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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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Why the lack of faster piston-powered planes?

There aren't very many fast piston airplanes in production. By "fast" I mean, if you look back in the early to mid 20th century, before turbines won out, there were lots of piston airplanes in ...
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What qualifies as a major overhaul?

I have an engine that took a prop strike (previous owner). The engine was completely disassembled to check the crank, case, etc for damage. It was reassembled with new parts, bearings, rings, etc., ...
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1answer
915 views

What is the heat signature of a piston engine, relative to a jet engine?

I'm reading about the AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile again. I noticed this interesting photo: Notice, that's a piston-engined aircraft, and a small one at that. So I'm asking myself, how did the missile ...
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Is a recoil start (hand propping) allowed if it isn't mentioned in the aircraft manual?

Is a recoil start (hand propping) allowed without it being referenced in the aircraft manual? In a Cessna 150, for example.
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1answer
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How to calculate the thrust of a piston or turboprop engine? [duplicate]

This spawns from a related question. Propeller-drive engines (piston/turboprops) seem to always list their output in horsepower or kilowatts, which are units of power. I want to know the engine's ...
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Is the maximum power the Merlin 61 reciprocating engine occuring at its maximum RPM?

Looking at the stats breakdown on Wikipedia here for the Merlin 61 series reciprocating engines used in Spitfire planes, I noticed that maximum horsepower is given at approximately 3000 RPM. But ...
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Why is there no 100% power in the POH power setting table? [duplicate]

I've flown a piper cadet arrow. The airplane has an engine of 200 horsepower at 2700 RPM. According to the power setting table in the POH, the maximum power we can set is 75% horsepower. With 100% ...
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1answer
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Is TBO an airworthiness item or just a recommendation?

In browsing Trade-a-Plane for my dream (light GA) ride, I often note the TBO (Time Before Overhaul) for an aircraft in relation to its asking price. Obviously, the more time left before an overhaul ...
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1answer
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What is my BHP if I open full throttle and how is it controlled?

In my Cessna 152 POH it is written that the horsepower rating is 110BHP at 2550RPM. My question is: is it 100% of the power of my engine or, as someone told me, if I open full throttle I will get 75% ...
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3answers
808 views

Why is max power time limited for jet/piston engines?

Usually max power is time limited for jet/piston engines to 10 or 5 minutes. Can anybody explain the reason? What will happen if those limits are exceeded?
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1answer
526 views

What is the meaning of “Bulk Strip”?

What does the following mean and what ramifications does it have when purchasing an aircraft? term R/H-1958 HOURS SMOH@26/02/1988 - BULK STRIP 27/03/1998 ENGINE 1472 SMOH Does it mean the ...
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1answer
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Why is a feather check performed on a piston engine and how much RPM drop should be allowed?

Light general aviation piston twins have full-feathering props. It's normal to perform feathering checks by pulling the prop level all the way down to feather, briefly, and observing the changes. ...
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Why are the exhaust pipes design on the Ilyushin Il-2 not very popular?

This is a piece of this image from Wikipedia Note the circled region. Movies often show exhaust fumes coming from those pipes when the engine is started. So I assume these are actual exhaust pipes. ...
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Why are piston engines for aircraft rarely diesel powered?

Why hasn't diesel caught on much for aircraft engines? The list of diesel aircraft engines on Wikipedia is very short. The reason I see mentioned is their poorer power-to-weight ratios. (e.g. What ...
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1answer
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How many fuel pumps does a Katana DA20 have?

How many fuel pumps does a Diamond DA20 have? And since the fuel pump sends fuel to the engine, if you turn it off after the takeoff as the check list says, how will the fuel reach the engine?
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Why is carburetor heat use discouraged on the ground?

I've been reading my private pilot books for when I start in February and Carb Heat has me stuck in a rut. I feel like I need to have a very solid understanding of this being that I live in a very ...
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1answer
206 views

Do GA gasoline engines have a tendency to cough, and splutter?

