Engine Starting Equipment
Engine Related Items to Put in your Field Box
- A couple feet of Fuel Line
- A spare Glow Plug
- Extra Propellers
Glow fuel is one of those items that pilots can't help but argue about.
This is another of those Ford vs. Chevy things. All commercially
available fuels from the major manufacturers are good so don't get hung up
about it. However, I strongly urge you to read the instructions that
came with your engine and use fuel that has oil and nitro content per the
manufacturer's recommendations. Your engine warranty depends on it.
You will also need a way to get fuel from the jug and into the airplane's
fuel tank. If your plane is very small, then you can buy a fuel
bulb. Most trainers have tanks that are large enough that using a
bulb gets tedious. I recommend that you purchase a good manual fuel
If you buy the motorcycle battery (discussed below) then you can purchase
an electric fuel pump rather than a manual pump. I've had nothing but problems with
electric fuel pumps so I can't recommend them. They break
easily and frequently.
Engine Starting Accessories
I suggest that you purchase a 12 volt motor cycle battery (at
least 7 amps), a glow panel and an electric starter right
The starter provides a margin of safety by keeping your hands away
propeller and will make it easier for you to get your engine running.
If you have the glow panel, then you can purchase a glow-plug clip
and solder banana jacks to it if it doesn't have them already. The
glow clip plugs into the panel and provides power to your glow plug which is
necessary to start your engine.
Do not hook your glow clip directly to the motorcycle battery.
You'll blow up the glow plug. All glow plugs require a 1.2 to 2 volt
power source and no more.
The other option is to buy a glow clip with a self-contained power source
such as a McDaniel's Ni-Starter or Radio South Pro Driver.
You can also buy a large 1-1/2 volt battery and hook a clip up to it.
These batteries get expensive and are hard to find nowadays.
Note that you do not need both a power panel and a self-powered glow
clip. If you have a glow clip with a power source, you can hook your
electric starter directly to the battery because it uses a 12-volt source.
If you choose to hand-start your engine, then you should wear a heavy
work glove on the hand you use to flip the propeller. You can also
use a chicken stick which also keeps your hands out of the propeller.
A chicken stick is just a stick used to flip the propeller. It has a
piece of rubber tubing on it to protect the propeller.
Another piece of safety equipment you should wear when running an engine
is safety goggles. I've never seen anyone at any club I've
belonged to wear them and I don't either, but I should.
Never start your plane with the field box behind the muffler.
You'll coat your box with exhaust oil. I like to kneel on the ground
to the front right of the plane (looking from the cockpit) with the box to
the front left. That way the starter cord does not come from behind
the propeller which creates a safety hazard. I'm right handed, so
lefties would work from the left side of the plane.
I put the transmitter next to the field box where I can reach it with my
right hand. I never allow anyone else to hold the transmitter when I'm
starting an engine. I don't trust anyone that much.
Start your plane at idle with a helper holding the model. As soon
as the engine is running, move behind the model before removing the glow
clip or making any adjustments.