably 1oz or something, as it needs to be quite small.
 
After watching a few videos on scratch builds, you will need a thin and thick CA glue. When to use them is another story, I haven't figured it out yet.
I think for soft balsa joints, once in place, a small squirt of thin glue gets the bonded together as balsa easily absorbs it?
I would use epoxy for the firewall only.
For the rest I was thinking of getting this glue.
I'd like to avoid having to hold parts together for so long.

I thought this kit is fully laser cut?

Pretty sure them flying on YouTube with a cox 049, it will have to do, as the price of 020 engines is quite high.
I saw a toy grade $4 foam plane a few weeks back running a cox 049. Used for control line though.




Ah mate, way ahead of me as usual, you are already flying jets!!
That's a scroll saw, apparently one of the best tools to have for butting thin ply and balsa. Tried it, works well.
I had a look at that SH 07, looks weird, like you said its shrunk car engine, no hard connection for the exhaust too, just a silicone sleeve.
Use two part finishing Zpoxy resin for fuel proofing the firewall and the tank bay area. Zpoxy is great, and comes in two big bottles, so it will last you a lifetime.

Love your mods and experiments, also trying to always find the most cost effective solution.

Please keep me updated on the micro stick especially.
Is the plan to run off the cox attached to the engine fuel tank, or install a separate one in the nose/fuselage?
I'd like a separate tank in mine, probably 1oz or something, as it needs to be quite small.

I think I saw the same YouTube video, that thing was ripping.

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Looks like they were talking about this on the Cox forums, 10 years ago.

Edits: I found the original hobbyking listing- The laser-cut parts are a bit different but the design seems the same. In an incredible stroke of helpfulness, they have pictures comparing a .020 and .049 to the frame - I see the .049 working better with an internal fuel tank like you suggest.
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The kit is fully laser-cut, you just need to cut 2 balsa sticks to length to reinforce the fuselage, nothing too precise. However, forming the leading edge involves glueing a square piece balsa along the front of the wing, and then sanding it down to shape. Probably common practice.

I'm not sure this one will ever be finished to a flying state, it's already got a few goofs built-in, mostly just for the practice so i dont butcher my first "real" build. I'm still going to cover it with the iron, and I imagine that'll be educational too.

If I'm going to build a nitro 1/2A I'll probably make another plane for it, something prettier than a stick, this recently caught my eye. I like the idea of a separate tank, but there is a certain charm to the "standalone" engine just bolted to the front of the plane.

If I were to go with the integrated tank, I'd forego a throttle entirely, maximizing simplicity & retro-ness.
 
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