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New Laser engines. What do you want?

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Jon Harper - Laser Engines16/11/2015 12:40:26
3178 forum posts
130 photos

As the title implies this thread is a bit of informal but sort of serious market research to see what you guys want us to make that we dont already.

Now i would ask that we please limit suggestions to realistic ones, ie ones you yourself would actually buy so no requests for supercharged V12's please!

Currently petrol is clearly a big thing, and so 30cc and above petrol single cylinder engines are already on the wish list but what else do we want to see and what sort of price do you think would be both realistic and attractive in the market. Again, no requests for 100cc V twins for £4.50 please.

So...who wants what?

Bob Cotsford16/11/2015 12:50:52
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6842 forum posts
369 photos

how about a boxer twin? Maybe a 1.60 and a 2.00 so they could go in the 20 and 30 cc size models. Why a boxer - with the cylinders opposed it makes tank installation easy and the flat layout fits lots of cowling styles - Cubs, Edges/Extras/MXSs and anything with a radial.

Jon Harper - Laser Engines16/11/2015 13:01:22
3178 forum posts
130 photos

A flat twin would be nice, i would like to do one and there is evidence that they would work well as (many years ago) a chap made a 150 twin from Laser 75 parts.

The only big decision to make is if a single or double throw crank should be used and how to sort out the twin carbs.

In any event that is one vote for a flat twin on the list

Area 5116/11/2015 13:20:50
653 forum posts
1 photos

Nice 100 / 120 opposed twin for warbirds! and how about an inline twin similar too the Saito 200i??? This would suit the snout of many a scale a/c...

Petrol with a decent exhaust system to meet the forever mentioned noise issues we all seem to be facing!

Good luck..

Manish Chandrayan16/11/2015 14:02:03
323 forum posts
50 photos

Please please get the petrol 30cc sorted and in production smiley

Jon Harper - Laser Engines16/11/2015 14:31:36
3178 forum posts
130 photos

Area51 our current 180 prototype petrol is no more noisy than the glow version. It might even be quieter in flight but its hard to really measure that. Its just a feeling i got

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator16/11/2015 15:13:28
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Moderator
6524 forum posts
178 photos

Yep 20-30cc petrol 4 stroke would be great....large glow 4 strokes can be a bit vicious & tend to vibrate quite a lot to say nothing of the fuel consumption....smile o

I do wonder how many would sell though when you consider how cheap something like a DLE30 is......thinking

Braddock, VC16/11/2015 15:18:20
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1464 forum posts
21 photos

I'd like to see an opposed twin, but smaller (120 ish?), also like to see it petrol fuelled and also a smaller ( 61 sized?) petrol single.

Would also like to see the weight reduced on the smaller engines, eg my 80 is slightly heavier than my saito 125.

It would also be good if you could reduce the overall length and incorporate some form of waste oil combustion into the design.

Is my wishlist too big?

kevin b16/11/2015 15:22:28
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1462 forum posts
150 photos

Hi Jon.

Interesting thread.

I would say that the mass producers of engines are currently looking at the small petrol powered market and think you are best advised to stick to your niche within the scale builders requirements.

So you are potentially looking at multi-cylinder, fairly low capacity engines. Possibly 2 or 4 cylinders with a short stroke to keep them compact. Maybe using the new petrol-glow plugs that have been recently developed. I don't know how efficient they are though.

I personally would like to see a small 5, or 7 cylinder radial, but common sense says that the development costs would probably make one not very cost effective to produce.

Just remember though. Stick at what you are good at. yes.

MattyB16/11/2015 15:32:35
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1565 forum posts
25 photos
Posted by Bob Cotsford on 16/11/2015 12:50:52:

how about a boxer twin? Maybe a 1.60 and a 2.00 so they could go in the 20 and 30 cc size models. Why a boxer - with the cylinders opposed it makes tank installation easy and the flat layout fits lots of cowling styles - Cubs, Edges/Extras/MXSs and anything with a radial.

+1 from me - I think that format could be popular, and there are not many 4-stroke petrol boxers out there, so it might be a decent market for you.

MattyB16/11/2015 15:35:22
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1565 forum posts
25 photos
Posted by Area 51 on 16/11/2015 13:20:50:

Nice 100 / 120 opposed twin for warbirds! and how about an inline twin similar too the Saito 200i??? This would suit the snout of many a scale a/c...

Petrol with a decent exhaust system to meet the forever mentioned noise issues we all seem to be facing!

I am not sure an inline twin would be that popular given how tricky they seem to be to run right, especially given a petrol runs hotter anyway. The very small number of inline twins I have seen almost always seem to be running with the cowl off. Maybe give Kolm a call and see how many of their 2 and 3 cylinders they have actually sold?!!

kc16/11/2015 15:51:30
5234 forum posts
159 photos

Perhaps a simple engine that looks like an opposed twin but is actually a single cylinder with the fake cylinder as a silencer.

ken anderson.16/11/2015 15:55:24
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7863 forum posts
712 photos

hello jon,........ consider making selling a smaller 4/st 20-30 size .....open push rod/rockers..vintage style.put me down for no 1 please.

ken anderson we want a small laser dept.

Tomtom3916/11/2015 16:32:00
630 forum posts

Hello Jon,

I'd love to see a smaller engine than your current range ie in the .40 - .50 range (I use the 70's for .60 equivalents) .Say around the £150 mark?

As to petrol , I'm waiting for your 180 but would very much like to see something in the 50/60cc in single cylinder and possibly a triple (I have been giving some serious thoughts to the Saito FGR3's but would opt for a laser . An opposing twin would also be on my wish list (120 size)

So price - I have spoken to a couple of club members who like myself are very big fans of Laser's and I think a price point that's competitive to the market (as your single and V twins already are!).

