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THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE AND

ITS OPERATION

INSTALLATION ENGINEERING
JANUARY 1949

First Printing, April 1946


Reprinted
Revisions, May 1947
Reprinted u
Revisions, January 1949

.-:*'I

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE AND ITS OPERATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD

................................................................................................

PART I
THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT
THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT .........................................,.................
THE POWER SECTION........................................ . . . . . .............
INSTRUMENTS AND CONTROLS......................................................
THE ACCESSORY REAR SECTION, THE
NOSE SECTION, AND THE PROPELLER ....................................
THE LUBRICATION SYSTEM ............................. .. .. .
.... .. .
THE COOLING SYSTEM ........................... ..................... .....
THE INDUCTION SYSTEM..................................... .................................
1. Carburetion. ....................................................
. ..... .
2. Supercharging ...;.................................................. ,,,
3. Ducting ...................................................... ................
., . .
THE IGNITION SYSTEM..................................................... .

..... . .. ...

..

....

..
.. . . .

7
8
10

11
15
19
25

25
33
42

45

PART I1
POWER, BMEP AND RATINGS
POWER AND ITS MEASUREMENT ..............................
BMEP ........... .....;..... ........................... ....................... . .
RATINGS ............................... ......., ......... . ..

...

. .
.
.

................

.. ....................
. ......... . .. .

PART, I11
GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

..

......

.
....
.
.
.
...,,.. ....,
.........
.

................. ........
STARTING ............... ........................... .................+..
Control Position Check..............................................................
Clearing The Engine.................................. ..,.,,,....,..,.,...........
Priming ..............., .............,........ ..,..........
..... ...........
Starting .................................................,
,.,,...,........,.........

......

'

47

55

60

. .

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA 01 100

GROUND OPERATION ...................................................................................... 84


Warm-up ................................................
...................................... 84
Magneto Safety Check ..................................................................... 86
Ground Check .................................................................................... 87
Idle Mixture Setting ....................................................................... 90
Taxiing ............................................................:.................. ............ 91
COLD WEATHER OPERATION ..................................................................
92
Preheating ............................................................................. .............. 92
Starting Cold Engines .................:.................................................94
Warm-up ............................................................................................... 94
Flight Operation .............................................................................. 95
Dilution ................................................................................................... 95
FLIGHT OPERATION .....................................................................
.............. 97
Take-Off .................................................................................................97
Transition From Take-Off To Climb .......................................
101
Flight - General ................................................................................ 102
Power . Selection ........................................................................102
Bmep Selection .........................................................................104
Altitude Selection ...................................................................... 108
Induction System Icing .........................................;.................... 109
Climb ..................................................................................................... 111
Transition From Climb To Level Flight .................................. 114
Level Flight ......................................................................................... 115
Descent .....................................................................................
.... 119
Glide and Approach ..........................
.
.
...................................120
122
Landing ................................... :.........................................................
Stopping .............................................................................................. 122
Shutdown ;...........................................................................................
122

'

PART IV
ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

FOREWORD ......................................................................................................
124
PURPOSE OF SUPERCHARGING.............................................................124
134
RESULTS OF SUPERCHARGING............................................................
THE SINGLE-STAGE SUPERCHARGER .................................................. 135
1 Ground Boosting ......................................................................
135
2. Low Altitude .................................................. ...................... 136
3. High Altitude ........................................................................... 137
Single-Stage, Two-Speed .............................................................. 138
Single-Stage, Variable-Speed ........................................................140
THE TWO-STAGE SUPERCHARGER ............. .
.
.................................... 141
1 Two.Stage. Two-Speed ...........................................................144
2 Two.Stage. Variable-Speed ................................................... 145
3 Other Two-Stage Systems .......................................'................ 146

.
.
.

. .

PRATI' & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

FOREWORD

FOREWORD
The aircraft engine is designed to power aircraft in flight. Its construction, installation, servicing, and repair present many interesting and
important problems ; but its actual operation is, naturally, of more immediate concern to the pilot. A number of texts, handbooks, and manuals are
available which discuss the principles of engine design and installation, and
describe the procedures of maintenance and overhaul. As a supplement to
this material, i t is the purpose of this book to discuss the powerplant as 'a
functioning unit and an integral part of the aircraft in which it is installed,
and so to provide a basis for an understanding of sound operating practice.
The first part of the book is devoted to a description of the basic
engine sections and "systems" which together make up the powerplant,
and discusses them in relation to the different instruments and controls by
means of which the pilot regulates the performance of his engine. The
second part deals with the fundamental concepts of power and its measurement, bmep, and ratings, with particular reference to the principles of
engine operation. The last part of the book consists of a set of general
operating instructions in which the material treated in the first two parts
is applied to the specific problems of engine operation encountered in flight
and on the ground. I t is assumed that the reader is generally familiar with
the main features of conventional engine design, with the names and functions of the more important units of the powerplant, and with the principles of the four-stroke cycle.
In discussing the various temperature conditions of engine operation,
a problem presents itself as to the relation between centigrade and Fahrenheit values. The Military Services and a considerable number of other operators use the centigrade system entirely, but a t the same time, a large group
continues to rely on instrumentation that is graduated in fahrenheit. Because of its more prevalent use, Fahrenheit is the basic scale used in all discussions of this book. However, when the equivalent centigrade temperature
is included the reader will observe that i t is not the exact equivalent of the
Fahrenheit value ; for example, in mentioning a minimum oil temperature
for operation 100 F (40C) is used. By this means the practical values in
each system are recommended rather than an odd number which would not
be easily carried in the mind, such as 100 F (38C).An exception to this rule
are those temperature limits which are dictated by specifications governing
the licensing or acceptance of the engine where obviously there can be no
discrepancy between equivalent Fahrenheit and centigrade values. Many of
the numerical values quoted are for purposes of illustration and may not
apply to all engines. For specific values for any particular engine consult the
applicable Specific Operating Instructions for the engine in question.
The material in the book and its supplements relates principally to
the radial, air-cooled engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft,
and is based on the experience of more than two decades in operating these
engines.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

OPERATION & DESIGN

PART I

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


OPERATION

The aircraft engine and the automobile engine


are fundamentally alike in principle and design.
Both convert the chemical energy of a mixture
of fuel and air into useful work by the same
process of internal combustion. Both incorporate the same basic mechanisms. Both furnish
the motive power for the vehicles in which they
are installed.

-L

,< - -

.'-.-

The operation of the aircraft engine, however,


differs in many ways from that of the automobile engine. The performance required of the latter is relatively limited, and weight may be generously used to insure wide margins of safety.
Even the uninformed driver can do little to
abuse his engine, and to this extent the automobile powerplant has been "foolproofed." By contrast, a wide range of performance is demanded
of the aircraft engine, while the weight of the
powerplant must necessarily be kept to a minimum in the interests of over-all efficiency of the
airplane. Accordingly, the operator must substitute his understanding and judgment for mere
weight and solidity of structure, and, in place
of "foolproofing" the engine, the operator must
be "fool~roofed" instead.
Engine ratings, or the restrictions placed on
engine operation, are of little practical interest
to the automobile driver, since in the course of
ordinary driving he cannot easily exceed these
limits. On the other hand, engine ratings must
be one of the first concerns of the airplane pilot.
It 2s possible to operate virtually any aircraft
engine a t excessive powers, and in most instances there is nothing to restrain the operator
from exceeding the limits set by the ratings except his understanding and judgment. If the
pilot makes use of engine speeds and cylinder
pressures that are above the rated limits, he is
relying upon margins of safety which may be
dangerously narrow. If he fails to observe cylinder head or oil temperature limits, or operates

without regard to oil and fuel pressures or to


fuel-air ratio, he is creating a situation that can
only lead to lowered reliability and possible
engine failure.
In operating an aircraft engine the pilot is
confronted with the basic problem of combining
engine speed and cylinder pressure in order to
obtain power. The manner in which these two
factors are combined, together with the maintenance of suitable conditions of cooling, lubrication, and mixture strength, determines the efficiency of the performance and the dependability and durability of the power plant.
DESIGN

Familiarity with the engine is basic to the


understanding of sound operating practice.
From an operator's point-of view, a typical air-,
craft power plant may be considered as consisting of:
1. A Power Section
2. An Accessory Rear Section and a Nose
Section, together with the Propeller
3. A Lubricating System
4. A Cooling System
5. An Induction System comprising Carburetion and Supercharging Systems
6. An Ignition System

A set of cockpit instruments, supplemented by


the observed behavior of powerplant and airplane, enable the operator to determine the manner in which the different parts of his engine are
functioning. A corresponding series d controls
permits him to regulate their functioning. Efficient operation calls for the intelligent coordination of the several functions of the various sections and systems of the powerplant to meet
changing conditions as they are encountered,
having in mind the type of performance desired,
and with due regard for the safety and protection of the engine.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100


/-'

THE POWER SECTION


PARTS AND FUNCTIONS
As the name implies, the power section is the
section of the engine in which the power is
developed, and which is the first to receive the
impact of the loads created. I t consists basically of the following assemblies :

stroke ; imprison it during the compression and


power strokes ; and release the burnt gases during the exhaust stroke. The valve-operating

VALVE SPRINGS

1. The Cylinders
The aircraft engine is a heat engine which derives its power from the burning of a combustible mixture of gasoline and air. The fuelair charge is ignited by a spark, and the heat
generated by the burning of the charge expands the gases formed during its combustion.

VALVE TAPPET
VALVE TAPPET ROLLER

CYLINDER HEAD OIL DRAIN-

EXHAUST POR
INTAKE POR
SPARK PLUG BUSHING

mechanism consists of a set of cams and a


series of tappets, push rods, and .rocker arms
actuated by the cams to open and close each
valve a t the proper moment in the power
cycle.
3. The Pistons

COMPRESSION RINGS

COOLING F/NS

OIL CONTROL RING

PISTON PIN

OIL SCRAPER RING

MASTER OR
ARTICULATED ROO

The chemical energy of the fuel and air is thus


transformed into the mechanical energy of the
expanding gases. Together with the pistons, the
cylinders form the chamber in which the
power-producing combustion takes place, and
it is in them that the greatest concentration
of heat and pressure is found.
I

2. The Valves and the Valve-Operating


Mechanism
The valves control the, admission of the fuelair charge t o the cylinders during the intake

The pistons receive the force of the expanding


gases and transfer i t to the articulated and master rods. Like the cylinders, the pistons are subject to the heat and pressure of combustion, a s
well as to reciprocating forces.
4. The Master and Articulated Rod
Assemblies
The master rod and articulated rods transfer
the reciprocating motion of the pistons to the
crankshaft where it is transformed into rotary
motion. A t the piston ends the rods are subject
to reciprocating forces and to pressure loads
resulting from combustion, while a t the crankshaft centrifugal loads are also imposed on the

THE POWER SECTION

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

(-

assembly as a consequence of the high rotational speed of the engine. There is one master

' E&PISTON PIN

BFAR/NG

ART/CULATED OR
LINK RODS

KNUCKLE PINS

and articulated rod assembly and one crank


throw for each row of cylinders.
5. The Crankshaft
The crankshaft receives the power developed in
the cylinders from the master and articulated
rod assembly, and transfers i t through gear

COUN TCRWEIGHTS
DyNAM/ C DAMPER
PROPELLER SHAFT
,WITH SPLINES

trains to the propeller, the supercharger, the


valve-operating mechanism, the oil and fuel
pumps, the magnetos, the propeller governor,
the generator and other accessories. It is subject to a combination of centrifugal, reciprocating, and pressure loads, together with torsional stresses.

POWER SECTION CONTROL


While conditions in the power section are ultimately the chief concern of the operator, the
control of this section is not direct, and only one
instrument, the cylinder head temperature
gage, is actually connected to it. Instead, control is exercised through other parts of the
powerplant, and the effects of this regulation
are measured indirectly by various instruments
which indicate conditions obtained in the nose
and rear sections and in the lubricating, cooling,
induction, and ignition systems. For example,
cylinder pressures are controlled by the throttle
of the induction system and by the propeller
speed governor on the nose section; and these
pressures are measured in terms of the readings of the manifold pressure and carburetor
air temperature gages of the induction system
(or the torquemeter gage from the nose section) and the tachometer connected to the
rear section.
An understanding of proper engine operation
accordingly requires :
1. A familiarity with the various cockpit
instruments and controls -their names
and their location.
2. An appreciation of the meaning of the
reading of each instrument--the condition i t indicates a t the particular part of
the powerplant to which i t is connected,
and the significance of this condition a s
i t affects the power section and other
parts of the engine.
3. A knowledge of the function of each
control - the particular part of the
powerplant which i t controls, and the
effect of this regulation on conditions
in the power section and elsewhere
through the engine.

6. The Crankcase

$'

\-

The crankcase, generally in two or more parts,


houses and supports the crankshaft, and to
it are attached the cylinders and the nose and
supercharger housing sections. Its bearings absorb the power-producing loads from the pistons and crankshaft.

PAD

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THE ACCESSORY REAR SE,CTION

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

1'

THE ACCESSORY REAR SECTION, THE NOSE SECTION,


AND THE PROPELLER
TACHOMETER
LEVER

REDUCTION GEAR

PROPELLER

QIL SCAVENGE PUMP

THE ACCESSORY REAR SECTION


Crankshaft power is transmitted by means of
an accessory drive shaft through the supercharger housing to the accessory rear section,
where a series of gear trains, in turn, transmit
the power to drive the oil pressure and scavenge
pumps, .the magnetos (if rear-mounted), and
various engine-driven accessories, including the
TACHOMETER DRIVE

fuel pump, the vacuum and hydraulic pumps,


the generator, the tachometers, and the gun
synchronizer. The accessory rear section
houses the oil pressure and scavenge pumps;
provides mounting pads for the magnetos and
the engine-driven accessories; and furnishes
connections f o r the starter, the auxiliary power
drives, and the oil lines.

- L H.

TACHOMETER DRIVE - R.H.


STARTER DRIVE

VACUUM OR HYDRAULIC
PUMP DRIVE

Accessory locations are typical and do not apply to all engines.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

.PWA. 01. 100

THE NOSE SECTION

2. Geared Drive

Crankshaft power is transmitted forward


through the nose section to the propeller. The
nose section houses the propeller shaft reduction
gearing and one or more oil scavenge pumps. It
provides a power take-off for the attachment of

a propeller or helicopter rotor drive; and i t furnishes mounting pads and drives for the scavenge pumps, the nose-mounted magnetos and
distributors, the propeller governor, and other
accessories.

REDUCTION GEARING
DRIVE RATIOS

1. Direct Drive

Small engines which operate a t relatively low


rpm and which are equipped with propellers
of small diameter do not normally require a
reduction gear between the crankshaft and the
propeller. In such cases the propeller shaft is

an extension of the crankshaft,, and the propeller is directly clriven a t engine speed.

Larger engines require bigger propellers to absorb the greater power developed. The limits
of propeller size and rpm are reached when
the velocity of the blade tips exceeds that of
sound, a t which point the thrust efficiency of
the propeller begins to break down, while the
energy of the engine is dissipated in making
noise. By placing a speed reduction gearing
between the crankshaft and the propeller
shaft, both engine and propeller can be made
to operate a t efficient speeds. The range of reduction gear ratios is from 4:3 to 3:l.

THE AIRCRAFT POWLRPLANT


-

THE PROPELLER
The propeller is essentially a device for converting shaft horsepower into thrust horsepower. It is quite possible, however, for a propeller to absorb the entire power output of an
engine and deliver little or no useful work in
return. If i t is to function efficiently the propeller must be:
1.Correctly designed for its particular instal*
lation - size, shape, number and pitch of
blades, and freedom from excessive vibration.
- 2. Operated within the proper speed range for
its design.

as manifold pressure, remain unchanged, the


rpm will decrease. Conversely, a decrease in
pitch will result in a higher rpm. Engine power ,
and speed, accordingly, no longer bear any fixed
relation to one another.
The constant speed propeller is a variable
pitch propeller in which the regulation of the
pitch is automatically controlled by a governor
in such a way that the rpm is maintained unchanged a t a figure selected by the pilot, regardless of changes in power or .manifold pressure.
Such an arrangement offers the greatest possible flexibility of operation, but i t places upon the
operator the responsibility of choosing a well-

PROPELLER TYPES
Propellers may be divided into general types:
1. Fixed Pitch

The pitch, or blade angle, of this type of propeller is fixed and cannot be varied in flight. (In
some models the pitch is adjustable on the
ground.) This installation is light and simple,
and gives satisfactory performance within a
limited range of power and speed. The power
absorbed by this type of propeller varies as the
cube of the rpm - i.e., bhp = K X rpm3. Accordingly, for any given power there is a corresponding rpm. Since power can be regulated
by manifold pressure only with this type of
installation, propeller speed is controlled by the
throttle.
2. Two Position
A hydraulic mechanism, operated by engine oil
pressure, makes i t possible for the pilot to select in flight either a high pitch (low rpm) or
a low pitch (high rpm) position for more efficient speed regulation. A desired power may
thus be obtained with two different combinations of rpm and manifold pressure : a high rpm
and low manifold pressure or the opposite combination in high pitch. In both positions engine
power and, hence, speed are regulated by the
throttle, as with a fixed pitch propeller.

3. Variable Pitch

A hydraulic, electrical, or mechanical mechan-

<
3

ism permits the pilot to set the propeller blades


while in flight to any desired angle over a considerable range. As the pitch of the propeller
is increased the resistance offered t o i t by the
air becomes greater, and if other factors, such

balanced combination of rpm and manifold pressure to obtain a desired power and, a t the same
time, make the most efficient use of both engine
and propeller.
, An extension of the variable pitch principle
makes it possible to set the propeller blades
roughly parallel to the line of flight, and so stop
the engine while in the air. This is known a s
feathering, and is often found useful in emergencies which involve engine failure. With the
blades in the feathered position, the drag of the
propeller is reduced, while the possibility of further damage to aircraft and powerplant from
a "windmilling" engine is prevented. It is also
possible with some types of propellers to turn
the blades past full low pitch into a reversed
pitch position, thus reversing the thrust of the
propeller - a feature which is helpful in maneuvering a seaplane on the water or braking an
aircraft on the ground.

RPM CONTROL
Engine speed, or rpm, is thus controlled in one
of the following ways:

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

1. By the throttle lever, in the case of fixed


pitch propellers (or the high or low pitch
position of a two-position propeller) ; or,
2. By the propeller governor control lever,
in the case of variable pitch propellers.

Constant speed propeller installations commonly include a governor driven by a gear train
from the crankshaft and mounted on the nose
section. By directing engine oil under high pressure to the mechanism contained in the propeller

-TO

GOVERNOR

GOVERNOR FLYWEIGHT

OR
TO
HYDlPAULlC -ELL
SYSTEM

hub, or by controlling the eleczrical impulses sent


to a hub-enclosed motor, the governor regulates
the pitch of the propeller blades in such a way
a s to maintain a constant rpm regardless of
power, manifold pressure, or altitude. On other
installations the propeller itself includes the governor a s an integral part of the hub, and the
complete control system, including the oil supply, is independent of the engine.

OIL
,PEL(

COcKPlr CONTROL

:SSu'RE PUMP
OIL SUPPLY

It should be noted that, if the governor is set


to regulate a t a high or a t maximum rpm, and
the engine is not developing sufficient power to
turn the propeller a t this speed, the latter will
be driven in full low pitch in the same manner
as if i t were a fixed pitch propeller. In other
words, propeller speed is a function of manifold
pressure, and is controlled by the throttle until
the governing rpm is attained. This characteristic is made use of in pre-flight checks and
other ground operations a t low power.
Proper operation of hydraulic propellers demands that the oil be a t the correct temperature
and pressure. Oil that is too cold to flow freely
will result in a sluggish response of the propeller
to the governor. In the case of electric propellers,
proper operation requires that the electric power
reserve be capable of delivering a current suffi:
cient to actuate the pitch control mechanism.
Operation with weak batteries drained by other
demands can lead to serious over-speeding.

THE LUBRICATING SYSTEM

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

THE LUBRICATING SYSTEM


Oil is often referred to a s the "lifeblood of
the engine," and by analogy the lubricating system may be somewhat crudely compared with
the human circulatory system. Oil is forced from
the pressure section of the oil pump (right side
of heart) through various pipes and passages
(arteries) to different parts of the engine (capillaries). After performing its lubricating and
cooling functions, the oil is collected in one or
more sumps where i t is drawn through other
passages and pipes (veins) by one of the several
scavenge pumps (left side of heart), and sent
thence through the oil cooler (lungs-the analogy is a trifle strained) to the tank, and so
back once more to the pressure pump.
The principal features of a typical lubricating
system are shown, and their functions briefly
explained, in Fig. 1 on page 16.
FUNCTION

The lubricating system of an aircraft engine


performs three functions :

If two such surfaces were to slide over one


another in direct contact, the result would be an

iabrfemaee between the surface peaks, which


weald l a d to excessive friction and end by destroying the surf-.

By separating the rurfaeea with a film of d l


the friction is reduced to that existing between
the mo~wuleeof the lubricant. The oil in d i m t

1. I t reduces friction between sliding and rolling surfaces.

To the naked eye a highly finished metal surface appears like this:

But under a m i a m o p e a cross-section wouM


look more like this :

contact with the surfaces moves with the Burfaces; friction then occurs only by reason of the
iatermediatx! oil layers sliding over one another.
With perfect lubrication no wear of the bearing surfaces should weur erzept, po5~$bly,at
starting, for at all other tjm& they are separated
by an oil film. When properly designed and lubricated, plain bearings may have a coefficient of
friction as low m d s load carrying capacity as
high alir ball or m l k bearings.

-I

33

Cn

ca

2
.

'-"

m
5
9.
a

.
TO LUBRICATE AND COOL

OIL FROM VALVE

GEAR LUBRICAT/ON

LOW PRESSURE OIL TO REAR CASE


ACCESSORY DRIVES

M N O/L PASSAGE TO C R A N K W SYSTEM

SPOlSH EZD TO VIBRATION DAMPENER

REDUCTION

CASE BREATHER

OIL PRESSURE GAGE

(;o REAR

OIL TEMPERATURE GAGE

LUBRICATING SYSTEM

@ KNUCKLE PIN LUBRICATION


(3) MAIN OIL PASSAGE TO VALVE

PIPE PREVENTS SLUDGE


fORMATION IN BEAR/NG O/L PASSAGE

@ STAND

CYLINDER WALLS AND PISTONS

@ OIL SPRAY

@ SCAVENGE

@ PROPEZ_LER GOVUPNOR OIL SYSTEM


@ PRESSURE OIL TO VALVE

OIL

PRZSSURE OIL

1
SCAVANGE

I LOW

HIGH PRESSURE OIL

@ OIL
@ OIL

@ OIL

SCREEN

TEMPERA TURE BULB

PRESSURE CONNECTION

OIL

IN

OIL PRESSURE P

O/L SCAVANGE

OIL OUT

PRESSURE RELIEF

OIL PRESSURE R

SUMP SCREEN

MA/N OIL SUMP

OIL COLLECTED F

MTERED TRANSFE

THE LUBRICATING SYSTEM

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


2. The lubricating system cools parts of the engine that cannot be cooled by air.

CONTROL OF OIL PRESSURE, TEMPERATURE, A N D FLOW

For example: the piston, which forms one


end of the combustion chamber, is subject t o the
most intense heat present in the engine. To cool
it a spray of oil is directed to the under side of
the piston through jets located in the crankshaft. This spray also lubricates the cylinder
walls and piston pins, and assists in cooling the

To perform its several functions satisfactorily, lubricating oil must be :


1. Within the proper pressure limits. If oil pressure is too low, oil may not reach all parts of
the engine, will not be forced in between bear/5,000

LB

OR MORE LOAD

MASTER ROD
MASTER ROD
CRANKSMF T

lower parts of the cylinder wall. The master roa


bearing is another example of a part that is both
cooled and lubricated by the oil of the system.
Approximately 10% of the heat released by
combustion is removed from the engine through
the lubricating system.
3. The lubricating system furnishes oil for the

operation of various units and accessories,


such a s :
a. The blade angle varying mechanism of the
hydraulically-operated propeller. (In this
instance engine oil pressure is boosted by
the propeller governor or by the feathering pump.)
b. The impeller drive clutches, variable spark
advance mechanism, manifold pressure
regulator, and other units. (Units such
as these are operated by normal engine oil
pressure.)

If oil pressure is too high, oiI leaks are likely


to develop and oil consumption to become exeessiw .
Of the various cockpit gage8, none is more
important than the oil pressure gage. Loss of
oil pressure is an indication of the failure of the
oil supply, and without lubrication i t may he only
a matter of seconds before parts have heated
and burned, bearings have seized, and the engine
is brought to an abrupt halt, badly damaged.

This emphasizes the vital importance of making the proper oil pressure checks prior to takeoff. An oil pressure relief valve fixes an umer

In performing its lubricating and cooling functions the oil absorbs a considerable amount of
heat-the eauivalent of 30 horsepower or more

cold oil, pressures of several hundred psi may


be encountered when starting.) The relief valve
must be set on the ground, and cannot be adjusted in flight.

cases and the surfaces of the oil tank; on larger


engines an external oil cooler is necessary. The
oiI cooler is equipped with shutters or flaps by
means of which the flow of cooling air can be
regulated to obtain the desired oil temperatures.
The oil cooler shutters are controlled automatically or manually by means of a cockpit lever.

2. Within the proper temperature limits. If the

P A I ~

I t is the practice to measure the oil temperature a t a point in the engine lubrication system that is close to the oil inlet. By taking the
temperature a t this point, the oil temperature
reading is then a check of the condition of the
lubricant before i t enters the engine. Measuring the oil temperature a t the outlet has been
seriously considered but, a s the temperature a t
this point is a measure of the oil temperature
rise in the engine, the gage reading will vary
widely with changing conditions and will not
constitute a stable standard for determining
the condition of the oil.
If, during a climb with wide open shutters,
the airflow does not provide sufficient cooling,
a greater flow of air may be obtained by reing oil temperature is to reduce power. This
should be done by lowering the rpm as well a s
the manifold pressure, since friction and oil
temperature are affected by engine speed even
more than by power.

3. Of suitable quality and sufficient mechani


cal strength so that the oil film will not breal
down under any condition of temperature an(
pressure likely to be encountered.

m!m

CONTROL OF THE LUBRICATING SYSTEil

IIf the oil is too hot. i t cannot s u ~ ~ oheavy


rt

The operator has no control of the lubricatin


system while in flight other than to regulate t h
temperature of the oil in response to the real

consequence, oil pressure may drop below acceptable limits, and oil consumption becomes
excessive.

ders i t imperative that all ground checks b


scrupulously performed to make certain that a
adjustments have been properly made.

oil is too cold, i t will not flow freely.

I
I

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


(232-260 C ) * , the material will be seriously
weakened.

2. Damage t o cylinder and piston parts. Excessive temperatures may lead t o warping of
the valves and valve seats, and failure of valve
stem and rocker arm lubrication, and the
breakdown of the oil film between piston and
cylinder, with the possibility of scoring and
even seizure.
3. Increased tendency t o detonation. High
temperatures also increase the tendency of the
fuel-air charge to detonate. (See pp 27-29)
Detonation in turn causes high cylinder head
temperatures - and so a vicious cycle is begun. Regardless of which comes first, however,
the effect on the engine is inevitably damaging.

PWA. 01. 100


The thermocouple location is selected because
of i t s stability as a temperature reference and
because of the mechanical advantages for making a practical and durable connection.
The temperature recorded a t either of these
points is merely a reference or control temperature; but so long as it is kept within the prescribed limits, numerous tests have shown t h a t
the temperatures of the cylinder dome, the exhaust valve, with its seat and guide, and the
piston will also be within a satisfactory range.
As a rough example, it can be imagined t h a t
the household thermostat has been placed above

TEMPERATURE INDICATION
Cylinder head temperatures are indicated by
means of a gage connected to a thermocouple
attached t o the cylinder which experience shows
t o be the hnt,test on Ecn engine in any particular
installation. The thermocouple itself is located :

Under a rear spark plug in a special gasket.


a radiator. In order to obtain the desired room
temperature it will be necessary to set the thermostat (reference or control temperature) to
some higher figure. The thermocouple is t h e
cylinder's thermostat indicator. Its limit is
established, arbitrarily, in order to keep a t satisfactory temperatures the vital portions of the
cylinder whose temperature cannot be measured directly.
In a special well in t h e top or rear of the
cylinder head.

* The cylinder temperatures quoted above and in the


remaining portions of this book are those which have
applied to all engine models heretofore manufactured
by Pratt & Whitneg Aircraft. Limits applying to engines of other manufacture, or to future Pratt &
Whitney Aircraft models, may differ somewhat from
the temperatures quoted above.

As the thermocouple is attached tr, one cylinder only i t can do no more than give evidence of
general engine conditions. While normally i t
can be presumed t h a t the remaining cylinder
temperatures will be lower, local conditions such
a s detonation or ignition failure will not be indicated unless they occur on the therrnocoupIe
cylinder.

THE CYLINDER COOLING SYSTEM

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


LIMITING TEMPERATURE
Two limiting cylinder head temperatures are
usually found in specific engine operating instructions :
1. The higher limiting temperature is for a
restricted period of time, and is confined to
take-off, t o maximum performance in climb and
level flight, and to emergencies.

head temperature 50 F (30 C) below this limit


to keep the cylinder head materials a t high
operating strength.
THE COOLING SYSTEM

e;
I

In all aircraft cooling systems air is use


carry the heat away from the cylinders. When
this is done directly, without an intermediate
liquid coolant, the problem of cooling largely resolves itself into that of:

1. Exposing a sufficient surface area of the


cylinders to the cooling airflow.
2.

ABSOLUTE

MAXfMUM

FOR

@#*%/OUR

ONLY

The temperature limit for restricted operations


should, therefore, be used for the shortest possible time only, and must never be exceeded.
2. The lower limiting temperature is the maximum for continuous operation. I t should never

BES J OPERAT/ON

MAXfMUM FOR
JINUOUS OPERATION

be exceeded except under the restricted operating conditions mentioned in the previous paragraph. I t is sound practice to hold t h e cylinder

Directing the air efficiently against all


parts of the cylinders.

3. Providing a sufficient cooIing airflow, together with some means of regulating


the airflow in response t o varying conditions.

The surface area of the cylinders exposed to


the cooling airflow is increased by the use of
cooling fins. The efficiency of t h e fins is increased, up to a certain point, a s they are made
deeper and spaced more closely together.
Not many years ago engine cooling was accomplished by simply holding the cylinders into
the breeze. This arrangement had several shortcomings. While all the air in the path of the
engine passed between the cylinders of the engine, only a small portion of i t came close enough
to the fins to remove much of t h e heat. The
cylinders were cooled unevenly, the rear portions
of each one tending to run hotter than the front.
The turbulence created affected all parts of the
airplane a f t of the engine.

'RATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

--3Fh

PWA. 01. 100

+--DtX.EcToR
BAFFLE

More recently inter-cylinder and cylinder head


baffles have been used to force the cooling air
into close contact with all parts of the cylinders,
In this way the entire airflow is used to carry
the heat away from the fins. Although the resistance offered by the baffles and fins to the
passages of the cooling air demands t h a t an
appreciable pressure differential be maintained
across the engine to obtain the necessary air-

-n'F="

BAFFLE SEAL

flow, the volume of cooling air required is much


reduced by the use of a properly designed system
of deflectors, and the resulting drag is actually
decreased. A flow of cooling air sufficient to carry
away the heat from the cylinders is obtained by
means of the cowl which encloses the engine. The
flow of cooling air may be regulated by a series
of adjustable cowl flaps a t the rear of the cowling.

The pressure differential between


the front ( 2 ) , and rear (3), of the
engine forces the air past the cyiinders through the passages formed
by the baffles, deflectors, and fins.

As it nears the cowl exits (4), the


air is speeded up by restricted passages to merge smoothly with the

air stream.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

Actually, only about I U ~01 tne air in the


path of the engine is forced through the cowl,
the remainder passing smoothly over the outside of the cowling. As a result there is little
cooling drag-the power consumed in cooling
amounts to roughly 57; of the bhp-and performance is not sacrificed because of the shape
of the engine and its cowling.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL
The amount of heat transferred to the cooling
air is roughly proportional to the mass airflow.
Control of engine temperatures may, therefore,
be accomplished by regulating the number of
pounds of air that are forced past the engine in
a given time by the cowling. Mass airflow in turn
is regulated by varying the pressure drop across
the engine. This may be done in one of two ways :
1. By Cowl Flaps

Fixed exit cowls are generally satisfactory on


aircraft whose range of speed is small, so long
as the exit gap is sufficiently large to provide
the necessary airflow with the entrance pressure available a t the lowest climbing speed. At
the higher speeds of level flight the increase

THE CYLINDER COOLING SYSTEM

in pressure a t the cowl entrance forces more air


past the engine than is actually required; but,
as the speed range is low, the small waste of
energy involved does not warrant the extra
weight and complication of adjustable cowl
flaps. On the other hand, with high performance
aircraft there is an appreciable waste of power
in forcing excess cooling air past the engine a t
high speeds, and the extra weight and complication of adjustable cowl flaps are accordingly
justified.
At high speeds the exit is reduced so that only
the required airflow can pass through. At low
speeds the exit area is increased. This decreases
the pressure behind the cylinders to compensate for the reduced frontal pressure, and so
maintains the necessary drop across the engine.
Cowl flaps thus act a s a throttle for the cooling
airflow. The effective range of cowl flap opening is limited by aerodynamic considerations,
which vary from installation to installation. For
example: the parasite, or form drag of the aircraft is increased as the flaps are opened; and,
if the flaps are opened too far, buffeting may
result above certain airspeeds, and the control
of the aircraft consequently disturbed.

PRA'IT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

2. By Air Speed
Any variation in the forward speed of the airplane affects the p r m u m a t the face wf the
engine and, hence, the mass airflow past the
cylinders. If airspeed can be increased without
calling upon the engine for additional powerfor example, by decreasing the rate of climb-the result will be a more effective cooling of
the engine.

PWA. 01. 100

, k b w this fwl-%~!ir
ratio the exeess of air in the
charge r e d w a , the earnbustion temperature.
When the mixture Is richer than this fuel-air
ratir~the presence of excess fud reduces the

There are also two ways of controlling the


temperature of an engine, neither af which,
strictly speaking, is effected by means of the
powerplant's cooling system.

eombustian temperature. A measure of ccmtrol


over cylinder head temperatures can then be obtained by inweasiag the fuel-air ratio from
sutmi3c lean ta automatic rich p m v i M that
the automatic rich mixture is sufficiently richer
than best power. Generally, in the cruising
m g e * advancing the mixture control from
automatic lean to au&etticl rich will raise the
mixture strength Pmm near best economy up
to agproximately lean best power with the remalt that the e ~ l i n d whead temperature will
be imremed rather than lowered.

1. Fuel-Air Ratio.

2. Psweir.

The heat generated by combustion is g r e a t e ~ t


with a fuel-air ratio of approximately 0.067 slightly below the so-called Iean best power mixture setting. (See page 26). If the mixture is

A redudion in power will also ewse a drop in


cylinder h a d temperatures. To obtain the
greatest effwt, power should be reduced by

OTHER TEMPERATURE CONTROLS

lowering Bokh rp& and manifold pressure.

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-1.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT,

CARBURETION

INDUCTION SYSTEM
FUNCTION
The function of the induction system is to
deliver a combustible mixture of fuel and air to
the cylinders and, subject to intelligent control
by the operator, to deliver the charge:
(a) a t the proper fuel-air ratio for the particular type of operation demanded ;

The induction system can conveniently be discussed under three general heads:
1. Carburetion

- dealing principally

with the
carburetor and the means of obtaining the
desired fuel-air ratios.

(b) in sufficient quantities to meet all power


requirements ;

2. Supercharging - which is chiefly concerned


with providing an adequate airflow without
too great a temperature rise or power restriction.

(c) a t a temperature that will insure efficient


combustion ;

3. Ducting - which deals with the engine's


air conditioning system.

1. CARBURETION
THE FUEL-AIR RATIO
The determination of the combustible range
of a gasoline-air mixture is a simple and sporting
investigation: The first step is to light a match
in air containing no gasoline vapor. The match
will burn, but there will be no explosion-proving that air merely supports combustion. The
second step is to remove carefully all the fuel
vapors above an open dish of fuel, and then dash
a lighted match into the liquid. If the experimenter succeeds in getting the lighted match
into the gasoline, the flame will be extinguished
-proving that gasoline by itself is not combustible. More than likely the investigator will not

MIXTURF 7-00 LEAN


TO PRODUCE POWER 7

have completely removed the gasoline vapors,


and he will have succeeded in getting the burning match only part way to the fuel when he
will be mad-e painfully aware of the forces that
act on the piston of an internal combustion engine -proving that a mixture of gasoline vapor
and air can be violently explosive, and that
home experiments should be rigidly controlled.
The variations in energy with different mixtures of gasoline and air are illustrated below:
The weight of fuel divided by the weight of
air in a given mixture is known a s the latter's
fuel-air ratio (F/A). It will be noticed that the
range of usable fuel-air ratio is relatively small.

MIXTURE
LEAN TO BURN

,'&a

PS:I

2081

IS:/

-.-..

..-.en, OF I ---,
..
.p OF AIR
8x1
ZSStl
A/R FUEL RATIO (A/F)- WEIGHT OF A l e / WEIGHT OF FUEL

~ S : I

Fig. 4 -Combustible Range of Fuel and Air Mixture

PWA. 01. 100

PRAT'I' & WEIITNEY AIRCRAFT


"BEST POWER" and "BEST
ECONOMY" MIXTURES
If the power output (brake horsepower) and
rpm of an engine are kept constant, and the mixture strength is varied from one extreme to another, i t will be found that :
1. The manifold pressure required to produce the given power a t the given rpm will
be a t a minimum when the fuel-air ratio is
in the range of .074 - .080. By definition,
.074 fuel-air ratio is "lean best power"
mixture and -080 fuel-air ratio is "rich
best power" mixture. Any mixture between ,074 and .080 fuel-air ratios is a
"best power" mixture.
2. The quantity of fuel required to produce
the given power a t the given rpm will be
a t a minimum when the fuel-air ratio is
approximately 0.0625 with the usual spark
advance settings and compression ratios
employed. This is, again by definition, the
"best economy" mixture.
The relation between best power and best
economy are more precisely shown in Fig. 5.
.IDEAL AND ACTUAL FUEL-AIR RATIOS
Were there no considerations other than
power and economy, the ideal fuel regulating
device would be one which would give a fuelair ratio of 0.080 when maximum performance
was desired, and which could be used to give a
fuel-air ratio of 0.0625 when fuel economy was
the primary consideration. Plotted in the form
of a conventional carburetor performance
curve, the relation between fuel-air ratio and
power (sometimes expressed as airflow) are illustrated by the solid lines in Fig. 6.

IDLING

100 TAKE-OFF

50

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED POWER

Fig. 6 -Ideal and Actual Fuel-Air Ratios

In practice, however, engine requirements call


for deviations from this ideal curve, and the actual performance curve looks more like the one
drawn in dotted lines in Fig. 6.
The principal reasons for departing From the
ideal fuel-air ratios are:
1. To insure smooth operation in the idling
range, when the engine is cold.
2. To protect the engine from detonation in
the high power range.
.

IDLING MIXTURES

,@<;

''

---

rI
- I

>

I
11

:
II

Idling and taxiing present special conditions. . ,


The fuel-air ratio must be held within narrow
limits : to prevent the spark plugs from fouling
because of excessive richness, on the one hand,
and, on the other, to avoid any tendency to - I"die" or accelerate hesitatingly because of over- ;
leanness. Properly set idle mixtures will make ' ' L ..
possible continuous smooth idling without
. 1.1
danger of fouling.
I
8

HELD

2.HOR5

FUEL AIR RATIO

Fig. 5 - Determination of Best Power and Best Economy

ixture ~rrengrn

..

::

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-1.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

CARBURETION

NORMAL COMBUSTION

will begin spontaneously and simultaneously


throughout the unburned charge. The result is
a sudden and violent explosion known as detonation.

DETONATION
Normal combustion is rapid, but i t is by no
means an instantaneous explosion. The charge
burns evenly and smoothly, the flame front advancing a t a measurable rate-about 35 feet per
second when combustion begins, increasing to
roughly 150 feet per second, and finally slowing
down a s the process nears completion.

Detonation occurs so quickly that even high


speed cameras, which slow down normal cbmbustion to a snail's pace, fail to retard its progress sufficiently for exact analysis. It is accompanied by an abrupt pressure rise and violent
pressure fluctuations of extreme rapidity. The
engine is unable to turn into useful work energy
so explosively released. The recurring shock
pressures are carried to piston, cylinder, and
hold-down studs, and the fatigue stresses set up

If sufficiently heated and compressed, any


combustible mixture of gasoline vapor and air
will catch fire. Accordingly, if the temperature
and pressure of the unburned portion of the fuelair charge reach critical values, combustion

DETONATEO N

PWA. 01. 100


sure of the charge is too great, a critical
value may be reached which will result in
detonation. Excessive manifold pressure may
be caused by too wide a throttle opening or,
on some engines, by the use of too great a
degree of supercharging.
2. Excessive carburetor air temperature (c.a.t).

- .,-.

As the temperature of the charge air a t the


carburetor is increased, so is the temperature
of the fuel-air mixture entering the cylinders. The latter is further raised during compression and combustion, and, ' if the initial
temperature of the charge is too high, a critical value may be reached which will also
result in detonation. Hot "free air" entering
the induction system, inadequate intercooling in the case of multiple stage superchargers or too much carburetor pre-heat, may
cause excessive c.a.t. High impeller speeds,
the consequence of high engine rpm or of
improper operation in the "high" impeller
gear ratio, will cause a sharp heat rise
through the supercharger, and, a s a result,
the charge will not be sufficiently cool when
delivered to the cylinders.

A few seconds of detonation can do this.

in the materials quickly lead to the failure of


these parts.
Detonation also causes a rapid rise in cylinder
temperatwres, and thereby aggravates the very
conditions which produced it. These high temperatures can rapidly destroy the piston, cylinder head, exhaust valve and guide, and damage
other parts by burning and e>osion.
Similar in its results to detonation, and frequently accompanied by it, is preignition. The
latter is caused by uncontrolled ignition of the
charge ahead of the normal flame front, because
of contact with some "hot spot" in the combustion chamber, such as an incandescent spark
plug. As a result the timing is too far advanced;
the engine loses power and overheats ; local temperatures a t the hot spot rise rapidly; and the
engine may be damaged, if it is not quickly
stopped.
Detonation-free operation is altogether normal and entirely possible over the full range
of rated engine performance, even under the
most adverse conditions. Nevertheless, detonation is the most likely a s we8 as the
most destructive of the possible consequences
of improper engine operation.
CONDITIONS LEADING TO DETONATION
Among the conditions which may lead to detonation the most important are :

1. Excessive manifold pressure. As manifold


pressure is increased, so is the pressure of
the charge entering the cylinders. The latter
is multiplied many times during compression and combustion, and, if the initial pres-

3. Excessive cylinder head temperatures. The


temperature and, indirectly, the pressure of
the unburned portion of the charge may be
raised to critical values a s a result of excessive cylinder head temperatures alone.

4. Improper grade of fuel. If the fuel used has


an anti-knock rating (i.e., resistance to detonation) lower than that called for by the rating of the engine, detonation will follow any
attempt to operate in the high power range.

5. Malfunctioning of the ignition system:


Whenever the engine is operated in the high
power range, detonation is likely to occur if
the timing of the spark is too f a r advanced.
I t may also occur during high power operation in a cylinder where only one of the two
plugs is functioning.
6. Lean Mixtures. The tendency to detonate
varies with the fuel-air ratio, and mixtures
a t or near best power are the ones most
likely to detonate. Combustion chamber
temperatures may be lowered most effectively, and detonation thereby most readily
inhibited by enriching the mixture beyond
the best power setting.

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-1.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


Detonation imposes one of the most important
limitations on engine performance, and the operator must a t all times so control conditions a s to
avoid any which might lead to detonation and
the consequent damage to his powerplant.

.I 10

CARBURETION

RICHER MIXTURES-

.
l
o
o
mIN

THIS RANGE MIXTURE

P.OOO

EFFECT OF DETONATION

5.080
-I

As cylinder pressures are raised with an increase in power, the tendency to detonate naturally increases as well. Because of this it is
necessary to deviate from the ideal fuel-air
ratio, and gradually enrich the mixture
power' is increased above approximate1
of Normal Rated power. The minimum fuel-air
ratio necessary to protect the engine is determined by test, and the resultant departures
from the ideal curve will look hmething like
Fig. 7.

,070
UNECONWCAL T O OPERATE WtTH
ECONOMY

LA4E< -THAN 8EST


.

