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CPL General Knowledge.

Issue 4 Date: January 2004.

FOR THE COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENCE CASA CYBER EXAMINATIONS This book is one of the CPL Cyber Examination Series by Bob Tait Other books in the series are:

CPL Aerodynamics
Bob Tait

CPL Performance
Bob Tait

CPL Meteorology
Bob Tait

CPL Navigation
Bob Tait

CPL Air Law


Bob Tait

HPL

HUMAN PERFORMANCE & LIMITATIONS

Bo b Tai

iat v sA

i on T h

eo
ry
Sch o o l

Phone 07 3277 8840 Fax 07 3275 2178 e-mail bobtait@bobtait.com.au www.bobtait.com.au

Bob Taits Aviation Theory School PO Box 712 Archerfield Queensland 4108 Australia Building 221 Qantas Ave Archerfield Airport Brisbane

WHAT THIS BOOK IS This book is a study guide designed to prepare students for the CASA Commercial Pilot Licence Australia [CPLA] Examinations. It contains a full text covering all areas of the syllabus relating to General Knowledge. As each section of the subject is dealt with, you will be presented with exercises in the form of a set of multi-choice questions to test your comprehension of that section. The text occasionally goes beyond the requirements of the syllabus, however the exercises are designed to indicate the level of understanding required by the CASA CYBER EXAMINATION. Each exercise is accompanied by fully explained answers. At the end of the book, you will find final tests with explained answers. If you have a sound understanding of the contents of this book, you will have no trouble performing to the required standard in the CASA cyber examination in General Knowldege.

WHAT THIS BOOK IS NOT This book is not a manual on how to fly an aeroplane. It does not set out to replace you instructor's pre-flight briefing. However, when you have completed your study, you should be well equipped with the required background to get the very best value out of your briefings.

ABOUT THE CPL CYBER EXAMINATION. The CASA cyber examination for General Knowledge is a 1 hour 30 minute exam with a total of 40 marks. The pass mark for the exam is 70%. It is necessary to make application to do the exam at any one of the exam centres in Australia. Applications can be made on an exam application form available from Assessment Services Limited at: GPO Box 286 Canberra ATC 2601 Phone 02 62628820 Fax 02 62628830 If you prefer you may make application for the exams directly through the ASL web site at www.asl.com.au Equipment requirements for the General Knowledge Cyber Examination:Provided by ASL to the candidate: Provided by the Candidate: Scribble pad. None

Further information on the CASA cyber examinations can be found on the CASA website at www.casa.gov.au

ABOUT BOB TAIT. Bob Tait has been associated with flying training for more years than he'd like to remember. [If you really must know it's 27 years.] He entered into aviation after 8 years in the Education Department of Queensland as a teacher. He gave up the science lab to start his own flying school at Ingham in Queensland where he began full time theory courses to CPL. He has been fully occupied with theory and flying training since then and presently runs his own theory school at Archerfield. He holds a Grade One Instructor Rating, Command Instrument Rating, Multi Engine Training approval. He has low level aerobatic test and training approval, owns his own Pitts Special and flies helicopters for fun.

CONTENTS ENGINES Engine components ----------------------------------------------------- 1.1 The theoretical four-stroke cycle -------------------------------------- 1.3 The induction stroke ---------------------------------------------------- 1.3 The compression stroke ------------------------------------------------- 1.3 The power stroke -------------------------------------------------------- 1.4 The exhaust stroke ------------------------------------------------------- 1.4 THE BASICS Pressure in a gas --------------------------------------------------------- 1.5 Force ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.5 Torque --------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.6 Ignition timing ----------------------------------------------------------- 1.7 Valve timing ------------------------------------------------------------- 1.8 Volumetric efficiency --------------------------------------------------- 1.9 DETONATION AND PREIGNITION Detonation ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1.10 Preignition ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1.11 Compression ratio ------------------------------------------------------- 1.12 Summary ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.13 ENGINE COOLING Requirements of air-cooled engines ---------------------------------- 1.17 Distribution of engine heat --------------------------------------------- 1.17 Controlling engine temperature ---------------------------------------- 1.17 Cowl flaps ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1.18 Maximum continuous power------------------------------------------- 1.18 Take-off power ---------------------------------------------------------- 1.18 THE OIL SYSTEM Functions of the oil system --------------------------------------------- 1.19 Lubrication --------------------------------------------------------------- 1.19 Components of the oil system ----------------------------------------- 1.20 Viscosity ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.22 Oil temperature and oil pressure --------------------------------------- 1.22 Ashless dispersant oil --------------------------------------------------- 1.23 Straight mineral oil ------------------------------------------------------ 1.23 Oil quantity --------------------------------------------------------------- 1.23 Summary ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.24 Exercise GK1 with answers ------------------------------------------ 1.25

PROPELLERS Propeller blades and relative airflow --------------------------------- 2.1 Angle of attack and blade angle -------------------------------------- 2.2 Propeller torque and propeller thrust --------------------------------- 2.3

CONSTANT SPEED UNITS Changing the propeller pitch -----------------------------------------The governor -----------------------------------------------------------Manifold pressure and RPM -----------------------------------------Changing engine power with a CSU --------------------------------Manifold pressure at start-up ----------------------------------------Propeller malfunctions ------------------------------------------------Propeller care ----------------------------------------------------------Exercise GK 2 with answers ---------------------------------------FUEL AND FUEL SYSTEMS Aviation gasoline ------------------------------------------------------Octane rating -----------------------------------------------------------Mixture ------------------------------------------------------------------Mixture control --------------------------------------------------------Aircraft fuel systems --------------------------------------------------Gravity fed systems ---------------------------------------------------The importance of the vent -------------------------------------------Pressure systems -------------------------------------------------------Fuel vaporization ------------------------------------------------------The boost pump --------------------------------------------------------CARBURETTORS The float chamber -----------------------------------------------------The venturi -------------------------------------------------------------The mixture control ---------------------------------------------------The air bleed -----------------------------------------------------------Carburettor ice ---------------------------------------------------------Carburettor heat --------------------------------------------------------Using carburettor heat ------------------------------------------------Testing carburettor heat -----------------------------------------------Advantages and disadvantages of a carburettor -------------------FUEL INJECTION The fuel pump ----------------------------------------------------------- 3.15 The fuel/air control unit ----------------------------------------------- 3.15 The fuel manifold valve ----------------------------------------------- 3.15 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.12 3.12 3.14 3.14 3.1 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.7 2.5 2.6 2.9 2.9 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.18

Fuel discharge nozzles ------------------------------------------------Fuel pressure/flow gauge ---------------------------------------------Specific ground range -------------------------------------------------Advantages and disadvantages of fuel injection ------------------MIXTURE CONTROL AND ENGINE PERFORMANCE Fully rich ---------------------------------------------------------------Best power --------------------------------------------------------------Best economy ----------------------------------------------------------Mixture condition at take-off ----------------------------------------Exercise GK3 with answers ------------------------------------------SUPERCHARGING Effect of altitude -------------------------------------------------------Ground boosting -------------------------------------------------------Gear-driven supercharger --------------------------------------------Rated boost -------------------------------------------------------------Full throttle height -----------------------------------------------------Turbosupercharging ---------------------------------------------------Altitude boosting ------------------------------------------------------Pilot handling technique ----------------------------------------------ELECTRICAL SYSTEM Sources of electrical power ------------------------------------------The battery -------------------------------------------------------------Earth return -------------------------------------------------------------Battery capacity --------------------------------------------------------Monitoring the system ------------------------------------------------The centre-zero ammeter ---------------------------------------------The left-hand zero ammeter ------------------------------------------The alternator v The generator ---------------------------------------Overvoltage warning lights ------------------------------------------Overload switches -----------------------------------------------------Relays and solenoids --------------------------------------------------The battery master switch --------------------------------------------External power ---------------------------------------------------------The DOs and DONTs of the electrical system --------------------THE IGNITION SYSTEM Dual ignition -----------------------------------------------------------Magnetos ---------------------------------------------------------------The impulse coupling -------------------------------------------------Magneto switches -----------------------------------------------------Exercise GK4 with answers -----------------------------------------

3.15 3.15 3.16 3.16

3.17 3.17 3.17 3.18 3.18

4.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.10 4.10

4.11 4.11 4.11 4.12 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.14 4.15 4.15 4.15 4.16 4.16 4.17

4.19 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22

HYDRAULICS The basic hydraulic system ------------------------------------------------------ 5.1 The pressure regulator ------------------------------------------------------------ 5.2 The system relief valve ----------------------------------------------------------- 5.2 System faults ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.3 Foot-operated hydraulic brakes -------------------------------------------------- 5.3 Air in the brake system ----------------------------------------------------------- 5.4 A leak in the brake system ------------------------------------------------------- 5.4 UNDERCARRIAGE SYSTEMS Tailwheel/Nosewheel ------------------------------------------------------------- 5.5 Fixed undercarriages/Retractable undercarriages ----------------------------- 5.5 Spring steel strut ------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.5 Bungees ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.5 Oleo-pneumatic struts ------------------------------------------------------------- 5.5 Downlocks -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.7 Uplocks ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.7 Squat switches --------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.7 AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENTS -THE GYRO INSTRUMENTS Rigidity and Precession ----------------------------------------------------------- 5.9 Gyro power sources --------------------------------------------------------------- 5.10 The Directional Gyro ------------------------------------------------------------- 5.11 Mechanical drift ------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.12 Apparent drift ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.12 The Artificial Horizon ------------------------------------------------------------ 5.13 The Turn Coordinator ------------------------------------------------------------- 5.15 THE PRESSURE INSTRUMENTS Dynamic pressure ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5.17 Static pressure ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.17 The Air Speed Indicator ---------------------------------------------------------- 5.19 The Altimeter ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.23 The Vertical Speed Indicator ---------------------------------------------------- 5.24 The Magnetic Compass ----------------------------------------------------------- 5.27 Compass errors -------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.28 Angle of dip ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5.28 Acceleration error ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5.29 Turning error ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.30 Exercise GK5 with answers

FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS Water -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.33 Dry Powder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.33 Non combustible gas -------------------------------------------------------------- 5.33 Fire Detectors ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.34 AUTOPILOTS Single axis autopilot--------------------------------------------------------------- 5.37 Two axis autopilot ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5.38 Exercise GK5 with answers ---------------------------------------------------- 5.39 Aeroplane General Knowledge - Final Test 1 Aeroplane General Knowledge - Final Test 2 Aeroplane General Knowledge - Final Test 3 Answers to Final Tests

ENGINES THE BASIC COMPONENTS Although there are many types and sizes of internal combustion engines, all of them have certain basic components in common. As the name implies, an internal combustion engine burns fuel internally within a closed chamber. The component in which the combustion takes place is called a cylinder. The cylinder consists of a lower cylindrical tube called the barrel and an upper section, called the cylinder head, which contains spark plugs, valves and passage ways [ports] to allow the flow of gas into and out of the cylinder Fig 1.1
exhaust
cylinder head

inlet

Because most aircraft engines are air-cooled, the barrel and cylinder head are provided with cooling fins which allow the heat of combustion to be conducted away to the air flowing around the cylinder. The cylinder head is hottest so it has larger fins, especially around the exhaust port. Fig 1.2 is a much simplified representation of the cylinder head which we will be using in all diagrams from now on. The flow of gas into or out of the cylinder is controlled by a valve. The valve fits into the cylinder head as shown in Fig 1.3. The valve spring is a strong spring attached to the head of the valve so as to apply a continuous upward force which keeps the valve held tightly against the seat. In this closed position the valve prevents any flow of gas into or out of the cylinder via the port. The valve is opened to allow gas to flow. This is done by applying a force to the top of the valve and pushing it down into the cylinder against the force of the spring. The force is applied by the rocker arm. A push rod rides on the rotating camshaft [Fig 1.4]. As the cam lobe passes under the push rod, it is forced upwards lifting one end of the rocker arm. The rocker arm rotates about the pivot pivot forcing the valve down into the open position. As the camshaft continues to rotate, the valve spring returns the valve, rocker arm and push rod back to the closed position.

cooling fins

spark plug

flange

barrel

Fig 1.2 port


spark plug cylinder head valve

Fig 1.3 port


spark plug

valve spring

valve held tightly against the seat

Fig 1.4
rocker arm
push rod

camshaft

cam lobe

valve pushed open

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

1.1

Fig 1.5

Ring

piston

Fig 1.6 [side view]

The piston is essentially a plunger which is free to move up and down inside the cylinder barrel. A clearance is provided between the piston and the barrel to allow for expansion as temperature increases. Piston rings, made of high-grade cast iron, take up the space between the piston and the barrel wall [Fig 1.5]. The top two rings are compression rings which maintain pressure above the piston by preventing leakage of gas through the gap between the piston and the cylinder walls. The bottom ring is the oil ring which prevents oil from passing through the gap and also keeps the cylinder wall coated with a film of oil. All rings transfer heat from the piston to the cylinder and to the outside airflow via the fins. We have seen so far that the cylinder head, along with its ports and valves, allows the passage of gas into the cylinder. The gas that passes into the cylinder is a mixture of fuel and air. When the mixture is ignited by the spark plugs, the heat of combustion causes a pressure to act on the piston. This pressure, acting over the area of the top of the piston, generates a powerful force which pushes the piston down the cylinder barrel.

connecting rod

crankshaft

journal

main bearing

Fig 1.7 [front view]

The piston transfers this motion to the crankshaft through the connecting rod [Fig 1.6]. The small end of the connecting rod is attached to a pin inside the piston and is free to swing from side to side as required. The big end of the connecting rod is attached to the crankshaft journal. The straight-line downward motion of the piston is converted to rotary motion in the crankshaft via the connecting rod [Fig 1.7]. The crankshaft in turn, rotates the propeller. Bearings must be provided to ensure minimum friction and wear. The big end bearing fits between the big end of the connecting rod and the rotating crankshaft journal [Fig 1.7]. As the crankshaft rotates, it is held in place by the main bearings [Fig 1.6 & 1.7]. A thin film of oil under high pressure ensures that there is no metal-to-metal contact between the bearings and the crankshaft. The crankshaft is the backbone of the engine and adequate lubrication of the big end and main bearings is vital for its continued operation.

main bearing

big end bearing

1.2

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

THE THEORETICAL FOUR-STROKE CYCLE [THE OTTO CYCLE] Named after August Otto, the German engineer who developed it, the Otto cycle consists of four strokes of the piston within the cylinder which provide the sequence of events required to keep the engine running. Fig 1.8
inlet valve

Induction stroke - side view


exhaust valve

front view
inlet valve

fuel-air mixture

The induction stroke begins with the piston at the top of its travel [top dead centre -TDC]. With the inlet valve open, the piston moves down the cylinder to the bottom of its travel [bottom dead centre - BDC]. As the piston moves down, the fuel-air mixture is induced [ie sucked] into the cylinder [Fig1.8]. The action is exactly the same as that of a syringe. At the end of the induction stroke, the inlet valve closes. Fig 1.9
inlet valve

Compression stroke - side view


exhaust valve

front view

The compression stroke: As the crankshaft continues to rotate, the piston is forced upwards within the cylinder. Since both valves are closed, the fuel and air mixture is compressed in preparation for ignition [Fig 1.9].
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

1.3

Fig 1.10
inlet valve

Power stroke - side view


exhaust valve

front view

The power stroke: As the piston nears the top of the compression stroke, an electric spark jumps across the points of the spark plugs, igniting the fuel-air mixture. The heat of combustion causes the gases to expand rapidly, driving the piston down. As the piston moves down, the connecting rod rotates the crankshaft [Fig 1.10]. This is the only stroke of the four that delivers power to the crank shaft. The other strokes actually take power away from the engine but they are necessary to allow it to continue to operate. One stroke gives while the other three take - the propeller gets the leftovers! This is the great inefficiency of the four stroke cycle.

Fig 1.11
inlet valve

Exhaust stroke - side view


exhaust valve

front view

The exhaust stroke: As the crankshaft continues to rotate, the piston is forced up the cylinder once more. This sweeps the burnt gases out of the open exhaust valve [Fig 1.11]. Near the top of this stroke the exhaust valve closes and the inlet valve re-opens, commencing a new cycle.

1.4

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ENGINE PERFORMANCE CONSIDERATIONS THE BASICS. Pressure in a gas: Any gas or mixture of gases exposed to a surface exerts a pressure on that surface. A gas is composed of many individual molecules each of which is in a state of constant random motion. The molecules are constantly colliding with each other and with the surfaces to which they are exposed. Because each molecule has mass, it imparts a tiny force with each impact upon a surface. Gas pressure is simply the result of this constant molecular bombardment. Consider a gas or mixture of gases contained within a certain space [Fig 1.12]. The pressure exerted on the walls of the container would depend upon the number of gas molecules present and the speed at which each is travelling. The faster the speed of the molecule, the stronger the force of collision. The speed with which gas molecules move depends upon the temperature of the gas. The hotter the gas, the faster each of its molecules move. The pressure of a gas in an enclosed space depends upon three simple variables - the volume of the container, the number of molecules [ie the mass of gas present] and the temperature of the gas. If you have grasped this point, you will easily understand any aspect of engine performance. Fig 1.12 below represents a gas in an enclosed space. The original sample is comprised of a certain number of molecules, at a particular temperature. The impact of these molecules is producing a certain pressure within the container. If temperature remains constant and the number of molecules within the containing space is increased, the molecular impacts with the container walls becomes more frequent so pressure rises. If the number of molecules remains constant and the temperature is increased, the speed of each molecule increases resulting in more frequent and harder impacts. Again the pressure rises.
original sample
re tu ra pe m re te su er res gh p hi ore m

Fig 1.12

es ul c e e ol ssur m e re or p m ore m

more frequent impacts

more frequent and harder impacts

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

1.5

torque-producing moment

The pressure applied to the piston during the power stroke therefore, depends upon the space between the top of the piston and the roof of the combustion chamber, the number of molecules enclosed within that space and the temperature of the burning gases. This pressure applied to the area of the piston is responsible for the force transmitted to the crankshaft. Torque: There is more to engine performance however than the force alone. When all is said and done the object of the exercise is to rotate the crankshaft. The tendency for the crankshaft to rotate is measured as torque. When you place a spanner on a nut you are attempting to rotate the nut. The tendency for the nut to rotate depends not only on the force you apply, but also on the distance the force acts from the centre of rotation. This distance is called an arm [Fig 1.13]. Just after the piston leaves the TDC position on the power stroke, the space above it is small and the molecules of gas are crowded closely together. The heat of combustion causes a strong pressure to act on the piston. The arm on which the resulting force acts is equal to the perpendicular distance from the line of the force to the centre of rotation of the crankshaft. Because the force is strong, torque is high [See Fig 1.14]. As the piston moves further down the cylinder, the space above it increases and when combustion is completed, the temperature begins to drop. This results in decreased pressure acting on the piston. However, during the first portion of the stroke, as the pressure begins to drop the arm increases, so torque remains high [See Fig 1.15]. The torque produced depends not only on the force which acts on the piston, the other vital element is when that force is applied. The force must be timed to act so as to take advantage of the longest arm. This will be in the region from just after TDC to the point where the connecting rod makes a right angle with the crank [Fig 1.14 & 1.15]. As the crankshaft continues to rotate beyond the position shown in Fig 1.15, the pressure rapidly drops and the arm decreases. Very little useful work is done during this portion of the stroke. So little in fact that the exhaust valve can be opened well before BDC to allow the burnt gases to begin their exit.

Fig 1.13
arm

force

Fig 1.14

High pressure produces a strong force torque is high.

to

rq

ue

Fig 1.15

Pressure is dropping but arm is increaseing torque is still high

to

rq

ue

1.6

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

IGNITION TIMING Since the highest pressures within the cylinder must occur at an exact time to produce the best torque, there is one exact moment when the spark plugs must fire the spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture [charge]. Because the charge takes a finite time to burn and produce the high temperature required for best pressure, the spark plugs must fire before the point where the best pressure is required [Fig 1.16]. Fig 1.16 The designer chooses the point where the maximum temperature is to occur in terms of crankshaft rotation. After allowing for the time required for combustion, he fixes the point where the spark plugs must fire [Fig 1.17]. The actual time required for the fuel to burn depends on a number of factors including the size and shape of the combustion chamber. However as far as the pilot is concerned, the time taken to burn the charge varies with the ratio of fuel to air [mixture] and the temperature before ignition. Under normal operating conditions, the time taken to burn the charge is fairly constant. At high RPM the crankshaft turns through a greater angle while the burning takes place. If the burn is to be complete by the position shown in Fig 1.17, it would be necessary to ignite the charge earlier in terms of crankshaft rotation when engine RPM is high and later when engine RPM is low [Fig 1.18]. When the spark is fired earlier it is said to be advanced. When it is fired later it is said to be retarded.
combustion completed

ignition occurs

Fig 1.17

crankshaft rotation while combustion takes place

ignition occurs

Fig 1.18

Even though car engines allow for this by changing the ignition timing to suit the RPM, light aircraft engines do not, except for starting. Because an aircraft engine spends almost all of its life operating within a very narrow band of RPM, the ignition timing is fixed to produce a spark at about 20 to 28 of crankshaft rotation before TDC [Fig 1.16]. This means that at low RPM such as during ground operations, the ignition timing is not quite what it should be. This is no big deal because high torque is not required in these situations. It would be difficult [in the case of hand startingdangerous] to start an engine with the spark timing this far advanced. With the engine turning so slowly, the charge would burn before the piston reached TDC, forcing the crankshaft to stop and rotate backwards [propeller "kick back"]. During start-up, the ignition timing is automatically retarded.

crankshaft rotation while combustion takes place

ignition low RPM ignition high RPM

combustion completed

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1.7

VALVE TIMING At first glance you might imagine that, for the induction stroke, the inlet valve should open at TDC and close at BDC. Likewise, for the exhaust stroke, the exhaust valve should open at BDC and close at TDC. This would be the case except for the inertia of the gases and the time required for the valves to move to the fully open position. We have already seen that towards the end of the power stroke, there is so little work being done that the exhaust valve can be opened well before BDC [about 55], to allow the burnt gases to begin their exit. By the time the piston approaches TDC on the exhaust stroke, there is a strong flow of gas through the exhaust port. The closing of the exhaust valve is delayed until a little after TDC [about 15], while the inertia of the gases continues the outward flow. Also, since the out-flowing exhaust gases leave a low pressure in the cylinder, if the inlet valve is opened just before TDC [about 15], the new charge can begin flowing in as the spent exhaust gases are leaving. By the time the piston reaches BDC on the induction stroke, the new charge is flowing strongly through the inlet port. It would be silly to close the inlet valve at this point and interrupt that strong flow. The closing of the inlet valve is delayed until well after BDC [about 60], to allow the inertia of the incoming charge to continue the flow. The early opening of the exhaust valve during the power stroke is called valve lead, while the late closing of the inlet valve during the compression stroke is called valve lag. The period either side of TDC where the inlet valve is opening and the exhaust valve is closing is called valve overlap [Fig 1.19]. Lead lag and overlap are necessary to ensure the efficient removal of the spent exhaust gas and to maximize the mass of fresh charge induced for the next cycle. The degree of success the engine achieves in doing this is called volumetric efficiency.

Fig 1.19

overlap

exhaust closes

exh aus t

com pre ssio n

inlet opens
induction

inlet closes [lag]

exhaust opens [lead]

power

BDC

Fig1.20
Note that the distance the piston travels down the cylinder during the first 90 of rotation is greater than the distance travelled during the second 90 of rotation. This curious little quirk of geometry means that very little piston movement occurs for a large amount of rotation near the bottom of the stroke. That's why lead and lag are such large angles.

1.8

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY Volumetric efficiency is calculated by comparing the volume of charge actually induced into the cylinder during the induction stroke [at standard sea-level temperature and pressure], with the piston displacement [Fig 1.21]. To put it more simply, it is a measure of the success achieved in drawing gas molecules into the cylinder. Fig 1.21

TDC piston displacement BDC

Factors affecting volumetric efficiency: Anything that reduces the mass of gas that flows into the cylinder will reduce volumetric efficiency. If we ignore engine design features which the pilot can do nothing about, the factors affecting volumetric efficiency include:Ambient air density. Obviously the number of molecules that can be drawn into the cylinder will be controlled to a great degree by the number of molecules available in the outside air in the first place, ie ambient air density. Hot days and high altitudes reduce the engine's volumetric efficiency. Throttle position. Volumetric efficiency is at its best when the engine is operating at full throttle. This results in maximum flow into the cylinders. As the throttle is closed, the flow of gases into the cylinders is restricted, reducing volumetric efficiency and decreasing power output. Engine RPM. We have seen that valve and ignition timing are designed around one particular RPM setting. At high RPM the velocity of the flow through the induction system increases. This gives rise to increased friction with the tubes, ports and valves. Also at high RPM, the inlet and exhaust valves are open for a shorter time, giving less opportunity for gas to flow into or out of the cylinders. The temperature of the incoming charge. Hot air expands and becomes less dense. If the air is heated on its way to the cylinders volumetric efficiency will be reduced. This could be due to high engine temperatures or the application of carburettor heat. You will hear more about carburettor heat later. Supercharging. A supercharger compresses the air before it enters the cylinders. This produces a much higher mass flow, increasing volumetric efficiency. More on this later.

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1.9

Fig 1.22

DETONATION AND PREIGNITION During normal combustion, the temperature and pressure within the combustion chamber rise rapidly but smoothly over a given time interval to reach a peak just after TDC. This can be thought of as a firm but friendly hand helping to arrest the piston's upward travel and pushing it strongly back down on the power stroke [Fig 1.22]. Detonation is caused when the temperature and pressure of the fuel air mixture in the combustion chamber become high enough to cause instantaneous burning [explosion] of the charge. This releases the energy of combustion in an instant and instead of producing useful work, the piston is subject to a sudden shock which can be likened to a severe hammer blow [ Fig 1.23].
G !!

Fig1.23

AN

Because almost all the heat of combustion is released with the piston poised at or near TDC, the heat is concentrated within the cylinder head instead of being spread more evenly down the cylinder walls. Since the charge detonated in the first place because it was too hot, the rising cylinder head temperature encourages the next charge to detonate aggravating the problem.

Causes of detonation. Anything that causes the temperature and/or pressure of the charge to become excessive before ignition is likely to promote detonation. Common causes include:Operating the engine at high power with inadequate cooling airflow eg a long climb at too low an indicated air speed. Operating at high power with very lean mixture settings. A lean mixture ie too little fuel mixed with the air, tends to burn slowly, subjecting the cylinder to high temperatures for a longer time than usual. At high RPM the slow-burning charge is still burning as the piston moves up on the exhaust stroke. This tends to concentrate the heat in the cylinder head. The chemical properties of a lean mixture make it more prone to detonation as temperature rises. Operating the engine at high power with carburettor heat applied. Using high manifold pressure with low RPM. This occurs when the throttle is placed near the wide open position while the engine is under a heavy load. If you relate it to a car, this is like climbing a steep hill with the accelerator pressed to the floor without changing to a lower gear. The wide open throttle and slow moving valves allow too much charge to enter the cylinder. When the piston comes up on the compression stroke, the temperature and pressure become excessive. This is called overboosting and it is encountered most frequently in supercharged engines with constant speed propellers. More on this later. Use of the incorrect grade of fuel for the engine. The ability of a fuel to tolerate high temperature/ pressure without detonating is measured as octane rating.
1.10
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Symptoms of detonation. Detonation will be accompanied by rising engine temperatures and a power loss. In single engine aircraft the pilot may notice vibration [knocking] in the engine. In some circumstances a pinging sound can be heard but this is often not noticed in a modern light aircraft, especially a twin engine aircraft. If detonation continues, structural damage may occur, even to the point of melting pistons! Pilot actions. Since the main cause of detonation is excessive engine temperature, the most urgent action required of the pilot is to cool the engine. The most immediate cooling effect is obtained by placing the mixture control in the fully rich position. This sends extra fuel to reduce the combustion temperature and begin the cooling process just where it's needed most - inside the cylinders. Reducing power and opening cowl flaps will also assist. If detonation is suspected during a climb, the climb indicated air speed should be increased and power reduced. PREIGNITION As the name implies, preignition occurs when the charge is ignited before time usually by a hot spot inside the cylinder. The hot spot can be a small carbon deposit that begins to glow red hot within the cylinder, or even the spark plug electrodes. As temperatures within the cylinder begin to rise with the heat of compression, the hot spot ignites the charge and the burn begins before the spark plugs have fired. Fig 1.24

spark plugs fire on que, but most of the charge is already burnt. hot spot ignites the charge about 40 before TDC.

In Fig 1.24 above, a hot spot ignites the charge as early as 40 before TDC. The burn commences early. At the appointed time, the spark plugs fire as usual but the charge is already almost burnt. The spark plugs now burn what is left and the peak combustion pressure and temperature occur much too early with the piston almost at TDC. This produces a serious loss of power and a very rapid rise in cylinder head temperature as the heat of combustion is squeezed into the small space above the piston. In severe cases, the high temperatures produced can cause the charge to detonate as well as preignite! Symptoms. Preignition will be indicated by rough running, power loss and high engine temperature. The pilot actions required are the same as those for detonation.

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1.11

Fig 1.25

COMPRESSION RATIO One design feature which determines the power available from an engine is the degree of compression the charge is subjected to prior to ignition. This is determined by the decrease in volume suffered as the piston travels from BDC to TDC during the compression stroke. Engineers compare the volume of the charge at the beginning of the compression stroke [marked A in Fig 1.25], with the volume of the charge at the end of the compression stroke [marked B]. This is called the compression ratio and is expressed numerically as A B. For most light aircraft engines it is somewhere in the order of 7 or 8 to 1. When a charge is subject to a high degree of compression, ie a high compression ratio, it becomes hot. Consider Fig 1.25. The heat contained within the charge when it is at volume A is still present when it is squeezed to volume B. The same amount of heat is present but it is compressed into a much smaller volume - that is why the temperature rises.

B A
TDC

BDC

Compression ratio = A B

Fig 1.26

stroke
1.12

The higher the compression ratio, the hotter the charge becomes before ignition. As we have seen, increasing the temperature of the charge before ignition increases the tendency for the fuel to detonate. The most important limit on how great a compression ratio an engine can have is the onset of detonation. The ability of a fuel to withstand compression without detonating is indicated by its octane rating. High compression engines require the use of high octane fuels. More on this later. The distance the piston travels from TDC to BDC is referred to as the stroke. The distance from the centre of crankshaft rotation to the centre of the journal is called the throw of the crank shaft [Fig 1.26]. If you contemplate this for a moment you should see that the stroke must always be twice the throw. The length of the stroke therefore also determines the maximum arm available to generate torque [see Fig 1.14 & 1.15]. A longer stroke provides higher torque. However as the length of the stroke is increased, the piston must travel at a higher speed to cover the extra distance at any given RPM setting. This causes more internal friction and much greater stress imposed as the piston is stopped and returned at each end of each stroke [reciprocating loads].

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throw

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SUMMARY OF FACTORS AFFECTING ENGINE POWER OUTPUT. The flow chart in Fig 1.27 shows the relationship of all of the variables which affect the power produced by an internal combustion engine. Some of them, such as the area of the piston and the length of the arm [stroke or crankshaft throw], are fixed by the engine manufacturer. Some can be controlled by the pilot and these are the items that must be considered when it comes to engine handling techniques. Fig 1.27
mass of charge 1 temperature 2 pressure 3 area 4

force 5 arm 6

torque 7 RPM 8

power 9

Let's consider these factors along with the limitations which apply to each. 1 Mass of charge. This is really the number of molecules induced into the combustion chamber during the induction stroke. Since molecules are ultimately responsible for pressure, the greater the number of molecules induced the greater the pressure will be. The mass of charge induced depends upon the pressure outside the combustion chamber in the inlet port [manifold pressure] and, to a lesser extent, on the time for which the inlet valve remains open [RPM]. However as the mass of charge increases, the heat of compression increases and the risk of detonation increases [overboosting]. The limitation is the onset of detonation. 2 Temperature. The other item that decides the pressure achieved is the temperature of combustion [see 'The Basics' in page 2.1.5]. The hotter the combustion temperature, the greater the pressure. However, as temperature rises, the risk of detonation rises. The limitation once again is the onset of detonation or damage to engine components, especially valves, due to overheating. 3 Pressure. The pressure acting on the piston is responsible for the force transmitted to the crankshaft. The greater the pressure the greater the force. It would be very difficult to measure this pressure directly because it changes rapidly with piston movement and internal cylinder temperature. However if RPM is constant, the pressure acting on the piston depends on the manifold pressure. Some aircraft measure manifold pressure to give the pilot an indication of how hard the piston is being pushed. 4 Area. The other factor that decides the force produced is the area over which the pressure acts. For a given pressure in the combustion chamber, the bigger the piston, the greater the resulting force. However bigger pistons also weigh more, so reciprocating loads are increased. Another interesting consequence is that if the dimensions of the combustion chamber are doubled, the area of the piston increases fourfold, but the volume of the combustion chamber increases eightfold. It becomes difficult to get that large amount of gas to flow into and out of the cylinder in the time available. Volumetric efficiency becomes a problem.

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1.13

mass of charge 1 temperature 2

Fig 1.27
pressure 3 area 4 force 5 arm 6

torque 7 RPM 8

power 9

5 Force. As 3 or 4 increase, the force transmitted to the crankshaft increases and power increases. The limitation on the strength of the force is the structural strength of the engine components and the loads imposed on the bearings. 6 Arm. The longer the arm [crankshaft throw or stroke], the greater the torque generated by any given force. However, as the length of the stroke increases, the reciprocating loads on the piston and bearings increase along with friction. 7 Torque. The end product of all of the items above is the rotation of the crankshaft. The tendency of the crankshaft to rotate is measured as the product of the force and the arm. It is called torque. 8 RPM. If all other factors remain constant, the power delivered by the engine is also governed by the speed of rotation, ie the number of power strokes per minute. The higher the RPM, the higher the power output. However as RPM increase, the reciprocating loads and friction increase. Also as engine RPM increase, the propeller RPM increase and the propeller tip speed becomes excessive, degrading the aerodynamic efficiency of the propeller blades. Propeller tip speed is one of the most important limitations on engine RPM. One solution is to allow the engine to run at high RPM and transmit its power to the propeller via a gearbox which allows the propeller to turn at lower RPM but higher torque than the engine. Another feature determining engine power output is so obvious that it is often overlooked, ie the number of cylinders. The most common arrangement used in light aircraft engines is to have two rows of cylinders horizontally opposed to Fig1.28 each other on either side of the crankshaft front view [Fig 1.28]. This produces an engine with an overall flat shape which is relatively easy to cowl. It makes the engine shorter than it would be if the cylinders were in line on the same side of the crankshaft. This produces a considerable weight saving, reduces stress on the engine mounts and also enhances airhorizontally opposed cooling. Because each cylinder has a 'mirror image' on the opposite side, this type of engine is relatively free of vibration. On the negative side, there is a tendency for oil to 'pool' on the lowest side of the cylinder increasing the likelihood of fouling of the bottom spark plugs, especially after long periods of low power operation.
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top view
1.14

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

Fig 1.29
radial connecting rod arrangement

propeller shaft

Horizontally opposed engines are common with four or six cylinders and some go up to eight, ie four on each side of the crank shaft. As the number of cylinders increase, the difficulty of cooling the rear cylinders increases. One neat way around this problem is the radial engine [Fig 1.29]. The cylinders are arranged in a circle. One piston is connected to a master connecting rod, while the others have articulating rods which are hinged to a flange on the master rod. Radial engines always have an odd number of cylinders, mostly seven, nine or eleven. This is necessary to allow evenly spaced power strokes during the cycle. Since the engine must turn through two complete revolutions during the four strokes of the cycle, each cylinder in a radial engine must fire once every two engine revolutions. This is done by firing in the order shown in Fig 1.29. It is possible only with an odd number. The big advantage of the radial engine is its excellent power-to-weight ratio and ease of air-cooling. The disadvantage is its circular frontal area which does not lend itself to streamlining. Nowadays, in the power range of the radial [above about 400 hp], the turbine engine often becomes an attractive alternative. Radial engines are still fairly common however, in agricultural aircraft. Left. A radial engine in a Yak 50 Aerobatic aircraft. These Russian-built engines are popular in advanced aerobatic aircraft because of their high power-to-weight ratio. Engine deatils 9 cylinder air-cooled radial. Rated at 360 hp.

radial crankshaft

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1.15

A Russian-built V12 liquid-cooled engine. This engine was fitted to the Yak M3 fighter. This arrangement consists of six cylinders on either side of the crankshaft arranged in a 'V' formation. The extra length and tight cowling of the engine makes it unsuitable for air cooling. See opposite page. Photo courtesy of www.flyingfighter.com.au

The Cessna 421 features a geared propeller. In this arrangement, the engine develops its power at high RPM and is connected to the propeller via a gearbox. The gear box housing is clearly seen as a distinct hump on top of the engine cowl. The propeller turns at lower RPM but higher torque than the engine - this overcomes the problem of excessive propeller tip speed.

Photo courtesy of www.flyingfighter.com.au The famous Gypsy Major engine fitted to the DH-82 Tiger Moth. This engine features a dry sump, storing the engine oil in an external oil tank on the side of the fuselage. A scavenge pump continually removes oil from the engine and returns it to the external tank. In this upside-down arrangement the pistons are positioned under the crankshaft allowing greater ground clearance for the propeller.

