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Props for a Stels .049 Empty Props for a Stels .049

Post  batjac Sun Jun 23, 2024 5:05 pm

At Brodak, a club member picked up a Stels .049 for me that was being sold.  That’s the engine on the left. On the right is a Stels .049 from my engine bin.  

Props for a Stels .049 20240623-161642


I can’t find any instruction sheets for either of them.  The one on the left had a data sheet that says to use 40-60% nitro fuel, a Cox glow head, and a Tornado prop.  No prop diameter/pitch recommendation or glow head type recommendation, though.  I’m assuming the Cox 1702 high compression head (duh…) or a modern substitute adapter.  But for props, I’m not sure what to use.  I’m guessing in the 4.5x4 range?

The Modeling Dialectic Mark
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Post  Ken Cook Sun Jun 23, 2024 5:44 pm

Mark, the side exhaust is one of the highest turning rpm.049 engines I owned aside from the VA MKII. The Stels didn't come with plugs initially, the recommended plug at the time was the Cox 1702.  Eventually, Stels did make their own plugs and I do own a few. These are two piece plugs similar to Glo Bee plugs. I generally would run 45% nitro, Doug Galbreath told me to use 65% nitro. You will see better longevity using Nelson plugs and a slight rpm gain. The fact that the venturi insert is still in the engine is quite surprising as these are always missing. The stock needles are far too sensitive and generally require replacing. Your prop choices should be small and lower than a 4 pitch. A Cox rubber ducky cut down to 4" will work but I've even settled on props just a tad smaller. I don't use the safety style, I prefer the older non safety tip when I trim them down and then round the tips. A Russian green will work as well as these are approximately the equivalent of a 2.75 pitch. Even the Russian prop can afford to be cut down a bit. Stay away from the blue if you find one as the pitch is too much. The purple Russian prop will also work.

       AME made engines, today AME is known as the porting designation in the Norvel engines. Seeing your engine on the left it appears to be a AME as it has what I refer to as AERO with the Cyrillic backwards E. None of my Stels which look identical with the exception of a few things had anything cast on the case. The only indication of Stels manufacturing has only been on my twin horns. I have about 6 new in the box examples of these engines. The importance of this is because the Stels piston liner was quite different then ANY of the AME versions and runs a lot stronger.  I don't know this factually but it seems to me that Stels used the AME cases and ground that logo off because that's what all of my new examples look like.

   AME engines can be pretty strong themselves. Unfortunately, many of these were more or less teaching implements. It could take 10 or more to achieve finding a strong one. One way I can usually tell Stels apart from others is that the cylinders of the Stels are not plated in anyway. The AME usually has a nickle plating whereas the Stels is just brass.

    If your looking for easier obtainable props, go with the APC 4.4x2 you can also use the APC 4.6x3 and knock a little off of the tips. The engine on the right the (Twinhorn) is the perfect engine to burn your fingers off. Right when you go to adjust the needle it feels great you must try it.

       Seeing the twin horn on the right, I see the stock slotted screws are still retaining the cylinder. The screws are dead soft and the heads usually pop off and the cylinder blows off. This usually damages the cylinder. I highly suggest replacing those screws with socket heads. I usually don't worry about this with the side exhaust version because you have 4 screws vs 3 holding the cylinder down.
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Post  gkamysz Sun Jun 23, 2024 10:19 pm

My understanding is that they were different engines. I asked on a forum or somewhere when someone from the area was active and discussing such.

I just picked up a "twin horn" Stels .049 from the great auction site. It was oxidized but the price was right, how bad could it be? It turns out mostly cosmetic and never run, so it'll be a runner. Two of the cylinder screws were so long they bottomed in their holes. I'm not even sure if the cylinder was properly clamped, I though they tight from corrosion.
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Post  Ken Cook Mon Jun 24, 2024 3:57 am

Greg, it's funny you mention that. Stels did increase the flange thickness on the cylinder base of later models of the twin horn. There were a few different variants of that case as well. Increasing the thickness also required longer screws and it makes one wonder if somehow this was confused with the older versions.

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Post  Ken Cook Mon Jun 24, 2024 3:31 pm

I did some digging, I still have more of these and I don't know where I put them. I found a run in sheet in the Stels box. However, I'm pretty convinced the engine you show Mark is a AME. I have many AME's and yours resembles them. I have 3 Stels side exhausts and none of them have anything indicating what they are. As I mentioned above, Stels didn't plate the outside of the cylinder, AME versions did. You can even see in my pic below the AME has a nickle appearance on the fins whereas all the Stels are bright brass.

      Props for a Stels .049 Dscn3210    

Props for a Stels .049 Dscn3211 I believe the one on the bottom is a .061, these are somewhat hard to find

Props for a Stels .049 Dscn3212  This AME also has the same lettering cast on the bypass which is AERO with the backward E. This certainly appears to the be your engine. I have robbed many parts from it. This one was Larry Driskill's engine.

Props for a Stels .049 Dscn3213           The AME came in the styrofoam box above early on. A few years later the dense foam box was a thing of the past and they were offered in these blister packages. These engines then morphed into the far two on the right. The company was now Northern Velocity which eventually became Norvel. The Northern Velocity engines came with the designation of AME and not as the brand but referenced to the porting. It was at this stage the AME porting came into existence. Norvel offers the Big Mig and the AME porting.
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Post  F4D Phantom II Mon Jun 24, 2024 7:07 pm

Hello Ken
Thanks for posting so much information on the Stels .049. I have one new but no instructions on break in or props. I`m saving your posts.
Juan
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Post  batjac Mon Jun 24, 2024 8:30 pm

Ken,  Thanks for the instruction sheet.  I saved it and will keep it for reference.  The Stels I just got came in the foam box also.

Props for a Stels .049 20240624_201438


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Post  ffkiwi Mon Jun 24, 2024 10:20 pm

batjac wrote:Ken,  Thanks for the instruction sheet.  I saved it and will keep it for reference.  The Stels I just got came in the foam box also.

Props for a Stels .049 20240624_201438


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I have to endorse Ken's comments entirely-the engine in the pic I'm quoting is an early AME...not a Stels-even though its in a Stels box. These date to the mid 1990s..before Norvel emerged. I don't have as many Stels as Ken has-but I've still had a few pass through my hands over the years. the guy behind Stels was Alexander Gievsky-then residing in St Petersberg. he produced as well as the 049, an 061 (I have one of the few examples that made it to the west), a combat 15 and a combat 36-the latter being intended for the US market. Anecdotally he fell foul of the Russian mafia, and either fled or went into hiding after only a year or so of engine production. This of course begs the question of what became of the Stels tooling subsequently. My guess is that it wound up in the hands of the AME people and eventually Norvel...or at least the crankcase dies did...the similarity is too close to be coincidental. Of course it could be simply that some kind of loose cooperative existed among the local modellers/engine producers....and the dies were of a generic nature-which allowed various producers to tailor their own cases as they saw fit. my earliest Stels 049s had quite rough castings-not sand cast, but left very much as cast-a later 'two horn' one (one of the ones I own now) has a similar case finish-but good definition of the lettering, while a side exhaust example has a polished case...so there was quite a bit of variation.

As for props-well Hobbyclub still lists the blue and green glass 1/2A props (see up the 'Fora' heading in the propellers section of the website)-which are quite suitable

ChrisM
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