HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale

Saito FA-62A 4-stroke Review

Ian Bange reviews Saito's newest 4-stroke!

Splash

Introduction


Price:$209.99
Type:Four-Stroke
Displacement:.62 cu in. (10.21cc)
Bore:26.2 mm
Stroke:19.0 mm
Weight:464 grams 16.4 oz
Prop Range:11x7 thru 13x7
Manufacturer:Saito
Available From:Donald's Hobby Center

For years Saito has been known for making some of the worlds finest 4-stroke engines. I have flown these little gems in many of my aircraft and have never been disappointed with their combination of power and reliability. When Donald's Hobby Center asked me to review the new Saito .62, I jumped at the chance.

In recent years Saito has been concentrating their efforts on expanding the displacements available in a given case size. This has lead to the .72, .82, 1.25, 2.20, and now the new .62. Like its older and larger cousins, the new .62 squeezes all that displacement out of a small case size. In fact, the 62's case would normally belong to a .50. This means added power without the weight penalty.

Features

I came home from work and found a box from Donald's Hobby Center waiting for me on the doorstep. I immediately dropped what I was doing to do my best impression of a 10-year-old at Christmastime opening up the box! Past the mass of packing material, keeping my new toy untouched was the standard fare white box with the metallic gold Saito logo that heralds good things. Opening up the box revealed the standard foam rubber packing and a beautiful silver Saito.

There are many nice features of this little gem, some that will be familiar to Saito owners, and some that are new:

  • Reversible carb for easy needle valve access
  • Hemi-head design
  • Pewter thrust washer (unique to the 62)

First things first

I decided to test out the .62 on an airframe that I am very familiar with. My kit-built Mojo 40 has been powered by an OS .46, Saito .91, and a magnum .52 in this year alone, so I know how it performs with different engines. I could get a good feel for how both the power and wing loading change with the .62.

Mounting

Before mounting the engine, I took advantage of another nice feature found on all Saito engines: the reversible carb. It is completely reversible with the removal of two bolts from the back casing. This allowed me to put the needle valve on the top side where it is easily accessible.

Mounting an engine on a profile is easy enough, but I found it interesting that the .62 did not fit any of the standard mounting holes already in place on the plane. As I mentioned before, I have a LOT of mounting holes drilled in this plane, so I fully expected it to fit in some of the holes already there. But no, the .62 seems to have a smaller footprint than a .46 2-stroke or .72 4-stroke. This stands to reason as its casing is borrowed from the 56 which would be a better alternative to a .40 2-stroke. I would expect that the 62 would be easy to mount in a plane formerly powered by a much less powerful 40 while providing MUCH more power.

Break-in

The break-in on any Saito is simple: Keep it under 4000RPM for the first 10 minutes of run time. I checked to make sure that the high end needle was set per the manual and fired the engine up. The first 10 minutes of run time could be left alone, but I prefer to vary the throttle a little bit. I have heard that this helps to accustom the engine to various temperatures during break in. Of course do not open the throttle up the whole way, but it is safe to run it between idle and 1/4 throttle.

First flights

Saito's recommended procedure past break in is normal flights with a rich setting on the high speed needle and no adjustment to the low speed needle. I followed these guidelines and took the Mojo up with a 13x6 Xoar installed to check out the performance of the new engine. Wow! First thing to notice is that even with a rich needle setting and low run time the 62 is a powerhouse for it's displacement. It pulled the 4.2 lb Mojo around with excellent authority. Hovering was easily achieved under 1/2 throttle, and the throttle response was instant even with the big 13x6 on the front.

The other thing that impressed me was how light the Mojo flies. No engine I have ever run on that airframe has given me that light of a wing loading, in either 2-stroke or 4-stroke. The combination of the lighter weight and awesome performance of the 62 made the Mojo fly better than it ever has before.

Performance

All performance testing was done in roughly 70-80 degree weather near sea level in Austin TX. The fuel used was coopers 30% performance blend that I run in all of my 4-stroke engines.

Xoar 12x6: 10,000 RPM
Xoar 13x4: 11,000 RPM
Xoar 13x6: 9,500 RPM

A Xoar 14x4 was also used in flight testing however that prop was broken before it could be used for bench testing. It pulled roughly similar RPM numbers to the 13x6 and was not too much prop for the engine.