1.16

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Above. A twelve cylinder liquid-cooled V-12 engine fitted to a Russian built Yak M3 and rated at 1290 hp. Because of the impossibility of air cooling such a long engine - the designers resorted to liquid cooling with a radiator fitted to the underbelly of the fuselage. This beautifully restored war-bird is based at Archerfield Queensland. Check out their web site at www.flyingfighters.com.au ENGINE COOLING Almost half of the heat of combustion within the cylinders is carried to the outside atmosphere with the exhaust gases. The remainder is conducted through the cylinder walls to the cooling fins, or carried by the engine oil to the oil cooler. Both the cylinder cooling fins and the oil cooler finally pass the heat to the air flowing through the engine cowl. The temperature of the engine at any moment depends not only upon the rate at which heat is being generated, but also on the rate at which it is being carried away. This in turn depends upon the mass of air flowing through the engine cowl and on how well that air is being directed to the areas where it is most needed. Baffles are provided within the engine cowls to direct the airflow, while cowl flaps are provided on larger engines to increase the mass air flow [Fig 1.30]. The pilot has some degree of control over engine temperature by controlling the rate at which heat is being generated [power], or the rate at which it is being carried away [Indicated Air Speed or cowl flap position].
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1.17

There is more to engine temperature control than maintaining the operating temperature between certain limits. The cooling airflow other important consideration is the rate at which temperature changes. Because LYCOMING LYCOMING LYCOMING different parts of an engine must be made of different metals, the rate at which these parts expand when heated and contract when cooled varies. If temperature is allowed to change very rapcowl flap open idly, either heating or cooling, unacceptable stresses can be placed on engine components. In addition, the ability of the engine oil to penetrate into small clearances is affected by its temperature [more on this next]. Fig 1.30 Because of the absence of a liquid coolant to help moderate the rate of temperature change, aircooled engines are especially vulnerable to rapid heating and cooling. The larger and more powerful the engine, the more critical temperature management becomes. MAXIMUM CONTINUOUS POWER AND TAKE-OFF POWER Aircraft engine manufacturers rate engine power output as a percentage of the maximum continuous power [MCP] the engine is rated to produce. The engine is capable of running at 100% MCP for all of its rated life without damage. Of course the operator is not likely to choose to do that because of operating efficiency considerations. Maximum continuous power means exactly what it says - it is the maximum power that can be used continuously. Some larger aircraft engines feature a power setting beyond MCP which is approved for use for limited periods of time, usually about 3 to 5 minutes. This is called take-off power and it actually represents more than 100% power. Apart from the time limit, other conditions usually apply to ensure adequate engine cooling. They include the use of fully rich mixture and cowl flaps open. Another term once used to describe MCP is Maximum Except Take-Off [METO] power. This is a rather clumsy way of saying the maximum power that can be used continuously. Below is an extract from the Limitations section of a Cessna 210N Flight Manual.

POWER PLANT LIMITATIONS


Engine Manufacturer: Teledyne Continental. Engine Model Number: IO - 520 - L

Engine Operating Limits for Take-off and Continuous Operations: Maximum Power, 5 Minutes Take-off 300 BHP rating. Continuous: 285 BHP rating. Maxium Engine Speed, 5 Minutes - Take-off: 2850 RPM Continuous: 2700 RPM
1.18

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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THE OIL SYSTEM Engine oil serves a number of vital functions. 1 It lubricates by providing a boundary layer of oil between moving parts to prevent metal to metal contact. This reduces friction and energy loss and prevents excessive wear and damage to engine components. It cools by carrying heat away to the oil cooler where it is dissipated to the air. This is not unlike the action of water in a car engine, which carries engine heat to the radiator. It cleans by carrying away sludge and other residue from the moving parts of the engine and depositing them in the engine oil filter. It seals the spaces between the cylinder walls and the piston rings preventing gases from leaking past during the compression and power strokes. It protects the metal components of the engine from oxygen, water and other corrosive agents. It forms a cushion between surfaces under high impact loads.

Lubrication: There is much more to adequate lubrication than simply throwing lots of oil about. For example, in the big end and main bearings, the oil must actually separate the two surfaces, preventing metal to metal contact. This requires more than simply making the surfaces 'wet' with oil. The crankshaft is not completely solid. It contains channels [or ducts], to carry pressure oil internally. The pressure oil is fed into the rotating crankshaft through specially designed oil transfer bearings. It is then fed through ducts to the inside of the main and big end bearings, where it forces its way between the surfaces and emerges as a mist or spray [Fig 1.31]. Fig 1.31

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1.19

This spray of oil is flung out by the rotation of the crankshaft to coat the inside of the cylinder and the bottom of the piston with oil [Fig 1.32]. The oil is then picked up by the piston's oil ring and spread evenly over the cylinder walls. Finally it drains back to the sump from where it is recirculated by the oil pump. One reason for setting the engine to run at about 1000 RPM after start up, is to ensure sufficient rotational speed to give adequate lubrication to the cylinders. The engine case is not a solid block of metal, it contains passages which deliver the Pressure oil enters the hollow pressure oil from the push rod through a hole and oil pump to specific emerges as a misty spray to lubricate the rocker arm and locations. These pasvalve stem. It is then drained sages are collectively back to the sump to be called the oil gallery. recirculated. From the gallery, the pressure oil is introduced into the hollow push rods and transPressure oil emerges from the inside of the ported to the rocker big end bearings as a spray. The rotation of arm where it emerges the crankshaft flings it onto the cylinder as a spray. Fig 1.32
walls and under the pistons. It then drains back to the sump to be recirculated.

splash/spray lubrication

This spray lubricates the rocker arm and valve stems, then drains back to the sump to be recirculated [Fig1. 32]. For engines fitted with constant speed propellers, the engine oil is delivered to the propeller hub via the governor where it acts as an agent to change the pitch of the blades [more on this later]. So you see, the manufacturer has gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure the oil system does its job effectively. A failure of the oil system would result in engine damage in less than one minute, followed very quickly by complete failure of the major engine components. Components of the oil system: The very heart of the oil system is the oil pump. This is usually an engine-driven, gear-type pump which pumps more oil than the engine requires [Fig 1.33]. The excess oil is returned via a pressure regulator. Fig 1.33 Because it is so important it is not a bolt-on item; it is built-in as an integral part of the engine case.
oil in

oil out

The pump picks up the oil directly from the sump through a screen filter. The pick-up point is slightly above the bottom of the sump to prevent any heavy solid particles

1.20

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Fig 1.34

oil out

oil in

Since the oil pump is designed to pump more oil than the engine needs, provision must be made for the excess oil to return to the suction side of the pump. The pressure regulator allows for this. When the pressure on the engine side of the pump equals or exceeds a preset level, it lifts a plunger in the relief valve, opening a path to circulate back to the suction side [Fig 1.34]. The system pressure can be set by adjusting the tension on the spring in the valve. The oil cooler has been mentioned previously. Sometimes called an oil temperature regulator, it actually does more than just cool the oil. Cold oil is thick and difficult to pump and it does not easily penetrate small clearances within the engine. The last thing we want to do when the oil is cold is put it through the cooler!

Fig 1.35
bypass valve

hot oil in

The oil cooler is provided with a by-pass cool oil out valve which reacts to the temperature of the oil [a thermostat]. It shunts the oil around the cooler via the by-pass cooling air when it is cold . When the oil temperature increases, it is directed through the cooler [Fig 1.35]. Figures 1.34 and 1.35 are schematic only. Other features of the oil system include filters and oil temperature and pressure sensors. Oil filters are usually provided with a by-pass to allow the passage of oil if the filter becomes blocked. It is better to have dirty oil than no oil!

oil cooler bypass

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1.21

VISCOSITY Technically defined as the fluid friction [or body] of an oil, viscosity can be best regarded as the oil's resistance to flow. A good example to keep in mind is honey. When it is cold, it resists flowing or spreading - it has a high viscosity. When it is warm, it flows and spreads much more easily it has a low viscosity. Oil behaves in exactly the same way. It would be silly to try to change the oil in an engine before start up when it is cold. Its high viscosity would keep most of it inside the engine as a thick coating over the internal surfaces [like trying to pour cold honey from a jar]. Warm the engine by running it for a while and the oil pours readily when the drain plug is removed. Oil cannot lubricate the engine properly until it has reached the correct temperature. Its viscosity must be low enough to allow it to flow easily through the small clearances in the bearings and splash and spray over the cylinder walls, rocker arms and valves. At the same time it must be viscous enough to stick to surfaces to form an unbroken film of protection. You should always ensure that the oil added to an engine is the correct grade as specified in the aircraft flight manual. The most important factor governing the warm-up period for an engine is the temperature of the oil. By far the majority of engine wear occurs in the first few minutes after start-up. It is very important to allow adequate time for the engine to reach operating temperature before making high power demands. The bigger the engine, the more critical the warm-up becomes. Oil temperature and oil pressure: The pressure within a fluid depends not only upon the power of the pump, but also upon the ability of the liquid to flow. Fig 1.36 shows that if a fluid is pumped through a pipe which offers no resistance to its flow, there will be no build up of pressure. However, when a resistance is offered to the flow - in this case a narrow orifice - the pressure builds up. Fig 1.36 The pressure produced by the oil pump therefore, depends upon the viscosity of the oil and the size of the clearances through which it must pass. When oil temperature becomes too high it flows too easily, causing oil pressure to drop. When oil is cold it resists flowing and pressure tends to increase. A collapsed main or bigend bearing offers a larger clearance to the oil flow, causing oil pressure to drop. Oil pressure is usually measured just before the oil passes into the engine where it matters most.
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no resistanceno pressure

high resistancehigh pressure

1.22

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

Ashless Dispersant Oil Most oils used on aircraft engines contain a dispersant that suspends contaminants such as carbon, lead compounds and dirt. The dispersant helps prevent these contaminants from gathering together into clumps and forming sludge which can plug oil passages. The contaminants can then be filtered or drained out of the system, leaving the engine free of sludge and abrasive particles. Benefits include reduced engine wear, better compression seal around the piston rings and reduced oil consumption. Along with the dispersant, these oils also contain additives which inhibit corrosion and reduce foaming. Unlike some additives, these leave no metallic ash when they burn, hence the name 'ashless'. A high ash content in oil can cause preignition and spark plug fouling. Straight Mineral Oil These oils do not contain any additives except for a small amount to improve viscosity at low temperatures. They are used during the 'run-in' period for new engines, or after replacement of cylinders or piston rings. The higher abrasive quality of this oil helps the piston rings and cylinder walls to wear microscopic grooves, which eventually mate each ring to the cylinder wall. Just as a bullet fired from a particular gun carries a unique pattern of grooves that match it to that barrel, so each ring 'beds' into its particular cylinder. This bedding-in process forms a good compression seal to prevent gases from leaking past the piston during the compression and power stroke. After about 50 to 100 hours of normal engine operation, the straight oil is drained and an ashless dispersant oil replaces it. Oil Quantity The aircraft flight manual stipulates that a minimum quantity of oil should be in the engine before start-up. One reason for this is to ensure that oil temperature does not become too high during flight. Since one of the functions of the oil is to carry engine heat away, if less oil is circulated, the temperature of that oil will rise. The oil pump will continue to pump oil until the oil level is critically low, because the pick-up point is near the bottom of the sump. If oil was being lost to the system, the oil pump suction screen would eventually become uncovered causing fluctuations and eventually a total loss of oil pressure. By the time this happened, the oil temperature would have become very high if the oil loss was gradual. However if there was a large and rapid loss of oil, such as would occur with a broken lead, there may be no noticeable increase in temperature even though the oil level is critically low. Whenever a large oil loss is suspected, the engine should be stopped as soon as possible, even if it means shutting down as soon as the runway is vacated.

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1.23

SUMMARY FOR ENGINES AND THE OIL SYSTEM FACTORS AFFECTING ENGINE POWER OUTPUT Ignoring engine design characteristics over which the pilot has no control, engine power output is controlled by: Manifold Pressure. The pressure outside the cylinder at the inlet port governs the mass of charge induced during the induction stroke and therefore the pressure acting on the piston during the power stroke. It depends upon the position of the throttle. RPM. The number of power strokes that occur per minute determine the rate at which work is being done, ie power. LIMITATIONS ON ENGINE POWER OUTPUT As manifold pressure increases, engine power output increases. However if manifold pressure becomes too high detonation occurs. As engine RPM increase, engine power output increases. However if RPM become too high reciprocating loads increase with the possibility of engine damage. At high RPM the propeller tip speed approaches and exceeds the speed of sound. This causes a loss of propeller efficiency. VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY The degree of success the engine achieves in inducing the fresh charge during induction and expelling the spent one during exhaust is called volumetric efficiency. It depends upon ambient air density, throttle position and RPM. Anything that heats the incoming charge reduces volumetric efficiency. ENGINE COOLING Air-cooled engines are vulnerable to stress imposed by rapid heating or cooling. Engine temperature depends upon the rate at which heat is being generated and the rate at which it is being carried away. OIL SYSTEM The viscosity of an oil depends upon its temperature. Oil temperature must be within certain limits to ensure adequate lubrication while maintaining an unbroken protective film over metal surfaces. Oil quantity must be sufficient to allow the oil to carry engine heat to the oil cooler without becoming too hot.
1.24
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

EXERCISE GK 1
Question No 1 The pressure exerted on the piston during the power stroke increases as the mass of charge induced [a] increases and combustion temperature increases [b] decreases and combustion temperature increases [c] increases and combustion temperature decreases [d] decreases and combustion temperature decreases Question No 2 As the throttle is moved towards the fully open position [a] manifold pressure increases and mass flow decreases [b] manifold pressure decreases and mass flow increases [c] manifold pressure increases and mass flow increases [d] manifold pressure decreases and mass flow decreases Question No 3 The volumetric efficiency of an engine depends upon [a] throttle position, ambient temperature, ambient pressure and RPM [b] throttle position only [c] throttle position, ambient temperature, ambient pressure but not RPM [d] throttle position and mixture strength Question No 4 The best action to take at the onset of detonation in an engine is [a] lean the mixture and reduce the power [b] lean the mixture and increase the power [c] decrease the indicated air speed and maintain the power [d] select mixture fully rich and decrease the power Question No 5 The onset of detonation in an engine is indicated by [a] vibration, rising temperatures and reduced indicated air speed [b] vibration, falling temperatures and reduced indicated air speed [c] vibration, rising temperatures and increased indicated air speed [d] vibration, falling temperatures and increased indicated air speed Question No 6 One of the limitations applying to increased RPM for increased power in a piston engine is [a] high fuel consumption [b] excessive propeller tip speed [c] high oil pressure [d] high cylinder head temperature Question No 7 The warm up period for an engine prior to take off provides [a] proper oil viscosity and uniform heating of engine components [c] higher oil pressure for take off [c] a means of expelling moisture from the engine crank case [d] adequate fuel pressure for take off Question No 8 If an engine is overheating during a long climb, an appropriate pilot action would be [a] raise the nose to reduce indicated air speed [b] lean the mixture to best economy [c] reduce power and indicated air speed [d] increase indicated air speed, richen the mixture and if necessary, reduce power

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1.25

Question No 9 If cylinder head temperatures are becoming too low during a long descent, the pilot should [a] reduce indicated air speed and power [b] increase indicated air speed and reduce power [c] increases indicated air speed and power [d] reduce indicated air speed and increase power Question No 10 The octane rating of a fuel is a measure of [a] its specific gravity [b] its resistance to detonation [c] its resistance to vaporisation [d] its anti-misting properties in the event of fire Question No 11 A horizontally opposed engine should be held at about 1000 RPM after a cold start rather than idle to avoid [a] damage due to vibration at low RPM [b] excessive cylinder wear due to poor lubrication at low RPM [c] damage due to low oil pressure at idle [d] a large increase in the time required to raise engine temperatures Question No 12 A radial engine always has an uneven number of cylinders, commonly 5, 7 or 11. This is a necessary design feature to ensure [a] uniformly spaced power strokes during the cycle [b] adequate engine cooling [c] correct mass balancing during high power operation [d] enough space is left between cylinders for proper air cooling during flight Question No 13 The function of oil in an engine is to [a] clean [b] lubricate [c] cool [d] all of the above Question No 14 The viscosity of an oil is a measure of [a] the oil's ability to flow [b] the oil's resistance to flow [c] the temperature at which it will burn [d] the oils detergent properties Question No 15 The purpose of an oil cooler bypass is [a] to prevent the oil from becoming too hot [b] to return overheated oil to the cooler [c] to prevent oil from passing through the cooler if it is already cold [d] to allow oil to bypass the cooler if the cooler becomes blocked Question No 16 If airflow to the oil cooler is interrupted by an obstruction in the duct [a] oil temperature and oil pressure will rise [b] oil temperature will drop and oil pressure will rise [c] oil temperature will rise and oil pressure will fall [d] oil temperature and oil pressure will both fall

1.26

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Question No 17 One cause of high oil temperature and low oil pressure could be [a] very low oil level in the sump [b] the oil's viscosity being too high for the engine type [c] the oil sump being overfilled [d] the oil cooler bypass not working Question No 18 The purpose of gearing a propeller in an aircraft engine is to permit the propeller to turn at [a] higher RPM and lower torque than the engine [b] lower RPM and torque than the engine [c] lower RPM and higher torque than the engine [d] higher RPM and lower torque than the engine Question No 19 Operating an engine with too low an oil quantity will produce [a] rising oil temperature and pressure [b] falling oil temperature and rising oil pressure [c] falling oil pressure and falling oil temperature [d] rising oil temperature and dropping oil pressure Question No 20 During a long climb, the cylinder head temperature becomes too high. This can be rectified by [a] closing the cowl flaps [b] reducing the climbing indicated air speed [c] leaning the mixture to best power [d] richening the mixture to full rich and increasing the climbing indicated air speed Question No 21 If maximum power is applied for take-off while the oil temperature is too low [a] the engine components could suffer stresses due to uneven heating [b] take-off manifold pressure could be lower than normal [c] cylinder head temperature would become too high during take-off [d] take-off power would be severely reduced Question No 22 If the oil pressure gauge begins to fluctuate during flight [a] the oil temperature is too high [b] the oil pressure gauge is unserviceable [c] the oil temperature is too low [d] the oil quantity is very low Question No 23 The cause of an abnormally high oil pressure indication could be [a] oil quantity is too low [b] oil temperature is too low [c] oil temperature is too high [d] the oil sump is overfilled Question No 24 If the oil level in an operating engine is below the specified minimum [a] the engine could overheat at high power settings [b] oil temperature would be lower than normal [c] engine power will be reduced [d] there will be a large power loss due to increased engine friction

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1.27

Question No 25 To prevent excessive cooling of an engine during a long descent at a fixed throttle setting it is necessary to [a] decrease indicated air speed and accept a reduced rate of descent [b] increase indicated air speed and accept a reduced rate of descent [c] decrease indicated air speed and increase rate of descent [d] increase indicated air speed and increase rate of descent Question No 26 If oil temperature is rising to near the red line during a long climb a remedy would be [a] decrease power and indicated air speed [b] increase power and indicated air speed [c] decrease power and increase indicated air speed [d] increase power and decrease indicated air speed Question No 27 A high cylinder head temperature during cruise could be due to [a] manifold pressure too low for the selected RPM [b] mixture set too rich [c] cowl flaps left open [d] detonation or pre-ignition Question No 28 Spark plug fouling would be most likely during [a] long periods of ground operation at low power [b] climbs at high power settings [c] cruising flight in cold weather [d] operation in conditions where carburettor ice is likely to form Question No 29 One consequence of operating an engine with excessively high oil temperature is [a] Spark plug fouling [b] inadequate lubrication of some engine parts [c] a very high oil pressure [d] sticking exhaust valves Question No 30 Oil pressure is usually measured [a] immediately before the pump. [b] immediately after the pump. [c] immediately before the oil enters the engine. [d] as the oil returns to the sump.

1.28

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 1 No
1 2

Answer
[a] [c]

Comment
Pressure in a gas depends upon the number of molecules present ie mass of charge, and the speed at which each molecule moves ie temperature of the charge. Manifold pressure is the pressure outside the cylinder at the inlet port. The position of the throttle decides how much gas flows through the inlet manifold to the port. The higher the manifold pressure, the greater the mass flow of gas into the cylinder when the inlet valve opens. See page 1.1.9. Anything that decreases the temperature of the charge will help minimise the risk of detonation. The most immediate effect will always be achieved by placing the mixture control into fully rich. This sends extra cooling fuel to where it is most needed - the inside of the cylinder. The explosion of the charge sends shocks through the engine which are felt as vibrations. The sudden release of the heat of combustion while the piston is at or near TDC concentrates the heat into the cylinder head, causing the temperature to rise and power to drop. As propeller RPM increase, the propeller tip speed approaches and may exceed the speed of sound. This degrades the propeller's aerodynamic efficiency. As the engine heats up, the viscosity of the oil is brought into the range required for effective lubrication. Engine temperature depends upon the rate at which heat is being generated [power], and the rate at which it is being carried away [IAS]. The extra fuel in a rich mixture helps reduce the temperature of combustion. This is really the opposite to question 8 above. Increase the rate at which heat is being generated and decrease the rate at which it is being carried away. The higher the octane rating of a fuel, the greater its ability to withstand compression and heat without detonating. A horizontally opposed engine relies on oil being flung from the rotating crankshaft to adequately lubricate the cylinder walls. The only way to fire every cylinder during two rotations of the crankshaft is to fire every second cylinder in the direction of rotation. See page 2.1.15. See page 2.1.17. The higher the viscosity, the 'thicker' the oil becomes. It resists flowing and spreading. Oil coolers are more correctly called oil temperature regulators. It is important to warm the oil when it is cold, just as it is important to cool it when it is hot. Airflow through the cooler is required to carry the heat away. If the airflow is interrupted, the oil temperature will rise. Hot oil flows too easily and eventually the pressure will become lower. The lower the quantity of oil in the sump, the more frequently it must circulate to carry engine heat away. The oil that is present will be come hotter. Higher RPM produce more engine power. However, high RPM reduces the propeller's efficiency. A gear box allows the engine's power to be transmitted to the propeller in the form of greater torque but lower RPM. See question No 17 See question No 8 Engine warm-up is essential prior to demanding take-off power. This not only ensures that the oil is the correct viscosity to properly lubricate the various components, but also lessens the 'thermal shock' of large and sudden temperature increase. If oil level is very low, as the oil moves about in flight eg in turbulence, the oil pump pick-up screen becomes uncovered causing the pump to suck air at intervals. This causes fluctuations in oil pressure. To cause this to happen, the oil level would have to be critically low. Oil temperature would be very high. Oil has a high viscosity at low temperature. This offers a high resistance to the oil pump causing oil pressure to rise.
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3 4

[a] [d]

[a]

6 7 8

[b] [a] [d]

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

[d] [b] [b] [a] [d] [b] [c] [c]

17 18

[a] [c]

19 20 21

[d] [d] [a]

22

[d]

23

[b]

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

1.29

No
24 25

Answer
[a] [a]

Comment
The lower the quantity of oil, the hotter that oil becomes. At high power settings, the smaller quantity of oil must carry the extra heat away from the engine. [Assuming a cruise power-on descent at high IAS.] To reduce the rate at which heat is being carried away from the engine, the IAS would have to be reduced. Power would be kept constant, so the rate of descent would decrease. To help cool the engine, the rate at which heat is being generated [power], must be reduced. The rate at which heat is being carried away [IAS], should be increased. The aircraft would suffer a decrease in the rate of climb. Both detonation and preignition are accompanied by a marked increase in engine temperature. Especially in horizontally opposed engines, the oil tends to 'pool' on the bottom of the cylinder causing plug fouling at low temperatures. The bottom plugs are usually the culprits. Very high oil temperature reduces the viscosity of the oil to the point where it no longer maintains an unbroken film over the surfaces. This increases the possibility of metal to metal contact and rapid engine wear. Oil pressure is usually measured just before the oil goes to do its vital work i.e. just before it enters the engine oil gallery.

26

[c]

27 28

[d] [a]

29

[b]

30

[c]

1.30

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PROPELLERS A propeller blade is essentially a rotating wing. Like a wing, it is a cambered aerofoil which advances into the relative airflow at an angle of attack. In the case of the propeller blade, the total reaction is resolved into two component forces called propeller thrust and propeller torque [Fig 2.1]. Fig 2.1
PROPELLER BLADE WING
actio n
lift

tota l re

tota

l rea

ctio

drag thrust relative airflow

torque

The propeller blade's motion through the air however, is a little more complex than that of a wing because as it advances along the flight path, it also rotates about its own shaft. The behaviour of the relative airflow about the blade is best understood by considering each of these motions separately. Consider a short period of time, say 1/100 sec and imagine a rotating propeller advancing along the flight path. Fig 2.2
A
distance travelled by the blade in the plane of rotation

Now ignore the forward motion and consider only the motion about the propeller shaft. In Fig 2.2 at left, the line AB represents the distance a particular point on the blade travels about the shaft in 1/100 sec. This line would represent the motion of that point if the aeroplane were standing still. The line BC represents the distance the aeroplane would move forward in that time. So the point we are considering would move the distance AB in the plane of rotation of the propeller shaft and the distance BC in the direction of flight. Since it does both simultaneously, the resultant path is along the line AC. The relative airflow approaches the blade from a direction opposite to its motion ie along the line CA. The resulting angle of attack is shaded in Fig 2.2.

B C distance travelled forward

relative airflow

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2.1

Fig 2.3
Blade angle

Fig 2.3 shows a simple device which helps in exploring the relationship between propeller RPM, aeroplane forward speed [TAS] and the angle of attack on the propeller blade. The angle at which the propeller blade is set to the plane of rotation is called the blade angle. In small training aeroplanes, this angle is fixed by the manufacturer and cannot be altered by the pilot. The angle of attack however, is the result of the RPM and TAS and it does change in flight as each of those factors change. Consider Fig 2.3. The vertical scale represents the distance travelled by a particular point in the plane of rotation at various RPM. The higher the RPM, the further it travels. The horizontal scale represents the distance the aircraft travels forward at various TAS values. The actual motion of the blades and the resulting angle of attack can be found by pulling a piece of string across the diagram as shown in Fig 2.4. If you would care to do some investigating you will find that for any given value of RPM, an increase in TAS will cause a decrease in angle of attack while a decrease in TAS will produce an increase in angle of attack. Also, for any given TAS, an increase in RPM will cause an increase in angle of attack while a decrease in RPM will cause a decrease in angle of attack. Note that all the while the blade angle remains constant. Note also that any given angle of attack can be achieved at only one TAS for any RPM value. All of these relationships will become important when we investigate the operation of the constant speed propeller shortly.

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM 2800 RPM
160 kt 140 kt 120 kt 100 kt 80 kt

Fig 2.4
angle of attack at 2400 RPM and 120 kt

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM

140 kt

120 kt

160 kt

100 kt

2800 RPM

2.2

80 kt
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Fig 2.5
propeller torque

engine torque

As the angle of attack of the propeller blade changes, the total reaction changes and so the value of propeller thrust and propeller torque change. Most importantly, the ratio of propeller thrust to propeller torque changes. This is exactly the same situation as the change in lift/drag ratio with angle of attack change on a wing. Just as there is one particular angle of attack which produces the best lift/drag ratio for a wing, so there is one particular angle of attack which produces the best thrust/torque ratio for a propeller.

propeller thrust

Propeller thrust acts parallel to the propeller shaft and provides the force required to overcome drag in flight. Propeller torque acts so as to oppose the blade's motion. Engine torque acts to overcome propeller torque and so allow the blades to continue to rotate [Fig 2.5]. When engine torque equals propeller torque, the propeller settles down to rotate at constant RPM. If propeller torque becomes greater than engine torque, the RPM will decrease. If propeller torque becomes less than engine torque, the RPM will increase. Operating the propeller at the angle of attack for the best thrust/torque ratio will provide the greatest amount of propeller thrust for the least amount of propeller torque. Since engine torque is produced by burning fuel which, in the long run comes from the operator's cheque book, the best thrust/torque ratio produces the best value for money. Fig 2.6 Fig 2.6 shows that if the blade angle remains constant, the most efficient angle of attack can occur at only one speed for any one RPM value [black dots]. Since most aircraft cruise at one particular RPM setting, the propeller will be at its most efficient angle of attack at only one TAS. While thrust is still available at other speeds, it comes at a higher price. Propellers with a fixed blade angle are called fixed pitch propellers. While they are quite suitable for small aircraft, they would be hopelessly inefficient for higher performance aircraft. It would be silly to fit an aeroplane with a powerful engine if that high power was delivered to an inefficient propeller. To enjoy an efficient angle of attack over a higher range of RPM and TAS, we must be able to change the propeller's blade angle in flight.

angle of attack for best thrust/torque ratio

160 kt

140 kt

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM 2800 RPM
120 kt 100 kt 80 kt

airflow

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2.3

Fig 2.7 [a] [b] [c]

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM


160 kt 140 kt

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM


120 kt 100 kt 160 kt 140 kt 120 kt 80 kt 80 kt

2000 RPM 2200 RPM 2400 RPM 2600 RPM


100 kt

140 kt

120 kt

160 kt

100 kt

In Fig 2.7 [a] above, the propeller is rotating at 2400 RPM and advancing at a TAS of 80 kt. This results in the angle of attack indicated. Let's assume that this is the most efficient angle of attack. In Fig 2.7 [b], the TAS has been increased to 120 kt. At 2400 RPM this angle of attack can be preserved at the higher speed if the propeller blade is rotated to a larger blade angle. Fig 42.7 [c] shows that at a higher speed still, the same angle of attack can be maintained by a further increase in blade angle. Propellers that can change their blade angle in flight are sometimes called variable pitch propellers. When the blade angle is small, the propeller is said to be in fine pitch. When the blade angle is large the propeller is said to be in coarse pitch. Blade angles typically range from about 22 at the fine pitch stops, to about 57 at the coarse pitch stops [Fig 2.8]. A mechanism in the propeller hub allows the propeller to adopt a pitch anywhere between these limits. Fig 2.7 shows that a fine pitch is required to allow the best angle of attack at low speed, while a coarser pitch is required as speed increases.

blade angle 22

Fig 2.8
blade angle 57

fine pitch
2.4

coarse pitch

80 kt

2800 RPM

2800 RPM

2800 RPM

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CONSTANT SPEED UNITS The most common arrangement found in modern aircraft employs a variable pitch propeller which automatically maintains a given RPM by responding to pitch change commands from a governor. Such an arrangement is called a constant speed unit [CSU]. Changing the propeller pitch: In this book we are not interested in the details of the various mechanical devices used to cause the propeller blades to change their pitch. Fig 2.9 below is schematic only and illustrates the principle most commonly employed. A movable piston in the propeller hub is subject to two forces. One is a fixed force such as a spring, compressed gas pressure, or centrifugal force generated by counterweights on the rotating blades. The other is a variable force, usually oil pressure delivered from the engine. The fixed force attempts to push the piston in one direction, while the variable force attempts to push it in the other. By adjusting the strength of the variable force, the piston can be forced to move forward or backward causing the propeller blades to rotate to different pitch settings [Fig 2.9]. In Fig 2.9, increasing the variable force causes the blade to move towards fine pitch. This may not always be the case as the arrangement of the forces varies with design.
variable force force

Fig 2.9
fixed variable force

force

fixed

Your flying instructor will be able to give you more specific details on the system used in the aircraft you fly.

From all of this you should see that control of the propeller pitch angle can be achieved by controlling the strength of the variable force. In most cases this amounts to allowing oil to flow into, or out of, the propeller hub. This is achieved automatically by a propeller governor [See next page]. The pilot simply sets the desired RPM value with the pitch control lever and the governor automatically adjusts the blade angle to maintain those RPM at various speeds and power settings.

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2.5

Fig 2.10 [ON SPEED]


speeder spring disk and bearing flyweight

pivot pressure oil from engine to hub pilot valve

flyweight toe plunger stem

from hub return to sump

The Governor: In the most common type of propeller governor, the propeller pitch is changed by allowing engine oil to flow either to or from the hub. When oil is pumped into the hub it increases the variable force by pressing on the piston [see Fig 2.9]. This pulls the propeller blades towards fine pitch. When oil leaves the propeller hub, the fixed force [such as counterweights on the propeller blades], is free to pull the blades towards coarse pitch. The oil flow is directed by the governor, the main components of which are shown in Fig 2.10.

A pilot valve is attached to a plunger stem which terminates in a flat disk. L shaped flyweights are geared to the engine so that they rotate in a horizontal plane as shown in Fig 2.10. As they rotate, centrifugal force attempts to fling the heavy flyweight body outwards. The flyweights pivots on a hinge pressing the flyweight toe against the race of a bearing under the disk. This action applies a force which attempts to lift the pilot valve up. The lifting force is countered by a speeder spring which applies a force which attempts to push the pilot valve down. If the two forces are equal, the pilot valve takes up the position shown in Fig 2.10, preventing any oil from flowing either to or from the hub and therefore maintaining a constant propeller pitch angle. This is called the 'on speed' condition. If the propeller RPM begin to increase, the centrifugal force becomes greater than the speeder spring force, allowing the counterweight toes to lift the pilot valve. This allows the fixed force in the propeller hub to push oil out of the hub back to the sump, moving the blades towards a coarser pitch. This increases the propeller torque and 'puts the brakes on' returning the RPM to the original value. Fig 2.11 [a]
Fig 48 [OVERSPEED]

Fig 2.11 [b]


Fig 49 [UNDERSPEED]

from hub

pressure oil

to hub

return to sump

If the propeller RPM begin to decrease, the speeder spring force becomes greater than the centrifugal force, pushing the pilot valve down against the reduced centrifugal force. This
2.6
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

shuts off the return line and opens the pathway for engine pressure oil to be pumped into the propeller hub against the fixed force. This moves the blades towards a finer pitch, reducing the propeller torque and 'taking the brakes off', again returning the RPM to the original value [Fig 2.12] . If you contemplate Figs 2.10, 2.11 and 2.12 for a minute, you should see that the 'on speed' condition is the only condition the system will tolerate. Any attempt by the pilot valve to move away from this position immediately results in a change in propeller pitch which causes it to return. If you are blessed with a mechanical mind, you may also see that the component which decides the actual RPM which will be tolerated is the tension on the speeder spring. If the speeder spring force is increased, the centrifugal force must be increased to maintain the 'on speed' condition, ie the engine will settle down to a higher RPM value. If the speeder spring force is decreased, the centrifugal force must be decreased to allow the pilot valve to remain in the 'on speed' condition, ie the engine will settle down to a lower RPM value. Using this system, the pilot can dictate the engine RPM by selecting the appropriate tension on the speeder spring with the cockpit pitch control lever. Once selected, the engine will continue to run at the chosen RPM thanks to the commands of the governor. If the designer has done his job properly, the angle of attack on the propeller blades when the engine is on speed should be very close to the most efficient angle of attack mentioned earlier.

Fig 2.12
The pilot selects the desired RPM and the governor maintains it by sending oil to or from the propeller hub to vary the blade angle.

15 10
RPM x 100

20 25

Throttle control

5 0
HOURS 2534.75 2

Propeller pitch control lever

30 35

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2.7

CONTROLLING THE BLADE ANGLE BY USING COUNTERWEIGHTS. The cut-away variable pitch propeller below shows the action of counterweights in controlling blade angle. Not all CSUs have counterweights, but it is very common in general aviation. In this arrangement, the propeller blades will go fully coarse should an oil pressure failure occur. When the propeller is rotating, the counterweights attempt to fling out to align with the plane of rotation. This is a natural centrifugal reaction and because they are attached to the propeller blades, they attempt to pull the blades towards the coarse pitch position. If that was the only force acting, the propeller blades would seek the coarse pitch position and stay there.

Counter weights hard against the coarse pitch stops.

Oil pumped into the hub pulls the counterweights and the propeller blade towards fine pitch.

When oil is pumped into the propeller hub, the forward movement of the hub pulls the propeller blades towards the fine pitch position against the action of the counterweights. The governor controls the blade angle simply by directing oil to or from the hub. If oil goes to the hub, the blades move towards fine pitch - if oil flows from the hub, the blades move towards coarse pitch under the influence of the spinning counterweights.

2.8

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MANIFOLD PRESSURE Because the constant speed unit automatically maintains the selected RPM by changing the propeller's blade angle, the pilot can no longer rely on the RPM as an indication of engine power output. Fig 2.13
15 10
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

5
HG

30 35

Another instrument is needed to tell the pilot how hard the engine is working. Called the manifold pressure gauge, this instrument measures the pressure in the inlet manifold between the throttle butterfly and the inlet valve. Since this manifold pressure decides how much of the fuel and air mixture will enter the cylinder when the inlet valve opens, it is an excellent indication of how hard the piston is being pushed [see Fig 2.13]. Manifold pressure is measured in inches of mercury [HG"]. Normal atmospheric pressure at sea-level is about 30 HG". Note that this is the same as 1013 hPa, with which you are more familiar. When the aircraft is parked with the engine inoperative, the normal outside pressure floods through the inlet manifold, so that at sea-level the manifold pressure gauge would read about 30 HG". When the engine is running the manifold pressure gauge will read something less than the outside pressure because of the suction created by the moving pistons. In flight the pilot simply selects the manifold pressure required by moving the throttle control until the desired figure is indicated on the gauge.

