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It’s easier than you think.

Many RC modelers today start out with small, electric-powered ARFs, and work up from there. As they get more involved in the hobby, the next logical step up the power scale is operating nitro-burning glow engines (2-stroke or 4-stroke), and learning how to keep internal combustion engines happy. When you make the major step into giant scale, the operation of gasoline-burning big-block engines comes into focus.


Whether the aircraft is a big 3D aerobatic plane or a giant-scale WW1 triplane, the gas engine is, by default, the usual choice. Gas engine are fairly easy to operate, but you can’t treat them like garden equipment. When you operate big gas engines, there’s a lot of RC setup you need to keep in mind if you want the best possible performance out of that big hunk of metal bolted to your firewall. What’s the big deal you may ask? Let’s see what’s involved.

Simple but effective, this is my engine test stand. I test run all my engines before bolting them to my airplanes.

Let’s face it, there are lots of articles explaining the basics of gasoline engine operation that cover the “fire triangle,” which instructs that you need Air, Fuel and Heat to keep your engine running. This is all taken care of with proper engine installation and carburetor adjustment. So lets start at the firewall…

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