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Anybody's flying with Brodak 049?

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Post  fps60 Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:56 am

Hello everybody,

Few days ago I'd paid attention to my Brodak 049 Mk II. It was sitting in its box for years and, finally, inspired by different, often conflicting, opinions I took the engine out of the box and brought it to a test bench:



I should say that my first experience was good overall. The engine was not a powerhouse, of course, but appeared to be easy-to-handle and rather consistent, at least with suitable propellers.
I believe that it has promising potential for flying in a lightweight stunt airframe on 35-feet lines. And it has certain advantages in terms of operation and maintenance. Unlike many 1/2a engines, it does not need special glow plugs and fuel with high nitro content, can be easily disassembled if necessary without special tools. I tested it on 10% nitro fuel which I use with most of my Enya engines (except 15CX) and I think that a bit higher nitro content (15%) could measurably enhance its performance.

So I invite everybody who is (or was) flying with this engine to share their experience, especially flight practice including suitable airframe design. Video would be highly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
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Post  Surfer_kris Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:20 am

I've got the CL and then the RC one when they came out but I haven't flown them...
I was expecting more I guess, and I already have enough Norvel engines to last me a long time.

Our field requires mufflers, so I did some testing (about 8 years ago) by using a Norvel exhaust throttle but never flew it:

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Post  fps60 Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:27 am

Thank you, your rpm readings were not so bad, especially with allowance for muffler. What propeller and fuel did you use?
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Post  Surfer_kris Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:18 am

I have in the youtube description; MAS 5.5X4 prop and 12% Nitro.

I think these engines are usable, perhaps one should think of them as Babe Bee power rather than TD power...
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Post  fps60 Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:51 am

@Surfer_kris wrote:I have in the youtube description; MAS 5.5X4 prop and 12% Nitro.

I think these engines are usable, perhaps one should think of them as Babe Bee power rather than TD power...

Sorry, I've opened your video here.

I've never run Babe Bee. But according to my limited experience with 1/2a Cox engines, direct comparison may be incorrect because they become really efficient at high rpm and with much higher nitro content. Though I agree that Brodak could be disappointing for some users who could reasonably expect higher performance from Schneurle-ported AAC design. On occasion, I'd like to test the enigne with 5x4 prop and 15% nitro.
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Post  Surfer_kris Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:24 am

I think that the regular glow plugs really robs them of power. I was planning to make a head for a turbo plug for one of mine but haven't gotten around to it yet. There is also very little of TDC-pinch in these engines, so perhaps they are simply not suited for higher performance.
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Post  Cribbs74 Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:04 pm

Here is a bit of info if you want to get it to perform better. Ken Cook massaged his a little and achieved some good results.

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t4807-brodak-049
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Post  fps60 Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:46 pm

Thanks, that's very interesting indeed but such level of intervention is beyond my capability. I'd only want to select the best setup for what I have, that is for out-of-the-box engine, including fuel, propeller, glow plug (1/4-32), and suitable airframe for C/L flying.
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Post  andrew Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:40 pm

You may want to consider removing the spinner - the inertia associated with that chunk of plastic is a lot to overcome on each revolution. Rotating weight that serves little purpose is wasted energy.

Not being critical, I like spinners, but only on larger engines that are capable of generating more torque.

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Post  Cribbs74 Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:39 pm

Personally I have never needed anything more than a 3 pitch for 1/2 A CL.

All 1/2 A’s to like to turn up in RPM. I would try a 5x3 and go from there. 25-30% nitro will go a long way.

The last statement made by Ken was this:

“ This is a MKII we had at our club last year which after some extensive cleaning up we managed this on a APC 5x3 and 35% nitro.”



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Post  Ken Cook Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:15 pm

I was flying a Brodak Baby FLite Streak with my MK II. It wasn't great but it wasn't horrible either. The Norvel .061 I replaced it with  runs with a lot more rpm's. The Brodak  was designed as a beginner entry level engine. This in my opinion was never a good idea. I knew John Brodak personally and I lent a ear to some of the opinions that were being thrown around at the annual  Fly In. The standard plug was a very poor decision. That was mentioned by more than one person. Al Kelly owner of Merlin plugs provided the glow plug for the Brodak MK I piece of crap engine. Al was producing the Glo Bee insert heads which is what should've been on the Brodak MK II. The Brodak MK II was pumped up to the public prior to it's release. The Brodak .15 was in the making as well. I  saw the prototype .15 and was offered to fly it. It was so down on power that I refused to fly it.