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED POWER

Fig. 8-Complete

Fuel-Air Ratio Requirements

It is conceivable that mixture regulation could


be accomplished by means of a manually operated valve inserted in the fuel line. But i t may
be reasonably doubted that any pilot, or pilot's
assistant, by continually taking stock of the
conditions under which he is operating, and
referring them to his fuel-air ratio curve, could

late the mixture with sufficient rapidity or

40

SO

60

70

--

--

%
cy to ammmodate the constantly varying demands of the engine. Mixture regulation

.- -

PERCENT OF NOR'MAL RATED POW

Fig. 7 Departure From Ideal F uel-Air Ratio


Required in Order to Suppress Detonation

THE COMPLETED FUEL-AIR CURVE

I
,

is accordingly turned over to a mechanical dev i a which performs this function automatically. Thia device is the carburetor.
Bllaaa, airflow, or the weight of air consumed
per hour, provides the link by which the fuel
metming of the carburetor is coordinated pith
the power demander of the engine. Mass airflow
and power are direcay related, and, if the carburetor is made ~ensitiveto changes in airfiow,
it can be made responsive to variations in p a m r

1-

After making the necessary adjustments for


the idling and power ranges, the completed curve
representing the engine's fuel-air ratio re- I
quirements throughout its entire operating
range will be somewhat like Fig. 8.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

90

5t3

A-

P f f X E N T W N0.RMA.L Acl TED POW&?

*-

80
9b
OR LBS/HR AIRFLOW

TAKE- OFF

Fig. 9 - F i n d Fwd-Air Curve

and so provide the fuel flow appropriate to each


part of the engine's operating range. In other
words, the fuel metering forces in the carburetor
are adjusted to respond to airflow in such a way
as to produce a fuel-air ratio power curve similar to Fig. 9, which is typical for all carburetors, and which closely resembles the fuel-air
ratio curve just discussed.
For purposes of discussion, carburetors may
be divided into two general c l a s w :
1. Non-automatic.
2. Automatic.

through it, If altitude or temperature are increased, the same weight of air will occupy a
greater vdume, and thus will flow through the
carburetor with a higher velocity. This has the
effect of increasing the fuel metering forces. The
simple airflow measuring device of the non-automatic carburetor does not fully compensate for
this extra force, with the result that the mixture
h o m e s richer as temperature or altitude is
increased. The effect on the basic metering curve
af an increase in altitude is illustrated in Fig. 10.
To compensate for this enrichment, a manually operated mixture control mechanism is ineorporated in the carburetor.

NON-AUTOMATIC CARBURETORS
/"-')

As previously pointed out, proper fuel regulation depends on the ability of the carburetor to
measure correctly the weight of air flowing

,"?I'
I

/I

vMME T fRED F U f 1

By moving the mixture control lever, the area


of the metering jet (orifice) is restricted or enlarged, and the fuel flow correspondingly decreased or increased.
PERCENT O F N O R M A L RATED POWER OFf

Fig. 10 - Effects oF Altitude on


Uncompensated Carburetor

If no adjustment is made, the fuel-air ratio


will normally be somewhat richer than the minimum required by conditions in the cruising
range. To realize the maximum fuel economy

/THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


possible for this type of operation, the mixture
must be manually leaned.
Non-automatic carburetors are usually restricted to the float type carburetors.
AUTOMATIC CARBURETORS
Automatic carburetors incorporate an automatic mixture control unit, sensitive to pressure and temperature, which compensates for
changes in both altitude and temperature. These
carburetors meter fuel in such a way as to conform to the basic fuel-air ratio curve throughout
all flight conditions, and it is therefore unnecessary to vary the position of the mixture control
lever to maintain the manually selected mixture
setting.
Two manually selected mixture settings are
usually available :
1. Automatic Rich* (Take-Off .and Climb)

c
.

2. Automatic Lean (Cruise)-to provide mixtures giving the greatest possible fuel economy; limited by engine power and grade of
fuel ; and generally permissible only under
favorable conditions of power and cooling.

The carburetor performance curve, with the


two selective mixture settings, is illustrated by
Fig. 11.

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED POWER

Fig. t l A Setting Curve for an


Automatic Carburetor
*The above mixture position designations have been used in
conjunction with most engines manufacturedby Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft and of other manufacture that are provided with pressure injection carburetors. Other designations may be used by
other manufacturers. Recently some pressure injection carburetors have "rich" and "normal" mixture control positions instead
of "automatic rich" ahd "automatic lean", and in the future different terms may apply.

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-1.

CARBURETION

It is the usual practice to limit the use of the


automatic lean setting to powers below 67% of
Normal Rated power.
More recently some automatic pressure injection carburetors have mixture positions as follows :
Normal -This provides mixtures for all
flight conditiops except in some instances
for take-off and final approach. For low powers it provides a mixture strength comparable to the automatic lean setting of other
carburetors. At higher powers the mixture
is enriched to give mixture strengths comparable to automatic rich.

2.

Rich -This provides mixture strengths


slightly richer than normal. I t is used for
all ground operation, and when critical en- gine cooling requires a mixture richer than
that obtained with normal. In many instances it is the required mixture control
position for take-off and final approach.

Automatic carburetors may be of either the


float or injection types.
FUEL INJECTION.
Once the fuel has been metered in proportion
to airflow, it is introduced into the air stream as
a fine, atomized spray. In some induction sys-,
tems the fuel is atomized a t the carburetor; in
others this is accomplished by a so-called spinner discharge nozzle which discharges the fuel
into the impeller. In both systems the action of
the supercharger further assists the process of
atomization and vaporization.
The above injection systems covered practically all aircraft engine applications prior to
World War 11. An additional system which
injects the fuel directly into each individual
cylinder is being offered by several engine
manufacturers as standard or alternate equipment. This system permits the control of the
amount of fuel furnished to each individual
cylinder and results in a more nearly perfect
distribution of the liquid portion of the mixture. This advantage may be somewhat offset
if there is lack of perfect air distribution and
by the increased weight and complexity of this
arrangement. Continued development should
result in the more widespread use of the direct
injection system.
31

0.

I
I

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

CONTROLS

INSTRUMENTS

The functioning of the carburetor is regulated


by two controls :

The fuel pressure gage is the only instrument


connected directly to the carburetor. It is connected a t the fuel strainer chamber and the pressure registered on the gage is the differential
pressure between that of the fuel and that of
the atmosphere. (Generally, a t the carburetor
entrance.)

1. Manual mixture control lever. This controls


the fuel flow and so regulates the fuel-air
ratio on non-automatic carburetors. On automatic carburetors it sets the mixture in
either the Automatic Rich or Automatic
Lean (Rich or rormal) position. (On some
types of carburetors an additional position,
known as Full Rich, is also provided. I t is
basically slightly richer than automatic rich,
and is not subject to compensation by the
automatic mixture control units with the result that the mixture strength undergoes
further normal altitude increase.) On both
types of carburetors the fuel flow may be
stopped by placing the mixture control lever
in the Idle Cut-off position. This is the normal way of stopping an engine. (Idling mixtures, as well as idling speeds, may also be
adjusted, but only on the ground.)

Throttle. As the carburetor is a t the air entrance to the engine, i t is a logical place a t
which to provide some means of controlling
the airflow. This is accomplished by the
throttle, a valve which, by varying the area
through which the charge air passes, controls the flow. Since airflow is directly related to power, the throttle is one, but not
the only, means of controlling power.
On pressure type carburetors the fuel metering force established in proportion to airflow is
of sufficient magnitude to be used for regulating
mechanisms whose functioning must vary with
power. An example of this is the automatic
spark advance mechanism.

FUEL PRESSURE
The pressure of the fuel a t the entrance of the
carburetor has an important effect on the fuelair ratio. If i t does not fall within the specified
limits, the carburetor will not meter fuel correctly in response to airflow. The operator has
no control of the fuel pressure produced by the
engine-driven fuel pump while in flight. Consequently, he should check to see that it registers correctly during the ground tests and make
all necessary adjustments prior to take-off.

In addition, three other instruments may be


added to the induction system in order to assist
in the control of induction system conditions
and the regulation of fuel flow. These are :
1. Carburetor Air Temperature Gage :-The
carburetor air temperature gage is usually attached in the air scoop elbow immediately upstream from the carburetor entrance, as the
temperature measured a t this location is the
most reliable means of determining ice formation conditions. It also provides the reading of
gyeatest stability for determining the temperature condition of the air for the purpose of
power calculation. The temperatures measured
a t points in the induction system between the
carburetor and the intake port do not provide a
consistent means of measuring temperature and
so do not provide a reliable means of determining charge density. By calibrating engine performance against variation in the temperature
of the air measured a t the carburetor entrance
the effect of the variations in temperature a t
this point can be accurately determined.
Attempts have been made to measure the condition of the charge air a t points between the
carburetor and the intake port but they have
not proved feasible, a s stable readings of a fuelair mixture cannot be obtained in the widely
varying range of mixture strengths that are
used.

i'

.
-

2. Fuel Flow Meter: Fuel flow meters are


sometimes provided on large aircraft in order
to provide a close check on the rate of fuel consumed.

3. Fuel-Air Analyzer: On some installations,


particularly those using non-automatic carburetoys, fuel-air analyzers are the only means of
determining whether or not mixture strength is
within the proper range. This instrument determines the fuel-air ratio by sampling the exhaust gases.

'<.

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-2. SUPERCHARGING

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

2. SUPERCHARGING
POWER AND MASS AIRFLOW
The aircraft engine is a heat engine which
derives its power from the burning of a mixture
of fuel and air. The energy released by combustion is directly proportional to the weight, or
mass, of the charge drawn into the cylinders.
Accordingly, if the fuel-air ratio is kept constant
a t the "best power" mixture setting, the power
developed in the cylinders will vary directly with
the mass of air consumed. This basic relationship is independent of rpm, except as the latter
affects the engine's capacity to handle air.

driving the accessories ; while some of it is absorbed in driving the supercharging mechanism.
What remains as useful power available a t the
propeller shaft is known as brake horsepower,
(bhp). In other words: ihp = bhp + power
losses. Inasmuch as the power losses are functions of both rpm and power, bhp bears no fixed
relation to rpm or to mass airflow. Although
bhp is not strictly proportional to airflow, the
connection between the two is nevertheless
close, and in the, final analysis the power output
of an engine is cbntrolled by the mass or weight
of air flowing through the carburetor in a given
time.
To obtain a hidh power output, it follows that
the designer must provide some means of supplying the engine with a mass airflow sufficient
for all conditions where high performance is
demanded. To do this satisfactorily over a
wide range of altitude, and without too great a
rise in the temperature of the fuel-air charge,
or too great an increase in the complexity,
weight, and drag of the installation-poses one
of the most difficult problems in aircraft engine
design.
-

MASS AIRFLOW THROUGH CARBURETOR (LB PER HR 1

Fig t 2. - Relation Between Power (IHP)


and Mass Airflow

The power developed in the cylinders of an


engine is known as the indicated horsepower
(ihp). Not all of it is delivered to the propeller
shaft, but, as suggested below, some of the
ihp is lost in overcoming internal friction and in

THE ENGINE AS AN AIR PUMP


Air, or more strictly speaking, the oxygen in
the air, is by volume and by weight the most
important part of the combustible mixture.
Roughly 13 pounds of air, or 2.6 pounds of oxygen, are consumed in the combustion of 1 pound
of gasoline a t "best power" mixture strength.

PWA. 01. 100

PRA'IT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


.

Unlike the rocket, which to be self-contained


must carry both ingredients, the conventional
aircraft carries only one ingredient in its tanks
and flies through the other.

It is an absolute pressure, measured from zero

The internal combustion engine may, accordingly, be thought of as an air pump, whose performance depends in large measure on its capacity. Half of each power cycle is devoted to pumping air. As the piston descends during the intake
stroke, air is drawn into the cylinder. During the
exhaust stroke it is returned to the atmosphere,
as a part of the exhaust gases, by the pressure
of the piston. In the course of the compression
and power strokes the engine takes time out
from pumping to produce enough power to keep
itself going and deliver a reasonable balance a t
the propeller shaft.

Any variation or restriction of airflow affects


the pressure a t the collector rim. Manifold pressure is, therefore, regulated chiefly by the carburetor throttle valve. Secondarily, it is controlled by the pressure which exists a t the car-

psi, and not a "gage", or differential pressure,


measured from some reference point, such as
atmospheric pressure.

TAKE P/PE

MANIFOLD PRESSURE

buretor entrance a s the result of altitude, ram,


or the operation of an auxiliary air compressor
or supercharger.
.

The weight of air consumed by an engine depends primarily on the total piston displacement, the rpm, the temperature of the charge,
and the pressure existing a t the intake ports. If
the last of these factors is increased, a greater
quantity of air is forced into the cylinders, and,
so long a s the fuel-air ratio and other factors
remain constant, the result is to increase the
weight of the charge. Since the energy released
by combustion is in turn proportional to the
weight of the charge, it follows that intake port
pressure is an important index of power whenever the other factors are known.

In practice this pressure is not measured at


an intake port, but a t the rim of the supercharger collector. It is known as manifold pressure, or absolute blower rim pressure (abrp),
or even manifold absolute pressure (map), and
is expressed in inches of mercury (in. Hg.).*

* In. Hg. is the measure used in the United States of


America. Other countries ma use different units; for
example in England manifollpressure is expressed in
psi "boost" above sea level atmospheric pressure.

Manifold pressure, it should be noted, is not


power, but merely a convenient index for measuring one of the several factors affecting power.
It is only in combination with rpm, and after
making certain necessary corrections for carburetor air temperature, that manifold pressure
may be used in making an approximate determination of bhp by reference to the appropriate
operating curves.

CARBURETOR AIR TEMPERATURE


AND MASS AIRFLOW
Any factor which changes the mass of the
fuel-air charge will affect the engine's power
output. The effects of variations in manifold
pressure have been noted. Another important
factor is the temperature of the charge. Since
the weight of a given volume of the fuel-air
mixture a t a given pressure is inversely proportional to its absolute tempwature (abs. temp. =
F 459 or C 273), it follows that any increase in the temperature of the charge a t a
given manifold pressure results in a decqease in

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-2.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

SEA n

IUVVV

PUUV
'

Fig. 73

-----

ALTITUDE FEET

- Power vs Altitude - Unsupercharged Engine

its density and weight, and hence in the amount


of energy available from its combustion.

'

SUPERCHARGING

In practice the temperature of the fuel-air


charge itself is not measured. Instead, the tem- '
perature of the charge air is taken as it is about
to enter the carburetor prior to the injection of
the fuel ;and, in establishing safe carburetor air
temperature limits, allowance is made for the
cooling effect of fuel vaporization, for the heat
rise due to compression in the supercharger, and
for other temperature changes occurring between the carburetor and the intake pipe.
-

the wide open position, manifold pressure will


be found to decrease as altitude increases, and
the impression of a loss of power would be confirmed by a torquemeter. The reason for this is
to be found in the ability - or, better, inability
- of the engine to pump sufficient air.

High carburetor air temperatures are undesirable, not only because they result in a loss of
power, but also because they may lead to detonation and consequent engine failure. It thus
becomes one of the principal functions of the
induction system to deliver the fuel-air charge
to the cylinders a t the proper temperatures.

THE UNSUPERCHARGED ENGINE


If the fuel-air charge is forced into the cylinders simply by the pressure exerted by the atmosphere, the engine is called a "naturally aspirated" or unsupercharged engine. ("Aspirate"
means to draw by suction.) Such an induction
system satisfies the requirements of moderate
performance a t low altitudes. Primary training
planes are often equipped with such engines.

Assume, for example, that an engine delivers


500 bhp a t sea level and, to produce this power,
consumes in one hour 43,000 cu f t of air weighing 3,300 ib a t sea level. At an altitude of 10,000
ft, 43,000 cu f t air weighs 2,460 Ib and a t 19,000
f t weighs only 1,810 lb. Since the power output
of the engine depends on its ability to consume
pounds rather than cubic feet of air, it follows
that the power will decrease with altitude much
as shown in Fig. 13.

However, once this type of engine has left the


ground its limitations become apparent. If the
rpm is held constant and the throttle fixed in

The relation between altitude, weight, and


volume can be illustrated in another way. At
sea level, the 3,300 Ib of air occupy 43,000 cu f t

PWA. 01. 100

PRATL' & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

- about' the size of a two-story building.

INCREASING THE PUMPING CAPACITY

At

The problem of designing an engine that will


maintain its power output a t altitude thus resolves itself into one of increasing the engine's
air-pumping capacity. Three different methods
may be used to accomplish this :

1. Increase piston displacement by adding or


enlarging cylinders. This is a cumbersome method, since i t increases the size of the engine without increasing. the ratio of power to weight.
2. Increase rpm. This raises the pumping rate
of the engine, but offers only a partial solution
to the problem, as centrifugal and reciprocating
forces shortly impose a limiting speed.

3. Supercharge by incorporating in the engine


a special air pump whose primary function is t o
compress more weight of air into the fixed volume of air handled by the pistons. This is the
method most commonly used to raise an engine's
air pumping capacity, since it calls for no increase in rpm or of power section size, and adds
relatively little to the overall weight of the powerplant.

10,000 f t this same weight will occupy 58,200


which will require an extra story on the
cu ft

THE SUPERCHARGER

building. At 19,000 f t i t will occupy 78,000 cu


f t - and the original two-story building is now
three and one-half stories high.

The conventional supercharger is a centrifugal air compressor placed between the carburetor and the intake pipes. It is usually housed
between the power and accessory rear sections.
Its principal features, which are shown on p. 37,
consist of three main units:
1. Impeller. After leaving the carburetor, the
air passes through the supercharger throat t o
the impeller. The impeller is driven a t roughly
6 to 14 times crankshaft speed, and because of
its high rotational speed imparts a large velocit y energy to the air.
2. Diffuser. As the fuel-air charge leaves the
impeller i t passes into the diffuser. The vanes
of the diffuser ensure a smooth flow while allowing the charge to slow down as i t moves outward, with the result that the velocity pressure
acquired from the impeller is transformed into
static pressure.

3. Collector. After leaving the diffuser, the


charge is stored momentarily and equalized in
the collector, whence i t is drawn to the cylinders
through the intake pipes. I t is a t the collector
rim that manifold pressure is taken.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-2.

BUPERCHARGING

TH/S /S KNOWN AS
A CENTR/FUGAL
COMPRESSOR

CARBURETOR

+----

GEAR TRAIN

CRANKSHAFT

DIFFUSER VANE

COLLECTOR

INTAKE PIPE

SECONDARY EFFECTS OF
SUPERCHARGING
While the princi~alfunction of supercharging
is to increase mass airflow by raising the pressure, and hence the density and weight of the
fuel-air charge, several other important effects
are also associated with it. These are:
1. More even distribution of the fuel-air charge
to the cylinders, because of the radial construction of the supercharger and its axial location.

2. More complete vaporization of the fuel. The


fuel is injected into the air stream a t the carburetor or a t the entrance to the supercharger
through a spinner discharge nozzle attached to
the impeller shaft, Vaporization is assisted by
the whirling action of the impeller a s well a s by
the heat of compression.

3. Rise in temperature of the fuel-air charge as


a result of compression. While this assists vaporization, a t the same time i t tends to lower the
density of the charge and so reduce power a t any
given manifold pressure. In extreme cases these
high temperatures may lead to detonation. The
temperature rise increases rapidly with impeller
speed, and, as a consequence, an engine may
actually be able to deliver more power a t a low
rpm than a t a high rpm, since the lower charge
temperatures permit operation a t higher manifold pressures without danger of detonation.

4. Absorption of power by the supercharging


mechanism. Additional pumping power is necessarily required for any increase in airflow. Since
the power required to deliver a given weight of
air varies roughly a s the square of the tip speed
of the impeller, it follows that, for any given

PWA. 01. 100

PRA'IT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


ipm and manifold pressure, the power absorbed
by the supercharger will be kept t o a minimum
by operating in the lowest possible impeller gear
ratio that will provide the desired engine performance.
"GROUND BOOSTING"
Suppose a supercharger is installed in the
induction system of the normally aspirated engine previously used as an example. The cylinders will still pump 43,000 cu f t of air per hour,
but the supercharger will compress a greater
amount of air into this volume. Assume that the
equivalent of 60,000 cu f t of outside air are
compressed into the 43,000 cu f t per hour capacity of the cylinders. At sea level 60,000 cu f t
of air weigh 4,600 lb, while 43,000 cu ft, a s
previously noted, weigh only 3,300 lb. Since
indicated horsepower (ihp) is proportional to
mass airflow, the engine should respond to this
increase in airflow by producing 700 horsepower
in the cylinders, whereas, with the original airflow it produced only 500. Neglecting friction
and other power losses, 50 horsepower must now
be diverted to drive the impeller, so the net gain
in available brake horsepower (bhp) is 150.
JOOIW

1
I

3 U

UNSUPERCHARGED

SUPERCHARGED

The performan&-of the supercharged engine


compared with that of the normally aspirated
engine is illustrated in Fig. 14.

Fig. 74

If the engine is built sturdily enough to absorb


the additional loads imposed by the higher cylinder pressures which result from supercharging, and if the fuel does not detonate because
of increased pressures and temperatures, the
engine may be run a t sea level with its throttle
wide open, and its full power capacity may be
called upon a t any altitude. Such a supercharged
engine is known as a "ground boosted" engine,
and is typical of the power plants of many basic
training airplanes.
ALTITUDE SUPERCHARGING
The air pumping capacity of the engine may
be increased by enlarging the size of the impeller or by driving i t at a higher speed relative to
the crankshaft. The degree of supercharging
obtainable by either of these methods is, however, subject t o two limitations:
1. Temperature Rise Through the Supercharger :
The compression of the fuel-air charge is accompanied by a temperature rise attributable in part to compression and, in part, t o
fluid friction and turbulence. It is desirable
to keep this rise to a minimum for the purpose of obtaining maximum charge density
and, more important, the amount of this rise .
determines the limitations of power which
must be imposed to prevent detonation because of excessive charge temperatures. This
last consideration is the most important
limitation placed on the tip speed a t which
the impeller may be driven.

-Power vs Altitude - Unsupenharged and Supercharged Engines

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-2.


-

SUPERCHARGING

To obtain increased performance from the


engine previously used as an example, a higher
capacity supercharger is installed in place of
the one which provided the "ground boost." The
impeller of the new supercharger has a higher
tip speed, and is assumed to operate just within
the detonation limits imposed by the temperature rise. It supplies the cylinder pumping capacity of 43,000 cu f t per hour with the equivalent
of 85,000 cu f t of air per hour. At sea level
85,000 cu f t of air will weigh 6,500 Ib, and
the power potentially available a t the crankshaft (again neglecting friction losses) will be
increased from 700 to 1,000 horsepower. The
higher capacity impeller, however, absorbs 100

Power Absorbed by the Supercharger:


As previously stated, the power required to
deliver a given weight of air varies approximately as the square of the impeller's tip
speed. Conceivably, an impeller speed could
be reached above which i t would no longer
be efficient to drive the impeller because of
the excessive fraction of the engine power
absorbed by the supercharger. However, the
limitations imposed by temperature rise will
be reached considerably in advance of this
speed.

horsqwwe~,Instead of 50, leaving 900 p o h tially a'traikble at the propeller shaft.

The performanes of the ensins equipped with


the h i g k capacity supercharger would be illusOrated by the chart in Fig. 15, provided it were
possible to w e at every altitude all of the power
Ulm potentially avrilabb.

ALTITUDE FEET

Fig. I S -Power vs Altitude

- Highly Supercharged Engine

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

5000

10000

I5000

20000

25000

ALTITUDE FEET

- 87 Octane

Fig. 16 -Descent Performance

SUPERCHARGING LIMITATIONS

Still more power is potentially available at a


lower altitude, but a t the given maximum permissible rpm this additional power is not attainable without detonation. Below 13,000 f t the
engine must accordingly be operated a t part
throttle, and the maximum bhp t h a t can actually
be used is 570. This power is available a t part
throttle from 13,000 f t , the so-called full throttle, or critical altitude t o sea level; above 13,000
altitude the 570 bhp cannot be obtained.

A maximum of 900 bhp is only potentially


available, however, a t the propeller shaft. How
much of this potential power can actually be
used may be determined, if the engine is taken
to altitude, and a very gradual descent begun
from 25,000 f t a t full throttle and maximum
permissible rpm. The descent is commenced
,
using 87 octane fuel-i.e., a fuel of relatively 1ow::I
anti-knock value. As altitude is decreased thz;
pressure and temperature of the charge air in-.
crease, until a t 13,000 f t they reach t h e critical
values for this particular type of fuel, and'
detonation begins. A t this point the engine is developing 570 bhp.

W-f!

SEA LLVEL

5000

The fuel selector valve is now switched t o a


tank containing 100 octane fuel-i.e.,
one of
high anti-knock value -and the descent continued from 13,000 f t a t maximum permissible rpm
and full throttle. A t 10,000 ft, corresponding t o a

10000

I5000

ALTITUDE FEET

Fig. 17 - Descent Performance

- 100 Octane

20000

25000

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-2.

bhp of 635, the pressure and temperature of the


charge become critical for the 100 octane fuel,
and detonation again begins. With this fuel the
power output must be limited to 635 bhp, and is
available a t part throttle, from sea level to
10,000 ft, the critical altitude.

SUPERCHARGING

COMPARISON OF NATURALLY ASPIRATED, GROUND-BOOSTED, AND


ALTITUDE ENGINES
The difference between a ground-boosted and
an altitude engine is largely a matter of definition. For both normally aspirated and groundboosted engines the maximum usable power and
the engines' theoretical potential power produo
ing capacity are the same. In the case of an altitude engine, on the other hand, the maximum
usable power is less than the engine's theoretica1
capacity. It is also conceivable that an engine
might be considered a ground-boosted engine
with a high quality fuel and an altitude engine
with a lower grade fuel.

The selector valve is now switched to a third


tank containing a magic, non-detonating fuel,
and the descent is continued as before. With this
fuel, detonation is no longer the limiting factor.
Nevertheless, a t 4,000 f t there is an ugly noise
and the engine fails as it is developing 790 bhp,
indicating that the limit of its structural
strength has been reached. This, then, is the
maximum available bhp regardless of fuel quality, and 4,000 f t is the correspondir~gfull throttle, or critical, altitude, When the engine failed
a t 790 bhp, an additional 90 horsepower were
being absorbed by the supercharger. (Friction
and other power losses are neglected.) The total
of 880 horsepower is thus the ihp capacity of the
engine as determined by its structural strength
regardless of the degree of supercharging. The
engine just described can therefore never develop the 1,000 ihp or the 900 bhp potentially
available a t sea level ; and all operation from sea
level to the critical altitude--as determined by
the fuel or the engine's structural limitationamust be a t part throttle. Such an engine for
which full throttle operation a t sea level is restricted or prohibited, is known a s an "altitude"
engine.

The foregoing discussion dealt with three variations of the same basic engine. The power
sections and rpm were assumed to be identical
in each case, the only difference being in the
degree of supercharging. The performance of
these three engines is compared in Fig. 19. I t
will be noted that the ground-boosted engine,
because so little of its power is directed to the
supercharger, delivers more power (bhp) to the
propeller shaft a t sea level than the highly supercharged engine using either 87 or 100 octane
fuel. The better low level performance of the
ground-boosted engine is more than offset, however, by the greatly superior performance of
the highly supercharged engine a t altitude.

3 E A LEVEL

Fig. 18

10000

15000

ALTITUDE FCgJ

- Desced Pe-docl~~~nee
- Nm-Daboncrting F w d

254300

Fig. 19

- Performance Comparison - Unsupercharged, Ground Boosted


and Altitude Supercharged Engines

The restriction placed on maximum power outu t by structural limitations should not be
ed as a reflection on the engine. The
s problem is to maintain some desired
rformance up to the highest possible altitude
t h the least weight and size, and with the
available quality fuel. This is achieved on the
supercharged, or altitude, engine by proa pumping capacity t h a t is greater than

necessary or safe to use a t or near sea level in


order t o meet the greater pumping requirements
a t the higher altitudes. Since the danger exists
t h a t the operator may inadvertently make use
of this excess power a t low altitudes by exceeding a safe limiting manifold pressure, i t is essential that he exercise both care and judgment to
protect the engine against the results of unrestricted operation.

3. DUCTING
e portion of the induction system t h a t is
of, or "UP-stream" from, the carburetor
ally furnished by the aircraft manufacurer (as distinct from the engine manufac). While not part of the engine bill of mas, this ducting is a n intimate portion of
he induction system and exerts considerable
fluence on engine performance and the mainenance of proper operating conditions.
The aircraft ducting affects engine operation

Because of the forward motion of the aircraft


onsiderable velocity energy is available in the
ir entering the carburetor air intake. Proper
ormation of the air entrance and the passages
nd elbows of the air duct can result in the reovery of a large portion of this energy, or
am, and air will be furnished to the carburetor
a t a pressure greater than t h a t of t h e altitude

a t which the aircraft is flying. This has t h e


effect of increasing the supercharging capacity
and, in extreme instances, high velocity aircraft
can recover ram equivalent t o an additional
stage of supercharging.

INDUCTION SYSTEM ICE PREVENTION


AND REMOVAL
To protect the engine induction system
against ice formation, or to remove ice already
formed, the ducting to the carburetor is
arranged so that the ram air can be closed off
and heated, or moisture-free air drawn in from a
different source. The degree of heat required
differs between engine models because of differences in the method of injecting t h e fuel.
The greatest preheat capacity must be furnished for installations of engines in which the
fuel is injected immediately downstream from
the carburetor. In these cases t h e fuel evapora-"
tion occurs in a region in which no heat is re-!:

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT


/'

..

FIDRWAL RAM,ENTRANCE7

THE INDUCTION SYSTEM-3.


HOT AIR DOOR 7

N<lRMAL POSITION

EXHAUST COLLFCTOn

RLZERED AIR ENTRANCE

DUCTING

/
AIR /S WARAWE0 BY PASSING OVER THE E X M U
COLLECTOR AND IS ADAWITTED I N ;W THE
/NOUCT/ON J.--.-I-PA,J I C M n,
HEN REOUIIQt-0 FOR IC,
QEMOVAL OR PREVEN TIION

,..

ceived from other sources and the temperature


of the charge is lowered as much as 50 F
(28 C) with the result that the moisture contained in. the charge will freeze on any convenient surface and possibly block the passage
if the carburetor air temperature is between
32 F-80 F (0 C-25C).
When the fuel is injected immediately adjacent to the face of the impeller, the mechanical action of the rotating impeller practically
eliminates this possibility and i t is not necessary to use the quantity of preheat for ice
prevention that is required by other injection
systems.
However, regardless of the type of fuel i
jection used, ice can be formed because of near
freezing moisture in the atmosphere or because
of the temperature drop past the throttle.
All experience accumulated to date conclusively
demonstrates that ample preheat capacity is
the only sure method of providing the temperature rise needed to remove ice already
formed. The so-called "alternate air systemsJ'
taking air from over the cylinders or from the
accessory compartment does not provide sufficient temperature rise to give this essential
protection.

DUST PROTECTION
Dust protection was not seriously considered
until World War 11, but large-scale operations
a t training bases in the United States and
under combat conditions in North Africa and
other theaters clearly demonstrated that when
i t was necessary to operate in dust-charged air,
protection for the engine must be provided.
While dust to most individuals is merely an

annoyance, it is a serious source of trouble to


an engine. Dust consists of small particles of
hard abrasive material. Taken in by the air,
i t can collect on the metering elements of the
carburetor, upsetting the proper relation of
'
fuel flow to power. It next asserts itself in the
cylinder walls by grinding down these surfaces
and the piston rings. It then contaminates the
oil and is carried through the engine causing
the bearings and gears to experience distress.
In extreme cases an accumulation may clog an
oil passage and cause oil starvation.
Whereas dust is most evident close to the
ground, in certain parts of the world i t can be
carried to altitudes as high as 15,000 feet. Continued operation under such conditions withclilt
engine protection will result in evidence of engine wear a s indicated by high oil consumption.
During World War I1 in the North African
operations, engines which had demonstrated
the ability to perform satisfactorily for 600 or
700 hours between overhauls under dust-free
combat conditions, could swallow dust for only
20 hours before requiring removal.
When operation in dusty atmosphere is
necessary, engine protection can be obtained
by means of suitably designed alternate air
entrances to the induction system which incorporate a dust filter. The system shown on the
title illustration is typical. As the air entrance
to the filter does not face directly into the air
stream, considerable dust removal results in
forcing the air to turn a s it enters the duct.
The dust particles, being solid, tend to continue
in a straight line and the greatest portion of
them are removed a t this point. Those that are
drawn in are quite easily removed by the filter.

I
I

PWA. 01. 100

PRATl' & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


The efficiency of tkie filter depends upon
proper maintenance and servicing. Periodic removal and cleaning of the filtering elements is
essential to satisfactory engine protection.
Most production aircraft for civilian use do
not include filters a s standard equipment.
Where the operations are conducted from wellestablished dust-free bases, the omission of the
filtering system is justified in order to eliminate
the appreciable weight and complication of the
installation.
In those cases where the aircraft is furnished with a filter and i t is possible to select
either ram or filtered air, the ram position is
preferred for all dust-free conditions of operation a s the filtering system causes a measurabIe loss of ram energy in the a i r flowing t o
the engine.

SCREEN
Pratt & Whitney Aircraft furnishes, with
each engine, a coarse mesh screen to be in-

stalled between the carburetor and the adjacent portion of the aircraft charge-air duct.
This screen is for the essential purpose of preventing stones, nuts, bolts, papers, rags, tools
or any other loose object from further penetrating the induction system and damaging the
impeller. Many operators have removed these
screens in order to dispose of a possible surface
for ice formation. While they were successful
from this point of view their experience has
been an unhappy one in that the inevitable
stone picked up by a propeller, or the nut that
was lying loose when the air scoop was removed, chewed up the impeller and complete
engine removal was necessary.
If the operating personnel can exercise the
necessary precautions t o prevent ice (a factor
over which they have effective control) i t will
not be necessary to remove this protection t o
the engine from conditions over which they
have little, if any, control. Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft strongly recommends that these
screens be used a s intended.

THE AIRCRAFT POWERPLANT

THE IGNITION SYSTEM

THE IGNITION SYSTEM

p",po';x
3

HARNESS

SPARK PLUGS

1 8. Ignition Switch provides a means of turn:

and their functions are:


1. Magneto :generates a current of high voltage which is discharged a t the proper
time.
.
.
2. Distributor: distributes the current to the
proper spark plug.
3. Harness: transmits the current from the
distributor to the plugs.
4. Spark Plugs: ignite the fuel-air charge in
the cylinders.
5. Shielding : provides a grounded metallic
enclosure for the entire ignition system to
protect radio against interference from
the ignition system.
6. Venting System: provides natural air motion or produces positive air flow to prevent contamination of the ignition system
by moisture, engine oil or acids formed by
electrical action.
7. Booster or Induction Vibrator: provides
an auxiliary spark a t starting only.

ing the ignition either on or off.


For safety reasons two ignition systems are
normally furnished. In the event of failure of
one, the other will insure continued operation.
At the same time dual ignition, as this arrangement is called, will help the combustion process
by providing two flame fronts which results in
more efficient burning of the charge.
CONTROL AND CHECKS
Engine performance furnishes the only d u e
to the functioning of the ignition system, and
the pilot has no control over it other than to
turn i t off or to turn on either or both halves of
the system.
A-

PLUGS
FIRING

SWITCH
POSITION

Front
and Rear
Rear (in
each cyl)
Front (in
each cyl)
None

Both

Left (L)
Right ( R )

Off

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


By operating the engine a t reduced power for
a few seconds, first on one magneto, and then on
the other, and noting its rpm with the ignition
switch in the BOTH, LEFT, RIGHT and O F F
positions, it may be possible to learn something
about both the nature and location of an observed or suspected ignition irregularity.

IRREGULARITIES AND FAILURES


The ignition system furnished with an engine
is the result of careful design and thorough
proof testing. In all probability it will give dependable service provided it is properly maintained and serviced. However, irregularities can
occur which will affect its performance and
while these difficulties are rare, it is well t o
review their causes in order that the symptoms
of maIfunctioning can be understood.
1. Breakdown of insulating materials, burning
of breaker points, short circuits or broken
electrical connections are comparatively
rare. They are revealed by rough running,
loss of power, or possibly complete stoppage.

More common are irregularities due to moisture which might accumulate in different
parts of the ignition system. This accumulation can be caused by breaks, or loose
covers allowing direct access of water to the
system. Breathing, which occurs during the
readjustment of the system from low to high
atmospheric pressure, can result in drawing
in moisture-laden air. Ordinary condensation
of moist air, as the engine cools, can also
result in appreciable moisture accumulation.
This moisture causes the insulating materials to lose their electrical resistance. A
slight amount of moisture contamination
will cause a reduction in magneto output by
leaking part of the current, intended for the
spark plug, to ground. This condition will
first be noticed in starting difficulty, a t
which time the magneto output is already
reduced by the low cranking speeds.
If the moisture accumulation is serious, the
entire magneto output will dissipate to
ground and might cause flashover and burning of insulating parts, which can result in
their permanent failure.

PWA. 01. 100


Moisture accumulation in flight is extremely
rare, as the temperature of the system is
effective in preventing condensation, and
difficulties from this cause will more probably be evident on the ground.

3. The normal unpressurized ignition system


can operate satisfactorily a s high a s 25,000
feet. Above this altitude, the low electrical
resistance of the reduced air density will
quickly show up any irregularity that would
not be serious a t lower levels. As altitude is
further increased, it becomes necessary to
supply the system with air under pressure
or to fill it completely with a nonconducting
substance, in order to maintain sufficient
electrical resistance to prevent flashover.
4. Probably the most commonly blamed of all
causes of irregular engine operation is the
spark plug.

This may be the result of incorrectly selected


plugs, incorrect gap clearance, faulty installation, improper engine operation, carbon or
lead fouling, condensation in the cylinders,
or actual breakage of the plugs. On the one
hand, the plugs may run so hot a s to
become incandescent and cause pre-ignition
and tend to lead fouling; on the other, they
may run so cold as to be fouled out by the
accumulation of unburned carbon. Spark
plug trouble is likely to be localized a t one
or several plugs, but the evidences of spark
plug trouble are much the same a s those of
other types of ignition irregularities.
The cutting out of one-haIf of the ignition
system, or the failure of a spark plug in one
or more cylinders, will result in slower combustion in the cylinders affected. The effect
is comparable to that of delaying the timing
of the spark discharge, and the consequence
is a loss of power, although rpm and manifold pressure will, a s a rule, remain unchanged. If both plugs fail in one or more
cylinders, the result is, essentially, an engine of fewer cylinders. In any case, the
attempt to recover the lost power by increasing manifold pressure is unwise, since
it may lead to detonation, especially when
operating in the high power range.

PART 11
POWER, BMEP, AND RATINGS
Since engine design and operation both have
as their ultimate objective the efficient and reliable production of power, it may not be altogether inappropriate a t this point to inject a
definition of "power," together with a brief
description of the methods by which it is measured and produced, and to conduct a hasty investigation of certain of the Iimitations to which
its application is subject.
In the course of this discussion the reader
must desert the pilot's cockpit and the mechanic's, hangar for the laboratory of the engineer
and the ivory tower of the physicist'. If in these

new surroundings he encounters a few


faces, or if the ill-laid ghosts of some
forgotten course in elementary mecha
t r y his patience and shatter his in
indulgence is craved; and it is to be ho
his industrious application to the du
cult paragraphs that folIow in PART I1 will
rewarded by a t least a nodding acquainta
with such formidable terms a s indicated horsepower, brake mean effective pressure, and Nor
ma1 Rated power, a s well as by a be
standing of some of the problems fu
to powerplant design and operation.

POWER AND ITS MEASUREMENT


WORK (Force x Distance)

OR
nition of power involves the three
force, distance, and time. The
ime and distance are deceptively
do not permit a ready definition,
anings will none the less be genervlous. Force masquerades in a variety of
es - mechanical, electrical, chemical ntially i t is anything which tends to
ibit, or alter motion, such as a presht, a tension. Motion is not necesplied, since two or more forces-acting
eously on a body may be so balanced as
r the body immobile.

To many individuals work is the effort e


pended (if any) between "punching the clock"
in the morning and "ringing out" a t night, and is
measured in terms of fatigue, boredom, or dollars
and cents. The engineer's definition, while
lacks human interest, is somewhat more precis
For him, work is the product of a force by the
distance through which i t acts, or:
Work = Force x Distance (in the direction of the
force)
For example: If a weight of 50 lb is raised a distance
of 11 ft, the work done is: 50 Ib x 11 f t = 550 f t lb. The same amount of work, 550 ft-lb, will
done if a 10 lb weight is raised 55 ft.

but to the initiated i t is the rate of doing

Power = Work/ Time


If the reader climbs 4 flights of stairs, the work done
-i.e., the product of his weight by the total height
of the stairs - will be the same regardless of the
rate of ascent. On the other hand, if the reader first
saunters slowly up the 4 flights and a little later,
being sound in wind and limb, runs up them in, say,
one-third of his original climbing time, pulse and
perspiration should convince him that he develops
considerably more power during the rapid ascent
than during the leisurely climb.

Power is expressed in a number of units horsepower, kilowatts, Btu per minute, chevalvapeur, etc. - of which the first named is perhaps the most familiar. One horsepower (hp)
is defined as work done a t the rate of 550 ft-lb
per second, or, what is the same thing, 33,000
ft-lb per minute.
No. ft-lb per sec
550

No. ft-lb per min


33.000

: if an engine is doing work at the rate of

0 ft-lb per sec, or 990,000 ft-lb per min, i t is


oping 30 hp.

It would be theoretically possible to measure


the power delivered by an aircraft engine a t the
propeller shaft - i.e., the engine's brake horsepower (bhp)-by a method similar to the one
illustrated on page 49, if the propeller shaft were
made into a drum and substituted for the hand
operated drum in the sketch. Such a method,
however, presents obvious difficulties, and in
practice the measurement of an engine's bhp involves the measurement of a quantity known a s
torque, or twisting moment.
An unpleasant form of torque is the twisting
force that must be applied to the crank of a
recalcitrant outboard motor. More precisely,
torque is defined as the product of a force by the
distance of the force from the axis about which
i t acts; or:
Torque = Force

x Distance ( a t right angles to the


force)

For example: if a force of 20 lb is applied a t the end


of a 3-ft-arm, a torque, or twisting moment, of:
20 lb x 3 f t = 60 lb-ft is exerted on the shaft to
which the arm is attached.
I t should be noted that shaft and arm need not be
rigidly atached to one another, and that the torque
exerted on the shaft is independent of the latter's
2 SECONDS

a s a 20 Ib force is applied a t the

exerted by a propeller shaft can


exerts a torque of 80 Ib-ft, i t

horsepower delivered may be read


of i t s
So lor
the sl
or no1
.

THE PRONY BRAKE


There are a number of devices for meas
torque, of which the Prony Brake, dynamomet
and torquemeter are examples. The Pro

is properly, though not consistently, expressed


in Ib-ft; and is not to be confused with work,

described briefly on page 50, may be t a


typical of these devices.

The Prony Brake consists essentially of a


collar, or brake, which can be clamped
drum splined to the propeller shaft, and
arm of known length terminating a t

ever, is prevented by the arm, and the


ssary to arrest the motion of the arm

puted without difficulty. Assume, to begin with,


that the engine's propeller shaft is stationary
while some obliging chap rotates about i t the
entire Prony Brake mechanism, scales and all.
This will require work, since the friction between the propeller shaft drum and the brake
collar must be overcome. The force appIied a t
the end of the arm to balance-i.e.,
just overcome-the resisting friction is shown on the
scales. The distance through which the man
must push this force in the course of one revolution is: 2~ x Length of Arm. The product
of the force by the distance through which i t is
moved (or acts) is thus the work performed by
the obliging individual ; or :

ating shaft. Hence :

Work per Rev. = Force (Weight on Scales)


x 27r x Length of Arm
and since: Torque = Weight on Scales
x Length of Arm
Work per Rev. = 2w x Torque

ple: if the scales register 200 Ib and the


the arm is 3.18 ft, the torque exerted by
200 Ib X 5.18 f t = 636 lb-ft

REVOLUTION ( 2 x~Torque)
the propeller shaft can be com-

Since the friction arises from the relative motion of propeller shaft drum and brake collar, the
same amount of work will be done by the propeller shaft in one revolution a s was done by
the man, if the shaft turns and the Prony Brake
meck~anismremains stationary.

FRICTION ADJUSTING WHEEL

SCALES 200 LBS.