I'm wondering if GA piston engines have a tendency to stall like some old carburetor car engines if the throttle is increased too quickly. What would happen or what could be done if this scenario ...
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2answers
376 views

Does the 300 hp IO550 conversion require an auxiliary tank on the Cessna 182?

Does the 300 hp conversion with a continental IO 550 always require an auxiliary tank when used on a Cessna 182? I see some of these conversions indicate an auxiliary tank is present under pilot seat ...
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2answers
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How is horsepower measured for aviation piston engines?

As far as I can tell, aviation piston engine power output is typically measured in HP (horsepower). Automotive engine power output is typically measured by running the host vehicle on a rolling road, ...
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5answers
2k views

Why do the Lycoming HIO-360 A1A and IO-360 engines produce different power?

I have just acquired an aerobatic aircraft fitted with a Lycoming HIO-360 A1A. Reading the specs on the engine I see it has the higher (8.7:1) compression of the 200hp IO-360 engines, which seem ...
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2answers
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How reliable are Lycoming and Continental general aviation piston engines?

Statistically speaking, how reliable are Lycoming and Continental general aviation piston engines? What I'd really like to either find or build is a table showing the probability of experiencing ...
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1answer
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What appears on EGT Gauge if the mixture is rich or lean?

I have some questions on interpreting Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) readings. Can you give me some input on: What appears on EGT Gauge if the mixture is lean or rich? what is the normal range, ...
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Why do reciprocating aircraft engines have more than one spark plug?

Most reciprocating aircraft engines have two spark plugs per cylinder. What are the reasons for this?
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2k views

Why does carburetor icing require manual attention by the pilot?

Why is it carburetor icing has to be handled manually by the pilot, at least in a helicopter? I am hoping very soon to take my PL/H lessons, I have a little understanding of mechanics and how things ...
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0answers
238 views

Will Aerodiesel engines replace Avgas engines? [closed]

I've been following aviation for the last 20 years and have seen particularly since the last 10 a lot of talk of aero-diesel engines for light aircraft. The idea being they're cheaper to run using ...
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1answer
1k views

Why would the fuel pressure decrease during a climb?

When performing a climb in a SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 with a Lycoming engine, the fuel pressure decreased. Why would that happen?
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Why is full carb heat recommended when reducing power below normal setting?

In my first flight lesson today, my instructor asked me to apply full carburetor heat when we had to reduce power to 1900 RPM in our Cessna 152. I was surprised by this as I didn't remember learning ...
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3answers
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What is “detonation” in a piston engine?

Recently, I saw this question, which included a rather alarming quote: Full throttle operation with carburetor heat on can cause detonation. Woah! That doesn't sound good. In fact, I would have ...
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2answers
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How does aircraft design affect carburetor ice?

The Cessna 172 and Piper Warrior are similar in many ways, including their engines: for most of their production history (1968-1998 for the 172; the entire history for the Warrior) both were equipped ...
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5answers
31k views

Why does manifold pressure increase with power?

Whilst writing an answer to this question, I remembered something I don't really understand. The partial vacuum in the inlet manifold is caused by the piston descending with the inlet valve open ...
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2answers
676 views

How can the pilot tell the center engine failed on a piston aircraft with three engines?

There are a few aircraft, such as the Britten-Norman Trislander, that use three piston engines -- one on each wing and one mounted along the centerline somewhere. This is fine and good, but how do ...
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1answer
3k views

What causes a run-away propeller?

I've never understood this, why can't you just idle the engine and let it slow down?
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What are the differences between fuel types (comparing with vehicles)?

I find it funny that at gas stations, generally you can purchase "regular" gasoline (in various octane levels) or diesel. At airports, generally you can purchase 100LL avgas or Jet-A. Can you compare ...
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What are some of the differences between piston engines used in aircraft and automobiles?

What are some of the differences between piston engines used in aircraft and automobiles? It seems aircraft engines are much more expensive, I imagine some of that cost must be due to the more ...
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2answers
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Is a lower CHT on one cylinder cause for concern?

