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Diesel anybody?

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Chris Dobson 206/07/2020 00:57:40
5 forum posts
1 photos

Does anyone still fly diesel (compression ign) engines much?

If so, is the fuel available or is it mostly homebrew (and how difficult is diethyl ether to source)?

Robin Colbourne06/07/2020 01:32:54
605 forum posts
17 photos

Chris, If you fly free flight or control line, then you will find plenty of diesels in use. Go along to the Ebenezer Mass Launch Day at Old Warden next year, and you will see plenty. I'm sure there are people also using them for R/C too, perhaps not in their everyday hack though.

Model Technics and Southern Modelcraft both sell diesel fuel. Model Technics do three grades, D1000, D2000 & D3000, From their catalogue, ' Diesel Fuels D1000 is formulated for engines up to 1.5cc or as a running-in fuel for larger engines. D2000 is a general purpose fuel for engines over 1.5cc. D3000 is for high performance racing engines. ' Southern Modelcraft do a Sport and a High Performance mix.

Judging the by the prices diesels go for on ebay there are plenty of people who still want them, and not just for looking at. A DC Merlin that's a runner is likely to go for upwards of £30. PAW are still making new engines too, and diesel heads are still available for Cox Engines.

As well as here, Diesels have a strong following in Australia, Eastern Europe and even in the USA. Ex-pat Englishman Eric Clutton 'Dr Diesel' has encouraged a following Stateside.

Tim Hooper06/07/2020 06:57:09
2902 forum posts
2406 photos

Hi Chris,

I'm a a recent returnee to diesel power.

Like Robin says, the fuel is readily available - especially at the shows.

Diesel engines sell for premium prices on Ebay, I'm afraid, although if you're in a club and ask around, you can still get lucky and find them cheaply.

The big issue with most of the attic-finds is that they probably won't have an RC throttle fitted, whereas the new models by PAW, Weston UK and RedFin have an RC option.



Edited By Tim Hooper on 06/07/2020 06:57:56

Richard Clark 206/07/2020 07:49:16
418 forum posts
Posted by Chris Dobson 2 on 06/07/2020 00:57:40:

Does anyone still fly diesel (compression ign) engines much?

If so, is the fuel available or is it mostly homebrew (and how difficult is diethyl ether to source)?

In the 'old days' long before elf and safety the local large chemist shop chain used to sell 'anaesthetic ether' to us 12-15 year olds without question when we told them we made toy planes, It cost next to nothing if we brought our own gallon cans. The castor oil was more expensive, and they even sold amyl nitrate or nitrite. Nowadays one of those two is used in 'poppers' and is almost impossible to obtain legally, but the other might be easier. I can't remember which is which. Don't fall for the web ads selling it as it's very unlikely to be genuine. The diesel fuel suppliers use some inferior stuff but it'a good enough for most purposes. The nitrates/nitrites  are not essential anyway though they may help with throttling, which was not a requirement in the 'old days'.

Paraffin was from the local petrol station. We mixed it in a bucket and poured it into whatever screw top bottles we had. (E D made a weird but ok diesel fuel that smelt of boot polish.)

The traditional 'day to day' fuel was equal parts of all three plus a small splash of amyl nitrate or nitrite if you were team racing. Some synthetic oil won't properly mix in diesel fuel and cheap motor oil almost certainl ywon't. Best just to use castor. It doesn't 'gum up' as much as with glows as diesels don't run as hot.

Commercially made diesel fuel is about twice the price of glow fuel and many model shop don't keep it in stock.

Engines. PAW. Don't rely on these Indian or Chinese copies or near copies  of 'classic' diesels with English sounding  names.

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 06/07/2020 07:58:07

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 06/07/2020 08:30:11

Jon - Laser Engines06/07/2020 08:06:50
5560 forum posts
270 photos

I am keen to build a little 2 channel diesel model. Its been ages since i had one and i do quite fancy it.

As i have numerous diesel engines to hand the hard part is working out which one to use!

David Davis06/07/2020 08:11:42
3782 forum posts
724 photos

When I lived in England there was a bloke in my club who used nohing but PAW diesels. He designed all of his models which were all covered in the same shade of yellow film. He even had a twin enginned model and a canard.

Peter Miller06/07/2020 08:28:43
11214 forum posts
1321 photos
10 articles

I do see that ether is available on Ebay. Not sure if it is suitable for fuel mixing....I never mixed my own.

It is a bit like acetone. For years I bought 500mil bottles from the chmists.Thenthey were not allowed tosell bigger than 50mil.