PROPELLER SHAFT

LENGTH OF ARM

cales register 200 Ib and the


before, the work done by the
revolution is: 200 lb X 2n X
Or, if i t were known that the
orque of, say, 1000 Ib-ft, tke work
n of the shaft would be: 2?r x 1000

(K x Torque x rpm)
volution is multiplied by the
e the work per minute, or
per minute is expressed in
and this quantity is divided by
t will be the horsepower output
k per Revolution x rpm
Torque) x rpm

ind therefore :

,000

= 1.904 x lo-' if torque is

the scales read 200 lb, the arm is 3.18


m of the shaft is 1650, the horse1650 rpm/33,000 = 200 hp.
Or, if the torque of a shaft rotating a t 2000 rpm is
kno\r,n to be 330 lb-ft, the horsepower being delivered
i s : 1.904 x lo-' x 330 lb-ft X 2000 rpm = 1260 hp.
The horsepower
course, the engine's
brake horsepow

IRQUE -RPM
g as the fricti
rnd propeller shaft dru

pose an appreciable load on the e


so great a load as to prevent the en
turning, it is not necessary to k
amount of friction between collar
no load were imposed, there would
to measure and the engine would
the load were increased to
stopped the engine, while there
to measure, there would be no
ease would i t be possible to
gine's bhp.

down because of the greater load imposed,


with i t becomes greater, the arm bears
heavily on the scales, and the torque
So long a s the increase in torque is
to the decrease in rpm, the h
by the shaft remains unchanged-a
out by the equation:
This is an important relationshi
that horsepower is a function of bo
rprn. For example: and engine wi1
same horsepower a t the propeller
each of the following conditions :

PWA. 01. 100

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT
the friction b
as an aircraft engine is running a t a
ed, the torque exerted by the enne a t the propeller shaft must equal the opposg torque exerted by a Prony Brake, propeller,
other load-imposing device. If this balance is
ed-as by changing the throttle setting
propeller blade angle - the unbalanced
or decelerate the engine
equilibrium is restored, or until the
ails because of overspeeding or is
stop. Since the rpm is necessarily
both propeller and propeller shaft,
t the power absorbed by the pror a t constant rpm equals the power delivto i t by the engine so long as an equilibrium

LER TORQUE ABSORBED


(AIR RESISTANCE)
a1 aircraft installation the Prony
replaced by a propeller which absorbs
es the torque delivered to the propeller
the engine. The distance from the cenessure of the blades to the center of the

CENTER OFAfR PRESSURE

and collar remains


a rotating shaft exerts
Ib-ft a t 2000 rpm, i t will e
same torque a t 2400 rpm.
With a propeller, on the other hand, the load
is provided by the resistance of the air, and in
the case of a fixed pitch propeller the torque absorbed is a definite function of speed. It is found
by experiment that, within a wide range of tip
speeds, the torque varies directly a s the square
of the propeller's rpm; in other words:
Torque = K x rpm2
where K is a constant whose value depends on
such factors as the density of the air and the
number, size, shape, and angle of the blades. In
simpler terms : if the speed of a fixed pitch propeller is doubled, i t imposes four times the initial
torque on the shaft; or, if a propeller absorbs a
torque of 1000 lb-ft a t 2000 rpm, i t will absorb
a torque of 1440 a t 2400 rpm, provided the pitch
of the blades remains unchanged and tip speeds
do not approach the speed of sound.

PROPELLER LOAD CURVE


The so-calIed "prop load curve" is a graph
which shows the relation between the rpm of a
fixed pitch propeller and the power required to
drive i t a t a given speed.

g the friction adjustSome engines incorpo-

The equation for the curve is readily derived


as follows from the relationships discussed
above in the paragraphs on Horsepower and Propeller Torque, thus :
Since:
Hp = k x Torque X rpm
and: Torque = k' x rpm2
by substitution:
Hp = K x rpm3
or, expressed as
a proportion:
Hp, - ( R P ~ , ) ~
HP,

(Rpm2Is

In other words, the power absorbed


pitch propeller is proportional to the c
rpm-a relation which holds true unt
speed of the propeller blades approache
sound. In less technical jargon,
power must be made eight t i
double the speed; and twenty-se
great to triple it. For example:

POWER AND ITS MEASUREMENT


propellers, the power absorbed is independent of
the rpm, for by varying the pitch of the blades
the air resistance, and hence the torque, or load,
can be changed without reference t o propeller
speed. Consequently, with variable pitch propellers a given torque may be absorbed a t an inAnite number of rpm, and, since power is a function of both torque and rpm, a particular horsepower may be developed a t an unlimited number
of torque-rpm combinations.

ENGINE TORQUE A FUNCTION


OF MANIFOLD PRESSURE

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED R P M

Fig. 20

- Propeller Load Curve

Propeller RPM

HP Required

1000
1500
2000

80
270
640
1260
2160

2500

3000

The figures apply, of course, to only one particular type of propeller; larger propellers will
require more horsepower for any given rpm;
smaller propellers will require less ;but the relation between rprn and hp will in all cases be
given by the formula :
- - - "... - - - Hp = K x rpms
It will be seen from the figures and from the
graph that, a s the rprn become higher, the additional horsepower required to produce a given
increment in speed (say 500 rpm) increase very
rapidly. Only 190 additional hp are required to
raise the rprn of the propeller in the example
above from 1000 to 1500 rpm; but 910 additional
;hp are needed to raise it from 2500 t o 3000 rpm.
' Since speed is the only means of regulating the
'torque, and hence the power, absorbed by a fixed
&itch propeller, it follows that, if the power outc: jput of the engine is changed, the engine will
:accelerate or decelerate until an rprn is reached
T a t which the power delivered is equal t o the
power absorbed. In the case of variable pitch

'

OFF

It remains to discover the not very mysterious


process by which the torque absorbed by the
propeller is produced and delivered by the engine. The process is the familiar one of applying
a force a t right angles to an arm, the complications in this instance being that the amount of
the force and the length of the arm are continually changing. The force is not a weight or a
constant resistance, but a varying pressure-the
pressure exerted on the piston head by the gases
expanding in the cylinder. This force reaches its
maximum shortly after the beginning of the
power stroke, and not long afterward acquires,
in effect, a negative value during the compreasion stroke. The length of the arm a t its maximum is roughly the length of the crank throw
multiplied by the mechanical advantage (2:1,
3 2 , etc.) of the reduction gearing. It is zero
whenever the piston is a t top or bottom dead
center. However, in spite of the fact that an
engine actually delivers its torque unevenly,
the frequency and duration of the power impulses, together with the momentum of the
moving parts, make it possible in practice to
consider torque and with it rprn and power as
being continually produced.

fi
-I
,

'

,;

Any factor which affects the mean or average


pressure acting on the piston will change the
torque. If the mixture strength, temperature, and type of fuel remain unchanged, the pressure
developed in the cylinder will depend on the masB ' m
of the charge that can be forced into it. This, in
turn, will depend on the pressure existing a t the :
intake port, which is substantially the same as
that a t the collector rim, or manifold pressure.
Torque thus turns out to be a function of
manifold pressure, and varies directly with i t
throughout almost the entire operating range of
the engine.

I.

'

PWA. 01. 100

PRA!I"T & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

TORQUE HERE

WHICH V A R ~ E SWITH MANIFOLD PRFSSUREJ


A M /S REGULATED BY THE THROTTLE CONTROL

ENGINE CONTROLS
The use of the throttle lever a d the propdler
governor control is implicit in the formula :
Hp = K x Torque x rpm
Insofar a s torque varies approximately with
manifold pressure, i t would be possible for purposes of this discussion t o write :
Bhp = K x Manifold Pressure x rpm + C
where K and C are constants whose values depend on engine characteristics and operating
conditions.

I
I

I
11
1

balances the increased torque exerted by the


engine-there being no means of regdating propeller torque other than by rpm. Accordingly,
with a fixed pitch propeller operating a t a given
altitude, it fo-llo~vsthat for each throttle setting,
o r manifold pressure, there is a corresponding
rpm and power.

Horsepower, or bhp, is thus a function of both


manifold pressure and rpm. Manifold pressure
is regulated primarily by t h e throttle, supplemented in certain types of operation by auxiliary
supercharger controls. Opening t h e throttle on
an engine equipped with a variable pitch-constant speed propeller will not change the r p m ;
but i t will increase manifold pressure, torque,
and horsepower. Power may be increased in this
manner without a change in rpm until the airpumping capacity of t h e induction system is
reached a t full throttle, or until cylinder pressures become excessive or detonation beginc.

Rpm is controlled by regulating the torque


absorbed by the propeller-in other words, by
increasing or deereasing the resistance offered
by the air to the pmpeller. With variable pitch
propellers this is accomplished by means of t h e
propeller governor control lever, which adjusts
the blade angle. Power may be increased b:
raising the rprn, a t constant manifold pressure,
until an engine speed is reached a t which reciprocating and centrifugal loads become excessive. In theory the engine should develop i t s
greatest power when maximum permissible
manifold pressure (torque) is combined with
maximum permissible rprn. (In practice, supercharging characteristics and volumetric efficiencies* vary with engine speed, and a change
in engine speed is usuaIIy accompanied by a secondary change in manifold pressure if the throt-

In the case of an engine equipped with a fixed


pitch propeller, a n increase in manifold pressure
is necessarily accompanied by an increase in
rpm, until t h e torque absorbed by t h e propeller

"Volu~netricEfficiency: volume of air at atmospheric


pressure inducted into the engine every t ~ revolutions
~ o
of the engine divided by the latter's total piston displacement.

POWER, BMEP AND RATINGS

BMEP

tle position is left unchanged. For the same reasons maximum power a t constant manifold pressure is not necessarily obtained a t the highest
speeds. Furthermore, it must be remembered
that because of variations in propeller efficiency
with changes in pitch and rpm, maximum propeller thrust horsepower does not necessarily
coincide with maximum engine bhp.)

Where fixed pitch propellers are used, the operator has no control over the rpm except, as
explained, by means of the throttle (i.e. manifold pressure). With the qualifications mentioned parenthetically above, the engine will
develop its greatest power when manifold pressure is a t the highest possible figure, since this
will correspond with the maximum rpm.

BRAKE MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURE (BMEP)


One of the basic limitations placed on engine
operation is imposed by the pressures developed
in the cylinders during combustion. On the one
hand, a s these pressures become greater, the
result is an increase in power; on the other, if
they become too great they impose dangerous
loads and lead to excessive temperatures which
may result in engine failure. It is important,
then, that the operator have a t his disposal some
means of estimating these pressures, not only t o
enable him to protect his powerplant, but also
to direct him in the efficient application of its
power.
Cylinder pressures are not recorded on any
cockpit instrumen-t or gage, and their direct
measurement is actually very difficult. They are
related to manifold pressure, since any increase
in the latter results in a heavier weight of the
charge being forced into the cylinders, and, consequently, a greater amount of energy being liberated by combustion. However, a number of
other factors must be taken into account, notably
engine speed, and, a t best, manifold pressures
are merely qualitative measurements. The most
convenient way of estimating cylinder pressures

proves to be an indirect one, and the index of


measurement most commonly used is the brake
mean effective pressure, or bmep - a term that
isglibly bandied about more frequently, perhaps,
than it is understood.

CYLINDER PRESSURES
A series of complicated and elaborate measurements indicate that the pressures actually
existing in a cylinder of an aircraft engine during a complete power cycle can be represented by
a graph similar to Fig 21.

INDICATED HORSEPOWER (IHP)


The shaded areas, P and I, below the curve
represent the power developed in the cylinder:
P, by the combustion of the fuel-air mixture; I,
by the pressure of the incoming charge. The
unshaded areas, C and E, represent the power
expended: C, in compressing the charge ; E, in
expelling the exhaust. The net useful power, or
indicated horsepower (ihp) , developed may thus
be represented by the difference between the
shaded and unshaded areas, or:

+
+

Ihp = Shaded Areas (P I ) - Unshaded


Areas (C
E)

PfS fCEN rRAYEL

Fig. 21 -Cylinder Pressures During Power Cycle

PRATT Br WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

INDICATED MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURE


(IMEP) AND ACTUAL PRESSURES

The relationship between imep and the actual


shape of the pressure curve has been established
by experiment, and the range of incipient detonation thoroughly explored. Accordingly, if t h e
imep of an engine can be measured, significant
peak pressures and other combustion characteristics revealed by the curve can be predicted
with sufficient accuracy for practical purposes.

I t is sometimes convenient to think of t h


various cylinder pressures-useful and adverse
-21s combined into a single uniform pressure
which acts during the power stroke alone, and is
capable of producing the given indicated horsepower (ihp) . This may be illustrated graphically
by drawing a constant pressure line, AB, for the
power stroke alone a t such a distance above the
horizontal axis t h a t the area enclosed by the
rectangle, AECD, is equal to the net area representing the ihp, thus:
Area ADCD = Shaded -4reas (I' + 1)
Areas (C + E ) = Ihp

UA1,ClTLATION OF IRTEP

If the indicated horsepower of an engine is


kno\vn, its imep can be computed from the
formula :

Unshade'
Tmcp (psi)

The mean, or average, pressure (AD or BC


effective during the power stroke is known a s
the indicated mean effective pressure (imep).
The operator is naturally more concerned
with actual shape ancl peak pressure of the
curve than with the abstract notion of indicated
mean effective pressure (imep). For instance, a
curve which rises steeply t o a n exaggeratedly
high peak and descends thence in rapid oscillations, while it may enclose substantially t h e
same "power area" a s a smoother, flatter curve,
indicates that the power of combustion is being
delivered in such a way that it cannot be readily absorbed by the engine, and may prove
harmful to the latter. The detonation curve
below is an example,

792000
Displacement

ihp
rpm

ihp
- rpm

= K --

he derivation of this formula is briefly a s follon-s:


The force, ~n Ibs, exerted in any cylinder is the
product of the imep (in psi) by the area (in sq in)
of the piston head on which it acts, or:
F ( l h s ) = imep (psi) y A ( s q in.)
The distanre, in feet, through which this force mores
during the power stroke is the length of the stroke
(in in.) divided by 12. or:
~ ( f t=
) S(in.) I12
The work, in ft-lbs, done cluriqg the power stroke i s
Work (ft-lbs) = F

x TI = i ~ n e px

A x S112

The displacement, in cu. in., of an engine i s the product


of the area of the piston ( A ) by the stroke ( S j by t h e
number of cylinders ( N ) . Accordingly:
Work per rev. =

iniep

x Displacement
24

The work per minute is the work per revolution times


the rpm, o r :
Work per rnin =

imep

x Displ.
x rpm
24

D i ~ i d i n gthe v o r k (still In ft-lbs) per n ~ i nby 33000,


we obtain the ihp, so:
Ihp =
fC
NORMAL COMBUSTION

Fig. 22

i n ~ e px Displ.
24

B. C
OZTONATION

- Cylinder Pressures

Normal and Detonating

x rpm

3 3 0 0 0-

Transposing the knc~wn quantities to one side of the


equation we obtain:
Imep

792000

ihp

Dlspl.

rpm

= TX-----

BMEP

POWER, BMEP AND RATINGS


And, unless an engine sloughs off a cylinder, its displacement remains constant, and the formula reduces to:

(Thus, for a Twin Wasp D engine: K =

792000
2000

= 396)

This would be a satisfactory way of computing imep, and thus predicting actual cylinder
pressures, were it not for the fact t h a t ihp is
difficult t o measure directly.

CALCULATION OF IHP
(IHP = BHP + FHP)
Not all the power developed in the cylinders
(i.e., t h e ihp) is available a t the propeller shaft.

As suggested in Fig. 23, some of i t is lost in overcoming internal friction, some is diverted t o
driving the accessories, such a s the magnetos
and fuel pumps, and some is absorbed in driving
the supercharging mechanism.
The total power thus lost is known a s friction horsepower (fhp). What remains in the
form of useful power delivered to t h e propeller
shaft is called brake horsepower (bhp).
Ihp = bhp

This relationship makes possible a sufficiently


accurate and relatively simple computation of
ihp, and suggests a short-cut to t h e determination of cylinder pressures. Bhp can be readily
calculated by means of a Prony Brake, a dynamometer, or torquemeter. In fact, whenever
the relation between bhp, rpm, and manifold
pressure has been calibrated for a given engine,
the bhp may be found from a power curve, if
the last two quantities are known and t h e
proper corrections made for carburetor air temperature (c.a.t.) . Friction horsepower (fhp) is
not a constant quantity, but increases with the
rpm and impeller speed or stage of supercharging. It can be determined for any given rpm
and supercharging combination by measuring,
on a modified dynamometer, the power necessary to turn over the engine with t h e cylinders
not firing. Such a calibration is normally made
for each type of engine, and covers its entire
speed range. With bhp and fhp thus known,
ihp is readily calculatecl, and from i t imep and
cylinder pressures may be determined.
BMEP-Definition

and Computation

In practice, however, actuaI cylinder pressures are not determined from ihp, but from
bhp. By analogy, imep can be thought of a s
the sum of two pressures ; one going t o produce
the power necessary t o overcome friction (fhp) ,
t h e other t o produce t h e net power delivered a t
the propeller shaft (bhp). The first i s called
friction mean effective pressure (fmep) ; the
second is known by the more familiar, but no
less formidable, name of brake mean effective
pressure (bmep) .

BHP

Fig. 23 - P o w e r s

+ fhp

and Pressures

Since neither bhp nor bmep take any account


of friction, the engine can be thought of, in this
connection, a s a frictionless power plant in
which all the power developed by t h e bmep
within the cylinders is delivered without loss

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


as bhp to the propeHer shaft. Substituting bhp
for ihp, bmep can be computed by an equation
identical in form and derivation with the one
previously used to compute imep, namely:

PWA. 01. 100


than imep, and may represent as little as 8556
of the latter.) Furthermore, the actual peak
pressure, as shown on cylinder pressure curves,
are in turn greater than the imep. Nevertheless, this abstraction proves to be a useful one
in determining the actuaI pressures and in establishing operating limits.

BMEP AN INDEX OF CYLINDER


PRESSURES
To begin with, bmep may be readily calculated a t any stage of operations in terms of
three quantities that are easily found : bhp
(from a power curve, torquemeter, Prony
Brake, or dynanometer), rpm (from a tachometer), and a constant (792000/DispIacement).
Moreover, bmep besrs a definite relationship to
imep (bmep/imep = bhp/ihp), which is established throughout the engine's operating range
by the calibration of the fhp (ihp I= bhp fhp).
Since the actual cylinder pressures and other
combustion characteristics can be deduced from
imep, and since the relation of bmep to imep is
known, it follows that these pressures and other
conditions can be determined from bmep as well
a s from imep, and the fact that bmep can be
more readily computed suggests its use as being
a more convenient index by which to rate or
limit an engine's performance.

Displacement
II

rpm

and, if this bmep formula be divided


by the corresponding imep formula,
it will be seen that:
bmep
imep

- = -

bhp
ihp

Bmep, therefore, proves to be something of


an abstraction-a fictitious pressure which has
no real existence in the cylinders. Imep is
clearly greater than bmep, since i t comprises
both bmep and fmep. (Depending largely on
the rpm, bmep may be from 10 to 50 psi less

Since a rise in bmep will normally mean an


increase in the actual cylinder pressures, structural considerations will dictate that operation
be confined below certain bmep values, or the
stresses imposed may result in serious failures.
Since high cylinder pressures will normally be
ompanied by high cylinder head temperares, it follows that bmep values also set a
ries of limits for preventing detonation, for
rotecting the materials of the cylinders
gainst excessive temperatures, and even for
electing a type of spark plug.
Bmep limits will not necessarily be the same
throughout the engine's operating range, for
i t is the imep, not the bmep, that actually imposes the mechanical stresses and high tempera
tures. If, for example, a two-stage, two-speed
engine is run a t high speed in the high auxiliary stage, the fhp will be considerably greater
than if the engine is run a t low speed in the
main stage (or "neutral"). Accordingly, a
smaller portion of the total imep will be avanable as bmep in the first case than in the

POWER, BMEP AND RATINGS


second, and the bmep limits must consequently
be lower in the former than in the latter, if
safe imep, and hence actual peak pressures,
are not t o be exceeded.

USE OF BMEP LIMITS IN OPERATION


From the relationship :
Btnep

bhp
=K rpnl

i t can be seen t h a t bmep varies directly a s the


bhp and inversely a s the rpm.
ble t o run a n engine a t
consistent with propelis thereby minimized,
iminished, wear reuence of low impeller
fuel-air charge dee most efficient retained by operating a t
recommended bmep limits,
bmep, the greater the bhp
m - or, t o put i t animum bhp will be secured
m. This type of operation
ble t o the cruising range,
reases in power are anticiult in exceeding safe
As an illustration of t h e foregoing: let us
-1980 engine wishes
00 a t the most efficient
d economical rpm. Reference t o t h e approprispecifications informs him that for cruising
low impeller ratio with 100 octane fuel the
ximum recommended bmep is 150 psi. Aping the formuIa:
Bnlep = K

bhplrpm,

mbinations a s t h e following:

Since fha decreases w


other t~

-.

two combinations appear t o offer temp


sibilities in the matters of fuel econ
prolongation of engine life. However,
volve operation in high propeller pitch to obtai
t h e necessary thrust and torque, and
quently impose a heavy load on t h e slo
volving engine. This calls for high
pressures, a s shown by the corres
bmep, with resultant stresses on pisto
cylinder parts, and high head temper
with t h e possibility of detonation. Cran
loads become excessive, and the wear a t thes
points may actually be
rpm.
To avoid flogging
turns to the high
offered a t the othe
run into another set
rpm result in grea
bhp of 600 is t o be maintained, the ihp
be increased, and with i t fuel consum
since i t is ihp, not bhp, t h a t ultimately
fuel consumption. High rpm also lea
cessive reciprocating loads; ant1 the
idly a n engine turns over ("other thi
equal"), t h e sooner i t will wear itself
fly apart. A t the same time high i
speeds may also mean excessive char
peratures and possi
ation clearly lies
extremes.
Tests made by the manufacture
the engine can be safely operated
ing range (say, 500-800 bhp), in low impeller
ratio with 100 octane fuel, for prolonged periods with the cylinder pressures and texperatures represented by a maximum bmep of 150
psi. Operating above this bmep imposes excessive loads and temperatures on a struggling engine; operating below i t b a s t e s fuel and shortens engine life-in either case t h e consequence
may be a forced landing a t some difficult a n
uncongenial spot short of destination. The pilot

PWA. OI. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


lmum rpnl are very real, not only because
fhp, engine wear, and fuel consumption are
reduced, but also because low impeller speeds
result in low charge temperatures and make i t
possible t o "pu:l" high powers from the engine
with little chance of detonation. On the other
propeller efficiency varies with rprn and
angle, and with a particular type of proe r i t may be found more efficient to operate
, 1700 rprn with a bmep of approximately
i t o prodizce the desired 600 bhp. Other
rations may also dictate cruising operalow the maximum recommended bmep
ve its col-responding rpm.

, MANIFOLD PRESSURE, AND


P CHANGES AT PART THROTTLE
an engine is operated a t part throttle and
bove the idling range, the volume
y the pistons is large; however,
partially closed position of t h e
valve, the mass of air flowing t o t h e
estricted and manifold pressure is
umping action of the impeller, under
umstances, is secondary to that of the
If the pilot reduces engine speed, t h e
rate of the pistons is lowered. Alure drop across the valve will
t h e throttle setting remains
valve will offer relatively less
t o t h e reduced airflow called for by
e lower rpm. (The mass flow
through a fixed orifice varies a s the
root of the pressure drop.) Consey, manifold pressure will tend t o rise a s

engine speed decreases - a phenomenon t h a t


can be observed, for example, during the ground
check of a variable pitch propeller.
Inasmuch a s bhp is a function of both rprn
and manifold pressure-that is: bhp = K x
rprn x Manifold Pressure
C-it follows t h a t
the decrease in bhp is not proportional t o t h e
decrease in rpm, if t h e throttle setting is left
unchanged, since manifold pressure is not constant but is actualIy increasing.

From the general formula: bmep = K x


bhp/rpm, i t will be seen that, if rprn decreases
more rapidly than bhp, the value of the fraction
bhp,/rpm increases, and a s i t does so the value
of t h e bmep also rises. Accordingly, when operating a t part throttle, it is good practice t o
observe the following procedure.
1. Reduce manifold pressure by means of
the throttle lever before decreasing
rpm ;

2. Conversely, increase rpm before raising


manifold pressure.

Failure to observe these general rules may


lead to excessive cylinder pressures when operating near t h e maximum permissible bmep
limits, or to detonation if t h e fuel used is of
low anti-knock value. RegardIess of conditions,
they constitute sound operating practice.
These considerations do not apply t o full
throttle operation, since, when no restriction is
offered to airflow, bhp varies more or less directly with rpm, with the result t h a t t h e bmep
remains substantially constant.

RATINGS
NEED FOR OPERATING LIMITS
4 n engine may be made t o last forever. By
"pickling" it in a suitabIe preservative, encasing
it in a proper container, and storing it in a controlled atmosphere, it should be in a s good condition after several years a s a t t h e beginning
storage. Hotveve~,t o serve a useful purpose t
engine must be run, and in being r u n it is subjec
to wear which will inevitably limit its life
The previous discus
various forces set up i11
of producing po

MAXIMUM GONTINUOU

e control of ento prevent the setng factor in estaber pressure or rpm


been established the
tically defined. Engine
restricted by limits imoil temperatures, and on
tion within which the acty can be obtained are
Operation within the
ility, as amply demonby the type or proof tests required by
curing or regulating agency. Operation
side of these limits cannot assure this relility, and the pilot is relyjng on margins of
ety that have not been proved.
As reliability occupies a place of the greatimportance, and as the ratings define the
per limits of reliable performance, they are a
ogical beginning for a discussion of engine
The ratings of a particular engine are to be
ound in the engine specifications and in the
ns, and in addiplicable operating
ple, to the Specific
Double Wasp CAI8
ine, the ratings will
check chart as folESGISE SETTING

Impeller
Katio
Tab-nll

2400

Jfixture
Control
Poqition

1000

Low

Auto Rich

500

Low

Auto Rich

Low
High
Low
High

Auto Rich
Auto Rich
Auto Rich
Auto Rich

JIax.
Jlan.
En- Presplne sure
Kpm In. Hg
2800

56 5

>larimurn C r u i v Power: Jfaximum Cruise power shall be approved in


nrltlnr atrrr con~u1t;ltlonn ~ r hl'ntl & N'hitne Aircraft. T h c urc ol lean
nilrrurr (or C o n ~ ~ n u o uCruiw
.i
shall be r w r v c r r l o r conditions of oprration
p r r m ~ t t i n sthe n~ainrrnancr of niaxinlurn hrad temperaturn of 1-5 than
JSO Y and 011 inlct ~ r q i p r a l u r wof Ire* Ih,n 185 F. T h e u-c of h i ~ himtiall not IK ~ t t e n l p r e dI [ rhc c ~ r h u r e r o rair Icnipcr~lurec ~ c e e d s

The rating defining the


available for continuous operation i
Continuous power. This rating is to
emergency flight conditions requiring ma
sustained output. Automatic rich mixture,
equivalent, is required when using Max
Continuous rating.
NORMAL RATED POWER

This rating is specified by Pratt & W


Aircraft and is the maximum recom
output for all normal operations such as
climb and high speed level flight. Automa
rich mixture, or its equivalent, is required w
using this rating.
In some instances, Normal Rated power
Maximum Continuous power are the same.
MAXIMIJM CRUISING POWER

Maximum Cruising power is an arbitr


established limit for use with automatic
mixture, or its equivalent. Maximum Crui
limits which apply to all operators have
established for the Wasp Jr., Wasp, and
Wasp SlC3-G engines. In the case of th
models manufactured by P r a t t & Whit
craft, the Maximum Cruising power 1
mined individually for each operato
obtain the optimum balance between
overhaul periods and the desired aircr
formance. This limit is establishe'd by
tation between the operator and Pratt
ney Aircraft after a review of all the
affecting the conditions under which
gines operate. Individual limit increas
follow favorable experience, if desire
pourer has been regarded as. 100%
erence to this rating. F
has meant 50% of No

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

e policy of establishing cruising ratings


ally applies only to the Twin Wasp 'D'
r model engines. For previous models,
actured by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft,
ruise ratings approximated the general
f 0.30 bhp per cu. in. for the single row
nd 0.375 bhp per cu in. for the double
. Ratings, based on these ratios
e a satisfactory limit for all normal,
re cruising and have given an acbination of durability and perlieu of a positive definition of the
ruising rating, the use of limits
on the above ratios will insure that conpowers are used pending receipt of
formation. In all cases, operase limits will insure the use of
are in the range of economical fuel
hen the Maximum Cruising rating is specifid, the maximum rpm for continuous
lso be indicated. It is not intended
ne speed shall be used for all cruisthe most satisfactory results
by reducing the rpm as the outLow engine speeds will give
rns in the form of fuel economy
rability, provided that a proper
ance between power and rpm is maintained.
he low limit of rpm for any desired power
spl-essed in terms of bmep. While the
ngs may not specifically mention a bmep
tation, experience has indicated the desirity of adhering to a definable relation ben power and rmp. I t is suggested that; the
ator base his power and rpm combination
rding to the method outlined in Part 111,
INGS FOR TIME-LIMITED

s with most mechanical devices, an aircraft


ne is capable of sustaining an overload
porarily without impairing its reliability
without appreciably affecting its duray. Accordingly several ratings have been
hed setting up limits within which the
be safely operated for restricted
a t powers and speeds greater
itted for maximum continuous
hile take-off demands the
output, i t is a condition with

PWA. 01. 100

definite time limits. To obtain this output on


the basis of a continuous rating would require
a much heavier engine, and the aircraft's efficiency is accordingly increased by establishing
a rating which permits the engine to meet
take-off requirements, but limits this performance to a short period of time.
The specific time limitations are determined
by the Military Procurement Agency of by the
Civil Aeronautics Authority. As this period
limitation is subject to change, the specific operating instructions must be consulted for information regarding a given engine model.
For engines with two-speed or two-stage
superchargers the Take-off rating is available
only in the lowest impeller ratio or stage of
supercharging. Exceptions to this rule may be
found with individual engine models. For information regarding any one model consult the
applicable specific operating instructions.
2. Military Rating. Tactical and combat requirements necessarily dictate the amount of
pourer that will be used in military operations.
In meeting these demands military personnel
are naturally less concerned with the life of the
engine than with the offensive or defensive advantage of overload performance. The military
rating establishes the maximum limited period
performance for service aircraft, and is not
available to other operators. In the lowest impeller ratio or stage of supercharging Military
Power and rpm are usually the same as for
take-off.

An aircraft engine can actually be run continuously under overload conditions of power
and speed for much longer periods than those
permitted by the ratings. However, the period
of reliable operation is thereby reduced to an
impractically short time. By imposing a time
limit on Take-off and Military power ratings
the cumulative effect of the overloads is distributed evenly over the period between overhauls, and the useful life of the engine accordingly lengthened.
3. Maximum Diving Speed. This rati
tablishes the maximum safe over-speed
dictated by the allowable recipro
centrifugal loads resulting from t h
which may be encountered
maneuvers. Maximum divi
limited to 30 seconds.

POWER, BMEP AND RATINGS


&-

ADDITIONAL RATINGS
I. Temperature and Pressure Ratings. In addition to the power and rpm ratings which
govern engine performance, limiting conditions
of temperature and pressure are specified by
the engine manufacturer, and the observance
of these limits is mandatory. These ratings
are :
a. Cylinder Head Temperature-maximum
b. Oil (Inlet) Temperature--maximum and
minimum
c. Oil Pressure---maximum and minimum
d. Fuel Pressure--maximum and minimum
Each of these ratings is given for various o p
erating conditions. The consequences of failure
to observe these limits have already been discussed.
2. Combat Rating+ The conventional Normal
Rated, Take-Off and Military power ratings are
based on peacetime concepts of engine reliability and durability. In wartime these considerations are not necessarily the first importance,
and tactical and combat demands warrant the
use of powers in excess of those permitted
under normal circumstances. The performance
available on such occasions is entirely regulated
by the military services, and the demonstration
of the engine's suitability for this power output is not an obligation of the manufacturer.
Operations of this type come under the category of combat ratings, and are not t o be considered outside of the military services.

RATINGS
ators will naturally select powerplants that are
permitted t o deliver a high percentage of their
maximum potential output. On the other hand,
over-enthusiasm regarding ratings is held in
check by the consideration that the engine must
pass a rigid proof test, and the manufacturer's
reputation will suffer if the reliability of his product fails to measure up to the claim made for
it. The performance offered is thus the manufacturer's best judgment of the output an engine
can deliver, within the accepted standard of reliability and as demonstrated by the type test.
ENGINE DURABILITY
Durability is the measure of engine life obtained while maintaining the desired reliability.
The fact that an engine model has successfully
completed its type or proof test is an indication
that i t can be operated in a normal manner
over a long period before requiring overhaul.
However, no definite time interval between
overhauls is specified or implied in the rating.
The durability realized is determined largely
by the type and condition of operation. The
period between overhauls may be represented
roughly by Fig. 26.

3. 'Other Ratings covering special applications


may be supplied from time to time for individ'ual engine models.

RELIABILITY STANDARDS
Standards of engine reliability are agreed
upon by the engine manufacturer, on the one
hand, and the procuring or regulating agency
on the other. The accumulated experience of the
past makes possible the establishment of testing
standards that accurately demonstrate the ability of an engine to perform a t given ratings a t
the standard of reliability specified or agreed
upon. Competition gives every incentive to the
manufacturer to offer the highest possible ratings. Over-conservatism in rating engine performance will result in long engine life-but
ften on the manufacturer's shelves, since oper-

TAKE-OFF

0
WWER USED CONTlNUOUSLY

Fig. 26

-Effed of Continuous Power on Durability

The values shown in Fig. 26 are only approximate and vary even a t the same percentage of
power output because of such other factors as

BRAKE HORSEPOWER

Fig. 25

- Twin

Wasp Ratings

fuel. The Twin Was

I by the contint
eilyines a r e the c a b
OF FillEL

me basic
Ferent r,
"
:he grade or" rue1
to be u
between these otherwise iden
the \.ariations in the carbur

lress detonation. For example

fuel only. The Twin

o r set sufficietltly 1
;hese ratings to be developed

ed for the carbure


This practice nras
for the fighting
istirlctly an emer
f the fact that engu

~ n c l cnunil~crdoc' not adcquatel\ clc+cr~l~c


thc anti-Lnn

ni\turc anti-knocl. n t l n c .\ tucl l ~ k eth.~L


Iw de9icnatc:d a- S i 101
Irich rutinc. Thc iollo\r

rsepower, the misture strength p r

r i d or rcrn l ~ l.c. i i c ~ r

PART III

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


STARTING

7
.
.

er of methods for obtaining


ith any engine model. Most of
ry considerably in detail. Some will
sults for one individual but fail to
action for others; while some methbe used safely only by the most experi-

owed exactly and withThey are based on the


hitney Aircraft, and are
they can give the
test protection to

cedures require

the installation so that the various control


nipulations will be accomplished effectively
without hesitation or lost motion.
On engines using the pressure injecti
buretor, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
that the start be accomplished w

recommendation. I t is recom

TT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

general, three different starting procewill cover all Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
es; one for engines using float type carbus and the other two for engines using presinjection carburetors. These latter two
ocedures vary basically because of differences
ming systems. The specific procedures for
of these starting procedures follow ; the
ious steps are discussed in detail on Pages
articular engine, consult the apific Operating Instructions.
TING PROCEDURE: A
at Carburetors:

-Engines

with

Off

Full lean or idle cut-off


- Hamilton Standard counterweight type (not Hydromatic) at low rpm (high
pitch) ; others at high rpm
(low pitch)
- Cold
- Unfiltered (or off)
- Full open
- Closed
-

retor air heat


retor air filter

- '/s open with electric direct


cranking, inertia or combination inertia-direct cranking starters. % open with
cartridge starters

1. Pull propeller through in the direction of


normal rotation, or "inch" engine with
starter, for a t least five revolutions of
crankshaft:

2. Turn on fuel supply from suitable tank.

3. Move mixture control to full rich.


4. Operate wobble pump slowly, or turn on
electric auxiliary fuel pump momentarily,
until fuel pressure registers 3 psi.

5. If inertia type starter is used, begin energizing starter while priming.


6. Prime:
a. If carburetor has integral primer :
(1) Move mixture control to full lean.
(2) Pump throttle through complete
travel for number of strokes necessary to give required prime.

(3) Return mixture control to full rich.

(4) Operate wobble pump slowly or turn


on electric auxiliary fuel pump momentarily until fuel pressure registers 3 psi.

b. If separate primer pump is used:


(1) Keep mixture control in full rich.
(2) Prime as required.

7. If inertia or cartridge starter is used, turn


ignition to "Both On."
8. Maintain 3 psi fuel pressure with wobble
pump or turn on the electric auxiliary fuel
pump.
9. Engage starter (and ignition booster, if
separately controlled).

10. If direct cranking starter is used, wait for


engine to turn two revolutions. Watch for
indications of "hydraulicking." If none,
turn ignition to "Both On."
11. After engine fires adjust throttle to hold
engine speed a t 600 rpm.
Note: Watch oil pressure gage. If oil pressure does
not register within 10 seconds, STOP engine and
investigate.

12. If equipped with Hamilton Standard counterweight type (not Hydromatic) propeller, move control to high rpm (low pitch).
13. When oil pressure shows, advance throttle
to obtain 1000 rpm.
If a start is not made in a reasonable time,
i t is possible that:
1. Engine is overloaded (over primed) as indicated by discharge of fuel from carburetor
drain, or, in the case of a cold engine, by
the presence of liquid fuel in the exhaust
outlets of the primed cylinders. In this case :

a. With direct cranking starter:


(1) Continue cranking.
(2) Place mixture in full lean.
(3) Discontinue operating wobble pump
or turn off the electric auxiliary
fuel pump.
(4) Fully open throttle.

(5) After eight revolutions re


tle, place mixture control
and repeat starting proced

GROUND OPER
Note: I t is frequently possible to effect a start while
clearing out the engine, in which case the operator
must be ready to retard the throttle immediately
and move the mixture control to full rich.

b. With inertia or cartridge starter :


(1) Turn off the ignition.
(2) Fully open throttle.
(3) Pull propeller through about 5 revolutions in direction of normal rotation to clear engine.
(4) Retard throttle and repeat starting
procedure.
2. Engine is under-primed.
In this case;

a. Repeat priming procedure to give engine additional prime.


b. Repeat starting procedure.
possible to start the engine,
buretor for malfunctioning.
DILTRE : B.-Engines
with
arhuretors and Using Cylriming.

- Idle cut-off
- Hamilton Standard counterweight type (not Hydromatic) at low rpm (high
pitch). Others at high rpm
-

Single-Stage-low ;
Two-Stag-main or neutral
Turbo-off

Unfiltered (or off)


open

- Full

ough in direction of nor" with starter, for a t


of crankshaft.
suitable tank.

(1) Operate wobble pump to mai


3 psi fuel pressure or turn on
tric auxiliary fuel pump.
(2) Prime as required.
b. If electrically operated priming val
used.,
(1) Operate wobble pump to m
required fuel pressure or
electric auxiliary fuel pum
(2) Prime as required.
5. If inertia or cartridge starter is u
ignition to "Both On."
6. Operate wobble pump to maintai
fuel pressure or turn on electric au
fuel pump.
7. Engage starter or fire cartridge.
8. If direct cranking starter is used,
engine to turn two revolutions. W
indications of "hydraulicking." If non
turn ignition to "Both On."
9. When engine fires, move mixture control

immediately to automatic rich position.


10. Maintain fuel pressure with wobble pu
or electric auxiliary fuel pump until e
pump builds up specified fuel pressu
11. Adjust throttle to maintain about 600
until oil pressure shows.
Note: Watch oil pressure gage. If oil pressure does
not register within 10 seconds, STOP engine and
investigate.

12. If equipped with Hamilton Standard


terweight type (not Hydromatic) p
ler, move control to high rpm (low p
13. When oil pressure shows, adjust th
to 1000 rpm.
If engine does not fire almost immediately
1. With direct cranking starter (except models using updraft carburetors)
a. If engine is under-primed :
(1) Continue cranking.
(2) Maintain fuel pressure.

(4) Return mixture con

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

b. If engine is overloaded:
(1) .Continue cranking.
(2) Place mixture control in idle cut-off.
(3) Open throttle wide.
) After about 8 revolutions of the

engine retard throttle and repeat


starting procedure, if engine has
not started during this clearingout procedure.
2. With inertia or cartridge starter:
a. If engine is overloaded:
(1) Keep mixture control in idle cut-off.
(2) Discontinue operation of' wobble
pump or turn off electric auxiliary
fuel pump.
) Turn off ignition.
) Open throttle wide.

(5) Clear engine by. pulling propeller


through 8 revolutions.
) Retard throttle and repeat starting

procedure.
. If engine is under-primed:
(1) Turn propeller forward 1/2 revolution to disengage starter jaw.

(3) Repeat starting procedure.

r t is not obtained after a reasonable


r of attempts, an investigation should be
to determine the cause.
in the coldest weather the starting
"C" following is recommended as
erable for engines having electric
and equipped with direct crankation inertia - direct cranking

OCEDURE: C.
Engines with
ection Carburetors and with
Blower Throat or Carburetor

ter engines are provided with


er throat or carburetor prime priming systems introduce
into the blower rim or the
oat instead of the cylinder intake
priming flow is generally much
n with cylinder intake port prim-

ing, and all the cylinders receive a combustible


fuel/air mixture rather than just a limited
number of primed cylinders. Consequently, the
undesirable practice of resorting to the use of
the mixture control to supplement the priming
fuel flow is eliminated.
Instead of priming before engaging the
starter, the priming switch is closed simultaneously with the starter engaging switch. As a
combustible fue'l/air mixture range is reached
the engine will fire, and should be accelerated
with the primer, after which the mixture control is slowly moved out of the idle cut-off position to automatic rich, using prime as required
until the start is secure. To avoid overloading a
warm engine, flicking the primer switch is advisable. A colder engine will require constant
priming until i t fires.
The elimination of priming before cranking
and the use of the mixture control to supplement the prime has eliminated or reduced the
occurrence of "hydraulicking" and other hazards associated with over-priming.

A typical starting procedure follows:


Control Position Cheek
Ignition

- Off

Misture

- Idle

Propeller

- Hamilton Standard counterweight type (not Hydromatic) at low rpm (high


pitch) ; others a t high rpm
(low pitch).

Supercharger
(when applicabIe)

- Single stage -low

Carburetor air heat

- Cold

cut-off

Two stage- main, or neutral


Turbo-off.

Carburetor air filter

- Off (unfiltered)

Cowl flaps

- Full open

Oil cooler shutters

- Closed

Starting Procedure
1. Pull propeller through in direction of normal rotation, or "inch" with starter, for a t
least five revolutions of crankshaft.
2. Turn on fuel supply from suitable tank.
Note: Keep mixture control in idle
when the engine is not fir

3. Turn on electric auxili

con t
nece

tic rich using prime as


a r t is secure.
ressure with auxiliary fuel
ne pump builds up specified

LO. Ad
uni
pressure gage. If oil pressure does
within 10 seconds, STOP engine and

Hamilton Standard counnot Hydromatic) propelto high rpm (low pitch).

continuously for m
shouId be allowed t
second start.
3. The Cornhination
Starter, as the name i
electrically energized (
and a direct cranking

not continue to run :


ontrol back to idle cut-off
purposes.) As the energy of the fl
sipated, the starter motor continu
king and priming.
ned within a reasonable
hould be made to deter-

is supplied in the same manner as fo


cranking starter.
4. The Cartridge Starter develops
the combustion of a slow-burning
tained in a cartridge which is inserted i

1. The 11~ ~ e r tStarter


ia
CO

1ynrheel which can be

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


CUSSION

r .r

- -.--f?y. ,

Control Position Check


By checking off the position of each engine
and accessory controI the operator makes
certain that all powerplant units are in
readiness for operation, and satisfies himself that no item is in a position to cause
damage.

n2-

:.

- -.cc-

'\

- ?.*

4 .

'.

7-

During the starting procedure ascertain


that all is clear of the propeIler before
turning on the ignition switch.
b. Mixture

The ignition switch should be in the


"Off" position a t all times when the
engine is not running, except as the
starting procedure may require, This is
essential for the protection of personnel who may be servicing the aircraft.

Propellel

drive during starting.


Engines with turbosuperchargers s
have the turbosupercharger contr
the " O f f position.
e. Carl>uretor Heat and Carburet
Vith cor

-.

s rule are the Ham_._---

own with the


to retract the

trol should not be


until after starting
ailling oil pressure

& WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

f. Cowl Flaps

During all ground operation of the


engine i t is essential that the cowl
flaps (where applicable) be fully open
regardless of outside air temperature
or the temperature of the cylinder
heads. The ignition harness, as well as
other powerplant items, require all
possible circulation of air to prevent
serious damage. Closing of the cowl
to accelerate the warm-up will
to burning of the insulation on the
ignition leads.

