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20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? #4480232
08/05/17 07:55 PM
08/05/17 07:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
bbhero Offline OP
bbhero  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
I saw this on TV the other night on where a guy put 20w50 in his small airplane motor. This plane operated north of Fairbanks in the winter time. I found that rather interesting given how cold it gets north of Fairbanks. Do airplane motors operate differently then a regular motor vehicle?? I am thinking a small piston driven prop plane motor would be rather similar to a motor in a car or truck. But I could well be wrong. My other thought was starting that badboy up in -30 to -40C with 20w50 seemed either a) really stupid by the guy putting that in there or b) that motor must somehow operate differently than a vehicle motor. What do you all think??


Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Mobil Super 5w30 Wix 57356
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480236
08/05/17 07:58 PM
08/05/17 07:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
Im not so sure the temperature on the ground is what matters, rather how cold it is at altitude.

If its an air cooled engine, it may still be fairly warm.

Also, whats to say theres no pre-oiler, heater, etc., etc?

Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480245
08/05/17 08:11 PM
08/05/17 08:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 997
Rockwall, Texas
Old Mustang Guy Offline
Old Mustang Guy  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 997
Rockwall, Texas
My brother bought a Cessna 172. I went with him to the aviation shop where they do the maintenance. The oil they had stocked was a Phillips 66 aviation oil in 20w50. This of course in Texas.

Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480248
08/05/17 08:13 PM
08/05/17 08:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,360
Canada
addyguy Offline
addyguy  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,360
Canada
Plane engines have pre-heaters on them; they are never started stone-cold, AFAIK

The engines are basically the same as car engines, but much bigger and slower-revving. They are usually large flat-6's.


2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 137k miles.
M1 EP 10W-30; OEM Kia filter.
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: JHZR2] #4480251
08/05/17 08:14 PM
08/05/17 08:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
bbhero Offline OP
bbhero  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
Well ground temps there do go down well below -30C on a routine basis. Plus short daylight hours in the winter means that motor sits all night long and even with a warming blanket could well lose all of it's heat I would think. But, hey I could be wrong about that too!

Last edited by bbhero; 08/05/17 08:14 PM.

Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Mobil Super 5w30 Wix 57356
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: addyguy] #4480258
08/05/17 08:22 PM
08/05/17 08:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
bbhero Offline OP
bbhero  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,434
Virginia
Thanks addyguy. That makes sense to me. This is a very, very light bush plane. I am thinking that it has the warmer that you mentioned in your msg.


Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Mobil Super 5w30 Wix 57356
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480272
08/05/17 08:30 PM
08/05/17 08:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
OneEyeJack Offline
OneEyeJack  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California

Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480309
08/05/17 09:31 PM
08/05/17 09:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
AeroShell Semi-Synthetic 15W-50 is what I use in 80% of aircraft engine oil changes I do.

The other 20% is AeroShell 100 (50) A.D. oil.


I haven't ordered any Phillips/66 Trop-Arctic 20W-50 in a while, but I still have a couple bottles around. I used to use it in my Harley-Davidson Shovelhead.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480328
08/05/17 09:55 PM
08/05/17 09:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Kuato Offline
Kuato  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
20w50 IS used in AK. It's drained every night and kept inside to keep it warm. It would be a solid lump at -40 otherwise....


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480331
08/05/17 10:03 PM
08/05/17 10:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,090
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,090
Kalifornia Kollective
Aircraft engines have somewhat looser clearances than modern automotive engines. They are more akin to air cooled motorcycle engines than to water cooled cars and trucks. Many, many are simple flat fours, twin magnetos and carburetors. Bigger and slicker planes get six's. Really slick planes get fuel injection.

A little plane like a PIPER CUB or a SUPER CUB will not have a pre-heater. May not even have a starter. May have to start it by pulling the prop through laugh

The idea that 20W or 15W is thick is a BITOG thing. 20W and 15W are good to well below zero. The motor will fire and run fine. By the time you have completed ground check, and taxied to the runway, the engine is warm. It's also on full rich and manifold heat is on (warming intake charge off exhaust) so that the motor is ready to go full power.

Once airborne, you can lean it out manually, drop manifold heat and get the EGT (exhaust gas temp) you want with RPM and mixture controls.

The reason they turn slower than car engines is that the props are running at crankshaft speed and you don't want to over-speed the prop. It looses efficiency and gets very noisy. Four and five foot long two-blade props don't need a lot of RPM to have the tips exceed the sound barrier, and then they are not making any thrust ...

All airplanes are about airfoil efficiency (wing and prop). That's how they fly. They use larger displacements to make the torque to turn the prop at the required speed to maximize thrust. Cubic inches is your friend, RPM's are not. Reduction boxes that allow engines to rev are added weight. Cubic inches does not cost much weight. It's the better trade off smile

Last edited by BrocLuno; 08/05/17 10:07 PM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: BrocLuno] #4480357
08/05/17 10:44 PM
08/05/17 10:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,656
Western S.C.
CR94 Offline
CR94  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,656
Western S.C.
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
... The reason they turn slower than car engines is that the props are running at crankshaft speed and you don't want to over-speed the prop.
... They use larger displacements to make the torque to turn the prop at the required speed to maximize thrust. Cubic inches is your friend, RPM's are not. Reduction boxes that allow engines to rev are added weight. Cubic inches does not cost much weight. It's the better trade off.
Interesting! Many years ago I saw an article considering the feasibility of running the prop off the engine camshaft to allow smaller aircraft engines to develop adequate power and torque. Of course that would require stronger cam drives and bearings, but it seemed plausible that that might be a good compromise. I take it that the idea never worked out?


2011 Toyota Prius now at 95K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: CR94] #4480388
08/06/17 12:53 AM
08/06/17 12:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: CR94
Interesting! Many years ago I saw an article considering the feasibility of running the prop off the engine camshaft to allow smaller aircraft engines to develop adequate power and torque. Of course that would require stronger cam drives and bearings, but it seemed plausible that that might be a good compromise. I take it that the idea never worked out?


Already tried that!

Continental aircraft engines (CAE) tried this with the "Tiara" engines.

GREAT concept, but find one flying today.

I can remember seeing those engine gathering dust and cobwebs in the back of old hangars ALL OVER in the 80's and 90's.

I'll bet I could still go find some that haven't moved!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Tiara_series


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: CR94] #4480391
08/06/17 12:54 AM
08/06/17 12:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: CR94
Interesting! Many years ago I saw an article considering the feasibility of running the prop off the engine camshaft ....


Ask, and you shall receive:



"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480413
08/06/17 02:43 AM
08/06/17 02:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,263
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,263
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
If you go to the local flying club on the cold days, and someone is planning to go up, you can see some engines bundled up very tightly. wink Inside storage is prohibitively expensive.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: 20w50 north of Fairbanks Alaska?? [Re: bbhero] #4480419
08/06/17 02:57 AM
08/06/17 02:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,587
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,587
'Stralia

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