I am sure that I can say this on behalf of every RC enthusiast in the world that the engine is the life of the RC vehicle, plane, helicopter or drone. There’s no doubt that an RC engine is what makes your RC machine amazing.
Just like a regular machine, the engines in the RC machines also play an important role in its speed and movement. By choosing the right engine for your RC machine, you can surely turn an average RC vehicle to an amazing one. So that is why it’s always a good idea to have as much knowledge about the RC engines as possible.
RC Glow Engine
These glow engines are also referred to as nitro engines. The nitro engines use alcohol, oil and nitromethane, hence the name nitro, as a fuel. The reason that they are also known as glow engines is that they use glow sparks rather than electric sparks.
There are basically two main types of RC Glow Engines that you will find in the market
2 stroke Engines: These engines basically are beginner friendly. The “2 stroke” means that this engine will pump the fuel once per round of the piston. These are usually easy to use and are really reliable. They have a good power to weight ratio.
4 stroke Engines: These engines are a more advance level engines. These pump the fuel once per 2 rounds of piston which means they will save a lot more fuel than a 2 stroke engine. But the drawback is that they require a lot of maintenance and are quite expensive.
One of the biggest benefits of the RC Glow Engine is that its fuel serves as both a fuel and a cooling lubricant as well so you normally don’t have to use any cooling agent for your engine. They are also very powerful and deliver excellent size to power ratio.
RC Gas Engine
The RC Gas Engine is another type of engine that is used in Radio Control Cars and airplanes. These are generally more power and bigger so they are preferred with the bigger size RC machines. An RC Gas Engine uses gasoline as its fuel which makes them quite economical on larger scales.
An RC Gas Engine usually uses an electronic ignition for spark plug. You can also use a Magneto but the latest models uses the electronic ignition and it’s also the recommended option as well. But there is a down side to using the spark plug as it is known to create interference in the transmission signals. So a good practice is to keep your spark plugs at least 12 inches away from the receiver. One of the main difference of Gas and Nitro engine is that the Gas engine needs more gas to generate the same amount of power as that of a Nitro Engine. This makes Gas Engines a lot less weight to power efficient. Also, with an RC Gas Engine in your RC machine, you will have to provide some sort of cooling vents as well.
One of the main benefits of an RC Gas Engine is that the fuel itself is quite cheap. The gas that is used in the Gas Engine is almost 4 times cheaper than the Nitro which makes up for its disadvantages.
There is, of course, a lot more to these engines than described here but these will give you an overview of what the engines represents. If you want an engine for a small RC machine and keep its weight as less as possible then go for the Glow Engine. But if you don’t mind the size or weight but you are on a short budget then a Gas Engine is probably the best option for you.