PWA. 01. 100


h. Fuel Supply

As a safety factor the fuel supply


should be turned off when the engine
is shut down, and not turned on until
preparation for starting is made.
i. Throttle
I

il Cooler Shutters

The position of the throttle


tant factor in consist

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

GROUND OPERATION-STARTING

many cubic inches of air a t atmospheric pressure regardless of the throttle position. However, fuel-flow is
closely related t o the position of the
throttle, but in a manner which differs
between t h e two basic types of carburetors.
(I) Float Carburetors

In the idling range of operation this


type of carburetor furnishes fuel
only when a definite pressure differential exists between t h e idle
discharge and t h e fuel in t h e bowl.
If t h e throttle is too f a r advanced,
this differential becomes insufficient t o produce the required flow
with t h e results t h a t t h e engine
cannot properly fire and, in all
probability, back-firing will occur.
(2) Pressure Carburetors
During t h e starting a d irk3.ing
period t h e pm8sURe carbumtw f UP.=
nishes fuel entiway as tihe rew1t of
the position of the idle w h , which
is directly linked t o the :th~cMe.
Airflow has no effect
the
quantity of fuel dis&str+.
If .the
throttle is too f a r advanad, the
fuel discharge will be h o g w k 0the amount of airflow t h a t b being
drawn into the cylinders with the
result that the engine will be overloaded.
In setting the throttle opening before
starting, the purpose is to secure the
proper fuel-air ratio for combustion and
t h e throttle opening is affected by the
type of carburetor and starter employed. For example, cartridge starters,
which t u r n the engine over a t a higher
rpm than other types and consequently
produce more airflow through t h e carburetor require a slightly wider throttle
opening.

2. Clearing the Engine


After the previous shutdown, t h e warm
residual oil clinging t o the power section
surfaces flows downward toward the lower
cylinders. Some of this oil seeps past the
piston and piston rings, accumulating in
t h e combustion chamber. If sufficient liquid
is present, the true compression ratio will

be raised and extremely high pressures will


be produced when t h e piston of the cylinder is moved downward on t h e compression stroke. These pressures can be raised
to such an extent t h a t damage t o the cylinder, piston, or link rod will result. I n ex-

treme instances the piston may actually


"bottom" against the liquid. This is known
a s "hydraulicking" the engine.

To protect the ehgine against t


ity, any excess liquid should be u c ; a r - uuc
if the engine has stood idle for two hours
or more. To clear out the cylinders, pull
the propeller through by hand in the
normal direction of engine rotation to
obtain a t least five crankshaft revolutioms.

k
,.

HINT:

Count the number of propeller blaaes


mula
pulledtothrough,
determine
using
the the
number
following
of blades
forrequired to obtain five crankshaft revolutions :
No. Prop.
Blades pulled
to Obtain 5
5xNo. Blades on Prop.
Crankshaft Revs.=
Reduc. Gear Ratio (1)

5 x No. Blades on
Prop. x Reduction
Gear Ratio (2)
ear Ratio in form: 2:1, 3 2 , etc:.e.,
211, 312, etc.)
or

'

If the propeller cannot be reached to be


pulled through by hand, turn the engine

(2) Gear Ratio in form:

.500:1, .667:1,

etc.

Thus: In the case of a three-bladed propeller and a 16:9 (or .5625:1) propeller
reduction gear, 9 blades should be pulled
through to obtain 5 revolutions of the
crankshaft.

Do not pull through in the reverse direction of normal engine rotation. "Backing
up" the engine will result in pushing the
liquid into the intake pipes, where i t will
be ready to return to the cylinders on the
next intake stroke.

we^ by "iaeBJnd' w5th Oh'sbrter. This


L dlOm by engaging and disengaging the
shrber rslo tka* the c m n k h f t turn's-but a
few m e e s at a time.
L

GENERAL OPERATING WSTRUCTIONS

GROUND OPERATION-STARTING

W/TH E W N E NOT RUNNING


AN AUX/LIARY PUMP, EITHER
WOBBLE OR ELECTR/C BOOS7;
MUSTBEUSED TO RAISE
'
FUEL ABOVE
TANK LEVEL
THE CARBURETOR

FUEL TANK

While pulling the propeller


through or
"inching" with the starter, the operator
must be alert for any sign of the piston
being forced against unusually high compression. This will be evidenced by a sudden resistance when being pulled through,
or by a sudden slowing down when the
starter is engaged. This is sufficient indication that an excess quantity of liquid is
present in the lower cylinders, and any further attempt to turn the engine over will
result in damage.
-

If the presence of liquid is suspected, remove a spark plug from each of the bottom
cylihders before turning the engine over.
This is especially important when the engine is provided with high exhaust tailpipes which do not allow drainage from
the lower cylinders.

3. Getting Fuel to the Carburetor

Turning on the fuel selector valve opens a


path for the fuel from the tank to the carburetor, but unless the tank is located above
the carburetor the fuel cannot reach the
carburetor. Therefore, it is necessary to
apply pressure to fill the lines to the carburetor, and further, in the case of pressure
injection carburetors, to apply sufficient
additional pressure to discharge fuel from
the carburetor into the engine induction
passages when the mixture control is moved
out of idle cut-off. Inasmuch as the engine
fuel pump is not operating, an auxiliary
fuel pump is necessarily used. On many installations this is a hand pump, commonly
known as a wobble pump. On other installations, particularly for the larger engines,
an electric driven auxiliary fuel pump is
used.
With float carburetors, the wobble pump
should be operated slowly until 3 psi is
indicated on the fuel pressure gage, or the
electric auxiliary pump should be turned
on momentarily to obtain this pressure. By
this means the lines and the carburetor
bowl will be filled with fuel and the air expelled. Continued pumping or greater pressure may result in fuel overflowing the
carburetor bowl and creating a fire hazard.

PWA. 01. 100

P R A l T & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

I
I

In the case of pressure injection carburetors, the minimum pressure required will
engine mode11, and
.ed and main1tained
without danger, provided the mixture control is kept in idle cut-off until the engine
fires.

tion of the prime and engaging the starter.


This is desirable in order to minimize the
possible effect of raw fuel lying inside the
engine.
5. Priming

If the mixture control is moved out of idle


cut-off, fuel will be discharged into the induction system. As the engine is not turning over, only the air contained in the supercharger will absorb vaporized fuel. The
drain valve will carry away only a portion
of the liquid that the carburetor discharges.
The balance of the liquid fuel pours into

As the carburetor cannot supply the cylinders with a combustible mixture of air and
fuel without sufficient airflow, the initial
firing charge must be prepared by other
means. The air contained in the cylinders
and induction passages and that introduced
during cranking must be used in providing
the initial firing charge. By spraying fuel
into this air, a fuel-air mixture that is
within the combustible range is prepared
to give the initial firing impulses which
turn the engine over a t a speed that will
bring airflow and normal carburetion.
The fuel is furnished through the priming

the lower intake pipes, paving the way for


"hydraulicking."
4. Energizing Inertia Starter

Energizing the inertia starter (where used


in conjunction with cylinder intake port
priming) while priming the engine results
in the least time delay between the comple-

GROUND OPERATION-STARTING

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

TEMPE

F.*.
system.

27 -I?Viect of Temperature ma

.- .

It i's a b m i d by nozzles to assist

tb -\rapcw&&tLonaf the fuel and is discharged hb @bWa&h system or the


intake ports @f the bp cylinders of the
engine d
ing m
pn the type of priming
system m the ermgirr~
The
prime k b l d contain enough
eosnplebe4y valp~~&&
f d i%
fin. %heinduc. .

The ammnt of prim squired vm-ies with


Re.

k
one &reme af tmm'zam

id frwl mu& be injeetd to


&&in this iixd vapor requirmmt. This ig
kcawe k m m t u m affects tE.le y a g m r i ~ tiaa af &e fuel.
The .-dm$ amat af p r b &. estirn~otd
hjt hoking at ttR W0whg g

(1)

Air Tmwratum : TeZYs the


hamwmhm of the air that wril,l be

PRA'IT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


drawn into the engine during cranking and after starting. I t aids in
estimating the evaporating capabilities of the cold air stream.
(2) Carburetor Air Temperature : Tells
the temperature of the air in the
duct, as well a s some idea of the
carburetor temperature and the contained fuel, and hence gives an idea
of evaporating conditions.
(3) Oil Temperature: Gives an indication of the stiffness of the engine:
whether it has been in operation
recently or not, if it has been warm
or cold during storage. It also gives
an idea of the temperature of the
supercharger section and its ability
to vaporize the first trickle of fuel.
(4) Cylinder Head Temperature : Indicates the amount of heat available

Under extremely
priming before cr
priming constitutes a serious "hyd

PWA. 01. 100

ing the cylinder walls and of piston seizure. If the engine has been overprimed
it is essential that fresh oil be sprayed
on the cylinder walls before etarting. Dry
cylinders may be indicated by a squeaking heard while the engine is being
pulled through by hand.

reme cases the excess fuel will


p the intake pipes of the primed

dilution and a well developed technique are


needed for starts under 40 F (5C). Even
a t this latter temperature, preheating of
the engine is advantageous, if preheat is
available, in order to reduce the amount of
liquid fuel remaining after priming. (Priming systems are being developed for some
engines which permit consistent starts a t
(-20 C ) or less, consul
Weather Operation.'?
a. Overpriming

With cylinder intake port priming, one


serious result of overpriming, or of continued underpriming with unsuccessful
attempts to start, is the presence of
liquid fuel in the cylinders. This washes
off the film of oil orithe cylinder walls,
pistons and piston rings. Without this
lubrication there is a possibility of scor-

This condition usually results in weak


firing which does not have sufficient
energy to turn the engine over or else
causes backfiring. If individual outlet
exhaust stacks are used, there will be
no evidence of fuel vapor in the exhaust
outlets of the primed cylinders. In cold
weather, fuel discharged from the fuel
drain does not necessarily mean that
the engine has been overprimed as only
a small portion of the fuel will be
vaporized.

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


C.

Sources of Priming Fuel

Fuel for the priming system is commonly provided by :


(1) Priming pump integral with carburetor (float type carburetor)
(2) Hand pldnger priming pump
(3) Electric solenoid priming valve
which is inte-

of the throttle is dependent on


the amount of prime desired.
(e) Maintain fuel pressure 3
refill the carburetor bowl wi
fuel after two or three s t
of the throttle.
( f ) Return mixture control t
rich.
(2) The hand priming pump is
conjunction with engine i
tions equipped with either fl
pressure injection carbureors.
--

( a ) Place mixture control in full


rich. This allows the carburetor bowl to be vented.
(b) Raise fuel pressure to 3 psi.
This fills the carburetor bowl
se the carburetor to

priming pump is a plunger


pump, and is usually located
cockpit or possibly in the
nacelle. T h e quantity of prim
gaged by the number of s t
made while priming.
To prime:
(a) Mixture control in idle cut-off.

A n ' & WWITNEY AIRCRAFT


(b) Raise 3 psi fuel pressure with
wobble pump or turn on electric auxiliary fuel pump. Pressure is necessary to fill primer
pump cylinder on the intake
stroke.

PWA. 01. 100


(3) The electric priming valve can be
used with pressure injection carburetors, or with float carburetor
installations if sufficient fuel pressure is available. The electric priming valve is usually attached to the

(c) While maintaining fuel pressure, draw plunger slowly out


to ensure that the pump cylinder fills completely. Force
plunger in rapidly in order to
atomize the fuel effectively a t
the discharge nozzles. Prime
t h e r e q u i r e d n u m b e r of
strokes.

carburetor or some other source of


fuel under pressure in the engine
compartment. When the solenoid
valve is opened, fuel under pressure
is distributed through the priming
system to the priming nozzles. The
amount of prime is gaged by the
pressure a t the priming valve and
the length of time it is held open.
To prime:
( a ) Keep mixture control in idle
cut-off.
(b) Rbise the'required fuel pressure with the wobble pump or
the electric auxiliary fuel
pump.

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

GROUND OPERATI

(c) Close primer switch for required time which is dependent on temperature and the
particular method of introducing the priming fuel into the
engine.
e is very difficult
eviously pointed out,
ctor. With the electric
discharged by the primself-priming carburetor
manner of operating them
amount of prime delivered.
ividual technique of the opthe amount of priming devidual may go through the
ting with very exact
complete operaay not perform the
degree of suret feasible to draw
e of priming requirements.

two revolutions, the engine sho


to come against a definite abrupt sto
may be concluded that the lower cylin
have accumulated liquid, and no
attempt should be made to turn the
over until this liquid has been

7. MIXTURE CONTROL
C _ C -

,--v

or one to two strokes may be


ngine, up to three
strokes for a cold engine. Installations
e. However, this is dependent on the
rburetor integral
lectric priming valve discharge wilI vary
e fuel pressure and the system of introuel into the engine. Consequently
time will vary according to the
gine being started.

+he case of inertia or cartridge starters,


the ignition must be turned on prior to
stai.ter engagement, as the full starting
-...~~~-uceclure
must be completed while the
starter energy is available. The direct
cranking starter makes i t possible to delay
turning on the ignition until after the engint has be~
en turned over two revolutions.
Thi s offers
tain
~rlereis no e
to CalirP "h yclraulic
111

L L -I.

LL

In the case of float carburetors, the mixture control is already in the automatic rich
or full rich position when the starter is en-

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

ment out of idle cut-off when starting often


termines the success of the start. If the
~ x t u r econtrol is moved into automatic
rich before the engine has "caught," raw
is dumped into the engine before norairflow is set up and the engine bees loaded. As a general rule, firing of
engine should be of sufficient intensity
roduce a t least 350 or 400 rpm before
mixture control is moved to automatic
. Moving the mixture control into autoic rich a t the first sign of feeble firing
r popping will usually be the cause of an
nsuccessful start. However, with some
riming systems, if movement of the mixre control is delayed too long after the
gine is firing normally, the engine will
ave used up its prime and fail to start, and
ackfiring will often result. If the priming
as been properly made there will be suffint and proper strength fuel-air mixture
the engine to keep it turning over a t
cient speed until normal carburetion refrom proper m e m e n t of the mixture

engine "dies" or sho~vs


gine is stopped a t once. Failhas probably caused more
ngines than failure to clear

01 into idle cut-off, thus stopping the

nce to pick up, after which the mixture

on as the engine fires, the rpm should


Id dourn to about 600 rpm until the
essure registers on the gage and it is
certain that the engine is receiving oil. In
many instances the oil pressure will not
register immediately upon starting. In most
installations 10 seconds without oil pres-

PWA. 01. 100

sure indication should not be exceeded.


However, on some installations having long
pressure lines, or pressure indicating transm{t$ing systems, there may be a time lag
requiring that this time limit be lengthened. I t is imperative, however, that strict
attention be given the oil pressure gage a t
this stage of the starting procedure, and
the acquiring of this habit may some day
pay dividends in saving an engine.
9. PROPELLER CONTROL

In the case of the Hamilton Standard counterweight type propellers, the control should
be moved to the high rpm (low pitch) position after oil pressure is indicated.

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

for a brief interval as outlined in t h


starting procedure. (See page 6
is the only instance where i t is
sible to move the mixture contro
idle cut-off prior to actual engine
tion, and the operator must us
to ensure that the time limits indi
are not exceeded. Introduction of
sive fuel into the engine may cause
draulicking" or overloading of the e
gine.

OF ENGINE

Overloading of the engine with raw fuel is


usually accompanied by a heavy discharge
of fuel from the supercharger drain in
warm weather or the presence of liquid fuel
in the exhausts of the primed cylinders.
Weak firing, followed by dense black smoke
and possibly fire from the exhaust outlets,
is also indicative of overloading.

11. "SAVING" THE START

111 1~nstallationsincorporating

GROUND OPE

cylinder in-

b. If the start is not accomplished b


of overloading, the fuel-air rati
be leaned out by drawing more a1
the engine. This is done by opeain
throttle wide and keeping the
control in idle cut-off while
continues. As the fuel-air ratio
and passes through the co
range, a start should be
case, immediate action on the part of
operator is required to retard the thro
so as not to overspeed the engine, and
move the mixture control to auto
rich to establish normal carbur
It will be seen that the manipulat
the mixture control in the event
derpriming and of the throttle
event of overloading is for the
of passing the mixture charge f
extreme of the fuel-air
other so that a combustible ran
be reached and a start effected.
In the case of inertia or cartrid
ers, failure to prime properly
corrected by clearing out the engi
repeating the complete starting
dure. Whether the Tailure t
been due to underpriming or to
priming, it is recommended that t
gine be cleared out so that the op
will know the amount of prime tha
the engine at any one time.

take:port priming and direct cranking start-

ers, an opportunity is provided to "save"


&I.,
L U ~ : start with

a. If the engine
ditional fuel n

cessful starts. The percentage of succes

GROUND OPERATION

between the engine of an autoof an aircraft has been disforming habits of aircraft enIt is not by any means unsafe
t a cold automobile engine, pull away
ram the curb and drive away. A few blocks
f slow, restrained running will suffice to warm
he engine to the point where i t will "take" the
ccelerator and function normally. As long a s
lo attempt is made during the early stages to
ross tracks in froat of trains or to perform
'ancy traffic maneuvers in the wrong lane, the
-ar and driver wilI be looked upon with favor
by the insurance company. The automobile
does not depend upon its engine for sustenta-tion.
At the instant the airplane leaves the ground
n d until i t is in full flight and clear of

formance and tb make such checks as will give


assurance of satisfactory functioning. A cold
engine is not a dependable engine.

WARM-UP
After starting, several minutes will be spent
in warming up the engine. This is done a t 1000
rpm* with the propeller in the high rpm (low
pitch) position. One thousand rpm is specified
as this engine speed will ensure freedom from
spark plug fouling. The propeller pitch position
results in the lightest possible load a t this rpm.
If power were applied to a cold engine there
would be an unsatisfactory response for three
reasons :
a. Oil:-Cold,

undiluted oil is too thick to

be starved for lubricati


a high pressure show
sure gage. The oil

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

GROUND OPERATION-WARM

UP

the design, are properly adjusted. The


entire mass of metal must be in the
working temperature range to have a
harmonious relation between the individual parts.

ALUMINUM ALLOY U S E

SEEL

NCK

\,

BEAHNG

SLKR
LEAD

than l O O F (40C) before increasing


engine speed above the warm-up rpm.
b. Induction System :-Engine
performance and operation are sensitive t o the
temperature of the induction passages.

CHA RCE OF
/NG OUT MIXTURE

An intake charge cannot hold all its


fuel when i t comes in contact with cold
metal surfaces, and this leaning-out will
cause the engine
t o hesitate and run
ragged1y.
c. Even Expansion of Entire Engine: The engine designer has established
t h e clearances between the working
parts after considering the effects of
expansion when the materia1 has
warmed up. In many instances the
cold clearances are not sufficient to
allow satisfactory oil flow. Because
many major parts are made from dissimiIar metals, they must be brought
up to operating temperature in order
that the uneven rates of expansion,
t h a t have been taken into account in

In general, oil temperature is t h e most direct


gage of the temperature condition of the entire
engine. If time has been taken to bring the oil
temperature up t o 1 O O F (40C) a t 1000 rpm
with the propeller in high rpm position, the
minimum requirements of a proper warm-up
will be met. Where practical, an oil inlet temperature of 140-165F (60-75C) should be
reached.
1. Cowl Flaps
Do not close the cowl flaps t o accelerate
the warm-up, regardless of outside air
temperature or the indication of the cylinder head gage. The heated air coliecting around the exhaust system will be
confined in the area adjacent to the ignition leads. For the protection of the ignition system, it is essential t h a t the cowl

flaps remain wide open a t all times that


the engine is running on t h e ground, and
for a cooling-off period after the engine is
stopped.

PWA. 01. 100

PRAlT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

2. Mixture

type carburetors or with fuel nozzles located a t some distances upstream from the
impeller, it is desirable to raise the carburetor air temperature during warm-up to
prevent ice formation, to assist distribution, and to ensure smooth operation. Do
not exceed lOOF (40C).

4. Carburetor Air Filter (where applicable)

Do not u8e a lean mixturn wcl4bdfaf.i~


warmup. Getually, at the warm-up qm
there k ~ a c t k a l l yno d i f l e r m in the
mixture sugp1ied to the engin@whether the
mixture is in a lean or rich pwitian, a=@
metering in this power range ia gwerad
by the throttle pasitia
As there is ns accdcm while C& &4
ground to uae e\ lean miarbre pSfti6r1, R
ia imperative that the &We
WQJ.
remain in the rich pcdtsim 4m r n ~ b
@re
that i t will rra4; be
Beak@ h z ~ d t e n
prior t o take-ob.
Engine exhaarst smoking, whlk u
with c h d tlrpott1i3, srhoald be idid'Irwted
by proper Sdle adjustment,
venting fouled p l u m

Where dust conditions are present the carb.uretor air filter should be used. As soon
as the engine has started, the air should
be drawn in from this source until after
the take-off has been performed and an
altitude reached where dust-free air is
present.

5. Magneto Safety Cheek

Dwhg the warm-up running, the magneto


~ a f e t ycheck

Carburetor heat can be used a s required


under conditions leading to ice formation.
In the case of engines equipped with float

can be performed. Its pur-

pose is to ensure that all ignition connections are secure and that the ignition sysbrn d l 1 permit opgmItion at the higher
powar used in the sound e h k to be eon-

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


ducted later. The magneto safety check is
conducted a s follows :
(1) R P ~
(2) Propeller

- 1000
- High rpm (low pitch)

All other controls the same as during warm-up


(3) Switch

(4) Switch

(5) Switch

-From
"Both" to "Right"
and return to "Both"
-From
"Both" to "Left"
and return to "Both"
-From "Both" to "Off" momentarily and return to
"Both"

While switching from "Both" to a single


magneto position, for example from "Both"
to "Right," a slight but noticeable drop in
rpm should occur. This indicates that the
opposite magneto has been properly
grounded out ,and that the connection to
the single operating magneto is secure.
Complete cutting out of the engine when
switching from "Both" to "Off" indicates
that both magnetos are properly grounded.
Failure to obtain any drop while in the
single magneto position, or failure of the
engine to cut out while switching to "Off,"
indicates that one or both ground connections are not secured. The time required
for proper warming-up gives ample opportunity to perform this simple check which
may disclose a condition which wouId
make i t inadvisable to continue operation
until after corrections have been made.
6. Ground Cheek

en given sufficient
make certain that
work together, i t

GROUND OPERATION-GROUND

CHECK

(d) Is the fuel system delivering fuel to


the engine a t the required pressure?
(e) Are the propeller and supercharger
shift mechanisms and other accessories functioning properly?
The answers to these questions are learned
in the course of the ground check;
A standard ground check is performed as
follows: The aircraft should be headed into
the wind, if possible, to take advantage of this
cooling airflow.
7. Control Position Check
Cowl Flaps
Mixture
Propeller
Carburetor Heat
Carburetor Air Filter
Supercharger Control
Position (where
applicable)

- Open

- Rich
- High

rpm

- Low,

Neutral, or Off

- Cold
- As required

Procedure
1. Check propeller according to propelIer
manufacturer's instruction.
2. Open throttle to manifold pressure
equal to field barometric pressure
3. Switch from "BOTH" to "RIGHT" and
return to "BOTH."
Normal drop - 50-75 rpm*
Maximum drop - 100 rpm*
4. Switch from "BOTH" to "LEFT" and
return to "BOTH"
Normal drop - 50-75 rpm*
Maximum drop - 100 rpm*
Maximum difference between "RIGHT"
and "LEFT" - 40 rpm*
5. Check:
Fuel pressure - 17 psi*
Oil pressure - 85 psi*
6 . Note rpm
7. Retard throttIe
NOTE: Additional features, such a s multiple speed or
multiple stage superchargers, require ground
checking. The resulting changes in the above
basic procedure will be explained in the supplements describing the operation of these
special items.

In addition to the operations outIined above,


the functioning of various items of airpIane
equipment will be checked in an appropriate
order.
*These quantities are for illustration, Consult
the specific operation instructions for values
applying to a particular engine.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCR

engine is capable of delivering a given


power a t a given rprn and manifold pressure. The original calibration, or measurement of power, is made by means of a
dynanometer. During the ground check,
measurement of power is made with the
propelIer. With constant conditions of air
density, the propeller, a t any fixed pitch
position, will always require the same rprn
to absorb the same horsepower from the
engine. This characteristic is used in determining the condition of the engine.
Any increase in manifold pressure required to obtain the same rpm, or conversely, the inability to obtain the check
rprn with the check manifold pressure, is
an indication that the engine is not giving
the performance of which it is capable.
Variation in altitude of the fields on which
the check is made will result in varying
manifold pressures for a given rprn a s is
indicated in Fig. 28.

DISCUSSION
1. Propeller Check

The propeller check is performed to ensure


proper operation of the pitch control and
the pitch change mechanism. Each type of
propeller requires a different procedure,
and the applicable manufacturer's instructions should be followed.
2. Rpm and Manifold Pressure

Before starting the engine, observe the


manifold pressure gage. This gage will
read approximately the atmospheric (barometric) pressure when the engine is not
running. At sea level this is approximately
30 in. H g and a t fields above sea ievel the
atmospheric pressure will be less, depending on height above sea level.

Specific check of rprn and manifold pressure relationship should be made during
each ground check. This may be done a t
the time the engine is run-up to make the
magneto check. The basic idea of this
check is to measure the performance of the
engine against an established standard.
Calibration tests have determined that the

When the engine is started and is accelerated the manifold pressure will fzll off
until about 1600 or 1700 rprn is reached
when it wilI begin to rise. At approximately 2000 rpm, with the propeller in

'OLD PRE.
YE NEED 1

FAILURE TO 087;4lN CHECI


EQUAL TO ATMOS'PHERIC P

z
I

I
I

STABLISH BY
YGINE COMa t r u n ANU LOW PITCH
BLADE ANGLE EMPLOYED.

200

400

800

800

1000

1200

R P M -PROPELLER

1400

1600

1800

2000

2200

I N FIXED LOW PITCH

Fig, 28 -Manifold Pressure vs Rpm

- Propeller in Fixed Low Pitch

2400

2600

2800

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


fixed full low pitch position, the manifold
pressure should be the same a s the atmospheric pressure. That is, if the manifold
pressure gage reading (atmospheric pressure) is 30 in Hg before starting the
engine, the pressure reading should return
to 30 in. Hg a t approximately 2000 rpm,
or, if the manifold pressure gage reads
26 in. Hg before starting, i t should read 26
in. Hg again a t approximately 2000 rpm.
The exact rprn may vary with various
models of engines or because of varying
propeller characteristics. In certain installations the rpm needed to secure a manifold pressure may be as high a s 2200 rpm.
However, once the required rprn has been
established for an installation, any appreciable variation therefrom indicates malfunctioning. This may be because the low
pitch stop of the propeller has not been
properly set or because the carburetor or
ignition system is not functioning properly.
The accuracy of this check may be affected
by the following variables :
a. Wind: - Any appreciabIe air movement (5 miles per hour or more) will
change the air load on the propeller
blade when it is in the fixed pitch
position. A head wind will increase
the rpm obtainable with a given
manifold pressure. A tail wind will
decrease the rpm.
atures: - The
in atmospheric
tend to cancel each
her carburetor entrance
atures tend to
lower the rpm, but the propeller load
is lightened because of the less dense

because of factors other


pheric temperature, a I
result as the power wil
without a compensating
the propeller load.

GROUND OPERATION-GROUND

CHECK

a,l

3. Magneto Check

*.

In performing the magneto che


power absorbing characteristics of t
peller in the low fixed pitch posit
utilized. In switching to individu
netos the cutting out of the opposite
results in a lower rate of comb
which gives the same effect as retar
the spark advance. The drop in
speed is a measure of the loss of
attendant on this lower combustion r a t
By comparing the rprn drop-off wit
known standard the following are de
mined :
Proper timing of each magneto.
b. General engine performance as e
denced by smooth operation.
c. Additional check of the proper co
nection of the ignition leads.
Any unusual roughness on either magnet
is an indication of faulty ignition ca
by plug fouling or by malfunctionin
the live side of the ignition system.
operator, should be very sensitive to engin
roughness during this check. Lack of
a drop-off may be an indication of fault
grounding of one side of the ignition
tem. Complete cutting out when switc
to one magneto is definite evidence that
its side of the ignition system is not func
tioning.
Excessive difference in rprn drop-off be
tween the left and right positions can
dicate a difference in timing betwee
left and right magnetos. Inas
Pratt & Whitney Air
same spark advance
ignition system, such
corrected,

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WWITNEY AIRCRAFT


4. Fuel Pressure

FUEL PRESSURE

The fuel pump relief valve is set to give


ormal i'light pressure a t the rpm of the
ground check. Satisfactory fuel pressure
indication a t this time is assurance that
the fuel system is properly functioning.

than warm-up rpm must be kept to a minimum, especially if the aircraft is not headed
into a good wind. It is essential that cylinder head temperatures never exceed the
maximum specified for continuous operation, and it is desirable to keep them a t
least 50F (30C) below the maximum continuous limit. It must be remembered that
the head temperature indicator is connected
to one cylinder only. This cylinder is selected on the basis of flight conditions, and
often will not be the hottest cylinder during
ground operation.
7. Idle Mixture Setting

5. Oil Pressure

O I L PRESSURE

ssure relief valve is set to give


oil pressure a t the rpm of the
eck and with a specified oil tematisfactory indication of oil presspecified temperature is assurequate oil pressure will be availoperating range.
emperatures

Little, if any, cooling airflow is available


on the ground, and operation at greater

Plug fouling difficulty is the inevitable result of failure to provide proper idle mixture setting. The tendency seems to be to
adjust the idling mixture on the extremely
rich side and to compensate for this by
adjusting the throttle stop to a relatively
high rpm for minimum idling. With a
properly adjusted idle setting i t is possible
to run the engine a t 450 rpm or even less
for long periods with complete freedom
from plug fouling. Such a setting will result in a minimum of plug fouling, exhaust
smoking, and loading up ;and will pay dividends from ;he saving on the airplane
brakes after landing and while taxiing.
If the wind is not too strong, the check of
the idle mixture setting can easily be performed during the ground check as follows :
a. Close throttle
b. Move mixture control toward idle cutoff and observe change of rpm
c. Move mixture control back to automatic rich before engine cuts off
As the mixture control lev
ward idle cut-off, and
off, one of two things
tarily :

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


'

GROUND OPERATION

larly to ensure proper ground and


idling.

(1) The engine speed may increase by as


much as 200 or 300 rmp. An increase
of not more than 20 rpm indicates
proper mixture strength. A greater
increase indicates that the mixture is
too rich, as the engine acceIerates
while the mixture leans out through
best power,

NOTE: This check niust be performed in


conditions. Any considerable wind,
er head or tail, or across the ainpla
affect the results.

Since the metering of the fuel by


buretor in the idle range is not
sated for altitude, i t follows that
mixture setting correctly adjus
field may not give satisfactor
some other field of different
the mixture is correctly set f
of two fields, it will tend to be too
the higher field; if correctly set
higher field, i t will be too
lower. In the case of an airplane whos
flight schedule calls for sto
fields of different altitudes, i t wil
ally be found possible to make
promise, intermediate idle mixt
which will give satisfactory, if not
results a t each of the various fie1
tendency of the mixture to be t o
altitude, and hence to "torch" an
the spark plugs, may be offset by
speeds slightly higher than nor

(2) The engine speed may not increase,


or may drop immediately. This indicates that the idle mixture is too
lean, a s the fuel-air ratio has
straightway leaned out beyond best
power.
The idle mixture should be set to give a
mixture slightly richer than best power resulting in a 10 to 20 rpm rise after idle cutThis check should be performed with
the idling speed set for 450 to 500 rpm. If
the rpm is higher, correct idling adjustment will not result. In addition, the engine cylinder and oil temperatures should
be a t a stabilized value representing the
normal temperatures a t which the engine

ary adjustments made on new


of time to obtain their

become soaked
t is desirable

- IDLE -MIXTURE

8.

Taxiing
Use a smooth flow of power or smoot
changes of power during taxiing.
and frequent "jazzing" sometimes
feres with the operation of the a
ing pump, with the result that backfi
occur because of the low manifold pr
sures just after a sharp closing of t
throttle, while the engine is still tu
a t a high rpm.

PWA. 01. 100

ATT i%r WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

COLD WEATHER OPERATION

operation of the aircraft engine


require special preparautions a s compared to normal
orization of the fuel behigh viscosity of the oil
king speed with accompanys on the starter and batteries.
ssories fail because of congealed
cylinder priming washes the oil
ston rings and cylinder walls causcoring of the cylinders,
the bottom intake pipes
PREHEATING

Approximately 0 F (-20 C) is the lowest temperature a t which engine starting can be accomplished using the standard priming system,
accessories, and batteries. (Priming systems
are being developed for some engines which permit consistent starts at -20 F (-29 C) or lower
without the use of preheat.) Successful starting at- this temperature is contingent on adequate oil dilution, sufficient cranking speed, and
proper technique. Inexperienced personnel will
require considerable practice before achieving
dependable starting a t 0 F (-20 C). Very capable personnel, using the conventional starting
procedure, have made starts a t much lower ternperatures, occasionally as low as -35 F (-37 C).
However, this practice is not recommended for
general use because of the likelihood of hydraul-

icking and piston scuffing from the large amount


of priming necessary, and the possible failure
of the Wrication system or accessories. Therefore, the engine and installation should be preheated when ground temperatures are below
0 F (-20 C), unless the engine and installation
are warm from recent operation, or have priming systems that .germit lower temperature
starts. Adequate oil dilution is necessary to insure the required crankability for these improved priming systems.
If oil dilution was not employed when the engine was previously shut down, external heat
generally will be necessary a t temperatures below 40 F ( 5 C). Past experience, "stiffness" of
the engine, and fluidity of the oil a t the Y-drain
valve will be the best indications of the necessity for preheat.
One suggested means of using engine covers
and ground heating equipment for preheating
the power plant is shown on page 93. In an installation of this kind, there are two regions
which must be heated. The most important is
the accessory compartment of the nacelle, the
region a f t of the diaphragm or accessory cowl.
In this compartment a
sories, such as the star
and the principal parts of the
quent failures during or
the accessory compartm
inadequate.

!.

GENERAL OPE

GROUND OPERATION-COLD

WEATHER
--

COWL F L A P d
F R O M SOURCE O F
HEATED A I R

I
,,
DUCT TO
'SSORY SECTION

The se!c@ndregion in the nacelle which must


be heated' is forward of t h e diaphragm. The
power section of the engine is included in this
space.
The minimum time required for heating an
engine is dependent upon the4capacity of t h e
heater, the size of the engine, the outside air
temperature, and t h e amount of oil dilution
used prior t o the previous shutdown. For example, a heater delivering from 75,000 t o 90,000
Btu per hour will require about 30 minutes
t o heat a Twin Wasp engine a t -30 t o -40 F
(-35 t o -40 C) outside air temperature. With
the same heater and same temperature, a minimum of 45 minutes wilI be required with a Double Wasp engine. The difference lies in the
amount of metal in t h e engine which must receive heat. With strong ground winds or lower
.outside temperatures, increased minimum heating time will be necessary. It is desirable t o
heat the power plant for a longer period than
the minimum t o ensure t h e easiest possible
starting consistent with the time available for
heating. When using preheat, care must be exercised not to burn the insulation of the ignition system, if the temperature of the preheat
air exceeds 225 F (110 C ) .

The successful completion of preh:eating can


best be determined by turning the propeller
occasionally and noting engine "stiffness."
This is particularly effective if no, or insufficient, oil dilution has been used. With extreme
oil dilution, an engine will be free a t a temperature a s low a s -50 F (-45 C). Cylinder head
temperatures, as indicated by t h e cockpit gage
may not give the true cylinder head temperatures, if the preheated air happens to discharge
directly in contact with the thermocouple.
Checking the fluidity of the oil a t t h e Y-drain
can be used as a supplementary check. This
will also indicate the presence of ice which
would block t h e flow of oil t o the engine.
If the oil was drained after t h e previous
flight, it should be preheated to a temperature
of a t least 150 F (65 C) before being returned t o
the aircraft oil system. Engine heating should
be completed before the heated oil is returned.
To ensure adequate voltage for the engine
starter, warm and fully charged batteries
should be installed and connected to the electric
system a t this time. If the aircraft is equipped
with a n auxiliary power plant, t h e latter should
be started, or a ground source of auxiliary
power connected to the aircraft electrical system.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHlTNEY AIRCRAFT

Normal starting procedure may be used in


starting an engine properly preheated and with
preheated or properly diluted oil.
STARTING COLD ENGINES

In stai-ting a cold engine, ice may form on


the spark plugs and on other parts of the combustion chamber after one or more unsuccessful
attempts to start. The "ice" is a combination
of fuel, oil and water, and will prevent the
spark plugs from firing. Every effort must be
made to "catch" the engine on the first starting attempt, since ice will form in the cylinder
within a few seconds after it has fired and quit.
If two or three starting attempts have resulted
in nothing but a few feeble firing impulses,
time can be saved and abuse to the batteries
and starter can be avoided by removing a few
front spark plugs to inspect for ice. If icing
has occurred, the front spark plugs should be
changed or the engine thoroughly heated before making further attempts to start.
With the electric inertia or combination inertia-direct cranking starter types, be sure to
energize the starter completely before engaging.
Engine priming is dependent upon the type
of priming system and the amount of preheat
which have been used, and on other factors that
have been discussed elsewhere under "Priming".
With sufficient preheat a normal warm engine
start may be made.
With pressure injection carburetors, after
engaging the starter,.move the mixture control
slowly out of idle cut-off as soon as the engine is
firing on the prime, but be prepared to return it
to idle cut-off quickly if the engine quits. Particularly with a stiff engine, it is very easy to get
the mixture too rich for running and the engine
will not pick up speed. Therefore, brief periods
during which the mixture control is moved
back to the idle cut-off may be used to advantage until engine speed increases enough so
that airflow is sufficient to match the fuel flow.
Caution must be used to avoid introducing
excessive amounts of raw fuel to the lower in-

take pipes. Frequent instances of hydraulicking will occur if this precaution is overlooked.
Except with a warm engine, a small discharge
of fuel from the supercharger drain is normal
while attempting a start.
With float carburetors the mixture control
will be positioned in full rich or automatic rich
when starting, and no further manipulation of
this control will be necessary.
In cold weather, engine operation immediately after starting is frequently rough, with
back-firing and after-firing. This is due principally to a lean carburetor idling mixture and
to reduced vaporization of the fuel. Fouled or
"iced" spark plugs will also produce the same
effects. As a corrective, turn on the carburetor
air heat as soon as the engine is free of backfiring. This will increase the fuel-air ratio in
the idling range and will improve vaporization
of the fuel. If the engine is equipped with a
blower-rim or blower-throat priming system,
the intermittent use of priming will assist in
preventing backfiring until sufficient heat is
available and carburetor air heat can be used.
After the engine has warmed up operation will
be satisfactory with cold air.
WARM-UP

No attempt must be made to heat the engine


rapidly after starting by closing the cowl flaps.
As in normal weather, keep the cowl flaps fully
open a t all times on the ground. Cylinder temperatures are not as important as oil temperatures, which represent the temperature of the
internal engine parts. Cylinder temperatures
will rise quite rapidly to temperatures only
slightly below normal. Consequently the principal problem in warm-up is to increase the oil
temperature. Until the oil temperature increases to 140 F (60 C), keep manually controlled
oil cooler flaps fully closed.
In the case of engines that have had the 011
diluted with fuel, i t is preferable to allow the
oil temperature to rise considerably above 140 F
(60 C ) , and increase the engine speed during
warm-up to 1200-1400 rpm. Very little gasoline
is driven out of the circulating oil below this
oil temperature and engine speed. As much of

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

GROUND OPERATION-COLD

the diluting fuel as possible should be eliminated during ground warm-up. With heavy
dilution, the gasoline is evaporated very rapidly during the take-off with a tendency to discharge oil from the breathers, unless eliminated
during warm-up.

WEATHER

minute) into the oil inlet line, usually a t the


Y-drain valve. Mixing of the oil and gasoline is
accomplished within the engine by the mechanical agitation of the pressure pump, moving internal parts, and the scavenge pumps.

During warm-up, hydraulically operated propellers should be "exercised" several times to


make sure that the propeller mechanism is free
of congealed oil. So that the propeller governor
will operate, briefly bring engine rpm up to
1500 or 1600.

FLIGHT OPERATION
Flight operation in cold weather is hardly
more difficult than in normal weather. After
starting and ground operating troubles have
been overcome, and a successful take-off has
been made, flight operation is practically the
same as under standard conditions.

OIL DILUTION
Oil systems may be completely drained after
the engine is shut-down, and the oil heated and
returned to the system a t the time for the next
start. Some aircraft are equipped with electric
immersion heaters in the oil tank. Used continuously or in intermittent periods the contents of the tank, with the possible exception of
the base of the oil tank hopper, will be kept in
a fluid condition. Before starting, the engine
and accessory compartment must be thoroughly heated by means of ground heaters.
I

More generally, an "oil dilution system" is


used to ensure fluidity of the oil after the installation has cooled. Oil dilution consists of
introducing raw fuel into the oil to reduce the
viscosity of the oil. Because of substantial differences in the specific gravity and viscosity
o f gasoline as compared to aviation oil, there is
very little tendency for them to mix when introduced into a common line or tank. However,
if the two fluids, in any proportion, are forcibly
brought together by some means of mechanical
agitation, a very permanent mixture is produced. Diluted oil will not separate if allowed
to stand, provided the oil and gasoline have
been thoroughly mixed.
The Army type of oil system is designed for
effective use of oil dilution. Gasoline is introduced a t a slow rate (1% to 2 quarts per

a h v e ilkastmtion shows a typical Army


ail ~ysternrepresenting conditions in the lines
8nd tank a few s.eonds after dilutiofi has been
s-briml

Gamline i~ led from a pressure take-off conneetian; passes th.rough a solenoid operated
valve; and enters the oil inlet line, usually at
it wnnwtion on the Y-drain valve body. The
mlenoid valve ia operated by a switch in the
wkpit.

An e~i$entialpart of the oil system designed


for the use of dilution is the oil tank hopper.
The hopper is a 1 to 2% gallon capacity cylindrical ves,sel mounted near the center of the
main oil tank. The hopper serves to r e d m the
amount d?oil in eircubtion by separating the
main r w r v e sii supply from the eirewhting
oil. With only a small arnannt of oil in circulation, warm-up is rapid and dilution in the higher pementage~~
(2Wb to 35%) is made possible.
Without a hopper, the entire oil supply would
have to be diluted, requiring a very large expansion space. By reducing the amount of oil
ta be diluted and also By increasing the rate of
warn-up, the hopper reduces tbe length of time
Bu4in.g which the engine must operate with
diluted oil a . f i ~ rsstorWng.
-. - ..p
The.illa&r.ation on the following gage
s ows,
the Army oil system after dilution is complete.
All oil lines and the hop-per are diluted to the
s a w percentage, wkieh is also true of a!l oil ih.

rn

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


the engine. Some of the diluted oil will also find
its way outside the hopper and will collect on
top of the undiluted oil in the main tank.
The amount of oil dilution necessary is dependent upon the expected temperature to be
protected against. Oil dilution is recommended
when the expecteu starting temperature is 40 F
( 5 C ) or lower. The elapsed time required to
dilute to a desireci percentage depends on tvr7o
factors ; the rate of flow of gasoline into the oil,
and the amount of oil to be diluted. This fact
explains the difference in time interval required
for various aircraft. I t will be necessary for the
operator to consult the manufacturer's specific
instructions for the aircraft concerned.
Oil dilution is accomplished just before shutting down the engine. Before beginning oil dilution the engine should be idled, if necessary, to
reduce cylinder head temperatures to a maximum of 300 F (150 C), and allow the oil temperature to fall below 120 F (50 C). While
idling the engine, close the oil dilution switch
for the required time. Keep the switch closed
while stopping the engine, and until i t has
stopped turning over. If i t is necessary to service the oil tank, this should be done prior to
starting dilution.

I n extreme weather conditions, it is necessary to dilute the oil going into the Hydromatic
propeller by "exercising" the propeller governor control during the latter part of the dilution
time interval. This must be done when the engine is briefly brought up to 1500 o r 1600 rpm
so that the governor will operate. Oil operated
supercharger controls require the same treatment under these weather conditions.
The introduction of gasoline into the lubricating oil will loosen carbon and sludge deposits
within the oil system. This carbon and sludge
is carried to the engine oil screen and collects
there in quantities sufficient to cause the collapse of the screen. Consequently, within a n
hour or two after the dilution is first used in
the season, the screen must be removed for inspection and cleaning. This inspection must be
repeated a t short intervals until sludge and carbon no longer collect. Should this precaution be
overlooked, collapsed screens are certain to result. Trouble with dislodged carbon may also
be encountered if dilution is not used almost
daily following its first use in the season. Some
northern operators use small amounts of oil
dilution throughout the warmer weather to
keep the oil system cleared of carbon and
sludge.

Dilution Completed

FLIGHT OPERATION

-cg

1 Considerations

..

