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#4620856 - 01/01/18 04:48 PM Why aircraft cowling covers?
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 5466
Loc: 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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#4620883 - 01/01/18 05:14 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
CourierDriver Offline


Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 4941
Loc: 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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#4620905 - 01/01/18 05:32 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2506
Loc: 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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#4620938 - 01/01/18 05:50 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2506
Loc: Central Maryland
Also, air intakes.
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#4620980 - 01/01/18 06:25 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
Taildragger Offline


Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 437
Loc: SW Florida
Gotta be nice to your airplane when it is cold!

Actually makes pre-heating easier and quicker.
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#4621106 - 01/01/18 07:59 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
wwillson Offline

Administrator


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 2159
Loc: Naperville, IL
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.

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#4621642 - 01/02/18 11:19 AM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 5466
Loc: 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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#4621647 - 01/02/18 11:20 AM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: HangFire]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 5466
Loc: 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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#4621662 - 01/02/18 11:35 AM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
UncleDave Online   content


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1636
Loc: 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.


UD
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#4621663 - 01/02/18 11:36 AM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8533
Loc: 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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#4621754 - 01/02/18 01:04 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: Astro14]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 5466
Loc: 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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#4621953 - 01/02/18 04:34 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: andrewg]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8533
Loc: 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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#4622110 - 01/02/18 07:15 PM Re: Why aircraft cowling covers? [Re: Astro14]
wwillson Offline

Administrator


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 2159
Loc: 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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