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Old Oct 01, 2012, 04:46 PM
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I don't know Testor's intentions of purchasing Wen Mac; perhaps to add an .049 to their line up, since they were marketing plastic ready to flies that competed with Cox?

My "late" model Testors McCoy .049 red head has this rachet starter. IMO, it appears to not provide significant several hundred RPM drag loss as compared to the Cox plastic hub rachet starter on the Sure Start and later reed valve engines.
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Old Oct 01, 2012, 07:40 PM
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Testors had no RTF airplanes until they purchased Wen Mac.

They Jungle Fighter/P-63, P-38, SNJ, Dauntless, and T-34 were all from Wen Mac tooling. The Cosmic Wind/Silver Wind were a bit later, but not much (about the same time as the second run of Testors P-38's). The original four Fly'ems came later still, then the Albatros and the Sopwith Camel, then BD-5. The Wen Mac tooling for the Hovercraft was modified into the Galax IV later still. Somewhere in there, the Galax IV came out (at least partially from tooling from a previous Wen Mac twin-boom pusher, I think, but this is a guess).

I believe there was a Fly'em Spitfire and possibly one other Fly'em released.

There is a Sky Raider, which is slightly larger than the Cox version, which I have only seen under the Testors label, but has similar characteristics to the models of Wen Mac origin. From what I can see, the Wen Mac Aeromite, Turbojet, Cutlass, and P-26 were never produced under the Testors lable.

The Sopwith Camel and the Albatros came in two different color schemes. The yellow Camel and the Red Albatros, were purchased as a cereal premium (at least that is how I got mine). The regular production versions were O.D. for the Camel and Black and White for the Albatros.

There is a later camo version of the Zero and, I think, a version of the BF-109 in another color (the originals were white). There is a yellow version of the Fly'em P-51, which has Bob Hoover's markings on it.

The starter on that beautiful biplane on the first page, was the Rotomatic starter and appeared on Wen Mac engines fairly early on (I have a MkIII engine from an O.D. P-39 on my desk here, and it has the Rotomatic starter-I don't think it could be newer than 1963 or 1964).

The first Wen Mac engines had no starter, then their was an O-Ring affair (the O-Ring was attached to the lower crankcase hole at the rear of the motor, then put over a post on the propeller backing plate (one of my Yellow Jackets is set up this way-does not look like it would be very effective).

There were pull start motors on some of the airplanes (the Cutlass I have in the box is made this way, and I think one of my Turbojets is also, but I have not gotten it out in years).

The Rotomatic was on the motors, and had been for years, when Testors purchase Wen Mac. The springs on the Wen Mac engines and early Testors engines are retained by rivets, which is a pain if the spring breaks. The mid and later Testors engines have a "Z" bend on the end that goes into the tubular piece that engages the clutch (around the motor shaft) and a "J" bend at the other end. This was so that one could change the spring without pressing the crankshaft out of the clutch and taking things apart. It was much easier to change the spring on these.

One of my Aeromites has a flange on the spinner, and I am wondering if this was for starting with a cord too, but don't know at this point. I am still gathering more information and trying to fill in the gaps.
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Old Oct 07, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Testors had no RTF airplanes until they purchased Wen Mac.

They Jungle Fighter/P-63, P-38, SNJ, Dauntless, and T-34 were all from Wen Mac tooling. The Cosmic Wind/Silver Wind were a bit later, but not much (about the same time as the second run of Testors P-38's). The original four Fly'ems came later still, then the Albatros and the Sopwith Camel, then BD-5. The Wen Mac tooling for the Hovercraft was modified into the Galax IV later still. Somewhere in there, the Galax IV came out (at least partially from tooling from a previous Wen Mac twin-boom pusher, I think, but this is a guess).

I believe there was a Fly'em Spitfire and possibly one other Fly'em released.

There is a Sky Raider, which is slightly larger than the Cox version, which I have only seen under the Testors label, but has similar characteristics to the models of Wen Mac origin. From what I can see, the Wen Mac Aeromite, Turbojet, Cutlass, and P-26 were never produced under the Testors lable.

The Sopwith Camel and the Albatros came in two different color schemes. The yellow Camel and the Red Albatros, were purchased as a cereal premium (at least that is how I got mine). The regular production versions were O.D. for the Camel and Black and White for the Albatros.

There is a later camo version of the Zero and, I think, a version of the BF-109 in another color (the originals were white). There is a yellow version of the Fly'em P-51, which has Bob Hoover's markings on it.

The starter on that beautiful biplane on the first page, was the Rotomatic starter and appeared on Wen Mac engines fairly early on (I have a MkIII engine from an O.D. P-39 on my desk here, and it has the Rotomatic starter-I don't think it could be newer than 1963 or 1964).

The first Wen Mac engines had no starter, then their was an O-Ring affair (the O-Ring was attached to the lower crankcase hole at the rear of the motor, then put over a post on the propeller backing plate (one of my Yellow Jackets is set up this way-does not look like it would be very effective).

