Alternative to glow fuel

A friend just told me last night that he read about a guy who is flying model diesels using a mixture of automotive diesel fuel and used motor
oil. He heats the engine with a heat gun and spins it with an electric starter. Once it gets going, it runs great. Another guy is using olive oil treated with glycerine.
AV8R wrote:

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Robbie and Laura Reynolds wrote:

I'm starting to think that pretty much any combustible liquid can be used ...

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Getting a model Diesel engine to run on alternative fuel mixes at wide open throttle is not that difficult.
Getting a model Diesel engine to idle and then throttle acceptably is turning out to be nearly impossible without some ether in the mix.
Ed Cregger
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There is a thread running on the RCU forum "Everything Diesel". The inventor of the fuel mix you mentioned is there and has reported on his success. Frankly, I'm skeptical, but I'm trying to remain open minded and objective.
The olive oil fuel is also mentioned there, as is a mixture of Biodiesel B100 and stoddard solvent.
The goal of the thread is to eliminate ether from the fuel mix as it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain around the world. It just so happens that the type of ether that we use in model Diesel fuel turns out to be an excellent chemical for cooking the drug crystal methamphetamine. Therein lies the problem.
Ed Cregger
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I find it hard to beleive that you cannot find mehanol there. There are so many different uses for methanol, as a cooking fuel, solvent, etc. Look for the local laboratory, they usually have methanol (aka methyl alcohol, methyl hydrate). I was stuck in the middle of no where in a gulf arab nation for several years, where glo fuel was not available. I carried a couple of litres of klotz oil in with my luggage, and got methanol from the local laboratory where they used it as a solvent. They were also able to get me some nitromethane (also used as a solvent). Just mix your own. 20% oil, 10% nitromethane and the balance methanol. Works a charm. Be careful to keep the methanol well capped, as it absorbs humidity. RM

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Mutt and Jeff wrote:

In a time when you can buy just about anything you want, it is hard to imagine a place with no methanol. But I'm sure there are places where some things are just unavailable. I don't know much about the Azores, but I don't think they have a lot of industry there, do they?
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Robbie and Laura Reynolds wrote:

Not manufacturing type industry. They do make alot of wine though. I suppose I could distill alcohol, if it's the same as methanol...? Anyway, I got the 28cc strimmer petrol engine coming now, so I'll play with that.
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snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote:

The type of alcohol in wine and liquor is ethanol. Most methanol is made from natural gas (methane).
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Robbie and Laura Reynolds wrote:

Aha! But does ethanol work the same as methanol in glow engines???
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snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote:

I never tried to fly a plane with a tank of ethanol based fuel. But I have squirted some ethanol into the carb and flipped the prop. It fired and ran until the prime went away. This was only with the battery connected. I ought to try it again some time.
By the way, ethanol is sold in hardware stores in the USA under the name "denatured alcohol". It has small amounts of something poisonous in it, most likely methanol, to make it exempt from liquor tax.
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wrote:

Doubtful that the denatured alcohol is high enough proof. You have to do some real trick distilling and chemical games to get it up to near pure alcohol.
--
Jim in NC


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wrote:

I
some
alcohol.
Denatured alcohol is, depending on country of origin, 90% ethanol with 10% methanol (or other nasty stuff) to reduce drinking pleasure.
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Poxy wrote:

I'm pretty sure they get just about all of the water out of it.
I also bought nearly anhydrous isopropyl alcohol at the drugstore once for thinning epoxy. That might burn in an engine, and you're more likely to be able to get it on a remote island with 15,000 residents.
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...which brings me to the next question!
What size should I make the camera plane? The biggest I have flown is .46 at 50" span (and gliders to 9')
It will be a "utility" plane, IE a simple construction high wing trainer (with flaps) that can carry a camcorder of about a pound. It should be capable of smooth,stable, slow flight, but still cope with breezy days and tight situations.
Does 80" sound about right?
I suppose I could make the wingtips expandable/reducable so that I can correct the flying characteristics to suit. That way I can "leave as is" on windy days or add span on floaty days. My futaba could store the trims for each configuration. With expandable wingtips would 70" (minimum) be too small for "manouverable" performance? Would 90" be too big for floating?
I suppose I could add washout to the minimum span by adding a little up aileron to that configuration, but have it built in on the extension tips.
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On 28 Oct 2006 16:56:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote in

The envelope that will work is quite large.
I'm designing and building a utility plane. Sort of a fat stik. 6" x 6" more or less from the firewall to the trailing edge. ~90" wing. Monstrously heavy l.g. and big wheels. I'm hoping that it will fly on 1.20 sizes on up. It's a replacement for a Road Runner that we broke a couple of years ago.

