The enthalpy of formation of methanol (-22.7 KJ/g) is about half that of octane (-47.8 KJ/g). But methanol allows an ICE engine to achieve much greater specific powers than a comparable gasoline engine. My RC heli runs on methanol and will outperform any gas powered heli. But why is this? I always thought it was because methanol engines typically have a air:fuel ratio of about ~4:1 while gasoline powered engines have ratios of ~14.1:1 which allows methanol engines to introduce much more fuel (therefor, heat) into the combustion chamber for each cycle. But my chemistry text that I'm reviewing, by Zumdahl and Zumdahl, states that its because "methanol burns much more smoothly than gasoline in high-performance engines, and this advantage more than compensates for its weight disadvantage". This seems like a stupid answer to me. Is the text right, and if it is can someone give a more descriptive answer as to why?