--

a r t of the take-off run the engine,


time since starting, is encounterns resulting from the use of high

--

power. The considerations governin


proper balancing of all operating factor
now apply.

used, and there should be


e-off rating, the"type test
r s a t this output, or the
of over 1000 take-offs.

ions permit, it is

ligh pow,er and 1


97

The pressure is applied by adva


regulators will prevent exceeding allowable limits, but on all other aircraft i t will
be necessary to give the manifold pressure
gage sufficient attention to prevent "overboosting".
Engines equipped with multiple speed or
multiple stage superchargers usually require that the lowest impeller speed or
stage be used a t take-off in order to prevent excessive temperature rise through
the supercharger. Exceptions to this rule
may be allowed on specific engines. For
complete information consult the applicable
specific operating instruction.

that no more

he supercharger. Howfor full take-off power a t any

On installations with fixed or two-position


propellers, the limit of throttle advance is
defined by maximum manifold pressure
and/or maximum rpm. At the one extreme of low altitude combined with low
free air temperature, limiting manifold
pressure may be reached a t less than limiting rpm. At the other extreme of high
altitude and/or temperature, take-off rpm
may be obtained a t less than take-off
manifold pressure. It is essential that
both instruments receive the necessary attention a t this time.
4. Mixture

-Fuel-Air Ratio

FLIGHT OPERATION-TAKE-OFF

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


--

head temperature caused by lack of cooling


airflow requires that the mixture be considerably enriched during the take-off. To provide this mixture use automatic rich in the
case of autdmatic carburetors or rich in the
case of manually controlled carburetors. As
a result of the previous checks of engine
operation and fuel pressure the pilot will
have the assurance that the required fuelair ratio will be obtained.
5. Charge Temperature
Temperature

--

-.

6. Cylinder Temperature

-Carburetor Air

a. Rlaximum Temperature
. .

Conditions may a r k when i t is neeewry


to use carburetor heat to eliminate ice b
fore, md even during, the take&. When
ice has formed during ground opepation a
short run to
rats rpm with the carburetor temperature control in "Full Hot"
will sufiRce to clear out the induction system. The comtro~then &6uId be returned
to "Cold" befom beginning the take-off.

In the m Q l y possible event that hesit is


needed during take-&, w&ient athnticr~
must be giyen to the temperature indicator and tho control to prevent the carbwator air temperature exceeding the r m m mended limits set for any specific engine
model.
Obvi-o~sly,when the free air temperature
& near or a h v e the m m m d e $ limit i t is
not p d i b l e to maintain: this limit.

The high pressure loads of take-on


power require that the cylinder head
strength not be reduced as the result
of excessive temperatures. I t can be
anticipated that the head temperatures will increase 45-55 F (25-30 C)
during the run as the average cooling airflow is insufficient to cool the
engine at this output on a continuous basis. Therefore, before the run
is started the head temperatures
must be sufficiently low to prevent
this rise from exceeding limits.
Even in the coldest weather a cowl
flap opening greater than the closed
position is essential. The ignition narness especially needs more cooling
airflow tharl closed flaps will provide
during the take-off.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


b. Minimum Temperatures

'

'1 9,Y

.r

\r"b7.iq

There is no fixed minimum cylinder


head temperature. Satisfactory engine operation has been obtained
with head temperature as low a s
76 F (26 C) ; and i t is not known if
this is the low limit. Warmer temperatures are recommended a s they
usually assist in fuel vaporization and
distribution and, hence, smoother
running. 250 F (120 C) has been
suggested as a minimum based on
general considerations of overhall
engine conditions. It should not be
eonstrued from any such instruckion
t h a t i t is necessary to employ Unusual means t o bring thme heads up
to any specific limiting minimum
temperature. The oil t e m p e r a t u e
is the best gage of the over-all engine conditions.
7.

t o critical bearings for cooling purposes.


No take-off should be made until t h e oil
has warmed up a t least t o this point and
140 F (60 C) is preferable. The maximum
temperature prior to take-off should allow
for the rise which inevitably follows, similar t o the rise in head temperatures. This
increase will vary with different installations, depending on t h e capacity of each
system, whether or not all the oil contained in the system is used continuously,
and the type of temperature reguIation.
The maximum limit must not be exceeded
as high temperatures can result in foaming and discharge through the breathers,
a s well as the natural reduction in lubrit n g qualities. This is especially true
while operating under conditions of take>ff power and temperature.
As take-off power and speed a r e the conditions of the greatest need for lubrication,
ithe functioning of the lubrication system,

e carefully checked.

Lubricatio

100 F (40 C) is t h e a b s w e minimum of


t h e oil inlet temperature h g e which will
ensure proper lubrication and flow of oil

No take-off shou1.d be performed without


assurance of proper ignition system functioning. While less than perfect ignition
operation can be tolerated under conditions
of low engine power and speed, the high
pressures and high intake temperatures encountered during take-off require t h a t t h e
entire system be functioning in order that
the engine may maintain maximum output
without detonation. The magneto check at
approximately 65% power has been found
t o satisfy this requirement.

-xn-

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


PREPARATION FOR TAKE-OFF
CHECK-OFF LIST

LIGHT OPERATION-TRANSITION

TO CLIMB

TRANSITION FROM TAKE-OFF


TO CLIMB

As soon a s the field and surrounding obstacles are cleared, reduce power a t least to
Normal Rated. With constant speed (variable
pitch) propellers the reduction should be accomplished in steps as follows:

A properly prepared and consistently followed check-off list will ensure that all necessary steps are taken while preparing for
take-off. The take-off run with its demands for

eck will give the pilot a clear


rning items which otherwise
is a suggested power plant

- Full

open

- Set for take-off

- On suitable tank*
i r Heat - Cold (except a s discussed)
i r Filter - AS required
- Low, Neutral, or Off

1. Retard throttle to reduce manifold pressur


to about 2 in. Hg below that for Norma
Rated power (with fixed part throttle, mani
fold pressure will rise as rpm is reduced).

2. Retard the rpm control to Normal Rated


rpm.

If a further reduction in power is desired,


proceed as follows:
1. Lower manifold pressure by 2 in. Hg.
2. Lower engine speed by 200 rpm.
Continue in successive alternate steps until
the desired engine speed is reached, finally adjusting the throttle to the desired manifold
pressure.

Oil Pressure
Fuel Pressure
Cylinder Temperature
- Adjusted for take-off
- Adjusted for take-off
c aircraft would

This is not to be construed to mean that the throttle


should never be advanced with a low rpm. The engine
is not affected by the position of the throttle-it.-is
affected by the manifold pressure resulting from the
throttle position.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WWITNEU AIRCRAFT

TRUE AIRSPEED

I I

-MPH

Fig. 29 - Brake Horsepower vs True Airspeed

POWER
her than specifying maximum limits of
engine manufacturer cannot preite outputs to be used for the variitions of flight. There are no direct
s to the questions: "What is cruise
power) ?", and "What is climb (power) ?"
The pilot has available any power from the
minimum necessary to sustain the aircraft dp
to Normal Rated. What he should use is governed by what quality of service he wishes to
emphasize : performance, or economy and dur1. Aircraft Performance vs. Power

The relation between aircraft speed and


engine brake horsepower is illustrated by
Fig. 29.
The significant information to be obtained
from this curve is the low return in increased airspeed for a given increase in
power a t high output as compared to medium outputs. The upper portion of the
curve follows closely the relationship given
by the equation:

where V,, V, = two differentairspeeds


Bhp,, Bhp, = the brake horsepowers necessary to obtain the correspond-

and

ing speeds.

The equation, it will be noted, is similar


to the propeller load formula, and in nonmathematical language simply means that
8 times the power is required to double the
air speed, and 27 times the power to triple
it. Stated another way: if the bhp is increased in increments of 10% Normal
Rated power, an airplane which develops
an airspeed of 220 mph a t 4021 of power
will realize a gain of 20 mph as the bhp
is advanced to 50% of power; but will
increase its speed by only 10 mph (i.e.,
from 289 to 299 mph) as the bhp is increased from 9021 to 100% of Normal
Rated power.
2. Performance vs. FueI Consumption
Perhaps of even greater interest is an
illustration of the reIationship between
airspeed and miles per gallon.

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

FLIGHT OPERATION-POWER

SELECTION

I
TRUE AIRSPEED-

MPH

Fig. 30 -Miles Per Gallon vs True Airspeed

It should be obvious from this curve that


economy of fuel cannbt be realized by operating a t a high percentage of power. The
decrease in miles pev gallon as speed is
increased is the result of the rapid increase in power required, combined with
the fuel enrichment accompanying high
power operation.

This is another way of stating that an


engine can be used for a certain number
of power-hours before requiring a n overhaul. These power-hours can be used up in
a short time by high power operation or
they can be stretched by reducing the percentage of rated output used continuously.
4. Power Selection

Performance vs. Durability

The complete picture of the effect on economy and durability of varying airplane
performance can be shown by combining
Figs. 29, 30 and 31.

The durability of the engine as measured


in the number of hours between overhauls
is also a factor which varies with the
amount of power used, and so can be
shown as varying with airspeed.

The operator has the entire range of performance to select from and in many cases

TRUE AIRSPEED

-MPH

Fig. 3 ? - burabiliQ vs True Airpeed

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

fig. 32 - Brake Horsepower, Fuel Economy and Durability vs True Airspeed

el economy and engine


dvantageous to
tinuously. Miliin a manner dicnecessity ; durasecondary considera'
, after a thorough
ana
s more profitable
to :
a t high speed,
s earnirig more revenue, even though
ine operation costs per mile are in3sed.

BMEP

- CONTROL

When such considerations are not present


it is suggested that power be governed a s
1. Climb

wer.

)f

2. C r u i s ~ .,..,st pow
Lnce needs, not
rmal Ra ted pow

The accun.....,,,
experience of severaI
yea.rs has iindicate(1 that operation within
the se limits will Iresult irI the optimum
--_
-r
- balance
01 aircraft perlorman
erall economy of operation.
.
L
-

reflight Preparation Prevents


Perplexed Pilots
? power to be used, the
lose the engine speed for

tion Propellers
I ~ installed,
L .
only
If a fixed ~ I L C L I~ L - u ~ ~ I is
one combination of manifold pressure and

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


rpm will give the required power a t a given
altitude and airspeed. This is also true of
either the high or low pitch position of
a two-position propeller.
With a two-position propeller the requirements of proper rpm and manifold pressure
balance will be best met by operating in
the high rprn position during take-off and
climb and in the low rpm position during
the cruising portion of the flight. Otherwise there is no opportunity to exercise
bmep control and establish the optimum
combination of manifold pressure and rpm.
2. Variable Pitch (Constant Speed)
Propellers

With variable pitch (constant speed) propellers an infinite number of rprn and
manifold pressure combinations may be
selected to deliver a given power, bearing
in mind that, a t constant power, as rprn is
increased, manifold pressure must be correspondingly decreased, and vice versa.
For example: engine "A" a t sea level will
develop 650 bhp a t 2600 rprn and 28.75 in.
Hg manifold pressure, a t 1450 rprn and
37.0 in. Hg, or a t an infinite number of
intermediate combinations.
In selecting a particular combination of
rpm and manifold pressure to obtain a
desired power, the operator must regulate
the balance between the loads and stresses
due to engine speed, on the one hand, and
those attributable to cylinder pressure on
the other. Bmep accordingly becomes one
of the principal factors, not only in the
selection of rprn and manifold pressure,
but also in determining economy of operation and engine durability.
3. Engine Speed vs. Cylinder Pressure a t
Constant Power

In the case of an engine operating a t constant power, but a t different rprn and
inversely varying manifold pressures, the
effects of speed (rprn) and cylinder pressure (bmep) on various characteristics of
its performance may be summarized as
follows :
a. Friction: - Reduced by a decrease in
rpm. The decrease of sliding and rolling speed more than offsets the corresponding increase in pressure friction.

FLIGHT OPERATION-BMEP

CONTROL

b. Reciprocating and Centrifugal Loads :


- Reduced by a decrease in rpm. Pressure opposes and cushions these loads
which predominate in determining the
stresses on master road bearings.
c. Detonation: - Reduced by a decrease
in rpm. Inasmuch as the tendency
of a fuel to detonate is determined
principally by its temperature sensitivity, a low impeller rpm with the attendant low temperature rise through the
supercharger is favored. The heat rise
varies chiefly with impeller speed and
is relatively unaffected by power.
Secondarily, the tendency of a fuel to
detonate is determined by its pressure
sensitivity. Excessive manifold pressures combined with high mixture
temperatures can therefore also lead to
detonation.
d. Fuel Consumption: - Reduced by a
decrease in rpm. As explained above,
an increase in rprn is accompanied by

MINIMUM

RPM

MAXIMUM

Fig. 33 -Fuel Consumption vs Rpm


at Constant Bhp

an increase in friction. Accordingly, if


a constant brake horsepower is to be
delivered to the propeller shaft, i t follows that the cylinders must develop
more power (ihp), and this additional
cylinder power requires extra fuel.
e. Cylinder Cooling: - Improved by a decrease in rpm. The reduced cylinder
horsepower (ihp) resulting from low
rprn operation will be reflected in lower
cylinder head temperatures.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100

f . Oil Cooling: - Improved by a decrease


in rpm. Low engine speed is the most
effective way to control the tendency
of the oil to overheat, since a low rprn
reduces the power necessary to overcome friction and, hence, the amount
of heat to be carried away by the oil.

ever, because of structural and detonation


considerations. These limits can be described in terms of bmep, and may be
illustrated as follows :
4. Maximum Cylinder Pressure Limit

A line joining Ovi power and rprn with


100:4. normal rated power and rprn defines the minimum recommended engine
speed for normal rich mixture operation.
Higher bmep should not be used unless
there is a reason proved by analysis for

g. Altitude Performance: - Above the

critical altitude for a given combination of manifold pressure and rpm,


manifold pressure decreases, and with
it. the ennine's
power output. Under
these circumstances the desired power
can be maintained only by increasing
engine speed, thereby raising t h e
pumping capacity of the cylinders and
increasing the pressure rise through
the supercharger.
h. Vibration: - It has been the practice
to select engine and rprn combinations
which appear t o give acceptable cockpit and cabin comfort. Engine suspension systems of earlier types tended to
favor a bmep lower than would be selected from considerations of engine
efficiency. Present developments of
engine suspensions are such that, in
general, there is little if any limitation
to the use of the full rpm range and
meeds a s low a s 1200 r ~ m
may be
entirely practical.

certain P r a t t & Whitney Aircraft enodels now in current use. For in-

Recommended
Maximum Lean

It may be concluded from the foregoing


discussion t h a t i t is generally preferable
t o operate the engine on the side of high
manifold and cylinder pressures and low
rpm.
Cylinder pressure must be limited, how-

50

I00

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED R P M

Fig. 34 - Brake Horsepower vs Rpm

- (Bmep)

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

FLIGHT OPERATION-BMEP CONTROL

80

W
n

I-

2 so
_I

i
0

40

B
C
W

ga 20
- oO

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

PERCENT OF NORMAL RATED R P M

Fig. 35 -Brake Horsepower vs Rpm

5. Maximum Rpm Limit


The high rpm limit of operation can be
conveniently defined by a propeller load
curve passing through Normal Rated
power and rpm.
Operation a t engine speeds lower than
propeller load will insure that the loads
set up by high rpm are never excessive
and will be sufficiently cushioned by
pressure.
6. Desired Rpm Range
Combi6ing the pressure and rpm limits,
the area of best operation would appear
a s shown in Fig. 36.
It will be noticed that a considerable range
of power and rprn combinations is still
available a t medium percentages of the
normal rating. Exact definition of the
optimum combinations for operating in
this area must come from the aircraft

- (Propeller Load)
manufacturer. On practically all counts
the engine will wish to run a t t h e maximum bmep. The propeller prefers an engine speed more nearly at propeller load.
The airplane by itself will wish t o be
flown somewhere in between depending
upon its own characteristics. The answer
can only be obtained by combining the
three units together.
If maximum miles per gallon are desired,
the engine will say, "Operate me a t the
lowest brake specific fuel consumption."
This may result in a propeller speed so
low that the blade angle will increase to
the point where i t is "paddling" the air
and providing Iittle thrust. The engine
will feel very satisfied a s i t will be using
the Ieast gallons per hour, but the airplane
will not go very f a r with a given amount
of fuel because of the inefficiency of the
propeller.

OF EXPERIENCE AS DEFINING THC RANGE


OF GREATEST ECONOMY AND DURABILITY-.

PERCENT OF

NORMAL

RATED R P M

Suggested Maximum Bmep

can be

atisfied if the power and rpm

the engine involves infig. 38 - Brake Horsepower v

these conditions is deter


be taken into account:

ariations : - Head o
vor a deviation fr
ro-wind altitude.
ye opera
--:Ll-

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

8. Induction System Icing


Ice formation within the induction system
is often a potential hazard of engine operation. It is difficult to approximate the
frequency of this condition. The more
advanced cases of icing, which cause serious malfunctioning of the engine, are comparatively few in number, but they cause
a great deal of concern, and should be
absolutely eliminated.
ed in the induction system
processes which are

AIRSCOOP E

SCREEN
IMPACT TUBES

BOOST VENTURI

TI

ICING BELOW THROT


NOT LIKELY I F FUEL
D/SCHARGED HERE

THROAT VANES

is that formed from

FLIGHT OPERATION-ICING
ing after it is introduced in
stream. This ice probably occurs
frequently in actual operation be
it may form a t carburetor air tempe
tures considerably above 32 F (0 C).
Most of the heat necessary to evaporate the fuel is taken from the air,
which causes i t to drop in temperature
Fuel ice may affect airflow by block
ing off the supercharger entrance
(blower throat), affect fuel-air ratio by
interfering with the fueI
affect mixture distribution or quant
of mixture to individual cylinders
upsetting the fuel flow a t the
zle distributor, or air flow dis
a t the supercharger entranc
certain conditions of high humidity,
this ice may form with carburetor air
temperatures as high as 80 F (25 C)
Tendency for fuel ice to form is greater
with float type carburetors and to a
lesser extent with pressure
carburetors having the X-bar fueI d
tributor. The newer type spi
distributor developed by P r a t t & Whitney Aircraft for the pressure injection
carburetor has practically eliminated
icing of this type.
Indication of icing conditions in the induction system in the order of probable perception to the operator are as follows:
a. Decrease in manifold pressure-due to
restriction of induction passages, with
consequent loss of power.
b. Changes in fuel-air ratlio; the mixture
becoming either richer or leaner. This
may become serious before there is a
appreciable change in manifold pre
sure.
,
c. Sticking of the throttle valve.
d. Icing indicator instruments

(if in-

tion depend upon the manner in which the


is discharged into the induction syste

ATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


and Whitney Aircraft engines with
float carburetors and the Twin Wasp C
series). When the fuel is injected immediately downstream from the carburetor a considerable volume is available in which fuel evaporation ice can
form. Turning vanes offer a convenient
surface for the ice to cling to and
complete blocking of the passage can
quickly occur. With this type of equip-

drop due to evaporation


ce the temperature in this
elow freezing. 100 F
(40 C) carburetor air temperature
should be used when possible ice formation conditions are present. As the
evention of evaporation ice requires
ree of heat the other
possibilities are taken care of adely. Do not apply greater pre-heat

PWA. 01. 100


of 100 F (56 C) or more will insure the
abiIity to remove ice already formed.
Some engines in this category require
definite restrictions in the use of preheat
in order to prevent detonation. This is
especialIy true when using the high impeller ratio of a single-stage, two-speed
engine. For more definite information
regarding individual engines refer to
the applicable specific operating instructions.
Removal of ice already formed is best accomplished by use of full carburetor heat.
If the preheat capacity is sufficient and the
remedial action has not been delayed, i t is
a matter of seconds until the ice is removed.
The preheat capacity can be increased by
applying more power and by closing the
cowl flaps.
If the ice formation is alIowed to progress
to a critical extent the loss of power may

uretor air temperature represents


ossible loss of engine performance
d excessive carburetor heat can Iead
USE HEAT FOR PREVEN'TION
IT MAY N O T BE THERE FOR CURE

heat. It is possiwhen using 6ccoId"air, for the coned moisture to pass through the
temperature is elevated to 32-80 F
(0-25C) this moisture will be changed
first from a frozen to a liquid condition
and, when fuel evaporation takes place,
will return to the frozen state in the
induction passages. Under such condi(40 C) preheat
air temperature controI
injected a t or downstream from
ner injection.) With this
equipment fuel evaporation ice is no
longer a criticaI factor. However, while
a large preheat capacity is not needed
to prevent ice formation, the instant
availability of a temperature increase

make it impossible to generate sufficient


heat to d e a r the engine. Because of this possibility it is imperative that the crew be alert
to possible icing conditions and take remedial action while i t can still be effective.
Operation of the engine a t high bmep (large
throttle opening and low rpm) may assist
in minimizing the possibility of ice by reducing this obstruction across the airflow.
Also, a change of altitude may result in
finding ice-free conditions.
There is record of some operators clearing
ice by causing the engine
rigorous procedure should be resort
only in extreme emergency and it i
tant to insure that the carb
trol is in the "cold" position
"off" so as to prevent darnag

wered airspeed. An airplane towing a


level flight is subjecting its engines
me conditions as in an unencumbered

climb a t t h e same indicated airspeed. The higher powers used for climb combined with reduced
cooling airflow call for closer attention t o cylinder and oil cooling.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


SPEED AND PRESSURE - RPM AND
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

elect rpm to give power within limits shown


Fig. 36. Greater than Normal Rated bmep
ould be used only when i t is known that
finite advantages are obtained. If the climb is
d above the critical altitude for the
nd rpm selected, increase the engine
rpm for each inch reduction of maniURE

-FUEGAIR

PWA. 01. 100

latch cover of the mixture control can be


felt through the cockpit control, and proper
positioning positively assured. As new developments take place different nomenclatures may be used to denote proper mixtures. Consult the applicable specific operating instructions.
2. Non-Automatic Carburetors: Rich mixture
is obtained on non-automatic carburetors in
the full forward position of the control.
Above 5000 feet it may be necessary to retard the control to compensate for the effect
of altitude on the uncompensated carburetor. This retarding should be limited to the
amount required to maintain smooth operation.
CHARGE TEMPERATURE
AIR TEMPERATURE

-CARBURETOR

RATIO

misture is used in climb to assist the


airflow in maintaining the desired cylteract any tendbecause of the
ercharger when the
percentage of
1. Automatic Carburetors: On current engines
provided with automatic carburetors, rich
mixture is provided by positioning the control in automatic rich. An indent on the

Any necessary use of preheat during the


climb must be closely controlled so as not to
increase to a critical value the high mixture
temperature resulting from high rpm. If detonation is encountered during the climb, the
most effective corrective action is to reduce
manifold pressure and rpm. The rpm is reduced
to lower the impeller speed, thus reducing the
supercharger heat rise. The lowering of manifold pressure is necessary in order to stay within bmep limits.
The carburetor entrance temperature limit
for single-stage, single-speed engines a t n
rated rpm, or greater, is usually 100 F (4
When higher entrance temperatu
quired to eliminate ice already f
manifold pressure and rpm so
charge temperature will not be exce

a s possible
c
smooth operation
non-automatic ca

Two limiting cylinder head temperatures are

LUBRICATION

- "..---

re is allowed for a limited

high stresses on the head

weakens the heads.

r these

eratures with-

smbustic
roper lii

..

provided, the oil cooler control


maintain the desired tempera
control, whether manual or aut
give the necessary temperature
the following steps :
1. Reduce rpm and manifold pres
The rpm reduction reduces the

.ircraft
sary coc

engine friction. The rnanif


duction may be necessary

aximum Cont
rna~imui
continu
7.7.

g climb

..

2. Increase airspee

PWA. 01. 100

RATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

TRANSITION FROM CLIMB TO LEVEL FLIGHT


I-

PEED AND PRESSURE


PRESSURE
,

- RPM AND

$...

Delay closing cowl flaps or leaning mixture


until the cylinders have cooled down below
400 F (200 C). This delay serves not only to
cool the cylinders after the climb but to bring
to desirable temperatures the entire powerplant. Close the cowl flaps gradually as the
speed increases.

MIXTURE

- FUEL-AIR

RATIO

flight power by first reducing

--

JIC*

- --

-'

Change to cruising mixture after the engine


been attained. The mixtu
prevent the combination
a warm engine. An e
engine can resul
will prevent the

FLIGHT OPERATI

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTlONS


1

LEVEL FLIGHT
Approximately 95% of flight time is spent in this engine operating condition and,
therefore, has the greatest influence on engine

POWER: The lowe

ive the desired aircraft performance within the following limits:

Recommended
All Normal Operation - Maximum Cruise
Rating
All Other

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WWITNEY AIRCRAFT


SPEED AND PRESSURE
MANIFOLD PRESSURE

- RPM AND

realized. It is intended that cruising lean mixtures be used under favorable conditions of
operation. When it is not possible to maintain
cylinder temperatures within maximum continuous limits the mixture must be returned t o
the rich or automatic rich position.
Many pilots have noticed a change of power
while holding constant manifold pressure and
rpm when reducing the mixture strength t o
lean values. The loss of power is directly evident, if a torquemeter is installed, or it may
be noticed by a slight reduction in airspeed.
This drop in output is the normal result of
reducing mixture strength below best power
7

Obtain desired power within bmep limits as


own on Fig. 36. Where aircraft manufacrer has provided complete cruise control inormation, use his data for precise control.

- FUEL-AIR RATIO

Fig. 39

on in excess of Normal Rated


s t be with rich or automatic rich mixuous operation. For powers beRated, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
limits for power, rpm and bmep
lean mixture. While these recom~ t sare not mandatory the use of
a t greater powers should only be
the basis of analysis as to the
to be obtained. The use of lean or
ean mixture a t any time must be refavorable conditions of cylinder and

-Power vs Fuel-Air Ratio

fuel-air ratio and does not mean that the economy of lean mixture operation is being lost.
If the operator has available operating curves
covering automatic rich and automatic lean
operation, the extra manifold pressure necessary to obtain the desired performance can be
readiIy determined. When such information is
not available the throttle should be advanced
to regain the airspeed lost when the mixture
was leaned.
1. Automatic Carburetors

The use of lean or automatic lean mixture


under cruising conditions is essential if the
potential fuel economy of the engine is to be

Current engines, equipped with automatic


carburetors, have the lean mixture position
indicated as Automatic Lean. When the

FLIGHT OPERATION-LEVEL

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

FLIGHT

REOUCTION I N FUEL-AIR RATIOIN RANGE SHOWN IS NO? APPRECIABLE


PRACTICAL MANUAL LEANING Rf OUIRES CREATER ANGLE OF MANUAL CONTROL

M/XTURE CONTROL POSITION

Fig. 40 - Fuel-Air Ratio vs Mixture Control Position

mixture strength is to be reduced the control should be retarded by placing it in the


automatic lean position. An automatic lean
indent is provided that can be felt during
the control motion. (For carburetors with
normal and rich positions, refer to Page
31.)
The question is raised in many sources as
to the possible advantages of manual leaning between, automatic lean and idle cut-off.
On carburetors of previous and current
manufacture, this is not a procedure to be
attempted except under conditions allowing
the closest attention to this operation and
in installations provided with instrumentation for the purpose. Furthermore, the relation between mixture control travel aria
fuel-air ratio is extremely sensitive and
such that accurate control is difficult.
It will be seen that a sudden drop in mixture strength occurs with a very slight motion of the control. Under all normal conditions it is, therefore, recommended that
lean mixture operation be performed with
the control placed in the automatic lean indent.
As new developments take place, individual
models of carburetors may be provided with
mixture regulation allowing manual leaning
and a different nomenclature may be used
to distinguish proper mixture positions. For
exact information consult the applicable
specific operating instruction.

2. Non-Automatic Carburetore
a. With manually controlled two-position,
or fixed position propellers:
Referring to Fig. 39, i t will be noted that,
a s the rich mixture used in climb is
leaned out, the power developed increases
until the rich best power setting is reached ; remains virtually constant a t a maximum between rich best power and lean
best power; and decreases rapidly as the
mixture is leaned out beyond lean best
power. When a propeller is used which
can be held in one pitch position, any
change in power is accompanied by a
corresponding change in rpm. This relationship is made use of in setting the mixture for level flight as follows:
(1) Fix throttle to the desired rpm and
manifold pressure and adjust carburetor air temperature for continuous operation.
(2) Lean mixture until rpm reaches a
maximum value. This is rich beet
power and is the full extent to which
the engine may be leaned when operating between 65-75% power. In leaning to this condition it will be normal to go slightly beyorid the point
where maximum rpm is first noted.
The control must be returned to this
point, making sure that control link
age backlash is accounted for.

& WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

r the mixture can


an best power by
ntrol beyond rich
the rprn starts to
lean beyond a 10
rom maximum rpm.

h the values specified in the specific operating instructions for the engine.
(2) No Instrumentation
With no instrumentation, manual
leaning cannot be done safely as
there is no reaction from engine or
instrument to advise the operator
a t safe conditions are being mainined. Manual leaning is permitted
to the extent required to smooth
ine roughness resulting from
ect of altitude on the uncomed carburetor.
When manual mixture adjustment is used it
ust be remembered that the control position
yives the correct fuel-air ratio only for the coniitions uncler which the adjustment is made,
lamely: pourer, rpm, carburetor air tempera;we, and altitude. If any of tllese conditions are
changed, the mixture must be reset. There is no
definite mixture control position corresponding
to any specific combination of manifold pressure and rpm, but the following will serve as a
formula to enable the operator to maintain a
proper mixture strength :
re Control (En-

CHARGE
AIR TEM

With Wasp J r , Wasp, Twin Wasp J


net engines, or other Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
engines using float-type carburetors, it is desirable to maintain a constant 90 F (30 C) carburetor air temperature to ensure freedom from
icing and to assist mixture distribution.

On all engines it will be necessary, under ice


formation cooditions, to increase the carburetor
entrance temperature either to eliminate ice
already formed or to maintain a carburetor air
temperature that will ensure freedom from ice
formation. In such circumstances the immediate concern is freedom from ice, but it should
be realized that as an indirect result the mixture charge temperature is being increased.
The maximum limit, usually 100 F (40 C) , must
be observed. Refer to the applicable specific
operating instructions for the engine i
tion.
The use of a 100 F (40 C) carbur
formation a t all times.
formed it may be ne
preheat capacity to cl

FLIGHT OPERATION-LEVEL

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


There is no minimum carburetor air temperature. Full cold operation in sub-zero conditions can be entirely satisfactory, and as long
as ice formation is not encountered there should
be no reason to apply preheat, unless the fueI
requires some heat t o aid in vaporization and
distribution as indicated by rough running.

CYLINDER HEAD TEMPERATURE

FLIGHT

In attempting to obtain cylinder temperature


control by means of mixture regulation, the
operator must bear in mind that a decrease in
cylinder head temperature is not always obtained by advancing the mixture control from
automatic lean to automatic rich. On many engines carburetors are so adjusted that the automatic-lean position provides approximately best
economy mixture strength in the cruising
range. At corresponding powers the automatic
rich position will result in approximate lean
best power mixture strength. Under these conditions in the cruising range automatic lean
will result in cooler cylinder temperatures than
automatic rich. Above approximately 70?&
power automatic rich will always result in cooler
cylinder temperatures than automatic lean.

LUBRICATION

The specified maximum cylinder head temperature for continuous operation is established
to ensure prevention of detonation and to maintain the strength of the head and piston material in spite of the high combustion temperatures resulting from a lean mixture. Exceeding
this temperature limit with lean mixtures will
result in detonation which will materially
weaken the cylinder heads and pistons and reduce the life span of the engine. Engine life
will be appreciably increased by maintaining
cylinder head temperatures below 400 F
(200 C), and every effort consistent with aircraft performance should be made to operate
below this temperature.

The procedures outlined under Climb apply


equally to Level Flight.

DESCENT
Normally, descent can be considered a continuation of level flight, maintaining the same
conditions of power, bmep, and temperature
control.
If constant power output has been maintained
by increasing the rpm when the critical altitude

for the normally selected rpm and manifold pressure was passed, maintain the desired power during the descent by reducing the engine speed by
50 rpm for each in. Hg gain in manifold pressure. After passing the normal setting critical
altitude, regulate power by throttle adjustment.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

GLIDE AND APPROACH

The transition from cruising descent to


glide and approach occurs a t the time that
the aircraft is slo
the undercarriage and when ente
airport flight pattern. From this point
until actually landing, the pilot will want
the engine in a condition to respond immediately to any demand for power, from
a moderate increase for maneuvering to
full take-off rating in case

I,

PRESSURE
rated rpm may be required
r is needed, the propeller
advanced to a position
result in 85-90% of Normal
when the propeller is governe control is not advanced to the
osition, a s a sudden throttle
result in serious overspeedamount to 600-800 rpm
ers. If the need for full
, advancing the throttle
11 give immediate power response and
he rpm control can be adjusted later.
With two-position propellers, the rpm
control should be placed in the high rpm
position. With either two-position or constant speed propellers, the control position
should be adjusted a t an aircraft speed
sufficiently low so that overspeeding does
not result.

120

- MANIFOLD PRESSURE

\*
7

\I

As a variable pitch (constant speed) propeller will be in fixed low pitch a


used, engine power control
tirely by the use of the t

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


MIXTURE

- FUEL-AIR RATIO

FLIGHT OPERATION--GLIDE AND APPROACH


The remainder of the flight is a t low airspeed
and the airflow is needed for ignition system
cooling. In case there is a demand for full
power, the engine will receive sufficient cooling
to prevent a serious temperature rise, and the
cowl flaps can be later readjusted after taking
care of more urgent items.

LUBRICATION

Rich mixture will be required for the remainder of the flight to obtain slatiafaetory a c d eratian response and t o ensure engine prdection in case of a sudden meed for full power.
CHARGE TEMPERATURE
AIR TEMPERATURE

-CARBURETOR
Where manual oil cooling control is provided, adjust shutters to maintain the desired
temperature condition.

CHECK LIST

Under conditions leading to ice formation,


maintain lOOF (40C) carburetor entmnce temperature. In the event of a sudden application of fulI power, the earburetor k t control
mu& be r d j u e t e d immediately, as the increase in power will r a u l t in a rapid riare in
the available carburetor h a t .

CYLINDER HEAD TEMPERATURE

As in preparation for take-off, a landing


check-off list is recommended :
- Rich (Automatic Rich)
1. Mixture
- 85-90% Normal Rated
2. Rpm
3. Fuel Selector

- Cold; o r lOOF (40C) if

6 . Cowl Flaps
6. Oil Cooler Control

- Trail o r 2 in. open


- As needed

- --

The cowl flaps, where used, should be awn


dightly (trail gaition on e m ins~llations).

On suitable tank*

4. Carburetor Heat

icing conditions a r e present

*Experience has shown that this item cannot be


mentioned too of ten.

121

PRArM' & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


--

.---

..
.

PWA. 01. 100

---

LANDING

SHUTDOWN

E ; ~ h cowl
e
flaps are to be opened as soon as it
1s practical during the landing roll to remove
any obstruction to the dissipation of the heat
stored up in the engine and to be prepared for
taxiing.

With the cowl flaps fully open t h e engine


should b e i.dled for a sufficient length of time to
ml the cylinder head temperatures t o below
limiting shut-down temperatures 400 F (200 C) .
Shutting down a warm engine results in leaving
en exwmJv@:a w n t i of k t $bred in the mass
ef the engine., with no means of conducting i t
&way e m p t by mnv@ction currents.

B~uttii-egGE the engine is accomplished as


f dlows :
1. Shut a 8 b m t e r pump (if applicabIe).
2. Move mixture control t o idle eut-off or
full lean, with the throttle open to any
idling speed.
N o t e : I t is not necessary to open the thrattle as the
engine cats off.

3. When the engine stops rotating, t u r n


off the ignition
4. Lmve crawl flaps fully open for a t least
15 minutes.

VDER HEAD TEMPERA URE L I M I T

SPARK PLI
INTAKE MA
PUSH RW
MOUNT Pi

'LBOWS
'OLD SEALS
ER TUBE SEALS
?TALS

Fig. 41 -Engine Temperatures After Shutdown

GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

LIGHT OPERATION-LANDING TO SHUT DOWN

HEATED AIR

HEATED AIR
CONF/NED

BAFFLE SEAL
ACTS AS BARRIER
TO CIRCULAT/ON

Even though the engine is properly cooled


prior to shutdown, i t still contains a large
amount of heat, and it takes a considerable
time to remove the heat that is stored in the
mass of metal. The only means of removal are
the convection currents set up within the cowl.
Cool air enters the lower portion of the powerplant and rises to the top of the engine compartment. Unless a ready exit is available, this
heated air remains static a t a temperature
which will damage the ignition harness.

under ground testa.

As the mixture control lever is moved into


idle cut-off or full lean, an opportunity is afforded to check the idling mixture as discussed

Opening the throttle, with the ignition cut,


leans the mixture to a point where combustion
cannot be maintained.

If the engine does not stop with the mixture


control in idle cut-off or full lean:
1. Close throttle.

2. Shut off booster pump (if applicable).


3. Cut ignition.
4. Slowly open throttle.

(5. Have idle cut-off checked)

"

As there was

systems must b
supercharging ca
of t h e engine's operat
directly affected by

charger controls.
ground by t h e "skin of his teeth"
not always bliss.
tration the pilot violated the

into expecting a p r
with t h e erudition of
deal with t h e subject using on1

in power by use of
under conditions
cance a s t o operation of t h e
introduce new factors whi

PURPOSE OF SUPERCHAR

"B" is capable of 235 mph.


must be superior t o "B." H

y stage could have

t, he did not know

parison is of little value. At what altitu


airplanes "A" and "B" attain these ma
be able t o go 285 mph and "B" can do 235

variations in pe altitude on airpl ane spec?d, and in the ability, or


lack of ability, of the engrine t o maintain a given
. * altitude of operaticIn. The
power t o the desirea

.,

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

PURPOSE OF SUPERCHARGING

TRUE AIRSPEED

-MIL ES PER HOUR

Fig. 42 -Airplane Performance vs Altitude

degree of supercharging is of greatest importance in enabling the engine to deliver its power
a t altitude.

thrust. The variation in airplane forward


speed with altitude at various percents of
power is shown in Fig. 42.

AIRPLANE PERFORMANCE VARIATION


WITH ALTITUDE
If, as altitude increases, engine power can be
maintained, a gain in level flight high speed will
be obtained a t the rate of, roughly, 1% per
thousand feet. In each cubic foot of air a t
higher levels there are fewer particles of air to
impinge against and retard the airplane,
whereas the constant speed propeller makes it
possible to sustain approximately constant

ENGINE PERFORMANCE VARIATION


WITH ALTITUDE
As the power delivered by an engine varies
with the amount of air it consumes, the performance will fall off a s altitude increases when
operating with a fixed throttle position and constant rpm. The volume of air drawn into the
cylinders will remain unchanged but the weight
of this volume and, consequently, the power generated, will diminish in proportion to the air
density as shown in Fig, 43,
This is not 100% of power
a s defined by the engine
rating; i t is 100% of the
power obtainable a t sea
level with wide open throttle and a t a constant rpm.
W i t h supercharged engines, normal rated power
(100% rated power) is
usually less than 100%
of full throttle sea level
power. The relation shown
is fundamental f o r a l l
engines, supercharged or
unsupercharged, provided
that the impeller is driven
a t a fixed ratio to crankshaft speed.

rl

I.

ALTl

TUDC

Fig. 43 -Engine Performance vs Altitude

TRUE AlRSPEED - M I L E S

PER HOUR

fig. 44 -Combined Airplane and Engine Performance vs Altitude

COMBINED AIRPLANE AND


ENGINE PERFORMANCE
By combining Figures 42 and 43 it is possible
to determine the altitude range of performance
obtainable with a given airplane and engine
combination. For example, point 'ID" on Figure
43 can be directly transferred to Figure 42 by
placing i t on a point having the same value of
power and altitude. Similarly, the remaining
points of Figure 43 are transferred and form
--

line A-B-C-D-E-F. Line A-F then becomes a


curve of the performance obtainable with the
airplane and engine combination using the rpm
shown and a t full throttle. If the engine speed
is the maximum allowable the airplane is capable of the performance shown below line A-F.
If performance above line A-F is required, the
engine power capacity must be increased. It is
the function of the supercharger to enable the
engine to have this increased power capacity.
7

100% OF POTENTIAL POWER

D E S I R E D POWER

r n t s POWER L O S S M U S T

BE ACCEPTED

2Q

1'
POTENTIAL POWER

QI

'4

I
I
ALTITUDE- FEET

01

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

PURPOSE OF SUPERCHARGING

If the airplane designer's wishes could be


followed, the limits imposed by nature would be
pushed back and the engine designer would provide a powerplant capable of delivering constant
power unvarying with altitude. However, as the
facts of atmospheric life are inexorable, the engine performance will invariably follow the path
shown in Figure 43. If the desired power must
be obtainable at 10,000 feet the engine capable

er must base his


design on what power is required a t what altitude. The excess power available a t lower altitudes must be kept in check by proper observance of limits and the operator must accept the
diminished output a t higher altitudes.

b. Number of

INCREASING ENGINE POWER CAPACITY


As the power developed in the cylinders of the
engine depends directly upon the lbs. per hour of
air consumed, the need for increased power is
engine's air-consuming

Objection-Size:

Extra size of engine results in excessive airplane

L O W A I R CC

H I G H A I R CONSUMPTION

Objection-Centrifugal
and inertia
loads become excessive
and valve action is something different than provided for by cam profile.

PRATT & WWITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. OI. 100


-

3. - Supercharging

--..

T H I S VOLUME /S THE
SAME, AS THIS

lNCHES

CHARGE,
VOLUME
SWEPT BY
PISTON
EQUALS THE
CHARGE
VOLUME

'T

-3-

/ S DRA Wfi' /NTO THE CYLINDER.


T H I S VOLUME NEVER VARIES
REGAROLFSS OF ALTITUDE,
TEMPERATURE, THROTTLE
POS/TlON, OR DEGREE OF SUPERCHARGWG

The power that this charge develops in the


cylinder depends upon the volume of atmosphere that is compressed into this fixed charge
volume which can be varied by1. Change in charge pressure which can be
varied by

a. Throttling
Supercharging offers the most efficient
means of increasing engine's air-consuming capacity. I t accomplishes the
same results as increasing the size or
number of cylinders or increasing the
rpm but i t accomplishes these results
with the least increase in weight or size
of the powerplanti
llowing table illustrates the variations
required size of an unsupercharged engine
rder to maintain 1000 hp to various altitudes
rpm, compression ratio and

PART T H R O T T L E

ltitude
Sea Level 20000Ft. 40000Ft.
ltitude
Power
Capacity 1000
1000
1000
-11 ~ L - - u I .
n

U L I L I I I V L L I ~r u w t f r

Capacity at Sea Level 1000

RO

2083

6410

NTRANCE

TO THE PROPELIAER
oped in the cylinthe WEIGHT of
'Weight" is emtor that can be
Volume cannot
be varied.

-FULL THROTTLE

b. Change in carburetor entr


sure resulting f

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

PURPOSE O F SUPERCHAR
2. Change in charge temperature which can
be varied bya. Change in atmospheric temperature

SEA

HIGH ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE

0,000 FEET

c. Supercharging
LOW ATMOSPHERIC TEM PERATURE

JNSUPERCHARGED

n
NO PREHEAT

,.SUPERCHARGED

n increase in the pressure of t h e charge is a


vorabIe factor in increasi
Etrge and, consequently,
veloped in the cylinders.

WITH PREHEAT

& WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100


cylinder to the propeller and is an important
factor in determining the over-all gain
from supercharging.
POWER DEVELOPED
IN T H E C Y L I N D E R S

OWER ABSORBED
Y THE IMPELLER

SUPERCHARGED BUT WITHOUT


ACCOM PANYlNG TEMPERATURE R l S E
A PURELY IMAGINARY CONMTION

POWER DELIVERED
TO T H E P R O P E L L E R

---

SUPERCHARGING BASIC FACTORS

ERCHARGED WITH U N A V O I D A B L E
O M PANYlNG TEMPERATURE RlSE

charge temperature is an
factor in increasing the charge
tly, lowers the power proower is developed from the charge
nto the cylinder, a flow of power
ward the propeller. However,
ons must be made from this flow to
omer-absorbing agencies within the engine beore the useful balance available a t the propeller
haft can be measured. These are:
tion horsepower
power expended to overcome the internal 'riction within the engine and to drive
the various engine accessories. While, in
practice, this item is of appreciable magnitude, it does not vary to any great extent
because of changes to be considered in this
discussion. Therefore, the engine will be
~nnqideredas being frictionless.

The effect on charge pressure and charge temperature by compression, and the amount of
power required to drive the impeller are the
three principal measures by which a comparison can be made of various superchargers.
1. EfFect on charge pressure
Measured by pressure ratio -,the ratio
between the pressure at the air entrance
to the pressure a t t
(manifold pressure
PRESSURE RATIO

MODERATELY
SUPERCHARGED

PRESSURE RATIO=*

30

= 1.5:l

PRES

It is sufficiently accurate

-30
60
--

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

PURPOSE OF SUPERCHARGING

which would not add enough to the accuracy of this presentation to be recognized).
For example, a t 19000 feet the entrance
pressure is 14.3 in. Hg.

For example: a t 19,000 ft. the temperature


of the air a t the entrance is-26'.

