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Here are explained some terms regarding motors used in RC aircrafts, cars and boats.

Electric motors: Electric motors are steadily taking over as the driving force for hobby helicopters, airplanes, cars and boats, due to advancement in battery technology. It has since long been possible to make small electric motors with a high effect output. The problems has been shortment of battery performance. It has been difficult to make small batteries that can deliver a high  enough effect to drive an aircraft or a high performance car or boat. It has also been difficult to make small batteries that store enough energy for a high effect output during a long enough time to be practically useful. However, this situation has changed with the emergence of small high performance batteries of the technology types Nicle-cadmium (NiCd), Nicle - metalhydride (Nimh) and Lithium - polymer (Lipo).

There are many types of electic motors. Since batteries deliver direct current (DC), these electric motors are DC-motors. The cheapest motors used for hobby vehicles use magnets made of common ferrite (an iron variant). More expensive types with higher performance use magnets made of a cobalt-samarium alloy delivering a bigger magnetic force.


Two-stroke piston engines: A two stroke engine is a piston engine operating in this way: When the piston is near the bottom after the explotion, the eshaust after the combustion is let out, or blown out, and a new blending of air and fuel is rapidly forced in. On the way up, the blending is compressed. At the top the blending is ignited, and then the piston is pressed down again. The way of achieving this rapid refill of air-fuel-blending differs from construction to construction.

The classical way of doing it, is like this: The blending of air and fuel is sucked into the room under the cylinder when it is near the top by the under-pressure the cylinder makes in this room.. This is done through an inlet at the lower part of the cylinder that the cylinder closes when it is not near the top.  When the piston is at  the bottom, the blending is under high pressure from the cylinder. Another inlet from the room under the cylinder into the cylinder higher up is however by now free, and so is also an exhaust outlet. The air-fuel blending expands into the cylinder and presses the exhaust out. When the cylinder goes up again this second inlet and the exhaus outlet is covered by the cylinder, and the gas inside the cylinder is trapped and can be compressed.


Four-stroke piston engines: A four stroke engine operates with such a cycle: Beginning with the piston on top with a compressed air-fuel-blending, the blending is ignited and burns rapidly making a great pressure.The pressure presses the piston down. When going up again the piston presses the exhaust out. When going down the second time, the piston sucks in a new blending of air and fuel. When going up the second time, the piston compresses the new blending. Then new ignition can take place and the cycle repeates.The inlet of air and fuel and outlet of exhaust is in a classical construction controlled by valves that open and close.


Glow-plug-motors. This is a piston motor that uses a permanently glowing object in the top to ignite the fuel. The object is warmed up by sending electricity through it before the motor is started. Glow-plug motors are typically two-stroke, and they mostly use nitro-methane as fuel.  Formerly methanole was much used in glow-plug motors. Most piston engines for model airplanes are glow plug motors.


Diesel motors: A diesel motor is a piston motor that igites the fuel by first pressing fresh air so hard together that it results in the ignition temperature and then by ingecting the fuel into the hot air. The fuel then detonates. Detonation is a combustion where all parts of some blending ignites at exactly the same time.

This kind of motor is suited for using slowly burning fuel. A diesel motor typically uses diesel as a fuel, but can use other types of slowly burning fuel as well. A diesel motor can be two-stroke or four stroke.


Jet motors: Basicly a jet motor consists of a tube that has a larger hole at the back end than in the fromt end. Inside the tube, there is a rapid combustion of some fuel that gives a high pressure. The front end hole is used to supply air, and the exhaust goes out through the back end hole.  Because the hole in.the front is smaller, than the back end hole, the pressure will have more to press on in the front end than in the back, and this pushes the motor foreward. Jet motors differ by the way air is supplied to the inside. There are types like ram-jet, pulsating jet or turbo-jet. Turbo-jet is the only type used in remote controle vehicles.


Turbojet motors: This jet motor type is the classical jet type, and this is the type used in hobby jet planes.  In a turbujet motor, there is a pivot going through the tube form the front to the back. In the front there is a system of small fans that pushes air inside. At the other ende after the combustion, there is a larger fan system driving the pivot around, and thus also driving the fan system in the front.


Pulsating jet: A pulsating jet consists basically of a tube where the back outlet is of greater area that the front inlet. At the front inlet there is mounted a grid that is automatically opened and closed.  Every time it opens, air is let in and exhaust is pushed out from the tube. When it is closed, fuel is quickly injected and the blending of fuel and air is igneted. The pressure from the explosion has more material to push at in the front porsion of the tube than at the back because the tube narrows towards the front end. Therefore the motor and the airplane is pushed foreward. Pulsating jets are hardly ever used in model vehicles. It has been used in some special milit�ry missiles. It may be used in the possibly existing secret high speed and high altitude espionage aircraft popularily named Aurora, since possible observations of that aircraft include a pattern of noise from narrowly spaced explotions and a pattern of smoke rings or smoke balls let out within short intervals.


