Questions tagged [piston-engine]

Piston (reciprocating) aircraft engines are internal combustion engines, similar to the type found in most automobiles. They are typically gasoline powered.

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2answers
327 views

What is the throttle setting of a piston aircraft during cruise?

I am learning to fly nowadays, I am sorry if this sounds like a dump question. What is the throttle setting of an aircraft during cruise flight? After stabilizing the flight after climb do i need to ...
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1answer
268 views

Do Red Bull Air Race aircraft make use of nitrous oxide injection?

Microsoft Flight Simulator X contains Red Bull Air Race missions where the player flies an Extra 300S through a race course and makes use of Nitrous Oxide injection for the engine. While I have heard ...
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Why isn't the application of “carb heat” in initial piston multi-engine failure emergency procedures?

What is the rationale for not including the application of carb heat in the initial multi-engine airplane's engine failure procedure? I've recently starting flying light multi-engine airplanes again ...
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1answer
808 views

Why aren’t diesel piston engines used on aircraft like the Saab 340 or L-410?

In contrast to this question (link), I would like to know the opposite - why diesel piston engines aren't used on aircraft with comparable role and configuration to Saab 340, L-410, ATR-42? There's ...
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3answers
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Which modern day prop (piston) engines allow for inverted flight?

A buddy of mine is looking to buy an airplane with an old radial engine because he says radial engines can fly inverted in aerobatic flying. What modern day engines (engines that you can buy today), ...
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Which engine manual must a pilot legally use?

Many aircraft have engine/prop performance information provided by the manufacture such as Bonanza, Cessna, Mooney, etc AND the engine manufacture. The performance or recommended settings may vary ...
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1answer
489 views

Is feather edge bad?

Currently learning about aircraft piston engine. Feather edge can be found at the engine valves as according to the picture. Can someone explain briefly about what is feather edge? Why it is bad? ...
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3answers
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Why did the turbojet replace the piston engine?

Many people say that this was because aircraft powered by turbojet engines were faster during WWII. However the Grumman F7F-4N Tigercat, a fighter powered by a piston engine, flew at a maximum speed ...
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541 views

Why would the engine quit when turning on the R magneto after an overhaul?

I just finished overhauling a Lycoming O-360; it's currently on a stand, i.e. it's not in the aircraft. I replaced the capacitors and point gaps on both the L and R mags. I adjusted the E-gap and ...
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1answer
627 views

What is the reason for the different types of valve heads (mushroom, tulip, semi tulip) in reciprocating engines?

I am reading in the FAA-H-8083-32 Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook-Powerplant book posted on the FAA site that there are engine valves with different types of head shapes, e.g. mushroom, tulip,...
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4answers
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How would a new “clean sheet” General Aviation piston engine with all the latest technology differ from existing Continental/Lycoming types?

My understanding is that current GA piston engines from Continental and Lycoming are based on a design from the 1960's. There have been many evolutionary improvements, but only within the limitations ...
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1answer
310 views

How are rotary engines controlled?

Listen closely to the engine sound here. It seems to me all rotaries continuously sound on/off. Is that a pilot application to manage the engine's torque (with the whole block rotating), or as ...
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Why do most radial engines use an odd number of cylinders?

To help suppress vibration, most 'V' and 'horizontal' engines use an even number of cylinders as closely opposed as possible. Radial engines are well known for excessive vibration. For some reason ...
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Why do aircraft piston engines consume so much oil?

This question is related to single/twin piston engine aircraft. After flying in a Cessna 152 and a Piper Dakota I have noticed that they both consume a lot of oil. Oil check is an integral part of the ...
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780 views

Can windshield washer fluid be used to deice small airplanes?

This question is related to small single/twin engine general aviation airplanes with aluminium construction. I understand that it is generally not recommended to use windshield washer liquid to deice ...
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1answer
932 views

What is the optimal altitude for performance and mileage in normally aspirated GA planes? [duplicate]

Given atmospheric condition, a typical common engine (say, Lycoming 4-cylinder), and a fixed-pitch normal prop: What are normally the best altitudes for: ground-speed and fuel efficiency (range)? ...
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1answer
181 views

Can leaning provide more power when running at full throttle?

