Suggestions to Preston Briggs
This site was last updated on February 15, 2008.
In most classes of combat, points are given for airtime; therefore, it becomes important to get the engine started and the plane in the air as quickly as possible. Typically, one of pit crew will hold the plane while the other starts it (and the pilot must wait patiently in the center of the circle). Before the start of the match, the crew will have set the needle valve, perhaps while demonstrating the shutoff, and topped off the fuel. During the countdown, the glow driver will be attached to the plug. At the horn, the engine is started in a single flip (hopefully!), the glow clip is removed, and the plane is released.
Because of the time pressure, using an ordinary RC-style, snap-on NiCad driver is a bad idea. You don't want to put your fingers near the prop and you don't want any delay. So an old-fashion clip is required. Here are some ideas.
The clip shown above is made by Sullivan. By reversing one of the metal bits, it will fit a 1/2-A engine. Notice the rubber band to ensure a good grip and the broken plastic body.
This one is hacked from an "antenna clip" available from Radio Shack. Again, the plastic is a weak point.
Here's another commercial unit, called the "Magnum." This one apparently works well, though it needs a few modifications. Pat Willcox suggests: