I've noticed of late that media types seem convinced that we ought to
refer to methanol-burning internal combustion engines as "nitro"
engines. A recent thread posted by someone who came here from R/C cars
uses this term, and it somehow doesn't sit well with me. Am I being
just too damned curmudgeonly, or does the term bother others of you? To
be sure, most of us in the USA use fuel with a bit of nitromethane in
it, but that in no way qualifies the engines as primarily "nitro"
This seems to me to be another Madison Avenue catch phrase, just as
"turbo" was a few years ago. Everything from vacuum cleaners to
toothpaste got the meaningless word fragment, "turbo" stuck on it. Yes,
vacuum cleaners employ a turbine, as does your Chevy's water pump. Are
these silly ploys due to public ignorance, or to advertiser's mendacity,
Geoff, I agree with Paul. Don't let the little s**t stress you out so much.
Relax, have a brewski, you'll live longer :-). I used to stress about things
like that and all it got me was high blood pressure, bifocal glasses, crows
feet and grey hair. Or is that just age creaping up on me?
I, too, use the word Nitroburners, and refer to power flyers as
Nitroheads. I fly primarily gliders, out at a nice, fresh-mown glider
field, but when I want to mix it up with my gassie buddies at the
power field, it's NITRO TIME! I like the term, it suits the occasion.
Lots of noise and blue smoke and gunk on my hands... ooh, yeah! I
have a P-51 with retracts that rips up large chunks of sky, trailing
exhaust vapor all the way, and it's a fun diversion from the sedate
world of thermalling at high altitudes. I may have to find a way to
put a 'turbo' on it some day! ;)
Pretty much as stated not worth the excitement. Personally I prefer Glo
There are far to many of the media type and as well as a large number of
other's mixing about that through a major fault of their own (i. e. maximum
amount of vacuum between their ear's ) that can't separate nitromethane and
the nitro that goes boom.
Let's not forget that the Oklahoma City Bombing was carried out with a "nitro"
product - ammonium nitrate, or good old bat poop fertilizer!
I like your point, Tom. My original comment was about how gullible the public
is about catchy, but inaccurate prefixes such as "nitro" and "turbo."
The comment about FAI fuel being 0% nitromethane is right to the point! Even
engines burning 70% nitromethane still have enough methanol to keep the glow
plug lit, and most of us use no more than 30%, the rest being methanol and
lubricant. So, again, I ask those of you who think you're running "nitro"
engines why you got suckered by advertising hype when we've been much more
accurately referring to glow plug ignition engines as "glow" or "glo" engines
for longet than most of you have been alive?
Geoff the grumpy old fart who nevertheless took Paul McIntosh's advice and had
a cool one last night! ;-)
Well Nitro sprang to life in the car world.
Presumably marketing, in the USA, as top fuel drag cars use
In my LHS's they call aircraft engines 'glow' and car engines 'nitro'
because that is what the customer expects, and the customer is always
And just to show you how silly the entire thing of "what to call 'em"
"FAI fuel being 0% nitromethane" is equally untrue. What IS true is
that there are many FAI events which dictate 0% nitro fuel, but not
all of them. Check out F2D: 10% fuel required.