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How to start your model airplane engine

1) Make sure that glowplug and propeller are firmly attached, using the correct wrench.

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2) Fill the fuel tank of the airplane. This is commonly done by disconnecting the fuel line from the carb, and connecting it to the supply line from the fuel jug. Do not forget to reconnect the line to the carb! Another filling option is a three-way valve, so you will not need to disconnect the carb line.

3) Set the needle valve of the engine as recommended in the instructions. E.g. from the needle valve fully closed (counter clockwise), open the valve two complete turns counter clockwise. This starting position varies from engine type to another, so please check your instructions.

4) Turn the radio on but do not connect the glow igniter yet.

5) Open the throttle to full using the Tx throttle stick.

6) Place your finger on top of the carb opening. Now rotate the propeller and watch the fuel being drawn up the fuel line to the carb position. Turn a couple more times to get the fuel into the engine. This procedure is known as "priming"; it gets the fuel into the engine so that it is easier to start.

7) Remove your finger from the carb and flip the propeller a few more times.

8) Reduce the throttle setting to partially open, say one-third of the full travel of the carb throttle arm.

9) Have an assistant hold the plane from behind, so that it will not move when started. Or use a mechanical hold-down restraint.

10) Only now, attach the glow plug igniter to the engine.

11) You should be in front of the engine but clear of the propeller's turning arc.

12) Using a "chicken stick", flip the prop vigorously past the compression point of the engine (ie past the point at which you feel the most resistance).

13) The engine should start after a few flips, so be mentally ready for it to come to life. Stay clear of the propeller!

14) Move behind the aircraft while your assistant is still holding it.

15) Check that the aircraft is secured, then advance the throttle to full.

16) Now reach in carefully, and close the needle valve slowly. Listen to the engine sound as you do this. When the exhaust note changes to a higher-pitched sound, stop.

17) Throttle back and disconnect the battery leads.

Check the troubleshooting chart for what to do if the engine stops during this procedure. After you have it running, you may want to tune the engine.