Saito's FA-180 engine is fast becoming the pilots choice for powering 1.20 size airplanes. The FA-180 offers a 20% displacement increase over the popular Saito FA-150. What does this mean? How about a 8% power increase over the FA-150 and an awesome 14% power increase over the FA-120. And what’s more the FA-180 fits in the 1.20 size mount. So if your old 1.20 just doesn’t have what it takes, replacing it with the Saito FA-180 is no problem. Simply put the FA-180 is the most powerful in its class.
”With the 180 we could hover the 13-3/8 pound Stick at just under half throttle then, punching to full, the Stick would blast off like a rocket and accelerate to approximately 50 mph straight up in just a few short seconds! We could do multiple vertical snaps with the Cap, then pull out on the vertical up-line and accelerate straight up.”
Horizon R&D Department
Saito’s 1.8 cu. in. four-stroke, the FA-180, is based on their popular and powerful FA-150. The new FA-180 is the largest displacement four-stroke single that will fit popular 1.20 size aircraft. The FA-180 has the same mounting dimensions and mounting hole-to-prop washer length as their 1.20 and 1.50 with only the head and valve covers being slightly raised an additional 2mm, so it will mount right in most 1.20 size airplane applications. At 31 ounces, the total weight of the 180 is just an ounce more than Saito’s 150 with mufflers.
To achieve the additional 20% displacement, Saito has increased both the stroke 1mm (to 28.6mms) and the bore 2mm (to 36mm) over the 1.50. To feed this overgrown giant, the carb bore has been increased to 12mm and the internal openings in the exhaust have been enlarged considerably for freer breathing. And, like other Saito engines, the 180 is available in the standard natural finish or as a GK (Golden Knight) version with a high gloss black case and gold valve covers.
On the bench we were anxious to test the FA-180 and compare it to the many Saito 150s that we had been flying. On 15% fuel with an APC 16x8 prop we recorded a 500 rpm increase with the 180 over the 150, with the 180 peaking out at 9,400 rpms.
For performance models, our staff has been using 30% helicopter fuel in the larger four-strokes for years, and we’ve found many pilots around the country who do the same. The engines run great on this fuel with no overheating issues, plus the power gain is significant. In flight, this fuel runs great and is easy to tune, giving a good transition. On 30% heli fuel, the Saito 180 turns the APC 16x8 prop at 9800 rpms — that’s 400 rpms more than with the 15% fuel.
The 180 is proving itself to be a reliable performer and easy starter. And, unlike many other four-strokes, it doesn’t seem to be too critical of the choice of plugs. We’ve tested Hangar 9’s four-stroke plug, K&B’s four-stroke plug and O.S. F plugs, and we couldn’t tell the difference in idle, transition or top- end performance.
We did notice the 180 is a bit more thirsty — it consumed the 16 oz. tank in just 9 minutes at high throttle settings. If you want to fly longer, a bigger tank is advised.
|Benchmark Prop:||16x8 APC @ 9300|
|Bore:||1.41 in (36.00 mm)|
|Carb Type:||barrel 2 Needle Valve|
|Crank Type:||Ball Bearing|
|Displacement:||1.80 cu. in. (29.10 cc)|
|Engine (Only) Weight:||31 oz|
|Mounting Dimensions:||138 x 69 x 135 mm|
|Prop Range:||15x8 - 18x6|
|RPM Range:||2000 - 10000|
|Stroke:||1.12 in (28.60 mm)|
|Type:||4 - Stroke|
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