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Will old electric motors ever have the fascination that IC engines do?

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Robin Colbourne25/10/2020 23:01:39
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724 forum posts
18 photos

There's a certain fascination in turning a diesel or glow engine over in your hand, or even starting it, if its got a tank.

IC engines appeal to all the senses:

  • The texture of castings and smooth polished surfaces.
  • Reflections and rainbow patterns as light diffracts off the machined face of the exhaust port.
  • Aromas of fuel, burnt castor and, for the compression screw twiddlers, ether.
  • Sound of an under-compressed diesel jumping between two and four stroke or a glow motor coming on song as you wind the needle one more click.
  • Taste, err, well, who hasn't siphoned fuel or inadvertently sprayed it in their face?


Can electric motors, ESCs and batteries ever offer the same sort of appeal?

Will:

  • the Graupner Speed 400 or 600 ever be discussed with the same affection as a Mills 75 or 1.3?
  • there be an Oliver Tiger of the wiggly amp brigade?
  • 'brushed motor only' events ever be a thing at Old Warden?
  • rumours of a genuine, still-functioning pack of Sanyo SCR nicads spread like wildfire?

Martin Harris25/10/2020 23:22:46
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9594 forum posts
258 photos

No.

Brian Cooper25/10/2020 23:31:34
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615 forum posts
27 photos

Another NO here.

Also, old Lipos very definitely hold no appeal.

Jonathan M26/10/2020 07:09:47
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870 forum posts
335 photos
Posted by Martin Harris on 25/10/2020 23:22:46:

No.

I think this is an excellent summary.

brokenenglish26/10/2020 07:41:46
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605 forum posts
30 photos

Clearly No!
And you haven't even mentioned the fun of playing with old spark ignition engines...

The great thing about all this is that you can enjoy all of it. I had great fun with the 1937 Ohlsson in the video, but I also fly diesel, glow and electric. They all have their place. Electric is practical but any culture and interest are non-existant and I feel a bit sorry for those whose idea of aeromodelling is limited to that...

Edited By brokenenglish on 26/10/2020 07:46:57

buster prop26/10/2020 08:08:24
517 forum posts
13 photos

Here we go again!

brokenenglish26/10/2020 08:20:58
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605 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by buster prop on 26/10/2020 08:08:24:

Here we go again!

Yeah, the bottom line is that electric motors just pull planes around the sky.
Fine, if that's all you want to do.

But i.c. engines are a whole culture and an interesting subject in their own right. Like any other subject, they won't interest everyone, and those varying degrees of interest will be reflected here...

J D 826/10/2020 08:27:18
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1655 forum posts
83 photos

Going on what old engines are going for on the flee bay interest in them is high.

Tim Flyer26/10/2020 08:40:31
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1352 forum posts
239 photos

Agreed. IC engines are the more modern equivalent of steam engines which still fascinate those who can appreciate the engineering side of the hobby. I guess jet engines although much rarer due to cost etc still hold the same ‘engineering appeal’.

Old electric gear tends to swiftly head for the scrap heap/recycling centre however we still see some appeal for some old radio gear by collectors interested in the history of RC modelling.

Matt Carlton26/10/2020 08:41:29
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131 forum posts
12 photos

There are a lot of people who collect engines, run them, tinker with them and never fly, or intend to fly a model.

Steam rallies are full of static engines burbling away. I cant see many folks sitting with an 12v car battery and an old starter motor just quietly spinning away.

But who knows.

Doc Marten26/10/2020 08:43:08
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998 forum posts
19 photos

No.

There is no assault on the senses, no involvement, no emotion attached to them.

A coloured can with a shaft poking out that always starts, never dies when you use it,  makes the same sound as all the others and smells like a drill.  Why would they?

 

 

Edited By Doc Marten on 26/10/2020 08:53:18

Peter Miller26/10/2020 08:48:04
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11593 forum posts
1393 photos
10 articles

NO!

When you think about it electric motors are all very similar. Round things with a shaft sticking out of the end. They do not have the huge variations in shape and design that an i.c engine has.

Now I am sure that there will be some people who will collect them...after all when you hear of some of the things that people collect it makes you wonder.

It is interesting to think back on engines that one has owned. The Oliver Tiger that burst into life when being flicked over after several months lying in its box on the residual fuel that had been left in the crankcase.

 The ED Baby that needed to be flooded with fuel to start but then ran like a dream, Normal starting procedure for that engine.