I have some concerns about the level of maintenance and service on some rental airplanes on an out of town trip. The first airplane I rented had some misgivings, so I went on a different one today. ...
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1answer
3k views

How safe is the Certified Rotax 912 versus the Continental O-200?

I'm thinking of buying a taildragger LSA, many of which have a Rotax engine. Continental and Lycoming are the major suppliers of certified piston aircraft engines, and they are considered to be safe ...
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How does skydiving flight cause shock cooling?

While answering this question (How can reducing power too quickly on a piston engine damage it?), barit1 said that: Skydiving planes see a LOT of shock cooling, and they pay for it at overhaul time ...
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What does feathering mean and how does it work technically?

Before I ask "What does Feathering mean when it comes to Jet/Propeller Engines" I have to say what I think I know: Feathering jet/prop engines mean achieving a sufficient turbine rotation speed at ...
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1answer
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What would cause an RPM drop and engine cutoff after starting a Cessna 152? [closed]

My flight school's Cessna 152 is 30 years old. After refueling, the engine RPM went down and down. I tried putting full throttle in but it just stopped. Was it air in the fuel line or something more ...
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1answer
262 views

Do reduction drives increase tach time quicker than direct drive engines?

For example, the Rotax 912ULS engine has a 2.4:1 reduction. Does this mean that the Time Between Overhaul (TBO) will be reached 2.4x faster than in a direct drive engine or is tach time reduced by 2.4:...
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Why did the manifold pressure gauge on the Ki-61 have negative values?

The manifold pressure gauge of the Japanese Ki-61 has values which go from +40 to -40. I know this has to be relative to something since negative pressure can't exist (you can't get more vacuum than a ...
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1answer
759 views

What is the weight difference between 100 hp and 150 hp Continental engine?

What would be the approximate difference in weight for a Continental 100 hp engine compared to a 150 hp?
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3answers
7k views

Can I use motor oil in a aircraft piston engine?

In one episode of the 'reality' show Airplane Repo a pilot topped off an aircraft engine with motor oil; I think it was a Cessna 182 but I may be wrong. What would be the effect on the engine? Is it a ...
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2answers
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Why Rotax 912 “burps the tank”?

The Rotax 912 engine has dry sump forced lubrication system. They say rotating the prop in the correct way (counter-clockwise when looking from the prop side) will get the oil from the bottom of the ...
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2answers
8k views

Why does the lack of a magneto affect engine RPM?

So I don't have my pilots licence, but I was part of the Australian Air Force Cadets for nearly 8 years (wonderful organisation). During this time I went on a number of flights in Cessna 172's and ...
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1answer
1k views

Where to find Tach hour and clock hour equivalence rpm?

There is a revolution counter built into the face of the Tachometer in most piston powered GA planes. This counter is calibrated in hours. Most planes also have a Hobbs meter, which is a clock. ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between SMOH and SFOH?

When looking at aircraft for purchase online, a lot of acronyms are used. In particular, the SMOH and SFOH acronyms are thrown around a lot for used aircraft. What are the differences between these ...
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3answers
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What may be the cause of hot start problems in a Lycoming fuel injected engine?

Cherokee Six, 32-300 1969. Lycoming engine is fuel injected with 450 SMOH. Cold starts are easy: 1/2" throttle, full rich, fuel pump on and hit starter after fuel flow starts. Runs great once running. ...
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2answers
4k views

What was the first aircraft that could fly inverted?

I'm taking a guess and assuming the Wright Flyer was incapable of flying upside down. I'm just guessing it probably lacked the power... ;) So what was the first plane that could fly inverted for a ...
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4answers
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What are the advantages/disadvantages of diesel/Jet A-1 piston engine?

Some GA aircraft, notably the DA40/DA42, are equipped with piston engines that use Jet A-1 and/or automotive-grade diesel instead of aviation gas (avgas). An example of such engine is the Austro ...