MODERATELY
SUPERCHARGED
MODERATELY
SUPERCHARGED

HIGHLY
SUPERCHARGED

TEMPERATURE RISE
+7 O- (-23)0300C
21 4
PRESSURE R A T I O = ~ = I . S :I

HIGHLY
SUPERCHARGED

26.8
PRESSURE RATIO=-=
14.3

TEM PERATURE R ISE


= +22O- (-23O)=4S0C

2: l

2. Effect on charge temperature


Measured by temperature rise - the difference between the temperature of the
charge a t the entrance and the charge temperature a t the supercharger exit. This
rise is the inevitabIe result of compression
together with unavoidable fluid friction
and turbulence.

Besides its effect on power, the charge temperature is a very important measure of
the tendency of the charge to detonate.
For any grade of fuel a close relationship
exists between the temperature and the
pressure of the charge which defines the
limit of normal safe combustion. If the
charge pressure is low it can tolerate a
high temperature, or, conversely, if the
temperature is low a high pressure can be
safely imposed.
The limits resulting from this relationship
can be shown graphically as follows:

HIGHLY
SUPERCHARGED

TEMPERATURE RlSE
= 45O-15- =30c

TEMPERATURE RlSE
= 60 -15O = 45OC

As with the case of pressure ratios, i t will


be assumed that temperature rises remain
constant a t a given rpm regardless of
changes in air entrance temperature, airflow as controlled by throttle position or
airflow a s determined by the altitude of
operation. Actually, there is but a slight
deviation from this assumption.

Fig. 46 Charge Temperature vs Detonation

The implication of Figure 46 above is that,


a s the charge temperature is increased, it
becomes necessary to prohibit the use of
that portion of the engine's power capacity
that lies in the detonation range.

PWA. 01. 100

NEY AIRCRAFT
of operating a t sea level with a carbure-

tion with the ch

r L l . W l T REQUIRED I N ABOVE E X A M P L E

In utilizing the supercharger, the engine


designer is reaching for the goal of maximum power sustained to the highest possibIe altitude. By supercharging, he is
endeavoring to obtain the maximum benefit from the resulting increased- charge
density without being penalized excessively by restrictions resulting from the
increased charge temperature.

R L I M I T IS REQUIRED W I T H
LOWFR GRdOE F U E L

ALTITUDE

essary Power Restrictions


tion-Free Operation

The step by step development of the supercharging systems that follows uses the same engine components tabulated below. All operation
is a t constant rpm.

3. Supercharger horsepower

the impeller varies


city a t the impeller

I. Power Section
Cylinder displacement, compression ratio,
spark advance, valve timing and Iift and
fuel-air ratio.

pipes.
The only variable used is impeller speed with
the exception of the two-stage engine.

0:I IMPEL
D R I V E Rl

LEVEL

varied to obtain desired a1

ER

based on the premrpm supercharger


es with altitude in

POWER REQUIRED /
BY T H E I M P E L L E R

POTENTIAL POWER
A V A I L A B L E AT THE
PROPELLER

POWER PRODUCED I N
THE CYLINDERS

WEIGHT OF A I R C O N S U M E D PER HOUR 1


T H E MEASURE OF POWER PRODUCED I N T H E

CHARGER PUM PING CAPlClTY

T H E MEASURE OF

VOLUME OF AIR

n nCHARGE PRESSURE
THE MEASURE OF
\
PRESSURE RATIO

<

CHARGE TEMPERATURE
T H E MEASUREOF
TEMPERATURE RISE

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 100


RESULTS OF SUPERCHARGING

TYPICAL UNSUPERCHARGED
(NORMALLY ASP I RATED)

Supercharging does not change the fundamental performance characteristic of engine performance with change of altitude. A supercharged engine obtains 100% of its total power
capacity at sea level. At any altitude, full throttle power a t constant rpm follows the same relationship, as shown in Fig. 43.

PRESSURE RATIO 0.9:J


TEMPERATURE RISE 0 C

T YPlCAL SUPERCHARGED

This will be understood if it is realized that


the supercharger has merely supplemented the
fixed volume pumping capacity of the cylinders
with an additional fixed volume of capacity.
With constant rpm and wide open throttle the
supercharged engine will always draw in the
same volume of atmosphere.
The power will diminish with increasing altitude as the weight of this fixed volume diminishes.
The engine designer could have obtained the
same results by increasing the size or number of
cylinders or, possibly, by increasing the rpm.

PRESSURE RATIO a:?


TEMPERATURE R14E 45%

FULL THRBTYLECHARACTERISTICS AT SEA LEVEL

The essential result of supercharging, then, is


that the pumping capacity of the engine has been
increased and, with it, the capacity of the cylinder to produce power.
The supercharger illustrated is a single-stage,
single-speed supercharger because
1. The compression is accomplished in one
operation or stage
2. The impeller is driven a t one fixed ratio to
the crankshaft

ALTITUDE

' , ..

FEET

Cornperrisen ef Power

1
I

$
I

s
bl

POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE
NOT USEABLE BECAUSE OF
OPERATING RESTRICTIONS

i=

.
I

TRUE A/RSPED

- A4 P-li

Effect en Airplane Performance

SINGLE STAGE GROUND BOOSTING

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING
TYPICAL SYSTEM WITH 6:l

IMPELLER DRIVE RATIO


PRESSURE RATIO I.5:I
TEMPERATURE RlSE

30"~

CHARACTERISTICS AT SEA

LEVEL

PRESSURE R A T I O I.5:l
TEMPERATURE RlSE

3O0C

CHARACTERISTICS AT 19,000 FT. ALTITUDE

STEPS IN SINGLE-STAGE DEVELOPMENT


1.

Ground Boosting

The power developed by the engine in this example is the maximum usable sea level performance which can be obtained from t h e basic power
section. If the impeller drive ratio were lower'.:
the engine would not receive sufficient air to
develop this output. If the ratio were higher,
the increased charge temperature would require
that the maximum pressure be limited in order
to prevent detonation. The power available
within this restriction would be less than the
maximum power obtainable with the ground
boost supercharger.
The example shown was selected t o illustrate
t h a t the given ground boost supercharger provides the means of obtaining the highest possible sea level performance. Any supercharger
that increases the power capacity of an engine
over that obtainable without supercharging and
which does not result in a restriction of operation requiring throttling at low altitude is considered a ground boost supercharger.
Engines equipped with ground boost supercharging are used on basic training and light
transport aircraft. The simplicity of operation
esulting from freedom of restrictions recomnend it for this class of airplanes.

Comparison of Power

Effect on Installed Weight


TRUE A/RSPEED - M P H

Effect on Airplane Performance

Weight
hp @ S.L. Rating
wt/hp @ S.L.

Unsupercharged
900
775
1.16

GroundBoosted
1000
1000
1.00

'

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


wrln

PWA. 01. 100


2.

r . 1 I M ~ L L L E R DRlVE R A T I O

'

PRESSURE RATIO 2:)


RISE
45C

-the

Low Altitude Supercharging

Stepping up the speed of the impellc; provides


the engine with the capacity t o consume more
Qlcubicfeet of air a t any altitude. Near sea levei
engine has the power capacity to exceed the
performance that has been set up as a goal by
er. However, because this 1degree of
:in g results in an increased temperature rise, the maximum usable power, or rating,
ufficiently low so that the pressure
.ned with the resulting high1er charge
temperature will not produce detonation.
The maximum usable power within this Iimitation is Iower than the usable power of the
ground-boosted engine provided with the optimum impeller drive ratio and using the same
grade of fuel.
In selecting this degree of supercharging the
designer has accepted the small loss in performance close to sea level in order to gain considerable altitude output.
The engines using this degree of superchargual!ly sustain their maximu~
n ratings
100 feet. This characteristiLC recom.r installation on transport a.ircraft in
r to provide the required take-off performrts located above sea 1e1.el and t o
cruising performance a t moderate
altitudes.
The usual cruising powers of these engines are
sustained to 8000-14000 feet which provides a
satisfactory altitude range for medium distance
airline operation without cabin supercharging.
With engines equipped with a lower degree of
supercharging, engine speed is the only major
restriction in operation. With the introduction
~percharginga new limil; must be
.is new limit is charge pre ssure and
is indicated in the cockpit by the manifold pressure gage.

Effect on Installed Weight

.:

Weight
hp 6 S.L. Rating
wt/hp 6 S.L.

Ground
Boosted
1000
1000
1.00

* * * *
T R W AIRSPL,,

MPH

Pff ect on Airplane Performance

hp @ 4000 ft.
wt/hp 8 4000 ft.

875
1.14

Altitude
Supercharged
1000

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

SINGLE STAGE ALTITUDE SUPERCHARGERS

TYPICALSYSTEM WITH 10:l IMPELLER D R I V E R A T I O


PRESSURE RATIO 3 : l
TEMPERATURE RISE 6dc

3.

High Altitude Supercharging

Further increase in impeller speed still further increases the volume of atmosphere drawn
into the engine and the potential power capacity
has been correspondingly enlarged. However, the
supercharger heat rise is now of such magnitude
t h a t t h e maximum power restriction is severe
and the performance a t low altitude is considerably reduced.

FULL THROTTLE CHARACTERISTICS AT SEA LEVEL


PRESSURE RATIO 3:I

n nTEMPERATURE RISE 6

6 ~

These characteristics recommend the use of


engines equipped with this degree of supercharging to those airplanes requiring maximum altitude performance but which are able to take off
and climb with relatively low power. Fighters
are examples of this class of aircraft.
Effect on Installed Weight

715

Supercharger
Low Altitude
High Altitude
1000
1000
Weight
hp @ S.L. Rating
975
940
wt hp @ S.L.
1.03
1.06

BHP

* * * *
FULLTHROTTLE CHARACTERISTICS AT I 9 0 0 0 FT.

hp 8 12000 ft.
w t hp 6 12000 ft.

733

1.37

LIMIT OF IMPELLER SPEED

AL Ti N U L

- FEET

Comparison of Power

TRUE AIRSPt-ED

-M P H

Effect on Airplane Performance

It can be seen t h a t each step of increasing


impeller drive ratio has made it necessary to
impose more severe restrictions upon the brake
horsepower t h a t can be safely used a t low altitude. Eventually, this restriction will become so
severe t h a t sufficient power will not be available
for satisfactory performance a t sea level.
Between the limits of optimum ground boost
impeller speed and the limiting maximum
speed, the engine designer has the choice of an
infinite number of impeller drive ratios.
His selection of any one is based on the type of
performance which must predominate. If maximum output is required at sea level the consequent lack of performance a t altitude must be
accepted. Conversely, if maximum altitude output is essential a reduction in maximum usable
power is unavoidable.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

ALTITUDE F E E T

Fig. 48 -Engine Altitude Performance With Different Impeller Drive Ratios

e maximum single-stage altitude per-

The comparative powers obtainable


the usable range of impeller gea
above.

Both ratios provide the engine with the same


stics of air volume consumed, pressure
perature rise and supercharger horseower as with .the correguonding
single ratio
......::

ADDITIONAL SINGLE-STAGE
DEVELOPMENT
'The engine designer cannot reach t h e goal
maintaining constant power a t any altitude wi
a single-stage supercharger using a single fixedj
impeller ratio. Each time he reaches for more'
altitude performance he loses ground near sea
level. If he is t o realize the possible gains of
high impeller ratios without losing the advan-.
tages of the lower degree of supercharging he.
must devise a drive system which allows the
impeller to be driven a t a s p e d more nearly1,
optimum to the altitudle of operation. This ne-:
cessity has brought about the development of .
the multiple and variable speed impeller drives.,

1
2

!'-

4:
$
.

Ar

.,

r ~ r u-e~~ . z r

..

.
'

Comparison of Power

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED


SUPERCHARGER
By providing a two-speed impeller drive a n 8
selecting ratios from Fig. 48 giving best per-,
formance a t two desired altitudes, greater alti-:
tude range of airplane performance is obtained.
The low ratio is selected to give the desired
output near sea level and can be any degree sf
supercharging from ground boost t o t h a t for
low altitude. The high ratio is usually selected

TRUE AIRSPEED - M P H

Iffect en Airplane Performance

ADVANCEDSUPERCHARGING
The single-stage, two-speed supercharger enables the engine to develop high power for takeoff at or near sea level and, a t the same time,
permits the engine to maintain high airplane
performance throughout the medium altitude
range.
I t will be noticed that in this case the maximum permissible high ratio power is greater
than that of an engine having a single-speed
drive of the same ratio. The gain is possible
because the use of the higher ratio is reserved
for altitudes where it will permit the engine to
develop more power than with low ratio. For
example, a t 10,000 feet (Point A ) , the perniissible engine power can be based on a charge
temperature of -5 C plus the supercharger
temperature rise. The same impeller speed a t
sea level will produce a charge temperature of
15 C plus supercharger temperature rise. The
20 C more favorable charge temperature permits a greater charge pressure and, consequently, more power.
The availability of this additional power makes
it imperative that the high ratio be used only
where advantageous. Premature engagement of
high ratio will very probably result in detonation.
This premium of extra power when using high
ratio power makes it necessary to assign two
different limiting carburetor air temperatures
with single-stage, two-speed engines. The higher
limit is allowed with low ratio supercharging
onIy. When high ratio is engaged, the lower
limiting entrance temperature must be observed.
It is only by the use of these carburetor air
temperature restrictions that this additional
high ratio power rating can be offered and i t is
essential that these considerations be understood
when using carburetor preheat for ice prevention
or when flying in air of extremely high temperature.

SINGLE STAGE ALTITUDE SUPERCHARGERS


Recause of the increased versatility of performance possible with the single-stage twospeed engine i t is used on a wide variety of aircraft requiring maximum performance from sea
level to medium altitude.

Effect on Installed Weight


SingleSingleSneed
Iineed
~ r & n d - wit; Eigh
Booated
Ratio
Engine
Drive

Two-Speed
Low
High

Weight
Hp @ S.L. Rating
Wt/hp @ S.L.

1000
1000
1.00

1000
940
1.06

1040
1000
1.04

Hp @ 12000 ft.
Wt/hp @ 12000 ft.

668
1.62

940
1.06

1040

940
1.11

LIMITATIONS OF FIXED RATIO DRIVES


Even the multiple speed drive is a compromise.
The fixed ratios are selected to give maximum
performance a t specific altitudes and possible
performance between these points is sacrificed.
For example, the engine is provided with an
8 :1 drive ratio and is rated a t 750 hp a t 2500

rpm. The highest altitude to which this performance can be maintained is 10,000 feet which
is termed the critical altitude for this power and
rpm. At this rpm and a t full throttle the supercharger pressure ratio is 2.25:l.
When operating a t 5000 feet the impeller speed
has not changed and, hence, its pressure ratio
remains the same a s a t 10000 feet. However, as
the atmospheric pressure has increased to 24.9
in. Hg, full throttle operation would result in
raising the manifold pressure to 56.0 in. Hg
which, in combination with the increase in
charge temperature to 55 C, would result in
detonation.

The addition of the two-speed drive involves


little additional weight to the powerplant (2040 Ib) and no additional drag. Operation is
somewhat more involved as ratings, limiting
powers, rpm, manifold pressures and bmep are
not the same for each ratio. In effect, the pilot is
operating two different engines and must be
aware of the differences in order to maintain
proper conditions and to obtain the most efficient utilization of the powerplant.
ALTITUDE

- FEET

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

In order to restrict the engine output i t is


necessary to use the throttle so that the pressure a t the face of the impeller does not exceed
that obtained a t this same point when operating
a t 10000 feet and with full throttle.

10,000 F E E T
F U L L THROTTLE

drive the impeller a t 5000 feet is lower with 7:l


than with 8:l drive ratio. This represents a
direct gain in power delivered to the propeller.
By providing a variable speed impeller drive
the engine designer enables the single stage
engine to deliver the maximum possible performance a t all altitudes and provides i t with
the greatest operating flexibility.

5000 F E E i i

PART THROTTLE

Cempwison d Power

As the impeller speed remains con&m%.


power required to drive the impella Its smchanged.

THE SINGLE-STAGE VARIABLE


SPEED SUPERCHARGER
If, instead of restricting the supercharger output by means of the throttle, the necessary regulation could be obtained by means of varying the
impeller drive ratio while holding full open
throttle an appreciable decrease in power required to drive the impeller will result.
Taking the previous example a t 5000 feet, the
power delivered to the propeller can now be increased to 775 hp because the power required to

TRUE AIRSPEED

Effect on Airplane Performance

Effect on Installed Weight

Weight
Hp @ S.L.
W t / h ~@ S.L.
Hp @ 6500 ft.
Wt/hp 8 6600 ft.

1040
1000
1.04

- FEET

1-stage
Variable Speed
1070

* * * *

940
1.11

* * * *

Hp @ 12000 ft.
Wt/hp 8 12000 ft.

ALTITUDE

-M P H

9.40
1.11

The variable speed supercha~gerresults in a


performance which is the combination of the
maximum altitude outputs obtainable with an
infinite number of drive ratios varying from
maximum ground boost to limiting maximum.
A t any impeller speed the supercharger has the
same characteristics of air consumption, pressure ratio, temperature rise and supercharger
horsepower as with the corresponding single
ratio drive.

TWO STAGE SUPERCHARGERS

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING
The variable speed drive provides the single
stage engine with the maximum versatility of
operation. The cost in weight is low (60-100 1b)
and no increase in drag is involved. As its operation is, by necessity, automatic, control is
greatly simplified.
These qualities recommend its use on all aircraft requiring maximum performance from sea
level to medium altitude.

THE TWO-STAGE SUPERCHARGER


A single-stage compressor, even though all
components are designed for the highest possible altitude of operation, reaches its limitations
in the medium altitude range. These limitations
are :
1. Size

While the examples previously shown are discussed on the basis of maintaining constant
the physical dimensions of the supercharger
while varying only the impeller speed, in actual
practice the entire size of the compressor is increased. Entrance passages, impeller diameter
and width, diffuser and collector undergo increases in size in order t o handle efficiently
the larger volume of air. Accordingly, a supercharger with proper sized components for high
altitude will not be capable of efficient performance near sea level.
As the volume of air t o be pumped becomes
greater and the diameter of the impeller is increased, so does the size of the cases housing
the impeller. Engine installation requirements
make it essential to keep this engine section
below a definite maximum diameter.
2. Temperature rise

As the pressure ratio increases, the resulting


temperature rise becomes excessive and imposes impractical limitations on usable brake
horsepower.

The foregoing examples t r e the d


m n t of the singte-stage supe~hargerf m the
mrhtiom in pemforrazance a a l p l a b k by man6
of different types uf i m p l h drive. In actual
pmetiee the designer utilizes a e m d d d b
n u m k of w i b i e changes in the design of the
impeller, induction pasaim end diffuser in
~rdm
to oMsin the m w t eflicient combination to
give the &sired performame in a specified altitude range. The considerations involved in the
design of a low altitude supercharger, which
handles emall volumes of air, differ wrnmhat
from the design of a supercharger required to
make possible maximum engine performance at
15000 f e e t However, them b c t o r s & not haw
appreciable effeet upon the method of operatim
and the precautions necesarary for protectfon of
the engine.

These limitations are avoided by dividing the


supercharger into two separate parts and accomplishing the compression in two steps. This
system is called the two-stage system as the
compression is accomplished in two steps 0.1stages. The stages are connected in series and
the limitations of the single-stage system are
avoided as follows:
1. Size
Two stages of compression are provided.
The main stage is identical to the supercharger of the single-stage engine and, on
the system used by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, it is possible to operate near sea level
using the main stage only. By this means,
the size of the main stage components is
optimum for low altitude performance.
The auxiliary stage is designed to handle
efficiently the larger volume of air a t high

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


altitude. It delivers the air to the main
stage at approximately sea level pressure
so that, a t all times, the main stage is
functioning near its point of best perf ormance.

INTERCOOLER

By using two small impellers having the


same airflow capacity a s one of large size,
the diameter of the supercharger section
is held within reasonable installation limitations.

SINGLE LARGE
SUPERCHARGER

T W O SMALL
SUPERCHARGERS

B O T H PUMP THE SAME


QUANTITY OF A I R

L A/RE DUCT
R

--.

M / N STAGE A/R DUCT

CARBURETW) AN) T E H M W R E 646E

MAIN STAGE (PRIh&RY> IMPELLER-

Main Stage
Same as single-stage, single-speed. This sMge js
always engaged. The impeller drive ratio 1s
selected t o give the desired performance near
sea level without the use of'the auxiliary stage.
For take-off, maximum performance near sea
level, and cruising economy, operation is with
main stage only.

Fig. 49

Auxiliary Stage
Engaged when performance requirement s cannot
be met by sole use of the main stage.

- The Two-Stage System with Gear Driven, Two-Speed

Auxiliary Stage

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

TWO STAGE SUPERCHARGERS

2. Control of temperature rise

creased airplane size, plus the drag involved in


passing cooling air through the intercoolers,
detracts from the aerodynamic cleanliness of
the installation.
Taking two similar airplanes, one using singlespeed supercharging, the other two-stage, and
both designed to obtain the best utilization of
their powerplants, the airplane with the singlestage will be lighter and cleaner and will have

SINGLE LARGE
SUPERCHARGER

T W O SMALL
SUPERCHARGERS

W I T H O U T COOLER

WITH INTERCOOLER

By cooling the charge between the steps of


compression the temperature a t the intake port, is held within safe limits. This
between-stage or intercooling is utilized on
all Pratt & Whitney Aircraft two-stage
systems but it is not necessarily used on
all two-stage engines.

EFFECT OF TWO-STAGE SYSTEM


ON AIRPLANE
The addition of the auxiliary stage to the
single-stage engine involves penalties in the form
of increased engine weight and size, and additional weight, size and drag to the airplane. In
addition to the added engine weight, the supercharger must be charged with the weight of the
intercoolers, ducts and extra controls. The in-

TRUE AIRSPEED- M P H

superior performance in the altitude range


where its engine can maintain equal power.

PWA. 01. 100

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


T Y P I C A L SYSTEM W I T H T H E FOLLOW1 N G I M P E L L E R
DRIVE SATIOS
M A I N STAGE (NEUTRAL)
6:l
AUXILIARY STAGE LOW 6 d : I
AUXILIARY STAGE HIGH 8:l
rlNTERCOOLER

BHP

S E A LEVELM A I N STAGE

INTER COOLE

CHARACTERISTICS AT^
MAIN PLUS AUXmILIARYSTAGE

30,000FT-

A Typical T w o Stage Sydem

TRUE A/t?SPEED

-M PH

Effect on Airplane Performance

TWO STAGE SUPERCHARGERS

ADVANCED SUPERCHARGING

TWO STAGE SYSTEMS


Gear-Driven Auxiliary Stage
a. Fixed Ratiq Drive
The use of the two-stage, two-speed
supercharger allows the engine t o deliver its maximum output a t or near
sea level and a t the same time makes it
possible to maintain high output to
higher altitudes than could be obtained
with the most advanced single-stage
system.
These characteristics recommend the
use of this type of compressor on installations requiring a uniform high
performance through a wide range of
altitude without unduly penalizing the
compactness of the installation. Many
of the most effective fighters used in
World War I1 utilized engines equipped
with this type of supercharger.
Efficient operation of the two-stage,
two-speed supercharger places greater
demands upon the pilot than singlestage systems. In effect, three different
engines are selectively available and in
each stage, different limitations of
power, bmep and carburetor air temperature are called for. Efficiency is
largely determined by the knowledge
of the correct altitude range in which
t o use each degree of supercharging so
that the maximum potential performance or economy can be realized.

mum efficiency can only be obtained by


a thorough knowledge of the principles
applying t o its operation
Effect on Installed Weight

Wt. Engine
Extra Items, Intercoolers,
Ducts, etc.
Total
Power @ S.L. Rating
Wt/hp @ S.L.
Power @ 30000 Ft.
Wt/hp @ 30000

2-Stage,
2-Speed
1320

250

* * * 1070
*

1570

1000
1.07

1000
1.57

483
2.22

890
1.76

* * * *

b. Variable Speed Drive


The two-stage gear-driven supercharger can be provided with a variable speed drive similar t o that used
on the single-stage engine. It is possible to use this type of drive on both
main and auxiliary stages or to drive
the main stage impeller a t a fixed
ratio reserving the variable speed
operation for the auxiliary supercharger. The advantages realized are
the same as with the single-stage
supercharger.

TWO SPEED

B
2
P

For example, if the shift from "neutral" to "low" is made prematurely,


considerabIe power is lost as "neutral"
will furnish more power to the propeller a s long as i t can maintain the
manifold pressure to which '"ow" is
limited.
If the shift is deIayed by allowing the
full throttle manifold pressure to fall
off below the proper shift value while
in "neutral," possible performance is
again lost by not taking advantage a t
the right time of the increased permissible power capacity of "low." The
same considerations apply when shifting from "low" to "high." While rough
"ruIe of thumb" procedures for shifting have sufficed to obtain a reasonably
effective use of this equipment, maxi-

1-Stage,
Variable
1070

'a

L
ALTITUDE- FEET

Comparison of Power

I.

TWO-STAGE

I.

.
I

TRUE AIRSPEED

-M P H

Efiect on Airplane Performance

While the mechanism required t o drive


and control the two-stage, variablespeed supercharger represents in-

PRATT &

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

creased complications, i t results in relieving the pilot of considerable responsibilities for decisions regarding
the use of the various compressor
stages. Operation is entirely automatic
and calls for little more cockpit attention than would be required by a singlestage engine.
c. Other Arrangements of Gear-Driven
Two-Stage Superchargers
The two-stage arrangement shown in
Fig. 49 is the one that has been used
successfully on Pratt and VVhitney Aircraft engines. Other engine manufacturers have used other arrangements
success full^.^ The selection of the system depends upon the engine configuration and the installation problems involved.

PWA. 01. 100


2. The Exhaust Turbine-Driven Auxiliary Stage

The exhaust turbine-driven supercharger is


basically the same as the auxiliary stage of the
gear-driven two-stage supercharger. The impeller, diffuser and collector are designed to
accomplish the same function as a gear-driven
auxiliary stage. The essential difference is that
with the turbo supercharger the impeller is
driven by a turbine utiIizing the energy available in the exhaust gases. The relation between
the auxiliary and main stage, intercoolers and
carburetors are the same in both systems. A turbine-driven supercharger is, then, a variable
speed auxiliary stage compressor and its use allows the maintenance of sea level power to high
altitude within the limits of allowable turbine
speed and over-all temperature rise.

SUMMARY

B O T H STAGES ALWAYS t N G A G E D

AUXILIARY S T A ~ E ENGAGEMENT
SELECTIVE

The abcwe comloinations can be rearranged almosr, indefinitely with the carburetor before the auxiliary stage, interstage or after the main stage. The
nterstage or after the
1

Supercharging offers the means of obtaining


wide varieties of application of a given basic
engine power section to different altitude requirements. The engine designer, utilizing the
same cylinders, pistons, main cases, etc., is able,
by the addition of the proper degree of supercharging, to make the same basic engine fit the
peculiar requirements of several types of aircraft. To accomplish the same results by means
of unsupercharged engines, the engine designer
would have to provide a completely different
engine for each aItitude need. The advantages
of manufacturing economy and in supply and
maintenance are obvious.
Each additional increase, in the degree of supercharging, enlarges the restrictions necessary
in order to insure safe engine operation. It is
essential that the operator understand the necessity for these restrictions and base his operating
procedures on a well-founded knowledge of the
effect of the supercharger used on engine operating efficiency and safety.
For the users of engines e
of the several superchargers,
Aircraft has publications aval

#
.

C I

r$

al$.J,.

* TWO
MV

..

SPIED

.J

,.

. .,

SUPERCHARGER

ION

its

ia7
li

ATT 8c WHLTNEY
D I V I S I O N

O F

U N 1 T E D

'

A I R C R A F T

C O R P O R A T I O N

EAST HARTFORD 8. CONNECTICUT, ZT. S . A .

THE SIMQLbSTAGE, KWQdRElED


SUPIEWCMARGER AND ITS QIPEWATIQN

DECEMBER, 1945

INSTALLATION ENGINEERING

W H I T N E Y

P R A T T

A I R C R A F T

D I V I S I O N
E A

O F

U N I T E D

H A R T F O R D

A I R C R A F T
e

C O R P O R A T I O N
O

PWA. 0 1 . 6 5

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER


OPERATION OF THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED
SUPERCHARGER . . . . . . .
GROUND OPERATION . . . .
Engine Ground Operation
Selector Valve and Clutch Check

. . . .

. . . . . . . .

FLIGHT OPERATION . . . . .
Take-Off
Climb
Cruising
Descent and Dive
Glide and Approach for Landing
Carburetor Air Temperature Limits
HOW TO SHIFT . . . .
To Increase Impeller Ratio
To Decrease Impeller Ratio

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

.
OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Sludge Formation
Manifold Pressure Surge and Pulsation

.
DETERMINATION OF SHIFT ALTITUDES
Determination by Operating Curves
Effect of Ram
Results of Shifting a t Wrong Altitude
Determination by Pilot's Check Chart or Power Plant Chart
Determination by Rule of Thumb

NOTICE : The following pages contain a general description and a discussion of the operating characteristics of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft singlestage, two-speed supercharged engines. Specific operating procedures for
engines installed in military aircraft are contained in Pilot's Handbooks.
The information contained herein should not be construed as superseding
similar data in applicable Pilot's Handbook.

THE SINGLE-STAGE, T W O - S P E E D SUPERCHARGER A N D I T S O P E R A T I O N

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER


The Single-Stage, Two-Speed System.-High performance is required of many aircraft over a
wider range of altitudes than is possible with the
single-stage, single-speed supercharging system
just described. To meet these demands, it has
been necessary to devise larger and more complex systems. One of the simplest of these is the
single-stage, two-speed system. It differs from
MANIFOLD PRESSURE GAUGE

INTAKE PIPE-

COLLECTOR-

&

CARBLJRETOR AIR
TEMPERATURE GAUGE

LOW RATIO

. .

incorporation of a gear shifting mechanism by


means of which the single impeller may be driven
a t either one of two different ratios to crankshaft

speed: low or high. Its basic features a r e illustrated schematically in Fig. 1


The gear shifting mechanism consists of two
oil-operated, cone-type clutches and a selector
valve. One clutch engages the low impeller ratio
drive gear, the other the high ratio gear, while
the manually operated selector valve directs
engin.e pressure-oil to engage either one clutch
o r the other:
he complete mechanism is
sketched, and its operation briefly described in
Figs. 3 and 4 on pages 2 and 3. Typical low and
high impeller gear ratios range from 7.15 :1 ( L )
and 8.47 :1 ( H ) to 7.63 :1 ( L ) and 9.89 :1 ( H ) .
This arrangement adds little to the weight or
complexity of the single-stage, single-speed system, and does not increase either frontal area o r
drag. At the same time it makes possible high
performance both a t sea level and at medium altitudes. At or near sea level the engine is operated
in the low impeller gear ratio, thus keeping to a
minimum the temperature rise through the
supercharger and the power lost to the impeller.
At an altitude determined by the conditions
under which the pilot is operating the shift is
made from the low to the high gear ratio. The
increased airflow and higher manifold pressures
available in the latter ratio make possible continued high performance to still greater altitudes,
and this gain is realized without any appreciable
sacrifice of sea level power. The performance
characteristics of a typical single-stage, twospeed engine operated a t the maximum permissible bhp are illustrated in Fig. 2 below.
POWER LOST TO FRICTION
AND ACCESSORIES
POWER ABSORBED IN DR/YING
SUPFRCHA RGEU

POWER GAINED BY

ALTITUDE
Fig. 2

- Single-Stage,

Two-Speed Performance

a
@

WHEN IN LOW /MPELLER GEAR RATIO: COCKP/T CONTROL


IS F/XED TO HOLD SELECTOR V A L K /N POS/TION
TO
ADM/T ENGINE PRESSURE O/L /NTO LOW MT/O CLUTCH
THROUGH PASSAGE /N CENTER OF CLUTCH SHAf7;
PRESSURE OIL FORCES LOW RATIO CONE /N ENGAGEMENT WITH FRICTION SEGMENTS C CLU TCH FACINGS )
WH/CH /N TURN ENGAGE LOW RATIO GEAR.
PDWER IS TRANSUITTED FROM IMPELLER lNTfRMED/ATE DRIVE PINION
THROUGH INTEGRAL CLUTCH SHAFT AND SPLINES TO LOW RATIO CONE
AND THENCE THROUGH FRICTION SEGMENTS TO LOW RATIO DRIVE GEAR
AND SO JO IMPELLER SHAFT LOW RATIO GEAR.

ENGINE PRESSURE

AS LOW RATIO CONE /S FORCED AGA/NST FR/CT/ON


SECMENTS. SPRING MOVES HIGH RATIO CONE AWAY
FROM HIGH RA T/O FR/CT/ON SEGMENTS. H/GH RATIO
DRIVE GEAR RECE/VES NO POWER FROM CLUTCH 9LAf 7;
BUT SINCE IT IS ENGAGED w / r H IMPELLEA SHAFT HIGH
RATIO GEAR, IT /DLES ON CLUTCH SHAF Z

PRESSURE OIL HOLDS FLOATING VALVE AT REAR OF


SHAFT THUS BLOCKING O/L PASSAGES LEADING
TO
CLU K H .

>--d

-:

l MPELLER SHAFT

-<

,' ',

*+ESSORY

DRIVE SHAFT

\
i

RAT/O CONES SL/DE ALONG


THESE SPLINES. 1

- I !

!, 1 ' -1

7'

IMPELLER SHAFT LOW M T l O GEAF

IMPELLER SHAFT HIGH R A ~ OGEAR

iL'

:.,? /--IMPELLER

COPENS AND
PASSAGES TO
RATIO CONES.

INTERMEDIATE
DRIVE PIN
CLUTCH SHAFT J

CSEPARATES AND PREVENTS


SIUUL TANEOUS ENGAGEMENT
OF 80 7H CLUTCHES.)

Y SHAFT

LOW RATlO CREEPER GEAR


(ASSISTS DESLUDGING OF CLUTCH1

LOW RATIO DRIVE GEAR

FRICTION SEGMENTS (CLUTCH FACINGS


HlGH RATIO CREEPER GEAR
C ASSISTS OESLU S I N G OF CLUTCH 1

LOW RATIO CONE


HlGH RATIO DRIVE GEAR

k
-

DRIVING MEMBERS

PRESSURE OIL

DRIVEN MEMBERS

DRAIN OIL

Fig. 3 - Clutches and Selector Valve

- Low

Ratio Position

HIGH

WHEN COCKPIT CONTROL IS MOVED TO "HIGH" POSITION : SELECTOR VALVE CUTS OFF SUPPLY OF
ENGINE PRESSURE OIL TO LOW RATIO CLUTCH AND
DIRECTS OIL THROUW PASSAGES TO REAR OF
CLUTCH SHAFT. FLOATING VALVE IS FORCED FOAWARD
THUS ADMITTING OIL TO H/GH RATIO CLUTCH AND
BLOCKING PASSAGES TO LOW RATIO CLUTCH. HIGH
RATIO CONE IS FORCED AGAINST FRICTION SEOWEm
ENGAGING HIGH RATIO DRIVE E A R AND BY MEANS
OF SPRING FORCING LOW RATIO CONE AWAY FROM
LOW RATIO FRICTION SEGMENTS.
OIL /N LOW RATIO
CLUTCH AND COMMUNICAT/NG PASSAGES DRAIM OUT
THROUGH CREEPER GEAR BLEEDS AND SELECTOR
VALVE.
ENGINE PRESSURE OILII

DRIVING
DNVEN
-

MEMBERS

PRESSURE OIL

MEMBERS

DRAIN OIL
-

Fig. 4 - Clutches and Selector Valve - High Ratio Position

.TION OF
'0-SPEE'DSUPERCHARGER
low to the high impeller ratio.
4. Watch for changes in oil pressure, manifold
pressure, and rpm.
Proper selector valve and clutch operation
when shifting from "LOW" to "HIGH" is
indicated by :
a ) A momentary drop in oil pressure, as
the oil fills the high ratio clutch (es)
b) A rise in manifold pressure of approximately 1in. hg., as the pumping
capacity of the impeller is increased.
c) An increase in .rpm due to the higher
manifold pressure.
5. Open the throttle until the tachometer reads
2000 rpm.
6. Move the supercharger control lever from
is, shift
"HIGH" back to "LOW"-that
from the high back to the low impeller
ratio.
7. Watch for changes in oil pressure, manifold pressure, and rpm.
Prope'r selector valve and clutch operation
when shifting from "HIGH" to "LOW" is
indiated by :
a ) i A momentary drop in oil pressure, as
: the oil fills the low ratio clutch (es).
b) A slight drop in manifold pressure, as
the pumping capacity of the impeller
:' is decreased.
c) A decrease in rpm due to the lower
manifold pressure.
,. ',.
Should erratic changes in oil pressure, manifold pressure, or rpm occur, indicating improper
selector valve or clutch operation, repeat the
cycle of shifting after first idling the engine a t
1000 rprn for two minutes to permit the clutches
to cool.
At least two minutes must elapse between each
shift cycle (low to high and return) to allow the
heat generated in the clutches to dissipate.
In making any clutch shift, the control lever
must be moved quickly and without hesitation
between positions. If the clutches are allowed to
slip or drag during a shift, they are likely to be
damaged by the heat resulting from continued
friction between their surfaces.

Fig. 5 - Cockpit Quadrant

2. With the propeller governor set in the high


rpm (low pitch) position, open the throttle
until the tachometer reads 1700-1800 rpm.
(With the oil-in temperature a t 40C and
the rpm a t 1700, sufficient oil pressure to
operate the clutches is ensured.)
3. Move the supercharger control lever from
"LOW" to "HIGH"-that is, shift from the

.
'

IP

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

FLIGHT OPERATION

Take-Off.-All take-offs, regardless of altitude,


should be made in the low impeller ratio, whether
operating normally or with water injection (if
the latter is permitted), or during weather which
might lead to carburetor icing. The use of the
high impeller ratio a t or near sea level will reduce
the horsepower available to the propeller a t any
given rpm.and manifold pressure, because of the
greater power absorbed by the impeller, and will
increase the tendency of the charge to detonate,
because of the greater temperature rise through
the supercharger. Since the impeller lies between
the carburetor and the intake pipes, no preheating is accomplished by using the high impeller
ratio, and the danger of carburetor ice is not lessened thereby. (An exception to the foregoing is
possible in the case of take-offs from high altitude fields, where experience may indicate the
advisability of taking off in the high impeller
ratio to obtain maximum performance, provided
free air temperatures on the ground are sufficiently low to ensure freedom from detonation.)
Climb.-Climbs may be made a t any power up to
and including Combat Power (also known a s
War Emergency Power), provided the shift from
the low to the high ratio is made a t the proper
altitude, as determined from the operating
curves or the pilot's check chart-as explained
below-for
the particular type of operation
selected. If the need for high performance at any
given altitude is not anticipated, the use of the
low impeller ratio may be continued so long as
sufficient power is still obtainable. The penalties
for failure to shift a t the correct altitude are discussed below. (See pg. 8 .)

Cruising.-The
impeller ratio for cruising is
selected with reference to altitude and to the type
of operation (i.e. percentage of power) desired
o r anticipated a t the given altitude. For maximum fuel economy it is generally desirable to
operate in the low impeller ratio wherever possible. However, there is actually little difference
in cruising performance between full throttle
operation in the low ratio a t high rpm and full
throttle operation in the high ratio a t low rpm,
provided the bhp is the same in both instances.

P W A . 01.6 5

In general, a half closed throttle in the high ratio


indicates the desirability of shifting to the low
ratio.
Descent and Dive.-During cruising descent or
normal "letting down" from altitudes a t which
it has been necessary to use the high impeller
ratio, the supercharger control lever should be
shifted to "LOW" as soon as practicable and regardless of altitude-unless descent is limited to
the range of high ratio operation, in which case,
naturally, no shift is made. On the other hand, if
the need for maximum performance is anticipated before descending to the range of low ratio
operation, the shift from "HIGH" to "LOW"
should not be made until the shift altitude for
maximum permissible bhp in the low ratio has
been reached. (See discussion of results of shifting a t wrong altitude, pg. 8 .) In the case of very
long and gradual descents, economical and efficient operation may dictate the use of a special
shift schedule.
The low impeller ratio should be used for all
dives, except those incident to military tactics a t
high altitudes, to prevent excessive wear of impeller shaft bearings and driving gears because
of possible engine overspeed conditions.
Glide and Approach for Landing.-Glide
and
approach for landing should be made with the
control lever in the "LOW" position. In the event
of an emergency, the pilot will then have maximum power available. (An exception to the
above is possible in the case of approach to high
altitude fields, where experience may indicate the
advisability of approaching in the high impeller
ratio to obtain maximum emergency performance, provided carburetor air temperatures are
sufficiently low to ensure freedom from detonation. )
Carburetor Air Temperature Limits.-Because
the heat rise imparted to the charge by the supercharger is normally greater in the high impeller
ratio than in the low, the carburetor air temperature limits are lower for the high ratio than for
the low. The operator must be careful to observe
these limits, otherwise the temperature of the
charge a t the intake ports may become so high as
to result in detonation. As a general rule, all take-

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER A N D

ITS

OPERATION

F
oil by centrifugal action. Accumulating in the
clutches it makes shifting difficult and, in extreme cases, impossible. Many clutches incorporate creeper gears that aid in the prevention of
this accumulation by intermittently bleeding the
pressure oil from the clutches, thus carrying off
the sludge formations which tend to cause sticking. Under ideal conditions i t should not be necessary to shift such clutches to keep them in proper
working order. However, the formation and accumulation of sludge will vary with the type of
operation and the grade of lubricating oil. In
particular, prolonged operation in one impeller
ratio may result in both clutches accumulating
excessive amounts of sludge. As a consequence it
may be necessary and desirable to exercise all
types of clutches at intervals during flight to
ensure their proper operation.

off and flight operations should be performed in


the low impeller ratio whenever carburetor air
temperatures are above 16C (60F). The principal exception to this rule arises in connection
with icing conditions. Whenever preheat is applied, carburetor air temperatures may be obtained which are in excess of the limiting values
for normal operation. Accordingly, the application of carburetor preheat should be restricted
a s far as possible to low impeller speeds in either
ratio.

HOW TO SHIFT
To Increase Impeller Ratio.-When the proper
shift altitude has been reached during climb, the
shift from the low to the high impeller ratio is
made as follows :

On extended flights, clutch shifts should initially be made every two hours. At each of these
times two or more complete shift cycles (i.e.
"LOW" to "HIGH", or vice versa, and return)
should be made, and the clutch into which the
shift has been made should be allowed to operate
for about two minutes. At least two minutes
should elapse between each shift cycle to allow
the heat generated in the clutches to dissipate.
(If the exercising shifts are made during operation in the low impeller ratio, and rpm, manifold
pressure, and carburetor air temperature are
sufficiently low, it will normally be unnecessary
to climb to the shift altitude, in view of the fact
that operation in the high ratio is of such limited
duration.) As favorable experience indicates the
absence of sludge formation, the interval between exercising clutch shifts made in flight may
be extended.

1. Close the throttle partially to reduce the


manifold pressure 3 or 4 in. hg. (Do not
change rpm.)
2. Move the control lever from " L O W to

"HIGH" without hesitation.


3. Adjust the throttle to obtain the desired

manifold pressure, as shown by the operating curve or the pilot's check chart.
The partial closing of the throttle (Step 1)
that immediately precedes the actual shift is to
prevent an excessive manifold pressure rise after
the impeller has been engaged in the high gear
ratio. A few trials should familiarize the pilot
with the necessary throttle movement.
To Decrease Impeller Ratio.-Shifts
may be
made from the high to the low ratio without any
strain on the clutches, and it is unnecessary to
change the throttle setting immediately before
the actual shift, since there is no danger of any
manifold pressure rise. (Do not change rpm.)
Conditions incident to the descent will determine
if, and when, the throttle is to be reset following
the shift.

Where the operating schedule calls for no extended flights, the clutch checks made in the
course of the pre-flight ground test will serve to
keep the clutches free of sludge accumulations.

OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Sludge Formation.-The high rotational speed
of the clutches tends to removc sludge from the

fr

Manifold Pressure Surge and Pulsation.-The


single-stage, two-speed engine is free of troublesome manifold pressure surges during shifting,
and pulsation of the type sometimes encountered
with two-stage installations is impossible.

f.

P W A . 01. 6 5

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


LOW IMPELLER
RATIO X

COMPOS/TE LOW RATIO AND HIGH RAT/O ALnTUDE CAL/BRAT/ON

HIGH IMPELLER
I000
LIMITING MAN. PRESS.

[Iz

900

LIMITING MAN.
-LOW RAT1

a
W

U3 8 0 0
u:

[Iz

SHIFT MAN. PR
-LOW RATIO

700

600
CRITICAL ALTITUDE
-LOW RATIO
2 2 0 0 RPM 8 32 IN.

SHIFT ALTITUDE

500

L.,"""

ALTITUDE

Fig. 6 -Determination
f.

