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IC Models-Should we be worried?

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SIMON CRAGG03/11/2018 07:43:39
529 forum posts
15 photos

I am starting to worry about ic flying in general. Having started flying in the 70's (Original Ripmax Trainer / Merco .29 / Sanwa gear / 500mah nicad), the hobby seems to be changing drastically. What makes me think that?

Most of the adverts these days are for electric models.

Lots of ic engines appearing on e.bay / Gumtree etc.

The recent CH4 film models were all electric.

HobbyKing and a lot of model shops either have engines listed as "out of stock / discontinued".

I have read that some clubs are now 90% electric.

To a certain extent I have gone with the flow, and six of my eihteen models are electric, and I understand all the benefits (Put them together in an evening, clean, easy to start, etc. etc.).

I know we have to move with the times, but it really is a shame to see ic going "down the pan" so quickly.

How can you possibly replicate four .90fs powered warbirds in formation with the equivalent electric versions?

Maybe I am getting old, and hankering after days which will never return!

Nigel R03/11/2018 07:52:57
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3407 forum posts
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Lack of ic in shops is simple market forces. The vast majority of modelers want to fly electric power.

Steve J03/11/2018 08:13:25
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1744 forum posts
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Posted by Nigel R on 03/11/2018 07:52:57:
The vast majority of modelers want to fly electric power.

It is sad to see so many honest flyers corrupted by the seductive ease of the dark side.

Steve

Percy Verance03/11/2018 08:14:58
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

It does indeed appear to be the case Simon. I spoke to one of the main UK model fuel retailers at a show about 18 months back, and he stated that sales were down over 50% on years gone by.....

It's also an unfortunate fact that the ranges of engines on offer in the UK from the big manufacturers seems to be getting smaller, with the larger sizes moving to being petrol fuelled. You do wonder how long even this will last?

Yes, the hobby is changing/evolving. The situation in the US seems better, with i.c. engines still being sold and used at a seemingly healthy rate.

Up until a couple of years ago I had about 70 i.c. engines, with about 20 still being boxed/unrun. It was with a bit of a heavy heart I decided to bow to the inevitable and sell the lot. It certainly wasn't easy. I had dreamt of owning some of those engines ( Laser V twin, Saito radial etc) for decades, but in the end I decided it needed to be done......

I still have three or four left - including an unrun OS Gemini FT 1.60 - but these will need to go. Because of health issues I now fly just electric models. This in itself has brought advantages, as it now means I'm able to fly just minutes from my doorstep in a field just outside the village where I live. I'm often joined by several others whom felt they needed a rest from the club *scene*. Again, only electric models are flown.

So yes Simon, I think there is cause for concern if you're an i.c. engine diehard. Perhaps we'll see something of a return to how it sometimes was in the 40's/50's with hardened engineer types producing their own glow engines a la Alex Whittaker style?

 

P.S. I know you're joking Steve, but there's a bit more to it than simple corruption in my case. I suffer from severe arthritits in my knees, and can no longer kneel down on the grass to start an engine or adjust mixture settings. Ok, you can get those trestle things, but that just means more paraphinalia to lug around, along with fuel, big starter batteries and electric starters. I just couldn't be bothered anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 03/11/2018 08:47:45

Rich too03/11/2018 08:50:23
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3057 forum posts
1070 photos
 
Posted by Nigel R on 03/11/2018 07:52:57:
Lack of ic in shops is simple market forces. The vast majority of modelers want to fly electric power.

Is it the vast majority? We need a poll! Or did we have one?

I believe that IC will always be catered for in one way or another.

Edited By Rich too on 03/11/2018 08:51:08

Peter Miller03/11/2018 08:50:32
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10526 forum posts
1246 photos
10 articles

I think that a lot of the problem is that the die hard i.c. people are getting on in years and begining to suffer from old age and ill health. They find that luggng a flight box with fuel, starter, and all the other gear aross to the flying field is getting rather tiring. OK if you can park right beside the pits and unload but not a slog across a field up a hill.

