Glow, Gas or Electric?

Oct 26, 2011 24 Comments by

As we plan our 2012 issues, we want to know what types of reviews and features you’re the most interested in reading about. Are you a dyed-in-the-wool glow pilot? Or maybe you made the switch to electrics and swear you’ll never touch a fuel-powered aircraft again! Maybe you’re the guy at the field who swears by the reliability and low cost of good old gasoline. Whatever your power choice (maybe you fly all three, or only use gravity and wind or A-1 jet fuel!!), it’s time to take a stand and let us know your power system of choice. Share your comments here!

Debra Cleghorn, Featured News

About the author

Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

24 Responses to “Glow, Gas or Electric?”

  1. TJ Rohyans says:

    My fleet consists currently of Sailplanes, Electrics, and Glow. Gas is still in my future. To be honest, I’m a little tired of all the electric coverage, especially the micro-sized stuff. I’d like to see more glow and gas powered construction articles, whether from kits or plans. It’s time to promote building again!

  2. John Reid says:

    I personally started this hobby many years back with glow power aircraft and nothing but that. Then when the hobby moved toward much larger planes, I turned to gas engines for my main power source. However, in recent years, the advent of LiPo battery packs and powerful brushless motor really drew me toward the electric power side of the hobby. But I still find myself flying with all three-power sources. My main stay is electric because of the ease and convenience that electrics offer. Nevertheless, I still have many large planes that I enjoy flying and they are almost all powered by gas engines. But, I do have to admit that I still enjoy flying glow-powered planes because it reminds me of the early days of flying, the smell of burning glow fuel, the sound of hitting just the right setting on the fuel mixture and yes, the clean up after the flight.

  3. Tom Kallevang says:

    Electric is the future of the hobby. The noise from glow powered planes is driving the loss of flying sites as civilization encroaches on our once rural flying sites.

    Gas is great for the really large planes, but glow is a dinosaur … RIP.

  4. Phil Hultin says:

    Glow, Gas and Electric are all important parts of the hobby and we need coverage of all of them – plus turbines too for those rich and brave enough to fly them!
    Gas is still the most reasonable solution for giant scale, although it is true that large batteries and e-motors are an option.
    .

  5. William Pockl says:

    I would like to see a feature on glow fuel to diesel conversion, I have modified a couple old cox engines in the past with good improvements in power. Is it possible to do with new engines? Is anyone designing heads for this conversion? I fly glow and electric power, but think a mass produced diesel unit would be great. Glow has good power but cleaning up the oil afterwards is a chore, electric is a great “green” source of energy and I think gas engines sound the best but the whole hydrocorbon emissions is kinda dirty. Diesel burns clean sounds cool and has about the same operating costs of gas but with cleaner emissions. What do you think ? Sounds like an interesting article to me.

  6. James says:

    I prefer the ease of the electrics; no fuels to mess with, no tuning required; just charge and fly!

  7. CB says:

    GAS or GLOW ONLY!!!!!!!! Battries are for flash lights.

  8. don says:

    i perfer electric i only have 1 good eye itis just alittle easier for me love them all

  9. don says:

    love all that fly what ever i can afford electria mostly

  10. Taylorcraft says:

    “Glow, gas, wind or electric”? “Small aircraft or big aircraft”? “Fixed wing or rotary wing”? I’d rather say “AND” instead of “OR” in all cases, ’cause all aspects are equally important to our hobby!
    What makes Model Airplane News so great is that there’s always different topics, covering “everything” from beginners to pros. Please keep it that way, that’s what we want!
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Dumb thum says:

    We need it all glow , gas , electric , jet , rubber anything that makes them fly hand launch gliders are real fun dont tie yourself down to one thing the fun of this hobby is that you can do it all .

  12. Perry Hayward says:

    More info on kits and plans definitely needed, too much coverage of ARF’s, the hobby is loosing something in the drive for instant gratification. As for gas, glow, electric – I personally hate small oily engines and love electric, but I must admit I miss the smell of glow fuel from my teen years. Good articles on building regardless of the power source, we can always choose to modify the model to suit our own choice of power plant.