CRl TICAL ALnTUDE


HIGH RATIO
2200 RPM 8 39 IN HG

FEET

of Shift Manifold Pressure and Altitude from Operating Curve

DETERlMINATION OF SHIFT
ALTITUDES
The altitudes a t which clutch shifts should be
made may be determined from :
1. the engine operating or power curves;
2. the pliot's check chart or power plant chart ;
or
3. less accurately, by a "rule of thumb".
Aircraft operation is a complex function of
many variable factors, and it is difficult, if not
impossible, to relate shift altitude to any one of
them-for example: to rpm, bhp, bmep, manifold pressure, or air speed-by a simple formula.
The shift altitude for any particular engine and
airplane installation has no fixed value, but will
vary with the type of operation desired or anticipated. The term "shift altitude" is itself somewhat misleading, for, as will be discussed, the
pilot in practice is generally more concerned with
a shift manifold pressure than with a specific
altitude in feet.
Determination by Operating Curves.-For those
familiar with the use of operating or power
curves, this method offers the most general solution to the problem of determining proper shift
altitudes, and yields the most accurate results. A
typical example of its application is given below :

1. The pilot selects a combination of rpm and


manifold pressure for low impeller ratio operation which will satisfy the power requirements and be suitable to the type of operation
desired. (Assume the combination so selected
is : 2200 rpm and 32 in. hg.)

2. From the low impeller gear ratio altitude calibration of the appropriate operating curve
the pilot constructs the full throttle, constant
rpm line (1) showing the relation between altitude, full throttle power, and manifold pressure in the lour ratio a t the rpm selected (2200
rpm).

Keeping the rpm unchanged ( a t 2200 rpm),


the pilot selects some manifold pressure a t
which to continue operation in the high impeller gear ratio. The manifold pressure chosen
must not exceed .the limits indicated on the
high impeller gear ratio operating curve;
otherwise its selection is not restricted. In
practice it will generally be selected with a
view to continuing in high ratio the type of
operation followed in low. (Assume the manifold pressure selected in this instance for high
ratio operation is 33 in. hg.-1 in. above that
used in the low ratio.)

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER A N D I T S O P E R A T I O N


4. From the high impeller gear ratio altitude calibration of the operating curve the pilot constructs the part throttle, constant rpm, and
constant manifold pressure line (2) for the
particular combination of rpm. and manifold
pressure (2200 rpm-33 in, hg.) selected for
high ratio operation.

5. The intersection (C) of the full throttle, low


ratio line (1) with the part throttle, high ratio
line (2) determines :
( a ) the manifold pressure (29.5 in. hg.) in
low ratio operation a t which the shift
should be made ;
(b) the altitude (approx. 10900 ft.) a t
which the shift should be made under
standard altitude atmospheric conditions, provided manifold pressure is
unaffected by ram.
This computation is illustrated in Fig. 6 ,
which is a composite low ratio-high ratio altitude calibration taken from a pair of typical operating curves. In practice only lines (1) and
(2), together with the manifold pressures along
line ( I ) , are necessary to determine the shift
manifold pressure and altitude for the engine for
which the curves are drawn. The other lines are
drawn merely for the sake of completeness and
to indicate the whole cycle of operations, which
is as follows :
The pilot begins his climb (at A) in the
low ratio, a t part throttle, and a t the selected
combination of rprn and manifold pressure
(2200 rpm and 32 in. hg.) .As he ascends he
will gradually open the throttle to keep the
manifold pressure constant (at 32 in. hg.)
until he reaches the full throttle, or critical,
altitude (B) for the low ratio. From here he
will continue to climb a t full throttle, with
gradually decreasing manifold pressure and
bhp. When the low ratio manifold pressure
has fallen to the value (29.5 in. hg.) determined by the intersection (C) of the full
throttle, low ratio line (1) with the part
throttle, high ratio line (2), the pilot will
shift from the low to the high impeller
ratio, without changing the rpm, and readjust the manifold pressure to the value (33
in. hg.) selected for high ratio operation.

Ascent will be continued in the high ratio,


a t part throttle, and a t the selected combination of rprn and manifold pressure (2200
rprn and 33 in. hg.), with the throttle being
gradually opened, until the critical altitude
for the high ratio (D) is reached. Above
this, operation will be a t full throttle with
decreasing manifold pressure and bhp.
Effect of Ram.-In
performing the foregoing
computation the possible effect of ram was
neglected. In practice, the manifold pressure a t
any given altitude, in either full or part throttle
operation, will generally be higher than that
shown on the operating curve, because of the
velocity of the air entering the carburetor air
intake scoop. The amount of ram is not constant,
but depends on airspeed and the type of installation-in a well designed installation a particular
manifold pressure may be obtained as much as
several thousand feet above the altitude shown on
the power curve.
In actual operation, therefore, where the precise effect of ram on manifold pressure and altitude is not known, the pilot will find it more practical to relate his shifts to manifold pressure
rather than to altitude. I n other words, the pilot
will continue his climb ( a t full throttle) above
the critical altitude for the low ratio until the
low ratio manifold pressure has fallen to the
value determined from the operating curve (as
explained in the foregoing section). At this point
he will make the shift, and readjust the manifold
pressure to the value previously selected for high
ratio operation. The change of impeller ratios is
thus made with reference to the manifold pressure gauge rather than to the altimeter, and,
consequently, is independent of the effect of ram.
Results of Shifting at Wrong Altitude.-If
the
shift is made below the proper altitude, the result
is a loss of available power. For purposes of illustration, assume the manifold pressures selected
for low and high ratio operation are approximately equal-the rprn being the same in both
ratios. As pointed out in the discussion of supercharger limitations : at any given combination
of rpm and manifold pressure, more power will
be absorbed by the impeller as its speed is increased. Accordingly, at any altitude below the
shift altitude less bhp will be delivered to the pro-

m-.PRATT

&

1000

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT'

PWA. 01. 6 5

'

POWER LOST BECAUSE


OF EARLY SHIFT

POWER AVAILABLE BUT NOT USED


BECAUSE OF LATE SHIFT

..
SHIFT MANIFOLD PRESSURE

0
I

m
800

EARLY SHIFT

-LATf

5000

lq000

ALTITUDE

SHIFT

14000

2qOOO

24000

FEET

Fig. 7 - Results of Shifting too Early or too Late

peiler shaft in high ratio operation than in low


ratio operation, as shown in Fig. 7 . A further
objection to shifting below the proper altitude
lies in the greater temperature rise imparted to
the charge by the impeller in the high gear ratio.
!At low rpm's this may not prove serious, but a t
.high rpm's i t may lead to detonation.
If the shift is made above the proper altitude
:no advantage is taken of the higher manifold
!pressure available in the high ratio, and the full
, :bhp obtainable is not used, as illustrated above.
These considerations apply primarily to shifts
:made during climb. During normal cruising de- .. scent power is not a factor of prime importance.
!-Accordingly, as noted in the section on flight
??operation, the shift from the high to the low
'$ratio may be made a t any point above (but not
i :below) the shift altitude.
-

!Determination hy Pilot's Check Chart or Power


-,:PlantChart.-A number of different pilot's check
:charts are available which list, for a series of

particular type of operation. So long as a pilot.


chart
will furnish what is probably the:
.+,..=, ,*tn..the
' latter
,',
.
,"<.,K

most practical and convenient method of determining proper shift manifold pressures and altitudes. This may be illustrated by the following
data taken from a typical check chart. (See page
10.)
For example: a pilot wishes to operate a t 60%
of Normal Rated power, and for reasons of economy selects the lowest permissible rpm of 1750.
He will begin his climb in the low ratio at part
throttle and a manifold pressure of 31.5 in. hg.
As he ascends he will gradually open the throttle,
to keep the manifold pressure constant a t 31.5
in. hg., until he reaches the low ratio full throttle,
or critical, altitude (6000 feet, without ram), at
which point the bhp will be approximately 660.
From here he will continue to climb a t full throttle, with gradually decreasing manifold pressure-.
and bhp. When the low ratio manifold pressure
has fallen to 26.5 in. hg., the pilot will shift from
the low to the high impeller ratio, and readjust
the manifold pressure to 28.5 in. hg. If the maaifold pressure is unaffected by ram, the shift alti-tude will be at 10500 feet; but, as previously discussed, the pilot should make the shift with ref-:
erence to manifold pressure rather than to alti-

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER A N D ITS O P E R A T I O N

- -----

--

PILOT'S CHECK CHART"

z'Er
I

Power
Max.
Auto
Lean
60

55

50

Press.

RPM
2230
2150
2000
2150
1900
1750
2050
1800
1600
1800
1600
1450

Ylt:

Crit.

Alt.
without
Ram
14500
735
13000
-- 9500
16000
660
10000
6000
16000
10000
605
4000
12500
550
7000
2000

Crit:
Alt.
BHP

26.0
27.0
29.5

24.5
28.0
31.5
23.5
27.5
32.0
25.0
29.0
33.0

SHIFT

.
-

% of
N. R.

- -- HIGH RATIO
--Man.
Crit.

---.

Low RATIO

Alt.
without
Ram

Low
Ratio
Man.
Press.

Press.
up to
Crit.
Alt.

Alt.
without
Ram

Crit.
Alt.
BHP

.....

...

.. .

.. .

.....

16000
21500

24.5
26.5

27.5
29.5

700

21500
17500

20000
14500
10500

20.5
23.5
26.5

23.5
26.5
28.5

600

25500
19000
14500

17500
14000
8500

22.0
23.5
27.5

22.5
25.5
29.0

550

255%18500
12000

16500
11500
6500

21.5
24.5
28.5

23.0
26.0
29.5

500

21500
15000
9500

---

*Fuel consumption figures and other data omitted.

6
Table I

- Typical

ratio at part throttle and a manifold pressure of


28.5 in. hg., so long as operation at 60% of Normal Rated power is desired, until the high ratio
critical altitude has been reached. Above this,
operation will be a t full throttle with decreasing
manifold pressure and bhp. (Because of power
losses to the impeller, it will be noted that, for
any given percentage of Normal Rated power,
the bhp available in the high ratio is less than in
the low.)
If in continuoins level flight the pilot has occasion to alter his type of operation, this may sometimes require a shift in impeller ratios, even
though the altitude remains unchanged. For example, neglecting the effect of ram : Assume the
pilot in the foregoing illustration is flying at
11,000 feet, a t 60% of Normal Rated power, and
1750 rpm. As indicated on the check chart, this
calls for operation in the high ratio at part throttle and 28.5 in. hg. manifold pressure. The bhp

Pilot's Check Chart (Part)

is somewhat below the critical altitude value of


600. The pilot presently finds that a reduction in
power is possible, and he decides to operate a t
50% of normal rated power and 1600 rpm. Since
the shift altitude for this new combination of
power and rprn is 11500 feet, and the pilot is flying at only 11000 feet, he must shift from the
high to the low ratio-first reducing his rprn
from 1750 to 1600, then making the shift, and
finally (since the aircraft is above the low ratio
critical altitude, 7000 ft., for the rprn percentage
of power selected) fully opening the throttle to
bring the manifold pressure as close as possible
to the desired figure of 29 in. hg. indicated in the
chart. (The order of the actual shifting procedure will depend on the type of operational
change and the direction of the shift.) The new
bhp will be considerably below 550, as the engine
is operating well above low ratio critical altitude
for 1600 rprn and 29 in. hg. manifold pressure.

PWA. 0 1 . 65

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


f--

POWER PLANT CHART*


("Fuel consumption, temperature and other data omitted.)
--

Combat
Power

Military Power
2800
Manif.
Press.

SuperCharger

F.T.

High
4

--

(Omitted)

F.T.
F.T.
44.0
44.0
F.T.
F.T.
F.T.
51.0
51.0
51.0

Normal Rated

Maximum Cruise

RPM

2600

2250

+
High
I

Pressure
Altitude

Manif.
Press.

SuperCharger

Manif.
Press.

SuperCharger

22,000
20,000
18,000
16,000
14,000
12,000

F.T.
F.T.
40.0
40.0
40.0

High
4

F.T.
F.T.
32.0
F.T.
F.T.

High

10,000
8,000
6,000

Low

4
I

.i

Low

Operating
Condition

4,000
2,000
Sea ~ e v e l

--

II
I

High

F.T.
42.0
42.0

Low
4

42.0
42.0

I
I
I
II
I

32.5
32.5
32.5
32.5
32.5

+-

High
Low

4
- 1

I
I
I

I
I

I
I

Low

SPECIAL NOTES
Values given are for a particular aircraft and engine model, and are corrected for ram in level
flight.
Maximum performance shift altitudes for Military, Normal Rated, and Maximum Cruise powers occur where the manifold pressure drops to 41.0 in., 37.5 in., and 29.5 in., respectively, a t full
throttle in the. low impeller gear ratio.

T a b l e II

- Typical

The Army and Navy make use of another form


of chart known as a power plant chart, a typical
example of which is shown in part above.
For example : A pilot wishes to operate a t Normal Rated power and 2600 rpm. He will begin his
climb in the low ratio ("LOW") a t part throttle
and a manifold pressure of 42.0 in. hg. As he ascends he will gradually open the throttle, to keep
the manifold pressure constant a t 42.0 in., until
he reaches the low ratio full throttle, or critical,
altitude-between 8,000 and 10,000 ft. for this
combination of rpm and manifold pressure.
From there he will continue to climb a t full throttle, with gradually decreasing manifold pressure.
When the manifold pressure in the low ratio

Power Plant Chart ( P a r t )

("LOW") has dropped to 37.5 in., as indicated


in the second special note, the pilot will shift from
"LOW" to "HIGH" and readjust the manifold
pressure to 40.0 in. Inasmuch as the pressure
altitudes are corrected for ram in level flight, the
shift altitude of 10,000-12,000 ft. is a true shift
altitude only if the indicated air speed in climb
closely approximates that in level flight. As this
will seldom be the case, the pilot should make his
shift with reference to the manifold pressure
gauge rather than to the altimeter, since the
manifold pressure will take into account the
effect of ram. Above the shift altitude ascent will
be continued in the high ratio at part throttle
and a manifold pressure of 40.0 in., with the

THE SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED SUPERCHARGER A N D I T S O P E R A T I O N


i

throttle being gradually opened to maintain a


constant manifold pressure until the high ratio
full throttle, or critical, altitude has been
reached. Above this, operation will be a t full
throttle, with gradually decreasing manifold
pressure.
If in continuous level flight the pilot has occasion to alter his type of operation, this may sometimes require a shift in impeller ratios even
though the altitude remains unchanged. For example : assume the pilot is flying a t 12,000 ft., a t
Normal Rated power and 2600 rpm. As shown in
the power plant chart, this calls for operation in
the high impeller ratio ("HIGH") a t part
throttle with a manifold pressure of 40.0 in.
Presently the pilot finds a reduction in power is
indicated, and he decides to operate a t Maximum
Cruise power and 2250 rpm. Reference to the
chart will show that these new conditions call for
operation in the low impeller ratio ("LOW"), a t
full throttle and 2250 rpm. Accordingly, the pilot
must shift from "HIGH" to "LOW".
A wider range of operating conditions is covered in more detailed charts. Where the particu-

lar type of, operation desired is not specifically


dealt with on the check charts available, shift
altitudes may be estimated by interpolation o r
more accurately calculated from the appropriate
operating curves as described in the previous section. The penalties for failure to shift at the
proper altitudes have already been discussed.
Determination by Rule of Thumb.-A
rough
rule for determining shift altitude is :
1. After full throttle operation in the low gear
ratio at the selected rpm and manifold pressure has been reached, and has been continued until the manifold pressure has dropped
3 to 8 in. hg. (depending on the type of engine and the performance range), shift to
the high gear ratio.
2. Readjust manifold pressure to the desired
value.
This is a t best a rough rule, and its correct and
effective application depends to a large extent on
the pilot's familiarity with his engine and its installation, as well as with the limiting rpm's and
manifold pressures under which the engine may
be operated.

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


D I V I S I O N

O F

U N I T E D

A I R C R A F T

C O R P O R A T I O N

E A S T HARTFORD 8. CONNECTICUT, U. S . A .

BWA. PART NO. 116936

PWA. 01.60

r
THE USE OF OPERATING CURVES

DECEMBER, 1946

lNSTALLATlON ENGINEERING
-

W H I T N E Y

P R A T T
D i V I S I O N
E A S T

OF

UNITED

H A R T F O R D

A I R C R A F T

AIRCRAFT

CORPORATION

C O N N E C T I C U T

NOTE: Except for the sample power curves opposite page 32 the curves which follow in the text
are for illustrative purposes only. The results obtained from them may be considered as typical,
but are not applicable to any particular engine.

PRATT

&

P W A . 01. G O

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

INTRODUCTION
Purpose

Operating curves, often referred to as power


curves, are popularly considered one of the
dullest and least glamorous aspects of aircraft
engine operation, and not infrequently they are
dismissed as being too academic, if not hopelessly
obscure.. Nevertheless, an understanding of their
construction and a knowledge of their application
provide a useful and convenient means of analyzing and predicting engine performance. For example: in planning a flight, or while actually in
the air, a pilot or flight engineer may have occasion
to estimate the brakehorsepower (bhp) delivered
by his engine, and he must be able to do so rapidly
and with an accuracy sufficient for practical
purposes. Some engines are equipped with torquemeters, and in such cases the operator can calculate his bhp directly by means of a simple formula:
BHP = K X RPM Xtorquemeter pressure reading,

without reference t o manifold pressure,


carburetor air temperature '(c.a.t.), altitude, or
other factors save rpm and torquemeter pressure
reading. For engines not so equipped bhp is
usually computed by means of performance
charts or graphs known as operating or power
curves, developed from calibrations of the actual
engines to which they apply. Operating curves are
also essential to other types of calculation. For
instance: a pilot may wish to compute the manifold pressure necessary to produce a certain bhp
a t a given altitude and rpm; he may want to
know how his manifold pressure and bhp will be
affected by a change in rpm or altitude; or he
may have occasion to find a critical altitude, an
efficient rpm-manifold pressure combinatioq or
the limits of safe engine operation.
power curves are used in 'connection with 'the
data obtained from the following four instruments:

1. Tachometer (engine crankshaft rpm),


2. Manifold Pressure Gauge (intake mani'fold pressure, or main stage supercharger
rim pressure, absolute, in inches of mercury - in. hg),
3. Altimeter -(altitude in feet as calculated
from atmospheric pressure - pressure
altitude),
4. Carburetor Intake Air Thermometer
jc.a.t., in deg. C. or deg. F.).
In addition, certain assumptions are implied,
such as: carburetor deck and exhaust back
pressures equal to those called for at standard
pressure altitudes; absolutely dry air; correct
cylinder and oil temperatures; correct fuel and
oil specifications and pressures; and proper engine
condition.
Selection

Three typical operating curves are shown opposite page 32. I t should be note4 at the very start
that power curves are not interchangeable, and the
operator must make certain that the one selected
is the correct curve for his particular:
1. Engine (model number; propeller gear,
impeller gear, and compression ratios;
impeller diameter; fuel metering; etc.),
2. Grade of Fuel (91,100, 100/130 etc.),
3. Mixture Setting (auto rich, auto lean, etc.),
4. Impeller Ratio (neutral, high, low'- if
operating a single-stage, two-speed, or a
two-stage, two-speed engine).
These data may be found in the upper righthand corner and elsewhere on the chart. Failure to
use the correct curve, as well as to use it properly,
will yield results that are misleading - if not
disconcerting.

PWA. 0 1 . 6 0

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION CURVE


ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

SEA LEVEL CALI B R A T I O N

22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
M A N l F O L D PRESSURE

Fig. 7

- IN. HG

- Construction

of Sea Level Calibration Curve

Construction

An operating curve is divided into two parts: a


sea level calibration curve on the left, and an
altitude calibration curve on the right.
The sea level calibration of an engine requires the
use of a dynamometer, or power rneasy-ing device;
and the data obtained are recorded in the form of
a graph whose coordinates are manifold pressure
in in. hg (horizontal) and bhp (vertical).
With the engine on the test stand, the operator
sets the throttle and adjusts the load imposed
by the dynamometer to permit the engine to
turn a t some desired rpm, say 1800. The bhp is
then calculated from the dynamometer reading,
and the manifold pressure taken from the manifold pressure gauge. The values thus obtained,
say 350 bhp and 23 in. hg, determine the location
of point A in Fig. 1. The operator then opens the

throttle a certain amount, a t the same time keeping the rprn constant at 1800 by increasing the
dynamometer load. Bhp and manifold pressure
are again read as before, and the new set of values,
say, 480 bhp and 30 in. hg, fix the location of a
second point, B. This procedure is repeated until
the throttle is fully open and no further power
can be delivered a t 1800 rpm. The bhp and manifold pressure readings a t full throttle determine
point C. The points are then connected, and the
resultant curve, ABC, is a part throttle, constant
rprn line (ending at the full throttle point, C)
which shows the relation between manifold pressure and bhp at the given rpm. Once the shape
and position of this line have been established, the
operator can by means of it compute the engine's
bhp in terms of manifold pressure, provided the
rprn remains constant a t 1800, and other conditions are unchanged.

MAN IFOLD PRESSURE

- IN. HG

Fig. 2 - Completed Sea Level Calibration Curve (for "Sea Level" Engine)

Since variable pitch propellers permit operation


over a wide range of powers a t any particular
rpm, i t is necessary t o plot a series of different
constant rpm lines t o cover all reasonable combinations of rpm, bhp, and manifold pressure.
Each of these lines is constructed in the same
manner as the one just described. When the
calibration has been completed the result will be a
sea level calibration curve not unlike the one
shown above in Fig. 2.
Discussion

If the calibration is made throughout at the


best power mixture setting (the fuel-air ratio
that gives the highest power obtainable a t a
(.'.particular manifold pressure, airflow, or throttle
the part throttle, constant rpm lines are

straight lines, originating a t 0 in. hg manifold


pressure and negative bhp values determined by
the engine's characteristics. In practice the calibrations are also made with an actual carburetor
set in the automatic rich or automatic lean position. Since the fuel-air ratio is varied with power
t o satisfy the engine's requirements, the constant
rpm lines will often be slightly curved, the curvature depending on the metering characteristics of
the carburetor and the effect of fuel-air ratio on
power obtainable a t various manifold pressures
and rpm's.
The line ABCDE in Fig. 2 is drawn through the
full throttle points that terminate each of the
part throttle, constant rpm lines. It is called a full
throttle line, and indicates the maximum manifold pressure and bhp that can be obtained in sea
level operation a t any rpm covered by the curve.

P W A . OX. 6 0

PRATT & W H I T N E Y AIRCRAFT


SEA LEVEL CALI BRATI ON

ALTITUDE CALI BRATION

Fig. 3 - Restricted Ranges; Computation of BHP from Sea Level Calibration Curve

Since full throttle operation a t sea level is


normally restricted or prohibited for all but socalled "sea level" engines, because of limitations
imposed by the engines' construction and selection of fuel, the upper parts of the sea level calibration curves are frequently omitted, or shown
merely as a series of dashes, as illustrated in Fig.
3. The location of the full throttle points can then
be determined only by extrapolation of the curves
or from theoretical considerations. The lower
.portions of the curves are also omitted when they
fall outside the range of normal operation. Some
sea level calibration curves include a short line
in the upper right-hand corner indicating the
maximum rprn and manifold pressure permissible
for restricted operation (such as Take-Off or
Military Power) a t sea level.
Since the part throttle, constant rprn lines are
straight, or nearly so, the sea level curve may be

used to illustrate an important relationship,


which holds approximately true for engine operation a t any given pressure altitude, namely: bhp
(plus a constant) varies directly as manifold pressure, provided rprn and other factors are maintained unchanged. Bhp also varies as rpm, if
manifold pressure and other factors remain constant; but the variation is not linear. If rprn is
increased in increments of 200, for example, the
corresponding increases in bhp a t any fixed manifold pressure become successively smaller, as
may be seen by. the relative crowding of the rprn
lines in Fig. 3 a t the higher speeds. (In extreme
cases, an increase in rprn may actually result in a
loss of power.) The point to bear in mind, however, is that bhp is a function of both rprn and
manifold pressure. Any given bhp can be obtained, within operating limits, by a virtually
infinite number of rpm-manifold pressure combinations, as may be seen from a sea level calibra-

T H E U S E OF O P E R A T I N G C U R V E S

tion curve by extending any bhp line across the


part throttle, constant rpm lines, and noting the
manifold pressure corresponding to each intersection.
Use of Sea Level Calibration Curve

Once we have completed the sea level calibration for a particular engine, we can dispense with
the dynamometer, and calculate bhp a t sea level
from the curve whenever rpm and manifold pressure are known.
Thus: if the tachometer reads 2000 rpm, and
the manifold pressure gauge 28 in. hg, the sea
level bhp of the engine, for which the curve in
Fig. 3 was made, may be found as follows:
1. Locate the intersection of the 2000 rpm
and 28 in. hg manifold pressure lines a t A.
2. Project this intersection horizontally to
the bhp axis at B.
3. The bhp will there be found to be 500.
(Since point A is below and to the left of
the fuIl throttle point, C, 500 bhp represents part throttle power.)
Values for readings that do not fall exactly on
the lines of the graph may be found by interpolation.
Carburetor Air ~ e r n ~ e r a t u r(c.a.t.)
e
Correction

The calibration just outlined was presumably


made a t 0 ft. altitude and under standard sea level

conditions of atmospheric pressure and temperature: 29.92 in. hg barometer and 15" C. (59" F.)
c.a.t.. If the sea level calibration curve is used a t
altitude, or under conditions other than standard
sea level conditions, errors will be introduced in
the calculations and the results will be incorrect.
The maintenance of a constant sea level altitude
presents no problems, and variations from the
standard barometric pressure may, for practical
purposes, be considered as accounted for in the
manifold pressure gauge readings, while other
factors, such as the effect of water vapor present
in the air, may be neglected. Carburetor air temperatures, however, are not readily controlled and
may depart considerably from the standard 15" C.
(59" F.). Corrections for these variations can be
made with sufficient accuracy as follows:

1. To the bhp obtained from the curve add


1%for each 6" C. (10" F.) of c.a.t. below
standard temperature; or
2. Subtract 1% for each 6" C. (10" F.) above
standard.

Thus: if the c.a.t. gauge in the foregoing


example had read 33" C. (91" F.) - i.e. 18"C.
(32" F.) above standard conditions - the
bhp of 500 obtained from the curve should
have beer1 reduced by 3% to give the actual
bhp of 485. Had it read 3" C. (37" F.) - i.e.
the bhp
12" C. (22" F.) below standard
should have been increased by 2% to 510.

ALTITUDE CALIBRATION CURVE


The operating curve is completed by the altitude
caIibration curve which lies directly to the right
of the sea level calibration curve. (See typical
power curves opposite page 32.) Sea level and
altitude caIibration curves differ basically, the
former being essentially a part throttle, the latter
a full throttle operation curve. Except in a limited
way the two cannot be used independently of
one another.
Construction

In constructing the altitude calibration curve

we must, of course, make use of the same engine


that was calibrated a t sea level. Let us assume
that it is a "sea level" engine, unsupercharged or
incorporating simply a single-stage, single-speed
supercharger. Atmospheric conditions will be
considered as standard throughout the calibration. (Corrections for variations in c.a.t. will be
discussed in connection with the use of the completed curve.) Operation in best power mixture
setting will also be taken for granted.
The engine is first run a t sea level with the
throttle wide open and the propeller governor

PRATT

&

SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

'

PWA. 01. 6 0

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT
ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

M P - I N . HG

PRELIM. FORM

ALTITUDE
I000 f T
LINEAR SCALE

Fig. 4 - Construction of Altitude Calibration Curve - Preliminary

set to maintain an rpm of, say, 1800. Referring to


the sea level calibration curve in Fig. 4, we locate
the full throttle point, A, on the 1800 rpm line,
and from its position find the manifold pressure
and bhp to be 36 in. hg and 600 bhp respectively.
Then, projecting the second of these values (600
bhp) horizontally, we establish the initial point, B,
of the altitude calibration curve on the vertical
axis, which is identical with that of the bhp axis
of the sea level calibration curve. The manifold
pressure a t B is shown by a short diagonal line.
Since it lies on the 0 ft. altitude line, it has the
same value (36 is. hg) as that shown on the sea
level calibration curve.
The engine is next taken to altitude, still a t
f ~ h throttle
l
and with the speed kept constant a t
the original setting of 1800 rpm. As we climb, the
pressure and density of the atmosphere become
progressively less, and, as the mass of air available to the carburetor decreases, both manifold
pressure and bhp fall off. The relations between
bhp, altitude, and manifold pressure are shown

by the graph in Fig. 4, where bhp is plotted


against an altitude scale in feet, and manifold
pressures are marked off along the curve. This
'curve is based on flight calibrations of many
different types of engines, together with a number
of experiments made on test stands where altitude
conditions can be simulated. These tests show
that, if full throttle, constant rpm operation is
maintained, all engines will develop approximately
the same percentage of their full throttle, sea
level bhp a t any given altitude (with the exception of engines which make use of variable speed
impellers or turbosuperchargers). For example:
all engines (with the exceptions noted) develop
approxilnately 75% of their sea level power a t
an altitude of 8500 ft., and 50% a t 19,000 ft.
Referring again to Fig. 4, we find that our engine
delivers 440 bhp a t 9000 ft., a t full throttle and
1800 rpm, and that the manifold pressure is
close to 25 in. hg. We also note that the bhp has
decreased to 50% of its sea level value a t a n
altitude of 19,000 ft.

THE USE OF OPERATING CURVES

SEA L E V E L CALIBRATION

M P - I N . HG

ALTITUDE CALI B R A T l O N

1.0

0:9

o;?

0:s

0.6

0.5

ALTITUDE-DENSITY RATIO
LINEAR SCALE

Fig. 5

- Construction of

Altitude Calibration Curve Conversion of Linear


Altitude-Density Scale to Non-Linear Altitude Scale in Feet

Now, engine power depends on the density of


the air at the carburetor inlet; and extensive
tests have shown that, at any fixed throttle setting
(such as full throttle) and constant rpm, bhp
may be considered for all practical purposes as
varying linearly with the altitude-density ratio.
(Altitude-density ratio, c,is defined by the equation: a=P /Po, where P is the density of the air
a t a given altitude, A, and Po the density a t
sea level.) Accordingly, if bhp is plotted against
an altitude-density ratio scale, instead of an
altitude scale in feet, the full throttle, constant
rpm curve becomes a straight line, thus simpli-

fying its construction. For convenience altitude


is still expressed in feet, whieh may be readily
done by locating each altitude line opposite its
corresponding density ratio, as illustrated in Fig.
5 above, where the relation between the two scales
is shown. Since this relation is not linear, the
altitude lines are unevenly spaced, becoming
progressively closer together toward the righthand side of the curve. An altitude scale, based
on the density ratio but expressed in terms of
feet, is thus established for the second (horizontal)
coordinate of our altitude curve.

PWA. 0 1 . 60

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


SEA LEVEL C A L I B R A T I O N

MANIFOLD PRESSURE

ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

- IN.HG

Fig. 6

- Completed

ALTITUDE

- 1000 FT

Altitude Calibration Curve (for "Sea Level" Engine)

The tests previously referred to establish the


fact that an aircraft engine delivers 50% of its
full throttle, sea level bhp a t an altitude of approximately 19,000 ft., so long as the full throttle
setting and rpm remain unchanged. Making use
of this relationship we can proceed to draw all
the necessary full throttle constant rpm lines
with virtually no further calibrations. From the
full throttle line ABCDE, of the sea level calibration curve we can determine the engine's full
throttle, sea level bhp for as many different rpm's
as we choose. Projecting these bhp values horizontally on to the sea level line of the altitude
calibration curve, as before, we there locate the
initial points, F,G,H,I,J, of the corresponding full
throttle, constant rpm lines. Since the bhp a t
19,000 ft. is one-half of its sea level value (provided full throttle setting and rpm remain unchanged), if we take a series of bhp values a t
19,000 f t . equal, respectively, to 50% of the corresponding sea level values - in other words,

make PK- 54 OF; PL = OG; etc. - we have


established a second point for each of the full
throttle, constant rprn lines. Since the latter are
straight lines (when plotted on the altitude-density
ratio scale), we now have all the data necessary
to determine their positions, and may forthwith
draw the full throttle lines as shown in Fig. 6
above.
The altitude calibration curve is then completed
by adding a number of full throttle, constant
manifold pressure lines, generally shown as a
series of dashes drawn diagonally across the full
throttle, constant rpm lines. Their positions can
be established in several ways, including simple
flight calibrations, since the readings of the manifold pressure gauge, the tachometer, carburetor
deck pressure, and altimeter (with the -throttle
in the full open position) alone are involved. The
manifold pressures will be found to follow roughly
the same percentages of their sea level values as
do the bhp's.

THE USE O F OPERATING CURVES


SEA LEVEL CALI ERATION,

ALTITUDE CALIERATION

2
MP- IN. HG

Fig. 7 - Restricted

Discussion

- 1000 FT
- ..
Ranges, .

ALTITUDE

From the geometrical construction of the full


throttle, constant rpm lines we infer that they
converge a t some point on or near the zero bhp,
horizontal axis of the altitude calibration curve.
This point appears to correspond to an altitude
of about 55,400 'ft., where presumably all the
power developed in the cylinders is'used to overcome .engine friction and drive the geared supercharger, thus reducing the bhp to nothing. This
would seem to place a limit on the altitude which
can be reached with a single or multiple stage,
gear-driven supercharger. On the other hand, data
taken from flights made at extreme altitudes suggest that the lower ends of the lines curve to meet
the horizontal axis a t points above 55,400 ft.,
and it. is interesting to note that the world's altitude record is actually above this figure.
One of the assumptions underlying the straight
line construction of the altitude calibration curve
is continuous operation in best power mixture
setting. In practice this condition is seldom
realized, and most altitude calibration curves are
constructed for some actual carburetor setting,
such as automatic rich or automatic lean. Where

'

actual Right caJ.i-bratiohsare available for such


settings, the results indicate slight, but appreciable departbes frdmbthe'straight line geometrical
constructions described.
.
As will be diicu&ed later, eiigine operation is
normally lim'ited by one or more of the following
factors: bhp, rpm, manifold pressure, or cylinder
pressure, the last expressed indirectly in terms of
the brake mean effective pressure (bmep). Again,
just as in the case of 'the sea level curve, those
parts of the alt?tude curire which lie beyond the
range of normal operation are generally omitted;
and the operatot's attention is called to restricted
or prohibited ranges by dash lines or printed instructions. For example: on the power curve in
Fig. 7. maximiim power available for 5 minutes
only is limited'to 750 bhp and 2400 rpm, with
manifold pi-essure's restricted accordingly to 34
in. hg at sea Ievel and 32.75 in. hg a t 5400 ft.
Maximum continuous rating is similarly limited
to 650 bhp and 2200 rpm, with manifold pressures
restricted to 32 in. hg a t sea level and 30.75 in. hg
a t 6400 ft.; and continuous full throttle operation
is prohibited in the range above and to the left
of the heavy line AB, which line represents operation a t maximum permissible cylinder pressures.
1

?.,

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 0 1 . 60

Fig. 8 - Composite Calibrations of Single-Stage Single-Speed, Single-Stage


Two-Speed, and Two-Stage Two-Speed Engines

In the case of "altitude engines", which cannot


be operated a t sea level a t full throttle, the construction of the altitude calibration curve follows
substantially the same procedure as that just
outlined, except that the initial full throttle, sea
level points must be determined by extrapolation
or from theoretical considerations. (The typi'cal
power curves shown opposite page 32 are for an
altitude engine.)
Had we been calibrating either a single-stage,
two-speed engine, or a two-stage, two-speed
engine, a separate set of operating or power curves
(both sea level and alti'tude) would have been .
necessary for each supercharging combination two sets of curves for the first engine, three for
the second. Since the pumping capacity of an
impeller increases with its speed, it follows that
operation in a high impeller gear ratio results in a
higher manifoId pressure and bhp than operation
a t the same throttle setting and ,rpm in a low
impeller gear ratio. The same result is obtained
by running a two-stage engine with the auxiliary
stage aiding the main stage at constant rpm's and
throttle settings. This effect is illustrated on -the
power curve by a shift of the rpm and manifold
pressure lines to the right, as may be seen in the
composite altitude calibration curve in Fig. 8.

I t should be noted that the gain in bhp with the


added supercharging is not proportional to the
increase in manifold pressure. This is because a
greater fraction of the engine's power is absorbed
in driving the impeller in the higher gear ratios,
or in driving the two impellers of the two-stage
system, and therefore a correspondingly smaller
fraction of the total power develope'd is 'available
as bhp a t the propeller shaft. I t should also be
noted that all full throttle, constant rpm lines,
regardless of impeller gear ratio (or stage) appear
to converge at approximately the same 0 bhp,
55,400 ft. altitude point. This is true only of
geared superchargers. Operating curves of the
conventional type cannot be drawn satisfactorily
to cover variable speed impeller or turbosupercharger operation, since the ratio of the speed of
the, impeller to that of the crankshaft is not fixed.

Part Throttle Operation


Before proceeding to an explanation of the
use of the operating curve, we must first investigate the method of plotting part throttle operation
on the altitude calibration curve.
Returning to our sea level, unsupercharged (or
single-stage, single-speed) engine, let us run it a t
sea level a t an rpm of 2200 and a manifold pres-

THE USE OF OPERATING CURVES


SEA LEVEL C A L I B R A T I O N

MP-

A L T I T U D E CALIBRATION

IN.HG

ALTITUDE

- 1000

FT

Fig. 9 - Part Throttle Operation of Altitude

sure of 24 in. hg. On the sea level calibration


curve in Fig. 9 we locate the intersection, A, of
the given rprn (2200) and manifold pressure
(24 in. hg) lines. Projecting this intersection, A,
horizontally to B and C, we note that this particular combination of rprn and manifold pressure
produces 460 bhp a t sea level, and represents a
part throttle operation.
After setting the propeller governor to keep the
rprn unchanged a t 2200, we then take the engine
aloft, opening the throttle progressively as we
climb t o maintain the manifold pressure constant
a t 24 in. hg. As we ascend, without varying either
rprn or manifold pressure, there will be a gradual
increase in bhp, due chiefly to two factors: a
decrease in the atmosph'eric back pressure on the.
exhaust and a lowering of 'the c.a.t.. The first has
the effect of emptying the cylinders more com
pletely of exhaust gases and of reducing friction
the second increases the weight of a given volume
of the combustion charge a t the manifold pressure
of 24 in. hg. Bhp will therefore continue t o increase until an altitude is attained a t which the
throttle can be opened no further - in other
words, when full throttle operation a t 2200 rpm
and 24 in. hg has been reached. This point is
readily determined from the altitude calibration
curve by locating the intersection, D, of the full

throttle, constant 2200 rprn line and the 24 in. hg


manifold pressure line. Projecting this intersection,
D, horizontally to E, we find the hhp to be 530
(an increase of 70 bhp over the sea level value of
460); projecting it vertically downward to F,
we find we have reached an altitude of 12,000 ft.
This altitude, a t which the throttle is wide open
and the available bhp is a maximum, is known as
the critical altitude for the particular combination
of rprn and manifold pressure.
We have thus determined two points on the
part throttle, constant rpm, constant manifold
pressure line: one a t C from the sea level curve,
the second a t D from the altitude calibration
curve. For all practical purposes it can be assumed that the bhp, a t constant rprn and manifold pressure, increases uniformly on the altitudedensity ratio scale used. Accordingly we can drav
the part throttle; constant rpm, constant mani
fold pressure line, by simply connecting C and D
with a straight line. Any point on the line, CD,
will show the part throttle bhp available for the
given rprn and manifold pressure combination
a t the altitude of the point. For example: t o find
the bhp available a t 5000 ft. for the given combination of 2200 rprn and 24 in. hg manifold pressure, locate the intersection, G, of the 5000 ft.
altitude line and the constant rpm, constant

PWA. 0 1 . 60

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT


SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

ALTITUDE CALIBRATION
mnn

MP

- IN. H G

ALTITUDE

1000 FT

Fig. I 0 - Part Throttle Operation - RPM-MP-BHP Combinations

manifold pressure line, CD, and project this


intersection horizontalIy to the vertical axis a t H,
where the bhp is read as 490. Since G lies below
and to the left of the full throttle point, D, part
throttle operation is indicated.
We shall do well at this juncture to establish
clearly in mind the distinction between the following lines by referring to Figs. 9 or 10 above:
(1) Part Throttle, Constant Rpm (Sea Level
Calibration Curve),
(2) Full Throttle, Constant Rpm (Altitude
Calibration Curve), .
(3) Part Throttle, Constant Rpm, Constant
Manifold Pr-wure (Construction on Altitude Calibration Curve),
(4) Full Throttle, Constant Manifold Pressure (Altitude Calibration Curve).
A study of Fig. 10 above will show that point G
actually lies on an infinite number of part throttle,
constant rpm, constant manifold pressure lines.
For example: it 'may be seen from the sea level
calibration curve that 460 bhp is produced by a
combination of 2000 rprn and 26 in. hg manifold
pressure, by another of 1600 rprn and 32.5 in. hg,
etc. as well as the one originally selected of 2200
rprn and 24 in. hg.

Full throttle operation a t the comblnatlon ot


2000 rpm and 26 in. hg manifold pressure determines the location of point I; and, if the line CI
is drawn, it will be found to coincide with the
line CD previously drawn. In the same way G
may be found to lie on all the part throttle, constant rpm, constant manifold pressure lines that
have their origin .at 460 bhp at sea level. (In
practice, using actual power curves, the coincidence of these part throttle, constant rpm,
constant manifold pressure lines may not be
exact, but it is sufficiently close for all purposes.)
This is simply another way of saying that all
combinations of rprn and manifold pressure which
deliver equal bhp's at dne altitude (such as sea
level) will also deliver: equal (but not the same)
bhp's at any other, provided operation is in the
part throttle range.
From the geometrical construction of the operating curve it can be shown that all part throttle,
constant rpm, constant manifold pressure lines
have practically the same dopes. (See lines JK,
CI, and LM, in the Fig. 10 above.) The fact that
these lines are all approximately parallel is a
useful relationship in checking work done an the
altitude calibration curves, and is basic to certain
of the computations. (FulI throttle, constant rprn

THE USE O F O P E R A T I N G C U R V E S
SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

ALTITUDE CALI BRATION

ALTITUDE

M P - IN. HG

Fig. I I

10

- Part

Throttle Operation

lines are generally not straight where altitude


calibration curves have been plotted from data
obtained with mixtures other than best yower,
and full throttle manifold pressure lines may be
decidedly curved because of variations in supercharger efficiency. Under any of these conditions
the part throttle lines may not be closely parallel
to one another throughout the entire range of the
operating curve.)
Another type of part throttle operation is represented by the constant bhp, constant rprn lines,
such as the line AB in Fig. 11, where the bhp is
550 and the rprn 2400. Since engine performance
is often limited in terms of these two quantities,
these lines are of common occurrence on altitude
.
calibration curves.
The critical altitude for the given bhp-rpm
combination is 14000 ft., determined by the intersection, B, of the constant 550 bhp, constant 2400
rprn line with the full throttle, constant 2400 rprn
line. Because of greater exhaust back pressure
and higher c.a.t., the manifold pressure necessary
to develop a given bhp a t a particuIar rpni will be
greatest a t sea level, and will decrease uniformly
with the altitude-density ratio until the critical
altitude is reached. The manifold pressure a t sea
level is found from the sea level calibration curve,

- 1000 FT

- Constant BHP-RPM

Lines

and proves in our example to be 26 in. hg; a t the


critical altitude it is found from the altitude caIibration curve, and proves to be 23 in. hg - a decrease of 3 in. hg. If the constant bhp, constant
rprn line, AB, is divided into three equal parts,
each division will represent a 1 -in. hg difference in
manifold pressure, and the altitudes corresponding
to 25 in. hg and 24 in. hg manifold pressure turn
out to be approximately 4200 and 8800 ft., respectively. (The fact that the manifold' pressure
decreases uniformly from sea level to the critical
altitude will also be evident from the geometrical
construction of the curve, since the part throttle,
constant rpm, constant manifold pressure lines,
AD, CB, etc., are parallel, and the manifold pressure divisions along the full throttle, constant
2400 rprn line are equal. Where the lines of the sea
level or altitude calibration are curved, these reIationships are only approximate.) If we wish to
find the manifold pressure necessary to deliver
550 bhp a t 2400 rprn at an altitude of 2000 ft.,
we locate the intersection, E, of the given' altitude (2000 ft.) and bhp (550) lines, and note
that it .lies approximateIy midway between the
26 in. and 25 in. hg manifold pressure points,
thus indicating that a manifold pressure of about
25.5 in; hg is called for.