       I then was given a new Brodak MK II and a few of us ran it at the field. Underwhelming is the best word I can think of. I like the AAC construction, I like the finish of the case and the overall appearance of the engine. It just doesn't offer any more rpm's over a Cox Babe Bee. They should've offered a high performance crank for the engine and I keep toying with the idea of doing such.

             In addition, the competition at the time was less money and offered better performance. While Norvel was essentially now defunct, engines nib were still being offered at a fair price as much as $20 lower than the Brodak offering. Hobby People was offering the AP .061 at $35 .

          The engine was offered too late with not enough emphasis on those that fly 1/2A. It's a known fact you need power, it's easier to detune than it is to extract more.
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Post  fps60 Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:48 am

Thanks to everybody.

In my understanding there are essentially two ways to gain in performance - to use fuel with higher nitro content and to select suitable propeller.
As for the spinner, I agree with Andrew. But it had been removed in the process and that was reported in the video.
And I've also found Baby Flite Streak attractive but that's not the final decision
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Post  ffkiwi Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:40 pm

I have both the Mk1 and Mk2 Brodaks...and yes like some of the previous comments-all I can say is totally underwhelming...I do have a nelson head for the mk1 but haven't gotten around to testing it on that.....and it is so far on the back burner as to be out of consideration.

The Mk1 I was not overly concerned about-given it was made by CS.....the Mk2 came with a much better apparent pedigree....from Moldova-perhaps the Stalker people? but proved doubly disappointing for a modern schneurle design and modern materials....

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Post  fps60 Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:49 am

Stalker people are from Ukraine. Brodak engines were made by Igor Dementiev from Moldova who also sold them as his own brand "Double Star".
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Post  aspeed Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:18 am

I would bet that a new head might make them into a reasonable motor.  That is the main reason that Cox sold so many motors, because of the one piece head.  Those 1/4" 32 plugs rob too much power from anything under a .25 size motor.  I have gained 7,000 rpm by using a turbo style head on a CS .049.  1,000 to 2,000 rpm gain is more common.  Even that much would be a welcomed gain though.  I would maybe try playing with one if they were more affordable and had a manufacturing future. I heard Len playing with one at the field one day and didn't hear much screaming from the motor. Most of the noise was complaining. I think it did run though.
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Post  Ken Cook Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:24 am

I owned the early Trouble Star .40. This was another offering that was less than impressive. These were sold plastic bags from Brodak. It might have flown the bag but it wouldn't work on the plane. This engine was a clone of the Fox .35. Someone should've sent him a new engine to copy from. It was a happy day for me when I found someone to offer me half of what I paid for it. While I like the Brodak .40 for it's engine runs, this is a engine that's not without issues. The first run of Brodak engines were the best in my opinion regardless of what everyone else claimed. I purchased one from the last run of them. I knew that John's health was declining quickly and the chance to ever purchase another would probably be far and few. Apparently, Igor received the 1/4-28 die from a cave in China somewhere and the prop nuts won't screw on. So rather than fix the problem, he boxed them and sent them over here. Fortunately, Duke Fox in his cheap ways must've received a deal on 1/4-28 nuts from the same cave. I was able to carefully work a Fox prop nut onto the shaft. No other prop nut would work at all without seriously cross threading. The exterior of my newest Brodak .40 is absolutely horrendous. I should've sent it back. Flaws all over the case, no bead blasting like the prior versions. If one ever witnessed a cold pour of a casting, this is the best description I can say of how it looks. Mind you, the price was also a $50 increase and the needle valve problem which existed 3 versions ago has still not been remedied. That went in the trash and the engine and box just sits on a shelf.
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Post  aspeed Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:53 am