Throttle control

The manufacturer provides tables which show recommended values of RPM and manifold pressure which produce various power settings.
2.9

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Pitch control fully fine

Fig 14

When the propeller pitch control lever is pushed all the way forward, the propeller locks into the smallest blade angle [Fig 2.14]. This position is called fully fine and it is used for engine start-up, taxi, run-up and take-off. With the fully fine pitch selected the engine simply behaves as though it had a fixed pitch propeller and RPM change whenever the engine power changes - just as they do in any aeroplane with a fixed pitch propeller. This is necessary during the pre-take-off carburettor heat, magneto and engine power check. When the propeller is in fine pitch, it allows the engine to deliver maximum thrust at low airspeed, which is just what is needed for take-off.

The propeller is also locked into the fully fine position prior to landing to ensure that maximum thrust is available in the event of a go-around. During flight, the propeller pitch control is adjusted to select whatever RPM setting the pilot desires. The pilot simply moves the propeller pitch control until the desired RPM is indicated on the tachometer. The propeller governor then automatically maintains the selected engine speed by sending oil to or from the propeller hub. Changing engine power with a CSU. One of the big advantages of a CSU is that it allows the pilot to vary the engine power output while maintaining constant RPM. The propeller's ability to vary its pitch permits an efficient angle of attack to be maintained throughout a large speed range, while the engine benefits by operating at a constant RPM setting where the valve and ignition timing can produce maximum efficiency. Fig 15 Once the RPM are selected, the propeller governor will maintain the RPM at that value. If the pilot advances the throttle to increase power, the throttle butterfly valve opens to increase the mass flow and therefore the force acting on the piston. This will be indicated by an increase in manifold pressure [Fig 2.15].

throttle advanced

15 10
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

5
HG

30 35

The additional power produced by the increased manifold pressure initially attempts to make the propeller spin faster. However the governor immediately senses the tendency for RPM to increase and 'puts the brakes on' by moving the propeller blades towards a coarser pitch. This results in an increased angle of attack on the blades so thrust increases. Note that even though the RPM remains constant throughout, the extra power is still delivered to the propeller. The propeller simply takes a 'bigger bite' of air at constant RPM. In level flight, the
2.10
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extra thrust would cause the aeroplane to accelerate to a higher TAS and the angle of attack of the blades would decrease again to become almost the same as before. However the higher TAS would now produce and increased relative airflow over the blades, maintaining the higher thrust output. If the pilot retards the throttle to decrease power, the throttle butterfly valve moves towards the closed position, decreasing the mass air flow and reducing the force acting on the piston. This will be indicated by a decrease in manifold pressure [Fig 2.16]. Initially the RPM will attempt to decrease, but Fig 2.16 throttle the governor will sense retarded the tendency and 'take the brakes off' by moving the blades towards 15 20 a finer pitch. This re10 25 sults in a decreased angle of attack on the 5 30 blades, so thrust de0 35 creases. In level flight, the aeroplane would slow down to find equilibrium once more at a lower TAS.
MANIFOLD PRESSURE HG

MANIFOLD PRESSURE, RPM AND ENGINE EFFICIENCY. An engine fitted with a CSU is capable of producing the same power at various combinations of manifold pressure and RPM. The pilot is given the choice of achieving a given power output by turning the propeller slowly [low RPM], with a large angle of attack [high manifold pressure], or turning the propeller faster [higher RPM] with a smaller angle of attack [lower manifold pressure]. The engine manufacturer publishes the various combinations of manifold pressure and RPM that will produce given power outputs. Even though the power may be the same, the best engine efficiency is achieved when the lowest RPM is used with the highest manifold pressure [MAP]. This is because low RPM allows the valves to remain open longer during the induction and exhaust stroke thereby impoving the flow of gas into and out of the cylinders. To put it more technically, the volumetric efficiency is improved when low RMP is used with high MAP. Note that the manufacturer publishes the combinations which are safe for the engine and values other than the published values should never be used. CARBURETTOR ICE AND CSUs It is important to understand the behaviour of an engine fitted with a CSU when carburettor ice forms. Because the formation of ice has a similar effect to closing the throttle, the manifold pressure will drop but the governor will keep the RPM the same. When carburettor heat is applied, there will be an immediate drop in manifold pressure then an increase as the ice melts, but all the while the RPM will be constant. If carburettor heat is applied and no ice is present, there will be an immediate drop in manifold pressure with no further change at constant RPM. When the heat is returned to cold, the manifold pressure will return to normal [See also BAK page 6.7].
2.11

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The coarse pitch stops: If the aircraft is put into a dive with power on, the propeller will attempt to overspeed just as it does in a fixed pitch aeroplane. However the governor will sense the overspeed tendency and move the blades towards coarse pitch to prevent a change in RPM. If the dive is continued however, the blades could eventually reach the limit of travel and encounter the coarse pitch stops. Any further acceleration would now produce an increase in RPM. In most light aircraft, this condition would not be encountered until Vne was exceeded. Manifold pressure at start up: When the engine is not operating, the normal ambient atmospheric pressure floods through the induction system. The manifold pressure indicated before start up will simply be the ambient atmospheric pressure. On a standard day at sea-level, this will be about 30 Hg". After start up, the downward moving pistons create a suction in the induction system downstream of the throttle butterfly. The manifold pressure gauge will indicate about 10 or 11 Hg". The actual ambient atmospheric pressure prior to start up will depend upon the synoptic situation [ ie whether a high or low pressure system is occupying the region], and the elevation of the aerodrome. Since atmospheric pressure drops by about 1 Hg" for every 1000 feet of height increase, at an aerodrome with an elevation of 3000 feet, the manifold pressure prior to start up would be expected to read about 27 Hg".

Fig 2.17

prior to start up at sea-level

15 10
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

ambient pressure

5
HG

30 35

after start up suction

15 10 ambient pressure 5
HG MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

30 35

The relationship between manifold pressure and RPM: You will also notice during flight that when the RPM are changed with the propeller pitch control level, the manifold pressure gauge responds with slight changes in its indication even though no throttle movement has been made. When RPM are decreased, the manifold pressure gauge will show a slight increase. This is because at the lower RPM the valves open fewer times per minute so the rate of flow into the cylinders decreases and there is a 'pile up' of gas between the throttle butterfly and the inlet valve. Likewise, when RPM are increased, the manifold pressure gauge will show a slight decrease, because of this relationship between manifold pressure and RPM, changes of power may require a short period of adjustment to obtain precisely the manifold pressure and RPM indications required.
2.12
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Fig 2.18
propeller pitch up first

then manifold pressure up

PILOT TECHNIQUE FOR CHANGING POWER WITH A CSU When operating an engine fitted with a CSU, it is good practice to avoid a combination of high manifold pressure and low RPM. At low RPM the valves stay open longer and if manifold pressure is high, too much fuel and air can be forced into the cylinders. This problem is called 'overboosting' and it can be avoided by following this simple rule. When increasing power, always increase the RPM before you increase the manifold pressure [see Fig 2.18]. When decreasing power. always decrease the manifold pressure before you decrease the RPM [see Fig 2.19]. This will avoid the combination of low RPM and high manifold pressure.

Fig 2.19
manifold pressure down first then RPM down

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2.13

PROPELLER MALFUNCTIONS Malfunctions within a constant speed unit could occur within the propeller governor or the propeller hub. One possible malfunction in the propeller governor is failure of the speeder spring. Fig 2.20
centrifugal force centrifugal force

During normal operation, the speeder spring provides a balance for the lifting force generated by the rotating flyweights. If the speeder spring or its associated tensioning system should fail, there would be no resistance to the lifting force generated by the flyweights. The flyweights will be flung outwards by centrifugal force causing the governor to sense overspeed. The governor will send the command to remedy overspeed, ie it will move the blades towards coarse pitch. Because of the absence of the speeder spring's balancing force, the flyweights will remain in the overspeed position and the propeller blades will move to the coarse pitch stops. This will result in a drastic drop in RPM and seriously degraded performance.

lifting force

overspeed condition

direction of rotation

Fig 2.21

counterweight

If a malfunction should occur in the propeller hub, the consequences will vary depending on design. In the case of a McCauley non-feathering constant speed propeller, the oil pressure moves the blades towards coarse pitch, while a return spring provides the fixed force which acts towards fine pitch. A pressure failure in the hub of this propeller, would cause the blades to move to the fine pitch stops. If the engine is developing power at the time, this can produce a sudden surge in RPM called propeller 'runaway'. Immediate action would need to be taken to minimise engine damage.

counterweight attempts to twist the blade towards coarse pitch

In the case of the Hartzell non-feathering constant speed propeller, the oil pressure moves the blades towards fine pitch, while counterweights on the rotating blades provide a centrifugal force which moves the blades towards coarse pitch [See Fig 2.21]. In this type, a pressure failure in the hub will cause the blades to move to the coarse pitch stops.
2.14
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PROPELLER CARE One of the items on a daily inspection schedule is inspection of the propeller blades for nicks and other damage. The small amount of ground clearance provided in most general aviation nose wheel aeroplanes offers little protection to propeller blades from stone damage over unsealed surfaces.
propagating crack [not obvious to visual inspection] stone damage

During operation, high concentrations of stress occur about nicks resulting from stone damage to the blades. In the worst cases, this can cause cracks to propagate through the body of the blade with eventual separation of a piece of the blade. The result of course, would be catastrophic [Fig 2.22]. Serious nicks discovered during a daily inspection should be removed by a suitably qualified person. This is done by filing the damaged area to remove all sharp points which act as stress concentration points. Three forces act on the propeller blade during normal operation.

Fig 2.22

The aerodynamic twisting moment, [ATM], is the result of the airflow producing a total reaction which attempts to twist the blade towards coarse pitch.

The centrifugal twisting moment, [CTM], is the result of the natural tendency of the blade [or any other rotating body] to align itself with the plane of rotation. It attempts to twist the blade towards fine pitch. Some CSUs take advantage of the CTM to help provide the fixed force to decrease the pitch of the blades. Centrifugal force generated by the rotation of the blade, produces a tensile load on the blade which attempts to stretch it longitudinally. Fig 2.23

aerodynamic twisting moment centrifugal twisting moment

centrifugal force

Your propeller works hard under the influence of strong and complex forces look after it!
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2.15

Total Reaction

More about CTM and ATM. Consider a rotating propeller without any counterweights. As the relative airflow passes over the surface of the blade a total reaction is produced in exactly the same way as lift is produced by a wing. As is the case with lift, the total reaction acts through the centre of pressure which is forward of the axis of rotation of the blade.
Axis of blade rotation

Centre of pressure

This produces a twisting moment which attempts to rotate the blade all the way to the fully coarse position. This effect is called the aerodynamic twisting moment [ATM]. However as the blade rotates at high speed, centrifugal forces act to fling both the leading and trailing edges out - away from the rotating crankshaft. These forces produce another twisting moment which attempts to pull the blade towards the fine pitch position.

centrifugal force

crankshaft rotation

centrifugal force

This effect is called the centrifugal twisting moment [CTM]. Since the blade is relatively heavy and is rotating at high RPM, the CTM is much more powerful Axis of blade rotation than the ATM and a blade such as this [without counterweights] will seek to take up the fine pitch position. If the designer wants the blade to take up the coarse position in the event of a failure of oil pressure in the hub, heavy counterweights are fixed to the propeller blade as shown in the figure at left. The centrifugal force which acts on the counterweights flings them out from the axis of rotation of the crankshaft, overpowering the natural tendency of the blade to move towards fine pitch. The end result is that a propeller blade fitted with counterweights such as these will move towards coarse pitch in the event of a failure of oil pressure in the hub.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

centrifugal force

crankshaft rotation

centrifugal force

2.16

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

To allow the blades to move to any position between the coarse and fine pitch stops, it is necessary to devise a mechanism that rotate them about the pitch-change axis. Many different mechanisms are employed to achieve this. The figure at left does not pretend to be an accurate representation of any one system, it simply shows that it is a relatively simple matter to devise a system where a back-and-forth motion of the piston could cause the blades to rotate about their pitch-change axis. In most cases this is achieved by applying pressure to a piston forcing it to move back to rotate the blades. If no pressure is applied to the piston, the blades seek their default position in response to the centrifugal forces acting. The addition of the counter weights produces a resultant centrifugal reaction which causes the blades to naturally seek the coarse pitch position as they rotate. When the governor pumps oil into the hub, the actuating piston is forced back, pushing the blades towards fine pitch. There are many types of constant speed propellers in use in aviation, however two types that are very common in general aviation single engine aircraft are the McCauley nonfeathering type and the Hartzell non-feathering type.
Oil pumped into this space forces the piston back, causing the blades to move towards the fine pitch position.

blade rotates towards a finer pitch piston pushed back

The McCauley propeller uses no counter weights and the blade seeks fine pitch due to the centrifugal twisting moment assisted by a fine pitch return boost spring. In this case the oil pressure acting on the piston moves the blades towards coarse pitch so an oil pressure failure would allow the blades to go to fully fine pitch and stay there. The Hartzell propeller uses the counter weights described above and the propeller seeks coarse pitch under the influence of the centrifugal forces acting on the counter weights. Oil pressure moves this propeller towards fine pitch so a failure of oil pressure would cause the blades to go fully coarse and stay there.

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

2.17

EXERCISE GK 2 .Question No 1

Try these questions

The manifold pressure gauge on an inoperative engine would be expected to read [a] 1013.2 hPa [b] zero [c] the ambient atmospheric pressure [d] 30 Hg" Question No 2 If a propeller governor senses overspeed it will move the propeller blades towards [a] fine pitch and increased propeller torque [b] coarse pitch and increased propeller torque [c] fine pitch and decreased propeller torque [d] coarse pitch and decreased propeller torque Question No 3 If a failure in the propeller hub of a CSU caused the blades to lock into one pitch setting the RPM would [a] slowly increase to the red line [b] gradually decrease [c] change whenever engine power changed [d] fluctuate Question No 4 When power is increased on an engine fitted with a CSU it is good practice to [a] increase RPM before manifold pressure [b] increase manifold pressure before RPM [c] increase both manifold pressure and RPM together [d] increase manifold pressure only with constant RPM Question No 5 Overboosting of an aircraft engine is most likely to occur [a] when high manifold pressure and low RPM is used [b] when the engine RPM is allowed to become too high [c] when low manifold pressure and high RPM is used [d] when low manifold pressure and low RPM is used Question No 6 If an aeroplane fitted with a constant speed propeller suffered carburettor icing during cruising flight [a] as the ice built up in the carburettor the RPM would drop [b] the RPM would remain the same but the manifold pressure would drop [c] both the RPM and the manifold pressure would drop [d] both the RPM and the manifold pressure would remain the same Question No 7 When carburettor heat is applied in an engine fitted with a CSU the presence of carburettor ice would be confirmed by [a] a drop in manifold pressure with no further change at constant RPM [b] a drop in manifold pressure and RPM with no further change [c] a drop in manifold pressure followed by a slight rise at constant RPM [d] a drop in RPM with no further change at constant manifold pressure Question No 8 If an engine fitted with a CSU is at cruise power and the throttle is closed slightly, the propeller will [a] seek a finer pitch with a drop in RPM [b] seek a finer pitch with and increase in RPM [c] seek a coarser pitch at constant RPM [d] seek a finer pitch at constant RPM Question No 9 Failure of the speeder spring in the governor of a CSU will cause the blades to move [a] fully coarse with a drop in RPM [b] fully fine with a rise in RPM [c] fully coarse with a rise in RPM [d] fully fine with a drop in RPM

2.18

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 10 If the sensor lead on a manifold pressure gauge becomes disconnected while cruising at an altitude of 5000 feet, the instrument would be expected to read approximately [a] zero [b] 30 Hg" [c] 1013 hPa [d] 25 Hg" Question No 11 If the pitch control lever on a normally aspirated engine fitted with a CSU is moved to decrease RPM with no adjustment made to the position of the throttle, the manifold pressure will [a] remain unaltered [b] increase [c] decrease [d] increase then decrease Question No 12 Manufacturers publish a list of various MAP and RPM values to achieve a given power setting. The most efficient engine performance can be expected when the pilot selects [a] the combination which gives the lowest MAP and highest RPM for increased volumetric efficiency. [b] the combination which gives the lowest RPM and highest MAP for increased volumetric efficiency. [c] the combination which gives the lowest MAP and highest RPM for increased compression ratio. [d] the combination which gives the lowest RPM and highest MAP for increased compression ratio.

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

2.19

No
1

Answer
[c]

Comment

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 2

The manifold pressure gauge is simply a barometer which reads the pressure in the inlet manifold between the throttle butterfly and the inlet valve. When the engine is inoperative, the ambient atmospheric pressure floods into the inlet manifold since it is open to the outside atmosphere. It is useful to think of the propeller as a brake on the engine [which it is in fact]. If the governor senses overspeed, it sends a command to the propeller hub to 'put the brakes on'. The propeller moves towards coarse pitch, which increases the aerodynamic drag [called propeller torque]. This makes the propeller more difficult to turn. If the blades were unable to change their pitch the commands of the governor would be ignored. The propeller would behave exactly like a fixed pitch propeller. It would change its RPM whenever engine power or TAS changed. The idea is to try to avoid a combination of high manifold pressure and low RPM beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer. The high manifold pressure means the gas is pushed strongly towards the cylinder, while the low RPM means that the inlet valve is open for a longer time. This results in overboosting. Same reasons as in 4 above. A turbocharger allows even higher manifold pressures to be achieved, increasing the likelihood of overboosting. The engine manufacturer publishes the combinations of manifold pressure and RPM that are permitted. The pilot should be sure to comply with these recommendations. This is an important one! As the ice builds up in the carburettor the effect is exactly the same as closing the throttle. But if the pilot made no adjustment to the pitch control lever, the governor would move the propeller blades into a finer pitch to keep the RPM constant. The pilot would not notice any change in RPM, but the manifold pressure would drop as less air is being admitted past the throttle butterfly. Hot air is less dense than cold air. Hot air is directed to the carburettor when carburettor heat is applied. Because ice takes a little time to melt, the first indication is a drop in manifold pressure as both hot air and ice is present. As the ice melts, the manifold pressure rises a little. The carburettor heat is returned to cold, when all of the ice has melted and the manifold pressure increases to the normal figure. The governor will prevent a change in RPM by seeking a finer pitch. The governor will be 'fooled' into believing that the engine is overspeeding. It will simply read the ambient atmospheric pressure. The flow rate through the valves will reduce causing a 'pile up' of gas at the inlet. This is because low RPM allows the valves to remain open longer during the induction and exhaust stroke thereby impoving the flow of gas into and out of the cylinders. To put it more technically, the volumetric efficiency is improved when low RMP is used with high MAP.

[b]

[c]

[a]

[a]

[b]

[c]

8 9 10 11 12

[d] [a] [d] [b] [b]

2.20

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FUEL AND FUEL SYSTEMS AVIATION GASOLINE [AVGAS] For proper combustion to occur within the cylinders, the fuel must be in the form of a gas. Any droplets of liquid fuel present in the cylinder prior to ignition represent a waste of fuel and a loss of efficiency. The 'willingness' of a liquid fuel to turn into a gas is called volatility. To be suitable for use in an internal combustion engine, a fuel must be volatile enough to allow easy engine starting when cold, but not so volatile as to 'boil' in the fuel lines en-route to the cylinders, producing bubbles of gas and vapour locking [more on this later]. Another important characteristic of a fuel is the manner in which it burns after ignition. The most useful work can be done when the source of ignition causes a flame to travel at a more or less uniform rate throughout the mixture. As temperature and pressure increase within the combustion chamber, a point is reached where there is a sudden change in the manner of combustion. Instead of a flame travelling at a uniform rate, there is a sudden explosion which delivers a severe shock to the piston and cylinder. This is called detonation [Fig 3.1].

Fig 3.1

BANG! Normal combustion. Flame fronts progress evenly through the mixture. Mixture subjected to too much heat and compression before ignition. Detonation occurs.

Theoretically, we could go on extracting more and more power if we could go on increasing the compression of the charge prior to ignition. However, once the fuel begins to detonate, there is no future in that idea. OCTANE RATING If we can improve the fuel's tolerance to compression without detonating, we can go on extracting more power by increasing compression and combustion temperature. A fuel's resistance to detonation is indicated by a number called octane rating [or antiknock value]. The higher the octane rating, the higher the resistance to detonation. Ratings above 100 are more correctly called performance numbers. The AVGAS available in Australia is rated at 100/130. The first number represents the rating when the mixture is lean, while the second number represents the rating when the mixture is rich [see the next section for an explanation of mixture]. Other ratings, not available in Australia, are 80/87, 91/96, 115/145. Pure gasoline is actually a colourless liquid. For safety, dyes are added to assist in visual identification. 100/130 AVGAS is dyed green, while 100 octane low lead [100 LL] is dyed blue.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.1

Unfortunately, most aircraft engines are built in America and many smaller engines were designed to use either 80/87 or 91/96 octane fuel. Since only 100/130 AVGAS is available in Australia, we have no choice but to use it in these engines. As far as detonation is concerned, this presents no problem, since the fuel we are using is 'too good' for these engines. But the plot thickens! The higher octane rating is obtained mainly by adding lead and bromine compounds to the fuel. Provided the operating temperature remains high enough, these compounds remain in a vapour state and exit the engine harmlessly with the exhaust gases. Lower compression engines however, do not operate at such high temperatures, so the lead and bromine compounds remain in the engine causing exhaust valve erosion and lead fouling of the spark plugs. The problem is alleviated by the use of 100 octane low-lead fuel [100 LL]. With prior approval, automotive fuel [MOGAS] may be used in some aircraft. MIXTURE Combustion requires more than just the presence of fuel. Burning involves the chemical combination of the fuel with the oxygen from the atmosphere. When you are baking a cake, you must take measured quantities of the various ingredients and mix them in the correct proportions before placing the mixture in the oven to achieve the desired result. Likewise, when fuel is burnt in a closed cylinder, the correct proportions of fuel and air must be present before ignition to achieve the most efficient release of heat. A perfectly balanced air/fuel mixture would result in no excess fuel or air remaining after the burn. Chemists have found that this occurs with a ratio of 15 parts of air to 1 part of fuel by weight. This ratio is sometimes expressed as a decimal fraction, ie .067. It is given the impressive sounding name of stoichiometric mixture. A mixture is said to be richer when the ratio of air to fuel is decreased. This can be achieved by either reducing the amount of air or increasing the amount of fuel. Air/fuel mixtures any richer than about 8 to 1 will not burn in a closed cylinder. This condition is sometimes called flooding and it is often the cause of starting difficulties. Likewise, when the ratio of air to fuel is increased, the mixture is said to be leaner. This can be achieved by either increasing the amount of air, or decreasing the amount of fuel. Mixtures any leaner than about 18 to 1 will not burn in a closed cylinder, giving rise to lean misfire. Because the molecules of fuel are more widely separated in a lean mixture, the flame propagates more slowly, requiring a longer time to complete the burn. When the mixture becomes too lean, the combustion can take so long that, as the inlet valve opens to allow the fresh charge into the cylinder, the previous charge is still joyously ablaze. Tongues of flame leap out into the inlet manifold, igniting the mixture in the pipe. This sends a shock wave through the induction system which is known as a backfire [Fig 3.2].
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

inlet valve opens

Fig 3.2

BANG

fresh charge ignited previous charge still burning

A lean mixture producing a backfire

3.2

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

MIXTURE CONTROL Unlike a car, an aeroplane operates in a very wide range of atmospheric density. A high performance piston engine aircraft can take off at sea-level and, within minutes, the same aircraft can be operating in air whose density is reduced by as much as 25 to 30%. If the same amount of fuel is mixed with this thinner air, the mixture becomes very rich, resulting in wasted fuel and loss of power. The pilot is provided with a mixture control in the cockpit which allows the amount of fuel being metered by the carburettor or fuel control unit to be reduced to match the thinner air. This restores the air fuel ratio to provide more efficient combustion which will be accompanied by smoother running and increased engine power at the same throttle setting. If all other factors are kept constant, the state of the mixture determines the temperature of combustion. Changes in mixture strength therefore, are accompanied by changes in the temperature of the exhaust gases. Some aircraft are provided with an exhaust gas temperature gauge [EGT], to allow the pilot to monitor mixture condition [Fig 3.3], you will hear more about this later.

Fig 3.3

*
throttle butterfly carburettor

EGT

exhaust gas temperature

fuel flow restrictor mixture control

Once the fuel flow has been restricted to allow for the reduced air density at high altitude, any descent to a lower altitude will cause the mixture to become too lean, as the reduced amount of fuel is mixed with the more dense air. The mixture control will need to be pushed in to increase the fuel flow to match the increased density at the lower altitude. Apart from providing the most efficient combustion, the mixture control can be used to assist engine cooling. The excess fuel in a rich mixture has the effect of lowering the temperature of combustion and cooling the cylinder. Placing the mixture control into the fully rich position, has the most immediate effect on high engine temperature as it sends the cooling fuel directly to the place it is most needed - inside the cylinder. For this reason, the mixture is kept fully rich whenever high power is being used [usually above about 75% of maximum rated power]. In most aircraft engines, the mixture control is also used to stop the engine. Placing the mixture control to idle cut off, cuts off the fuel flow at the carburettor or fuel control unit. This leaves the cylinders free of unburnt fuel.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.3

FUEL SYSTEMS The fuel system of an aeroplane can be divided into two main components. The aircraft fuel system and the engine fuel system. Aircraft fuel systems can be further subdivided into: GRAVITY FED SYSTEMS, where the fuel tanks are far enough above the engine to allow the fuel to flow into the engine system by gravity alone. These systems are suitable for high wing aircraft with carburettor equipped engines. PRESSURE OR PUMP FED SYSTEMS, where fuel tanks are not high enough to allow gravity flow, or where the engine system requires the fuel to be delivered under higher pressure. These systems are suitable for low wing aircraft or for all aircraft equipped with fuel injection systems. Engine fuel systems can be further subdivided into: CARBURETTORS, where fuel arrives under low pressure, and is mixed with the air before being delivered to the cylinders. FUEL INJECTION SYSTEMS, where the fuel is injected into the inlet port under higher pressure, to be mixed with the air after it has arrived at the cylinders. Let's now consider each of these in more detail. AIRCRAFT FUEL SYSTEMS Whatever the type, all aircraft fuel systems require a fuel tank to store the liquid fuel, a vent to allow air to flow into the tank to replace the fuel as it is used, a drain to allow samples of fuel to be inspected for contamination, a selector valve to allow the fuel flow to be turned on and off and a fuel quantity gauge to allow the pilot to monitor fuel quantity [Fig 3.4]. In most fuel systems the outlet pipe which carries the fuel to the engine stands above the bottom of the tank. This arrangement is called a stand pipe, and it ensures that some unusable fuel will remain in the tank to accommodate any contamination that may be introduced into the system.

Fig 3.4
Fig 64 [gravity fed system]
vent

cap tank

drain

selector filter
off on

3.4

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

The importance of the vent. Place a drinking straw in a container of liquid. Cover the top of the straw with your finger as illustrated in Fig 3.5, keep your finger in place and remove the straw from the liquid. The liquid in the straw cannot flow out if you do not allow air to flow in to replace it. Remove your finger from the top of the straw. The liquid flows freely once the air can flow in. The vent allows the air to flow into the tank to replace the fuel that is flowing to the engine. Some Fig 3.5

vents face forward like the one in Fig 3.4, to provide a positive pressure in the tank by transferring the total pressure of the outside air stream to the inside of the tank. Some systems simply have a vent built into the fuel filler cap [Fig 3.6]. In a gravity fed fuel system, if an obstruction in the fuel vent prevents the free flow of air, the fuel will a vented fuel cap eventually stop flowing as illustrated in Fig 3.5. This of course, will result in a complete engine failure. It's a sobering thought that for all of the safety systems and checks that apply to an aircraft engine, the whole thing depends upon the vent in the fuel tank! In the case of a pressure system, where fuel is being forced to leave the tank via a pump, a blocked vent will result in a vacuum in the tank. This could cause eventual damage to the tank, or encourage bubbles of fuel vapour to form in the lines, again interrupting the fuel flow. Water is a common contaminant in a fuel system. It can enter the tank via the vent as a vapour on a humid day and then condense to become liquid water as temperature drops overnight. The liquid water is heavier than fuel so it sinks to the bottom of the tank. When temperatures rise again the next day, this water cannot re-evaporate as it is not in contact with the air. The next night the cycle repeats itself, adding to the accumulated liquid water. This process is a much more serious problem when it occurs in large storage tanks or drums. The water can then be transferred to the aircraft's fuel tanks during refuelling. Make sure you are familiar with all of the fuel drains on your aircraft and check them carefully after each refuelling and before the first flight of the day.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

Fig 3.6

3.5

PRESSURE SYSTEMS If gravity alone is unable to supply the required pressure to the engine, the fuel must be pumped. All pressure systems utilize an engine driven fuel pump. This pump is driven directly from gears at the back of the engine. To allow for the possibility of the engine driven pump failing, an electric fuel pump is always provided to provide pressure in an emergency and in some cases, to provide sufficient pressure to prime the cylinders with fuel prior to start up [Fig 3.7].

Fig 3.7
engine engine driven pump by-pass

LYCOMING

LYCOMING

LYCOMING

on

off

X AU UMP LP UE

electric pump

selector

Some systems use an electric auxiliary fuel pump as shown in Fig 3.7. The main function of this pump is to take over should the engine driven pump fail. A by-pass allows fuel to flow around the auxiliary pump whenever it is not operating, while a second by-pass allows the auxiliary pump to pump fuel around the engine driven pump should it fail. This type of pump is usually turned on for take-off and landing to avoid the embarrassment of an engine failure at these critical times if the engine driven pump should fail. In some fuel injected engines however, the electric fuel pump provides pressure fuel to prime the engine prior to start. The manufacturer often recommends that these pumps remain off for take off and landing, since there is a danger that the mixture may become too rich if they are operated along with the engine driven pump. It is very important to ensure that you are certain of the instructions for the operation of the electric pump in the aircraft type that you fly! FUEL VAPORIZATION The aircraft's fuel system is designed to handle fuel in the liquid form. This is especially true of the fuel pumps. If fuel begins to break down into vapour while it is passing through the fuel lines and pumps, the fuel flow will be interrupted. Because vapour is a compressible gas, it simply expands and compresses instead of pushing its way through the lines. The result is rough running, power loss and eventual engine failure.
3.6
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

The danger of fuel vaporization increases with the volatility of the fuel. Fuel volatility, in turn, depends upon the temperature of the fuel and the ambient atmospheric pressure. The higher the temperature and the lower the atmospheric pressure, the more likely the formation of vapour in the fuel lines becomes. Fig 3.8
When the engine pulls the carriages from the front only, there is a high load on the linkages between the carriages.

Another important factor is the rate at which the fuel is being pumped. When warm fuel is being pulled through the system by the engine driven pump only, it is prone to breaking down into bubbles of vapour. This can be likened to the situation represented in Fig 3.8 [I hope you will forgive me for being a little bit juvenile for a moment]. Any attempt by the train to pull the carriages up the hill too quickly, places a strain on the linkages between the carriages. However, if another engine begins to push from behind, the strain on the linkages between the carriages is removed. THE BOOST PUMP If an electric pump is placed at the other end of the fuel line, it assists the engine pump by pushing the fuel while the engine pump pulls. This relieves the stress on the fuel in the lines and prevents vapour locks from occurring.

An attempt to pull too fast results in one of the linkages failing

If another engine pushes from behind, this problem is solved.

Called a boost pump, this second pump is often situated at, or even in, the fuel tank. It is turned on whenever the likelihood of fuel vaporization is present. During take off, high performance aircraft may have to deliver the fuel at a very high rate through many metres of fuel lines. Since the fuel is also very likely to be warm at the same time, the boost pump is always turned on for take-off. A fluctating fuel pressure when all other engine instrument indications remain normal is a likely indication of fuel vaporization. Note that the boost pump does not allow the engine to deliver any more power, it simply guards against fuel vaporization while the demand is high.

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.7

ENGINE FUEL SYSTEMS The function of the engine fuel system is to mix the correct quantity of fuel with the air and deliver that mixture to the cylinders. By the time the fuel enters the cylinders, it must be in the form of a pure vapour, with no droplets of liquid fuel remaining. CARBURETTORS A simple and effective way of achieving this in smaller engines is through the use of a carburettor [Fig 3.9]. Fig 3.9
throttle butterfly

fuel line from tank vent

mixture control

main discharge nozzle

needle valve float

venturi

air bleed

float chamber

main metering jet air flow

The main components of the carburettor are: The float chamber This is a vented reservoir which accepts the fuel as it is delivered under low pressure from the tank. A hinged float with a needle valve controls the flow of fuel into the chamber [Fig 3.9]. As the level of fuel rises, the float rises with it, pressing the needle valve against its seat and restricting the flow. If the level of fuel begins to drop, the float drops with it, releasing the needle valve from its seat and allowing the fuel to flow once more. During normal operation, the float and needle valve automatically find a position which allows fuel to enter the float chamber at exactly the same rate at which it is leaving the main discharge nozzle. This ensures an exact level of fuel is maintained in the float chamber, which in turn ensures an exact pressure is maintained at the main metering jet. The venturi As the air enters the carburettor on its way to the cylinders, it passes through a narrowing section called a venturi. As the air accelerates through the venturi, its pressure drops creating a suction. This causes fuel to flow from the float chamber towards the main discharge nozzle.
3.8
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

The mixture control The amount of fuel that can flow through the main metering jet is governed by the position of the mixture control which we considered earlier. There are many different types of mixture control. The one represented in Fig 3.9 is a needle-type mixture control. It controls the fuel flow through the main jet. When the needle is lifted up, the mixture is fully rich, when it is fully down, it prevents any fuel from flowing through the main jet [the idle cut-off position]. The air bleed The engine fuel system must not only meter the fuel in the correct proportion, it must ensure that the fuel arrives in the cylinders as a pure vapour. The process of evaporation is greatly assisted by introducing air into the discharge line to break the fuel up into a misty spray as it approaches the main discharge nozzle. This is done via the air bleed, which allows air to be sucked into the venturi along with the fuel. Fig 3.10
The accelerator pump is connected to the throttle lever. It pushes fuel towards the discharge nozzle as the throttle is opened

to discharge nozzle

The accelerator pump. Another component not shown in Fig 3.9 for the sake of simplicity, is the accelerator pump. If the throttle is suddenly opened to increase power, the flow of air and fuel must increase. Much of the fuel is still in the form of liquid droplets as it leaves the main discharge nozzle. Since these droplets are heavier than air, inertia prevents them from suddenly accelerating, so, as the air accelerates towards the engine, the fuel gets left behind. The resulting mixture can become too lean to burn, causing a power lag during which the engine hesitates and misfires just at the moment when power is needed most. The accelerator pump sends a surge of fuel to the discharge nozzle as the throttle is opened to help overcome the inertia of the fuel and provide smooth acceleration [Fig 3.10].

CARBURETTOR ICE Induction system icing can be thought of as two separate processes. Impact ice forms when the temperature of the various components is below zero and supercooled liquid water droplets freeze on impact with the surfaces. This is the same process that causes ice to form on other airframe components such as wings and it is not likely to be encountered by VFR aircraft operating in Australian latitudes. Other types of ice, called fuel evaporation and throttle ice, are much more common in carburettor equipped engines and can form when outside air temperature is nowhere near freezing and when no visible liquid water droplets are present. If you place some fuel on your hand and hold it in front of a fan, you will feel a dramatic cooling effect as the fuel evaporates. Remember that in a carburettor, we go to a lot of trouble to ensure that the fuel does evaporate. The cooling effect of the evaporating fuel causes water vapour in the air to condense onto the metal surfaces in the vicinity of the discharge nozzle, just as water condenses onto the surface of a cold softdrink can. Also called refrigeration ice, the temperature drop caused by fuel evaporating is by far the most powerfull influence in producing the temperatrue drop.