There were pull start motors on some of the airplanes (the Cutlass I have in the box is made this way, and I think one of my Turbojets is also, but I have not gotten it out in years).

The Rotomatic was on the motors, and had been for years, when Testors purchase Wen Mac. The springs on the Wen Mac engines and early Testors engines are retained by rivets, which is a pain if the spring breaks. The mid and later Testors engines have a "Z" bend on the end that goes into the tubular piece that engages the clutch (around the motor shaft) and a "J" bend at the other end. This was so that one could change the spring without pressing the crankshaft out of the clutch and taking things apart. It was much easier to change the spring on these.

One of my Aeromites has a flange on the spinner, and I am wondering if this was for starting with a cord too, but don't know at this point. I am still gathering more information and trying to fill in the gaps.
Yep. They used the old outboard motor pull starter routine (as did a lot of old lawn mowers). OK Cubs once had a knurled spinner which you wrapped the starter cord around.
The Rotomatic came out 1962 or so; there is a fluid transition period between the no starter motors/pull starter/no starter again/o-ring/Rotomatic which happened fairly quickly- over a period of 2-3 years or so in time frame 1960-1963 or so.
The pull starter motors arrived around 1955-56; they caused a lot of problems for Wen-Mac when customers yanked a starter cord designed for a pull of less than 3 inches a foot or more. It took them a bit to find a fix for "the problem" aka human stupidity.
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Old Oct 07, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Yep. They used the old outboard motor pull starter routine (as did a lot of old lawn mowers). OK Cubs once had a knurled spinner which you wrapped the starter cord around.
I had a Comet Sabre44 with a Cub .049B with that setup. I think I still have that starting spinner somewhere.

George
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Old Oct 08, 2012, 11:02 PM
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The Series 21 were ringed with the same type ring that K&B was using -- called a Dykes Ring. There was some trick, like carrying STP in an injector, or something else of similar weight to amp up the compression for hand starting. I never owned one, however, I'd bet that the same trick that worked for Red Heads would have helped the Black Head motors to grip a prop.

The thrust washer only had dimples on it that couldn't get a grip on maple, nylon, or other harder composition props, but the thrust washers from K&B's GH 35 and 45, plus late model GH 29s, with the sharp edged teeth, fit the RHs perfectly. I'd like to have such a thrust washer now as a spare to use on the McCoy 40 RH that I still have.


Kiwi
The Dykes ring was ok in theory- as long as it stayed on the piston and with Testors, that was the rub.
The trick, or so an old Rat flyer told me, was to put the motor on a test stand and oil it well, then chuck the crankshaft in a hand electric drill and spin it over in bursts for a few minutes. Either the ring came off soon or it seated. If it came off, it wasn't as bad as actually running the engine. If it didn't, and seated, you were safe to proceed to the next step of actual break in. I tried it and it worked- after a few minutes spinning, the compression came up and they were easy to start.
There were guys that machined the case down to get rid of some of the weight and had a real nifty motor- a lot of work though!
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Old Oct 08, 2012, 11:12 PM
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This is an unfortunate marketing decision. I would have much preferred the Red Heads over the Series 21's. Several years prior (early 1970's), I bought a McCoy Red Head .19 stunt engine from America's Hobby Center on sale for $6. A few years later, I bought around a half dozen Series 21 engines, 29's and .40's for around $5 apiece on clearance at a local hobby store. The only one I have left now is one .40. I have a Dubro stack spring baffle muffler somewhere, was thinking of possibly building a Ringmaster for it.

This is good to know, might come in handy with some vintage C/L models.

That's what I gathered the reason for the odd engine shape. Unfortunately, Testors' management apparently didn't understand marketing with modelers. Modelers don't look for fashion statements, they look for economic prices and performance.

I note that the late George Aldrich thought so much of the McCoy "lightning bolt" series .40 Red Head that he tried at one point to buy the tooling for it from Testors- only to find it had all been destroyed for tax reasons.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 12:08 AM
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I note that the late George Aldrich thought so much of the McCoy "lightning bolt" series .40 Red Head that he tried at one point to buy the tooling for it from Testors- only to find it had all been destroyed for tax reasons.
Destroyed for tax reasons sounds odd. Usually corporations sell off the old stuff. In this case, I guess they wanted to make sure that no one else would make a competing product to their Model 21 series. Then too, the Schneurle ported engines came on the scene, all other manufacturers except for may be Enya discontinued all baffle port piston production.

Last of the Fuji glow engines was an odd baffle piston ABC engine, the .099-II. I bought 2 copies for only $5 or $10 apiece in mid 1980's from Hobby Shack. Those engines were heavy, about the weight of a .15 but something was amiss with their carburetion. If I could find another carburetor that fits their intake port then might make them useful instead of boat anchors. Also odd was out of the box, when I removed their backplates, both were filled with aluminum shavings from the machining process. They had assembled them without bothering to clean the parts.

