Choosing the right engine depends on your personal preferences and what kind of driving experience you are looking for. But again, it is also a question of budget and technical knowledge as the complexity of some technologies (especially the fuel-powered engines) can influence your decision.
How do you choose your model engine ?
With entry-level prices around €30, the electric motor is a good option for a beginner. Besides its affordability, it is also relatively easy to assemble and maintain. These motors can be "brushed" or "brushless".
Brushed motors work by a coil rotating inside surrounding magnets. The rotation of the coil causes the contact between the commutator and brushes to alternate, and switch the current flow through the coil. A brushless DC motor is the other way around and there is no need for brushes to flip the electromagnetic field. In brushless motors, the permanent magnets are on the rotor, and the electromagnets are on the stator.
While the brushed motor is cheaper, it has several disadvantages. The brushes require extra maintenance and are indeed less efficient (75-80% compared to 85-90% for a brushless motor).
Internal combustion engines have several advantages. A combustion engine, depending on the size of the tank and how it is driven, can last up to 45 minutes, so there isn’t a battery charging time issue. An electric motor, with the same power, will rarely last over 30 minutes. Besides this, the battery is heavy, which is a problem that aeromodelling enthusiasts know well.
Similar technology between fuel-powered RC model vehicles and real ones means this type of engine offers an authentic driving experience. While this is great news for those perfectionists, the elevated prices can be a deterrent. 1/10 scale single cylinder models start at €100, but the most efficient models can cost up to several thousand euros.
xHow do you maintain your model’s motor ?
Electric motors generally require less maintenance than fuel-powered engines. They do, however, require regular maintenance. Fortunately, brushed and brushless motors are designed to be easily dismantled. The brush parts can wear and cause a drop in performance, so taking your model apart and cleaning it is essential. Scientific MHD advises you not to disassemble the motor yourself but to ask one of our after-sales service providers or another model dealer to take care of it for you. Please note that opening the motor by anyone other than Scientific MHD's service department will void the warranty.
Although less maintenance is required, a brushless motor may also need to be disassembled and cleaned. The entire process is relatively simple.
Internal combustion engines, on the other hand, require more maintenance and, above all, more mechanical knowledge. These engines work like real aircraft or car engines, creating movement with pistons that drive the crankshaft. They can therefore clog up quite easily and the spark plugs will have to be changed from time to time.