If the temperature drops below freezing, the condensed water will freeze to form ice. As more water freezes, the ice builds up, restricting the flow of mixture through the carburettor.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.9

Fig 3.11
refrigeration or

adiabatic effect-

throttle ice

evaporation ice

venturi

Throttle ice. The risk of ice formation is increased when the engine is operated at part throttle. The air suffers a rapid pressure drop as it passes the partly closed throttle butterfly. This drop in pressure is accompanied by a further drop in temperature encouraging the formation of throttle ice. This additional cooling effect is due to a process known as adiabatic cooling and it is responsible for a further 3 to 4C drop in temperature. Together with evaporation ice which forms on the venturi fuel evaporating walls and even on the discharge nozzle, it causes a drop in engine power. Symptoms of carburettor ice are a drop in manifold pressure and, in the case of fixed pitch propellers, a drop in engine RPM. Engines fitted with a CSU will show no drop in RPM, but will show a drop in manifold pressure and eventually in IAS as the governor

selects a finer pitch to maintain engine RPM. If the build up continues, complete engine failure will be preceded by rough running and back firing. The backfiring is the result of a lean mixture resulting from ice forming at the discharge nozzle. CONDITIONS NECESSARY Carburettor ice can form in a wide variety of atmospheric conditions. It has occurred at temperatures as high as +40C and with relative humidity as low as 50%. However it is most likely to form at temperatures below about +20C and relative humidity above 80%. The pilot can get a good indication of relative humidity from the proximity of the cloud base. The closer the aircraft is to the cloud base, the higher the relative humidity is likely to be. As the outside air temperature drops below about -10C, the risk of carburettor icing actually decreases as cold air holds less water vapour than warmer air. In terms of engine operation, carburettor ice is most likely at low power settings when the throttle is partly closed such as in a descent. A very likely situation for carburettor ice then, is during a descent in the vicinity of cloud. During a long descent with the throttle closed, carburettor ice can build up to the point where the engine stops completely. The danger here is that, since the aircraft is in a glide, the pilot gets no feedback of the condition since the propeller is windmilling and even after the engine power is lost, there is no indication in the cockpit. When the throttle is opened once more to apply power, the result may be very disappointing to say the least!
3.10
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

100%

70%

90%

80%

60%

50%

Light icing cruise or descent power Serious icing risk descent power Moderate icing cruise power Serious icing descent power 30% Serious icing risk any power 40%

20%

10%

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

Outside air temperature

The above graph shows the risk of carburettor ice under various combinations of ambient air temperature and relative humidity. When the throttle is partly or completely closed such as in cruise or descent, the additional cooling effect produced by adiabatic cooling of the lower pressure air upstream of the throttle butterfly increases the likely severity of icing. An ambient air temperature of 10C and a relative humidity of 70% to 80% would represent a serious icing risk at any power setting including climb power. An ambient temperature of 20C and 70% humidity could produce a moderate icing risk at cruise power and a serious icing risk with the throttle closed on descent. Remember that a cloud base marks the level in the sky where the relative humidity is 100% - this is also known as the condensation level. It follows that flight in the vicinity of a cloud base will encounter very humid air and an increased risk of carburettor ice. An even greater risk exists when the aircraft is descending just below or between clouds at low power settings. Most flying schools teach the student to apply carburettor heat as a precaution when operating at low or no power such as during forced landing practice or glide approaches. In spite of all of this, encounters with serious carburettor ice are surprisingly rare when you consider how often the environmental conditions indicate that the risk exists. Also light carburettor ice sometimes goes unnoticed by the inexperienced pilot as it often is a transient phenomenon that appears and then clears of its own accord. On the other hand, carburettor ice has been the cause of many training accidents especially forced landing training - when both instructor and student have been so preoccupied with the progress of the exercise that neither has applied the carburettor heat until the ice was so bad that it could not be removed.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

Relative Humidity

3.11

CARBURETTOR HEAT To combat this type of ice formation, the pilot applies carburettor heat. When the carburettor heat control is pulled out, a valve moves to shut off the normal filtered air from outside, and admits heated air from a heat exchanger wrapped around the hot exhaust pipe [Fig 3.12]. See also the figure opposite.

Fig 3.12
throttle butterfly carburettor

inlet

CAT CAT

outside air

filter

heated air

hot exhaust pipe

carburettor heat

carburettor heat off

USING CARBURETTOR HEAT Apart from removing ice, the application of carburettor heat also affects engine performance. Since hot air is less dense than cold air, the mixture becomes richer when carburettor heat is applied. The effect is similar to a sudden increase in altitude. On the other hand, the higher charge temperature increases the risk of detonation, particularly on larger engines at high power. Some engines, usually the higher performance ones, have a carburettor air temperature gauge [CAT] which is marked with a green and yellow band. The yellow band indicates conditions that are likely to produce carburettor ice allowing the pilot to apply just enough carburettor heat to prevent further ice formation. It is possible for the use of partial carburettor heat to actually raise the temperature of the air from a range where there is little risk of icing to a range where icing is more likely! In aircraft without a CAT gauge therefore, it is better to apply full carburettor heat whenever the symptoms of ice appear and then return the carburettor heat to the off position. It should be remembered that when ice is present, the initial effect of carburettor heat is to cause a further loss of power and an increase in engine roughness. This is because the ice takes a little time to melt and for a moment the engine has to put up with carburettor ice and hot air. As the ice melts, the engine power will improve and, when the carburettor heat is turned off, power should return to normal.
3.12
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Normal air enters the carburettor via this filter

Cold unfiltered air in

Carburettor

Hot air out

Hot exhaust pipe Heat exchanger

Carburettor heat off - normal air enters carburettor

Carburettor heat on - heated air enters carburettor

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.13

Testing carburettor heat During the pre take-off checks the pilot checks that the twoposition valve in the carburettor air intake is functioning properly [see Fig 3.12]. With the engine set a little above idle power, the carburettor heat control is placed in the full on position. The pilot should notice a drop in engine RPM as the hot air reduces the volumetric efficiency of the engine and causes the mixture to become richer. Note that for engines fitted with a CSU, the drop in RPM will still be noticed, since the propeller is locked in the fully fine position during all ground operations. When the carburettor heat control is returned to the off position, the RPM should return to normal. Because the air supply through the heat exchanger is not filtered, the application of carburettor heat should be avoided on the ground, except for testing, as unfiltered air allows dust and other solid particles to enter the cylinders. Carburettor heat as an alternate air supply Even though it is not its primary function, it should be remembered that, apart from providing hot air to melt ice, the carburettor heat system provides an alternate air supply to the engine in the case of an emergency. I know of at least one case where a damaging forced landing resulted because of a blockage in the normal air duct. The application of carburettor heat would at least have allowed the flight to continue to an aerodrome. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A CARBURETTOR

ADVANTAGES The carburettor is: simple, with virtually no moving parts relatively inexpensive very reliable with almost no record of failure except for contamination with foreign matter efficient enough for use on small engines with relatively low fuel demands

DISADVANTAGES The carburettor is: prone to carburettor icing gravity sensitive so unable to operate in sustained unusual attitudes [eg inverted] unable to deliver exactly the same mixture strength to each cylinder inefficient when used on high performance engines with high fuel demands.

One student's definition of carburettor icing: Carburettor icing is a sweet white sticky substance, which is spread over carburettors to make them more palatable!

3.14

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FUEL INJECTION An alternative to a carburettor is a fuel injection system. The type used in most light aircraft engines is the continuous flow injection system illustrated in Fig 3.13. Fig 3.13
fuel fuel discharge nozzle air
fuel

fuel manifold valve

to other cylinders

exhaust inlet

fuel/air control unit air FUEL PUMP

FUEL PRESSURE

fuel

fuel pressure/flow gauge

The main components of the system are: The fuel pump This is an engine driven pump which supplies the fuel pressure for the system. It is driven off the back of the engine through gears. The fuel/air control unit The fuel pump delivers pressure fuel to the fuel/air control unit. This unit is placed where the carburettor would normally be situated. Like a carburettor, it controls the airflow to the engine through a butterfly valve. The unit senses the amount of air flowing to the engine and meters the appropriate amount of fuel to be sent on to the fuel manifold valve. The fuel manifold valve The fuel manifold valve is situated on top of the engine. It distributes the metered fuel to the fuel discharge nozzles. Fuel discharge nozzles The fuel discharge nozzles inject the fuel into the inlet port, where it mixes with the air and is drawn into the cylinder when the inlet valve opens. Because of the requirement for the fuel to be completely evaporated by the time it enters the cylinder, the discharge nozzles mix air with the fuel and inject it under much higher pressure than a carburettor as a fine mist which evaporates almost instantaneously. Fuel pressure/flow gauge In most systems, the pressure in the fuel line is measured before the fuel manifold valve. Some flow gauges actually measure fuel pressure with a transducer and transmit it to the instrument which is calibrated in fuel flow. This system assumes that a given pressure will produce a given flow rate. The face of the instrument is calibrated in gallons per
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.15

hour or pounds per hour instead of pounds per square inch. Although they are usually very reliable, they do not measure flow directly. A partial blockage in the fuel line or filter will cause an incorrect reading as the pressure will rise while the flow rate will fall. Also fluctuations in fuel pressure is a likely indication when fuel vaporisation is occurring. Specific ground range A continuous reading of fuel flow can be useful in practice because, along with the current ground speed, it can be used to establish the specific ground range [miles per gallon], being achieved. For example if I know that I am covering the ground at 140 kt and my current fuel flow is 12 gph, I can apply the following reasoning: Every hour I travel 140 nm and every hour I burn 12 gals of fuel. Therefore, each 140 nm that I travel costs me 12 gals. How many miles do I go on 1 gal? 14012 = 11.66 mpg. The specific ground range gives me an immediate indication of the economy I am achieving. It can be found simply by dividing the ground speed by the fuel flow. Some fuel injection systems meter the fuel according to throttle position and engine RPM. Others meter the fuel according to the pressure changes as the incoming air flows through a venturi. All systems provide a manual mixture control which allows fine-tuning of the amount of fuel leaving the fuel/air control unit. Note that maximum engine volumetric efficiency is obtained when the throttle is fully open. Therefore theoretical maximum range in no wind in a piston engine aircraft would be obtained when flying at a height where full throttle produced the IAS for best lift/drag ratio. In practice this would be crazy since you would have to be at something like 17000 feet for this to happen. Maximum endurance in a piston engine aeroplane is obtained by flying with the least power that will maintain level flight and remaining as low as possible. The advantages of fuel injection are: 1 The system is not gravity sensitive so the fuel system will continue to operate in sustained unusual attitudes. 2 It allows much more precise control over the mixture strength at each cylinder. 3 Because no fuel is evaporating in the vicinity of the throttle butterfly, it is free of the icing problems associated with carburettors. [It can still suffer from impact ice about the air filter and upstream of the throttle butterfly]. 4 It allows much more efficient management of fuel in high performance engines. On the negative side: 1 Fuel injection systems are more complex and more expensive than simple float type carburettors. 2 Because fuel must be transported around fuel lines which are close to the engine and cylinder heads, they are more prone to fuel vaporisation problems than carburettors. 1 and 2 above are hardly worth considering when you consider the savings made by better fuel efficiency in larger engines.
3.16
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Fuel injector nozzle

A fuel injected Lycoming 0-320 engine. Rated at between 140 and 160 HP, these engines are one of the most popular in general aviation. The fuel line from the fuel control unit can be seen snaking in at the top left to the fuel manifold valve. From the fuel manifold valve the fuel injection lines can be seen running to each of the four cylinders where the fuel is injected into the inlet port. Because the fuel is injected before the inlet valve, no timing is necessary. Each cylinder simply takes in a mixture of evaporated fuel and air each time the inlet valve opens. Because the fuel must evaporate almost at the instant it is injected, the system must work under much higher pressure than a carburetor.

Fuel injector lines

Fuel Manifold Valve

MIXTURE CONTROL AND ENGINE PERFORMANCE When an engine is operated at a fixed throttle setting and RPM, changes in performance can be observed to occur with changes in mixture state. With the mixture in the fully rich position, quite a lot of cooling fuel is being metered to the system. If less than about 75% power is being used, this cooling fuel is not required and therefore is not only being wasted, but is actually reducing the power output. If throttle position and RPM are maintained while the mixture is leaned from the fully rich position, an increase in power output will be noticed. In level flight, the increase in power will result in a slight increase in TAS. Fig 3.14

fully rich

best power

best economy

lean misfire

Further leaning will produce a drop in TAS. The point where TAS is highest represents the best power mixture. Leaning beyond this point results in a lower TAS.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.17

However it also results in a lower fuel consumption. Initially, the rate at which the fuel flow reduces is greater than the rate at which TAS reduces, so miles per gallon actually get better. For example if the best power mixture resulted in a TAS of 140 kt and a fuel flow of 14 gph, specific ground range would be 10 miles per gallon [14014]. If further leaning caused the TAS to drop to 135 kt and the fuel flow to drop to 12 gph, the specific ground range would become 11.25 mpg [13512]. Even though power has decreased, economy has increased. Further leaning causes the TAS to drop faster than the fuel flow and economy begins to decrease. The point where specific ground range begins to decrease corresponds to the best economy mixture. This usually occurs very close to the stoichiometric mixture of 15 to 1 which corresponds to the peak exhaust gas temperature. Leaning beyond this point quickly produces a mixture which is too lean to burn and the engine begins to misfire. Mixture condition at take-off Because of the high power demand at take-off, the mixture is usually set in the fully rich position to provide adequate cooling. In extreme cases of high strip elevation and hot environmental temperature, the mixture at take-off could become so rich that a significant power loss results. Under these conditions, the engine would begin to run roughly at take-off power and may require leaning to restore smooth running. This condition would be very rare in Australia and leaning for take-off should be done only after considering the manufacturer's recommendations. In any case it shouldn't be necessary unless the runway length is marginal. EXERCISE GK 3 Try these exam-type questions

Question No 1 As mixture is progressively leaned from full rich condition, the engine will experience [a] best power, then rough running, then peak exhaust gas temperature [b] best economy, then best power, then rough running [c] best power, then best economy, then rough running [d] peak exhaust gas temperature, then best power, then best economy Question No 2 If mixture is correctly set to peak EGT, moving the mixture control to fully rich with throttle setting unchanged, will cause power output to [a] decreases continuously [b] increase then decrease [c] increase continuously [d] decrease then increase Question No 3 If mixture is correctly set for best power, an increase in altitude with no adjustment in mixture or throttle position will produce [a] a richer mixture and less power [b] a leaner mixture and less power [c] no change in mixture strength [d] a richer mixture and more power Question No 4 Operating an engine with high power and the mixture very lean can cause [a] plug fouling and overheating [b] backfiring and overheating [c] backfiring and low temperatures [d] a decrease in indicated air speed and low temperatures

3.18

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 5 On application of carburettor heat when ice is present, the manifold pressure will [a] drop initially, then slowly increase [b] rise initially, then slowly decrease [c] drop continuously [d] drop initially and remain at the lower value Question No 6 For take off under very high density altitude conditions [a] the mixture must be left fully rich [b] the mixture must be leaned to peak EGT [c] the mixture should be leaned to best economy [d] fully rich may be too rich and the mixture should be leaned to smooth running Question No 7 If throttle and mixture levers remain unchanged during a long climb from sea-level, the power available will decrease because [a] the decreased air density produces a leaner mixture [b] volumetric efficiency reduces and mixture becomes too rich [c] a richer mixture produces rising cylinder head temperatures [d] decreased air density provides too little cooling of the engine Question No 8 During take off in an aircraft with a turbocharged engine, [a] full power must be achieved before the brakes are released [b] throttles should be opened fully initially then reduced to rated boost [c] throttles should be opened smoothly and care taken not to exceed rated boost [d] maximum continuous power should not be exceeded Question No 9 Take off power is [a] the same as maximum continuous power [b] higher than maximum continuous power but may be used providing the mixture is fully rich [c] used for short periods such as at take off with a time limit of about three minutes [d] used only during an emergency take off Question No 10 The purpose of a booster pump is [a] to provide extra power at take off [b] to transfer fuel from one tank to another [c] to prevent the mixture from becoming too lean at high altitude [d] to guard against fuel vapour accumulation [ vapour locking] Question No 11 One disadvantage of a carburettor as compared to a fuel injection system is [a] uneven mixture distribution to the cylinders [b] it is prone to fuel vaporisation [c] it requires a high pressure prime pump for starting [d] its relatively high cost Question No 12 Application of carburettor heat when ice is present on an engine fitted with a CSU will be accompanied by [a] an initial drop, then an increase in manifold pressure at constant RPM [b] a drop in manifold pressure and RPM [c] a drop in manifold pressure with constant RPM [d] an initial drop, then an increase in manifold pressure and RPM

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

3.19

Question No 13 If an engine is flooded and difficult to start, an appropriate technique would be [a] crank continuously and swear like mad [b] mixture fully rich, throttle closed and crank [c] mixture to idle cut off, throttle wide open, crank and re-set after start [d] crank initially with magnetos off, then turn magnetos on Question No 14 Application of carburettor heat when no ice is present on an engine fitted with a CSU will be accompanied by [a] an initial drop, then an increase in manifold pressure at constant RPM [b] a drop in manifold pressure and RPM [c] a drop in manifold pressure with constant RPM [d] an initial drop, then an increase in manifold pressure and RPM Question No 15 The colour of 100 octane low lead aviation fuel is [a] green [b] red [c] blue [d] clear Question No 16 One difference between an exhaust gas temperature gauge and a cylinder head temperature gauge is that [a] the exhaust gas temperature gauge responds more slowly to combustion temperature change [b] the cylinder head temperature gauge responds more slowly to combustion temperature change [c] the exhaust gas temperature gauge is always colour coded [d] the cylinder head temperature gauge is a better indicator of mixture condition Question No 17 The fuel flow gauge on many general aviation aeroplanes actually measure fuel pressure with a transducer and indicate an equivalent fuel flow. One consequence of this is [a] the gauge is absolutely reliable as an indicator of fuel flow since fuel flow and fuel pressure must always be proportional to each other [b] the gauge does not measure fuel flow directly and may give incorrect readings if the filters or discharge nozzles become blocked. [c] the gauge is absolutely reliable at normal power setting but may be incorrect at high power [d] the gauge is likely to over read at high power settings Question No 18 When using the carburettor heat control on an engine not fitted with a CAT gauge you should [a] use only enough heat to melt the ice. [b] use partial heat throughout the flight to prevent ice from forming. [c] use full heat only if the engine is at low power or at idle. [d] use full heat when gliding or when symptoms are noticed and then return to the 'off' position. Question No 19 The flight manual specifies that the fuel required for the aircraft is 100LL. During a daily inspection you notice that the fuel obtained in the fuel drain is red. Engine operation with this fuel would be: [a] normal since 100LL should be that colour. [b] likely to result in reduced engine performance and detonation. [c] likely to result in oil fouling of the spark plugs. [d] likely to result in overboosting and engine damage. Question No 20 Fluctuating fuel pressure indications when all other instrument indications are normal is a likely indication of; [a] fuel vaporization [b] detonation [c] carburettor ice [d] overboosting

3.20

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 21 Throttle ice is the name given to ice that forms as a result of: [a] adiabatic cooling due to the sudden pressure drop across the throttle butterfly [b] supercooled water droplets striking the external components of the induction system [c] the cooling effect of evaporating fuel [d] flying when the outside air temperature is below freezing. Question No 22 The theoretical maximum range [nil wind], for a piston engine aeroplane is obtained by operating at the IAS that produces the best lift/drag ratio and flying: [a] as low as possible [b] as high as possible [c] at full throttle height [d] with fully rich mixture.

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 3 Comment No Answer


1 [c] The extra fuel supplied at the fully rich mixture setting assists in cooling the engine, but it also reduces the combustion temperature. As mixture is leaned from fully rich with a constant throttle setting, power output increases to produce best power. Further leaning causes a drop in power, but also a drop in fuel consumption. Economy, ie miles per gallon, increases until best economy is achieved. Finally, after the peak combustion temperature is reached, the mixture becomes too lean to burn, producing lean misfire. Best power always occurs between peak exhaust gas temperature and fully rich. Power output will increase until best power is achieved, then it will decrease as the mixture control continues to move toward fully rich. Efficient combustion requires the correct ratio between fuel and air. Increased altitude reduces the mass of air induced because the outside air density is lower. If the amount of fuel metered is not reduced, the mixture will become richer and power will reduce. Lean mixtures take longer to burn. The slow burning charge is pushed back up into the cylinder head during the exhaust stroke, increasing engine temperature. As the inlet valve opens for induction, the still-burning charge ignites the fresh mixture in the inlet manifold causing backfiring. Ice takes some time to melt. Initially, the engine will suffer from hot air and ice. The manifold pressure will drop and then begin to rise again as the ice melts. The manifold pressure will return to normal when the carburettor heat is returned to the cold position after the ice has melted. A high strip and a hot day combined with fully rich mixture at take-off power, can produce a mixture which is far too rich. Some leaning may be required to restore smooth running. This should only be considered in extreme cases and then only after checking the manufacturers recommendations. The reducing ambient air density reduces the mass of air induced during the induction stroke, ie the volumetric efficiency is reduced. If no adjustment is made with the mixture control, the resulting mixture will be too rich. A turbocharger pumps air into the inlet manifold via a compressor. The greatly increased manifold pressure achieved with turbocharging can easily produce overboosting on engines with no automatic control over manifold pressure. Take off power represents more than 100% power. Because of the increased engine temperatures and decreased cooling airflow at take off, a time limit is normally imposed. 3.21

[b]

[a]

[b]

[a]

[d]

[b]

[c]

[c]

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 3 No Answer Comment


10 11 [d] [a] Booster pumps assist the fuel to flow through the lines without breaking up into bubbles of vapour. This is especially likely when demand is high and the fuel is warm. Low atmospheric pressure also encourages vapour formation. The carburettor mixes fuel and air some distance away from the cylinders. Initially, much of the fuel is still in the form of liquid droplets. If some of these droplets stick to the walls of the pipes, the mixture strength can change on route to the cylinders. Because the induction pipes running to the cylinders from the carburettor are not all the same length, mixture strength can vary from cylinder to cylinder [not a serious problem in smaller engines]. The manifold pressure will drop initially as the ice takes time to melt, so for a short while the engine suffers from hot air and ice. The manifold pressure will rise again as the ice melts. All the while the governor will maintain constant RPM. Note: Because the RPM remains constant, ice formation can be harder to detect in an engine fitted with a CSU because there is very little change in engine tone. If mixture is too rich to burn, the situation can be remedied by cutting off the fuel supply and providing maximum airflow. Again the manufacturer's recommendations should be considered and use of the starter motor should be limited to short periods to prevent overheating. The initial drop is caused by the introduction of hot air into the induction system. If no ice is present, the drop will be observed while ever the carburettor heat is applied. There will be no subsequent change in manifold pressure due to melting ice. The propeller governor will maintain constant RPM throughout. The colour is a dye introduced to assist in visual identification. The cylinder head temperature gauge is connected to the cylinder body, usually at one of the spark plugs. A large metal object such as a cylinder, cannot suddenly change its temperature, so changes in combustion temperature take time to be reflected as changes in cylinder head temperature. The exhaust gas temperature gauge [EGT], on the other hand, senses temperature via a thin metal probe in an exhaust pipe. It is able to change its temperature almost immediately the temperature of the exhaust gas changes. This gives the pilot a much more direct indication of mixture condition. Many small engines use a fuel flow gauge which actually measure fuel pressure and displays it on a gauge calibrated in flow. Such a system assumes that the fuel flow is proportional to fuel pressure. This is a pretty safe bet provided the size of the orifice in the injector nozzle or fuel lines remains the same. Any partial blockage due to dirt will cause pressure to rise while flow actually falls. The pilot will usually notice a fluctuation in fuel pressure. The correct technique without a CAT gauge is to wait until the symptoms appear and then apply full carburettor heat to melt the ice. Return the control to 'off' and repeat if symptoms reappear. It is good practice to apply full heat whenever the aircraft is gliding as a preventitive measure. A red colour indicates that the fuel is Mogas. This is normal motor car fuel and is not permitted for use in aircraft engines unless it is specifically indicated in the aircraft's flight manual. If Mogas is used in an engine that normally requires 100LL, reduced performance and detonation is likely. As the vapour pockets pass through the system the fuel pressure falls to zero. It then returns to normal when fuel passes through. This causes fluctuating pressure readings. Adiabatic cooling occurs when a gas suffers a sudden pressure drop. The pressure behind the throttle is much lower than the pressure before it - especially when the throttle is closed as in a glide descent. Full throttle height is the height at which the use of full throttle produces the required power. Since most light aircraft enjoy the best lift/drag ratio at a speed of about 65 or 70 knots [best gliding speed], full throttle height would be the height at which the use of full throttle produced that IAS. This is purely a theoretical consideration as the fuel used to climb to such a height would probably be more than you would save by being there!

12

[a]

13

[c]

14

[c]

15 16

[c] [b]

17

[b]

18

[d]

19

[b]

20 21

[a] [a]

22

[c]

3.22

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

SUPERCHARGING We have already seen that when you get down to basics, engine power output is the result of the impact of countless gas molecules forcing the piston down the cylinder during the power stroke. One of the factors that affects power output then, is the number of molecules that are induced during the induction stroke. For a given throttle and RPM setting, this is governed by the number of molecules present in the air outside in the first place [air density]. Effect of altitude An unsupercharged [sometimes called normally aspirated] engine climbing from sea-level at a fixed throttle setting, loses power as the air density drops with increasing height. This is a pity because the engine is perfectly capable of producing full power, all it lacks is sufficient air. One way to compensate for this is to pump air into the inlet manifold with a centrifugal compressor. The extra air allows the engine to burn extra fuel and therefore produce extra power. Note that in this case, the purpose of the compressor is not to increase the engine's maximum power output, but to allow it to maintain power as the climb progresses. This technique is sometimes called normalizing. Ground boosting Many engines are capable of tolerating a greater manifold pressure than is available at sea-level at full throttle. In this case, a compressor can boost the pressure in the inlet manifold beyond the normal sea-level value of about 30 Hg". This allows the engine to develop more power at sea-level and maintain a better power at altitude. This technique is called ground boosting. Fig 4.1
compressed air

air enters at the centre

compressed air As the air is flung out from the centre it gains energy in the form of increased speed The air is slowed by stationary diffuser vanes in the impeller housing. The energy it gained as speed is converted into pressure.

The compressor used is a centrifugal compressor [you probably have one in your hair dryer]. Air is introduced at the centre of a rapidly rotating impeller. Centrifugal force flings the air outwards, giving it extra energy in the form of extra speed. As it leaves the impeller, the air is slowed by passing through diffuser vanes in the impeller housing. This converts the energy of extra speed into the energy of extra pressure. The compressed air is then introduced into the induction system.
4.1

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

TERMINOLOGY Before we continue, let's consider some of the terms used in describing supercharged engines. Supercharging Originally the term supercharging was applied only to systems where the compressor boosted the manifold pressure to a value above the normal sea-level atmospheric pressure of about 30 Hg". Nowadays the term is often used to describe any engine with a compressor. Internal supercharging This term describes a system where the compressor is located between the carburettor and the inlet valve. That is, the air passes through the carburettor, collects the fuel, and the mixture then passes to the compressor. External supercharging This term is used for a system where the compressor is located before the carburettor or fuel control unit. The air encounters the compressor before the fuel is added. This system is almost always used in conjunction with fuel injection. Gear-driven supercharger In this system, the compressor is driven directly by gears from the engine crankshaft. Gear-driven superchargers are usually internal and are commonly found on older model engines with carburettors - particularly radial engines [see Fig 4.2]. Fig 4.2
mixture exhaust gas

throttle

from carburettor

compressor gears

The big disadvantage of a gear-driven supercharger is the lack of control over the speed of the impeller. Most aircraft engines operate at almost constant RPM. The gear ratio used is usually something in the order of 10 to 1. That is, the impeller spins at around ten times the speed of the engine. This is necessary to produce the boost required at altitude. However when the engine is operated near sea-level, this high impeller speed would produce too much pressure causing detonation and engine damage. The impeller speed is fixed by the gear ratio, so the pilot has no control over it. The only means of preventing overboosting is to partly close the throttle. You don't have to be a genius to see that this is inefficient. We take power from the crankshaft to spin the impeller too fast - then we close the throttle to restrict the airflow to prevent overboosting. I'll bet someone in Canberra thought of that!
4.2
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

compressed

Rated boost of detonation.

This is the highest manifold pressure the engine can tolerate without the danger

Full throttle height An engine fitted with a gear-driven supercharger must be operated with the throttle partly closed while it is at low level to prevent engine damage due to detonation. As it climbs into thinner air however, a height is reached where the throttle can be allowed to open fully and the impeller RPM is just sufficient to produce the rated boost. Above this height the rated boost cannot be maintained, even at full throttle. This height is called full throttle height [or critical altitude]. Theoretically the engine is enjoying its best volumetric efficiency at this height. The aircraft of course, can climb much higher than full throttle height. It is simply the greatest height at which the maximum permitted manifold pressure can be obtained. Turbocharging Much better control of impeller speed can be obtained by using a turbine instead of fixed gears as the power source to drive the impeller. The turbine is placed in the exhaust system and the exiting exhaust gases are directed over it to make it spin [exactly like a water-wheel]. The compressor is usually external in this system.
inlet exhaust

Fig 4.3
Waste gate closed. All exhaust gases drive the turbine.

throttle

exhaust gas

Waste gate open. Exhaust gases by-pass the turbine.

waste gate

turbine

compressed air compressor from engine air intake

The energy of the rapidly spinning turbine is delivered to the compressor through a system of gears. A waste gate in the exhaust system decides how much gas is sent directly overboard and how much is sent to drive the turbine. When the waste gate is open, all of the exhaust gas goes overboard and none goes through the turbine. The turbine 'free-wheels' and the engine behaves as a normally aspirated engine. As the waste gate is closed, more of the exhaust gas is directed over the turbine, increasing the impeller speed and boosting the manifold pressure. The big advantage of this system is that the compressor does nothing until the throttle butterfly is wide open. The waste gate can then be closed to direct exhaust gases through the turbine to drive the compressor.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

4.3

Fig 4.4
exhaust compressed air out compressor

turbine

Fig 4.3 is a schematic representation. The turbine and compressor are actually connected to a common shaft to form a compact, light weight unit as illustrated in Fig 4.4. Note that originally the term turbosupercharger referred to a system where the manifold pressure was boosted to a value above the normal sea-level atmospheric pressure, while the term turbocharger was used to describe systems which only compensated for the decreased density at high altitudes by maintaining the normal sea-level power. Nowadays however the term turbocharger is often used to cover both.

normal air in

Waste gate control Turbochargers employ various means of controlling the position of the waste gate, depending on the sophistication [and cost] of the system. Fixed waste gate The waste gate is set by an engineer on the ground and cannot be adjusted by the pilot. A fixed proportion of the exhaust gas goes to the turbine all the time, requiring the throttle to be partly closed to prevent overboosting below full throttle height [Fig 4.5]. Cheap, but not very efficient. Fig 4.5

throttle

fixed waste gate

from engine air intake

4.4

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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Cockpit adjustable waste gate The pilot is provided with a separate lever or knob in the cockpit to manually adjust the waste gate in flight. The waste gate is left fully open during climb until the required manifold pressure can no longer be obtained, even with the throttle fully open. The waste gate controller is then used to close the waste gate and power the turbine to maintain the desired manifold pressure [Fig 4.6]. This system is more efficient than a fixed waste gate, but it gives the pilot another control to worry about. Engines fitted with cockpit adjustable waste gates usually do not operate at high manifold pressures - they simply maintain given pressures to a higher altitude than would be possible with a normally aspirated engine . Fig 4.6

15 10
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

5 0
HG 2

30 35

throttle

Throttle fully open

manual waste gate control

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4.5

Throttle operated waste gate The first portion of movement of the throttle lever opens the throttle butterfly and leaves the waste gate fully open. Once the throttle butterfly has reached the fully open position, further movement of the throttle lever begins to close the waste gate and power the turbine [Fig 4.7].

Fig 4.7
15 10
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

20 25

5 0
HG 2

30 35

throttle

Waste gate closing

Throttle opening

Automatic operation The waste gate is controlled automatically to achieve and maintain the desired manifold pressure. Density and differential pressure controllers monitor the system and adjust the waste gate as required.

4.6

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upper deck air manifold pressure throttle Absolute pressure controller from engine air intake

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inlet Return oil compressor turbine exhaust

A typical automatic waste gate installation is shown here in a little more detail. The waste gate is springloaded towards the fully open position [vertical in the diagram]. A waste gate actuator uses a piston in a cylinder to push the waste gate towards the closed position against the spring. The piston is pushed by the hydraulic pressure of oil delivered from the engine oil pump.

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The pressure of the oil - and therefore the strength of the push is regulated by an absolute pressure controller. This is simply a capsule which is exposed to the upPressure oil from oil pump per deck pressure in the inWastegate actuator [forces the wastegate to duction manifold between Wastegate close against the spring]. [spring-loaded to fully open]. the compressor and the throttle butterfly. This pressure is pre-set to maintain a constant value to suit the needs of the engine - usually something like 35 Hg".

normal exhaust pipe

If the upper deck pressure increases, the capsule is compressed. This lifts the control valve away from the seat allowing oil to freely return to the sump and causing the pressure on the piston to drop. The spring loading then moves the waste gate towards the open position causing less gas to pass through the turbine and slowing down the compressor and bringing the upper deck pressure back to the preset value.

4.7

If the upper deck pressure decreases, the capsule expands. This forces the control valve into the seat restricting the oil flow to the return line and causing the pressure on the piston to rise. The waste gate actuator then moves the waste gate towards the closed position causing more gas to pass through the turbine. This increases the speed of the compressor and brings the upper deck pressure back to the preset value. Note that in this system the upper deck pressure is held constant whether the aircraft is climbing, descending or flying straight and level. The actual manifold pressure - between the throttle butterfly and the inlet valve - is controlled by the throttle position just as it is in a normally aspirated engine. Because the upper deck pressure remains constant, a given throttle position will always correspond to a given manifold pressure no matter what the height. There is no need to constantly adjust the throttle to maintain manifold pressure during a climb or descent. Critical altitude. If you climb high enough, you will reach an altitude where, even with the waste gate fully closed and all of the available exhaust gas passing through the turbine, the preset upper deck pressure can no longer be maintained - even with the throttle fully open. This is usually somewhere between 20000 and 25000 feet in a typical general aviation twin. During a test flight, the height above which a particular nominated manifold pressure can no longer be maintained is noted. This is the critical altitude for this particular aeroplane. Note that the aeroplane is quite capable of climbing higher, this is simply the altitude above which that nominated manifold pressure cannot be achieved. You might imagine that once the wastegate is fully closed, there is nothing more that can be done to increase the velocity of the exhaust gas passing through the turbine. However, if the propeller pitch lever is moved to increase RPM, there will be an increase in exhaust gas velocity and therefore an increase in turbine speed. This means that an increase in RPM will cause an increase in manifold pressure and a decrease in RPM will cause a decrease in manifold pressure once the waste gate is fully closed. This is exactly the opposite of what happens in a normally aspirated engine. Full throttle height. Critical altitude is really intended for a test pilot to monitor the performance of the system and diagnose faults. It involves a nominated manifold pressure and RPM combination. However there is always some height above which any given manifold pressure will no longer be available. The height above which a particular manifold pressure is no longer available at full throttle is full throttle height for that manifold pressure. TROUBLE SHOOTING Leaks in the system. One of the problems of an automatic system is that the automatic regulation of upper deck pressure can hide problems such as leaks in the induction and exhaust system from the pilot. The wastegate controller will automatically compensate for leaks by adjusting the wastegate while the pilot sees no symptoms in the cockpit. Induction system leaks. At low and medium levels an induction system leak in an automatic system is likely to go unnoticed because the waste gate closes to keep the upper deck pressure at the pre-set level. The pilot has no way of knowing that the wastegate is closed more than normal and the cockpit instruments give no indications. It is not until the wastegate closes fully that the desired manifold pressure can no longer be maintained. This will happen at a lower altitude than normal.
4.8
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With a throttle operated or cockpit operated wastegate, the pilot is more likely to notice the need to close the wastegate more that normal. Note that the loss of gas through a leak in the induction system will increase as height increases. At low levels the ambient atmospheric pressure is high [usually about 30 HG" at sea level], while the upper deck pressure is not much higher [usually about 33 or 35 HG"]. However as height increases, the upper deck pressure is kept constant by the gradually closing wastegate while the ambient pressure drops by about 1 HG" for each 1000 feet of height increase. At 10000 feet the ambient pressure would be expected to be about 20 HG" while the upper deck pressure would not have changed. The pressure gradient across the leak would be much greater and much more gas would be lost to the system. Another symptom of a leak in the induction system may be a higher than normal manifold pressure when the engine is idling. This is because at idle, the manifold pressure is lower than the outside atmospheric pressure causing air to flow into the induction manifold instead of out of it. This will also produce a lean idle mixture since more air is being introduced to the fuel-air mixture as it passes through the manifold to the engine. A bad leak could cause the engine to miss or even backfire as the throttle is advanced to commence taxi or take-off. Exhaust system leaks. Many symptoms of an exhaust leak are similar to an induction system leak in that the wastegate will need to be closed earlier than normal to compensate for the leak. Exhaust leaks must be taken very seriously since, if left unchecked, they can pose a risk of in-flight fire. If an exhaust leak is suspected, an immediate landing at the nearest suitable airport is the only sensible course of action. Fortunately, exhaust leaks can be detected visually on the ground quite easily because they typically leave brightly coloured stains and obvious heat damage. In an automatic system an exhaust leak will show no unusual indication to the pilot unless a sudden massive leak develops [ a 'blow out']. This will be accompanied by a sudden drop in manifold pressure as the engine begins to behave as a normally aspirated engine - there will be a serious risk of an in-flight engine fire. Sticky wastegate. The waste gate operates in a very hostile environment at about 900C with combustion by-products containing a nasty concoction of lead, carbon and sulphur. This can cause the wastegate to 'coke up' to the point where instead of closing smoothly, it sticks and closes in jerky and erratic movements. This shows up as abnormal manifold pressure fluctuations especially during periods of constant wastegate movement such as long climbs or descents or throttle adjustments. Turbine problems. The turbine spins in the hot exhaust at very high RPM [usually between 50,000 and 80,000 RPM at 800 to 900C]. The high centrifugal forces acting on the blades combined with these very high temperatures can cause the blades to stretch over the life of the turbocharger to the point where they begin to scrape on the turbine housing. Any signs of blade scrape means it's overhaul time for the turbine. Failure of a turbine blade can cause a catastrophic failure of the turbine causing the engine to suffer a large power loss as it suddenly becomes normally aspirated. This may be accompanied by lots of smoke trailing from the engine as oil from the failed turbine is pumped into the hot exhaust gas. Fortunately this is a very rare event for a properly maintained turbocharged engine!
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4.9

Altitude boosting In some cases, to allow the engine to develop the required power at altitude, the capacity of the compressor is such that if full throttle was used at sea-level, damage would result from overboosting and detonation. In these engines, the throttle must be kept partly closed when operating at low altitude to protect the engine from damage. These systems are referred to as altitude boosted.
400 hp

Fig 4.8
engine damage likely
ground boosted engine
normally aspirated engine

350 hp

300 hp

altitu de bo osted engi ne


full throttle height or critical altitude

250 hp

200 hp

150 hp

100 hp

50 hp

In Fig 4.8 above, a particular engine delivers 200 hp at full throttle at sea-level when it is normally aspirated. That power drops with increasing height to become about 75 hp at 25 000 ft. The same engine can be ground boosted to produce 300 hp at full throttle at sea-level. This is the highest power that can be produced without structural damage and it also drops with increasing height. By using a higher capacity compressor, the same engine can produce 300 hp up to a critical altitude of just over 10 000 ft. Below this altitude however, full throttle would be likely to produce structural damage and part throttle operation would be necessary to prevent the structural limit of 300 hp from being exceeded. PILOT HANDLING TECHNIQUE When operating a supercharged or turbocharged engine it is important to keep in mind that great damage can be done in a short time if correct handling techniques are not employed. You must of course be familiar with the manufacturer's recommended procedures, however here are some general rules that will always apply. Take care not to exceed rated boost The rated boost will be indicated by a radial red line on the manifold pressure gauge. Operation at pressures above that will greatly increase the risk of detonation and engine damage. Be careful to use only those combinations of RPM and manifold pressure that have been recommended. Avoid sudden throttle movements Because the turbine and compressor may be operating at up to 30 000 RPM, sudden changes can cause high loads on components and bearings. Avoid sudden shutdowns Allow plenty of time for the engine temperatures to stabilize at low RPM before shutting the engine down.
4.10

sea-level

15 000 ft

20 000 ft

25 000 ft

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10 000 ft

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ELECTRICAL AND IGNITION SYSTEMS ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS - THE BASICS Almost all light aircraft require an electrical system to generate and distribute electrical power for lights, radios, pumps navigation equipment etc. In some cases the flap and undercarriage operation also depend on electrical power. Sources of electrical power Like motor cars, aircraft utilize two sources of electrical power. A battery which generates and stores electricity by chemical means and an alternator, which generates electricity mechanically by spinning a magnetic field in the vicinity of a coil. Alternators cannot store electricity, they can only supply it on demand. The battery's function is to supply power when the engine is not running, or in the event of an alternator failure. It also provides power to the starter motor for start-up. Once the engine is started, the alternator provides all electrical demands including the recharging of the battery. Earth return In order to provide power to a service, an electric current must complete a circuit from the source of power, to the service and back to the source of power. A simple way to achieve this in an aircraft or motor car, is to use the metal frame of the vehicle to return the current. This greatly reduces the amount of wire involved and the complexity of the circuit. Both the source and the service are connected to the frame [called earthing or grounding], allowing the frame to act as part of the circuit [Fig 4.9]. Fig 4.9
current to service current to service

ACME

ACME

BATTERIES

return to source

BATTERIES

return to source through the frame

In a typical light aircraft system, the alternator is earthed to the airframe on one side and connected to a bus bar on the other. The bus bar simply provides a convenient source of electricity which can be tapped by the various services requiring power [Fig 4.10]. Each service is earthed to the airframe to provide a return path back to the source. The battery is also earthed on one side and connected to the bus bar on the other. This allows each service to take its power from either the alternator or the battery. To ensure that the alternator and not the battery, feeds the system during normal operation, the alternator's output voltage is set a little higher than the battery's voltage. Voltage in an electrical circuit is similar to pressure in a fluid. Just as a fluid cannot flow from a low to a high pressure, so current cannot flow from the battery while the alternator's voltage remains higher. In fact during normal operation, a small current flows from the bus bar to the battery to ensure that it remains fully charged.