Fox continued their baffle port engines for a time. I bought perhaps from one of the near last batches, a baffle piston .25 R/C. They came out with a new carburetor, which was a significant improvement over their old one.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Part of the reason that K&B upped stakes and moved from California, besides the younger Brodbeck's interest in power boat racing, was the state corporate tax structure, which did levy taxes on unused machinery, which wasn't always anything that another company would want to buy. A lot of the Johnson engine machinery was also smashed up for the same reason, and some of the Veco engine machinery as well.

I'm sure there was more that I just never heard about, and my information came from the same source as that of the Series 20 McCoy machinery, in conversations with George Aldrich over the years.


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Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Interesting. California seems to have grown a business unfriendly environment. I remember in 1993, three hundred thousand people had exodused the state. In this area there are a number of dairy farmers that were former California dairy farmers. Now that you mention it, I remember something about K&B moving out of California.

In order to reduce costs, K&B came up with their "green series", sport engines, the AAC (Aluminum piston run in an Aluminum "sleeve" that was Chromed). IMO, for some reason it didn't catch on and now K&B is more or less history.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:28 AM
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The Dykes ring was ok in theory- as long as it stayed on the piston and with Testors, that was the rub. The trick, or so an old Rat flyer told me, was to put the motor on a test stand and oil it well, then chuck the crankshaft in a hand electric drill and spin it over in bursts for a few minutes. Either the ring came off soon or it seated. If it came off, it wasn't as bad as actually running the engine. If it didn't, and seated, you were safe to proceed to the next step of actual break in. I tried it and it worked- after a few minutes spinning, the compression came up and they were easy to start. There were guys that machined the case down to get rid of some of the weight and had a real nifty motor- a lot of work though!
Interesting way to break in an engine and with fuel costs as they are these days, a good way to test plus save some.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Interesting way to break in an engine and with fuel costs as they are these days, a good way to test plus save some.
It's mainly to seat the ring(s). I got this from a guy that flew Rat in Texas a lot back in the 60's on into the early '70s.
Wrap some electrical tape or masking tape around the crank threads before you chuck it up, take out the glow plug also. I used Marvel Mystery oil from the auto parts place to lube. It usually takes about 20 minutes or so on average.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 06:48 PM
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Part of the reason that K&B upped stakes and moved from California, besides the younger Brodbeck's interest in power boat racing, was the state corporate tax structure, which did levy taxes on unused machinery, which wasn't always anything that another company would want to buy. A lot of the Johnson engine machinery was also smashed up for the same reason, and some of the Veco engine machinery as well.

I'm sure there was more that I just never heard about, and my information came from the same source as that of the Series 20 McCoy machinery, in conversations with George Aldrich over the years.


Kiwi
Yep! Peoples Republic of Kalifornia. Isn't that why Duke Fox pulled up stakes and went to Ft. Smith also?
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Maybe another time, that memory may surface, but Duke himself would be the source, sitting under his tent at one of the Louisiana Nats, at the Combat Circles, back in the 1970s, but right now, his answer just isn't attached to the rest of that recollection.

The main thing I remember has to do with the first two Fox Schneurles, the 36X Baldy and the 40 Big Block Stunt motor. The Baldy had shaft problems, and he was giving away bronze-colored ones that were supposed to hold up better, and occasionally, swapping entire engines to some of the guys for ones he looked at, wiggled the prop on, and pronounced them "bad".

When did the barn door Combat Special come out? '77? If that's right, it was probably the first of the two Nats at Lake Charles.


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Old Oct 09, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Now that you mention it, I remember something about K&B moving out of California...
...In order to reduce costs, K&B came up with their "green series", sport engines, the AAC (Aluminum piston run in an Aluminum "sleeve" that was Chromed). IMO, for some reason it didn't catch on and now K&B is more or less history.
K&B was bought by MECOA and is alive and well. For the information about their move to another place in CA, check mecoa.com. Apparently they were forced to relocate.

For their current offerings check here: http://www.kbmfg.com/

BTW, I have a couple of the K&B .20 AAC's...nice engine.

George
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:15 PM
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K&B was bought by MECOA and is alive and well. For the information about their move to another place in CA, check mecoa.com. Apparently they were forced to relocate.

For their current offerings check here: http://www.kbmfg.com/

BTW, I have a couple of the K&B .20 AAC's...nice engine.
Interesting, now that I think of it, I recall Mecoa purchasing K&B. About 15 or so years ago, I remember some AMA members (or staff, can't recall which) visiting Randy. At the time it was a side business out of another totally unhobby related business. They didn't have many kind words about him. I see he as now expanded his work, in spite of the rants, which is to be commended.

For a time I thought about purchasing one of those Sportster engines, just never got around to it. With the AP's and ASP's going for a song these days new, and with modelers selling good used engines for a reasonable price used, it will probably remain a back burner item for now.
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