Why does a Cessna 150 aircraft tachometer fluctuate between a specific rpm between 800 and 1100 rpm? The idle rpm of the aircraft is 800 rpm.

  • $\begingroup$ How do you know the speed is 800rpm? Are you using a separate calibrated device? $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jun 13 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ This should be on aviation. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jun 13 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ If you don't hear a change in the rpm but the instrument reading is fluctuating, have a mechanic check it. It may be very old and worn. $\endgroup$ – Robert DiGiovanni Jun 14 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ Many gasoline engines, particularly ones predating electronic engine controls, do have RPM fluctuations around idle. You can usually hear this if you pay attention. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jun 14 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ Your tach generator is going bad. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Jun 16 at 18:24

It has a little internal generator that creates a voltage to drive the needle. The generator, and a gearbox that runs the hour meter, is spun by a flex shaft from the engine. You can have problems stemming from the flexshaft binding and winding up/releasing, but there is probably an electrical issue with the internal generator or the circuit that drives the pointer. A mechanic might swap out the flex shaft and see if it still does it, and if yes, swap out the tach. Or vise versa (If I had an other tach handy, I'd disconnect the flexshaft at the tach and work it out from under the panel and connect it to my spare tach and try it out).

In any case, if it's a Cessna 150, and the tach's hour meter shows the airplane's original hours, no doubt it's 43 or more years old and is toast.

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