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Old Dec 04, 2012, 06:31 PM
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I Like Red Heads!!

Ouch! So much negativity! I am hardly the expert on model airplanes or their glow engines, but I've always had a respect for McCoy Red Head 35s. I had 3, and all were easy starting and trouble free. In 1985, a friend had a profile stunter with a Fox 35 Stunt. We experimented with that plane, a very, very used Red Head 35, the one with lightening bolts, and an RC McCoy 40 Blue Head W/lightening bolts all in a 40 Red Head case. In level flight, all 3 engines ran the same. On the 4-2 break, the McCoys broke cleaner, or at least had a more robust exaust note, and perhaps a bit more RPM. The planes seemed to have the same speed in straight flight and in turns. The same plane with the Fox 35 turned quicker and flew lighter but didn't sound as good and may have been down a smidgen on the 2 cycle break RPM. The McCoy 40 may have made a bit more power. Aesthetics are important. And the appearance of a Red Head on any control line airplane stirs my core. I think they sound better than a Fox, and might break a smidgen cleaner than a Fox. Granted, the Fox is significantly lighter and lightness is essential in model airplane flying. The other thing I learned was that the port timing on the McCoy Blue Head is apparently the same as a Red Head.
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 06:38 PM
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LA Ming's Avatar
Poteau, OK
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Go for it tigger! "Whatever floats yer boat" is my feeling on the issue!
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 10:34 PM
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S.E. Michigan
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Way back when I was in my teens (about 40 yrs. ago) I had a Fox 35 and a McCoy 35 Red Head. I always liked the McCoy better simply because it was so easy to start and seemed to fly my planes just as well as the Fox. I still have both engines in good running condition.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 06:28 AM
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Bismarck, ND USA
Joined Jun 2001
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I have several redhead 35s, I agree that the McCoys run as good, or better than the Fox 35. The use of the sintered iron piston in the redheads was not the best choice, if you don't run a fuel with, at minimum, 25% all castor oil, the compression goes away pretty quick.

Here's a mod I have done to restore these fine old engines back to good performance. The Dykes ringed piston from the series 21 McCoy 35 also fits the "lightning bolt" case redhead, the bore and stroke are identical, as well as the wrist pin placement on the piston. The only difference is in the wrist pin diameter, the redhead wrist pin is a larger O.D. This is easily solved by using the connecting rod from the series 21 as well, or you can bore the series 21 piston to take the larger redhead wrist pin. I have also taken the entire top end from a series 21 and mated it to a redhead crankcase, just a small amount needs to be bored from the redhead case to accept the larger O.D. of the series 21 cylinder.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 09:47 AM
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I had mentioned my experiences with the McCoy earlier. I really thought there was a lot of bad press about them, back in the day. But I found them to be very reliable and used them without worry. They were cheap when new and after a few years people couldn't give them away. Local hobbyshop where I hung out and later worked, a Red Head .19 sat in the display case for years!. I seem to recall that we usually swapped out the needle valve assembly and replaced it with Veco. IIRC, that black knob on the stock long spring NV extention could get to whipping due to vibration! But that was probably more operator's visual concern, rather than a mechanical or running issue. Several passed thru my hands over the years, usually free or VERY reasonably priced. Wished, now, I d kept every one of them!
Last Redhead I flew was a like new .35 on uncovered Ringmaster I bought for 4.00 at a garage sale. Took it home and covered it with silkspan, several coats of clear dope (BOY! I miss Silkspan and Dope), remounted the engine. It ran great, no break-in so I flew it. that had to have been 1970 as I recall that was the summer before I got married. Should have kept the plane.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by packardpursuit View Post
I had mentioned my experiences with the McCoy earlier. I really thought there was a lot of bad press about them, back in the day. But I found them to be very reliable and used them without worry. They were cheap when new and after a few years people couldn't give them away. Local hobbyshop where I hung out and later worked, a Red Head .19 sat in the display case for years!. I seem to recall that we usually swapped out the needle valve assembly and replaced it with Veco. IIRC, that black knob on the stock long spring NV extention could get to whipping due to vibration! But that was probably more operator's visual concern, rather than a mechanical or running issue. Several passed thru my hands over the years, usually free or VERY reasonably priced. Wished, now, I d kept every one of them!
Last Redhead I flew was a like new .35 on uncovered Ringmaster I bought for 4.00 at a garage sale. Took it home and covered it with silkspan, several coats of clear dope (BOY! I miss Silkspan and Dope), remounted the engine. It ran great, no break-in so I flew it. that had to have been 1970 as I recall that was the summer before I got married. Should have kept the plane.
Ye .19 Redhead:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-McCO...vip=true&rt=nc


This one was a "take your chance" bid. Turned out to be nice motor with great compression and bearings. More interesting still is that it is a first year (1958) model without the vertical web in the exhaust and a different venturi. They were made this way for only the one year! Still has a Champion VG-2 glow plug screwed into the head too. Ebay is a weird place sometimes...
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:10 PM
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The middle of Kansas
Joined Jan 2005
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I also like Red Head McCoys. I have a couple of 40's that I fly on Magicians, and they fly them great. I run 12--6 APC props cut down to 11", and the 40's love that prop. I also have about 6 35's and a 29 that I fly on Ringmasters and others. After a few years of hard running they will start loosing compression. Since they have a domed piston you can pull out the piston and put in on an anvil, and tap the dome with a hammer to expand the top of the piston. You do have to be careful, as you can break the sintered iron piston if you tap it to hard. If you go to far you will have to lap it back in again. After running for a short while to break it in again, it will get a shiney band about 3/16" wide at the top of the piston. I have done this to many of them for myself and others, sometimes 3 or 4 times to the same engine over a period of years. Long live the Red Heads.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 10:25 PM
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United States, TX, Lubbock
Joined Dec 2011
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I went to out local hobby shop last week and had purchased a bunch of old control line stuff from an estate sale. I bought 5 Red Head McCoys. All seem to be in really good shape. Not that it will make me a lot of diff. They will get mounted on old combat planes and put into a case. I gave $30.00 bucks apiece for them. I think new they were $4.95.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 02:12 AM
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If I remember correctly, before they introduced the lightening case engines they put the shiney case 35 RHs in bubble packs on cards and were selling them for the reduced price of $4.95.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tigreflyer View Post
If I remember correctly, before they introduced the lightening case engines they put the shiney case 35 RHs in bubble packs on cards and were selling them for the reduced price of $4.95.
Yep!
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 10:53 AM
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I don't remember the 29s/35s at less than $5.95, or the 19s for less than $4.95, no matter how they were packaged to sell.

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Old Dec 09, 2012, 04:36 PM
The Great and Powerful Oz
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Bismarck, ND USA
Joined Jun 2001
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I still have a new lightning bolt 35 in the bubble pack, and it's marked $5.95 on the card.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 05:09 PM
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I still have a new lightning bolt 35 in the bubble pack, and it's marked $5.95 on the card.
Testors tried the same tactic O&R did a decade or so earlier and undercut everyone price wise- or tried to.
O&R ran almost everyone off the market in the Post WW-2 era save a few.
The problem was that the O&Rs were a lot more carefully assembled- here you have a curious twist of fate: mediocre design with nice QC and a good design with none at all. Both wound up in the tank in the end.
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