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Does freezing temps stops engines?

greg5 Guest

I was flying around Resolute bay close to the arctic and was going farther up north I have real world weather on and in real life they said its been very cold up there like -45C. So could this wreck the engine?. Im flying in a DC 3 and its a old plane. Can this happen or its not true. I just want to know to have a good flight and get to most farthest north airport.

10 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I am not aware that freezing temperatures would wreck your engines. Your pitot tube can get iced up though and thus give you the wrong airspeed readings.

The pitot heat switch is located in your overhead panel in the DC-3.



Last edited by Tailhook on Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Captain
PanAmerican Captain

I've never herd of the engines just freezing up. I know that it's impossible for the fuel lines to freeze (They freeze at -150*F). The only thing that I know is that vital electrical wires would freeze.

greg5 Guest

I have heard about that and had some wrong readings. But cold seems to make the engine louder and seem to get more powerful. Im not saying this is true on day after tommorow the armys helicopter fuel froze and started to crash but I had problems with cold like you said. Thanks for the help.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

It shouldn't have any effect on the engines in Flight Simulator. In real life, with a surface temperature that low, it would require pre-heating the engines before start and you would still have a hard time starting. Once the engines are running and up to operating temperature, there is no problem. 🙂

greg5 Guest

Thanks. I should have a good flight 😀

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I hope you're wearing dry socks and earmuffs! Fear

greg5 Guest

When I was in a plane there was no heat at all so I wear earmuffs and dry socks like you said but I weared a thermal coat and was fine in -56C temps up in the air. I was in a 1936 aircraft that has no heat. I could rip up the wall that has the engine on the other side of it but It would destroy the plane.

Elodea Guest

Power management becomes very critical in reciprocating engines in extremel cold temperatures. You want to keep as much power on the engine that will still allow you to make a reasonable descent, but not rapidly over-cool the engines. The engines on by Cessna 421B (TCM GTSIO-520's) are very prone to "shock cooling." You can actually crack cylinder heads if power is pulled off too rapidly.

Another problem is entrained water in the fuel system. AVGAS will hold micro-droplets of water in suspension for long periods of time. When the fuel gets extremely cold, the water tends to coalesce all fall out of suspension. For winter flying in the 421, Cessna recommends the addition of .5 l of isopropal alcohol per about 190 l of AVGAS.

Most turbine engines have heat exchangers that cool the oil while heating the fuel, since most turbine engines generally cruise in the normally colder, high altitudes.

Pro Member First Officer
Mustangfreak First Officer

PanAmerican wrote:

I've never herd of the engines just freezing up. I know that it's impossible for the fuel lines to freeze (They freeze at -150*F). The only thing that I know is that vital electrical wires would freeze.

Isnt Jet A awfully simular to JP-8? Because JP-8 freezes at -58* F.

Pro Member First Officer
Canyon (NoWorries) First Officer

Mustangfreak wrote:

Isnt Jet A awfully simular to JP-8? Because JP-8 freezes at -58* F.

Jet A and JP-8 are very similar in freeze characteristics, however JP-8 has other better additives that make it safer to use and better for the aircrafts components, which makes it more expensive.
http://hometown.aol.com/afp1fire/fuels.htm

For what it's worth, I read(in a textbook, so who knows how reliable it is) that Gasoline freezes at -238 F (-150 C), and it will still ignite as long as it is warmer than -97 F.

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