Engines

Most flying model airplanes use one of two types of power plants: electric motors or glow engines. Electric motors use battery power to turn a shaft to which a propeller is attached. A glow engine is a miniaturized internal combustion device that burns fuel to create power.

A glow engine uses what is called a glow plug to ignite fuel inside the combustion chamber. Glow engines come in two-stroke or more powerful four-stroke varieties. A glow engine requires a battery-operated glow starter to heat the plug, in addition to a propeller starter or hand starting. First of all, these small combustion engines are called glow engines, because ignition is accomplished by a combination of heating from compression, heating from a glow plug and the catalytic effect of the platinum within the glow plug on the methanol within the fuel.

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