I went to the last Brodak contest and saw some of the motors there. Just couldn't bring myself to spend the money. We have a 37% dollar premium to pay on top of the price too. I do like a challenge with doggy motors, but prefer a $20 gamble to $100.
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Post  fps60 Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:59 am

As for 35-40 size engines, I believe that the Enya 40 XZ is the best of all. Another one is Evolution 36 CL, though a bit overweighted. They are up-to-date that means that they readily accept commercial fuel with synthetic oil and are suitable for power start. In addition to good workmanship, easy start, and superior power, a remarkable feature of the engines is that they both can be set and run efficiently either in 4-2-4 (quasi-four) or in 2-2-2 (lean-to-reach) mode, as you like. Furthermore, they exhibit excellent performance in winter (at least, at temperature down to minus 10 centigrade).
Here are some pictures of one and the same bird flying with Fox 35 Stunt:



and with Evolution .36 CL set in 4-2-4 mode:



Quite different behavior!

And here is Enya 40 XZS in a bench:



I'm going to build a separate airframe for this engine but if I fail to then I'll use the same as above, though a larger bird is preferred.
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Post  Ken Cook Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:11 am

I'm not a fan of Chinese products. The Evolution though was a amazing engine however. The fit and finishes of the engine were very nicely done and the cost was impressive. The .36 offered more power than most of the bushed .40's. It also ran on the lowest oil content you could offer it. Therefore, r/c fuels were what this engine desired. I exchanged many e-mails with Pete Bergstrom who designed the engine. The engine was offered with 3 venturis and even the smallest venturi was too large. I had Jim Lee from Topeka, Kansas make a venturi utilizing a Teflon adapter where the pinch bolt is located on the engine. Then Horizon offered the Evolution .60 and I purchased 2 of those which I absolutely enjoy using. Within a year, both engines were discontinued and little to no parts are available for them. The last run of the EVO .36's sold for $79 with free shipping to your door. You can blame the control line crowd for that. They complain about the engine, complain about the cost and bash the engine to the public . Immediately following, they want the engine after it's discontinued when they discover it's true potential. Mainly because your not going to tell a dyed in the wool control liner what fuel he needs to run. They usually have engines decades old whereas the props for those engine work on the. The  dinosaurs they're running are typically baffle piston engines requiring wider paddle bladed props but when they used it on the EVO, it turned it into a dog.
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Post  aspeed Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:16 am

I tested an Evo .46 and compared to every .40 and .46 engine I have, it was 1,000 rpm better. That includes the Picco and all the OS stuff. It was just the trainer model with the flywheel which I pressed off. The chinese Sanye kind of shot themselves in the foot with motors, making them so cheap trying to put the other companies out of business. It worked, but then I guess they added up the profits and just gave up. I like the newer ASP/Magnum blue head motors too. They all have a weak point but are still quite well made. A wrist pin breaking or some minor thing will often ruin a motor if over stressed
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Post  fps60 Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:01 am

The Evo in the video was out-of-the-box, as is, after a short run-in. What I really didn't like in it was the remote NVA with delayed response that was a bit confusing. Therefore, I had ordered 5 mm venturi with OS NVA assembly from Just Engines.
The venturi cross-section can be adjusted by turning the NVA barrel in or out.

Anybody's flying with Brodak 049? Evo_3610
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Post  Ken Cook Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:48 pm

Nicely done, looks great
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Post  fps60 Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:35 am

That was not me, that were people from the UK Just Engines. I'd only ordered.
They make good things but have doubled their prices recently. I was in time to purchase two sets (for Evolution .36 and Irvine .36) for old price that was 18 GBP. Now it's 36.
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Post  Ken Cook Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:31 am

I have Just Engines Jen.32. I haven't played with it too much. It's currently in r/c form but a rather neat looking engine. Black powder coated case with purple anodized head and drive washer. Seems to look like a ASP .32 with it's squarish head. I ran it once but I certainly would like to get it on something.
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Post  fps60 Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:37 am

Currently JEN are selling Taiwanese Force engines with black-painted crankcases. As for me, I prefer engines in natural colors though some anodizing (not excessive) contributes to appearance of course.
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