Re: Truth about glow plugs ?

Catalytic reaction is not required but it does allow engines to operate at
rpms lower than max. The first glow plug/engine was an ignition Bantam .19
using a standard spark plug whose electrodes had been filed down until they
were very thin. The fuel content was a closely guarded secret but I feel
certain that it was probably a very high nitro content. It was called
Liquid Dynamite and it had a fruity banana odor. Artie Hasselback, Bronx,
NY) developed the fuel and he called his speed job "Miss Liquid Dynamite.".
He demonstrated his Class A U-Control speed job to some local clubs and
fellow U-Control types at an armory in the Bronx. The battery, coil, and
condenser were in a pack outside the airplane. Artie started the engine (by
hand) leaned it until it was screaming for mercy (probably 25-30K rpm), let
it run for a short time to thoroughly heat the plug until it would glow then
he pulled the high tension lead off the engine. Lo and behold the engine
kept running without missing a beat. I know because I was there. It had to
be 1946 -47 or thereabouts because I was still in high school. and flew with
a club called the Westchester Aeronuts. I recall flying both Class A and
class C speed using a Bantam 19 and a McCoy 60 (later stepped up to a Hornet
60) using the filed down plug spark plug, external ignition pack and Liquid
Dynamite fuel. The engine either ran or it didn't depending on how you
filed the plug. Too thin and it wouldn't last for TO, too thick and it
would stop as soon as the high tension lead was disconnected. Back in those
days the old timers were in their 20's or 30s and I never met one who wasn't
enthusiastic about helping a kid with stars in his eyes and dreams of flying
high enough to touch the clouds.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :-) BTW, soon after the demo a fuel
was developed that had a distinctive fruity odor attributable to the fact
that it contained organic (?) esters.
Reply to
Ed Forsythe
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Fruity banana odor. Sounds suspiciously like there was some amyl nitrate in there. It would certainly aid ignitability and the the ability to run on compression ignition alone if that's what it was, as it is an excellent ignition promoter for model diesel fuels. Good for killer headaches, hallucinations and knocking up your heart rate too - "poppers" in the drug trade. That's why it's tough to get for fuel blending.
Mike D.
Reply to
M Dennett
We all a pretty spaced out bunch and I loved to refuel ;-))
Reply to
Ed Forsythe
Unless it was nitrobenzene but I'm not familiar with the smell. Somewhere I saw the formulation for that fuel in an article, but cannot recall where. But I'm curious.
Reply to
M Dennett

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