Practical flight performance

I tested 12x6 through 14x4 props, all by Xoar on the 62. The airframe used for testing was a Morris Sledge weighing 4.3 lbs. The 12x6, while being a recommended size by Saito, proved to be too little prop. Perhaps on a low nitro fuel like 10 or 15% it would work better, however on 30% the 12x6 just produced too little thrust. The 13x6 was perhaps the best sport prop I tested with a good combination of low speed thrust and high end pull. I did not extensively test high speed flight since the sledge is not designed for speed, but the prop did have good speed characteristics for what little high speed flight I tried. The 14x4 was remarkably not too much prop for the engine, but I believe that it is not as good a low speed/3D prop as the 13x4. Both had similar characteristics of excellent low end thrust and throttle response, but I personally thought that the 13x6 had better response whereas the 14 would lug the engine down just a hair too much for quick response. I settled on the 13x4 as my permanent flight prop for all 3D airframes.

Tips and tricks

In my first experiences with 4-stroke engines I had a lot of trouble with the muffler coming loose. It would seem that no sooner would I fire the engine up than the muffler was swinging around loose. This condition seemed to ease up after a while, but it wasn't until one of the "old salt" engine gurus noticed me dealing with a loose muffler and advised me to "tighten it while it's hot and it'll stay tight" that I figured out why I was having so much trouble. Since then I keep a rag handy when working with a 4-stroke so that I can grab that hot muffler right after shutting the engine down and tighten the bolts down so that they stay tight.

Conclusion

The Saito 62 is a definite contender in the 40-size market. With incredible power and light weight, the 62 is possibly the best 4-stroke for 40 size aircraft offered by Saito. I have enjoyed flying with my new 62, and I would definitely buy another one in the future.

Pluses:

  • Lightweight design
  • Impressive power output
  • Beautiful finish

Minuses:

  • Mounting pattern does not match standard sizes

I would like to give special thanks to Donald's Hobby Center for making this review possible. Their prices on Saito engines are excellent, their shipping is quick, and their service is great. If you are looking for someone to purchase a Saito, or for any of your hobby needs, give them a look.

Last edited by Angela H; Feb 18, 2008 at 09:11 PM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old Feb 19, 2008, 02:19 AM
LaurenceGough's Avatar
Reading, UK
Joined Sep 2007
6,371 Posts
Thanks for your review! How's it sound?
LaurenceGough is offline Find More Posts by LaurenceGough
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 19, 2008, 07:00 AM
Registered User
I TOBOR's Avatar
Joined Feb 2007
2,769 Posts
Great review IB, I have two .62s to mount on a hangar 9 Dual Ace. They were both no brainers to break in and both turn a Graupner 12x7 at 9,400 on WildCat 10% fuel. It has already become a very popular engine sales wise. My LHS can't keep them. I got the first one they recieved and quickly ordered another.
I TOBOR is online now Find More Posts by I TOBOR
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Burbank
Joined Jul 2004
79 Posts
Comparability

You know, most of us, and most engine reviewers, run 10-15% nitro and APC, Zinger or Master Airscrew props. Your 30% nitro/Zoar prop rpm figures are interesting, but useless for comparison to engines we already have or other reviews we have read. Your figures might even be misleading if someone were to miss the comment about 30% fuel.

Will Saito honor its warranty on an engine that has been run on 30% nitro?

Jim
jrf2 is offline Find More Posts by jrf2
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2008, 02:38 PM
Registered User
USA, VA, Central
Joined Oct 2006
412 Posts
Horizon says it's fine on 30%.....and for those of us that do run it, it's nice to know what kind of performance it will generate. Most times, we have to guess.....this time you do.

Edited to add link.
justerik is offline Find More Posts by justerik
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2008, 07:12 PM
Registered User
Dallas, Texas area
Joined Sep 2003
875 Posts
I like the review, but I don't know anything about those props and I agree that most people don't run 30% nitro.
It would be great if you have the time to run it on 10 or 15% nitro and a couple of APC props and post those bench mark numbers.
Horizon says it turns an APC 13 x 6 prop at 9900 rpm, but they don't specify nitro.
Sounds like a pretty stout engine in any case.
chashint is offline Find More Posts by chashint
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2008, 09:28 PM
Bigger is better
ibange's Avatar
Austin TX
Joined Jan 2001
909 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technex
Thanks for your review! How's it sound?
You're welcome! It sounds great. A little more subdued than my other saitos with more valve whirr and less exhaust brap. I really like the sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrf2
You know, most of us, and most engine reviewers, run 10-15% nitro and APC, Zinger or Master Airscrew props. Your 30% nitro/Zoar prop rpm figures are interesting, but useless for comparison to engines we already have or other reviews we have read. Your figures might even be misleading if someone were to miss the comment about 30% fuel.

Will Saito honor its warranty on an engine that has been run on 30% nitro?

Jim
You make a very good point and honestly I should have thought of that. Both the prop brand and fuel choice are my personal preference, however I really should have bought some props and some 20% fuel for my testing. I'll try to do that for future engine reviews.

