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Post  Iceberg Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:36 pm

Have been moved to Suva Fiji and another large project. Have plenty of good flying fields and am looking forward to doing just that however. Have found a big problem. They don't have any hobby store, no business that sells any fuel of any kind other than what you put in your car. I have tried ebay, Amazon, Desert Cart so far and none of them will ship to Fiji. Does anyone know of a connection that will send via cargo ship from somewhere to Fiji? This is a flier's worst nightmare. No available fuel.

Appreciate any help or suggestions.
Thanks!
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Post  sosam117 Tue Dec 05, 2023 7:01 pm

Iceberg wrote:Have been moved to Suva Fiji and another large project. Have plenty of good flying fields and am looking forward to doing just that however. Have found a big problem. They don't have any hobby store, no business that sells any fuel of any kind other than what you put in your car. I have tried ebay, Amazon, Desert Cart so far and none of them will ship to Fiji. Does anyone know of a connection that will send via cargo ship from somewhere to Fiji? This is a flier's worst nightmare. No available fuel.

Appreciate any help or suggestions.
Thanks!
Ice

I have used no nitro fuel (sometimes called FAI fuel).
I combine it with about 5~10% white gas ( Coleman lantern fuel)

Maybe someone else will chime in?

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Post  Iceberg Tue Dec 05, 2023 8:02 pm

This is very interesting Mike. If can find alternative would be very appreciative!!

Hopefully a few will chime in.

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Post  sosam117 Tue Dec 05, 2023 8:43 pm

Iceberg wrote:This is very interesting Mike. If can find alternative would be very appreciative!!

Hopefully a few will chime in.

Ice

The Colman lantern fuel here in the USA (States) is Naphtha gas.
naphtha’s low boiling point (145° C) makes it easy to ignite --- similar to nitromethane. (100° C boiling point)

You'll have to play around with compression ratio and glow plugs to get the proper ignition.
Maybe a hotter plug as the naphtha has a slightly higher boiling point (flash).
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Post  Iceberg Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:03 pm

I have the castor no problem. What % of that might be needed? Any other additive or just white naphta? The castor would likely help to reduce flash point is too low? This would be real life saver if can get this fuel problem solved. Please all suggestions appreciated. Any bench testing would be appreciated also.
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Post  Levent Suberk Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:14 am

You can use FAI fuel, no nitro.

Adding Zippo lighter fluid will be an experiment. It is naphtha. Try to mix fuel in small amounts. I didn't try it yet. I like experimenting so I will try it at once. I also heard that several drops of acetone is a suitable additive for a hotter revving.

I tried different fuel mixtures for Cox engines at the time, including ethanol, white spirit etc, but no success. Only methanol can be used.

Synthetic oils are ok instead of castor oil and they are cleaner than castor.
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Post  Iceberg Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:32 am

Hi Levent
Interesting. I have shipped much of my items so can't do anything very tests for a few more weeks. If any confirmed mixes and bench tests could be done would be really big help please. Thanks you!
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Post  balogh Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:01 am

How does naphta substiture for nitro? This is my humble theory...

Nitro has the advantage of emitting carbon monoxide while burning (!!), and even if the calorific value of nitro (11.3MJ/kg) is only half that of methanol (22.7 kJ/kg), the oxygen carried in carbon monoxide added by burning nitro to the fuel-air mixture allows a richer fuel-air mixture, with more methanol in a unit of mixture, hence more energy entering in the cycle.


Wikipedia:

"Nitromethane is usually used with rich air/fuel mixtures because it provide power even in the absence of atmospheric oxygen Otherwise, rich mixtures cause ignition problems and a lower combustion speed. When rich air/fuel mixtures are used, hydrogen and carbon monoxide are two of the combustion products."

Naphta acts differently than nitro. Its calorific value is 44.38 MJ/kg, so it really ramps up the calorific value of fuel ...Naphta, however, can not fully replace methanol, as the platinum iridium coating on the glow spiral acts as a catalyst to burning methanol, that in turn, keeps the platina coated filament glowing...
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Post  sosam117 Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:17 am

Iceberg wrote:I have the castor no problem. What % of that might be needed? Any other additive or just white naphta? The castor would likely help to reduce flash point is too low? This would be real life saver if can get this fuel problem solved. Please all suggestions appreciated. Any bench testing would be appreciated also.
Ice

Here is what my mix is (percentages) when I purchase the FAI fuel:
5% naphtha
20% castor oil
2% synthetic oil (Klotz Techno-plate synthetic oil)
73% methanol

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Post  getback Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:25 am