Looking at this graph I see that a piston engine provides less than best power when the mixture is richer than best power, and this is expected indeed. I know that at full throttle, more than the ...
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1answer
1k views

Why not leave an electric fuel pump on all the time?

This question is related to single-engined piston airplanes equipped with an electric fuel pump like the Piper Dakota/Arrow etc. The POH states that the fuel pump should be switched on for takeoffs/...
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2answers
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Was there ever a fuel-injected Spitfire?

I couldn't find one but did it ever exist? Would adding fuel injection have improved combat effectiveness or fuel efficiency?
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314 views

Is there a formula to convert SFC to air-fuel equivalence ratio λ?

Speaking about aviation internal combustion engines, is there a way to get the current value of air–fuel equivalence ratio (λ) given current specific fuel consumption (SFC) and current power? Is the ...
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Why isn't the APU a standard diesel generator?

Why isn't the APU a standard diesel generator? Jet-A and diesel are interchangeable (with the addition of a lubricant). So why not use a cheaper piston engine as opposed to a jet turbine? V.S.
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0answers
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Can a turbo aircraft be converted to non-turbo?

I'm specifically thinking about the Arrow III. There are hundreds or possibly thousands of turbo Arrow III's, but almost no non-turbos. Could I buy an Arrow III Turbo (PA-28R-201T) that is at TBO ...
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2answers
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On SEP airplanes, why does the fuel consumption decreases with temperature, pressure and airspeed being equal?

Looking at the cruise performance tables in the POH of the C150, C172 or C182, one can see that for the same pressure altitude, the same RPM and the same true airspeed, the fuel consumption is reduced ...
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Is there any legitimate reason for adding momentary power when descending at idle with full carburettor heat on?

Scenario: While demonstrating a simulated engine failure emergency landing a flight instructor puts on carburettor heat and reduces the throttle to idle of a small single engine Cessna. After a couple ...
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Is it common for a cold reciprocating engine to stop at idle?

The other day I started the engine of a PA28 and put it at 1200 RPM as per the checklist but the sound didn't seem right - so I tried each magneto and the power dropped a lot on one of them. I then ...
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What are the consequences of pumping the throttle in an carburetor piston engine airplane during start?

I have seen an expert commercial pilot pumping the throttle during start for a Cessna 152 and ever since I thought that was ok to do so, but recently studying for ATPL I read about that these ...
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Is there a system where plane/heli auto adjusts prop pitch/mixture?

This one is simple: is there a system that automatically adjusts things such as: Mixture (I Am bored of listening for engine sounds) Prop Pitch (I Hate auto adjusting "gears") So I can ...
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1answer
952 views

When sizing a powerplant for a GA aircraft, how do you estimate the power required for other electrical systems?

When designing a GA aircraft, I have sized a powerplant (in kW) needed to run the plane on its mission. However, this does not consider the power needed for avionics, de-icing, etc. How do I approach ...
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1answer
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How does carb heat increase the risk of dirt ingestion?

In this question about turning off carb heat just before landing, one of the justifications for doing so is to reduce the likelihood of ingesting dirt into the engine. How does carb heat (or the lack ...
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4answers
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Should I have carb heat on for landing in a C152?

There is quite a debate about this! I'm a student, have gone solo. My first instructor insists the carb heat goes off/COLD on the approach ('ready for go-around' if needs must! And to prevent dirty ...
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1answer
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What is the aircraft model used in the film “American Made”?

In American Made, what is the model of the white airplane that the CIA presents to Barry Seal (played by Tom Cruise)? He says something along the lines of "the fastest piston twin". Are those ...
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Why does MAP show ambient pressure when engine is shut off?

Manifold pressure is the absolute pressure at the intake manifold and increases as throttle is increased and vice versa. However, when the engines are shutoff, the manifold reads ambient pressure. My ...
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1answer
297 views

Is there a 180HP conversion available for a 2011 160HP Cessna 172R with a Garmin G1000?