  13. Doug P says:

    I started off flying glow about 20 years ago, but ended up leaving the hobby in frustration after crashing everything I built. Then 4 years ago I discovered how far electric RC technology had advanced and got right back into the hobby as a park flyer. At some point I may give the liquid fuel planes another try, but for now I am very happy flying electrics!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I only started this infectious hobby two years ago, with electrics and 2.4G, so learned on lipos. Recently I’ve got into glows, and I can’t split them: some days the weather is made for glows (thermals, bumpy winds), while others are just awesome for electrics.
    At our club we’re seeing flyers bringing out some of each – we don’t plan it or even discuss it, just some times feel ‘right’ for glows, other times electric.
    Great time to come into the hobby – plenty of choice!

  15. Toysrme says:

    Fly everything. By far I have the most glow. The simply truth is that glow is by far & wide the most versatile source of power. You’re not limited by glow power.

    The simple truth is that push come to shove you can fly ANYTHING off one single type of fuel. You can take the same 15% nitro / 18% oil glow fuel and fly anything from a 1/2A park flyer under a pound to a 20 pound giant scale monster and everything in between. From scale loafers to 175+mph pylon streamliners. From a glider to a ducted fan. Be it a 2-stroke to a honking 4-stroke.

  16. rcdude07 says:

    I started with Glow planes and have been invested for the last 26 years in them. I miss seeing unique looking planes, I’m tired of everyone having the same looking plane, so features on kits would be nice. My club has a nice mixture of glow, electric, and gas flyers, so the magazine should do the same.

  17. Aaron B. says:

    If I wanted to read about electrics I will get the Electric Flight magazine at the news stand. I subscribe to MAN for gas and glow information. Electrics in the size airplanes I fly are way more expensive than burning gasoline of even nitro fuel. Stick with the noisy, non-pc airplanes! Throw in a fire breathing turbojet every now and then and include more scale stuff.

  18. Jean Tardif says:

    Building and flying scale models since 1963 only nitro at the time , now since 1985 switch to electric, never come back in glo fuel to messty, big avantage electric also, better scale apparence into building bord, plus with brushless motor, plenty of powver now.

  19. Bob Monk says:

    Because of a developing infirmity I have switched to electric power. After trying the change with great trepidation I am now sold on EP and have really enjoyed flying the several models I have built and flown. Bring on the electric info.

  20. Rogerio Araujo says:

    I started flying control line glow powered models in late 70′s.After that in the 80′s came glow RC models. In 2004 I built my first little electric profile foammie. That led me to convert a 70″ wingspan wood and fiberglass scale Tucano to electric power a year later.
    Since then, I’d been flying a proportion of 10 electric models for each glow driven model I fly.
    So I vote electric, but big ones, converted or not. Some coverage on high output EDF is also good to be seen.

  21. jehed says:

    Glow is in my way past, electric is what I am using and converting glow designs to. Gas may be in my future, though I hate the mess and extra stuff needed to fly with fuel.

  22. Ben Oates says:

    Glow or gas. I can do without the electric side of the hobby. I would like more talk on kit building. Anything to do with glow or gas, and any size.

  23. MVFLYER says:

    I’ve tried them all, electric, gas and glow. Right now glow is my favorite. Love the smell, the sounds and the power! Gasoline is hard to deal with the vapors when you bring your plane indoors let alone the fire hazard. Electric is clean, quiet and easy, but can be a little boring. I love the models that define RC flight, like sticks, classic pattern etc. All those planes traditionaly use glow power. Long live glow.

  24. Mudman1959 says:

    I turned to Electric several years back and like the fact that there is no mess to clean after a day of flying. It does not mean that I will never fly a fueled plane again but with the cost of the fuel going up and the convenience and cost of the electric gear coming down, I can fly just as long as most of my old gassers. I do miss the smell of nitro and castor oil hanging in the air but I do not miss the mess. As for power… I find that several of my electrics exceed the performance of my old gassers. As long as I can fly is all that really matters… Gas or Electric… The debate will always continue with supporters for both… Just Fly!
    Mudman1959

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