The Frog 50s that were almost impossible to start..One person found that you needed a 10" prop on a .5cc engine to get it to run. Once run in a bit it was fine on small props.

The fabulous YOWL of a Dooling 29 as it came on song.

The totally horrendous exhaust note of an OK Cub 29. The only exhaust note that still sticks in my mind in 75 years of engine running

And finally, the wonderful SuperTigre G21/29 speed engine that could be safely hand started on a 7X10 wood prop on 20% nitro fuel.

I don't collect engines but I do love them!!

 

 

Edited By Peter Miller on 26/10/2020 08:50:28

sharpy107126/10/2020 08:48:13
110 forum posts
36 photos

I just got rid of a Taycol Supermarine motor to a collector who has several electric and hundreds of IC engines. He was keen to get his hands on the motor but that was a rarity I think.

Engine Doctor26/10/2020 09:27:06
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2670 forum posts
44 photos

??? No .

kevin b26/10/2020 09:44:34
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1964 forum posts
173 photos

It depends on how electric motors develop in the future and the attitude of "collectors".

If you had told a modeller in the early 50's that an ED Bee, or Mills in its box would be worth more than 20 weeks wages in 50 years time they would have told you not to be so stupid.

brokenenglish26/10/2020 09:56:09
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605 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by kevin b on 26/10/2020 09:44:34:

It depends on how electric motors develop in the future and the attitude of "collectors".

If you had told a modeller in the early 50's that an ED Bee, or Mills in its box would be worth more than 20 weeks wages in 50 years time they would have told you not to be so stupid.

IMO, the question doesn't really concern monetary value or week's wages.

I had an ED Bee in the early fifties, and I wanted to keep it, just because it was interesting and great fun, and it's been that way ever since...

Doc Marten26/10/2020 10:00:32
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998 forum posts
19 photos
Posted by brokenenglish on 26/10/2020 09:56:09:
Posted by kevin b on 26/10/2020 09:44:34:

It depends on how electric motors develop in the future and the attitude of "collectors".

If you had told a modeller in the early 50's that an ED Bee, or Mills in its box would be worth more than 20 weeks wages in 50 years time they would have told you not to be so stupid.

IMO, the question doesn't really concern monetary value or week's wages.

I had an ED Bee in the early fifties, and I wanted to keep it, just because it was interesting and great fun, and it's been that way ever since...

Precisely.

It's not about monetary value, it's about attachment and sentimentality.

Capt Kremen26/10/2020 10:01:44
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410 forum posts
169 photos

Having flown electric for close to 40 years, (previously Oliver Tiger, Merco, K&B, OS, Webra, Cox, etc. etc.), I take a more positive approach.

The likes of Mabuchi (= most brushed motors badged by everyone of the time e.g. Graupner SPEED 400, 500, 600 etc.), Unger, Geist, Keller, Plettenberg and Astro were/are trailblazing electric motive power pioneers which have opened up and made accessible powered model flight to far more than i/c ever did IMHO.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a well engineered electric motor is a joy to own and operate.

Edited By Capt Kremen on 26/10/2020 10:05:32

Jon - Laser Engines26/10/2020 10:02:14
5672 forum posts
272 photos

Not for me that's for sure.

I have a number of engines that are, objectively, rubbish. My Magnum 240v twin is the most obvious example as its no more powerful than a laser 155, but is much heavier, uses more fuel, vibrates like crazy, is less reliable, wont run if mounted inverted, and sprays oil absolutely everywhere. Honestly, its like a fountain of oil when it gets going.

But, i love flying it. The theatre of the thing is just great fun with its open rockers and pushrods combined with straight through exhausts for that v twin bark. Its also been great fun to tinker with and i have made new conrods for it, adjusted the compression a bit etc.

Im also a sucker for anything multi cylinder even though they are sometimes not as efficient as a single in certain circumstances.

Peter Christy26/10/2020 10:28:22
1921 forum posts

Electric motors may be convenient, but they have no SOUL!

Car manufacturers strive to make their cars as near perfect as possible (OK, and cheaply as possible at the same time! wink ). Because of that they are BORING!

Classic cars are often popular, not because they were particularly good, but because their defects gave them character!

IC engines can be cantankerous and rebellious, but they have CHARACTER! I have never heard anyone suggest that an electric motor has character!

Yes, I have a few electric models. Some of the fields I fly at are electric only. Electric is convenient for a quick "fix" at a local field. But for enjoyment, give me IC any day!

--

Pete

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