For comparison's sake: In my experience with xoar props, they universally load an engine down a little heavier than an equivalent APC prop on the top end, so add a little to those numbers if you are running APC. As for fuel, I would expect to lose about as much RPM moving down to 20% as I would gain from chanigng to APC props, so you can most likely use the numbers I provided as a very close comparison to how the engine would perform using APC's on 20% fuel.

Thanks for the comments guys!

Ian
ibange is offline Find More Posts by ibange
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2008, 09:19 PM
Registered User
Dallas, Texas area
Joined Sep 2003
875 Posts
You know I have been thinking about my previous post and I have decided it was down right unappreciative of me to ask for more. I apologise for not fully appreciating the efforts you put forth for my (and the community's) benefit. You did an excellent job with your review and if you normally run 30% nitro and use the Xoar props then you keep right on doing what you do.
chashint is offline Find More Posts by chashint
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2008, 12:50 PM
Bigger is better
ibange's Avatar
Austin TX
Joined Jan 2001
909 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by chashint
You know I have been thinking about my previous post and I have decided it was down right unappreciative of me to ask for more. I apologise for not fully appreciating the efforts you put forth for my (and the community's) benefit. You did an excellent job with your review and if you normally run 30% nitro and use the Xoar props then you keep right on doing what you do.
Don't worry about it! I appreciate the comments as they will make my reviews better in the future.
ibange is offline Find More Posts by ibange
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2008, 05:49 PM
Registered User
I TOBOR's Avatar
Joined Feb 2007
2,769 Posts
IB, I got banged up on another site for mentioning that most Saitos will turn in very good numbers on 5% nitro, you would have thought I committed some kind of sacrilage. I just told the truth. There is indeed a myth out there that Saitos require 30% nitro however this simply is not true, they respond well to it but in no way do they need it. Thanks for the great review. The Saito .62 is a winner in every way. But then all Saitos are. I look forward to more of your reviews.
I TOBOR is online now Find More Posts by I TOBOR
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2008, 08:07 PM
Registered User
west of Syracuse
Joined Oct 2005
26 Posts
Nice Job Ian, beautiful review!

Thanks for the name drop.

Question for ya, how was the valve lash out of the box? and if it is lose now and you tighten it to about .0015 or so, could you do a comparison between stock lose and stock tight? Just curious.

...or you could send me the engine and I'll do the comparison and maybe have to fly it around some too.

I Tobor; is that you Dave?
Fuelman is offline Find More Posts by Fuelman
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26, 2008, 01:32 PM
Registered User
I TOBOR's Avatar
Joined Feb 2007
2,769 Posts
It is.
I TOBOR is online now Find More Posts by I TOBOR
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 01, 2008, 08:35 AM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2007
1 Posts
Quote:
Saito's recommended procedure past break in is normal flights with a rich setting on the high speed needle and no adjustment to the low speed needle.
Don't think so.
rlmcnii is offline Find More Posts by rlmcnii
Last edited by rlmcnii; Mar 01, 2008 at 10:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 03, 2008, 12:54 PM
Bigger is better
ibange's Avatar
Austin TX
Joined Jan 2001
909 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelman
Nice Job Ian, beautiful review!

Thanks for the name drop.

Question for ya, how was the valve lash out of the box? and if it is lose now and you tighten it to about .0015 or so, could you do a comparison between stock lose and stock tight? Just curious.

...or you could send me the engine and I'll do the comparison and maybe have to fly it around some too.

I Tobor; is that you Dave?
I'll have to check on that. To be honest the valve lash was very good when checked with my .002 shim. I adjusted it to be really certain, but I could have left it alone. I haven't taken it down to .0015, but I've always had pretty good luck at .002. I would like to get a bit more fuel efficiency out of it so I might do a check on it at that. It may be a bit though since I sold off the sledge I was using the engine on, though I kept the engine.

No problem on the name drop. I honestly post it so that there is no question of what I used for testing more than advertising. Of course if you were to give me some free fuel to use for future reviews and "advertising" I wouldn't turn it down

As for the breakin, that was how I interpreted the directions, though of course with a half of a small page of them, they're pretty vague. The ground tank then fly with rich setting has always worked very well for my saitos, so that is what I went with on the 62.
ibange is offline Find More Posts by ibange
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
52" B-17 scratch built in progress, assistance/advice requested gbg1 Scale Kit/Scratch Built 73 Nov 03, 2003 08:25 AM
tyco rc plane building in progress. Thomas Manson Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 33 Aug 05, 2002 09:46 AM
Ezone upgrade in progress???? bjsiegel@texas.net Electric Plane Talk 0 Jul 13, 2002 07:58 PM
Yippee! Type VIIC in progress U-96 Submarines 20 Jul 10, 2002 10:10 AM
Decathlon in progress Paul Penney Parkflyers 5 Feb 16, 2002 01:43 PM