MattyB16/11/2015 16:36:34
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1565 forum posts
25 photos
Posted by Steve Hargreaves - Moderator on 16/11/2015 15:13:28:

Yep 20-30cc petrol 4 stroke would be great....large glow 4 strokes can be a bit vicious & tend to vibrate quite a lot to say nothing of the fuel consumption....smile o

I do wonder how many would sell though when you consider how cheap something like a DLE30 is......thinking

The price of a DLE is lower to start with, but by the time it is silenced sufficiently to operate at a lot of clubs I suspect it won't be a million miles away from the cost of a similar sized 4 stroke petrol. If noise issues with 2 stroke petrols continue to be a problem I can see 4 stroke alternatives (along with big electrics) becoming more popular.

Edited By MattyB on 16/11/2015 16:45:20

Jon Harper - Laser Engines16/11/2015 16:51:17
3178 forum posts
130 photos

Thanks for the comments guys but i do have a few items of bad news.

First, i have no plans to petrolise anything below 30cc as it is simply not worth it and for numerous reasons very impractical. Most of all though they are not really cost effective to the customer as it could take several years before any financial reward comes out of running the cheaper fuel when you consider the initial purchase price. On the subject of price, we will never compete with chinese two strokes. Its a totally different product so cannot be compared.

Now fuel consumption is seen as a big issue with large glow engines, but our fuel consumption is significantly lower than our competitors. In one test i put our 150 against one from another brand and found that our engine used just over half the quantity of fuel vs the other engine. Both used the same prop, plug and fuel and were run back to back on the same day. Even flying my 300v (50cc) equipped La7 i expect 10-12 flights of at least 10 minutes per gallon of glow fuel which is pretty good!

Because of this efficiency getting our engines to run on petrol has not been easy as the walbro carbs etc simply arent accurate enough so smaller engines are out of the question (sorry!). The new petrol glow plugs are interesting but as we dont make them its hard to sell an engine for them. Also carburetion is more of an issue than ignition so that will be the limiting factor.

A smaller twin would be fun but would not be cost effective to produce as it is unlike many people would buy one. I doubt we will do anything smaller than our current 160 but a rearrange of the cylinders could be done.

Reducing weight could be done but it would be small beer. The current spec engines are similar in total weight to many of their competitors and reducing weight could also result in a loss of strength and in the case of a crash this would not be very helpful. Given that i almost always pile lead in to the nose of my models weight saving on the current range is unlikely.

We are also unlikely to recirculate oil like OS do as its not a good idea. It can upset combustion, reduce reliability and introduce contaminants back into the engine that are best ejected.

Ok Radials....5 cylinders would be awesome but not always practical. The main job of the engine is to power a model so with that in mind 3 cylinders is better. The engine has a lower parts count so is cheaper, has less weight and complication and (due to larger pots) sounds cool as well. The only thing with a radial is what size? below 50cc is very unlikely as they rev to fast to sound realistic. Most likely i would go bigger but not moki size, somewhere in the middle. I am sort of aiming at the 80ish inch span WWII fighter territory as these are more within reach to normal modellers than 1/4 scale monsters.

Inlines, yes yes and yes. I want them, its just a case of making it work and convincing the management to let me try! The big issue is rear cylinder temps and a very complex crankcase and crankshaft.

One thing Kevin mentioned was going short stroke to keep engines compact. Now this is a good idea in theory but there are some issues, mostly related to noise. A long stroke engine turning a nice big prop relatively slow will be much quieter than a smaller prop thrashing away and a short stroke engine will like to rev. For this reason, most of my future designs will lean towards longer strokes. I will just have to be clever to keep the engines compact.

Ken, sorry mate no open rocker madness for us and for sure not that small as anything smaller than the 70 would not be cost effective to make. Thats why we ditched the 45, 50 and 62 all those years ago.

If you enjoy seeing the rockers wiggle though you can just take the cover off and watch as it idles

Tomtom3916/11/2015 17:22:28
630 forum posts

Jon,

Shame about the smaller engines . But very understandable.

I'd love an opposing twin 160 or even larger ie 240. The FG84R3 was one to consider for my larger 1/4 - 1/3 scales and I'd certainly buy an equivalent Laser.

I have junked (on ebay) all my cheap Chinese motors ie DLE/DLA sub 50cc ie 20/30cc due to noise issues at the field.(I've gone back to the 120,150 and the 180). MattyB made a valid point ie by the time you have forked for a decent silencer , end baffling plug etc you may as well have paid a little bit more for a decent 4 stroke petrol or glow.

For most of us at the club its great to see a well made British engine , that is a real bit of engineering artwork (my new ones have often sat next to my bed for a few weeks to be opened with reverence and admiration - yes I know I'm sad) . Now about a 9 cylinder radial, when is that arriving!devil

kevin b16/11/2015 17:27:01
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1462 forum posts
150 photos

"I will just have to be clever to keep the engines compact. "

Cor, side-valves !

devil

 

How about an inline twin with a "proper" factory mounted gearbox to raise the thrust line ? After all, they put them on the real ones !

Edited By kevin b on 16/11/2015 17:35:56

bert baker16/11/2015 17:42:26
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895 forum posts
192 photos

A boxer 4 pot VW Beatle engine, for a Turbulent would be nice.

Scott Edwards 216/11/2015 17:57:00
140 forum posts
86 photos
A fuel pump or regulator ! Either as part of the engine, or a separate accessory. I've had 150's and a 240V in Pattern planes, and putting the tank on the CG makes a huge difference. I use Cline fuel regulators with some success but they are fiddly and fragile. If there was a 'Laser' provided alternative I would have one in every plane.

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