These people say they will ship to Fuji VP Racing Fuels PowerMaster Powerblend 15% Airplane Fuel (17% Castor/Synthetic Oil Blend) Quart  Its through Amazon airplane fuel for RC but i would think you could doctor it up some to work , get in touch with them and ask about it >> @ different web sites <<< https://fiji.desertcart.com/products/2236718-vp-racing-hobby-fuels-1-quart-20-percent-nitrofuel   and   https://www.amazon.com/PowerMaster-PowerBlend-Airplane-Fuel-Synthetic/dp/B01E8ZJ9MC/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2FVCX677E0ZVW&keywords=vp+nitro+fuel+for+airplanes&qid=1701865166&sprefix=vp+nitro+fuel+for+airplanes%2Caps%2C81&sr=8-4
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Post  Iceberg Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:42 am

Methanol is available in Fiji. Works that help to mix with naptha? Along with castor or other?
Thanks
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Post  gkamysz Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:43 pm

Naphtha is not a substitute for nitromethane. I always understood naphtha or similar was added to glow fuel in winter due to it's vapor pressure, to improve starting. I don't see an advantage if it's not cold, other than stretching the duration of a tank of fuel slightly. I've always heard 5% acetone in FAI fuel helps needling, but have never used it. Acetone also has a high vapor pressure and could help cold starts.

When looking at heating values of fuel in an engine, air-fuel ratio must be accounted for. Sure, you can burn naptha in an engine, but maybe at 12:1 fully rich, normally closer to 14-15:1. You look at top fuel and they run 90% nitromethane at 1:1, so even with lower heating value, packs much more fuel into a cylinder and it makes far more power than any other fuel.

Anyway, I doubt Fiji gets cold enough to needs cold starting assist And I don't know anything about shipping there. And fuel suppliers are dwindling. I just saw Redmax gave up on fuel.

Running more compression should help with no nitro. I've been meaning to so some tests.....

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Post  Iceberg Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:12 pm

Hi Sosam
The FAI fuel you listed there. You have actually run that with success? I am interested to know if it has success. RPM similar? Wear on motors etc?
I am able likely to get those components in the Fiji Islands and could mix and run that. Really appreciate the suggestion. Some have sort of said throw in the towel and give up. However that doesn't go with the grain AT ALL.

Thanks again.
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Post  Iceberg Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:17 pm

Hi Balogh
Thanks for the as always excellent summary. Hope Hungary winter is not too bad yet! Here in Manila pretty ok right now. Soon to Suva.

Balogh with the question at hand is there anyway to chemically make substitute fuel for the nitro fuel? I mean with some other normal additives? I can get Naptha, Methanol and Castor and Acetone. Possible a combination of these and other components might help?

Really good to hear from you. Hope your Balatone flying field is still working for you!!
Ice RC Plane RC Plane
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Post  sosam117 Thu Dec 07, 2023 5:54 am

Iceberg wrote:Hi Sosam
The FAI fuel you listed there. You have actually run that with success? I am interested to know if it has success. RPM similar? Wear on motors etc?
I am able likely to get those components in the Fiji Islands and could mix and run that. Really appreciate the suggestion. Some have sort of said throw in the towel and give up. However that doesn't go with the grain AT ALL.

Thanks again.
Ice


I have had to increase the compression ratio to make it run without nitro.
Like another poster here, it does increase the run time at the cost of some slower RPM.
as for the wear ---- have not noticed any increase in wear when I also add the Klotz Techno-plate.

There is sometimes no substitute for nitro (when available).

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Post  Iceberg Thu Dec 07, 2023 10:58 pm

Since posting the question I have looked up a number of YouTube videos confirming that a 75% methanol 5% acetone 20% castor mix runs well I'm motors. Both 4 stroke and 2 stroke. However all motors I saw were larger and not Cox series. Might someone kindly be able to try some bench testing on. 049 to see what performance is possible? Thanks!!
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Post  Iceberg Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:30 pm

Here a re a couple links to videos that seem to indicate that the .049 CAN run on the 0%? Seems about 10% lower rpm is the effect. Anyone else have stats?
Thanks
Iceberg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy10RCH8PQA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3xeYnU0R7o

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Post  balogh Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:49 am

Iceberg wrote:Hi Balogh
Thanks for the as always excellent summary. Hope Hungary winter is not too bad yet! Here in Manila pretty ok right now. Soon to Suva.

Balogh with the question at hand is there anyway to chemically make substitute fuel for the nitro fuel? I mean with some other normal additives? I can get Naptha, Methanol and Castor and Acetone. Possible a combination of these and other components might help?

Really good to hear from you. Hope your Balatone flying field is still working for you!!
Ice RC Plane RC Plane

Thanks Darren,

Winter has already arrived here so I am fiddling with my planes only in my heated mancave.

No, I have no experience with substitutes for nitro, which is still available here in one hobbyshop, and I have also stocked about 5 liters of it, that will be good for about  25 liters of fuel i.e. ~ 5..6000 minutes or near 85...100 hours of 049 engine time, if I calculate it right...