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4.11

Fig 4.10
switches alternator circuit breakers pump

earthed to frame

earthed to frame

28 volts
bus bar

radio light wheels flaps

24 volts
battery

nav aid

return to source

Electrical system during normal operation

The circuit to each service is provided with a switch and a circuit breaker [or a fuse] which acts to isolate the equipment and prevent fire in the event of a short in the equipment circuitry producing a damaging surge of current. The current in an electrical circuit is measured in amps. Circuit breakers or fuses are rated according to the number of amps they will tolerate before breaking the circuit. THE BATTERY Battery capacity As well as being rated according to voltage, ie 12 or 24 volts, the battery is rated according to its capacity. The electrical energy the battery contains when full can be thought of as water in a reservoir. It can be drained as a high flow rate for a short time, or as a lower flow rate for a longer time. The flow rate from the reservoir is equivalent to the amps in an electrical circuit. Battery capacity is measured in amp/hours. A 36 amp/hour battery when fully charged, can supply 1 amp for 36 hours, 2 amps for 18 hours, 3 amps for 12 hours, 4 amps for 9 hours or 6 amps for 6 hours - get it? Unlike an alternator, a battery cannot go on supplying current indefinitely. If the alternator should fail in flight, the battery can supply power only according to its capacity. The lower the amps, the longer it will last. All unnecessary electrical loads should be turned off in the event of an alternator failure. Most light aircraft batteries are lead-acid batteries. They employ a chemical reaction between lead and a weak acid. During recharging, hydrogen and oxygen are produced as by-products, so battery compartments must be ventilated to prevent a build-up of these potentially dangerous gases. Monitoring the system If the alternator fails in flight, the various services will simply continue taking power from the bus bar. The only difference is that the battery is now supplying that power. It is important that the pilot be given a means of monitoring the system and of being alerted in the event of an alternator failure. This is done by providing an ammeter and a warning light. In some cases, a voltmeter is also provided. In the event of an alternator malfunction, the warning light will illuminate to catch the pilot's attention. The ammeter should then be checked to confirm the problem [see next paragraph].
4.12
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THE AMMETER There are two different types of ammeter in common use. To fully appreciate the indications of these instruments, it is essential to understand where they are placed in the circuit. The centre zero ammeter is located in the battery circuit and it indicates the current flowing to or from the battery. When the current flows to the battery, it is said to be charging and it is indicated by a deflection towards the plus side of the dial [Fig 4.11]. When current is flowing from the battery, it is said to be discharging and it is indicated by a deflection towards the minus side of the dial. Fig 4.11
alternator

FAI

LUR

alternator

28 volts
bus bar
AMPERES - 60 + 60 AMPERES - 60 + 60

24 volts
battery

24 volts
battery

normal operation - small charge going to the battery

alternator failure - discharge indicated as the battery takes over the supply of power

Fig 4.12 Just after start-up, when the battery has been heavily drained by the high demand of the starter motor, a high charge will be indicated for a short time [usually less than a minute], as the battery accepts the recharging current from the alternator [Fig 4.12].

AMPERES - 60 + 60

During normal operation, the centre zero ammeter should indicate a slight charge, as the higher alternator voltage sends a small current through the battery to keep it fully charged. If the alternator fails, the battery becomes the source of power and a discharge is indicated according to the number of electrical services that are operating [Fig 4.11]. The alternator failure would be accompanied by the illumination of the alternator warning light.
ammeter indication just after start-up.

Some light aircraft, especially older ones, have been fitted with many extra electrical services since they were originally built. In some cases, these services operating simultaneously can impose a load the alternator or generator cannot cope with. In this case, the alternator or generator voltage begins to drop. If it falls below the battery's voltage, the centre zero ammeter will show a discharge, even though the alternator or generator has not failed. In this case, the warning light may remain off. In a correctly functioning electrical system with a centre zero ammeter, the instrument should never show a discharge.
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bus bar

4.13

The left hand zero ammeter is located in the alternator circuit and it indicates the total output of the alternator. When the engine is running and all electrical loads are switched off, the instrument indicates the small current which is going to charge the battery. The needle will be 0 deflected very slightly to the right of zero. As electrical loads are switched on, it will move further right across the dial according to the current each load draws [Fig 4.13].
10 0 20 30 40

Fig 4.13

FAI

LUR

E
0

10

20

30 40

alternator

alternator

28 volts
bus bar bus bar

24 volts
battery

24 volts
battery

normal operation - small charge going to the battery

alternator failure - discharge indicated as the battery takes over the supply of power

If the alternator fails in flight, the warning light will illuminate to alert the pilot to the failure, which can be confirmed by noting a zero indication on the left hand zero ammeter. The left hand zero ammeter should never read zero unless the alternator has failed. THE GENERATOR v THE ALTERNATOR Some older aircraft use a generator instead of an alternator to supply the electrical power. We do not want to become too technical in this book, but you should have some idea of the difference between the two. Both generators and alternators produce a direct current by rotating a magnetic field in the vicinity of a coiled conductor. The power output is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field and the speed at which it rotates [RPM]. In the case of a generator, the magnetic field is provided by a permanent magnet and therefore is of fixed strength. The only control over power output is through the RPM. When the engine is at low RPM, the generator voltage is too low and the battery must assist. When the engine is operating at high RPM, the generator output must be controlled by a voltage regulator. In the case of an alternator, the magnetic field is provided by an electromagnet. Some of the alternator's own output is fed back to energize the electromagnet. The electromagnet can be made stronger or weaker by varying the current supplied to it. This provides much more efficient control over the alternator's output since, when RPM are low, the magnetic field can be made stronger to compensate. The alternator can reach rated voltage almost immediately after start-up at idle RPM and can maintain its rated voltage more efficiently as RPM increase.
4.14
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Modern light aircraft use alternators almost exclusively. The one disadvantage of the alternator is the fact that it must be given some electrical power to excite its electromagnet before it can begin producing current. Once it begins to function, it feeds some of its own output back to keep the magnetic field at the required strength and no longer relies on any outside power source. If the battery is dead flat and the engine is hand started, the alternator will have no magnetic field and therefore no output. OVERVOLTAGE WARNING LIGHTS A fault in the alternator or voltage regulator could result in the output voltage becoming too high. This could cause damage to electronic circuits. Some systems have an overvoltage warning light to alert the pilot in this event. The alternator should be switched off, along with all unnecessary electrical loads. The pilot's handbook for the particular aeroplane should be consulted. OVERLOAD SWITCHES Sometimes circuits are protected from excessive amps by the provision of overload switches. These switches trip automatically when too much current flows. They can be reset simply by reselecting the 'on' position. Again, check your pilot's handbook for recommended actions if an overload switch trips. RELAYS AND SOLENOIDS A relay allows a heavy circuit, such as a starter motor, to be turned on or off by the use of a solenoid. A solenoid is a metal bar placed inside a coil. When a light current is applied to the coil, a magnetic field is created which pushes the metal bar through the coil to bring contacts together and close the heavy circuit [Fig 4.14 & 4.15]. This removes the need for dangerous high tension leads to be brought into the cockpit by allowing the pilot to switch on the heavy circuit remotely. Most light aircraft use relays to switch on the main battery power and to operate the starter motor.

Fig 4.14

STARTER MOTOR

off

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4.15

Fig 4.15

STARTER MOTOR

off On

Because of the very high current drawn by the starter, the motor is not designed for long periods of operation. Overheating and damage to the starter motor circuit can occur if the engine is cranked continuously. Most pilot's handbooks recommend that continuous cranking of the engine be limited to about five seconds. BATTERY MASTER SWITCH As the name implies, the battery master switch connects the battery to the entire electrical system. The only exceptions are electric clocks, which draw an insignificant current and continue to operate whether the master switch is on or off. Fig 4.16
BA T T A LT

The battery/alternator switch Aircraft with alternators usually have a split switch. One half connects the battery to the bus bar, while the other activates the circuit which controls the alternator's magnetic field [Fig 4.16]. They can be switched on separately, but only the alternator can be switched off separately. If both switches are on and the battery side is switched off, the alternator will switch off as well.

ON

Both switches are normally switched on and off as one. If necessary, the alternator can be switched off in flight leaving the battery to supply the electrical load. The alternator is normally switched off in the event of an overvolt warning light indication, or following confirmation of an alternator failure. Once the alternator has been switched off, consideration should be given to terminating the flight as soon as possible.
OF F

EXTERNAL POWER Some light aircraft are equipped with an external socket which accepts a plug from an external power supply. This allows an external power source to provide electrical power for

4.16

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extended periods of ground operation and in most cases, assistance in the operation of the engine starter motor. Again the pilot's operating handbook should be consulted for details on any particular aeroplane type. Other components of the exectrical system include: Rectifiers. Most of the equipment in the cockpit such as radios and navigation aids require a direct current [DC]. If the current being supplied is alternating [AC], it must be converted to DC before it can be put to use. Rectifiers are devices that convert AC to DC. Inverters. If an appliance requires AC current and the current being supplied is DC, an inverter is used to convert the DC current to AC. Voltmeters. A voltmeter monitors the system voltage. Not all systems have voltmeters, it is more usual to include an ammeter. The voltmeter should indicate a steady reading at all times since all electrical systems are designed to operate at constant voltage i.e. electrical 'pressure'. Most general aviation aircraft have either 12 or 24 volt systems. A 12 volt system uses a 12 volt battery with the alternator output of 14 volts. A 24 volt system uses a 24 volt battery with the alternator output of 28 volts. Prior to start-up with the master switch on, the voltmeter will read the battery's voltage. After start-up the voltmeter will read the alternator's output voltage. Voltage should remain constant during normal operation. A drop in voltage indicates an unusually high load on the system or a fault in the alternator. THE DOs AND DON'Ts OF MANAGING THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM. 1 2 Be sure that you are familiar with the pilot's operating handbook for the particular aeroplane type Fuses and circuit breakers are rated in amps. Never replace a fuse or circuit breaker with another of a different rating. The use of a higher rated fuse or circuit breaker can lead to extensive damage to expensive equipment in the event of a surge of electrical power. Don't keep resetting a circuit breaker if it continues to 'pop'. It's trying to tell you something! Don't set out on a flight with anything but a healthy battery. An alternator failure could leave you with a total loss of electrical power. The engine will continue to operate after an electrical system failure since its spark is supplied independently by magnetos [see next section]. However having an operating engine is small consolation when you find yourself deprived of all communication and navigation equipment, to say nothing of flaps, undercarriage and all lighting - including cockpit lighting - at night! "Another fine mess you've got us into Ollie!" Make sure that all radio and electrical equipment is turned off prior to start-up or shutdown. Large voltage fluctuations can occur at these times, causing damage to sensitive circuits. Know the difference between a left hand and centre zero ammeter and understand what each type is trying to tell you. Include the electrical system as a meaningful part of your pre take-off checks and continue to monitor it during flight.
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5 6

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4.17

Often voltmeters and ammeters are combined into one instrument. In the example at left the pilot can select 'VOLT' to monitor the system voltage, or 'BATT' to read the amps being supplied by the battery, or 'ALT' to read the amps being supplied by the alternator. When 'BATT' is selected the instrument behaves as a centre zero ammeter and indicates the current flowing to or from the battery. When 'ALT' is selected it acts like a left hand zero ammeter and indicates the current being supplied by the alternator. In the illustration 'VOLT' is selected so it indicates zero before the master is turned on [top]. After the master is turned on it reads 24 - the battery voltage [second]. During cruise it indicates 28 - the system voltage after the alternator has come on line [third].

28.0

Another arrangement is a digital display which can be selected to either 'volts' or 'amps'. With 'volts' selected the instrument monitors the system voltage, with 'amps' selected it indicates the alternator output during flight. The reading on 'volts' should remain constant at about 28. The reading on 'amps' will vary depending on the type and number of electrical loads that are turned on. Note these illustrations assume a 24 volt system. For a 12 volt system read 12 for 24 and 14 for 28.

13.7

4.18

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THE IGNITION SYSTEM The ignition system supplies the spark to ignite the fuel air mixture in the cylinder. Because aircraft cylinders have been made very large in comparison to automobile engines, the volume of the combustion chamber is correspondingly large. At any given RPM there is a fixed time interval in which combustion must take place if the peak combustion pressure is to occur at the right time in the power stroke. To achieve the most efficient combustion of such a large charge in the time available, two flame fronts are required. For this reason, aircraft engines have dual ignition [two spark plugs in each cylinder]. Since two plugs are required for efficient combustion, an additional safety factor can be obtained by arranging for each spark plug to be fired by a different ignition source. To create a suitable spark, a very high voltage current must be generated. This is achieved by the use of magnetos. The magneto produces this high voltage current by spinning a permanent magnet in the vicinity of a coiled conductor [the primary coil]. The primary current produced in this manner has too little voltage to produce a spark. However, by interrupting the primary current with a set of breaker points, and allowing it to interact with a secondary coil of many more windings, pulses of high voltage current can be sent to the spark plugs [Fig 4.17]. Each time the points break the circuit in the primary to spark plugs coil, a spark is produced. If the primary current is sent directly to earth without passing through the breaker points, the high voltage pulses will no longer be generated and the magneto is 'off'. Note that when the on/off switch makes the circuit directly to earth, the magneto is off. When it breaks the circuit directly to earth, the magneto is on. We will be returning to this important point later.

secondary coil

Fig 4.17
primary coil on/off switch ['on' position].

N S

breaker points

rotating magnet

Ignition lead shielding. To produce a spark the current must jump the spark plug gap. This requires that the voltage in the magneto leads must be very high because a gap of gas has a very high resistance to the flow of an electric current. These pulses of high voltage current generate radio waves which would cause interference to the aircraft radio communications equipment if nothing was done to prevent it. The ignition leads are enclosed in a metallic shield to prevent these radio waves causing static in the aircraft radio. A faulty ignition lead shield causes a clicking sound in the headset that varies with engine RPM.
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4.19

A condenser is connected across the breaker points to prevent unwanted sparks from occurring and causing burning of the points [not shown in Fig 4.17]. The condenser stores the current when the circuit is broken preventing it from arcing across the points as a spark. Fig 4.18
impulse coupling drive shaft

The magneto impulse coupling To produce a spark, the magnet must be spun fairly quickly. This creates a problem at start-up, since the starter motor cannot turn the engine fast enough for the magneto to produce a spark in the normal manner. The problem is overcome by the use of an impulse coupling. The coupling divides the shaft into two sections- the drive from the engine, and the internal shaft that spins the magnet. While the engine is being cranked by the starter motor, the drive shaft rotates

to magnet To mageto From engine

Fig 4.19

as the drive shaft rotates, this half of the coupling turns and winds up a strong spring, while the other half remains stationary

when the spring releases, the other half of the coupling flicks forward to 'catch up'

but the internal shaft remains stationary [Fig 4.18]. This winds up a strong spring inside the impulse coupling. When the cylinder is ready for ignition, a cam releases the spring which flicks the internal shaft forward to 'catch up'. This produces a rapid movement of the magnet, resulting in a spark in the cylinder at the required time. Once the engine is running, the impulse spring is disengaged automatically and the two shafts turn as one. After shut down, the impulse re-engages ready for the next start. Usually only one magneto has the impulse coupling, and that magneto is automatically selected when the key is turned to the 'start' position. There is an important safety issue to consider here. The magneto of an inoperative engine will always be engaged ready for the next start. If the propeller is turned, even by hand, the impulse spring is being wound up and when it releases, it will flick the magnet quickly enough to produce a spark. If the switches happen to be on, or if there is a fault in the switching mechanism, a spark will result. Because the engine is normally turned off by selecting the mixture to idle cut-off, a faulty magneto switch may go undetected. If any residual fuel vapour is present in the cylinder, the propeller could 'kick', inflicting a serious injury. A propeller should always be treated with at least the same respect as a loaded gun!
4.20
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Fig 4.19 below is a schematic of the magneto switching system. The magneto is turned off by earthing the primary current. When the switch is in the 'off' position, both magnetos are connected to earth. When the switch indicates 'right', the left magneto is earthed. When the switch indicates 'left', the right magneto is earthed and when the switch indicates 'both', neither magneto is earthed. During the pre take-off checks, when an engine running on both magnetos is switched to one, there will be a drop in RPM. This is because the charge takes longer to burn with only one spark and the extra burning time causes a lower peak combustion pressure to occur too late in the power stroke. If there is a break in the earth circuit, that magneto will remain 'live' even when the switch indicates that it is off. For example, if the left magneto earth circuit is open, there will be no drop in RPM when the switch is moved from 'both' to 'right'. When you conduct the magneto check, you should be looking for more than just rough running - there should be a definite RPM drop when you switch from both to one magneto. Fig 4.19

left magneto

right magneto

left magneto

right magnet o earth wire

earth wire

earth wire

earth wire

to earth

to earth
F

'OFF' position both magnetos are connected to earth

OF

OF

L
BO TH

'R' position the left magneto is connected to earth

BO TH

left magneto

right magneto

left magneto

right magneto

earth wire

earth wire

earth wire

earth wire

to earth
OF F F

to earth
R

'L' position the right magneto is connected to earth

'BOTH' position neither magneto is connected to earth

BO

OF

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

TH BO

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

TH

4.21

To maximise the extra safety offered by the use of two magnetos, the system is arranged so that the right magneto fires the top plugs on the left hand side and the bottom plugs on the right hand side, while the left magneto fires the bottom plugs on the left hand side and the top plugs on the right hand side. [Fig 4.20]. This allows the magnetos to share the top an bottom plugs since the bottom plugs are most likely to suffer from oil fouling. Prolonged operation at high power however, can cause overheating due to the longer burning time required on one plug. Fig 4.20
bottom left bottom left top top

right top top

right bottom bottom

Remember that if the engine is operating on one magneto and one of that magneto's spark plugs should fail, that cylinder will no longer produce any power. It seems reasonable at first to assume that if a four cylinder engine loses one cylinder, it should still produce about 75% of its rated power. Wrong!! The other cylinders now have to carry the dead cylinder through its cycle of strokes as well as turn the propeller. The result is a loss of more than half the power available at the propeller! Many light aircraft would be lucky to fly at all in this condition. Never take off if only one magneto is operating.

TO SUM UP 1 The magneto produces its spark mechanically. It is completely independent of the aircraft's electrical system. The impulse coupling engages whenever the engine is shut down. It produces a strong spark with retarded timing to assist in starting. The magneto is switched off by earthing the primary current. A fault in the switch or the associated circuit can leave the magneto 'live' even though the switch indicates that it is off. The combination of a faulty switch and the action of the impulse coupling produce a danger of 'kicking' if the propeller is handled - especially if the engine is hot. A live magneto can be detected by the absence of a drop in RPM when the engine is switched from both to one magneto.
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

4.22

EXERCISE GK4
Question No 1 During take-off in an aircraft with a turbocharged engine, [a] full power must be achieved before the brakes are released [b] throttles should be opened fully initially then reduced to rated boost [c] throttles should be opened smoothly and care taken not to exceed rated boost [d] maximum continuous power should not be exceeded Question No 2 Dual ignition on an aircraft engine provides an additional safety factor during flight. It is also necessary to provide [a] extra power from hotter combustion temperature [b] efficient combustion of the charge during the power stroke [c] longer combustion time and therefore more power [d] easier burning of the charge when the mixture is rich Question No 3 An aircraft electrical system operates at approximately constant [a] voltage [b] ampage [c] power [d] resistance Question No 4 If an aircraft with a flat battery is hand started [a] the alternator may be damaged [b] the alternator may remain off line after the engine has started [c] the alternator must not be turned on after the engine has started [d] the alternator may over charge the battery Question No 5 If an alternator failure occurs during flight, the indications to the pilot would be [a] a discharge showing on a left hand zero ammeter [b] zero showing on a centre zero ammeter [c] an unusually high charge rate showing on a left hand zero ammeter [d] a discharge showing on a centre zero ammeter Question No 6 If the electrical load is so high that the alternator cannot supply the demands of the system the indications on a centre zero ammeter would be [a] warning light on and charge showing [b] warning light on and discharge showing [c] warning light off and charge showing [d] warning light off and discharge showing Question No 7 Circuit breakers and fuses protect an electrical circuit from [a] too many volts [b] [c] reversing of the current flow [d]

too many amps being left on too long

Question No 8 A micro switch is [a] a very very small switch [b] a remote switch activated from the cockpit [c] a remotely located switch which cannot be directly activated from the cockpit [d] a switch in a circuit with a very small current

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

4.23

Question No 9 Solenoids allow a heavy circuit to be turned on or off by the use of [a] a strong spring [b] high voltage from the battery [c] hydraulic pressure [d] a lighter current to an electromagnet Question No 10 The capacity of a battery is measured in [a] amp hours [c] volts

[b] [d]

amps volt hours

Question No 11 Vents are required in a battery compartment to ensure that [a] water and dirt are kept out of the vicinity of the battery [b] battery acid can drain out of the compartment during charging [c] gas pressure cannot build up in the battery compartment [d] dangerous gases such as hydrogen do not accumulate near the battery during charging Question No 12 If a magneto earth lead becomes disconnected or breaks [a] that magneto cannot be turned off [b] that magneto will not provide any spark [c] the engine will "dead cut" when that magneto is selected [d] that magneto will provide intermittent spark Question No 13 The purpose of an impulse coupling on a magneto is to[a] guard against the magneto being turned off accidentally [b] produce a strong and retarded spark while the engine is being cranked [c] ensure a strong spark is available during high power operation [d] obtain an electrical current from the alternator if the magneto fails Question No 14 The purpose of a supercharger or turbocharger is to[a] to supply extra fuel to the engine when it is operating at high power [b] to increase the density of the air in the induction system [c] to ensure that detonation does not occur at high power settings [d] to distribute fuel evenly to each cylinder Question No 15 The pilot of a turbocharged aircraft notices that the manifold pressure indication shows abnormal fluctuations during a long climb. Select the most likely cause[a] detonation is occurring in one of the cylinders [b] there is a leak in the exhaust system [c] the wastegate is sticking [d] there is a leak in the induction system Question No 16 A leak in the induction system of a turbocharged engine with automatic boost control will be most noticeable[a] during taxi [b] at take-off [c] during cruise at low level [d] on a climb to high level

4.24

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 17 A turbocharged engine with automatic boost control is operating below the critical altitude. A leak developing upstream of the turbine in the exhaust system will result in[a] abnormal fluctuations in the manifold pressure indication [b] the wasegate moving towards the closed position [c] the wasegate moving towards the open position [d] a sudden drop of manifold pressure. Question No 18 Prior to an alternator failure in flight the left-hand zero ammeter was reading 12 amps. If no electrical loads were turned off, a 20 amp/hour battery could supply the system for approximately[a] 30 minutes [b] 60 minutes [c] 90 minutes [d] 100 minutes Question No 19 An aircraft is equipped with a voltmeter. Before start-up with the master switch on, the voltmeter reads 24 volts. The reading that would indicate normal operation during cruise would be [a] 24 volts. [b] less than 24 volts. [c] 28 volts. [d] varying depending on the load on the system. Question No 20 Given the following data. Item Operating current [amps]. Item Operating current [amps]. VHF Com. 2 VHF Nav. 2 GPS. 4 ADF. 2 Transponder. 4 Navigation Lights. 8 Instrument Lights. 3 Strobes. 5 Rotating Beacon. 5 After an in-flight failure of the alternator, the pilot of the above aircraft turns off all items of electrical equipment except for the VHF Com, Transponder and GPS. If the battery has a capacity of 20 amp/hours and was fully charged at the time of the failure, the approximate time for which it could be expected to supply the system demands is [a] 150 minutes. [b] 120 minutes. [c] 200 minutes. [d] 60 minutes. Question No 21 The function of a rectifier in an electrical system is to [a] convert AC current to DC current [b] allow the current to flow in only one direction. [c] convert DC current to AC current. [d] maintain a constant system voltage. Question No 22 The function of a inverter in an electrical system is to [a] convert AC current to DC current [b] allow the current to flow in only one direction. [c] convert DC current to AC current. [d] maintain a constant system voltage. Question No 23 Your aircraft is equipped with a voltmeter and you note that before start-up with the master switch on, the instrument reads 24 volts. After an alternator failure in flight, this instrument would be expected to read: [a] zero [b] more than volts [c] less than 24 volts [d] 24 volts

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

4.25

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 4 No
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Answer
[c] [b] [a] [b] [d] [d] [b] [c]

Comment
Turbo charged engines are much more prone to overboosting. Two flame fronts are required to allow the large charge to burn in the time available. Volts remain constant, while amps vary according to demand. The alternator requires a small charge from the battery to excite the magnetic field. The battery begins to supply the system demands. The ammeter shows discharge. The battery begins to export power to assist the alternator. Since the alternator has not failed, the warning light remains off. Circuit breakers and fuses are rated in amps. ie 'a 10 amp fuse'. This indicates the number of amps it can tolerate before breaking the circuit. Micro switches are found on flaps and undercarriages. They automatically switch off the circuit when extension or retraction is complete. The pilot has no control over its operation. Solenoids avoid the need for heavy, high tension leads to be brought into the cockpit. A 24 amp hour battery, when fully charged, can supply any combination of amps and hours that multiply to make 24 ie 6 amps for 4 hours or 3 amps for 8 hours etc. Hydrogen and oxygen are generated during recharging. A magneto is switched off by completing the circuit to earth. If the circuit is broken, the magneto will remain 'live'. The impulse is provided to assist the magneto to produce a spark when the engine is not spinning fast. It also changes the timing to make starting easier. Superchargers and turbochargers increase the mass air flow to the engine. The extra air allows extra fuel to be added to produce extra power. The wastegate can 'coke up' with exhaust by-products and become sticky. This produces erratic manifold pressure fluctuations during climb as the wastegate sticks and 'lets go' in jerky movements. A leak is more noticeable at high level because more air is lost due to the increased pressure gradient between the reduced outside atmospheric pressure and the constant upper deck pressure. Any exhaust gas that escapes through the leak does not pass through the turbine. The turbine and compressor RPM try to drop, but the automatic system closes the waste gate to send extra gas through the turbine to compensate for the leak. A 20 amp/hour battery can supply any combination of amps and hours that multiply to make 20. If the system was using 12 amps the battery would last 20 12 = 1.7 hours which is approximately 100 minutes. Note we are ignoring the small portion of the 12 amps which would have been going to the battery before the alternator failure. The voltmeter simply reads the system voltage at all times. In a 24 volt system it will read the battery's voltage [24] before start-up. During cruise it will read the voltage output of the alternator. In a 24 volt system, the alternator's output will be set slightly highter than the battery, 28 volts. It will not vary with electrical loads - only a lefthand ammeter will do that. The load on the system with those items on would be 2 + 4 + 4 = 10 amps. A 20 amp/ hour battery could supply this load for 20 10 = 2.0 hours = 120 minutes. A rectifier converts AC current to DC current. An inverter converts DC current to AC current. A voltmeter always reads the system voltage. Because the alternator is always set to produce a voltage a little higher than the battery, you would expect the voltmeter to read more than 24 volts during normal operation. However should the alternator fail during flight, the battery will supply the system voltage. The voltmeter will then read the battery's voltage - which in this case is 24 volts.

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

[d] [a] [d] [a] [b] [b] [c]

16

[d]

17

[b]

18

[d]

19

[c]

20 21 22 23

[b] [a] [c] [d]

4.26

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

HYDRAULICS Hydraulic systems are sometimes used on general aviation aircraft to operate the retractable undercarriage and flaps. When we investigated engines, we saw that a pressure acting on an area produces a force. That force can be used to make something move. In a hydraulic system, a pump forces oil under pressure through leads to a control valve and to the inside of an actuator [a cylinder], where it applies a pressure to a piston. The resulting force pushes a ram forward to mechanically perform a given task - such as raising or lowering the undercarriage or flaps. The oil on the other side of the piston is forced back to the reservoir [Fig 5.1]. The big advantage of the system is that the pump and reservoir can be placed at any convenient location, while the leads can be routed through the airframe as required to transfer the pressure oil to the actuator.
ram pushed forward

Fig 5.1

reservoir

UP

DOWN

actuator

pump control valve

Rotating the control valve through 90 directs the oil from the pump to the other side of the piston applying a force in the opposite direction. The actuator can therefore act in either direction with almost equal power [Fig 5.2]. Fig 5.2
control valve rotates through 90
UP DOWN

ram pulled back

reservoir

pump control valve

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.1

Fig 5.3
hand pump check valve

The pump is either electric or enginedriven. To allow for the possibility of failure of the system's pump, a hand pump is provided for emergency use. Check valves which permit the oil to flow in one direction only, are provided in appropriate positions in the lines [Fig 5.3]. The hand pump allows the pilot to manually extend the undercarriage and in some cases, flaps. Use of the hand pump of course, requires a longer time for full travel of the ram. Some systems feature an accumulator between the pump and the actuator [Fig 5.4]. The accumulator stores oil under pressure. In Fig 5.4, the pressure is provided by splitting the accumulator into two halves with a flexible diaphragm. On one side compressed gas supplies the pressure while the rest of the space is filled with oil. Some accumulators use a piston to supply the pressure.

reservoir

UP

DOWN

failed pump

Fig 5.4
to system

oil pump

compressed gas

The function of an accumulator is very similar to that of a battery in an electrical system. It serves to assist the pump to maintain pressure when the system demand is high. It provides a limited source of pressure oil if the system pump fails. It smooths out the operation of the system and reduces noise by absorbing shocks and surges of oil. It allows limited operation of the system when the aircraft is parked with the engine and electrical system inoperative. The pressure regulator maintains a preset system pressure. Most modern systems achieve this function by the use of a variable displacement pump, which does away with the need for a regulator. The system relief valve allows the oil to return to the reservoir through a spring loaded valve if the pressure regulating system fails. This prevents a build-up of excessive pressure causing damage to the leads and components.

5.2

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Flow restrictors. Sometimes, on larger aircraft, the system's main hydraulic pump supplies a number of different systems throughout the aeroplane such as flaps, undercarriage, spoilers and power brakes. Each of these systems may require a different volume of fluid flow. Restrictors are used to restrict the volume of fluid flowing to a particular system. Filters. It is vital that the hydraulic system be kept free of all contaminating material. This includes solid particles which could hinder the operation of check valves and sludge which can impede fluid flow and promote deterioration of seals etc. Filters remove any contaminating material from the system. SYSTEM FAULTS Air in the system. Much of the cooling and lubrication of the pump in a hydraulic system is provided by the hydraulic fluid passing through it. If air is sucked into the system through faulty seals, the pump may overheat due to inadequate lubrication and cooling. A leak in the system. If hydraulic fluid leaks from the system, an actuating piston which has just moved forward in its cylinder may move back again as the oil behind it escapes. For example, flaps which have just been selected down may move down normally, then begin to come up again even though the selector remains in the down position. Low accumulator pressure. The accumulator serves to provide a supply of fluid under pressure to supplement the pump whenever the system pressure drops under high demand. A hydraulic system is not designed for a continuous power output. The pump and accumulator provide fluid under pressure while a particular actuator is operating, then , when the operation is complete, the accumulator is recharged by the pump. Since a liquid is not compressible, the accumulator is the only component in the system where pressure surges can be absorbed into a compressible gas. If the pressure of the fluid stored in the accumulator is low, the pump must do more of the work. This results in slower operation of the system. There will also be a reduction in the emergency supply of fluid in the event of a pump failure. For example, a system that features power brakes, should be able to supply limited braking through the accumulator if the system pump fails. Low accumulator pressure may also cause noisy operation or 'chattering' and reduced dampening of pressure surges. FOOT-OPERATED HYDRAULIC BRAKES [TOE BRAKES] Fig 5.5 [brakes off]
return spring brake pads [callipers]

master cylinder slave cylinder brake disk


CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

fluid reservoir

Most light aircraft have brakes which are operated by foot pressure applied to the top portion of the rudder pedals. As the pedal is depressed, it applies pressure to a piston in the master cylinder [Fig 5.5]. In a typical system, this pressure is transmitted through the brake line to a slave cylinder. The pressure in the slave cylinder then presses a pair of brake pads onto each side of a disk which forms part of the wheel assembly.
5.3

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

pressure applied to the brake fluid

Fig 5.6 [brakes on]

The pads are squeezed against the disk surfaces like callipers to create friction and slow the wheel down [Fig 5.6]. A fluid reservoir ensures that the master cylinder always remains completely filled with fluid, thus preventing any air from entering the system.

callipers forced against the disk to create friction

Usually two independent braking systems are provided- one for each wheel. This allows the brakes to be used independently, to assist in steering, or simultaneously to bring the aircraft to a halt in a straight line. The brake pads and brake disk should be visually inspected during a daily inspection to ensure that they remain clean and in good condition. The area should also be checked for any signs of fluid leaks. An operational check of the brakes should be made just after taxiing is commenced, by applying even pressure to both pedals and noting that the aircraft stops without pulling to one side or the other. These checks are important in all aircraft, but special care should be taken in the case of tailwheel aircraft where brakes are of vital importance in directional control. In a correctly functioning system, the brake pedal should feel firm underfoot when pressure is applied, with a small amount of pedal travel possible before encountering a solid resistance as the callipers reach the full extent of their movement. Air in the brake system. If correct brake fluid levels are not maintained in the reservoir, air bubbles can be sucked into the master cylinder and through the brake lines. Since air is compressible, a 'spongy' feel will be noticed when the pedal is depressed along with a larger than normal travel of the pedal and reduced brake effectiveness. The only remedy for air in the brake system is to drain all of the air-contaminated fluid out of the lines and cylinders and replace it with fresh uncontaminated brake fluid. This procedure is called 'bleeding' the brake system. A leak in the brake system. If a leak develops in the system, fluid will be lost, especially when pressure is applied to the foot pedal. The initial application of pressure will result in a normal resistance, but a slow leak-down of the pedal will be noticed as fluid escapes through the leak. At first, any lost fluid will be replaced by the fluid reservoir as the spring returns the pedal to the 'brakes off' position. If no corrective action is taken, eventually the level of fluid in the reservoir will drop to the point where air will be sucked into the system as well.