Look at the design of planes that you like to fly. Scale up the dimensions to your powerplant. See how it works. Then make adjustments and see what difference that makes.
                Marty -- The Big-8 hierarchies (comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, talk) are under new management. See http://www.big-8.org for details.
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snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote:

I wouldn't worry about washout. On a slow, lightweight plane of that size it just isn't necessary. And if I were you I would probably build one set of wings, and then build a longer set if you want it later. By the way, what are you going to cover the plane with? Can you get covering materials in the Azores?
I built a plane a few years ago of about 7 foot wingspan with a 14 inch chord. It had an airfoil that was like you see on a lot of old Ace designs, where the bottom is flat to the spar and then curves up to the leading edge. The fuselage was about 6 feet long and as wide as two soda cans end to end. I designed it with a huge compartment under the wings for dropping various objects, such as the aforementioned soda cans as well as several rolls of toilet paper at once. The design could be very easily adapted for carrying cameras and such. It flew authoritatively with an older Saito 120. If you're interested I could send you a drawing of it. I designed it to be very easy to build and configure.
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Robbie and Laura Reynolds wrote:

(I am in GB at the moment) No, but I can carry that kind of stuff in a suitcase or have it sent, it's fuel and paints that take a long time by ship.

Yes, I found that there is no reason not to use flat bottomed wings unless you have a special purpose (scale or aerobatics). I also cut my foam wings with the last 1-1/2" flat near the trailing edge flat so the sag in the wire doesn't affect the shape. Not decided wether to use foam though, It will probably be built up.

I get the picture, thanks. I'm half toying with the idea of a pusher. The twin booms could be made from the bottom sections of telescopic fishing poles. A 4metre fishing pole only costs 7 euros there ($8.70 ?) and has 4 sections. I would have plenty of fibreglass tube left for other models, booms and spars. The point of having it a pusher would be that there is an unobstructed view at the front and the expensive props would be protected. The drawback is that the CofG would be a pain to correct, it's hard to get hold of large pusher props and I prefer taildraggers, so I'll probably just build a normal plane. I'm concerned about the noise as well, the Azores are really quiet and peaceful. If we film wales and dolphins they might get worried too. I would like to add some kind of exhaust expansion chamber in the fuselage to quieten things down a bit and mounting the engine on rubber bushes. Any other suggestions on silencing?
Good excuse to build a big (electric?) floatplane as well though!
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On 29 Oct 2006 01:02:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote in

Use a tuned pipe.
You don't have to tune it. It cuts the sound way down and (as a general rule) won't hurt the engine's performance.
                Marty -- The Big-8 hierarchies (comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, talk) are under new management. See http://www.big-8.org for details.
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The exhaust noise is the easiest to quiet. The next big noisemaker is the prop.
You need to homebrew a prop speed reduction unit. I have plans on that line, also. I think some cogged belts and sprockets off of a small table saw, or off of a vacuum cleaner carpet beater brush would work nicely. Add some small ball bearings and a shaft, and you suddenly can pull a big slow plane even better, than using a high revving engine and prop. Sounds like what you need for a camera plane.
--
Jim in NC


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Morgans wrote:

I thought about reduction gearing to reduce noise, but it makes things more complicated, heavier and a tad more unreliable, though it should reduce prop noise and thrust considerably. I also thought about a flywheel, or rather not removing weight from an existing one. I haven't got the engine yet, it's in the post, but I think it's worth listening to it without modification and after. What about the pros and cons of a 3 bladed prop?
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