When I looked on Ebay the first listing was for a gallon bottle!!!

gangster06/07/2020 08:29:25
1035 forum posts
29 photos

Oh that smell of diesel must have the same effect on many modellers of a certain age. The chuck and duck at the nationals is made even more special with that aroma.Years ago my friend and I flew control line at work We mixed our own diesel. Funny stuff because yours truly had a brain flip and bought Castrol R instead of M. Stained everything yellow. Ether was no problem and we had a litre of the stuff. One spring nice day we decided to have a fly so mixed some fuel oil no problem ether no problem but we had no paraffin. We did find a five gallon can of white spirit. Yes it worked well but my AM15 was inclined to run in bursts. Makes control line flying very interesting. We stuck however with the white spirit mix with castrol r

Edited By gangster on 06/07/2020 08:30:06

paul d06/07/2020 08:34:22
189 forum posts
22 photos

I fly diesels exclusively, I don't own any glows or electrics, fuels no problem, local model shop ( addlestone models) stock it, it's not cheap but as I only use small capacity engines it lasts ages.

Richard Clark 206/07/2020 08:39:43
418 forum posts
Posted by Peter Miller on 06/07/2020 08:28:43:

I do see that ether is available on Ebay. Not sure if it is suitable for fuel mixing....I never mixed my own.

It is a bit like acetone. For years I bought 500mil bottles from the chmists.Thenthey were not allowed tosell bigger than 50mil.

When I looked on Ebay the first listing was for a gallon bottle!!!

You can get it from high street chemists but they like to faff around making phone calls to 'head office' asking if its ok or not. And it's not usually in stock so you have to wait a few days,

Shows? In 2020 what shows? And if they think I'm gong to pay a show entrance/parking fee so they can sell me things off the stalls they've got another think coming .

J D 806/07/2020 09:25:30
1524 forum posts
84 photos

I also do some diesel flying now and then. An original Mills P75 [ probably older than me ] in the Cardinal.Cardinal

Chris Dobson 206/07/2020 09:27:54
5 forum posts
1 photos

Ahhhh - the smell of Castrol R in the exhaust.

Somebody here has been known to add an eggcup full of Castor oil to the fuel tank of his motorbike: thinks he's at the Manx GP then cheeky

martin collins 106/07/2020 09:35:22
429 forum posts
199 photos

img_20200705_103207_resized_20200705_105030395.jpgJust built this 38.5 span Jodel from a 1955 aero modeler mag plan, this one is electric but i had two kits cut, the second will be for an 0.49 diesel for which the original free flight plan was for. Not had a diesel before but would like to give it a go, what is the best stuff for cleaning the model off after the fuel gets on it, covering will be doped Polyspan. img_20200705_103200_resized_20200705_105031314.jpg

Cuban806/07/2020 09:37:18
2989 forum posts
1 photos

One man's meat etc.......but those that complain about the smell of petrol in their car/workshop can't have experienced the appalling Paraffin stink of concentrated diesel fuel exhaust residue. Ran a few small PAWs back in the day (still have a ME Heron in my cupboard) but the odour of sticky diesel exhaust chucked all over your model, on your hands, clothes and just about everywhere else it tends to get is the big show stopper for me. Nice engines and I'm not averse to the whiff of fresh diluted exhaust as a model goes by and I like to see and hear them run by others, but if anyone can come up with an answer to the pong, they're not for me. wink



Edited By Cuban8 on 06/07/2020 09:43:49

extra slim06/07/2020 09:43:53
495 forum posts
49 photos

In the spirit of variety, I have a couple of diesels amongst my fleet .. really good fun.. PAW 1.5 powered 2 channelfile-17.jpeg

Engine Doctor06/07/2020 10:52:32
2533 forum posts
39 photos

Southern model craft supply model diesel fuel . All Dave's fuels are competitively priced and good quality.

He also sells the ether if you wish to brew your own.

Nigel R06/07/2020 11:20:30
3981 forum posts
714 photos

I'm with C8... I thought glow motors were smelly & messy enough!

Diesel has a definite niche following, the right engines fetch good money on the popular auction site.

I discovered a 0.6cc Pfeiffer in my engine drawer that I'll never use, if anyone is interested?

Peter Miller06/07/2020 12:18:53
11214 forum posts
1321 photos
10 articles

I used to like the smell of diesel fuel but recently I did pit crew for aclub member and my cloths stankand I have gone off it.

paul d06/07/2020 12:41:06
189 forum posts
22 photos

I'd be interested Nigel! please pm me.

Ray Wood 406/07/2020 12:43:09
221 forum posts
44 photos

Hi All,

I still love the smell it takes me back to the 60's now I'm in my sixties 😀

Regards Raydeisel mtb 71 nov 16 003.jpg

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