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Old Apr 15, 2014, 02:06 PM
Vintage Aircraft Lover
GallopingGhostlr's Avatar
United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combatpigg View Post
I contributed to the deaths of a lot of 1/2 As...but they just keep on coming.........
LOL, I can imagine CP, that combat flying wasn't always the easiest on these little half-A jewels particularly in their brush with the terra firma.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Joined Feb 2011
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We used to break the needles and burn out a lot of plugs running 40% Powermaster and as much compression as possible. I never did break an engine from a crash, though. Even the plastic carb housings would allow the needle to swing without stripping the threads..so they lasted quite well. The TD engines didn't start breaking down [in droves] until after the VAs and Norvels arrived. The flyers started cutting down the rubber 5x3s to help keep the TDs competitive and the extra rpm [anything above 25,000] lead to predictably rapid failures. Nobody I knew of were running lightened pistons back then, though. If so, then these engines can run near 28,000 for much longer before something goes wrong...much like a good KillerBee does.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 04:18 PM
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United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Jan 2013
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Wow, CP, you really drove those engines hard in competition, amazing and fantastic, what it took to maintain a competitive edge over the competition. About the only thing that I that may even come close are two of the old 290 red square back engines of the late 1960's, donor engines from the Cox RTF's like the P-51's. I remember articles in the modeling magazines of using them for 1/2-A Proto racing. I gather Leroy Cox or one of the other engine experts knew what they were doing back then.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 05:17 PM
"Unnecessary Necessity"
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Canada, BC, Vancouver
Joined Sep 2006
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They not only know what they were doing, but they also had a different attitude toward workmanship than what prevail now
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 08:24 PM
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United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Jan 2013
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I think that what prevails is simply what is available through left over parts. I think that those who purchased the remaining inventory are doing their best to QA so that one is not stuck with a dysfunctional engine, but at least is guaranteed to have a reasonably successful engine experience. This is why now one pays $25 US instead of $7 US.

The Sure Start based series of engines are not intended to be anything more than sport engines. They will basically perform as well as the Babe Bee engine and provide those with a satisfactory experience, if properly applied in the correctly matched airframe and TLC exercised in fuel choices. Of course one can tweak them to improve, such as drilling out the venturi hole, changing out the piston and cylinder with one that has SPI, etc.

The more expensive engines have more scrutiny put into them, with better parts for improved performance, which would be expected, IMO.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 08:45 PM
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I came in when the TDs were being run really hard, but their popularity was on the downward slope. If it wasn't for a lucky encounter with local combat flyers going at it, I would have never given it a try.
Larry Driskill wrote a great article about how to get started in 1/2 A combat for Model Aviation back around 1987. He submitted a construction article for his own plane and also about how to make the TDs competitive. Being from Texas, he was right in the middle of a very strong combat community...guys who traveled all over the USA and the World to fly combat.
Detailing the fit of the crankshaft to the case by polishing the crank [by spinning it with a drill motor and rubbing it with sink cleaner mixed with oil] and grinding away a little bit of excess surface area on the crank journal was one of Larry's hottest tips that any Cox engine would benefit from. Anyone who followed Larry's advice with a handful of low time TDs should have been able to come away with at least 1/2 of them contest ready.
Joe Klaus at Kustom Kraftsmanship was another valuable resource. I would have liked to see how he was able to crank out those little parts fast enough to keep the prices low and without going bonkers if he had to stand over the machine while each and every single part was being made.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Finished! Time to fly.....
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Woot vid vid =}
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