I know that even the members in their 60s tend to collapse in a chair (Stored on the field!) for 10 minutes to recover their breath. Those in their 80s tend to collapse for longer.

Even I can see the advantage of a a small bag of batteries, a transmitter and a mode and these days even this total diehard i.c man finds that he has to be feeling in good condition before he chooses to bring out one of the larger, heavier i.c models.

Anyway, with so many people insisting on electric power I have to design electric powered models for their benefitlaugh

However, just to throw another rock into the pool consider this.

Wait untilJoe Public realises that the vast majorfity of ARTFs are made from non recyclable foam plastic. If you thought that Joe hated engines wait until he decides that foam models are antisocial.

Edited By Peter Miller on 03/11/2018 08:51:41

Nigel R03/11/2018 08:50:35
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3407 forum posts
524 photos
Many reasons for the electric dominance. Simple fact is, for utility power, where your requirement is just for a prop to be spun at the appropriate rate, with minimum faff, electric is easiest. Once that would have been a cooking glow two stroke. And before that perhaps a diesel. Times change.

Sunday best, different story perhaps. The engine may be a focal point of the whole experience. But likely this won't be a cooking 40. I say vast majority based on what I see day to day at the club I'm at. 4 out of 45 members run ic models. Obviously this is not the whole world so pinch of salt. But I say the evidence is in what the shops stock.

Edited By Nigel R on 03/11/2018 08:53:01

SIMON CRAGG03/11/2018 09:01:17
529 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by Nigel R on 03/11/2018 07:52:57:
Lack of ic in shops is simple market forces. The vast majority of modelers want to fly electric power.

................and in a lot of areas.....no model shops at all.

Percy Verance03/11/2018 09:15:22
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Exactly Simon.

I'm wondering what happens when/if HK (and their like) go to the wall?

Those whom can stand at their building boards will carry on flying. Those whom can't or don't, could be grounded.......

Enter Mr Miller.........yes

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 03/11/2018 09:36:41

SONNY MONKS03/11/2018 09:24:00
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269 forum posts

I am starting to warm towards electric,but i personally think that a warbird,especially with a lazer engine in it ,is hard to better,the sound of ic engine,beats electric,in a scale model anyway.just saying!

Percy Verance03/11/2018 09:26:37
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Oooh Sonny, Neil Tidey would be miffed. I think you meant a Laser engine.........

Former Member03/11/2018 11:06:05
1322 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Dave Hess03/11/2018 11:19:20
303 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by SIMON CRAGG on 03/11/2018 07:43:39:

How can you possibly replicate four .90fs powered warbirds in formation with the equivalent electric versions?

Maybe I am getting old, and hankering after days which will never return!

You're worrying about nothing. we already have a solution for that:

Adrian Smith 103/11/2018 11:45:23
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2317 forum posts
1102 photos

Difficult one this. As someone who used to have a foot in both camps so to speak, I can only give a view on my own personal situation since completely converting to electric a year or so ago.

I extensively used glow engines of various sizes for years (mainly OS) before trying some of the bigger petrols. Bigger petrol engines = a lot more money. After poor experiences with OS’s biggest petrol engine due to crankcase failures on two of them and a similar situation with OS’s biggest 4 stroke glow (crankcase failures on two), it started me thinking. Whilst all my other petrol/glow engines performed as expected, why was I spending in excess of £500 on an engine that just wasn’t up to it. I know there are cheaper alternatives, but while I am capable of setting/tuning these engines it just turned out to be a chore and time consuming. I also accept with vintage/warbirds an I/C engines are more appropriate, in my case I just fly hardcore aerobatics so this was never a factor for me.

That’s when, due to the improvement in modern battery technology, I decided to move to the “dark side”. Starting small then moving up to 60 cc equivalent electrics. I concede that above 60cc the cost of lipos gets silly. Duration is now less of an issue than it was, however.

