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Why aircraft cowling covers? #4620856
01/01/18 05:48 PM
01/01/18 05:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,466
Buckley, Wa.
andrewg Offline OP
andrewg  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,466
Buckley, Wa.
I was thinking about this. Why do some people cover an aircraft cowling with a blanket that resembles a winter horse blanket? Assuming an aircraft is sitting in cold weather for long periods, what difference in temperature would it make to the engine? I could see if snow was blowing and how it could get into the cowling if it was bad enough....but otherwise I don't get it?


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4620883
01/01/18 06:14 PM
01/01/18 06:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 5,048
Tn.
CourierDriver Offline
CourierDriver  Offline
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Tn.
We had 100s of reciprocating aircraft in the Navy many years ago,,we did not cover anything,,but that was in Pensacola...


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4620905
01/01/18 06:32 PM
01/01/18 06:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,531
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
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Central Maryland
Ice blocking air paths can create localized overheating, before that ice melts (if it ever melts, depending on exactly where it is).


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4620938
01/01/18 06:50 PM
01/01/18 06:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,531
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
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Central Maryland
Also, air intakes.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4620980
01/01/18 07:25 PM
01/01/18 07:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 446
SW Florida
Taildragger Offline
Taildragger  Offline
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SW Florida
Gotta be nice to your airplane when it is cold!

Actually makes pre-heating easier and quicker.


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4621106
01/01/18 08:59 PM
01/01/18 08:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,266
Naperville, IL
wwillson Offline

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wwillson  Offline

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When I was giving flight instruction in the winter time, we would fly for an hour and immediately put the blanket on when we parked the airplane. It would keep enough heat in the engine so that you didn't have to preheat when you were ready to fly again. I could put the blanket on in two minutes, while preheating took at least 20 minutes.

Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4621642
01/02/18 12:19 PM
01/02/18 12:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,466
Buckley, Wa.
andrewg Offline OP
andrewg  Offline OP
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Buckley, Wa.
Okay...I see that "preheating" is likely a main issue.

Being a non-pilot, what does that entail? Do you fare better even when an engine is stone cold, yet blanketed, when you preheat? Or does that only matter if some heat was retained from the cowl blanket from the previous flight?


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: HangFire] #4621647
01/02/18 12:20 PM
01/02/18 12:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,466
Buckley, Wa.
andrewg Offline OP
andrewg  Offline OP
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Buckley, Wa.
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Ice blocking air paths can create localized overheating, before that ice melts (if it ever melts, depending on exactly where it is).


So mostly because of blowing snow and possible ice formation? That sort of thing can damage an engine during preheating? I didn't know that...thanks.


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2012 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Arima Sea Ranger HT 21'
2017 Vespa Sprint S 150

Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4621662
01/02/18 12:35 PM
01/02/18 12:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,776
Ca.
UncleDave Offline
UncleDave  Offline
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Ca.
As a kid when I flew a lot we used them as an easy way to clear the snow and ice off the cowling

Show up - yank the cover off and do your preflight.

Ice chunks coming off can easily crack old cold lexan/plastic windshields.


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4621663
01/02/18 12:36 PM
01/02/18 12:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,816
Virginia Beach
Astro14 Offline
Astro14  Offline
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Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: andrewg
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Ice blocking air paths can create localized overheating, before that ice melts (if it ever melts, depending on exactly where it is).


So mostly because of blowing snow and possible ice formation? That sort of thing can damage an engine during preheating? I didn't know that...thanks.


I've got little GA experience, but I would think that the snow/ice formation could potentially block the air flow in a running engine, leading to cylinder/head overheating and damage. So, keeping any freezing/frozen precip from getting into the cowling would be advantageous...


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: Astro14] #4621754
01/02/18 02:04 PM
01/02/18 02:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,466
Buckley, Wa.
andrewg Offline OP
andrewg  Offline OP
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Buckley, Wa.
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: andrewg
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Ice blocking air paths can create localized overheating, before that ice melts (if it ever melts, depending on exactly where it is).


So mostly because of blowing snow and possible ice formation? That sort of thing can damage an engine during preheating? I didn't know that...thanks.


I've got little GA experience, but I would think that the snow/ice formation could potentially block the air flow in a running engine, leading to cylinder/head overheating and damage. So, keeping any freezing/frozen precip from getting into the cowling would be advantageous...


So we could say it's a precautionary choice...depending upon the weather?


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg] #4621953
01/02/18 05:34 PM
01/02/18 05:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,816
Virginia Beach
Astro14 Offline
Astro14  Offline
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Posts: 8,816
Virginia Beach
Sure. Itís partly precautionary. The rest is that big displacement air cooled engines with carburetors and 20W50 just donít like cranking over quickly on really cold days, so keeping the heat in is really important.


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Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: Astro14] #4622110
01/02/18 08:15 PM
01/02/18 08:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,266
Naperville, IL
wwillson Offline

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wwillson  Offline

Administrator
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Posts: 2,266
Naperville, IL
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Sure. Itís partly precautionary. The rest is that big displacement air cooled engines with carburetors and 20W50 just donít like cranking over quickly on really cold days, so keeping the heat in is really important.


Exactly, it's all about getting it to start. On a day like today, when the high was 0F, not a chance a piston engine airplane would start without preheating. As for the ice blocking cooling air from the engine, I suppose it could, but we never left an airplane outside without cowl plugs, so I never found out.


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