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This is the first winter me and my 912UL Skyranger have been together.

Around herein southern Oregon it ain't as cold as the Skyrangers hangered in
Kiev or North Dakota (typical night temp in the hanger bottoms out at 35F or at
worst 10F[-5 C]). So the 912 does start right up.

Think is all the info I read say a disproportionate amount of wear takes place
in those first few minutes of running cold -- and I see with some other aircraft
owners them doing various things to prewarm the engine a bit in the winter.

One common one seems to be, if electricity available, leaving a light bulb on
under the cowl near the engine.

Anyone here have any thoughts or experience on engine warming of that type?
If lightbulb what wattage? Ideal placement below the engine block -- or maybe
below the oil canister?
Any other ideas? (I recall for cars seeing electrically heated oil dipsticks)?

Al
  • Re: Prewarm engine overnight cold weather? Suggestions

    by » 8 years ago


    Hi Al,

    I'm in Minnesota and 0 to 10f is quite common for low temps. I installed the Reiff system for Rotax. It has two heating elements, one for the oil sump and a second one that you epoxy to the bottom of the crankcase. The one that is on the sump has a thermostat that limits max temp. I then made an engine cowl cover from an old sleeping bag and placed the heating system on a plugin timer and set it to turn on about 4 hours prior to getting to the airport. The Reiff system only puts out a total of 150 Watts but the whole engine and oil sump is toasty warm when I get there.

    Thank you said by: Al C

  • Re: Prewarm engine overnight cold weather? Suggestions

    by » 8 years ago


    I have the Reiff 150 watt system as well. I have the plane inside, with a blanket over cowl. the engine is ready to go in 4-5 hrs at 25F OAT. I haven't been able to test it colder yet, its been real mild here.

  • Re: Prewarm engine overnight cold weather? Suggestions

    by » 8 years ago


    I agree that it is better to have a warm engine, but if you run your plane once or twice a month is there really a huge benifit to prewarming?

  • Re: Prewarm engine overnight cold weather? Suggestions

    by » 8 years ago


    I'm not sure I could say if there's a _huge_ benefit in the situation you describe (only flying once a month in cold weather, etc.).

    In that situation if you could somehow arrange to turn on the heat some hours before you got there it would make sense I guess.

    OR if you find you're having trouble starting up because of cold.

    Al

  • Re: Prewarm engine overnight cold weather? Suggestions

    by » 8 years ago


    Thanks! Sounds like a fine system.

    Considering it doesn't get down as low here as up in your neck of the woods the $200+ price seems a bit of a barrier considering I can put a 100 watt lightbulb under the cowl below the oil tank plus a turn-on-between 3am and 9am timer for under $20.

    If it was $75 I'd jump right on it -- but $229?

    Does the system you describe COME with a sophisticated turnon timer?

    Al

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