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IC Engines from cars to planes

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Craig Spence06/08/2008 18:39:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos

Hi all,

im looking for some advice for moving IC engines from RC cars to RC planes. I dont know if this can be done or if it should be, but it seems a shame for the engines to be sitting idle in cars I no longer use.

I spoke to someone and they said that it depends if you can get your down and side thurst right and that you probably have to change your cylinder head. Do the engines vary that much?, I have a irvine 20 engine that starts with a spinner/pully system, would this not have the same characteristics as an aero engine.

 Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated and if it shouldent be done please tell me and the reasons why.

Thanks all.

Ultymate06/08/2008 18:53:00
1690 forum posts
57 photos

Craig, the main problem to be encountered is that on some model car engines the fitting on the end of the crankshaft is designed to mate up with a clutch and flywheel assembly and cannot be (easily ) adapted to take a prop driver. The only other significant and usually obvious difference may be that the car engine has more finning (cooling fins) on the cylinder and head but this should not prove detrimental to it being used in an aircraft.

P.S. The throttle may be a slide operation on the car whereas the barrel on the aircraft type carbs is usually rotary in operation

Craig Spence06/08/2008 19:19:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos

Ultymate, so the main problem would be adaption of the crank shaft, can this be done with some time spare or do you reccomend not attempting it at all.


Ultymate06/08/2008 19:26:00
1690 forum posts
57 photos
Craig it depends on the engine manufacturer and whether they have an aero type crankshaft available for that specific engine whatever it may be. Whether it would be financially viable is another matter as modern day aero engines of between .15 and .40 cu ins are not in real terms that expensive to buy. Again hope this helps
Craig Spence06/08/2008 20:21:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos
Yes helps alot ultymate, thanks for your time and info illtry and do a bit of research, cheers.
Engine Doctor19/08/2008 10:28:00
2249 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Craig . If your not sure about converting your car engines why not just sell them on e-bay and buy new . Model aero engines are cheaper than ever at the moment. Buy  ASP , SC or any of the budget motors and you will be ok .If you can afford it buy a good quality motor such as OS . Dont be tempted to buy any MDS engines on offer as these , will in all probability ,give you problems. Galaxy Models were recently selling  SC 46 for £39.99 . To convert your car engines will involve removing the pull start /backplate assembly  and modifying or fitting a different crank shaft then fitting a normal back plate. then you will need a prop driver etc . The cylinder head , if its a large heat sink type ,will probably need changing although not critical provide it can fit in the model . The cost and or agro of finding all of these bits probably wont be worth it . Also you didn't say wether you were learning to fly ? If you are then 20 size models are not as stable as larger trainers (46 size) so you would be at a dissadvantage anyway.



Craig Spence19/08/2008 19:09:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos

Thanks Engine Doctor,

I am learning to fly and I will be buying a plane and the engine will be an sc 46. I was just wondering because there not being used, I have an Irvine 20 ( I think ) and that works on a spinning clutch ie.. I used to use a plane starter underneath the car to start it, would this be greatlt different to an aero engine and the cylinder is not really big either.

00119/08/2008 20:42:00
2212 forum posts
1 photos

I think that you would find that the car engines are designed to give their power at higher r.p.m.(typically 30,000) than the average aero engine of that size (around 17,000) making them a) very noisy and 2) unsuitable for flying anything other than pylon racers or ducted fan use. This is due to the size of carburettor throat, induction port angles, transfer port timings and compression ratio etc. which are more extreme. If you are not using the car engines, why not sell them?

As suggested, aero engines are relatively cheap, buy a SC. ASP. Magnum etc. Or O.S , Enya, Super Tigre etc. for a little more money.

Craig Spence19/08/2008 21:20:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos


thanks for the info, I think ill just leave the car engines as the process of converting would probably be more than buying new. As for selling them I think ill leave that too, as they wouldent fetch anything substantial.

I already have engine in mind, an SC46 for my plane.

Cheers Richard.

andy watson19/08/2008 21:54:00
1942 forum posts
20 photos
Can I recommend an OS46 LA for £45 instead?  Most engine manufacturers seem to have at least one person that claims their engines are no good- except OS.
Craig Spence20/08/2008 12:11:00
1170 forum posts
615 photos
Cheers Andy ill bear that in mind.

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