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Old Aug 23, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Small nit, they didn't make Pee Wee .010's, only Tee Dees. Pee Wee's came in .020.
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Old Aug 23, 2012, 02:31 PM
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You are correct, it was a typo. Not to mention that I havent looked in the box full of them in years, and havent ran one in decades....


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Old Sep 15, 2012, 10:24 PM
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Cox engines need 30+% nitro, castor oil and methanol fuel, fresh glow heads and copper washers, extreme cleanliness, proper break-in, removal of castor oil "varnish" from cylinder if needed during break-in, and careful tightening of piston/conrod with proper Cox reset tool. Use proper Cox wrenches to remove heads and do not overtighten glow heads. Never use pliers or vice grips on any part of a Cox engine. Cox Tee Dee engines can run powerfully and reliably if in the hands of a knowledeable user. Avoid using an electric starter. Spring starters work well .
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 05:28 PM
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I hear you, but gee, I dunno. I've found the Cox reed valve engines to be reasonably robust with a nominal amount of TLC required. With the proper 1.5 Volt battery (6 D alkaline cells soldered in parallel), I've had heads last quite a few flights on not more than 25% nitro fuel. When the engine starts to show signs of losing power, then de-varnish with some steel wool and a quick tap with the piston-conrod tool, wash and reassemble. After about 100 flights, it's time to replace piston and cylinder. No electric start required, one or two flips of the prop with one 360 degree wind of the spring are enough to start. A quart bottle of fuel almost lasts a flying season. (A good way to rib gallon guzzling .60 power flying friends.)
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:37 AM
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I agree with the reedies going ok for about 100 flights, but have found the crankcase and crankshaft seal wears, and leaks. Then the needle setting is rich-lean-rich-lean. I really hate that. You can tell when it is like this by rocking the crank up and down and looking at the piston going up and down too. I put a bushing in a couple of motors to remedy this, but it was not worth the effort compared to the price of a new crankcase. It did work though. Oh ya, I don't really like the reedies. TD and Norvels are better.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 03:46 PM
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I agree with the reedies going ok for about 100 flights, but have found the crankcase and crankshaft seal wears, and leaks. Then the needle setting is rich-lean-rich-lean. I really hate that. You can tell when it is like this by rocking the crank up and down and looking at the piston going up and down too. I put a bushing in a couple of motors to remedy this, but it was not worth the effort compared to the price of a new crankcase. It did work though. Oh ya, I don't really like the reedies. TD and Norvels are better.
Most of my experiences with the Half-A's were when I was younger. Then, the Cox .049 reed valves were very cost effective, even in those day's economy. In 1972, I think I paid the all of about $7.00 US for a cox Pee Wee. One my father purchased for me in 1965 had AFAIK a $2.95 suggested retail on it, but he paid a little over half for it. Because they were so cheap, when one wore out, it was just easier to buy a new one, although on occasion I did buy replacement needle valves, overhaul gasket kits, cylinder and sleeve, etc. Then, reasonably local hobby shops were still in existence with parts.

IMO, basically old man Cox decimated the .049 engine industry because he could manufacture with precision these little reed valve engines at a cheaper cost, which were just as or more powerful than the others could make with their offerings.

The Tee Dees at the time were considerably more (even came in a plastic trophy case!), and unless one was into contests, got by with the reed valve engines. I had a few Testors Wen Mac .049's, at about the same cost these seemed to be on par with the Cox reed valves although they were front throat intake engines. Also, I still have a few salvage Cox 290 engines from plastic C/L ready to flies, using the Goldberg 290 plastic adapter mount. This allowed one to use the engines since the plastic back did not have any mounting lugs and retained the Cox tank mount spacing. Otherwise, one made sheet metal mounts (used it on my own design Wildcat C/L profile). Since metal external fuel tanks were readily available from the likes of Perfect, K&B, Fox, Japanese manufacturer Pilot, etc., it was easy to reuse these engines in C/L, F/F and R/C planes.

So, not many of my engines made it past the 100 flight mark, only one, an R/C Bee (forerunner of the Dragonfly R/C). It used a die cast crankcase, and I don't recall the wear you describe at the 100 flight mark. I don't know if it was because I used exclusively Castor oil based fuel or Cox did something right there. Since it cost Cox more to manufacture this crankcase, lost out to the screw machine manufactured Cox trademark cases. in the follow on Dragonfly engine.