5.4

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

UNDERCARRIAGE SYSTEMS I doubt if you really need me to tell you that the undercarriage is the bit that fits between the aeroplane and the ground! [or water - or snow - or ice]. We will confine our discussion to those that are designed to operate on land. Undercarriage systems can be broadly categorized into tailwheel and nosewheel designs. All undercarriages feature main wheels, which are strongly built to carry the loads of landing and takeoff and taxiing over rough surfaces. If the centre of gravity of the aircraft is behind the main wheels, a tailwheel will be provided [in the case of some vintage aircraft, a skid]. If the centre of gravity is ahead of the main wheels, a nosewheel is provided. The tailwheel or nosewheel is usually not as strong as the main wheels and care should be taken not to impose high structural loads on them. Undercarriage systems can be further subdivided into fixed undercarriages, which remain extended in flight as a permanent feature of the aircraft structure and retractable undercarriages, which can be partly or wholly retracted into the airframe once the aircraft is safely in the air. Apart from supporting the aircraft's weight on the ground, most undercarriages feature some form of shock absorbing device to protect the airframe and occupants from excessive vibration and jarring. This can be achieved by the use of spring steel struts, bungee cords or oleo-pneumatic struts [Fig 5.7]. Fig 5.7

oleo-pneumatic strut

spring steel strut

bungees

The spring steel strut absorbs shocks by bending and flexing under a load and returning to the original shape when the load is removed. Bungees are really just big elastic bands which absorb shocks by stretching under a load. An oleo-pneumatic strut [often simply called an oleo], operates by the action of a piston acting against a compressed gas, usually dry nitrogen, and oil in a cylinder. The gas absorbs most of the shocks, while the oil smooths out the operation and prevents excessive bouncing.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.5

When a wheel is fitted with an oleo, a torque link must be provided to prevent it from turning to the left or right of its own accord. The torque link also allows the nosewheel to be steered on the ground as the pilot rotates the upper portion of the assembly from side to side through linkages from the rudder pedals. The polished steel shaft of the oleo telescopes into the upper cylinder against the compressed gas, as compression loads are imposed during ground operation. The torque link flexes like an elbow joint to allow for this movement [Fig 5.8]. Fig 5.8

polished steel strut

torque link

shimmy damper

IN FLIGHT

ON THE GROUND

Nosewheels with oleos are prone to developing a rapid lateral vibration known as shimmy [probably the best examples are found on supermarket shopping trolleys!]. Shimmy imposes quite severe stresses on the nose wheel assembly and its associated mounting structure. It can be prevented by fitting a small shock absorbing unit called a shimmy damper. As the various torque link hinges wear and the pressure in the shimmy damper begins to decrease with use, nosewheel shimmy often persists in small general aviation aircraft. The tendency can often be reduced by maintaining a positive backpressure on the control column to take as much weight as possible off the nosewheel. The pilot's operating handbook will specify the checks that are appropriate to oleos. Generally, these include checking the polished steel shaft for severe stone chips which can damage seals in the cylinder resulting in loss of oil and gas. A minimum length of polished steel shaft should be visible when the aircraft is parked. A 'flat' oleo should be referred to an appropriately qualified person for correct inflation with gas and oil.

5.6

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGES Many light aircraft are equipped with retractable undercarriages which allow the wheels to be wholly or partly folded away into the fuselage to reduce parasite drag during flight. The system is usually powered by an electric or hydraulic motor. In some cases an electric pump provides the pressure for the hydraulic system. It is vital of course to ensure that you are completely familiar with the system on any aircraft you fly. The full details of any one system will be found in the pilot's operating handbook along with applicable emergency procedures. The systems vary greatly from type to type, however some features which are common to almost all include: Downlocks These are designed to lock the landing gear in the down position so that retraction is not possible unless selected by the pilot. They are often mechanical latches that move into place at the end of the extension cycle. Usually a squat switch is provided to prevent the system from activating when the weight is on the wheels - even if the pilot does select the wheels up [Fig 5.9]. Fig 5.9

squat switch weight on the wheels squat switch deactivates the retraction cycle.

in flight - squat switch permits retraction provided gear is selected up.

Uplocks Once the landing gear is retracted, some systems employ some form of mechanical latch to lock it into the up position. This allows the electric or hydraulic retraction system to shut down after the cycle. The successful extension of the undercarriage is usually indicated to the pilot by a green light or lights which illuminate at the end of the cycle. Many systems also employ a 'gear unsafe' warning horn and/or light to alert the pilot if the power is reduced to the approach range while the undercarriage is up. Retractable undercarriage systems are provided with an emergency manual extension system to allow the pilot to manually extend the undercarriage in the event of a failure of the main system.
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.7

The 'gear unsafe' warning horn is usually activated by a microswitch on the throttle which is set to operate when the throttle is retarded beyond a certain point. When undercarriage lights are provided, there is usually a means of checking if the nonillumination of a light is a genuine case of the gear failing to extend, or simply the failure of a bulb. This can be achieved by pressing the light to test the bulb or, in the case of a system which displays 'three greens', by swapping the bulbs. Most undercarriage lights automatically dim when the navigation or cockpit lights are turned on to avoid excessive glare at night. If the navigation lights are left on in the daylight, the undercarriage lights are so dim as to appear to be off. This is a common cause of false alarms of undercarriage failure. Turning off the navigation lights immediately produces a green indication [thank goodness!] In spite of the many safety systems employed, 'gear up' landings and inadvertent retraction of the undercarriage on the ground is still one of the most common incidents in general aviation. In many of these cases the culprit turns out to be the pilot. Make sure you are thoroughly familiar with the systems and emergency procedures in any aircraft you fly.

ACME CONES

Pilot-error wheels up landings can be very embarrassing

5.8

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENTS THE GYRO INSTRUMENTS Any object that has mass and is rotating, takes on gyroscopic properties. The magnitude of these gyroscopic effects depends upon the mass of the rotating body and its angular velocity [RPM]. The heavier the object and the faster it spins, the greater the effect. A gyro is simply an object designed to maximize these effects ie it is a heavy wheel which is spun at very high RPM. The two gyroscopic properties that concern us here are: Rigidity A spinning gyro tends to stabilize itself about its axis of rotation. The axis becomes rigid in space and any attempt to displace it is resisted. This property is clearly illustrated in a child's spinning top [Fig 5.10].

Fig 5.10
axis remains upright spinning top

gimbal mounts

gyro pivots

If the gyro is mounted in suitable gimbal mounts, it can be isolated from movement in pitch, roll and yaw [Fig 5.10]. This is sometimes called a space gyro. Not all gyros require this degree of freedom. Precession Another property of a spinning gyro is its tendency to resist a force applied at one point while responding with a displacement at 90 in the direction of rotation. This property, called precession, causes a gyro which is suffering a displacement in yaw, to respond by attempting to roll [Fig 5.11]. For a simple illustration of the principle of precession see page 37 in Aerodynamics. Fig 5.11

force applied to produce a yawing motion


CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

gyro responds by rolling


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.9

MAKING THE GYRO SPIN There are two common methods employed to cause the gyro to spin. The air-driven or vacuumdriven gyro uses a stream of air playing against buckets cut into the rim of the gyro. Because the rotational speed of the gyro may be as high as 23, 000 RPM, the bearings must be kept perfectly clean. The air that drives the gyro is sucked into the case through a filter [Fig 5.12]. Fig 5.12
filtered air flows in filter

filtered air is sucked through the jet buckets

vacuum pump sucks air out.

source of suction

Fig 5.13

VENTURI

Some older aircraft use a venturi as the suction source instead of a vacuum pump. The venturi is a tube with a narrow throat, which is placed in the outside airstream. As the air flows through the narrow throat, a low pressure is created. The lead from the gyros uses this low pressure as the suction source to power the gyros.

In modern aircraft, the vacuum pump is driven directly through a drive shaft at the back of the engine. A vacuum gauge is provided in the cockpit to allow the pilot to monitor the operation of the vacuum pump both before and during flight. This is very important in the case of aircraft operating under the Instrument Flight Rules [IFR], where the pilot may have no outside reference to indicate the aeroplane's attitude. In the electrically driven gyro, the rotational energy is supplied by an electric motor. It is powered by the aircraft's normal electrical system. Once again a means of monitoring the electrical power is provided. This is usually either a light mounted near the instrument or a flag on the face of the instrument which confirms that electrical power is being supplied. The three flight instruments that employ the principle of the gyro are: The Direction Indicator The Attitude Indicator [or Artificial Horizon] The Turn Coordinator Aircraft operating under the IFR are not permitted to have all of the gyro instruments powered from a single source. For this reason, most aircraft have the Direction Indicator and Flight Attitude Indicator air-driven, while the Turn and Balance Indicator is electric. Nowadays this arrangement is fairly standard and is commonly found in aircraft that are not intended for flight under the IFR.
5.10
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

outside air

THE DIRECTIONAL GYRO [DG]. Also called the Direction Indicator or Heading Indicator, the DG takes advantage of the gyroscopic property of rigidity. The gyro keeps the card with its azimuth scale stationary relative to north. The aircraft actually turns around the card, indicating its direction as an angle measured clockwise from magnetic north. Fig 5.14
NORTH

30

33
30

3
6

27

24

12

33
30

27

24

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

15

18

21

150

15
3
6
9

18

21

12

5.11

The directional gyro provides a very stable reference for the aeroplane's heading. It is free of the turning and acceleration errors and turbulence oscillations that are found in the magnetic compass. It is very important to realise however that the DG does not seek to align itself with magnetic north or any other particular direction. The instrument is quite useless unless it is set to agree with the reading of a reliable magnetic compass in the first place. The gyro may be set to any desired reading by manually rotating the slaving knob. Even a good DG will slowly drift away from a given alignment due to friction and small imbalances. This is called mechanical drift or precession and it cannot be avoided. Even if the gyro was perfectly balanced and friction-free it would still drift off its alignment due to the rotation of the earth. This is because the gyro axis remains aligned in space.
north gyro axis is aligned parallel to the local meridian north gyro axis remains aligned in space

Fig 5.15

earth rotates

As the earth rotates, the gyro drifts off the direction of the meridian. This can hardly be called an error, since the gyro is simply doing what it should do - it is keeping its axis fixed in space. This is called apparent drift. A little thought should convince you that the rate would be zero at the equator and a maximum at the poles. It really doesn't matter to the pilot, he simply checks the alignment of the DG against the compass every 10 to 15 min and resets it as required using the slaving knob. Because the compass is subject to turning and acceleration errors, care should be taken to ensure that the DG is set only when the aircraft is in a level attitude in unaccelerated flight. Some instruments have limitations on the degree of pitch or bank they can tolerate. Exceeding these limits can cause the gyro to 'topple'. This produces a rapid spinning of the card. The spinning can be stopped by pressing the slaving knob and once the gyro has been reset, it is serviceable once more. Some old aircraft feature gyros that have a caging knob. This allows the pilot to mechanically lock the gimbals into a fixed position while the gyro is running up or running down and during flight at extreme attitudes.
5.12
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR [AI] or ARTIFICIAL HORIZON [AH] The AH also takes advantage of the gyroscopic property of rigidity. However, unlike the DG which keeps its axis aligned in space, the AH has its axis slaved to earth so that it always remains vertical ie pointing to the centre of the earth [Fig 5.16]. Fig 5.16 The gyro's axis is kept vertical by the action of a special pendulous unit, which senses the force of gravity and continually applies small corrections to the gyro whenever it is not perfectly vertical in alignment. Since the axis remains vertical, by fixing the horizon bar at right angles to the gyro's axis, we can be sure that the horizon bar will always remain horizontal.

earth

The AH gives the pilot direct information on the aircraft's attitude in pitch and roll. Whenever the aircraft banks, the horizon bar remains horizontal and the aircraft actually rolls around the bar [Fig 5.17]. The degree of bank can be read off a scale which usually has markers at 10, 20, 30, 60 and 90 degrees. When flying by reference to the instruments alone, the AH becomes the pilots only reliable indication of attitude and therefore the most important single instrument in the cockpit. Again there are limitations in the degree of pitch or roll that can be tolerated, however modern instruments require extreme deviations to produce any real problems. Fig 5.17

Some of the older instruments feature a caging knob to lock the gimbals into a fixed position while the gyro is running up or running down and before aerobatic flight. Many modern instruments cannot be caged and can be caused to 'topple' if the aircraft is placed in extreme attitudes.
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V A CU U M

5.13

Fig 5.18

VA

CU

UM

Nose high - left bank indication Fig 5.19

Nose low - right bank indication Errors induced by prolonged gentle turns. If the aircraft is held into a gentle balanced turn for a long period, such as while holding, the pendulous unit can be 'fooled' into believing that the wings are level. The gyro's axis is slowly aligned to become perpendicular to the floor of the aircraft. When level flight is resumed, the instrument will give false readings until the gyro realigns to the vertical.
5.14

V A CU U M

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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THE TURN COORDINATOR The turn coordinator uses the gyroscopic property of precession to indicate the rate at which the aeroplane is turning. Markers on the face of the instrument indicate a standard rate turn of 3 per second or 2 minutes for a full 360. A standard rate turn is also called a Rate One turn. As the heading changes during a turn, the aircraft is rotating about its normal axis, ie it is moving in the yawing plane. The rotating gyro responds to this movement by rolling. That rolling action causes an aeroplane symbol on the face of the instrument to bank into the direction of the turn [Fig 5.20 shows the principle]. Fig 5.20
DC ELEC

aircraft yaws to the right

gyro responds by rolling to the right

TURN CO-ORDINATOR

2 MIN
NO PITCH INFORMATION

Fig 5.21
DC ELEC

TURN CO-ORDINATOR

It should be remembered that even though the instrument indicates a turn by showing the pilot a picture of a banked aeroplane, it does not directly indicate bank. For example when turning to the right while taxiing on level ground, the aeroplane symbol will bank to the right to indicate the heading is changing in that direction, even though the wings are level. Unlike the Artificial Horizon, the Turn Coordinator gives no direct indication of attitude. Fig 5.21 shows the indications of a turn coordinator during a turn to the left on level ground.

2 MIN
NO PITCH INFORMATION

The balance ball indicates whether the aircraft is slipping into, or skidding out of the turn. Fig 5.21 shows that when a turn to the left is made while taxiing on level ground the balance ball indicates a skid to the right. This is exactly the same effect that the standing occupants of a crowded bus feel when it turns to the left on a level road. In flight, provided that the balance ball is centred, a bank indication on the turn coordinator indicates that the aircraft is actually banked in that direction.

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5.15

Fig 5.22

In a correctly balanced turn, the balance ball remains centred, the pilot feels no side-load on his body and the relative airflow comes from directly in front of the aircraft [ignoring any effects of propeller slipstream].

flag

Fig 5.23

During a slip, the balance ball is deflected towards the centre of the turn, the pilot feels a sideload into the turn and the relative airflow is deflected towards the higher wing.

Fig 5.24

During a skid, the balance ball is deflected away from the centre of the turn, the pilot feels a sideload away from the turn and the relative airflow is deflected towards the lower wing.

5.16

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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THE PRESSURE INSTRUMENTS The gyro instruments provide information on the aircraft's behaviour about it's three axes, ie pitch, roll and yaw. The pressure instruments provide information on it's speed and flight path as it travels through the air. Two measures of pressure are involved - dynamic pressure and static pressure. DYNAMIC PRESSURE. The distribution of pressure over an aeroplane's surface as it moves through the air is of such importance that we might well say, "That's what flight is all about!" Obviously then, a clear understanding of what causes pressure is essential. Any gas, or mixture of gases, such as air, is composed of many millions of molecules. These molecules are in a state of constant random motion. Each molecule has mass-a very tiny massbut still it does have mass. When a molecule collides with a surface it exerts a tiny force upon that surface. There is nothing mysterious about gas pressure, the force involved is the same as the force that demolishes a motor vehicle when it runs off the road and hits a post- it is the force of collision! The combined effect of countless millions of molecules constantly bombarding every square centimetre of surface exerts a considerable force in the atmosphere at sea-level. When the force is divided by the area of the surface over which it acts and expressed as force per unit area, it is called pressure. The atmosphere at sea-level under standard conditions of density exerts a force of nearly ten tonnes on each square metre of surface. The average person has about two square metres of surface area and so experiences a total force of about twenty tonnes, and it's all caused by the impact of those tiny molecules! PRESSURE = FORCE AREA and FORCE = PRESSURE x AREA. All of the aerodynamic forces that act on an aircraft are caused by air pressure or air friction. At subsonic speeds friction is not the predominating force, and our study of pressure forces can be simplified if we ignore the effect of friction and viscosity, which we will do at this stage. THE PRESSURE FORCES. Fig 5.25 Let us consider a parcel of air in the shape of a cube with a side of one metre. If the density is equal to standard sea-level value, and temperature is 15C, the pressure caused by the random motion of its molecules would be 1013.2 hPa. This pressure is exerted equally in all directions and acts at right angles to any surface [ Fig 5.25]. Because the parcel is not in motion, we call this pressure of 1013.2 hPa the static pressure of the air.

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5.17

Fig 5.26

Additional energy from another source sets this parcel of air in motion. The random motion of molecules within the parcel is still occurring so the original static pressure is not changed by the motion of the parcel. However each molecule now possesses additional energy due to the forward motion of the entire parcel. This energy due to motion is called kinetic energy and its value depends upon the number of molecules within the parcel [ mass ] and the velocity at which the entire parcel is moving. KINETIC ENERGY =
1 2

mv

[Where m is mass and v is velocity.]

This kinetic energy gives the air the ability to exert additional pressure on any surface at right angles to its flow. Because it is caused by motion, this additional pressure is called dynamic pressure . Dynamic pressure therefore, is simply a flash name for the pressure caused by wind. The total pressure energy of the moving parcel then, is the sum of the original static pressure and the additional dynamic pressure it now possesses because of its motion. TOTAL PRESSURE = STATIC PRESSURE + DYNAMIC PRESSURE. If the parcel of air were moving at 100 kt at sea-level, the dynamic pressure it possessed would be about 16 hPa. For 100 kt airflow at sea-level and standard density therefore: TOTAL PRESSURE = STATIC PRESSURE [ 1013 ] + DYNAMIC PRESSURE [16] Fig 5.27 That is, if the 100 kt airstream were brought to rest in a closed tube, the total pressure in the tube would be 1029 hPa [Fig 111].

5.18

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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THE AIRSPEED INDICATOR. The principles discussed so far are applied to the airspeed indicator. This instrument consists of a closed capsule and a tube, the pitot tube, which is placed so that its open end faces the direction of airflow. As the airflow is brought to rest in the closed capsule, the pressure in the capsule is the total pressure of the airstream. A static vent is placed so that its face is parFig 5.28 static allel to the airflow. It pressure is exposed only to the static pressure of the airstream. This static pressure is transmitdirection of flight total pressure ted to the interior of the instrument case pitot which contains the capsule. Since the total pressure [ static + static vent dynamic ] is acting on the interior surfaces of the capsule and the static pressure alone is acting on the exterior surfaces, the capsule expands because of the difference in these two pressures. But if: then TOTAL PRESSURE = STATIC PRESSURE + DYNAMIC PRESSURE, TOTAL PRESSURE - STATIC PRESSURE = DYNAMIC PRESSURE.

The pressure difference which is causing the capsule to expand is equal to the dynamic pressure of the outside airflow. It is important to note that no part of the airspeed indicator measures dynamic pressure directly. The instrument simply measures total pressure and static pressure and assumes that the difference between them is equal to dynamic pressure. The face of the instrument is calibrated with values of airspeed at sea-level which would produce the dynamic pressure being recorded. Because the airspeed indicator measures dynamic pressure indirectly by subtracting static pressure from total pressure, it is obvious that if either of these values is incorrect, the difference between them will not represent the actual dynamic pressure of the relative airflow and the indicated airspeed will be incorrect. In practice, errors of this nature do in fact occur, the main cause being changes in local static pressure at the static port as airspeed and aircraft attitude change in flight. As a result the pressure recorded at the static port is not the same as the actual static pressure of the outside air. Some errors may also occur at the pitot whenever it is not exactly parallel to the airflow. These errors are referred to collectively as position error. To a lesser extent errors may be introduced by the actual internal components of the instrument itself, such errors are called instrument error and good design can keep them at an insignificant level.

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5.19

When indicated airspeed [IAS] is corrected for position and instrument error, the resulting value is referred to as calibrated air speed [CAS]. A graph showing IAS values and their corresponding CAS values for the BE76 is shown below. Fig 5.29

AIRSPEED INDICATOR MARKINGS Fig 5.30 White arc - flap extended range Red line Never Exceed Speed VNE

Yellow arc Caution range

200 180
VNO max structural cruising speed Green arc Normal operating range

AIRSPEED KNOTS

VSO Power-off Stalling speed Flaps and Wheels down [max weight]

40 60 80
VSI Power-off Stalling speed Flaps and Wheels up [max weight]

160 140 120 100

VFE max speed with flap extended


5.20
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

TRUE AIRSPEED [TAS] It was mentioned earlier that a 100 kt airstream under standard sea level conditions will produce a dynamic pressure of about 16 hPa. Since the airspeed indicator is calibrated for sea level standard conditions, it follows that whenever the dynamic pressure recorded by the instrument is 16 hPa, the pointer on the instrument face will indicate 100 kt. Dynamic pressure depends upon the kinetic energy of the air and this in turn depends upon both the density and the velocity of the airstream. Consider an aircraft flying at 10 000 ft in the standard atmosphere. If the CAS is 100 kt, the instrument must be recording a dynamic pressure of 16 hPa, however, the air at 10 000 feet is less dense than the air at sea level. A smaller mass of air is entering the pitot tube yet the dynamic pressure is still 16 hPa ie the same as is created by sea level air at 100 kt. The other factor determining the value of dynamic pressure is velocity. It follows that if the mass of air has decreased, the velocity of the air must have increased to maintain the same dynamic pressure. The actual speed of the aircraft through the air is called the true air speed, [TAS] and at 10 000 ft this would have to be almost 117 kt to produce the same dynamic pressure in the less dense air. Whenever the ambient air density is not equal to the standard sea level values, the CAS will differ from the TAS. The density error, as it is called, depends only upon the ratio of ambient density to standard sea level density. Because this ratio is mathematically derived, CAS can easily be converted to TAS on a flight computer. Given: Cruise Altitude = 5000 ft, QNH = 1013, OAT = +22C, CAS = 160 kt Find TAS.

Density height of 7000 feet is also available if required

STEP TWO Read the TAS of 178 knots against the CAS of 160 knots

STEP ONE Set the Pressure Height of 5000 feet against the OAT of +22C

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5.21

EXERCISE Find the TAS in each situation below. Pressure Height at cruise 8000 ft 9000 ft 15000 ft 5000 ft
ANSWERS TO EXERCISE

Outside Air Temperature -10C -15C -20C +20C


1 TAS = 210 kt 2 TAS = 190 kt

Calibrated Air Speed 190 kt 170 kt 130 kt 100 kt


3 TAS = 162 kt 4 TAS = 110 kt

True Air Speed

SUMMARY OF AIRSPEED INDICATOR ERRORS.

INDICATED AIR SPEED [IAS]


POSTION & INSTRUMENT ERROR

Position and instrument error allows for incorrect sensing of the ambient static pressure and imperfections in the instrument. Found by consulting a table.

CALIBRATED AIR SPEED [CAS]


DENSITY ERROR

Density error allows for the reduction of air density with height. Correrction applied by using a flight computer.

TRUE AIR SPEED [TAS]


Note that high-speed aircraft also apply a further error called: Compressibility error. This allows for errors caused by the compression of air in the pitot when the speed approaches the speed of sound. This compression causes the airspeed indicator to over read. A working knowledge of compressibility error is not required at CPL level.
5.22
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

THE ALTIMETER Fig 5.31 Since atmospheric pressure drops at a predictable rate with increasing height, the altimeter measures the ambient static pressure and displays it as a corresponding height. The instrument assumes that any changes in static pressure are due to changes in height and changes its reading accordingly. The instrument consists of a case, vented to the outside static pressure and a sealed capsule containing a fixed amount of air.
static pressure

static pressure

fixed mass of air in sealed capsule

static vent outside atmosphere

fixed mass of air in sealed capsule

Since the number of air molecules trapped within the capsule remains constant, it expands as the outside static pressure static vent drops and contracts as the outside static pressure increases [Fig 5.31].

outside atmosphere

The position of the capsule is sensed through linkages which move the hands of the instrument to indicate height. I'm sure that by now you are asking, "what about temperature?" If the temperature of the air trapped within the capsule increases, the pressure would also increase, spoiling the reading of the instrument. This problem is solved by placing a bi-metallic temperature sensing device between the capsule and the linkages to compensate for temperature changes within the capsule. Limitations The most important limitation of the instrument is its assumption that any change in pressure must be due to a change in height. This is not always true, as atmospheric pressure also changes from place to place and with time, as high and low pressure systems move across the face of the earth. To allow for this, the instrument is fitted with a knob which allows the pilot to select a reference pressure. The instrument measures the difference between the outside static pressure and the reference pressure selected. It displays the height change which would be equivalent to that pressure difference. Provided the correct reference pressure is set, the instrument gives reliable indication of height. [For operational considerations see also Navigation - Vertical Navigation].

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5.23

THE VERTICAL SPEED INDICATOR [VSI] Fig 5.32


choke

The VSI doesn't measure static pressure directly, it measures the rate at which static pressure changes.
static pressure

static pressure

static vent outside atmosphere

From the static vent the outside static pressure is led directly into the capsule and also into the instrument case. Before any air can pass to or from the case however, it must pass through a narrow restriction called a choke.

If the aircraft remains at the same level, the pressure inside and outside the capsule equalize and the capsule takes up its rest position. If the aircraft begins to descend, the increased static pressure causes extra air molecules to flow directly into the interior of the capsule and into the instrument case via the choke. Because the air molecules have to squeeze their way through the narrow restriction to enter the case, it takes time for the pressure in the case to equal the pressure in the capsule. While ever the aircraft continues to descend, the pressure difference will be maintained and a rate of descent will be indicated. Once the descent stops and level flight is resumed, the pressure in the case 'catches up' with the pressure in the capsule and it once again takes up its rest position. The situation is similar in a climb except that the air must flow out of the instrument case via the choke. Fig 5.33
10

Air flowing into the case via the choke - rate of descent shown

10 5 15
0
VERTICAL SPEED

15

VERTICAL SPEED

20 20 15

20
5

100 FT PER MIN

0
100 FT PER MIN

20 15

10
5

10 15

5 10

VERTICAL SPEED

20 20 15

Pressure inside and outside the capsule equalized - capsule in the rest position

Air flowing out of the case via the choke - rate of climb shown

100 FT PER MIN

5 10

5.24

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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Fig 5.34 a
Imagine a weight placed here

Fig 5.34 b

0
inertia pulls the weight down

Aircraft accelerates upwards

Fig 5.34 c

inertia pulls the weight up

One of the problems that must be overcome is the serious lag between the commencement or cessation of climb or descent and the correct indication appearing on the face of the instrument. Because it takes time for the pressure difference to become established, the instrument would go on reading zero for some time after the climb or descent was commenced. Once established, it takes time for the pressures to equalize after the climb or descent ceases. The instrument would go on indicating climb or descent for some time after level flight is resumed.

Aircraft accelerates downwards

This problem can be overcome by the use of inertial lead.[ Fig 5.34 above illustrates the principle only - the weight is actually placed in the linkages inside the instrument.] Imagine a weight placed on the end of the indicator as shown in Fig 5.34. If the aircraft is suddenly accelerated upwards, inertia holds the weight back, causing the tail of the indicator to deflect downwards [Fig 5.34 b]. This causes a climb to be indicated immediately it commences. By the time the inertia effect is gone, the pressure difference is established and the instrument indicates correctly. If the aircraft suddenly accelerates downwards, the weight is held back by inertia, causing a descent to be indicated immediately [Fig 5.34 c]. With the help of inertial lead, the VSI becomes a very useful instrument, giving almost instantaneous indications of any deviation from a level flight path.

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5.25

Fig 5.35
AIRSPEED INDICATOR ALTIMETER VERTICAL SPEED INDICATOR

pitot static alternate static

Fig 5.35 above shows how the pressure instruments are installed in a typical light aircraft. The pitot tube transfers the total pressure to the aneroid capsule in the Airspeed Indicator. All instruments have their cases connected to a common static vent. Aircraft intending to operate under the IFR must have an alternate static vent which can be selected if the normal static vent becomes blocked during flight. The alternate static vent is placed in a position where it is sure to remain free of blockages such as ice. Unfortunately, this means that it may not give as accurate a reading as the normal static vent. Small errors could be expected in the Airspeed Indicator and Altimeter when the alternate static source is selected. The VSI however, will read correctly since it measures the rate of change of pressure and not the pressure itself. If the static source became blocked and no alternate was available the following errors would be noticed. AIRSPEED INDICATOR. Would give a correct reading providing the aircraft remained at the height where the blockage occurred. As the aircraft descended, thinner air at the higher altitude would remain trapped in the case. The instrument would over-read on descent. This is exactly what you don't need. The instrument indicates 70 kt on approach when you are actually only doing 50 kt! During a climb, a blocked static source would cause the Airspeed Indicator to under-read. Would simply freeze at the height at which the blockage occurred. The instrument case would remain isolated from the ambient air pressure.

ALTIMETER

VERTICAL SPEED INDICATOR

Would also remain isolated from the ambient air pressure. No further pressure changes would be transferred to the instrument. It would continue to read zero no matter what the aircraft did.

A blocked pitot tube would render the Airspeed Indictor unserviceable, but would have no effect on any other instrument.

5.26

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

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Fig 5.37
magnetic field lines magnetic north pole

THE MAGNETIC COMPASS The earth possesses a magnetic field which originates near the centre and extends far out into space. The magnetic lines of force associated with this field run between two magnetic poles - the north and south magnetic poles [Fig 5.36]. The magnetic field lines, which run from one magnetic pole to the other, can be thought of as 'magnetic meridians'. Unlike the true meridians, they are rarely straight and are influenced by local anomalies in the earth's magnetic field caused by mineral deposits etc. The end result as far as we pilots are concerned, is that a compass needle suspended in the earth's field will rarely point to either the true or magnetic north pole - it simply aligns with the local direction of the earth's magnetic field. A suitable card, placed around the compass needle allows the pilot to read the aircraft's heading in relation to the earth's magnetic field, ie the magnetic heading. As the heading changes, the card remains aligned with the earth's field while the aeroplane turns around it [Fig 5.38].

magnetic south pole

Fig 5.37
magnetic north

direction of the earth's magnetic field

pivot

03

330

30

compass needle

direction of the earth's magnetic field

240

pilot reads a heading of 240


21 0

240

30

03

330

03

330

pilot reads a heading of 300

30

240

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21

150

21

150

150

12 0

E
060

Fig 5.38

12

12 0

E
060

060

5.27

Fig 5.39
pilot reads a heading of 120
150
240

30 0

03

03

330

330

pilot reads a heading of 060

Note that in order to obtain the correct heading indication, the scale on the card must be printed 'back-to -front'. That is, the letter 'S' must be printed on the northern side of the card, while the letter 'N' must be printed on the southern side. The letter 'E' must be printed on the western side of the card, while the letter 'W' must be printed on the eastern side. This is an important point to grasp if you are to understand how the compass behaves during turns and acceleration. Fig 5.40 COMPASS ERRORS Unfortunately, the orientation of the earth's magnetic field is not only north-south, but it is also inclined to the horizontal. The angle at which the field lines are inclined is called dip and it varies with latitude [shaded black in Fig 5.40]. A freely suspended compass needle not only lines up with the north-south component of the earth's magnetic field, but also tilts to the horizontal by the local dip angle.
dip

Fig 5.41
pivot

card needle
S

dire

ction

of th

This problem can be largely overcome by suspending the compass needle and card from above so that it hangs like a pendulum. As the compass needle attempts to line up with the inclined field, the force of gravity makes it swing back towards the horizontal. Although this greatly improves the situation, the needle and card remain slightly inclined by an angle called 'residual dip'. This means that the centre of gravity of the needle is never quite vertically beneath the pivot [Fig 5.42].

e ea

rth's

field
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

5.28

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

30 0

240

21

21

150
12 0

12 0

E
060

060

Fig 5.42
pivot

NORTH

This displacement of the compass needle means that there is more weight on one side of the pivot than on the other. In the Southern Hemisphere, the northern end of the compass needle sits higher than the southern end. The northern end can be thought of as the 'heavy end' [Fig 5.42]. Don't forget, it is the northern end which has S painted on it!
N

more weight ahead of the pivot

This uneven distribution of weight beneath the pivot produces acceleration and deceleration errors.

If an aircraft on an easterly heading accelerates, inertia forces cause the heavy end of the compass needle to lag behind. This means that the heavy end moves towards the pilot. Since this is the end which has S painted on it, the pilot sees a turn towards the south indicated even though the heading has not changed [Fig 5.43]. For the same reasons, if an aircraft on a westerly heading accelerates, an apparent turn to the south results. Acceleration on both east and west results in an apparent turn to the south. Fig 5.43
heavy end lags behind

heavy end
pivot
pivot

heavy end lags behind

pivot

pivot

acceleratio n

heavy end

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S
E

S
E

acceleratio n

5.29

Fig 5.44
S
heavy end
pivot

heavy end runs on


S

pivot

N
deceleratio n

If an aircraft on an easterly or westerly heading decelerates, the heavy end of the compass needle runs on. This causes the end with N painted on it to move towards the pilot. In both cases, the compass indicates a turn to the north even though the heading has not altered. Deceleration on both east and west results in an apparent turn to the north. TURNING ERRORS While acceleration and deceleration errors are noticed on easterly and westerly headings, the compass also has errors associated with turning. There are two theories which attempt to explain the behaviour of a compass during a turn. We shall examine them both. The centripetal/centrifugal force theory. During a turn two forces are at work. Centripetal force acts inwards towards the centre of the turn, while the inertia reaction, sometimes called centrifugal force, acts outwards opposite to centripetal force. Centripetal force is responsible for pulling the compass needle around the turn and acts through the pivot. Centrifugal force or inertia acts through the centre of gravity of the needle and card assembly.
5.30
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

N
deceleratio n heavy end runs on

heavy end

Fig 5.45
S
C of G pivot

centripetal force centrifugal force


N

W
E

C of G pivot

C of G pivot

C of G pivot

Consider an aircraft turning through 360 [Fig 5.45]. The aircraft at the top of Fig 5.45 is passing through west. Centripetal and centrifugal force are acting in the same line and have no turning effect on the needle. As the aircraft passes through south [left], the two forces combine to cause the compass card to twist. The aircraft will achieve a heading of south before the compass indicates it. As the aircraft passes through east [bottom], the forces are once again lined up so no turning effect is produced. Turning through north [right], the two forces combine to twist the card once more. The compass will indicate north before the aircraft achieves that heading. When turning onto north, the compass indicates north before the aircraft arrives at that heading [ie the compass runs ahead of the aircraft]. When turning onto south, the compass will not indicate south until after the aircraft has passed through that heading. The compass is: NIPPY ON NORTH - SLUGGISH ON SOUTH

W
E

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S S
E

S
E

5.31

To compensate for these errors, when turning onto north the pilot must ignore the compass indication when north appears and continue turning beyond north. When the aircraft rolls out of the turn, the compass will settle down to indicate north. When turning onto south, the pilot must roll out of the turn before the compass indicates south. Once again the compass will settle down to indicate south. The pilot should: OVERSHOOT NORTH - UNDERSHOOT SOUTH

The amount of overshoot or undershoot actually varies with latitude. As a rough guide in Australian latitudes, overshoot or undershoot by an amount equal to angle of bank being used. That is for a turn at 15 of bank, use a 15 overshoot or undershoot. The actual amount may be a little more in Melbourne and a little less in Darwin. The angle of dip theory. Another way to explain the compass turning errors is to consider an aircraft on a northerly heading. When that aircraft banks, the compass banks with it. While the compass is banked, the vertical component of the earth's magnetic field causes the northern end of the compass needle to tilt upwards [in the Southern Hemisphere], twisting the card clockwise [see the right hand aeroplane in Fig 126], to produce the erroneous indications. When an aircraft banks on a southerly heading, the northern end of the needle again tilts upwards, causing the card to twist anticlockwise [see the left hand aeroplane in Fig 126].

For the sake of the examination, it doesn't matter which theory you consider as long as you are familiar with the resulting errors and the pilot actions required to compensate.

COMPASS CHECKS A serviceable compass is a requirement on every flight. Before take-off the compass should be included in the pre take-off checks. The card should be easily readable. The damping fluid in the compass case should not be excessively discoloured. There should be no visible bubble in the fluid indicating a low fluid level. The compass deviation card should be in place [see also Navigation Pages 7 to 10]. There should be no objects in the vicinity of the compass that could give rise to magnetic fields which could interfere with its reading.

