Originally Posted by Jim Kraft
Hi all you sparker guys. I have refurbished a lot of old sparkers over the last few years for others, and I am amazed at how little some of these engines have been run. Many are just gummed up but when cleaned out the are just like new on the inside with good rod and crank bearings. I have replaced the rings in a very few and after honing the cyl. they have great compression. I have personally flown several sparkers 100's of hours with seemingly no wear or very little. I love flying them so well that I do not fly much else either in control line or R/C assist Old Timers. Most of these have probably come out of collections and have not been run in years. I have not found one I could not get running with a little TLC. It may be partly that I have only worked on Anderson Spitfires, Super Cyclones and Atwood Champions, which are all very good engines to start with. I do fly a few Ohlsson's and Orwicks also. Who would have thought that 60 year old engines could still be in good running order.
Yes, they usually had little use. First you have to be able to start the engine, and that could be quite frustrating on some days. Then for free flight, maybe 10 to 20 seconds or so at the most for a engine run, if that much. Some engines might get run quite a few times to break it in before they used it too. They would use the little fuel tank and run it out and let it cool off and repeat a number of times, gradually leaning it out a little more over time.
So yes, one can find that many of the engines had very little run time on them, One could easily fly a plane every weekend for a year and maybe get half an hour or so of runtime overall on it.