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Choosing a Model Airplane Engine

If you are looking for a new engine for your model airplane, you have two basic options: air-cooled and water-cooled. In a water-cooled engine, a pump and piping system directs water around the engine, which absorbs heat as it passes hot parts of the engine. The liquid then flows through a radiator where the heat is dissipated into the air. It’s a very efficient way to cool an engine; it’s also the way many full-sized aircraft engines are cooled. However, a simpler mechanism for model airplanes is air cooling.

Military Planes

If you are looking at Kent model shops for military replicas, you probably want an air-cooled model aircraft engine.

  • Air-cooled engines have fewer moving parts.
  • Air-cooled engines are not as easily damaged by gunfire.
  • Air-cooled engines are lighter in weight, which means a plane can carry more munitions.

For these reasons, air-cooled engines are preferred for military planes.

Classic Planes

Many of the earliest planes were water cooled. If you’re looking for replicas of classic planes, you might consider a water-cooled engine for accuracy. These planes were water-cooled because it was a more straightforward and reliable process for keeping an engine cool.

  • Liquid conducts much more heat than air.
  • More heat conductivity means that the cooling happens much faster.

Air-cooled and water-cooled model aircraft engines both will serve you well. The water-cooled engine will require a little more maintenance, but it will likely be more accurate to classic planes, whereas an air-cooled engine is more accurate for military planes.

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Randy Howard

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