Last edited by balogh on Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo....typo...typo)
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Post  Ken Cook Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:47 am

If you can obtain Klotz products from Australia, find the Nitro or Nitro power. This product is not nitromethane, it's a trademark of Klotz which is nitropropane. This actual product has changed names a few times over the years. Klotz refers to this product as Koolinal. Koolinal will be in blue lettering on the can.  I've used this product in small amounts added to my racing fuels. It does indeed ramp things up when added to high nitro fuel. Klotz refers to this product as Koolinal. I would think small engines such as a Cox would benefit from FAI fuel mixed with this. At least it would offer some power back not too mention decrease needle sensitivity. Even using the FAI fuel you can try high comp heads which might in itself work without nitro. One of Greg's turbo or Nelson heads would also benefit with a single gasket.
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Post  Iceberg Sat Dec 09, 2023 9:53 pm

Hi Ken
Thanks very much. I do have a number of Greg's turbo heads. With single gasket just might run well.
Thanks for the tip about the Koolinall. I will definitely try to locate it.

Really appreciated the suggestions. I refuse to get"grounded" any additional suggestions or tips about making FAI fuel is greatly thanked!
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Post  Ken Cook Sun Dec 10, 2023 6:58 am

I don't follow FAI rules so I really don't know about them. I'm just familiar with the no nitro fuel. Aside from that, it's more or less alcohol and oil. I'm fortunate as to where my flying field location is. I'm essentially 16' above sea level so the engines are making the most power vs those at considerably higher elevations. Some of the contests I attended were 1000' and over. I would test at my home field and when I would arrive at the contest, NOTHING works. My mentioning this is due to what seems like a small factor can turn out to be a bigger one. I'm quite certain you may not see the same performance as you once had at your other location. This may or may not be a problem, you just have to try it. I've successfully run many Cox engines on very low nitro. The main thing with a Cox engine where nitro helps is assisting in heat generation. The FAI fuel might also dictate your prop choices. While I'm a advocate of smaller props on my engines, low or no nitro might require a larger propeller.
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Post  sosam117 Sun Dec 10, 2023 9:03 am

Ken Cook wrote:I don't follow FAI rules so I really don't know about them. I'm just familiar with the no nitro fuel. Aside from that, it's more or less alcohol and oil. I'm fortunate as to where my flying field location is. I'm essentially 16' above sea level so the engines are making the most power vs those at considerably higher elevations. Some of the contests I attended were 1000' and over. I would test at my home field and when I would arrive at the contest, NOTHING works. My mentioning this is due to what seems like a small factor can turn out to be a bigger one. I'm quite certain you may not see the same performance as you once had at your other location. This may or may not be a problem, you just have to try it. I've successfully run many Cox engines on very low nitro. The main thing with a Cox engine where nitro helps is assisting in heat generation. The FAI fuel might also dictate your prop choices. While I'm a advocate of smaller props on my engines, low or no nitro might require a larger propeller.


One reason I liked running diesel engines, when I fly at home (Chicago area 630 feet above sea level)
On my 67" Playboy Sr. I ran a PAW .09 with a 10x4 prop.

When I went out to Colorado (Colorado Springs -- area 6035 feet above sea level -- for a SAM contest)
I would normally change the prop to a 10x6 prop and increase the diesel engine compression accordingly for the higher altitude.

Mike
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Post  Iceberg Sun Dec 10, 2023 4:38 pm

Hi Ken
Good to know. Larger prop. My go to prop is usually a 6x4 maybe big enough? Also I will always be flying low altitude above sea level.

I will find the items and mix some FAI fuel in the near future. Thanks very much!
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Post  HalfaDave Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:02 am

Hi Iceberg,
Methanol/oil works in a Cox engine.
Problem is, methanol is hydro-scopic. (absorbs h2o when ever it can)
This degrades its 'flamibillaty?' so to speak.
Acetone does work, but absorbs h2o even faster.
Finding a replacement for Nitro-methane is hard.
Somehow, we will solve it. (pun intended !)
Back when boat building,
I had access to Methel Ethel Keytone Peroxide. (The 'hardener' for polyester resin)
Very nasty stuff.
Do not try this. Because I did.
Unfortunatly,
My library and high school chemistry research did not work out.
I 'spiked' a gallon of 5% with two/three drops of M.E.K.P.
After a great run, I shared the mix with my fellow flyers... Great runs !
Until, I re fuelled and found my glow plug dead.
No kidding, every engine that ran great on that mix, blew a glow plug.
Just saying,
Be careful what you wish(mix) for... Smile
I miss the smell of Nitro...
Your results will vary...
Take care,
Have fun,
Dave
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Post  Iceberg Wed Jan 31, 2024 12:21 pm

So after looking here in Fiji one more surprise. No Methanol only Ethanol available (so far). Might that work for the non nitro fuel (FAI) with 20% castor oil instead of the Methanol? 80% Ethanol 20% Castor oil.

What a pain thanks for suggestions friends.

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