Except for the more costly R/C engines, basically the Cox reed valves with tank were more or less disposable then. Also, a number of times after removing the engine to repair and refinish the airframe, clean and reinstall the engine, the tanks got well scratched, sometimes a tank lug got broke. Given parts prices, it was easier to buy a new engine.

Now that Bernie of Cox International Canada has a slew of crankcases both die cast and screw machine versions, and other parts and since these engines are now more or less nostalgic items with prices up, IMO it may be easier to replace the crankcases.

Regarding the Norvels, yes I have a few of those including the AME, and they are a nice upgrade. But since I fly VR/CS and have a few C/L planes, the Cox reed valves have their place.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Ya I got pretty much the same story, except we had to pay double for the motors because of duty, difference in the dollar and greedy hobby shops. What is VR/CS?
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:57 PM
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Ya I got pretty much the same story, except we had to pay double for the motors because of duty, difference in the dollar and greedy hobby shops. What is VR/CS?
Vintage Radio Control Society.

http://www.vintagercsociety.org/cms/index.php

Objective - The VR/CS is intended to preserve and promote the memory of Radio Control Aero-modeling activity as it was in the past. ... The Vintage R/C Society is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Academy of Model Aviation and therefore represents the interest of Vintage R/C modelers to the AMA.

Aircraft covered are kits and plans irregardless of country produced 35 years ago or more. It is up to the modeler to show proof of eligibility for planes not on the eligible list. Open category aircraft allow variances such as electric motors, scaling aircraft size up or down, modern R/C surfaces, etc. Concours contest category require building per plans for maximum points and use of control surfaces, engines and actuators typically mimicking those for the era, i.e., if aircraft did not have a steerable nose wheel, points are deducted if made steerable; a Norvel engine will have points deducted over say a McCoy or Fox .049 that was available when plans were printed. If a plane was made rudder only, adding an elevator will have points deducted, and etc.

Thus, there has been a resurgence of using modern R/C radios and servos in US, Canada and Europe, modified to mimic control actions of push button transmitters and flight control escapements, motorized actuators, galloping ghost equipment, quick blip sequential throttles, reed equipment, and etc. This overcomes reliability issues of some of the older equipment.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 09:28 AM
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Hmm I think half of my stuff is 35 years old. I didn't think it was vintage.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Hmm I think half of my stuff is 35 years old. I didn't think it was vintage.
Then I guess your age is starting to show.

I find it rather amusing that the stuff I grew up with are now considered E-Bay collectables.

Over the years I have collected various kits, many of which are now considered VR/CS eligible. Some of them are:
  • Andrews S-Ray
  • Airco Aero Star
  • Berkeley Impulse
  • DeBolt Live Wire Kitten
  • Sterling Profile Hellcat C/L (plans show R/C version)*
  • Airtronics Gere Sport*

* Need verifying year. I believe the 35 year period for 2012 is 1976 and older, eligibility counted before January 1 of current year.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Kavalier, (Kadet too I think)Guillows Spad Biplane, Guillows Spirit of St. Louis, couple of Eagle 2's may be about that old? three oldtimers unknown names, Sig Scamp, and Wonder maybe? HOB 2x2, Gentle Lady, Amptique, a bunch of control line stuff. Seamaster, couple of Aquastars maybe, A wierd looking float plane with a Gee Bee float. I don't know the exact years.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Kavalier, (Kadet too I think)Guillows Spad Biplane, Guillows Spirit of St. Louis, couple of Eagle 2's may be about that old? three oldtimers unknown names, Sig Scamp, and Wonder maybe? HOB 2x2, Gentle Lady, Amptique, a bunch of control line stuff. Seamaster, couple of Aquastars maybe, A wierd looking float plane with a Gee Bee float. I don't know the exact years.
Planes you mentioned weren't listed on the VR/CS website eligibles, but that doesn't mean they are not eligible. I was a year off, 1977 and before for 2012.

Basically there are 3 classifications based on R/C and when kitted, published or flown:
  • Pioneer: Prior to January 1, 1955
  • Classic: Prior to January 1, 1965
  • Nostalgia: 35 years old prior to the first of each calendar year.

If the plan shows an option for radio control and meets the year criteria is eligible. My Minnie Mambo qualifies under the Classic category. I'm still looking for the year on the Hellcat, Sterling Kit No. S-46. I'm thinking it may be a late comer, one of Sterling's last.
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