5.32

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CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS Perhaps the most potentially dangerous in-flight emergency that can arise is fire. Although most light general aviation aircraft carry hand-held fire extinguishers to combat cabin or cockpit fires, there is usually no provision made for fire in the engine compartment. In the event of an engine fire the pilot would have no option but to land as soon as possible. Larger general aviation aircraft and almost all RPT aircraft have fire protection systems installed to combat fire in the engine compartment, as well as hand-held extinguishers for use against cabin or cockpit fire. Before we examine a typical installation, let's consider some of the basic principles of fire fighting. For a fire to occur three conditions must be met: 1. 2. 3. There must be fuel. There must be oxygen. There must be a source of heat.

The most fundamental requirement of any fire extinguishing system is to introduce an agent that removes at least one of these elements. As it is not often practical to remove the fuel, i.e. the material being consumed by the fire, most extinguishing agents work by either depriving the fire of oxygen or by cooling the fuel down to a temperature that will no longer support combustion. Typical fire extinguishing agents are: Water. Water cools the burning fuel below its combustion temperature. Unfortunately it is not suitable for fires that involve flammable liquids or electrical equipment [the most likely source of an inflight fire]. Aviation fuels such as Avgas or Avtur and engine oil are insoluble and less dense than water. They simply float on top of the water and continue to have access to oxygen and so continue to burn. The water actually spreads the fire! Dry Powder. This is a chemical compound that exists as a fine white powder. When it is heated it releases carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not support combustion. It envelopes the fuel and deprives it of oxygen thus extinguishing the fire. Dry powder extinguishers are not suitable for engine fires because they leave a corrosive residue which must be thoroughly cleaned after use. Non-combustible gas. Carbon dioxide [CO2] and nitrogen are inert gases. They are compressed into liquid form and carried in the extinguisher. Carbon dioxide was most commonly used in older general aviation aircraft to combat engine fires. When discharged into the engine compartment, it smothers the fire by depriving it of oxygen. It also has a strong cooling effect. Halogenated hydrocarbon agents. These agents include BCFs, Halon and Freon. They react with the process of combustion and alter the chemistry of what takes place between the oxygen and the fuel. They are very effective and are used widely to combat engine fires. They are effective on all types of fires but can irritate the eyes and nose if used in cabin or cockpit areas. They are used in high rate discharge [HRD] systems for engine compartment fires in larger aircraft. They leave no residue.
5.33

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

Fire protection systems are operated by the aircrafts electrical system. The three components of a fire protection system are fire detectors, fire warning devices and fire extinguishers. Although fire detection systems include cabin fire and smoke detectors, by far the most common application in general aviation are systems designed to detect and extinguish fires in the engine compartment. Here we examine a typical engine fire protection system in a general aviation aircraft. Fire detectors. The detectors can be thought of as switches which are normally in the off position, but turn on whenever they reach a set temperature. They may be mechanical switches containing a bi-metallic strip which distorts when heated - much the same as the thermostatic switch in an electric iron, or they may be made of materials which resist the flow of electric current when they are cold but permit current to flow when they are hot. Infra-red detectors are also used - they react to the presence of hot spots. The detectors are positioned around the inside of the engine cowl and connected to a loop of wire [the fire wire loop]. The loop is connected to the aircrafts electrical system via a warning light, bell or horn in the cockpit [Fig 127]. Fig 127.
Light, bell or horn Test Switch Fire Wire Loop

Detectors

Bus Bar

The current from the bus bar seeks a way to earth via the detectors. However while ever the detectors remain at normal temperatures, no path to earth is available so no current flows through the cockpit warning device. However if any one of the detectors becomes hot enough, it closes the circuit to earth and the current flows from the alternator through the bus bar and to earth through the hot detector. This current flow activates the light, bell or horn in the cockpit to warn the pilot of excessive temperature within the engine compartment [Fig 128]. Fig 128
2. Light, Bell or Horn is activated.

Detectors
Fire Wire Loop

Alternator

1. Detector gets hot and closes the circuit to earth allowing the current to flow

5.34

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

The pilot must now decide what the problem is, and if he/she is convinced that a fire exists, activate the fire extinguisher. [Note that the exact actions to take in the event of an engine fire will be outlined in the aircraft Operating Handbook or in the standard operating procedures in the companys Operations Manual.] The action of operating the fire extinguisher [usually located in the aircrafts fuselage], discharges the extinguishing agent into the engine compartment. This is usually an inert gas which smothers the fire by robbing it of oxygen. It also cools the ambient temperature within the compartment to below that required to sustain combustion. Fig 129

Pilot activates the extinguisher, sending the extinguishing agent to the engine compartment.

Extinguishing agent

Extinguisher

Even during normal operation the environment within the engine cowl is rather hostile. The fire wire loop may have to survive this environment for years before it is called upon to perform its function. For this reason the system is always provided with a test switch which the pilot can activate from the cockpit during a normal preflight inspection. The current flows through the entire loop and then to earth through the test switch whenever the test switch is activated [Fig 130]. The test switch verifies the integrity of the entire loop circuit. Individual detectors are not tested by this method.
Test switch provides a circuit to earth when activated. It confirms the integrity of the fire wire loop. Light, Bell or Horn

Test Switch

Fig 130
Bus Bar

Alternator
5.35

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

Fire warning lights

Push button type test switch t

Discharge indicators. Some types of extinguishers feature two indicator disks, one red and one yellow. They are located near the bottles on the exterior of the fuselage where they can be checked by the pilot in the course of the normal walk-around inspection. If the bottle has been discharged by the pilot actuating the system, the yellow disk will blow out. If the area around the bottles becomes heated to a dangerous level the red disk will blow out venting the gas overboard. In some installations there are two bottles to allow for a second discharge if necessary. High rate delivery spherical gas bottle. The gaseous extinguishing agent is compressed within the bottle. A pressure gauge indicates the condition of the gas. When the pilot activates the fire extinguisher, a cartridge in the bottom section [squib] ruptures a frangible disk to allow the gas to be expelled from the bottle into the engine compartment via a discharge line [bottom right]. If the temperature around the bottle becomes dangerously high, the bottle will discharge through a fusible safety plug to prevent a damaging explosion. Sensors alert the pilot if the bottle has discharged. Inertia switches. These are switches similar to those used in ELT installations. They are activated automatically by sudden deceleration such as would be associated with a crash. Crash switches. These are installed in the belly of the aircraft's fuselage so that any crushing or deformation of the skin in this area will automatically activate the extinguishers. Hand-held fire extinguishers. These will be located within the cabin and/or cockpit area. Carbon Dioxide is one of the most popular agents for these extinguishers as it can be used on all types of fires, is not toxic and leaves no damaging residue. Dry Powder extinguishers should not be used in the cockpit area because it can cause damage to sensitive equipment and can seriously reduce visibility when discharged.
5.36
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

AUTOPILOTS. In the early stages of your training as a pilot you would be forgiven for assuming that the use of an autopilot to maintain heading and height is 'cheating'. However as cockpit workload increases in situations where multiple tasks demand the pilot's attention the autopilot quickly becomes a legitimate and valuable aid. Nowhere is this more obvious than in IFR flights departing or arriving in IMC at unfamiliar aerodromes within a busy control zone. Also the autopilot can significantly reduce fatigue during long flights. Again this is particularly true of long IFR flights faced with a demanding approach in IMC at the destination aerodrome, Auto pilots vary greatly in cost and sophistication from single axis 'wing levellers' to three axis models fully integrated into the aircraft's flight management system. The most common types found in general aviation aircraft are single axis and two axis autopilots. All autopilots perform three basic functions: 1. 2. 3. To maintain a particular flight path. To detect any deviations from the desired flight path. To alter the aircraft's attitude to correct for deviations in the desired flight path.

Autopilots perform these functions by responding to deviations about a single axis [roll], about two axes [pitch and roll], or about all three axes [pitch, roll and yaw].
DIR HOLD NAV CAPT NAV TRK HI BACK SENS CRS

ON A/P OFF NAV


PULL TURN

1 2

The single axis autopilot. These autopilots control the aircraft's motion about the longitudinal axis only [roll]. The system consists of a turn coordinator, a computer amplifier and an actuator which operates only the ailerons in response to deviations in roll. The simplest types simply maintain the wings level and rely on the aircraft's own directional stability to hold a constant heading. If deviations occur the ailerons operate to return the aircraft to the level attitude. However the pilot may have to regain the desired heading by using the manual turn control. Some single axis auto pilots have the added feature of not only returning to a wings-level attitude after a disturbance, but also automatically regaining a preselected heading set on the autopilot 'heading bug' which is incorporated in the directional gryo. Many single axis autopilots also feature a 'nav capture' and 'nav track' function. This allows the aircraft to intercept and track along a preselected OMNI radial.

Manual turn control

DIR HOLD

NAV CAPT

NAV TRK

HI BACK SENS CRS

ON A/P OFF
PULL TURN

1 NAV 2

Heading bug. Heading select

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.37

PUSH HEADING OMNI DOWN P I T C H UP L R ON T R I M

Two axis autopilots. A two axis autopilot controls the aircraft's attitude in roll [with aileron input], and in pitch [with elevator input].
OMNI INTERCEPT

PULL TURN

ALT ON

OFF

OFF

HDG

If the aircraft is disturbed in roll, the autopilot will use the ailerons to return to the heading which has been selected on the heading bug. Also the autopilot can be commanded to adjust the pitch attitude to hold a desired rate of climb or descent. The pilot must select the appropriate power setting independently. Most such autopilots also feature an altitude hold function which will maintain the current altitude by making the necessary pitch adjustments with elevators. The pilot can trim the autopilot to level flight by using a trim wheel on the autopilot control panel. These autopilots give the pilot the option of selecting a mode of wings-level only, heading hold or altitude hold. A nav capture and nav track option will allow the aircraft to intercept and track on a selected OMNI radial. Another feature that is often found on two axis autopilots is coupling to both the localizer and glide slope for a coupled ILS approach. Once again the pilot must manage the power applied to give the appropriate speed and therefore rate of descent during the approach.

All autopilots must provide for the pilot to quickly disengage the autopilot in the event of an emergency or malfunction of the system. The autopilot disengage switch is often located on the pilot's control column. Some autopilots automatically disengage under some circumstances. If this occurs, the pilot will be warned by a light or audio chime. When disengaging the a two axis auto pilot, the pilot should be prepared to guard against sudden pitch changes should the autopilot trim be incorrectly set. A typical autopilot control loop.

Gyro senses attitude changes

Computer processor

Actuator Control surface

Feedback loop

5.38

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

EXERCISE GK 5
Question No 1 Low pressure in a hydraulic accumulator would produce [a] no difference in operation unless the pump failed [b] slow operation of services [c] an overload of the power pump [d] failure of all systems to operate Question No 2 If air has leaked into the lines of a foot operated hydraulic brake system an indication to the pilot would be [a] a spongy feel to the brake pedals [b] a normal feel at first application of pressure followed by a slow leak down of the pedal [c] no resistance as the break pedal is easily pushed to the floor [d] grabbing of the brakes on application of light foot pressure Question No 3 If a leak occurs in the lines of a foot operated hydraulic brake system an indication to the pilot would be [a] a spongy feel to the brake pedals [b] a normal feel at first application of pressure followed by a slow leak down of the pedal [c] no resistance as the break pedal is easily pushed to the floor [d] grabbing of the brakes on application of light foot pressure Question No 4 An oleo leg on an undercarriage assembly [a] should be kept correctly inflated with oil and gas [b] should be protected from any compression loads [c] is operated by the aircraft's hydraulic system [d] is only ever used on the nose wheel assembly Question No 5 Low gas pressure in a hydraulic accumulator would cause [a] reduced availability of pressure in an emergency [b] failure of all systems [c] increased wear on the main power pump [d] one way only operation of services Question No 6 A shimmy damper is a device designed to eliminate [a] shocks imposed by landing loads [b] vibration in tail wheel aircraft [c] shimmy in the main wheels during take off [d] vibration in the nose wheel during ground operation Question No 7 Some tachometers display a red arc between certain RPM settings. This indicates [a] where detonation is most likely [b] these RPM values must not be used under any circumstances [c] never operate the engine at RPM values above that arc [d] avoid continuous operation at these RPM values Question No 8 When decreasing power on a turbo charged engine fitted with a CSU it is good practice to [a] decrease manifold pressure before RPM [b] decrease RPM before manifold pressure [c] decrease RPM and manifold pressure together [d] decrease manifold pressure only at constant RPM

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.39

Question No 9 If a manifold pressure gauge shows a rapidly fluctuating reading [a] the instrument is unserviceable [b] detonation is occurring [c] fuel vaporisation is occurring [d] the engine is seriously overheating Question No 10 The instrument which gives the most direct reading of an aircraft's attitude is [a] the turn and balance indicator [b] the direction indicator [c] the artificial horizon [d] inertial lead vertical speed indicator Question No 11 If a direction indicator becomes toppled during flight the instrument will [a] need to be reset but will remain serviceable [b] be unserviceable for the rest of the flight [c] automatically reset itself and remain serviceable [d] remain fixed on one heading Question No 12 An altimeter measures the vertical displacement of the aircraft from [a] mean sea level [b] the 1013 hPa pressure level [c] the pressure reference datum set on the subscale [d] the highest ground below the aircraft Question No 13 If the static source becomes blocked during flight the instrument which will read zero is [a] the airspeed indicator [b] the altimeter [c] the suction gauge [d] the vertical speed indicator Question No 14 Selection of the alternate static source will cause errors in [a] the altimeter [b] the air speed indicator [c] the vertical speed indicator [d] [a] and [b] but not [c] Question No 15 The lag in the reading of the vertical speed indicator is rectified by [a] inertial lead [b] the electric vacuum pump [c] the alternate static source [d] cabin pressurisation Question No 16 In the southern hemisphere, the reading of the magnetic compass will be ahead of the aircraft's actual heading [a] when accelerating on east or west [b] when turning onto north [c] when turning onto east or west [d] when turning onto south Question No 17 In the southern hemisphere the pilot should undershoot the desired heading when turning onto [a] north [b] south [c] east [d] west

5.40

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 18 An exhaust gas temperature gauge [a] operates from the aircraft's electrical system [b] has its own battery power [c] requires no external electrical power source [d] operates only when the master switch is on Question No 19 One effect of a blocked static source on aircraft instruments would be [a] the airspeed indicator over reading on descent [b] the airspeed indicator under reading on descent [c] the vertical speed indicator over reading on climb [d] the altimeter returning to zero Question No 20 The property of gyroscopic precession is the basis of operation of the [a] direction indicator [b] turn and balance indicator [c] artificial horizon [d] vertical speed indicator Question No 21 A cylinder head temperature gauge is usually connected to [a] all cylinders to obtain an average reading [c] one cylinder only

[b] [d]

the engine crank case the exiting exhaust gases

Question No 22 Which instruments would be affected by the selection of the alternate static source? [a] the altimeter and the air speed indicator [b] the vertical speed indicator and the altimeter [c] the altimeter only [d] the vertical speed indicator only Question No 23 A pilot notices an unchanging altimeter reading during a steady climb. The most likely cause would be [a] blocked pitot tube. [b] blocked static source. [c] failed vacuum pump. [d] mis-set altimeter subscale. Question No 24 If the static source is blocked, the instrument which will overread in a descent is [a] altimeter. [b] airspeed indicator. [c] vertical speed indicator. [d] artificial horizon.

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

5.41

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE GK 5 No Answer Comment


1 2 3 4 5 [b] [a] [b] [a] [a] If the pressure in the hydraulic accumulator is low, the pump must do more of the work. Services take longer to operate. Air is compressible, bubbles of air in the hydraulic oil allow it to compress under pressure, giving the pedal a spongy feel. The pedal feels normal on first application of pressure, but as the fluid escapes through the leak, the pedal continues to move under foot - leak-down. The oleo requires both oil and gas to operate correctly. An appropriately qualified person should service the oleo to ensure that both are at the correct level. The hydraulic accumulator also acts as a stand-by source of hydraulic pressure to allow limited operation of services during an emergency. In this regard, it is like a battery in an electrical system which can take over for a limited period if the alternator fails. Nose wheel shimmy occurs during ground operation. The shimmy damper acts as a shock absorber, dampening the vibrations which cause shimmy. Some engines are subject to harmonic vibrations at certain RPM settings. There is no immediate problem for short term operations at these RPM values, such as during approach. The operator should not make a habit of operating continuously at these RPM settings to avoid additional expense at engine overhauls. Avoid the combination of high manifold pressure and low RPM, to prevent overboosting. Probably vibrations causing rapid opening and closing of a crack in the lead. Detonation will not show up on the manifold pressure gauge as it occurs after the inlet valve closes so no backpressure can act in the inlet manifold. The artificial horizon indicates attitude directly by displaying the degree of pitch and roll against the gyro-stabilized horizon bar. The direction indicator has freedom of movement in yaw only. Extreme attitudes may cause the azimuth card to spin, but it will be useable again as soon as it has been caged and reset. The altimeter has no way of assessing where sea-level is. It simply measures the difference between the ambient pressure and the pressure set on the sub-scale. A blocked static source isolates the VSI from the environment outside the aircraft. The pressure inside and outside the capsule equalize and the capsule takes up its rest position and remains there whatever the aircraft does. The VSI does not read the static pressure directly. It reacts to the rate of change of static pressure. Inertial lead overcomes the lag by moving the pointer initially in response to vertical accelerations. The compass is 'nippy on north'. The pilot should OVERSHOOT NORTH - UNDERSHOOT SOUTH. The EGT, like the CHT operates on the principle of the thermocouple. The junction of two dissimilar metals produces an electric current when heated. The current is produced within the conductors without any outside electrical source being necessary. The ASI does the most dangerous thing. It over reads on descent. The total pressure of the more dense air from the lower level is being led into the capsule, but it is being measured against the thinner air which was trapped inside the case at the height the blockage occurred. The capsule expands more that it should. As the aircraft moves in yaw, the gyro responds by rolling. It is possible for one cylinder to be seriously over heating due to preignition, but if it is not the cylinder the CHT is connected to, there will be no immediate indication. The VSI would read correctly on the alternate static source. The altimeter has nothing to do with the pitot tube - it is required only by the ASI. If the static source becomes blocked the altimeter is isolated from the environment. It will 'freeze' at whatever level the blockage occurred. It doesn't matter whether the aircraft is in a climb, cruise or descent. If a blockage of the static source occurs, the pressure within the instrument case will always remain equal to the pressure at the level at which the blockage occurred. However during a descent, the air entering the pitot is becoming more and more dense as the height decreases. The capsule expands more than it should because the increasingly dense air is being measured against the lower pressure trapped within the instrument case.

6 7

[d] [d]

8 9

[a] [a]

10 11 12 13

[c] [a] [c] [d]

14 15 16 17 18

[d] [a] [b] [b] [c]

19

[a]

20 21 22 23

[b] [c] [a] [b]

24

[b]

5.42

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FINAL TEST 1 Question No I The application of carburettor heat when ice has formed in the carburettor will be accompanied by [a] an increase in cylinder head temperature and an increase in manifold pressure [b] an immediate drop in manifold pressure followed by an increase in manifold pressure and a richer mixture [c] a rise in cylinder head temperature due to a leaner mixture [d] an immediate increase in manifold pressure and a rise in cylinder head temperature Question No 2 Symptoms of the formation of carburettor ice in an engine fitted with a CSU are [a] dropping manifold pressure and rising cylinder head temperature [b] dropping manifold pressure and dropping RPM [c] dropping manifold pressure and indicated air speed with constant RPM [d] dropping manifold pressure and increasing fuel flow Question No 3 An engine is overheating during a climb. An appropriate action to remedy the situation would be [a] open the cowl flaps, richen the mixture and increase the climbing indicated air speed [b] increase power and adopt a higher indicated air speed [c] decrease power and indicated air speed and richen the mixture [d] open the cowl flaps, lean the mixture and increase the climbing indicated air speed Question No 4 If an engine running with the mixture leaned to peak EGT is richened to full rich [a] power will increase continuously [b] power will decrease continuously [c] power will decrease then increase [d] power will increase then decrease Question No 5 An engine is running with the mixture fully rich. Progressive leaning to peak EGT will produce [a] best power first, followed by best economy then peak EGT [b] best economy first, followed by best power then peak EGT [c] best power at peak EGT [d] best economy at peak EGT Question No 6 A descent from high altitude where the engines have been leaned to peak EGT is made with no adjustment being made to the mixture. As the descent is continued to sea level [a] mixture will become too rich due to the increased air density [b] cylinder head temperature will rise and back firing could occur [c] the increasing air density will cool the air too rapidly [d] a leaner mixture will be accompanied by decreasing manifold pressure Question No 7 Operating an engine with too low an oil quantity will produce [a] rising oil temperature and pressure [b] falling oil temperature and rising oil pressure [c] falling oil pressure and falling oil temperature [d] rising oil temperature and dropping oil pressure Question No 8 Vaporising of fuel in the fuel lines can be caused by [a] high engine temperature and high power [b] [c] overuse of the boost pump at low engine power [d]

excessively lean mixtures using rich mixtures at high altitudes

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.1

Question No 9 If a heat soaked engine will not start due to fuel vaporisation, an appropriate action would be [a] crank the engine with mixture lean until it fires [b] continue cranking the engine with mixture rich and prime pump on [c] operate the prime pump with the mixture in idle cut off to purge the vapour [d] wait about 15 minutes then try again with the mixture lean Question No 10 If an engine begins to run roughly due to vaporisation of fuel during flight the appropriate pilot action would be [a] operate the boost pump [b] richen the mixture [c] check the boost pump is turned off and reduce power [d] place the mixture in the idle cut off and turn the boost pump on Question No 11 When increasing power on an engine fitted with a CSU it is good practice to [a] increase RPM before manifold pressure to prevent overboosting [b] increase manifold pressure before RPM to prevent overboosting [c] increase manifold pressure and RPM together [d] increase manifold pressure only as RPM do not affect power Question No 12 Throttle operation during take off with an engine fitted with a supercharger should be [a] slow opening of the throttle to fully opened position [b] rapid movement of the throttle to the fully open position [c] careful operation of the throttle with care not to exceed rated boost [d] rapid movement to rated boost then slowly to fully open position Question No 13 The purpose of a supercharger fitted to an engine is [a] to increase power by pumping extra fuel into the cylinders [b] to increase power by increasing the mass air flow [c] to increase power by producing an increase in RPM [d] to increase power by allowing richer mixtures to be used Question No 14 If a centre zero ammeter indicates an unusually high charge rate during flight the cause could be [a] a faulty battery [b] the alternator has failed [c] the electrical system is overloaded [d] the indication would be normal if all electrical loads are turned on Question No 15 Excessive use of the starter motor on an engine which is difficult to start can cause [a] a burn out of the alternator [b] will damage the battery [c] can cause damage to the starter motor solenoid [d] overheating of the starter motor Question No 16 The use of a lower grade of fuel than specified for an engine can [a] promote detonation at high power [b] cause lead fouling of the spark plugs [c] result in an over lean mixture [d] increase the risk of vapour locking Question No 17 Battery compartments are vented because [a] heat from the battery can cause pressure build up in the compartment [b] the battery needs air to help keep it cool [c] dangerous gases such as hydrogen are released when the battery is charged [d] vents allow water to drain away from the battery compartment 6.2
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 18 Fuel tank vents should be inspected before flight because [a] a blockage in the vent can interrupt the fuel supply to the engine [b] the vent allows excess fuel to escape if the tank is full [c] a blocked vent increases the risk in the event of fire [d] the vent must allow dangerous fumes to escape from the tank Question No 19 If the gas pressure is too low in a hydraulic accumulator you would expect [a] a reduction in system pressure [b] a reduction in emergency pressure and slower operation of some services [c] an increased risk of air entering the system [d] difficulty in using the emergency hand pump Question No 20 The purpose of a shimmy damper is [a] to prevent the wheels from locking if too much brake is applied [b] to stop the wheels from rotating after lift off [c] to absorb undercarriage shocks on rough strips [d] to prevent nose wheel vibration during ground operation Question No 21 Unintentional retraction of the undercarriage while on the ground is prevented by [a] a microswitch on the undercarriage selector [b] a microswitch on the instrument panel [c] a microswitch on one of the undercarriage legs [d] a microswitch on the throttle linkage Question No 22 An aircraft is parked on a strip with the engine stopped. If the elevation of the strip is 2000 ft above mean sea level, what would the manifold pressure gauge be expected to read? [a] approximately 30 Hg" [b] approximately 28 Hg" [c] approximately 10 13 hPa [d] approximately 25 Hg" Question No 23 The effect of a blocked static vent during a long climb would be [a] the airspeed indicator under reading [b] the airspeed indicator over reading [c] the altimeter under reading [d] the altimeter over reading Question No 24 An altimeter reads the aircraft's vertical displacement from [a] mean sea level in ISA [b] mean sea level [c] the ground [d] that pressure which is selected on the sub scale of the instrument Question No 25 Following the toppling of a directional gyro in flight the instrument will [a] remain serviceable but must be reset to the correct heading [b] be unserviceable for the rest of the flight [c] reset itself automatically [d] require servicing after landing Question No 26 In the southern hemisphere, an aircraft's actual heading will lag behind the compass indication when the aircraft is turning onto [a] north [b] south [c] east [d] west

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.3

Question No 27 If the outside air temperature is +5'C, and the relative humidity is 60%, which of the situations described below would be most likely to produce carburettor icing? [a] cruising at maximum continuous power [b] climbing at full power [c] cruising at 65% power [d] descending at 35% power Question No 28 During a dive, if power is not reduced, constant speed propellers may move onto the [a] fine pitch stops and then slow down [b] fine pitch stops and then overspeed [c] coarse pitch stops and then slow down [d] coarse pitch stops and then overspeed Question No 29 Using fuel of a lower octane rating than is recommended for an engine can result in [a] exhaust valve erosion [b] afterburning [c] backfiring [d] detonation Question No 30 A shimmy damper is a device designed to control vibration of the [a] rudder control surface [b] main wheels during retraction [c] nose wheel [d] elevator control surface Question No 31 On a colour coded ASI, the maximum landing gear extended speed [VLE], is [a] marked at the end of a green arc [b] marked at the top of the white arc [c] not marked [d] marked by a radial red line Question No 32 The engine operating conditions most likely to produce fouling of the spark plugs are [a] high power and lean mixture [b] high power and rich mixture [c] low power and lean mixture [d] low power and rich mixture Question No 33 With regard to CHT and EGT gauges, which of the following is true [a] CHT gauges react more quickly to sudden combustion temperature changes [b] EGT gauges and CHT gauges do not register sudden temperature changes [c] both gauges register sudden changes in combustion temperature [d] EGT gauges register sudden changes in combustion temperature more quickly than CHT gauges Question No 34 In the southern hemisphere the heading indicated by a direct reading magnetic compass will lead an aeroplane's actual heading when turning onto [a] east [b] south [c] north [d] west Question No 35 During a climb a high cylinder head temperature can be reduced by [a] leaning the mixture [b] increasing the IAS [c] closing the cowl flaps [d] decreasing the IAS Question No 36 The function of a pressure relief valve [PRV] in a hydraulic system is to: [a] maintain a constant pressure in the hydraulic accumulator [b] prevent the system pressure from falling below a pre-set minimum value [c] prevent a build up of pressure in the system should the pressure regulator fail [d] regulate the pressure in the system during normal operation.

6.4

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FINAL TEST 2 Question No 1 If carburettor ice has formed on an engine fitted with a CSU, the application of carburettor heat will cause [a] a drop in manifold pressure and a drop in RPM [b] an initial drop, followed by an increase in manifold pressure at constant RPM [c] a rise in both manifold pressure and RPM [c] a rise in manifold pressure and a drop in RPM Question No 2 During a long descent cylinder head temperature becomes too low. This can be rectified by [a] opening the cowl flaps [b] adding power and increasing the rate of descent [c] adding power and decreasing the rate of descent [d] reducing the indicated airspeed Question No 3 During a long climb, the cylinder head temperature becomes too high. This can be rectified by [a] closing the cowl flaps [b] reducing the climbing indicated air speed [c] leaning the mixture to best power [d] richening the mixture to full rich and increasing the climbing indicated air speed Question No 4 During take off from a strip where the density altitude is extremely high, the best take off performance would be achieved by setting the mixture control for [a] fully rich [b] peak EGT [c] smooth running [d] best economy Question No 5 The best TAS at a given height and manifold pressure would be achieved with the mixture control set for [a] full rich [b] best economy [c] best power [d] peak EGT Question No 6 If maximum power is applied for take off while the oil temperature is too low [a] the engine components could suffer stresses due to uneven heating [b] take off manifold pressure could be lower than normal [c] cylinder head temperature would become too high during take off [d] take off power would be severely reduced Question No 7 Vaporisation of fuel would be most likely to occur at high power settings [a] with hot fuel and low atmospheric pressure [b] with cold fuel and low atmospheric pressure [c] with hot fuel and high atmospheric pressure [d] with cold fuel and high atmospheric pressure Question No 8 If the pilot suspects that fuel vaporisation is occurring during flight an appropriate response would be [a] place the mixture control to fully rich [b] increase engine RPM [c] change fuel tanks [d] operate the fuel boost pump

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.5

Question No 9 If the manifold pressure exceeds rated boost in a turbo charged engine [a] fuel vaporisation would occur [b] detonation and engine damage could result [c] the engine would backfire and lose power [d] cylinder head temperature will rise and power will be less than normal Question No 10 If failure of a CSU locks the propeller blades at one fixed position [a] the pilot will not be able to change the propeller RPM [b] the propeller RPM would change with engine power changes [c] the engine will gradually lose RPM [d] the propeller will over speed unless power is reduced Question No 11 The propeller pitch control is set to fully fine position during the engine run up. This is done to [a] allow the propeller RPM to indicate engine power [b] allow the pilot to check the maximum engine RPM available [c] allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature [d] prevent RPM from becoming too low at idle power settings Question No 12 If the oil pressure gauge begins to fluctuate during flight [a] the oil temperature is too high [b] the oil pressure gauge is unserviceable [c] the oil temperature is too low [d] the oil quantity is very low Question No 13 The cause of an abnormally high oil pressure indication could be [a] oil quantity is too low [b] oil temperature is too low [c] oil temperature is too high [d] the oil sump is overfilled Question No 14 If the oil level in an operating engine is below the specified minimum [a] the engine could overheat at high power settings [b] oil temperature would be lower than normal [c] engine power will be reduced [d] there will be a large power loss due to increased engine friction Question No 15 A centre zero ammeter shows a constant high charge rate when [a] the alternator has failed [b] the alternator voltage is low [c] all electrical loads are on [d] the battery is faulty Question No 16 A left hand zero ammeter indicates zero when [a] the alternator has failed [b] [c] the battery is fully charged [d]

all electrical loads are off the battery circuit is switched off

Question No 17 In an engine fitted with a constant speed unit the onset of fuel vapour locking would be indicated by [a] falling manifold pressure [b] fluctuating RPM [c] fluctuating fuel pressure [d] high fuel consumption Question No 18 The function of a forward facing fuel tank vent is to [a] increase the fuel flow at high altitude [c] allow fuel to escape if the tank is overfilled

[b] [d]

provide a positive pressure in the fuel tank reduce the air pressure in the fuel tank at high speed
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

6.6

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

Question No 19 The continuous use of a higher grade of fuel than recommended can cause [a] overboosting of the engine [b] overheating and detonation [c] an increased risk of vapour locking [d] corrosion of internal engine components Question No 20 After hydraulic flaps are lowered in flight, they slowly return towards the up position of their own accord. A possible reason for this problem is [a] hydraulic oil is leaking from the system [b] the level of hydraulic oil is too low [c] the hydraulic accumulator is leaking [d] the pressure regulator is set too low Question No 21 If brake pedals feel normal when pressure is applied, but slowly leak down as pressure is maintained [a] the hydraulic fluid level is low [b] there is air in the brake lines [c] the brake pads are badly worn [d] there is a leak in the system Question No 22 The manifold pressure gauge of a normally aspirated engine at full power at sea level would read [a] more than the outside atmospheric pressure [b] the same as the outside atmospheric pressure [c] slightly less than the outside atmospheric pressure [d] about 14.7 Hg" Question No 23 The most likely cause of a rapidly fluctuating cylinder head temperature gauge would be [a] detonation [b] preignition [c] high oil temperature [d] a faulty gauge Question No 24 If the altimeter reading remains unchanged during a climb the most likely cause would be [a] the pitot tube has become blocked [b] the static source has become blocked [c] the vacuum pump is unserviceable [d] the case of the altimeter is leaking Question No 25 The indication shown on the face of a turn co-ordinator when turning while taxiing on level ground is [a] a skid away from the direction of turn [b] the ball remains in the centre while ever the wings are level [c] a slip in the direction of turn [d] a bank opposite the direction of turn Question No 26 During a turn, the reading of a magnetic compass in the southern hemisphere will [a] lag behind the aircraft when turning onto north [b] lead ahead of the aircraft when turning onto south [c] lead ahead of the aircraft when turning onto north [d] lag behind the aircraft when turning onto east or west Question No 27 The engine operating conditions most likely to produce fouled spark plugs are [a] high power and rich mixture [b] low power and rich mixture [c] high power and lean mixture [d] low power and lean mixture

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.7

Question No 28 In an engine fitted with a carburettor and a constant speed propeller, the absence of carburettor ice may be confirmed by applying carburettor heat and noting an immediate [a] decrease in manifold pressure with no further change [b] increase in manifold pressure with a gradual change [c] increase in manifold pressure with no further change [d] decrease in manifold pressure with a gradual change Question No 29 Operating an engine with the oil level below the specified minimum is likely to cause [a] excessive oil consumption [b] spark plug fouling [c] engine overheating [d] oil foaming Question No 30 During flight a centre zero ammeter shows an abnormally high positive reading for an extended period of time. The correct interpretation of this is [a] electrical instruments will overread [b] the alternator has failed and the battery is powering the system [c] the battery is being overcharged and may boil [d] no particular meaning Question No 31 The purpose of a turbocharger is to [a] provide a constant rate of climb up to the critical altitude [b] increase the mass of air flow into the engine [c] increase the temperature and vaporisation of the fuel air mixture before induction [d] reduce the possibility of detonation Question No 32 What is the difference in appearance between aviation gasoline [avgas] and aviation turbine fuel [avtur]? [a] avgas is blue or green while avtur is red [b] avgas is red while turbine fuel is green [c] avgas is clear while turbine fuel is blue or green [d] avgas is blue or green while turbine fuel is clear Question No 33 Which instrument indication would suggest that the static vent has become blocked during a climb? [a] the vertical speed indicator reads zero [b] all pressure instruments read zero [c] the altimeter reads zero [d] the airspeed indicator reads zero Question No 34 In a climb from level flight the altimeter reading remains unchanged. A likely cause would be a blockage in the [a] pitot tube [b] vacuum pump [c] static vent Question No 35 What effect does the application of carburettor heat have on mixture and power? [a] mixture becomes leaner and power is unaffected [b] mixture becomes richer and power is reduced [c] mixture becomes leaner and power is reduced [d] mixture becomes richer and power is unaffected Question No 36 If an engine fitted with a fixed waste gate has the throttle fully opened at take-off [a] the rated boost would be exceeded. [b] the engine would produce 100% of its rated power. [b] the mixture would become too lean. [d] the expected take-off performance would not be achieved.

