Diesel World - - Vintage Smoke Deezil Rc Airplane Engine -

Soon af­ter the Deezils were built, model air­craft en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers set­tled in on nitro­meth­ane-fu­eled en­gines that em­ployed a glow plug. The glow plug is heated by a bat­tery for start­ing, but once the en­gine is warmed up, the glow plug re­tains enough heat to ig­nite the com­pressed air/fuel mix­ture. In many ways these en­gines work like the old hot tube/hot bulb semi­diesels of the past. There are still model air­craft diesels out there to­day but they are very in­tri­cate, com­plex and ex­pen­sive.

In re­cent years, col­lec­tors have re­vis­ited the Deezil and there are hi­lar­i­ous Youtube videos of peo­ple try­ing to get vin­tage NOS Deezils to run. More se­ri­ous in­di­vid­u­als like Adrian Dun­can have reengi­neered the Deezil, re­plac­ing the most fail­ure-prone parts with di­men­sion­ally cor­rect ones made from bet­ter ma­te­ri­als. The re­sults have yielded a good run­ning com­pres­sion-ig­ni­tion model air­craft en­gine.

The ’47-55 Deezil re­mains one of the most talked-about model air­craft en­gines of all time, but that talk is gen­er­ally laced with pro­fan­ity. It’s be­come the model air­craft equiv­a­lent of the Yugo, with a level of in­famy that rises to leg­endary sta­tus. Like the Yugo, it’s a poster child for ru­in­ing a ba­si­cally good de­sign with poor man­u­fac­tur­ing qual­ity.

 The Deezil fea­tured a die-cast crank­case, bronze con­nect­ing rod, com­pos­ite cylin­der and head (two-piece steel sleeve and alu­minum head) and a ring­less steel pis­ton. The first crank­shaft de­sign was a nicely ma­chined on­ce­piece steel part sup­ported by a bronze bush­ing. It was later down­graded to a brazed three-piece unit sup­ported by a cheap brass bear­ing. Pis­ton fit was vi­tal for ad­e­quate com­pres­sion, but dur­ing most of the Deezil’s pro­duc­tion run lit­tle care was taken to clear­ance-fit pis­tons to bores. Many, if not most, would not start from Day One due to low com­pres­sion.

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