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Old Mar 03, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Joined Jun 2014
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I have long lurked on the gas forums, though only being an electric modeller myself. Would 1/2A be a good model basis to begin building/flying gas?
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Old Mar 03, 2015, 01:21 PM
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Jburry's Avatar
Canada, NB, Mispec
Joined Feb 2015
20 Posts
Fuel powered models aren't much different from their electric breathern, except for their power source. Flying a 1/2a engine powered model isn't really much different than a similar electric model.

1/2a engines are attractive for someone looking to dabble in engine powered flight as they typically are used with simpler field kit. Little need for electric starters and the like, so the cost of entry is lower. That is balanced by the quirky nature of many of the engines compared to the larger ones.

If you build and fly electric models, a simple 1/2a model won't be much challenge. Build light and straight, learn to operate the engine and fly to your heart's content.

If, however, you're a beginner with little experience flying any aircraft, you might find that the small scale 1/2a planes can be tricky - they respond more to gusts, and get small quickly. Otherwise, a plane's a plane.

Many small electric models are easily converted to glow power - An engine mount, fuel tank and some basic fuel proofing are the crux of it. There're some cool threads here on the topic.

I've always felt that while electric models have merit, they're soul-less appliances compared to the living fire of an IC engine powered model.... But maybe that's just me.

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Old Mar 03, 2015, 09:29 PM
Now I have to land that thing?
PGregory's Avatar
United States, NY, Poughkeepsie
Joined Apr 2014
426 Posts
Very rewarding flying 1/2A glow or diesel, but I might add you will not have the same throttle control you do with electrics, if you have any control at all. You generally land dead-stick every flight, have to be ready for that eventuality.
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Old Mar 04, 2015, 12:56 AM
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perttime's Avatar
Tampere, Finland
Joined Nov 2004
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Originally Posted by Jburry View Post
Little need for electric starters and the like, so the cost of entry is lower. That is balanced by the quirky nature of many of the engines compared to the larger ones.
I was thinking that going for a slightly bigger engine might give you easier starting and setup.
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Old Mar 04, 2015, 08:45 AM
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Canada, ON, Cottam
Joined Jan 2012
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While I still like the little guys, I have found the .15 to .25 size motors very user friendly, and they fly in a bit of wind better than the .049 stuff. The little guys are a bit hard to find, and more finicky, especially the reedies for newbies. They are quite simple and easy to figure out though.
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Old Mar 04, 2015, 12:54 PM
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United States, FL, Hastings
Joined May 2013
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A lot of us started off on 1/2a airplanes either before electric flight became practical, or right at the cusp of it. When I learned, if you were serious, you flew gas and started with 1/2a or similar, and electric was something only techy guys or non serious beginners would do; that was the perception at the time at least. I started with 1/2 a, then my next real engine was an OS FS-40 four stroke. Now, go figure, I'm almost exclusively an electric modeler myself. I'd say 1/2a would be an alright choice, because as mentioned, the starting equipment is minimal, and they can be quite easy to set up and get running alright, but at the same time, with certain airframes, if the engine isn't in optimal shape, the engine may not even fly the airplane. The lack of throttle control and dead stick landing with most the 1/2a models and engines may scare some, but it can also be a whole lot of fun in it's own right. As well, just admiring the little jewels that these engines are engineering wise is fun. However, they are considerably noisy, quite messy (be prepared to do a lot of cleanup after words), and noisy in a way that if there's any one within half a mile, they will find you annoying and maybe even unbearable. If you're new to gas, I would actually suggest a .10-.15 size motor and airplane, for the simple advantages that the engines can be less quirky, they tend to be silenced better, and they have good throttle control. That, and while the airplanes for these engines are only a little larger than a 1/2a airplane, that can make a huge difference, especially if you're not used to tracking a very small fast moving object through the sky. 1/2a airplanes can sometimes be hard to follow, especially some of the faster smaller ones. Now, would I steer you away from 1/2a? Not at all, but I'd actually suggest it as a second engine after you've learned on the .10-.15s first.
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Old Mar 04, 2015, 01:08 PM
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United States, WA, Mt Vernon
Joined Jun 2014
238 Posts

That was my first RC model, scratch built from plans.

I dabbled in control line in the 90s, and more recently free flight 1/2A engines so I was familiar with their operation enough to avoid much frusteration.
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