I've recently purchased a 2011 172R (160HP) with a G1000 on the sellers promise that I can apply a propeller switch and modified air intake STC to get the derated engine back to 180HP. However, the ...
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Why use a single engine plane instead of a multi engine one for a long range flight record?

Tupolev ANT-25 was designed specifically for setting flight range records. In 1937 two flights from Moscow, Soviet Union to USA via the North Pole happened - one covered 9130 kilometers and finished ...
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Can a GA magneto-spark plug ignition survive an EMP?

Can the coil and capacitor (condenser) magneto/spark plug ignition system as exists on most general aviation aircraft survive an EMP? Let's talk about a standard Lycoming or Continental engine. How ...
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2answers
173 views

Are run-ups required for multiengine piston aircraft?

Are run-ups required or advisable on multiengine piston aircraft?
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What is the theoretical maximum RPM of a typical aircraft piston engine?

Given a standard 6 cylinder horizontally opposed engine like the Continental IO-550 or Lycoming IO-540, the maximum RPM for those engines is 2700 RPM. That's due to keeping the propeller tip speed ...
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1answer
2k views

How does a two-stage supercharger work?

How does a two-stage supercharger like the one found in a Rolls-Royce Merlin work? Does the pilot have any control over it?
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Are there any pressurized piston-engine aircraft?

Are there any pressurized piston engine-powered aircraft? Or does pressurization require a turboprop or jet?
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1answer
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What is the relationship between fuel mixture and RPM in a reciprocating engine?

I'm doing a project on a safety occurrence but I don't understand how the RPM of an engine is affected by the fuel mixture. How does a richer than normal mixture result in lower RPMs?
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1answer
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Why don't small props have a gear? [duplicate]

Small GA-Aircraft like a Cessna 172 or a Piper PA-28 have an engine similar (I think) to the one of a car. But why don't planes have a gear and a lever to change the gear? Would'nt they achieve a ...
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1answer
264 views

How does the idle mixture adjustment in a Stromberg NA-R9B float-type carburetor work?

At what temperature should idle mixture adjustments be made in Stormberg NA-R9B float-type carburetor?
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1answer
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How does the idle speed adjustment in a Stromberg NA-R9B float-type carburetor work?

What is the purpose of the idle speed adjustment in a Stromberg NA-R9B float-type carburetor? In what situation do we adjust the idle speed?
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How is oil distributed through the engine in a wet sump system?

A wet oil sump is within the engine crankcase. However, how is the oil distributed throughout the engine and all the other magical parts? I know for a dry oil sump, it's with a oil pump which holds ...
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2answers
14k views

In which phases of flight should the carb heat be turned on?

I have about 200 flight hours in a fuel-injected C172. I have just jointly bought a C152 with a carburetor and I am getting used to using the carb heat. I am scared whenever I hear stories about ...
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4answers
586 views

I overboosted an engine in a Mooney 231 - do I need to do an inspection?

I have an intercooler, but no wastegate. Manifold pressure was not controlled on takeoff and went to 50. The max is 37! If overboosting doesn't really exist because the relief valve opens, then how ...
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1answer
1k views

Do some radial engine planes have a two-speed starter motor?

(YouTube) Watching the Connie fire up her engines I wondered, do some radial engine planes have a two-speed starter motor to replace the ground crew "pulling the props through"? In other words, low-...
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1answer
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Why are some fuel-injected engines started with the mixture at idle cut-off?

The POH for a C172N with a carbureted Lycoming O-320 says: STARTING ENGINE Mixture -- RICH Carburetor Heat -- COLD Master Switch -- ON Prime -- AS REQUIRED Throttle -- OPEN 1/8 INCH ...
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2answers
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Why are ethanol piston engines apparently cheaper to maintain than avgas piston engines?

In the course of hunting for examples of 100% ethanol-powered piston engines, I found the Embraer EMB 202 from Brazil that is modifiable to be that way. But the article also says "The alcohol fuelled ...
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Why does my Cherokee PA28-180 Lycoming motor run hot?

Regarding my Cherokee PA28-180. Could you please explain me why my new Lycoming engine with 800 hrs runs hot? My mechanic says that the EGT #2 should be around 1350 degrees. The minute you lean the ...