Ramjet: This is the most simple jet engine. It consists only of a tube where the front end inlet is narrower than the back end outlet. As the airplane moves foreward, the pressure from the air approaching the motor presses air into the front hole. Inside the tube, fuel is injected and the blending of fuel an air is burned. The pressure inside the burning blending has more material to push at in the front porsion of the tube than at the back because the tube narrows towards the fron end. Therefore the motor and the airplane is pushed foreward. A ramjet only work at high speeds, because the speed must be so high that the pressure from the air approaching the motor must exceed the pressure that is made only by the burning blending of air and fuel. Ramjets has perhaps only been used experimentally. It may be used in the possibly existing secret high speed and high altitude espionage aircraft popularily tamed Aurora. The motors of this aircraft are perhaps designed to be used as pulsating jet at lower speed, and as ramjet at the highest speed. To start the aircraft, the motors are perhaps used as rocket engines utilizing a small amount of stored oxygen to be blended with the fuel. Ramjets are never used in model aircrafts.


Electric fan-jet motors or ducted fan motors: These motors have an inlet for air and an outlet, and they look like a turbojet motor from the outside.  Inside there is a fan that pumps the air through the motor and creates the pressure that drives the aircraft foreward. The fan is driven by an electric motor or by some arrangement working as an electric motor. For example can the fan be constructed so it works as an electric motor anchor and static electric magnets can be integrated in the duct around the fan.


Turbine motors: A turbine motor is built like a turbo-jet motor, but the back end fan is so great that the pressure exerts a greater power than that necessary to drive the compressor around. This power can be used to drive propellar, the wheels of a vehicle or anything else. The shaft and fan of a turbine motor must rotate with a much higher speed than a propellar or wheel that the motor drives. Therefore there must be some gearbox between the motor and the mashinery driven by the motor to  transform down the speed of rotation.


Turboprop-motor: A turboprop motor is simply a turbine motor used to drive a propellar of a fast-winged aircraft, or the rotor of a helicopter.


Rocket motors: A rocket motor is simply a cylinder open in the back end. In the cylinder are placed fuel pellets that are ignited by means of a wick fuce. The pellet contain both some combustable material and some material that gives out oxygen for the combustion when heated. The rocjet engine only burns of a short time. It is sometimes used in glider planes to make the glider lift into the air  from the ground.



Nitro driven motors and nitro-methane:  

A nitro motor is fueled by the chemical compound nitromethane. A nitro driven motor can be any of the allready listed motor types, perhaps except diesel motors. Nitromethane has the formula CH3-NO2, or written more correctly: CH3-N=O(-O).

Nitromethanne has several properties makeing it suited for hobby vehicle powering. First of all, the molecule has inside oxygen atoms that can be used during the combustion process. Therefore very little air is needed in the cylinders or in the combustion chambers during operation. Each piston stroke or turbine round will therefore contain 8 times more fuel than a hydrocarbone based fuel, and greater effect is delivered. The burning process with the optimal amount of oxygen added is:

4CH3NO2 + 3O2 → 4CO2 + 6H2O + 2N2

Because of the inner oxygen content, the fuel can even burn without oxygen. In this case, the process goes like this:

4CH3NO2 → 4CO + 4H2O + 2H2 + 2N2

The fuel combusts very rapidly, making it very suitable for high speed engines (having a high number of rounds or piston strokes per time unit).

The fuel has a tendency to pre-ignite and detonate in the cylinder if the oxygen content is high, which will counter-act a good motor action. Therefore a oxygen-poor blending is usually used, so that a mixture of the two combustion processes normally occur.

Nitomethane has a high heat capacity. This makes it a good as a cooling medium for the motor mechanics and cylinders. Using nitromethane as a fuel, and letting the fuel cool the motor, eliminate the need for advanced cooling mechanisms.

Being able to burn without oxygen supply, means that nitromethane also is an explosive. It is however difficult to make it explode without using very special arrangements. It is safe against normal handling and under the conditions during use as a motor fuel. It should however be stored under the usual precautions of a high flammable compound, in so small quantities and  in such a place that an explotion does not exert serious damage.




Methanol is the simplest type of alcohol. It has the chemical formula CH3OH. It burns according to this process:

2 CH3OH + 3 O2 → 2CO2 + 4H2O

Since the fuel needs more oxygen to burn than nitromethane, methanol is less effective than nithro-methane.  Methanol is also very toxic, and must be handled with care both as a toxic substance and as a flammable compound. This fuel  was formerly much used for glow-plug motors, but it is by now mostly replaced by nitromethane.


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