6.8

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

FINAL TEST 3 Question No 1 The application of carburettor heat on an aircraft fitted with a CSU when ice is not present is accompanied by [a] a drop in RPM followed by a slight increase in manifold pressure [b] a drop in manifold pressure followed by a slight rise in manifold pressure at constant RPM [c] a drop in manifold pressure with no further change and constant RPM [d] a drop in RPM with no further change Question No 2 To prevent excessive cooling of an engine during a long descent at a fixed throttle setting it is necessary to [a] decrease indicated air speed and accept a reduced rate of descent [b] increase indicated air speed and accept a reduced rate of descent [c] decrease indicated air speed and increase rate of descent [d] increase indicated air speed and increase rate of descent Question No 3 If oil temperature is rising to near the red line during a long climb a remedy would be [a] decrease power and indicated air speed [b] increase power and indicated air speed [c] decrease power and increase indicated air speed [d] increase power and decrease indicated air speed Question No 4 A high cylinder head temperature during cruise could be due to [a] manifold pressure too low for the selected RPM [b] [c] cowl flaps left open [d] Question No 5 Spark plug fouling would be most likely during [a] long periods of ground operation at low power [b] climbs at high power settings [c] cruising flight in cold weather [d] operation in conditions where carburettor ice is likely to form Question No 6 The EGT setting that would produce the highest indicated air speed would be [a] fully rich [b] peak exhaust gas temperature [c] best power setting [d] best economy setting Question No 7 One consequence of operating an engine with excessively high oil temperature is [a] Spark plug fowling [b] inadequate lubrication of some engine parts [c] a very high oil pressure [d] sticking exhaust valves Question No 8 Fuel vaporisation is most likely to occur during [a] long periods of ground operation [b] high engine temperatures and low ambient atmospheric pressure [c] a long power off descent [d] cruise with mixture leaned for best economy Question No 9 The purpose of a waste gate in a turbo supercharger is to [a] regulate the speed of the turbine [b] control the temperature of the exhaust gases [c] prevent excessive pressure build up in the turbine [d] control the fuel flow to the engine fuel pump
CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

mixture set too rich detonation or pre-ignition

6.9

Question No 10 If a leak develops before the waste gate in an engine fitted with a turbo supercharger [a] fuel consumption would increase [b] manifold pressure obtained at any given altitude and throttle position decreases [c] manifold pressure obtained at any given altitude and throttle position increases [d] less power is available due to increased exhaust back pressure Question No 11 The correct setting for the pitch control during engine run-up of an engine fitted with a CSU is [a] fully coarse during the magneto check [b] fully fine during the magneto check [c] normal cruise position [d] set to hold 1700 RPM Question No 12 During a descent at high speed and high power the propeller blades of a constant speed propeller will move towards [a] the fine pitch stops [b] the coarse pitch stops [c] the centre of the pitch range [d] the position of minimum drag Question No 13 A consequence of a low oil level in an engine is [a] oil temperature and oil pressure will rise [b] oil temperature and oil pressure will fall [c] oil temperature will fall and oil pressure will rise [d] oil temperature will rise and oil pressure will fall Question No 14 A device that controls high current flow in an electrical system is [a] a voltage regulator [b] a circuit breaker [c] a condenser [d] a rectifier Question No 15 If a centre zero ammeter shows a discharge during flight [a] the system is operating normally [b] the battery is flat [c] the master switch is off [d] the alternator has failed Question No 16 If a fuel pressure gauge shows rapidly fluctuating readings during flight [a] fuel vaporisation may be occurring [b] induction icing maybe occurring [c] the fuel may be detonating within the cylinders [d] the engine driven fuel pump may have failed Question No 17 The colour of 100/ 130 octane avgas is [a] red [b] blue [c] green [d] clear Question No 18 Comparing a fuel injection system to a carburettor , the fuel injection system is [a] simpler and less expensive [b] operated at lower fuel pressure [c] less prone to induction system icing [d] less prone to fuel vaporisation Question No 19 If the accumulator gas pressure in a hydraulic system becomes too low [a] the system will fail [b] pressure indicated during operation will be lower but will return to normal after operation of the service [c] pressure indicated during operation will be higher but will return to normal after operation of the service [d] system pressure will be lower than normal at all times 6.10
BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Question No 20 A spongy feel in the pedals of a foot operated brake system would most likely be due to [a] low hydraulic fluid [b] a leak in the system [c] wear in the brake mechanism [d] air in the system lines Question No 21 The undercarriage warning horn in a retractable undercarriage system may be activated by [a] A squat switch located on the aircraft's nose wheel [b] the position of the elevator trim [c] the airspeed indicator [d] the position of the throttle lever Question No 22 The pitot heat [a] should not be operated on the ground except for testing [b] should be turned off whenever sub zero temperatures are encountered [c] should always be turned on in rain [d] should not be operated for long periods of time in flight Question No 23 Comparing the reading of a CHT gauge to that of an EGT gauge [a] the CHT reacts more quickly to changes in combustion temperature [b] the EGT reacts more quickly to changes in combustion temperature [c] the CHT gives better indications of changes in mixture strength [d] the EGT displays a larger range of temperatures than the CHT Question No 24 If an artificial horizon becomes toppled during flight [a] it will remain unserviceable for the rest of the flight [b] it will remain serviceable but will take time to re-erect itself [c] it will require maintenance after landing [d] it must be manually adjusted before further use Question No 25 Which of the following speeds is not shown on a colour coded air speed indicator? [a] [c] VNE VFE [b] [d] VNO Vle

Question No 26 If a visible bubble appears in the glass of a magnetic compass [a] the compass is unserviceable [b] this is normal and does not imply any unserviceability [c] the aircraft may be parked on uneven ground [d] the compass is serviceable but may take longer to indicate a constant heading after a turn Question No 27 During the normal advancement of the throttle on a turbocharged engine, the manifold pressure quickly becomes excessive. This could be caused by [a] the waste gate being jammed open [b] the waste gate being jammed shut [c] an exhaust leak upstream of the waste gate [d] an exhaust leak downstream of the waste gate Question No 28 The component which prevents an excessively high current flow in an aircraft's electrical system is a [a] circuit breaker [b] capacitor [c] current rectifier [d] voltage regulator

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.11

Question No 29 A negative deflection of the centre zero ammeter means that [a] the alternator is charging normally [b] the battery is faulty [c] the alternator is supplying current to the system [d] the battery is supplying current to the system Question No 30 The manifold pressure gauge indication on a normally aspirated engine operating at full power should be [a] slightly below the ambient atmospheric pressure [b] slightly above the ambient atmospheric pressure [a] significantly below the ambient atmospheric pressure [b] significantly above the ambient atmospheric pressure Question No 31 During a climb a high cylinder head temperature can be reduced by [a] increasing the IAS [b] increasing the rate of climb [c] decreasing the IAS [d] decreasing the rate of climb Question No 32 When changing power on an engine fitted with a constant speed unit [a] RPM should always be changed before manifold pressure [b] RPM should be changed before manifold pressure when power is increased and manifold pressure should be changed before RPM when power is decreased [c] RPM should be changed before manifold pressure when power is decreased and manifold pressure should be changed before RPM when power is increased [d] manifold pressure should always be changed before RPM Question No 33 The correct interpretation of a centre zero ammeter is [a] a positive deflection indicates that the battery is supplying the current [b] a zero indication shows the alternator is faulty [c] a negative deflection indicates the alternator is charging the battery [d] a negative deflection indicates that the battery is supplying the current Question No 34 For a given power setting which of the statements is true for mixture adjustment? [a] changing mixture does not affect airspeed [b] the highest airspeed is obtained with best power setting [c] the highest airspeed is obtained with mixture fully rich [d] the highest airspeed is obtained with the mixture set to peak EGT Question No 35 In a hydraulic system with an accumulator, a lower than normal gas pressure in the accumulator may result in [a] less hydraulic fluid stored in the accumulator [b] a higher system operating pressure [c] increased friction and vibration in the system [d] reduced dampening of pressure surges within the system Question No 36 With a constant throttle setting maintained, excessive cooling of an engine on descent may be prevented by [a] increasing the rate of descent [b] opening the cowl flaps [c] maintain the mixture setting for best power [d] reducing the IAS

6.12

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Answers to Final Test One. 1. [b] Because ice takes time to melt, for a few seconds there is ice and hot air in the induction system . As the ice is melted the manifold pressure will slowly increase, however it will not return to normal even when all the ice has melted, since the heated air is still present. When the carby heat is finally returned to "off", the indications will return to normal. Fuel must be burnt to produce power. Fuel cannot be burnt without air. Ice restricts the airflow in the induction system, and so reduces the power available. If power reduces, the TAS must reduce. The propeller governor however, will move the blades into a finer pitch setting to preserve the RPM. A richer mixture reduces the combustion temperatures in the cylinders thus getting directly to the heart of the problem. Since the engine is aircooled, anything that increases the airflow will assist cooling. Best power occurs between peak and full rich. As mixture is richened, power increases until best power is achieved, then decreases as the mixture is moved towards full rich. This is true of most GA engines Full rich Best Best Peak not all. Power Economy Full rich provides extra fuel for better engine cooling when high power is used with low speed, such as at take off and max climb. When cooling is not a problem, ie in cruise, best power is obtained at a slightly leaner setting. Best economy produces less power economy and therefore less TAS, but the lower fuel flow produces better miles per gallon. Further leaning produces peak combustion temperature, even though fuel flow Full rich Best Best Peak is lower, the decrease in TAS Power Economy results in a decrease in miles per gallon. Descent into denser air causes the mixture to become too lean. Backfiring is a characteristic of a lean mixture, as is overheating. One function of oil is to help cool the engine. If there is too little oil, the oil that is there becomes too hot. Hot oil becomes less viscous and offers less resistance to the oil pump eventually causing a drop in oil pressure. At high power the high demand for fuel requires fuel to be pulled through the fuel lines more quickly. This increases the likelihood of the fuel breaking down into vapour. If the fuel is hot, the risk is further increased. Low ambient atmospheric pressure also contributes. This circulates cool fuel through the system and helps to cool down the fuel lines. Since the problem is caused by excessive heat, it will help prevent further vaporisation. The boost pump assists the engine fuel pump in moving fuel through the lines. This prevents the fuel from breaking down into vapour. When high manifold pressure is combined with low RPM the mass of charge induced can become excessive. The heat that results from compression of the charge can raise the temperature of combustion to the point where detonation occurs. The high manifold pressure produced with supercharging at low altitude can cause the mass of charge induced to become excessive. See question No I I above. Combustion requires both fuel and air. There is no point introducing more fuel into the engine if there is not enough air to burn it. Supercharging increases the amount of air induced to allow more fuel to be burnt thus producing more power.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

2.

[c]

3.

[a]

4.

[d]

5.

[a]

6. 7.

[b] [d]

8.

[a]

9. 10. 11.

[c] [a] [a]

12. 13.

[c] [b]

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

6.13

14.

[a]

15 16.

[d] [a]

17.

[c]

18.

[a]

19.

[b]

20. 21. 22.

[d] [c] [b]

23.

[a]

24. 25. 26.

[d] [a] [a]

27

[d]

28

[d]

29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

[d] [c] [c] [d] [d] [c] [b] [c]

In a healthy electrical system during flight, the battery should be receiving a small current to maintain its charge. If the battery is not accepting its charge, a higher than normal charge rate is indicated continuously. The starter motor requires an extremely high current. This causes rapid heating. A lower grade of fuel has a lower resistance to detonation when subject to the higher temperatures of a higher compression engine. The octane rating of fuel used should never be less than specified. Detonation can cause serious engine damage. A battery produces electricity through a chemical reaction. When a battery is being charged, the chemical reaction is reversed. One of the by-products of this process is hydrogen - a highly inflammable gas. If no air can enter the tank to replace the fuel being removed, a vacuum is created which restricts the flow. In the case of gravity fed systems, this will quickly lead to fuel starvation. In a pump fed system, structural damage to the tank can occur as well. The accumulator in a hydraulic system can be likened to a battery in an electrical system, it provides emergency power and assists the pump to maintain pressure when system demand is high. Good old Cessna 152! This prevents the undercarriage retraction cycle from starting even if the selector is placed in the "up" position [but don't count on itl! The standard pressure drop of I hPa for each 30 ft converts to about I Hg" for each 1000ft. When an engine is stopped, the manifold pressure gauge simply reads the ambient atmospheric pressure. As the aircraft climbs, the lower ambient air density produces a decreasing total pressure inside the capsule. This is measured against the higher pressure trapped inside the case. The instrument indicates a lower reading than it should. The altimeter simply measures the ambient pressure, compares it with the pressure set on the subscale and expresses the difference as a height equivalent. The altimeter simply measures the ambient pressure, compares it with the pressure set on the subscale and expresses the difference as a height equivalent. Typically the card will spin rapidly. Once it is reset, it will be serviceable again. The combination of forces that act on a compass during a turn is such that the compass reading runs ahead of the aircraft's true heading when turning onto north in the southern hemisphere. It lags behind the aircraft's true heading when turning onto south. The compass is "NIPPY ON NORTH - SLUGGISH ON SOUTH" The pilot should "OVERSHOOT NORTH -UNDERSHOOT SOUTH" A partly closed throttle produces a bigger pressure drop across inside the throat of the carburettor. This adds to the cooling effect already present due to the evaporation of fuel and increases the likelihood of ice formation. As the aircraft dives the propeller governor moves the blades towards coarse pitch to prevent the RPM from increasing. If the speed gets high enough, the propeller hits the coarse pitch stops. From then on it behaves as a fixed pitch propeller and begins to overspeed. [Most aircraft would have reached VNE before this happens]. Octane rating is a measure of the fuel's ability to tolerate compression without detonating. A low octane fuel in a high compression engine is more likely to detonate. Common in light training aeroplanes. It is often found placarded near the landing gear selector lever. Low combustion temperatures allow oil to accumulate on the plug gaps without burning. Large bodies of metal such as cylinders cannot suddenly change temperature. The compass is 'nippy on north'. Since the engine is aircooled, an increase in airspeed across it assists in cooling. It is the pressure regulator that normally maintains the pressure in the system. The pressure relief valve is a stand-by in case the regulator ever fails. Regulator failure could cause the system pressure to rise to a dangerous level with the risk of failing leads. Also the pump would be operating under an unnecessarily high back pressure. The PRV is set to a higher pressure than the normal regulator, and normally is inoperative.

6.14

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Answers to Final Test Two. 1. [b] Because ice takes time to melt, for a few seconds there is ice and hot air in the induction system . As the ice is melted the manifold pressure will slowly increase, however it will not return to normal even when all the ice has melted, since the heated air is still present. When the carby heat is finally returned to "off', the indications will return to normal. Adding power produces more engine heat, decreasing the rate of descent by maintaining or reducing air speed reduces the heat lost by air cooling. With mixture full rich, extra fuel is introduced into the cylinders to help cool the engine. This has the most immediate effect since it goes straight to the heart of the problem-the combustion chamber. Since the engine is aircooled, an increase in IAS helps carry more heat away. When mixture is set to full rich for take off, it is far richer than required for power production. The extra fuel is used to cool the engine at take off power. If the ambient air density is very low, the mixture can become so rich that rough running results. This effect would not be noticed except in extreme conditions such as high mountain strips in the summer in the tropics. Ag Pilots often use this technique. The higher the power the higher the TAS. Because an aircraft engine is aircooled, it tends to change its temperature in response to power changes much more quickly than a liquid cooled engine. When take-off power is applied to a cold engine, the different metal components heat and expand at different rates giving rise to internal stresses. Also oil has a higher viscosity when cold so lubrication is less effective. Heating a liquid increases its tendency to vapourise. Lower ambient atmospheric pressure has the same effect, eg water boils at a lower temperature at high elevations. The boost pump assists the engine pump to move fuel through the lines, reducing the risk of vaporisation. Operation at excessive manifold pressure forces too much charge into the cylinders during the induction stroke. When compression occurs, the heat generated raises the charge temperature to the point where it detonates upon ignition. If the blades are locked in a fixed position, the propeller behaves as though it was a fixed pitch propeller. In the fully fine position, the propeller is behaving as though it was a fixed pitched propeller. This is desirable during engine run-up as it allows the pilot to easily check engine power through variations in engine RPM. There would have to be almost no oil left in the sump. As the pump outlet is occasionally uncovered by the aircraft motion, the pressure drops and then builds up again. The viscosity of oil is higher when the oil is cold. Highly viscous oil offers high resistance to the pump allowing high pressure to build up. Most pressure regulators allow a higher oil pressure when the oil is cold. Apart from lubrication, oil plays an important part in cooling the engine. Too little oil means the oil that is there becomes hotter. The current going to the battery during normal operation should be small. Just enough to keep the battery "topped up". This is about 1 or 2 amps. If the charge rate is constantly high the battery is not accepting its charge. A left hand zero ammeter is placed in the alternator circuit. It indicates the alternator out put. If it reads zero, the alternator has failed since there should always be some out-put going to the battery even when all other loads are off. Vapour in the fuel lines is compressible. As it passes through the system the fuel pressure drops to zero then returns to normal when liquid fuel flow resumes. Forward-facing vents transmit total pressure to the fuel tank, producing a slight positive pressure in the tank and enhancing fuel flow. The lead deposits that are created when high octane fuel is used in an engine designed for lower octane are corrosive. If the flaps are returning to up position, the actuator must be pushing oil through the lines. If the selector is in the "up" position, the oil must be going somewhere. It must be leaking from the lines.

2. 3.

[c] [d]

4.

[c]

5. 6.

[c] [a]

7. 8. 9.

[a] [d] [b]

10. 11.

[b] [a]

12. 13.

[d] [b]

14. 15.

[a] [d]

16.

[a]

17. 18 19. 20.

[c] [b] [d] [a]

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

6.15

21. 22.

[d] [c]

This is the classic symptom of fluid leaking from the lines. A manifold pressure gauge is nothing more complicated than a barometer. It reads the atmospheric pressure at the location of the sensor. When the aircraft is at rest with the engine inoperative, the manifold pressure gauge indicates the ambient atmospheric pressure. When the engine is at idle, the closed throttle restricts airflow into the inlet manifold and manifold pressure is low. At full throttle, the throttle valve is wide open, permitting maximum air flow into the inlet manifold so manifold pressure rises. The air /fuel mixture then passes into the engine -through the inlet valve. The pressure in the inlet manifold must always remain less than ambient pressure to permit a flow from the outside atmosphere to the engine A large body of metal such as an engine cannot rapidly change its temperature from hot to cold to hot. If the gauge is giving this indication, the gauge must be faulty. The altimeter takes its pressure reading through the static port. If the static port is blocked, there would be no change in static pressure in the instrument case, even though the outside static pressure is actually changing. Any turn on level ground is unbalanced. Inertia throws the ball away from the centre of the turn. See Question No 26 Final Test One. Low combustion temperatures allow oil to accumulate on the plug gaps without burning. Because hot air is less dense than cool air, the application of carburettor heat causes a drop in manifold pressure. This lower manifold pressure will remain as long as hot air is selected. One important function of the oil is to carry heat away from the engine and dissipate it through the oil cooler. A low oil quantity means less heat can be transported. If the battery will not accept the charge, a high current continues to flow through it causing it to heat up. If allowed to continue, this can cause severe damage to the battery. The compressor increases manifold pressure and therefore mass air flow. This allows more fuel to be burnt producing more power. The colour in avgas is actually a dye put in to aid identification. If the static vent is blocked, the VSI is isolated from the ambient air and can no longer register any change in pressure. If the static vent is blocked, the altimeter is isolated from the ambient air and can no longer register any change in pressure Since the hot air is less dense than the cool air, the manifold pressure drops resulting in a reduced power output. Since the carburettor continues to supply the same quantity of fuel, the mixture becomes too rich. A fixed waste gate relies on the pilot to monitor the boost being achieved. A take-off full throttle would produce too much boost.

23. 24.

[d] [b]

25. 26. 27 28

[a] [c] [b] [a]

29 30 31 32 33 34 35

[c] [c] [b] [d] [a] [c] [b]

36

[a]

6.16

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Answers to Final Test Three 1. [c] Hot air is less dense than cold air. Manifold pressure drops with the application of carburettor heat, resulting in a power loss. However, the propeller governor moves the blades towards a finer pitch setting thus preserving the RPM. Since there is no ice to melt, this condition remains while ever the hot air is being inducted. By the way, carburettor heat also produces a richer mixture. It has exactly the same effect as a sudden increase in altitude. Since the engine is aircooled, the rate of cooling will be decreased if the air flow is decreased. This can be achieved by raising the nose and reducing the IAS. At a lower IAS and the same power setting, the rate of descent would decrease [assuming the descent was being conducted at a normal cruise descent speed in the first place]. Since the heat is being produced by the combustion of fuel in the cylinders, a reduction of power will cause less fuel to be burnt and decrease the amount of heat being generated. An increase in IAS will provide more air flow and assist in dissipating the heat. Detonation and pre-ignition both result in irregular combustion. In particular, the time and place in the stroke where combustion is completed. Generally, most of the heat of combustion is concentrated in the cylinder head where there is insufficient cooling fin area to adequately dissipate the heat to the airstream. One of the most common causes of plug fouling is oil deposits on the spark plug electrodes. Engine oil contains a considerable amount on carbon, a by product of combustion. Carbon is an excellent conductor of electricity and acts to short out the plug. At low power there is insufficient heat to burn the oil that finds its way into the combustion chamber. More power produces more speed. When the mixture is set to best power, the TAS will be highest for any given combination of manifold pressure and RPM. At any given cruising level, a higher TAS means a higher IAS. The viscosity of oil reduces at high temperature [ie it becomes more "runny"]. If the oil's viscosity is too low, the protective film of oil breaks down permitting metal to metal contact and rapid wear and engine damage. This is likely to occur when oil temperature is very high. At high power the high demand for fuel requires fuel to be pulled through the fuel lines more quickly. This increases the likelihood of the fuel breaking down into vapour. If the fuel is hot, the risk is further increased. Low ambient atmospheric pressure also contributes. If the waste gate is closed, all of the exhaust gases pass through the turbine giving maximum turbine [therefore compressor] RPM. As the waste gate opens, some of the exhaust gas can bypass the turbine, so turbine RPM decreases. When the throttle is at low power or idle, all of the exhaust gases by-pass the turbine and the engine behaves as a normally aspirated engine. As the throttle lever is advanced, the waste gate remains fully opened until the throttle valve reaches the end of its travel. Further advancement of the throttle lever then begins to close the waste gate directing some of the exhaust gases through the turbine and further increasing manifold pressure. See the diagram for question No 9. If the exhaust gases are leaking out before the waste gate, there will be a smaller mass of gas arriving at the waste gate. It follows that for a given waste gate [therefore throttle] position, a smaller mass of gas will be directed through the turbine thus reducing the compressor speed. In the fully fine position, the propeller is behaving as though it was a fixed pitched propeller. This is desirable during engine run-up as it allows the pilot to easily check engine power through variations in engine RPM. With gravity to assist acceleration during a descent, the load on the propeller reduces. If throttle position remains constant, the engine will tend to overspeed. The propeller governor senses this tendency and moves the blades to the position that will remedy overspeed ie towards coarse pitch. One function of oil is to help cool the engine. If there is little oil in the sump, as that oil collects the engine's heat it becomes hotter than normal. Hot oil has less viscosity than cold oil and provides less resistance to the oil pump. This eventually causes a drop in oil pressure,

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CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2002

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Circuit breakers react to high current flow [ie amps] A centre zero ampmeter is situated in the battery circuit. In a normal system, there should always be a small current flowing to the battery. If the battery is showing a discharge, the alternator's voltage must be less than that of the battery. Vapour in the fuel lines is compressible. As it passes through the system the fuel pressure drops to zero then returns to normal when liquid fuel flow resumes. 100/ 130 octane is green. Fuel injection systems inject fuel directly into the inlet port. Since there is no fuel being injected in the vicinity of the throttle valve, the cooling effect caused by evaporation is not present. Impact ice can still form in cloud or rain with sub-zero temperatures. The accumulator in a hydraulic system can be likened to a battery in an electrical system, it provides emergency power and assists the pump to maintain system pressure when demand is high. This is the typical symptom of air in the brake lines. The undercarriage warning horn alerts the pilot if the throttle is in the low power position and the undercarriage is still up. Sometimes the switch is activated by manifold pressure, but the effect is the same. Pitot heat is designed to prevent ice forming in the hostile environment of flight in cloud or rain and sub-zero temperatures at cruise speed. To do this it draws a high current. During ground operation it will become overheated. A large block of metal, such as an engine, cannot suddenly change its temperature. Cylinder head temperature takes time to reflect changes in combustion temperature. Exhaust gas temperature changes almost instantly when combustion temperature changes. An artificial horizon gyro is free to move to some degree in pitch and roll. Once it topples it takes some time for the gyro system to stabilize. Undercarriage extension speed is sometimes shown as a placard next to the undercarriage lever. The fluid in a compass glass prevents excessive oscillations of the suspended needle. If the liquid is leaking out of the glass, a bubble appears in the chamber. The waste gate decides how much exhaust gas is wasted. When it is shut no exhaust gas is wastedit all passes through the turbine to power the compressor. When it is open, all of the exhaust gas is wasted and none powers the turbine. Circuit breakers, like fuses are rated in amps. They protect expensive electrical equipment by breaking the circuit if too much current flows. The battery in a healthy system should never supply current except for the initial operation of the starter motor. It simply stands by in case it is needed. A negative deflection on a centre zero ammeter means that the battery is discharging. Either the alternator has failed, or it is not coping with the electrical load. In a normally aspirated engine, manifold pressure rises as the throttle is opened. It approaches, but never reaches the ambient pressure. [If manifold pressure ever reached ambient atmospheric pressure the engine could not run since there would be no reason for the gas to flow into the engine!] The engine is aircooled. An increase in the airspeed passing over it assists cooling. The trick is to avoid the combination of very high manifold pressure and very low RPM. If the engine induces too much charge, the heat produced by compression can cause the charge to detonate when the spark occurs- overboosting . If high manifold pressure is combined with the long 'valve open' period which accompanies low RPM, too much charge can be induced [quite literally , it bites off more than it can chew]. See Question No 29. Pretty obvious really-in level flight the more power applied the faster you fly. Since liquids are not compressible, the gas in the accumulator allows pressure surges to be absorbed without excessive jarring of the system. It also assists the pump to maintain pressure during periods of high demand. The engine is aircooled. If it is cooling too quickly on descent, a reduction in the speed of air flowing over it will assist in slowing down the cooling rate

6.18

BOB TAIT'S AVIATION THEORY SCHOOL

CPL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

INDEX - General Knowledge

Index
A
Acceleration and deceleration errors. See Aircraft instruments: magnetic compass Aerodynamic twisting moment [ATM]. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Air-driven gyro instruments. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Aircraft instruments 5.9 gyro instruments 5.9 air-driven 5.10 apparent drift 5.12 attitude indicator 5.13 caging knob 5.12 direction Indicator 5.11 electrically driven gyro 5.10 gimbal mounts 5.9 mechanical drift 5.12 precession 5.9, 5.12 rigidity 5.9 toppling 5.13 turn coordinator 5.15 vacuum-driven gyro 5.10 magnetic compass 5.25 acceleration and deceleration errors 5.27 dip 5.26 residual dip 5.26 turning errors 5.28 pressure instruments 5.17 altimeter 5.21 dynamic pressure 5.17 inertial lead 5.23 instrument error 5.19 kinetic energy 5.18 position error 5.19 static pressure 5.17 total pressure 5.18 vertical speed indicator 5.22 Alternator. See Electrical system Altimeter. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Altitude boosting. See Turbocharging Ammeter [centre zero]. See Electrical system Ammeter [left hand zero]. See Electrical system Angle of attack [propeller blades]. See Propellers Apparent drift. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Artificial Horizon. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments: attitude indicator Ashless dispersant Oil. See Oil systems ATM. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Attitude indicator. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Autopilots 5.35

single axis autopilot 5.35 two axis autopilots 5.36

B
Backfire. See Mixture: lean backfire Baffles. See Cooling the engine Barrel. See Components Battery. See Electrical system Battery capacity. See Electrical system: battery Battery/alternator switch. See Electrical system BDC. See Otto cycle: bottom dead centre Bearings. See Components Big end. See Components: connecting rod Blade angle. See Propellers Boost pump. See Fuel systems: engine systems Bungees. See Undercarriage systems Bus bar. See Electrical system

C
Caging knob. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Callipers. See Hydraulic systems: foot-operated brakes Camshaft. See Components Carburettor air temperature gauge. See Carburettors: carburettor heat Carburettor heat. See Carburettors Carburettor ice. See Carburettors refrigeration ice. See Carburettor ice: refrigeration ice Carburettor ice and CSUs. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Carburettors 3.8. See also Fuel systems: engine systems accelerator pump 3.9 air bleed 3.9 carburettor heat 3.12, 3.13 carburettor air temperature gauge 3.12 carburettor ice 3.9 conditions necessary 3.10 fuel evaporation ice 3.9 impact ice 3.9 symptoms of carburettor ice 3.10 throttle ice 3.9 float chamber 3.8 mixture control 3.9 venturi 3.8 CAT. See Carburettors: carburettor heat: carburettor air temperature gauge Centrifugal twisting moment [CTM]. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Changing engine power with a CSU. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Coarse pitch. See Propellers: variable pitch propellers Coarse pitch stops. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Cockpit adjustable waste gate. See Turbocharging: waste gate

INDEX - General Knowledge


Components 1.1 barrel 1.1 bearings 1.2 big end bearing 1.2 main bearings 1.2 camshaft 1.1 connecting rod 1.2 big end 1.2 small end 1.2 crankshaft 1.2 cylinder 1.1 piston 1.2 push rod 1.1 rings 1.2 compression rings 1.2 oil rings 1.2 rocker arm 1.1 spark plugs 1.2 valve 1.1 valve spring 1.1 Compression ratio 1.12 Compression stroke. See Otto cycle Compressor. See Turbocharging Connecting rod. See Components Cooling the engine 1.17 baffles 1.17 cowl flaps 1.17 rate of temperature change 1.18 Cowl flaps. See Cooling the engine Crankshaft. See Components Critical altitude. 4.8 CSU. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] CTM. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Cylinder. See Components battery 4.11 recharging 4.12 battery/alternator switch 4.16 bus bar 4.11 centre zero ammeter 4.13 earth return 4.11 external power 4.16 generator 4.14 left hand zero ammeter 4.14 master switch 4.16 overload 4.15 overvoltage warning 4.15 relay 4.15 solenoid 4.15 Electrically driven gyro instruments. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Engine performance 1.5 pressure in a gas 1.5 exhaust gas temperature 3.3 Exhaust gas temperature [EGT]. See Mixture Exhaust stroke. See Otto cycle External power. See Electrical system External supercharging. See Supercharging

F
Fine pitch. See Propellers: variable pitch propellers Fire protection systems 5.31 dry Powder 5.31 fire detectors 5.32 halogenated hydrocarbon agents 5.31 Fire wire loop. See Fire protection systems Fixed pitch propellers. See Propellers Fixed undercarriages. See Undercarriage systems Fixed waste gate. See Turbocharging: waste gate Foot-operated brakes. See Hydraulic systems Fuel 3.1 detonation 3.1 octane rating 3.1 performance number 3.1 volatility 3.1 Fuel evaporation ice. See Carburettors: carburettor ice Fuel injection 3.14. See also Fuel systems: engine systems Fuel systems 3.4 aircraft fuel systems pump fed systems 3.4 stand pipe 3.4 vent 3.5 water contamination 3.5 engine systems 3.4 boost pump 3.7 fuel injection 3.4 Full throttle height. 4.8

D
Decreasing power [CSU]. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Detonation 1.10. See also Fuel causes of detonation 1.10 pilot actions 1.11 symptoms of detonation 1.11 DG. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments: direction Indicator Dip. See Aircraft instruments: magnetic compass Direction Indicator. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Downlocks. See Undercarriage systems: retractable undercarriages Dry Powder. See Fire protection systems Dual ignition. See Ignition system Dynamic pressure. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments

E
Earth return. See Electrical system Electrical system 4.11 alternator 4.11

G
Gear-driven supercharger. See Supercharging Generator. See Electrical system Gimbal mounts. See Aircraft instruments: gyro

INDEX - General Knowledge


instruments Gravity fed systems. See Fuel systems: aircraft fuel systems Ground boosting. See Supercharging Gyro instruments. See Aircraft instruments

M
Magnetic compass. See Aircraft instruments Magneto switching system. See Ignition system: magnetos Magnetos. See Ignition system Main bearings. See Components: bearings Malfunctions [CSU]. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Manual extension system. See Undercarriage systems: retractable undercarriages Master switch. See Electrical system Maximum continuous power 1.18 Maximum Except Take-Off 1.18 MCP. See Maximum continuous power Mechanical drift. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments METO. See Maximum Except Take-Off Mixture 3.2 best economy 3.16 best power 3.16 exhaust gas temperature 3.3 fully rich 3.16 lean backfire 3.2 lean misfire 3.16 lean mixture 3.2 mixture control 3.3 rich mixture 3.2 stoichiometric mixture 3.2 Mixture control. See Carburettors

H
Halogenated hydrocarbon agents. See Fire protection systems Heading Indicator. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments: direction Indicator Horizontally opposed engines 1.14 Hydraulic systems 5.1, 5.2 accumulator 5.2 flow restrictors 5.3 foot-operated brakes 5.3 air in the brake system 5.4 callipers 5.4 leak in the brake system 5.4 slave cylinder 5.3, 5.4 hand pump 5.2 pressure regulator 5.2 pump 5.1 reservoir 5.1 system relief valve 5.2

I
Ignition system 4.18 dual ignition 4.18 magnetos 4.18 impulse coupling 4.19 magneto switching system 4.20 points 4.18 primary coil 4.18 secondary coil 4.18 Ignition timing 1.7 Impact ice. See Carburettors: carburettor ice Impulse coupling. See Ignition system: magnetos Increasing power [CSU]. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Induction stroke. See Otto cycle Inertial lead. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Instrument error. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Internal supercharging. See Supercharging Inverters.. See Electrical system

N
Non-combustible gas. See Fire protection systems Normally aspirated engine. See Supercharging Nosewheel. See Undercarriage systems

O
Octane rating 1.10. See also Fuel Oil pump. See Oil systems Oil systems 1.19 ashless dispersant Oil 1.23 filters 1.21 lubrication 1.19 oil cooler 1.21 oil pump 1.20 oil quantity 1.23 pressure regulator 1.21 straight mineral oil 1.23 temperature / pressure relationship 1.22 viscosity 1.22 Oleo-pneumatic strut. See Undercarriage systems Otto cycle 1.3 bottom dead centre 1.3 compression stroke 1.3 exhaust stroke 1.4 induction stroke 1.3 power stroke 1.4 top dead centre 1.3

K
Kinetic energy. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments

L
Lean misfire. See Mixture Lean mixture. See Mixture Lubrication. See Oil systems

INDEX - General Knowledge


Overload. See Electrical system Overvoltage warning. See Electrical system

P
Performance number. See Fuel Piston. See Components Pitch control lever. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Points. See Ignition system: magnetos Position error. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Power output 1.13 factors affecting 1.13 area of piston 1.13 arm 1.14 force on the piston 1.14 mass of charge 1.13 pressure 1.13 RPM 1.14 temperature 1.13 torque 1.14 Power stroke. See Otto cycle Precession. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Preignition 1.11 symptoms 1.11 Primary coil. See Ignition system: magnetos Propeller governor. See Propellers: constant speed unit [CSU] Propellers 2.1 angle of attack 2.1 blade angle 2.2 constant speed unit [CSU] 2.5 aerodynamic twisting moment 2.15 carburettor ice and CSUs 2.11 centrifugal twisting moment 2.15 changing engine power with a CSU 2.10 decreasing power 2.13 fully fine pitch 2.10 malfunctions 2.14 manifold pressure 2.9 pitch control lever 2.5 propeller governor 2.5 relationship between manifold pressure and RPM 2.12 fixed pitch propellers 2.3 propeller thrust 2.1 propeller torque 2.1 thrust/torque ratio 2.3 variable pitch propellers 2.4 coarse pitch 2.4 fine pitch 2.4 Pump fed systems. See Fuel systems: aircraft fuel systems Push rod. See Components

Refrigeration ice 3.9 Relay. See Electrical system Residual dip. See Aircraft instruments: magnetic compass Retractable undercarriages. See Undercarriage systems Rich mixture. See Mixture Rigidity. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Rings. See Components Rocker arm. See Components

S
Secondary coil. See Ignition system: magnetos Shimmy. See Undercarriage systems Shimmy damper. See Undercarriage systems Slave cylinder. See Hydraulic systems: foot-operated brakes slave cylinder Hydraulic systems foot-operated brakes 5.4 Solenoid. See Electrical system Spark plugs. See Components Specific ground range 3.15 Spring steel undercarriage. See Undercarriage systems Squat switch. See Undercarriage systems: retractable undercarriages Stand pipe. See Fuel systems: aircraft fuel systems Static pressure. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Stoichiometric mixture. See Mixture Straight mineral oil. See Oil systems Supercharging 4.1 effect of altitude 4.1 external supercharging 4.2 full throttle height 4.3 gear-driven supercharger 4.2 ground boosting 4.1 internal supercharging 4.2 normalizing 4.1 normally aspirated engine 4.1 rated boost 4.3 Symptoms of carburettor ice. See Carburettors: carburettor ice

T
Tailwheel. See Undercarriage systems TDC. See Otto cycle: top dead centre Throttle ice. See Carburettors: carburettor ice Throttle operated waste gate. See Turbocharging: waste gate Thrust. See Propellers Thrust/torque ratio. See Propellers Toe brakes. See Hydraulic systems: foot-operated brakes Toppling. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Torque 1.6. See also Propellers Torque link. See Undercarriage systems

R
Radial engines 1.15 Rectifiers.. See Electrical system

INDEX - General Knowledge


Total pressure. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Turbocharging 4.3 altitude boosting 4.10 compressor 4.3 full throttle height 4.3 rated boost 4.3 waste gate 4.3 automatic operation 4.6 cockpit adjustable waste gate 4.5 fixed waste gate 4.4 throttle operated waste gate 4.6 Turn and balance indicator. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments: turn coordinator Turn coordinator. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Turning errors. See Aircraft instruments: magnetic compass engine RPM 1.9 supercharging 1.9 temperature 1.9 throttle position 1.9

W
Waste gate. See Turbocharging Water contamination. See Fuel systems: aircraft fuel systems

U
Undercarriage systems 5.5 bungees 5.5 fixed undercarriages 5.5 nosewheel 5.5 oleo-pneumatic strut 5.5 retractable undercarriages 5.5 downlocks 5.7 manual extension system 5.7 squat switch 5.7 uplocks 5.7 shimmy 5.6 shimmy damper 5.6 spring steel 5.5 tailwheel 5.5 torque link 5.6 Uplocks. See Undercarriage systems: retractable undercarriages

V
Vacuum-driven gyro instruments. See Aircraft instruments: gyro instruments Valve. See Components Valve spring. See Components Valve timing 1.8 valve lag 1.8 valve lead 1.8 valve overlap 1.8 Vaporization. See Fuel systems: engine systems Variable pitch propellers. See Propellers Vent. See Fuel systems: aircraft fuel systems Vertical speed indicator. See Aircraft instruments: pressure instruments Viscosity. See Oil systems Volatility. See Fuel Voltmeters.. See Electrical system Volumetric efficiency 1.9 factors affecting 1.9 air density 1.9