RC Engines are the lifeblood of any RC model that you buy or create. Nearly all RC models, with the exception of RC Sailboats, need something to propel them and while most RC Toys use electric motors for the process, RC engines or RC glow engines are used for most RC models. Like all other engines, RC Engines also come in a variety styles and choosing one is dependent on your level of experience with RC vehicles.
Most RC Nitro Models use either a 2- or a 4-stroke engine to generate power and are also called Glow Engines. These RC engines are internal combustion engines and are used in almost all gas and nitro powered RC models. These engines work on a Methanol-based fuel that contains an energy booster, usually nitro-methane. Oil is premixed into the fuel to ensure smooth engine operation.
The choice between 2- and 4-stroke engines is pretty easy to make. If you are looking for an easy to control engine that is light-weight, sturdier and has a decent amount of power for its size, then go for a 2-stroke engine. However, if fuel consumption is of prime importance as is the sound, then a 4-stroke is for you. 4-stroke engines are more expensive, harder to control and require more maintenance as compared to a 2-stroke engine so go for one only if you are an experienced RC model handler.
RC glow engines work on a simple model where the spark plug is replaced by a glow plug. When fuel enters the combustion chamber, the glow plug sets it alight. There are other details as well, such as the throttle arm that controls the amount of fuel entering the chamber, as well as the high-speed needle valve that determines the air-fuel mixture at medium and high speeds.
RC engines need to be maintained regularly if they are to run at optimal performance. The engine needs to be cleaned and dried up regularly as residue may cause grime to settle in, resulting in lower performance and maybe even breakdowns. Usually, all RC engines come with a recommended brand for the fuel and to ensure efficient performance, it is advisable to use the recommended brand only.
If you have quite a bit of experience at using such engines, then the next stage comes with RC Ducted Fan engines that are used in some RC Jets, while other large RC Scale Models also use gasoline powered engines that are similar to a chainsaw's engine. These engines are housed in cylindrical tunnel-like structures that look exactly like lower-cost jet engines. The fan has more blades than a normal propeller and is placed inside a shaped duct that helps increase the realism of the engine as well as increase its speed and performance.
Most RC models require an engine mount, something that may or may not be included in the RC Model Kits that you buy. RC Propellers are required for almost all RC Plane and RC Boats as well as fuel lines, glow fuels and a muffler. So if you are looking for an RC engine to go for your latest RC model, and don't like the one that came with your standard RC Kits, then go to your nearest RC Hobby Stores and grab the most compatible RC engine that fits your budget.