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 Four-Stroke Model Airplane Engines 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post Four-Stroke Model Airplane Engines
Four-Stroke Model Airplane Engines
by: Andre McFayden

The four-stroke glow or nitro engine is an elegant concept, though not as simple as its two-stroke counterpart. While there are many variations on the design, the basic elements remain unchanged.

There is a piston moving back and forth in a cylinder, that turns a rotating crankshaft. There is a combustion event on every fourth stroke of the piston (at the beginning of every other down-stroke). The combustion is caused by a platinum element in a heated glow plug, combined with a compressed fuel-air (and oil) mixture. There are intake and exhaust ports, as well as a carburetor to mix air with fuel in the required ratio.

This engine has separate intake and exhaust valves. These are operated by a cam arrangement. The most common design is overhead valves that are opened by pushrods, and closed by return springs. The fuel carries its own oil. Being able to remove the battery after the engine starts, due to the self-sustaining glow-plug, reduces weight considerably. This is very desirable in a model airplane engine.

Compared to two-strokes, four-strokes are generally quieter and have a more realistic (deeper pitched) sound. They generate much more torque and will swing larger props (at lower rpm). These advantages make them a good choice for scale models. Their disadvantages are related to their increased number of moving parts: they tend to be trickier to adjust, and are generally more expensive than comparable two-strokes.

If you need more info about starting or troubleshooting these engines, visit the

RC Airplane Advisor.

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This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and all links left intact.

Copyright © 2005 RC Airplane Advisor

Andre McFayden is a regular contributor to the RC Airplane Advisor:

Copyright © 2001-Present by
This article was posted by permission.

Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:05 am
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