PRATT

&

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

SEA L E V E L C A L I B R A T I O N

PWA. 0 1 . 6 0
ALTITUDE CALI 6 RATION

'

24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
MP- IN. HG

Fig. 12 - Given: BHP

The Use of the Complete Operating or Power


Curve
I

The problems which involve the use of operating


curves fall generally into one of.two types:
A. The calculation of manifold pressure,
when bhp, rpm, and altitude are known;
B. The calculation of bhp, when manifold
pressure, rpm, and altitude are known.
Examples of these problems are given below:
T g p e A -First Solution : (See Fig. 12.)
A. Given: Bhp = 480
To Find : ManiRpm =2200
fold Pressure
Alt. =8000ft.
1. Locate the intersection, A, of the given
altitude (8000 ft.) and bhp (480) lines.
2. Select anyconstant manifold pressure line
(say, 26 in. hg) estimated to be close to the
required answer, and locate its intersection, B, with the full throttle, 'constant
rpm line corresponding to the given (2200)
rprn line.
3. Transfer these vaiues (26 in. hg manifold
pressure a.nd 2200 rpm) to the sea level
calibration curve, and locate the intersection, C, of the 26 in. hg manifold pressure
and 2200 rpm lines.

4. Project this intersection, C, horizontally


to the bhp axis of the altitude calibration
curve, and locate the point D.
5. Connect D and B by a straight line, DB.
6. Through point A draw a line, EF, parallel
to line DB.
7. Locate the intersection, G, of the line
E F and the full throttle constant 2200
rpm line. The required manifold pressure
(23 in. hg) will be found a t point G.

IVOTE: Since point A lies below and to the


left of the full throttle, constant 2200
rprn line, part throttle operation is
indicated.
Explanation :
Since all part throttle, constant rpm, constant manifold pressure lines are approximately parallel, it follows that, if we determine the slope of one such line, DB, we can
draw the corresponding line, EF, through the
given bhp-altitude point, A. Inasmuch as
manifold pressure is constant a t all points on
the line, EF, its value may be found a t that
point, G, where the part throttle, constant
rpm, constant manifold pressure line, intersects (or, better, terminates in) the full throt-

THE USE O F OPERATING CURVES


SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

M P - IN. H G
Fig. 13 - Given: BHP

ALTITUDE CALI BRATI ON

=4

tle, constant given rprn line. The more


closely we can estimate the desired manifold
pressure, the more accurate wiIl be our construction; and in this case experience might
have suggested that we use 24 in. hg for our
preliminary estimate of manifold pressure
instead of 26 in.
Type A

- Second

Solution: (See Fig. 13.)


Given: Bhp = 480
To Find: NIaniRpm =2200
fold Presswe
Alt. =8000 ft.

1. Locate the intersection, A, of the given


altitude (8000 ft.) and bhp (480) lines.
2. Determine as closely as possible the' full
throttle, constant rprn line (1850 rpm) and
the constant manifold pressure line (26.5
in. hg) on which this intersection, A, lies.
3. Transfer these values (1850 rprn and 26.5
in. hg manifold pressure) to the sea level
curve, and locate the intersection, B, of
the 1850 rprn and 26.5 in. hg manifold
pressure lines.
4. Project this intersection, B, horizontally
until it intersects the given (2200) rprn
line a t C.
5. Project this last intersection, C, vertically

to the manifold pressure axis, and locate


point D. The approximate required manifold pressure (23 in. hg) .will be found at

The intersection of t.he given bhp and altitude lines a t A shows that 480 bhp can be
delivered a t 8000 ft. a t full throttle, 1850
rpm, and 26.5 in. hg manifold pressure. From
the sea Ievel calibration curve we find that
this combination of rprn and manifold produces a hhp a t sea level of 430 bhp. This
same 430 bhp can be obtained a t sea level by
all the rprn manifold pressure combinations
that lie along the line BC extended, including
the combination 2200 rprn and 23 in. hg
manifold pressure (i.e. the given rprn and the
manifold pressure necessary to produce 430
bhp at sea level). Since any two combinations
of rpm and manifold pressure that give equal
bhp's a t sea level will give approximately
equal (though not 'the same) bhp's a t altitude, it follows that, if 1850 rprn and 26.5
in. hg manifold pressure, and'2200 rprn and
23 in. hg manifold pressure both give 430
bhp a t sea level, they will both give 480 bkp
a t 8000 ft.

PRATT & W H I T N E Y AIRCRAFT

P W A . 01. 6 0

SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

Fig. 14 - Given: MP = 26 in. Hg., RPM

Of the tw.o solutions, the first is probably


the more accurate, if the full throttle, constant rpm and full throttle, constant manifold pressure lines are markedly curved, provided fairly accurate initial estimates can be
made; the second solution possesses the ad.
vantage of simplicity, and can be performed
without any drawing instruments. The two
methods offer convenient checks on one
another, and the second may be used to advantage in making a preliminary estimate
of required manifold pressure. Results obtained from power curves are generally con.
siderkd to be accurate to f 2%%, if all
work is carefully done.
T y p e B - Solution: (See Fig. 14.)

Altitude
= 4000 ft.
l . * ~ o c a \ ethe intersection, A, of the given
rpm (2000) and manifold pressure (26 in.
hg) lines on the sea level calibration curve.
2. Project this intersection, A, horizontally
to the bhp axis of the altitude calibration
curve, and locate point B.

= 2000, AlT. = 4000

Ft.

Find: BHP

3. Locate 'the intersection, C, of the full


throttle, constant rpm line and the full
throttle constant manifold pressure line,
corresponding respectively to the given
rpm (2000) and manifold pressure (26 in.

4. Connect B and C with a straight line, BC.


5. Locate the intersection, D, of the line' BC
with the given altitude (4000 ft.) line.
6. Project this intersection, D, horizontally
to the bhp axis, and locate point E. The
required bhp (485) will be found at point E.

NOTE: Since D lies below and to the left of


the full throttle, constant rpm line
for the given.rpm (2000), part throttle operation is indicated.

The engine's sea level bhp a t the given


combination of rpm and manifold pressure
is found from the sea Ievel calibration curve
a t B. The bhp a t the full throttle critical
altitude for the same combination is found
from the altitude calibration curve at C.
The line BC is therefore the part throttle,

THE USE OF OPERATING CURVES

constant rpm, constant manifold pressure


line for the given
combination of rpm and
manifold pressure. The bhp for any altitude
between sea level and critical altitude is then
determined by the location of the intersection
of the given altitude line with the part throttle line, BC.
Carburetor Air Temperature Correction :

As the result of extensive investigations of atmospheric conditions a t sea level and a t altitude,
a set of "standard conditions" of pressure and
temperature have been established; and all operating curves are constructed on the assumption of
the existence of these conditions. Departure from
standard pressures, while they may result in
false altitude readings in terms of number of feet
above sea level, do not affect the use of the power
curves. The airplane's altimeter when indexed to
29.92 in. hg (rather than to the altitude of the
field) records altitude on the basis of pressure,
and it makes no difference, as far as engine performance is concerned, whether a pressure of
19 in. hg is encountered a t 12,000 ft. (where it
should be under standard conditions), or a t 11,000
ft. - the altimeter in either event will register
12,000 ft., and the curves will indicate performance
as of that altitude.
On the other hand, departures of c.a.t. from
standard must be corrected for, since they affect
the density and, hence, the weight of the combustion charge a t a given pressure altitude.
Standard altitude temperatures may be found in
atmosphere tables; they are also shown by means
of the heavy Iine printed along the lower part of
most altitude calibration curves. (Referring to
any of the typical power curves opposite page 32,
it will be seen that standard temperature a t 4000
ft. is 7" C. (45" F.); a t 8000 f t . is --loC. (30" F.);
a t 40000 ft. is -55" C. (-67" F.); etc.) .
Corrections for variations in c.a.t. as they affect
bhp can be made with sufficient accuracy as
before, namely :
1. To the bhp obtained from the curve add
lyofor each 6" C. (10" F.) of c.a.t. below
standard temperature; or

2. Subtract 1% for each 6" C. (10" F.) above


standard.
Thus: if the c.a.t. gauge in example B (Fig.
14) had read 19" C. (66" F.) - i.e. 12" C.
(21" F.) above standard conditions the bhp
of 485 obtained from the curve should have
been reduced by 2% to give the actual bhp
of 475. Had it read -11" C. (12" F.) - i.e.
18" C. (33" F.) below standard - the bhp
should have been increased by 3y0 t o 500.
-

Since bhp is a function of manifold pressure, the


latter must be corrected for c.a.t. variations in
problems which involve computing the manifold
pressure necessary to produce a given bhp. The
weight of the fuel-air charge delivered to the
cylinders in a given time controls the engine's
power output; and, if the temperature of the
charge is raised, its weight per unit volume at a
particular manifold pressure decreases and power
output falls off correspondingly. Hence, to maintain the weight of the charge and the engine's bhp,
manifold pressure must be increased as the c.a.t.
is raised, and, conversely, decreased as the c.a.t.
is lowered.
Corrections for variations in c.a.t. as they affect
manifold pressure can be made with sufficient
accuracy as follows :

1. T o the manifold pressure obtained from


the curve add
in. hg for each 6" C.
(10" F.) of c.a.t. above standard temperature; or
2. Subtract jd in. for each 6" C. (10" F.)
below standard.
Thus: if the c.a.t. gauge in example A
(Fig. 12 or 13) had read 5" C. (41" F.) - i.e.
6" C. (11"F.) above standard conditions the manifold pressure of 26.5 in. hg obtained
from the curve should have been increased
by
in. hg to give the actual manifold pressure required of 26.75 in. hg. Had i t read
-24" C. (-11" F.) - i.e. 23" C. (41" F.) below standard - the manifold pressure should
have been decreased by 1in. hg to 25.5 in. hg.

PRATT

&

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 01. 6 0

SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

M P - IN.HG

Fig. 15 - Effect of Ram

Effect of Ram

The carburetor air intake scoop is usually


faced into the slipstream in such a way as to gain
a supercharging effect from the velocity pressure
of the air stream. In a well designed installation
this will provide -a considerable pressure rise, or
ram, a t the carburetor deck. The result is t o increase the altitude a t which full throttle operation
is reached for any given combination of rpm and
manifold pressure - in other words t o increase
the critical altitude. The lower exhaust back
pressure and c.a.t. a t the new critical altitude
result in additional bhp which can be computed
from the power curve as shown in Fig. 15:
Let us assume that flight data show sufficient
ram pressure can be abtained to permit the engine
t o operate a t full throttle, 2200 rpm, and 30 in.
hg manifold pressure a t 8400 ft. instead of a t
6600 ft. (point A), the critical aICitude without
ram. The horsepower with ram pressures may be
found from the curve by constructing the part
throttle, constant rpm, constant manifold pressure

line, BA, for 2200 rpm and 30 in. hg, and then
extending the part throttle line, BA, until i t intersects, a t C, the line for the critical altitude with
ram (8400 ft.). Projecting this intersection, C,
horizontally t,o the bhp axis, we find the bhp to be
655 a t D - an increase of 15 bhp over that obtainable without ram for the same rpm and manifold pressure combination. Bhp for altitudes below the critical altitude with ram may, for practical purposes, be determined as before from .the
intersection of the altitude lines with the part
throttle, constant rpm, constant manifold pressure line, BC. Corrections for c.a.t. should be
made a t the new critical altitude.
'The amount of ram depends on airspeed and on
the design of the installation. It will therefore be
different for each type of airplane and for every
type of operation (climb, cruise, Military Power,
etc.). Since it is impractical t o make charts t o
meet all of these conditions, power curves are
constructed for operation without ram, and the
effect of the latter is computed as above after the
relevant data have been obtained.

THE U S E OF OPERATING C U R V E S

SEA L E V E L CALIBRATION

24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
M P IN. HG

ALTITUDE CALI BRATION

4
6
PILTITUDE

8
10
1000 FT

12

14

I6

18

20

Fig. 16 - Critical Altitudes

Critical Altitudes and Engine Ratings

Critical altitude has been defined above as the


altitude a t which the maximum bhp is obtained
with a given combination of manifold pressure
and rpm; or,, stated another way, it is the maximum altitude attainable with a given manifold
pressure and rprn combination. Full throttle operation is necessarily implied a t the critical altitude,
since any possible further throttle opening would
permit an increase in bhp and altitude. For
example: if operated a t 32 in. hg manifold pressure and 2400 rpm, the critical altitude for our
engine is 6000 ft., as illustrated by the solid red
lines in Fig. 16 above.
I t is also common practice to express critical
altitude as the maximum altitude which can be
attained with a given combination of bhp and

rpm. This can readily be found from the altitude


calibration curve by locating the intersection of
the given bhp line and the given full throttle,
constant rprn line, since full throttle operation is
likewise implied at this critical altitude. For
example: if operated at 600 bhp and 2200 rpm,
the critical altitude for our engine is 8600 ft., as
shown by the red dash lines in Fig. 16 above. In
this instance the manifold pressures are those
required to give the desired bhp-rpm combination.
They are naturally somewhat higher a t sea level
(30 in. hg) than at. the critical altitude (27.75
in. hg) because of the greater exhaust back pressures and higher c.a.t's. encountered a t sea level.
An engine's "critic81 altitude" is customarily
understood to be the one attained when operating
at the rated limits of rprn and bhp or manifold
pressure.

PRATT

(I-.

&

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

PWA. 0 1 . 6 0

ALTITUDE CALI BRATI ON

SEA LEVEL CALIBRATION

M P - IN. HG

ALTtTUDE

- 1000 F T

Fig. 17 - Ratings and Restrictions

Most supercharged engines may be operated a t


or near sea level a t part throttle only, since the
cylinder pressures and bhp's resulting from the
use of the maximum manifold pressures available
a t full thro!Ale are likely to prove destructive.
Engine speeds must likewise be held below the
point a t which dangerous strains are imposed by
excessive rpm's. While it is sometimes conyenient
to limit engine operation in terms of manifold
pressure and rpm, it is customary to restrict it by
holding cylinder pressures below a maximum value
and specifying certain limiting values for bhp and
rpm. Manifold pressures in themselves are not
harmful to the engine, and we may let them come
as they will, provided the bhp's, rpm's, and cylinder pressures to which they give rise are kept
within the proper limits. Assume, for example,
the limits for our engine are 650 bhp and 2400
rpm, with some maximum' permissible cylinder
pressure understood. The restricted or prohibited ranges of operation are shown above in
Fig. 17 by a series of dashes.

The shaded areas in the upper corners of the sea


level and altitude calibration curves. represent
bhp's theoretically available, but in excess of
those which may be safely used for an extended
period. Continuous full throttle operation is also
prohibited in the range lying to the left ,of the
limiting manifold pressure line AB, as'well as to
the right of the corresponding sea level' line CD,
since the manifold pressures called f6r will result in excessive cylinder pressures. The limiting bhp line, DBE, indicates part throttle operation from sea level to the critical altitude, with
manifold pressures decreasing gradually from 30
in. hg to approximately 27.5 in. hg. Since the
pilot is maintaining constant bhp, he will be
opening his throttle less rapidly than. if.he were
attempting to maintain constant' manifold pressure (as,for instance, along the line FE). It will
also be noticed that certain combinations of bhp
and rpm which are below the limiting, values of
power and speed call for manifold pressures in
excess of 30 in. hg (for example, a t points A and C.)

T-HE U S E O F O P E R A T I N G C U R V E S

- -- PART THROTTLE AT
2400 RPM 8 LlMlTlNG BHP
FULL THROTTLE
2400 RPM

-- -

PART THROTTLE AT
2 4 0 0 RPM & L l M l T l N G B H P
FULL THROTTLE AT
2400 R P M

0.

AT

a
I
m

SUPERCHARGl NG
ALTITUDE
TWO STAGE, TWO-SPEED

ALTITUDE
SINGLE-STAGE, TWO-SPEED

Fig. 18 - Critical Altitudes: BHP-RPM

Had our engine been a single-stage, two-speed


engine, or a two-stage, two-speed engine, we
should have had one series of critical altitudes for
each ,supercharger combination. If engine performance had been limited in terms of bhp and
rpm (say, 600 bhp and 2400 rpm), with a maximum cylinder pressure implied or expressed, the
composite altitude curves for the two types of
engines just mentioned would resemble those in
Fig. 18 above.
The shaded areas represent the gain in power
resulting from the additional supercharging. It
will be noticed, however, that the maximum bhp
available becomes less with each successive critical
altitude. The total power output of an engine is
designed to be approximately the same a t each
altitude, but, since a greater prop6rtion of i t is
absorbed in driving the impellers in the higher

gear ratios, or in driving the two impellers of the


combined main and auxiliary stages, it follows
that less bhp is available at the propeller shaft
(A limiting mixture temperature may also call
for a reduction in bhp.)
If engine performance had been limited in
terms of manifold pressure and rpm (say, 32 in.
hg and 2400 rpm), the composite altitude curves
for the two types of engines would have resembIed those in Pig. 19 below.
These curves repeat the general characteristics
of those in Fig: 18: a gain in power resulting from
the additional supercharging, as shown by the
shaded areas, with bhp's becoming less with each
successive critical altitude because of power losses
to the impeller. The location of points S indicate
the proper altitudes a t which shifts should be
made from one impeller ratio (or stage) to the
next.

--- PART THROTTLE

-- - PART

--

THROTTLE AT
2 4 0 0 RPM, 32 I N . M P
FULL TH-ROTTLE AT
2400 RPM

AT
2 4 0 0 RPM, 3 2 l N . M P
FULL THROTTLE AT
2400 RPM

SUPE9CHARGI NG
I

ALTITUDE
SI NGLE-STAGE TWO-SPEED

ALTITUDE
TWO-STAGE, TWO-SPEED

Fig. 19 - Critical Altitudes: MP-RPM

PRATT & W H I T N E Y AIRCRAFT

PWA. 0 1 . G O
-

ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

8000 F f CALIBRATION

1
i

16 I 8 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34

Fig. 20

The complete operating curve consists basically


of a part throttle and a full throttle curve.- The
former is generally constructed from a calibration
made at sea level, but, for various reasons, it
may be desirable to make part throttle calibrations at altitudes other than this.
Certain types of engine operation are of necestity limited to altitude, for example: operation
in the high gear ratio of the auxiliary impeller
-of a two-stage, two-speed engine. In such cases
there is little to be gained by extending the altitude calibration below the operating range. At
the same time the results obtained from the
power curve will be more accurate if the part
throttle calibration is made, not a t sea level, but
a t some altitude corresponding more closely to
the lowest part of the operating range, such as
8000, 10,000, or 12,000 feet.
A typical 8000 ft. calibration curve is shown
above a t the left-hand side of Fig. 20. I t is constructed in the same manner as the sea level
calibration curve, except that the data have been
obtained in flight at 8000 ft. The two curves are
used in exactly the same way. The position of the
1600 rpm line of the sea level calibration curve is
shown for purposes of comparison. I t will be
noticed that the rpm lines have shifted upwards
slightly, since the lower back pressures and c.a.tJs.

22

10
12
I000 F T

14

16

18

20

22

- 8bOO Ft. Calibration Operating Curve

Part Throttle Calibrations at Altitudes Other


than Sea Level

ALTITUDE

M P - I N HG

at 8000 ft. result in higher bhp's for the same manifold pressures than a t sea level; the full throttle
line has been displaced to the left, since the decreased atmospheric density a t 8000 ft. resuIts in
lower full throttle bhp's and manifold pressures
than a t sea level.
The altitude calibration is not affected, except that it is cut off a t 8000 ft., the altitude at
which the part throttle calibration was made,
instead of being continued downward toward sea
level. This omission is not significant, however,
since virtually all of the curve below 8000 ft.
would be i n t h e prohibited or restricted range.
Within its range the altitude calibration curve is
used in conjunction with the 8000 ft. calibration
curve in the same manner it is used in conjunction
with the sea level calibration curve, with the important exception that the bhp axis of the altitude
calibration curve is now at 8000 ft., not at sea
level. As a result the part throttle, constant rpm,
constant manifold pressure lines slope upwards
from the 8000 ft. line, rather than from the sea
level line.
(The problem of finding the bhp a t 12,000
ft., 1800 rpm, and 20 in. hg manifold pressure
is solved in Fig. 20. It will be seen that the
solution is of the same type as that in Fig. 14,
except that the part throttle, constant rpm,
constant manifoId pressure line originates at
C, a t 8000 ft., and not a t B, a t sea level.)

1
i

THE USE O F O P E R A T I N G CURVES

BRAKE MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURE


Engine operation is limited by a number of
different factors, some of which have already been
discussed. High rpnl's result in destructive centrifugal and reciprocating strains. Large bhp's impose dangerous loads on engine parts. High manifold pressures, while not in themselves harmful to
the induction system, force into the cylinders
heavy charges of fuel and air whose combustion
may lead to excessive pressures and temperatures,
if not to detonation. Closely reIated to these
factors is another basic limitation: the maximum
pressure which may be developed ,in the cylinders
during the power stroke. This important limitation, which is dictated largely by engine construction, is normally understood in all engine ratings;
when specifically stated it is usually expressed
indirectly in terms of brake mean effective pressure (bmep) in psi.
Cylinder .pressure is also a useful guide to the
pilot in selecting the particular combination of
rpm and manifold pressure best suited to a given
type of operation. Any bhp may be obtained, as
we have noted, by an infinite number of such

combinations, provided only it falls within the


part throttle range. Since manifold pressure and
oylinder pressure are closely related, this is equivalent to saying that a desired bhp may be obtained
with an endless number of rpm-cylinder pressure
combinations. On the one hand, if a low rpm is
selected, the cylinder pressure must necessarily be
high and may impose dangerous strains on the
engine or bring about high cylinder head temperature that will result in detonation. On the
other hand, if, to avoid this condition, a high rpm
is selected, internal friction, wear, and,fuel consumption will all be increased, with consequent
inefficient operation. Optimum performance will
be found somewhere between these two extremes,
at, or not far below, the maximum cylinder pressure which may be safely used for prolonged operation. Bmep proves to be a convenient,'if indirect,
way of estimating these actual cylinder pressures
and a nodding acquaintance with this often misunderstood and maligned term should assist the
pilot in protecting his engine against abuse and
in applying its power as efficiently as possible.

TOO LOW

TOO LOW

TOO HIGH

000
SPEED

PWA. 0 1 . 60

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

-COMPRESSION&

BOTTOM
CENTER

POWER

EXHAUST

INTAKE

LLNTER

PI S T O N POSITION ( ~ Mt E OR CRANKSHAFT ROTAT ION)

Fig. 21

- Cylinder

Pressures during Power Cycle

Definition

Let us assume that we have a one cylinder, four


stroke cycle engine turning at sonle given rpm.
If the pressures present in the cylinder during a
complete power cycle are plotted against piston
position (expressed in terms of time or crankshaft rotation), the resulting graph will resemble
the schematic pressure curve shown above in Fig.
21.
The height of the curve above the horizontal
axis represents the pressure in the cylinder a t
any given instant. The shaded areas, P and I,
below the curve represent power developed in the
cylinder: P, by the combustion of the fuel-air
charge; I, by the pressure of the incoming charge.
The unshaded areas, C and E, represent the
power expended in the cylinder: C, in compressing
the charge; E, in expelling the exhaust gases
against back pressure. The net useful power, or
indicated horsepower (ihp), developed in the
cylinder during one complete power cycle is
therefore represented by the difference in area between the shaded and unshaded portions, or:
IHP = (Area P +Area

I ) - (Area C +Area

E)

For many purposes it is convenient to conceive


useful and
of the various cylinder pressures
adverse - as a single, uniform pressure acting
during the power stroke alone, and capable of
producing the given ihp. If we calculate the areas
of the shaded and unshaded portZionsbelow the
pressure curve, and determine the area which
-

represents ihp, we can then draw a constant pressure line, AB, for the power stroke a t such distance above the horizontal axis that the area
enclosed by the rectangle ABCD is equal to the
area representing the ihp. In other words, draw
AB
to DC in such a way that:

Area ABCD = (Area P +Area I) - (Area C +Area E) = IHP

The mean, or average, power stroke pressure


represented by the line AB is known as the indicated mean effective pressure (imep).
Actually we are more concerned with the shape
of the pressure curve than with the imep. However, experiments have established definite relationships between the two under a variety of
different conditions; and, therefore, if we are
able to measure the imep, we can estimate with
sufficient accuracy the significant peak pressures
and other combustion characteristics revealed
by the configuration of the graph.
Not all the power developed in the cylinders
ii.e. the ihp) is available a t the propeller shaft.
As shown in Fig. 22, some of it is lost in overcoming internal engine friction; some is diverted
to driving the accessories; and some is absorbed
in driving the supercharging mechanism. The
power thus lost is called friction horsepower (fhp).
What remains in the form of useful power delivered to the propeller shaft is known as brake
horsepower (bhp). The mechanical efficiency of an
engine is expressed as the ratio of power output
to power input - i.e. ME = BHP/IHP.

T H E USE O F OPERATING CURVES

i i
POWER STROKE

I H P = BHP

+F

IMEP= BMEP

. , .

'7

-. ,

,:#

,.-,-,F;A.h&,..'.

'

'

.
I

%he dir&t compub,tion of ;an2:airh.#t*aigine'g


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':tb:e3hg:@9:bT&dily
caloulated ffom the-qua.-.
vti@$?+t.- ."w #(:-'
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,~$~:;.$&:fo@:~f~
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,~...-,*.A.
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-,+,he.
?d%%ifi@r .to producing .bhp. -That,Ea+t. of the
ppwer n&esWy 20 rnott:@th@e$&e rpithl-~l?,'
'&<am,$I$@$- . - g@eff ;.bo ~euelop!bhfi:
.. ...-.iij
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as
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~ Once the6hp:and-fbp;a,rekno*,;
b&e .man'&edtive..pressuref b ~ e p ) ,Its
. value
.,a:

*..;:.

=-.mi

'-L:,l.,.

,,.I

.-.I,

+-

'

&
*L

..

, ,

+;.

..,i-.

mp,

PRATT

&

WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

may be found by applying the following formula:


792000
BHP
B M E P (psi) =-XEngine Displacement (cu. in.) R P M
or :

BHP
BMEP (psi) = K --RPM

P W A . 01. 60

6. The amount of work done per min. by an engine is


equal to the work done per revolution times the rpm.
Therefore:
P XDispl. X R P M
W/min. =
24

Where W/min. =no. of ft.-lbs. of work per min.

Bmep bears the same relation to imep that


bhp does to ihp., namely:

7. Again by definition, power is the rate of doing work.


(If you raise 50 lbs. 6 ft. in 2 sec., your power output
will be four times as great as if you raise 50 lbs. 6 ft.
in 8 sec.) Thus:
Power = Work/Tirne

In other words, bmep may be defined as that


portion of the imep which produces the given bhp.
Derivation o f B M E P Formula

1. By definition, work is the product of a force by the


distance through which it moves. (If you raise 50
lbs. 6 ft., you will do 300 ft.-lbs. of work.) Hence:

(It will be noted that the formula in (6) above is an


expression of power.)
8. The conventional unit of power is the horsepower (hp).
I t is defined as work done a t the rate of 33,000 ft.-lbs.
per rnin. (If you weigh 165 lbs. and climb 200 ft. in
1 min., or 10 ft. in 3 sec., you will be putting out 1
hp.) Hence:

HP =

No. ft.-lbs. per min.


33,000

W=FXD
Where: W = work in ft.-lbs.
F =force in lbs.
D =distance in feet.

9. I t follows, then, that the hp developed by our engine


is given by the expression:

2. I n the case of en engine, the force exerted in each


cylinder a t any instant is the product of the pressure
a t that Ijarticular instant by the area of the piston
head on which it acts. Thus:

HP=--

33,000

3. Assuming the cylinder pressure (and hence the force)


remains constant through the power stroke, the distance moved by the force will be the length of the
stroke. Accordingly, if P is the mean effective pressure:
Where S =length of stroke in inches, divided by 12
to keep the distance in feet.
4. The work, in ft.-lbs., done per revolution by an engine
of N cylinders is therefore:

Where N =no.'of cylinders, divided by 2 since the


engine makes two complete revolutions during each
power cycle (i.e. half the cylinders fire per revolution).
5. Since the total displacement of an engine is the product of the area of the piston head, A, by the stroke,
S, by the number of cylinders, N, the formula in (4)
above simplifies to:
12 x 2

24

Where Displ. =total engine displacement in cu. in.

P XDispl. XRPM
24 X 33,000

10. And, transposing :


p=

Where: P =cylinder pressure in psi.


A =area of piston in sq. in.
(It will be noted that the sq. in's. cancel one another,
leaving a force, F, in lbs.)

W/min.

792000XHP
Displ. XRPM

=K
-

HP
RPM

Where K is a constant which depends on the displacement of the engine. For an R-2000 engine, for example: K =792000/2000 =396.

11. Since "P" has been assumed to be the imep,"HP."


is by definition ihp. On the other hand, if "HP" 1s
understood to be the bhp of the engine, "P" (the
portion of the imep required to produce the bhp) becomes "BMEP" by definition. And so, finally:
792000 XBHP
BHP
= KBMEP (psi) =
Displ. X R P M
RPM
(Note: Similar expressions may be used to compute
frictlon mean effective pressure or other breakdowns of
imep for analytical work.)

Discussion

Bmep, therefore, proves to be something of an


abstraction - a fictitious pressure which has no
real existence in the cylinders. Imep is clearly
greater than bmep; and the actual peak pressures,
as shown on pressure diagrams, are in turn greater
than the imep. The abstraction, however, proves
to be a useful one like "suction", an imaginary
concept used to indicate a pressure differential.
-

T H E U S E OF OPERATING CURVES

Since bmep may be readily calculated in terms


of quantities that are easily found - bhp, rpm,
and a constant - and inasmuch as it bears a
definite relationship to imep and the latter, in
turn, to peak pressures and other combustion
characteristics, bmep serves as a convenient index
- an indirect way of estimating actual cylinder
pressures - and so provides a convenient scale
by which to limit or rate engine performance.
Since a rise in bmep will result in an increase in
actual cylinder pressures, structural considerations will dictate operation below certain bmep
values. Since high cylinder pressures will normally
be accompanied by high cylinder head tefnperatures, it follows that bmep values set a series of
limits for preventing detonation, for protecting
the materials of the cylinders, and even for selecting a type of spark plug.

it can be seen that bmep varies directly as the


bhp and inversely as the rpm. Accordingly, a
pilot who drastically reduces his rpm without
first reducing his bhp (by lowering his manifold
pressure) runs the risk of increasing his bmep, and
hence his actual cylinder pressures, beyond safe
limits. Conversely, any substantial increase in
bhp is dangerous unless preceded by a rise in rpm.
In general it is desirable to run an engine a t the
lowest possible rpm consistent with propeller
efficiency, since fhp is thereby minimized, oil and
fuel consumption diminished, and wear reduced.
The most efficient results will therefore be obtained by operating at or near the maximum permissible bmep limits, since the higher the bmep,
the greater the bhp for any given rpm - or, to
put it another way, the maximum bhp will be
secured with the minimum rpm. This type -of
operation is particularly applicable to the cruising
range, where no sudden increases in power which
might result in exceeding safe bmep limits are
anticipated.

From the relationship:


BMEP =K-

BHP

RPM

NORMAL

BMEP

PROPERLY

AIR
SPEED

RPM

BALANCED

PRATT & W H I T N E Y A I R C R A F T

PWA. 0 1 . 6 0
ALTITUDE CALIBRATION

SEA LEVEL CALI BRATI ON

.MP

- IN.HG

ALTITUDE:

- 1000 FT

Fig. 23 - Max. BMEP Cruising Curve

Bmep Curves

-v

d
''

N.
:*:I

ikI
;

To aid the pilot in quickly selecting a combination of rprn and manifold pressure values which
will result in operation' a t or just below the maximum permissible bmep, a series of curves known
as Brnep Cruising Curves have been prepared.
They are identical with the automatic lean curves,
except that they show the part throttle manifold
pressures a t a specified bmep. (Compare Curves
1680-1 and 1680-7 opposite .page 32.) They are
commonly restricted to auto lean operation in the
cruising range. A schematic example of a bmep
curve is given above in Fig. 23.
Referring to the schematic: on the altitude part
of the curve solid horizontal lines, A, B, C, D, of
constant bhp, rpm, and maximum bmep a t part
throttle extend from sea level to the highest altitudes a t which the maximum bmep can be obtained with fulI throttle. These lines break a t the
full throttle, maximum bmep line, EF, and become
full throttle, constant rpm lines similar to thdse
of the conventional altitude curve previously discussed.
All operation within the area ADEF is at
maximum bmep. Since maximum bmep is a

.... . -

1.

,
7

constant, the ratio of bhp/rpm is also a constant


within this area - a fact borne out by inspection
of the curve, which shows that the ratios 650
bhp/2200 rpm, 590 bhp/2000 rprn, ett., 'are approxiynateIy equal.
The upper boundary line, AFG, is the maximum
permissible bhp (650) for cruising. 'Below the
altitude, F, a t which maximum bmep'is obtained,
the maximum bhp line, AF, represents part
throttle operation a t constant, rpmf above this
altitude, F, the maximum bhp line, FG, represents
full. throttle operation, with increasing .rpm and
decreasing bmep. The, line terminates-'<t G, the
critical &tide obtained a t full throtth with the
maximum cruising rpm (2400) and bhp (650).
The manifold pressures required for maximum
bmep operation ire plotted as ssqlid lines to the
left of the full throttle, maximum bmep line, EF.
On the full throttle portion of the curve (identical
with the auto lean curve) manifold pressures are
shown as a series of dashes. As the curve indicates, manifold pressyres decrease, gradually
from sea Ievel to the full throttle, maximum bmep
altitudes (along the line EF), after which they
fall off more rapidly.

TH.E U S E O F O P E R A T I N G C U R V E S

The following examples, based on the schematic


above, will serve to illustrate the use of the bmep
cruising curves:
A pilot wishes to cruise a t maximum bmep
and a bhp of 560. His maximum permissible
cruising rprn is 2400.

1. To what rprn should he set his propeller


governor?
2. Between what limits will he vary (by
means of his throttle) the manifold pressure, and what value should the latter
'
have at, say, 2000 ft.?
3. What is the greatest altitude attainable
operating a t maximum bmep and 560 bhp?
4. If the pilot wishes to exceed this altitude
and still operate a t 560 bhp, what must
he do? What is the maximum altitude
a t which he can cruise with 560 bhp?
Solutions:

i
-

-1.From the altitude curve it will be seen


that the 560 bhp line lies about midway
between the 1800 rprn and 2000 rprn part
throttle, constant rprn and bhp, maximum
bmep lines, C and B. Accordingly, a
propeller governor setting of approximately 1900 rprn is indicated.
2. On the sea level curve, locate the intersection, P, of the given (560) bhp and
required (1900) rpm. Its vertical projection indicates the manifold pressure a t
sea level is 32.75 in. hg. On the altitude
curve, locate the intersection, Q, of the 560
bhp - 1900 rprn line and the full throttle,
maximum bmep line, EF. Both the solid
and the dash manifold pressure lines
indicate the manifold pressures a t Q is
approximately 31 in. hg. 32.75 in. hg and
31 in. hg are therefore the limits within
which the pilot must vary his manifold
pressure by means of the throttle.
The location of the intersection of the
-560 bhp - 1900 rprn line and the 2000 ft.
altitude line indicate that the manifold
pressure a t 2000 ft. is approximately
32 in. hg. In this instance manifold pressure is shown by the solid lines.
3. Locate, as before, the intersection, Q,
of the 560 bhp - 1900 rprn line and the
full throttle, maximum bmep line, EF.

The vertical projection of this intersection


shows that the greatest altitude attainable
a t maximum bmep and 560 bhp is 4600 ft.
4. If the rprn (1900) is kept constant above
this altitude (4600 ft.), the desired bhp
(560) cannot be maintained, since the
throttle can be opened no further. If 560
bhp is required above 4600 ft., it can be
obtained only by gradually resetting the
propeller governor to increase the rpm,
a t full throttle, from 1900 rprn a t 4600 ft.
to 2400 rpm, the maximum permissible
cruising rpm, at 13500 ft., the critical
altitude for 560 bhp and 2400 rpm. (Since
bmep =KXbhp/rpm, it can be seer1 that
the bmep decreases above the full throttle,
maximum bmep line, EF. As shown by the
line QR, the rpm increases while the bhp
remains constant; accordingly the value
of ratio bhp/rpm - and hence the
bmep - decreases.)
For accurate use, manifold pressures should be
corrected for variations in c.a.t's. from standard.
These corrections are made as before.
Thus, in the example just given, had the c.a.t:
been 10" C. (18"F.) below standard throughout,
manifold pressures during cruise a t maximum
bmep should have been reduced 0.5 in. - from
32.75 in. to 32.25 in. a t sea, level, and from-31in.
to 30.5 in. at 4600 ft.
Bmep Limits

The upper ends of the constant rprn lines on the


sea level and altitude portions of many power
curves of the conventional type are terminated by
a heavy curved line. See, for example, Curve No.
1680-1 opposite page 32. Unless the contrary is
indicated, these terminal lines are generally understood to be maximum permissible bmep lines,
and are frequently designated as such, as on the
curve referred to. From such a curve the operator
can tell a t a glance the maximum manifold pressure which may be used under all conditions
covered by the curve without exceeding bmep or
bhp limits. This manifold pressure, however,
does not necessarily give maximum performance
under all conditions. Thus, referring again to
Curve No. 1680-1, it will be seen that no operation a t 28 in. hg manifold pressure can result
in excessive bmep's or bhp's so long as the rpm
is below 2325, while the operations at 30.5 in.

PWA. 0 1 . 6 0

PRATT & WHITNEY AIRCRAFT

hg will similarly be within safe limits, except


for a very small range above 700 bhp and 2150
rpm. (Curve No. 1680-1 is for auto lean operation,
it must be noted, and the limits established by
it do not apply to other types of operation, such
as auto rich.)
Excessive Ismep's cannot be obtained with an
engine equipped with a fixed pitch propeller of
proper design, since the load imposed by the
propeller maintains a safe bhp/rpm ratio so long
as the manifold pressure is kept within the maximum permissible limit. The flexibility introduced
by the variable pitch propeller, however, may
make it necessary to calculate the bmep for a
certain set of conditions to see whether or not it

lies within the specified limits. For instance, referring once more to Curve No. 1680-1 opposite
page 32, the operator may wish to know the bmep
obtained a t 600 bhp and 1600 rpm. Substituting
in the formula:

6-

792000 XBHP 792000 X600

BMEP

Displ. xRPM

1830 X1600

= 162 psi.

This is clearly in excess of the limiting cruising


bmep of 140 psi, as specified on the curve - a
fact which could have been obtained without
computation by noting that the intersection of
the 600 bhp and 1600 rpm lines lies within the
restricted - prohibited area of both sea level and
altitude curves.

PROBLEMS
The problems which follow are for those who
may desire further practice in the use of operating
or power curves. The problems may be solved
by using the typical curves, Nos. 1680-1, 1680-2,
1680-7, opposite page 32, as it will be assumed in
all cases that the engine is a Twin Wasp R-1830SlC3G. The quantitative results obtained should
agree withinf 2%y0 of the answers given on page
31.
1. (Curve No. 1680-2) An engine is run on a
test stand a t 0 ft. altitude. The tachometer
reads 2100 rpm; the manifold pressure
gauge 23.25 in. hg; and the c.a.t. gauge
19" C. (66" F.) What is its bhp and bmep?
2. (Curve No. 1680-1) An airplane is cruising
a t 11,500 ft., as shown by the altimeter
(indexed to 29.92 in. hg). The tachometer
and manifold pressure gauge read 1900 rpm
and 26.5 in. hg, respectively. The c.a.t.
is -23" C. ( - 10" F.) What is the actual
bhp being developed by the engine?
3. (Curve No. 1680-2) Because of ram pressure an engine a t full throttle is able to
, develop 2400 rpm and 34 in. hg manifold
pressure a t 13,000 ft. Assuming standard
c.a.t. conditions, what is the increase in
critical altitude and bhp because of the ram?
4. (Curve No. 1680-1) A flight engineer wishes
to cruise a t 6000 ft., 450 bhp, and 1850 rpm.
C.a.t. is estimated to be -20" C. (-4" F.)
At what point should the manifold pres-

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

sure be set? Will this be full throttle or


part throttle operation?
(Curve No. 1680-2) What manifold iressure will be required to fly a t 12,500 it.,
2500 rpm, and 830 bhp, if c.a.t. is -26" C.
( - 15" F.)?
(Curve No. 1680-7) A pilot wishes to cruise
a t maximum bmep, 620 bhp, and 6000 ft.
altitude. The c.a.t. at this altitude is
known to be 14" C. (57" F.) What combination of rpm and manifold pressure should
he select? What is the bmep? Is operation
a t full or part throttle?
(Curve No. 1680-7) If the pilot in the foregoing problem had wished to go to 13,100
ft. without increasing his bhp above 620,
what rpm and manifold pressure would
have been called for, assuming standard
conditions? Would operation be a t full
or part throttle?
(Curve No. 1680-2) For an airplane to takeoff, its engine must develop 1100 bhp. The
flying field is at 7000 ft. altitude; it is 2:00
PM; and the free air temperature (or c.a.t.)
is 35" C. (95" F.) on the ground. Will'the
airplane be able to take off, assuming these
are the only determining factors?
(Curve No. 1680-7) What is a safe maxi- .
mum manifold pressure for all operations
below 2230 rpm? Will maximum bmep ever
be attained? (Assume standard conditions.)

rC

THE USE O F OPERATING CURVES

(2) What is the bmep of this combination? Is it within the max. continuous rating bmep limit?
(3) Assuming standard conditions, what
should the operator's manifold pressure be to deliver the specified 980
bhp at 2400 rprn at sea level? At
the critical altitude? At 4000 ft.?
(4) Had the c.a.t. been 7" C. (13" F.)
above standard at each of these
altitudes, what correction should
be applied to the manifold pressure
figures?
c. .Would a climb a t 980 bhp and 2200 rprn
be feasible? Explain.

10. (Curve No. 1680-1) Draw the part throttle,


constant rpm, constant manifold pressure
line for operation at 2000 rpm and 27 in. hg.
manifold pressure. About half of this line
will be seen to lie in the restricted-prohibited
range. .Does this mean that operation at
2000 rprn and 27 in. hg. is forbidden below,
say, 5000 ft.? (Assume standard conditions.)
11. (Curve No. 1680-2) a. What is the bmep
a t maximum continuous rating - i.e. a t
normal rated power and rpm?
b. The operator wishes to climb using 980
bhp and 2400 rpm:
(1) What is the critical altitude of this
bhp-rpm combination?

ANSWERS
1. Bhp from sea level curve: 715
Actual bhp, corrected (-1%) for c.a.t.:
708. Answer
792000 708
X -= 146 psi. Answer
1830 2100
2. Bhp from altitude curve: 524
Actual bhp, corrected (+3%) for c.a.t.:
540. Answer
3. Increase in Critical Altitude:
13,000 ft. - 10,500 ft. =2500 ft. Answer
Increase in bhp: 865 bhp - 856 bhp = 9 bhp.
Answer
4. Manifold pressure from curve: 25.5 in. hg.
Actual manifold pressure, corrected ( - 1in.
hg.j for c.a.t.: 24.5 in. hg. Answer
Part throttle operation. Answer
5. Manifold pressure from curve: 32.25 in. hg.
Actual manifold pressure, corrected ( - 0.75
in. hg.) for c.a.t. : 31.5 in. hg. Answer
6. Rpm: 1915. Answer
Manifold pressure from curve: 31.25 in. hg.
Actual manifold pressure, corrected (f0.5
in. hg.) for c.a.t.: 31.75 in. hg. Answer
Bmep: 140 bsi by computation; 140 psi
from curve. Answer
Part throttle operation. Answer
7. Rpm: 2100; Manifold Pressure: 28 in. hg.
Answer
Full throttle operation. Answer
8. No. Naximum available power for 5 min.
a t 7000 ft. is 1115 bhp, under standard
conditions, as shown by the curve, which
Bmep =

would be enough for take-off. However,


correcting this bhp for c.a.t., we find
the actual figure is only 1048,which is inadequate for our purposes. Better wait
till it cools off a bit. Answer
9. Manifold Pressure: 29 in. hg. Answer
No. Answer
10. No. The maximum bhp obtainable under
the given rpm-manifold combination is
575 (at the critical altitude). Accordingly
the bmep's will always be below 140 psi.
(actually below 125 psi). This fact is
shown on the curve by the location of the
intersection of the 27 in. hg manifold
pressure line and the 2000 full throttle,
constant rprn line, which intersection is
to the right of the full throttle, maximum
bmep line. Note also that the constant
manifold pressure (27 in. hg) is below all
limiting values. Answer
792000!x
!?! ! =433 x 1050
-= 178 psi. Ans.
1830 2550
2550
b. (1) 6600 ft. Answer
980
= 177 psi. Answer
(2) Bmep =433 X2400
Yes. I t is below max. continuous
rating bmep (178 psi). Answer
(3) 40.75 in. hg; 39.00 in. hg; 40.00 in. hg.
Answer
(4) Add 0.25 in. hg. Answer
c. No. Bmep is 193, and is too great. Am.

PRATT & W H l T N E U AIRCRAFT

TYPICAL POWER CURVES

PWA. 01. 6 0

I\

(-swPERSEDES

1653)

CURVE NO. INST. 1680-1

-I-

LIBRATION - HORSE POWER AND MANIFOLD PRESSURE AT STAP


PHERIC CONDITIONS WITH AUTO- RI CH MiXTURE
,