Let me say that at a rough guesstimate the overall similar cost (with decent quality lipos, ESCs etc added in) between the two modes was not the motivating driver for the change.

More, it was I didn’t like messing around with a volatile liquid like petrol, storing it and the faff of mixing up fuel for the day. Glow fuel was just getting too expensive, difficult to source quickly for the amount of flying I was doing.

Lugging my starter gear and other I/C equipment was another albeit small consideration too. Noise was a bit further down the list, but the bigger electrics still seem pretty noisy to me, although this is my unscientific view.

The other bonus for me is since flying electrics my soldering capabilities have improved exponentially to the extent I now enjoy doing it. As I say these reasons are peculiar to me and I accept that across the board there might be other compelling factors for the slowdown in I/C popularity or not!

David Davis03/11/2018 12:02:09
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3533 forum posts
641 photos

I can top that!

**LINK**

Percy Verance03/11/2018 12:26:35
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

I notice it's fitted with of those there *nitro* engines too David..... I wonder if they offer any advantages over a glow engine.

If it had a model diesel engine fiited, might that be a no nitro engine I wonder? 

Edited By Percy Verance on 03/11/2018 12:28:19

Martin Harris03/11/2018 12:56:48
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9107 forum posts
225 photos

I suspect that the limitation will be fuel related rather than any lack of engines - there's no doubt a massive stock of engines in older modellers drawers (the sliding type) which will continue to be available for any years. Even there, it may be possible to convert many engines to petrol with some basic engineering skills.

New smaller engines are already in short supply - witness the recent withdrawal of ASP from the market but perhaps they are just rationalising the SC/ASP/Magnum situation?

I still can't bring myself to commit time and effort to building a serious scale model with anything other than a 4 stroke engine - electric power, with all its benefits, just doesn't feel right to me for a "proper" model although I'll happily throw an EP sport aeroplane around the sky.

David Davis03/11/2018 13:21:32
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3533 forum posts
641 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 03/11/2018 12:26:35:

I notice it's fitted with of those there *nitro* engines too David..... I wonder if they offer any advantages over a glow engine.

If it had a model diesel engine fiited, might that be a no nitro engine I wonder?

Edited By Percy Verance on 03/11/2018 12:28:19

Bear in mind that they are foreign gentlemen Perce! How good's your Slovenian?

Dave Hess03/11/2018 14:06:45
303 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by David Davis on 03/11/2018 12:02:09:

I can top that!

**LINK**

That just about sums up I/C flying: Spend ages getting your plane ready, spend ages trying to tune the engine to get it running just right; test it and test it again to make sure that it's perfect; test it again on the strip just to make absolutely sure; take off, and some time before the end of the flight see the engine conk out so you have to do a dead-stick landing. the guy was lucky on that occasion, but whenever it happened to me, my plane would hit the only fence post or rock in the whole field, so, even though I did what looked like a perfect landing from 200 meters away, it turned out to be a fuselage snapped in two pieces. I lost more planes due to engines conking out than any other reason. With electric, I now only have to crash when i mess up my flying.

Messing with I/c engines can be fun and exciting plus full of nostalgia, but if you step back and become pragmatic, electric is cheaper, more reliable, lighter, more environmentally friendly, more adjustable (powerwise), more convenient and cleaner. It should be no surprise that people are changing over in droves.

Edited By Dave Hess on 03/11/2018 14:09:18

David P Williams03/11/2018 14:23:09
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872 forum posts
284 photos

Each to their own, Dave. If electric suits you then that's fine. Because electric "just works" I find it boring and soulless and much less of a challenge. I'll stick with i/c as long as I can, although my club site is about to be moved to another part of the old airfield by the farmer landlord and we will be much nearer civilisation, so I expect that electrification is coming.

p.s. I can't remember the last time I had a deadstick. Install correctly, particularly tank height, set up properly and i/c is just as reliable as electric. I fly an i/c twin too and it has been totally reliable.

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