Winter Flying

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6898
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 7:00 am
Location: IS65 Sandwich IL.
Name: Jeff T
Aircraft Type: 48 140 C90
Occupation: Auto,Marine&Aviation Repair
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Winter Flying

Post by 6898 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:39 pm

How do you prep yourself and the aircraft for winter? No comments from the Watermelon group in Florida LOL. I'm fortunate in northern Illinois to have a heated hangar which I keep 50 to keep the bill down but feels great when its 20 outside. I'm always concerned about preheat after hearing the seminar from Tanis heating at the Fairbault convention good people to talk to call them. Do you change to a lower viscosity oil in winter? I'm running Aero Shell 100W plus all year round and try not to fly below 25 degrees outside temps. I have made my own cowl covers for the cylinders and the smaller ports at the cowl front. I have the patterns if you need them. I also cover the small "Blast tube port" on the right side of the rear baffle with a cap plug. As far as the interior goes hard to keep the little heat I have in because our doors seem to open at the tops and let a lot of heat out. Just part of the light weight design i guess. I do put a blanket rolled up in between the top seat and package tray to keep the draft from the lower rear down that helps. Remember winter coats gloves and boots all take up more room in a already tight cockpit so if your use to flying with someone in the summer months it will get little heavier and a lot tighter in there. The best for me flying in the winter is the performance , smooth days and NO BUGS! Would like to hear from our Alaska pilots how deep and how cold before a no go day? Stay warm and safe Jeff
Jeff T 1948 C-140 NC3600V

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Name: Raymond H
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Re: Winter Flying

Post by 8322 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:50 pm

I create a cold weather kit yearly with foil tape on the inner couple inches of the front vents and such as well.

I also take preheating really serious, as I found in my reserch it is an often overlooked area, that folks think a blast of heat to thin the oil in the kidney tank is good and off you go... I want me entire engine warm... as its also about bearing clearances that shrink in the cold and also our cylinders from my understanding have a taper to them, narrowing at the top so that at operating temp the walls are "parrallel" and that cold cylinders started up can force a piston in a very tight cylinder.

I have a 275 W old Philips preheater on mine, looks like a hot water heater element... I find if I wrap the cowl well, that 8 hours or so later the the entire engine compartment is 85 degrees... So I see no reason to switch away from the 100w oil.

I think its very important to wrap the cowl up so the heat can spread around to all the engine not just the bottom.

6991
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Location: Washburn,WI
Name: Joe Belany
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Re: Winter Flying

Post by 6991 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:06 pm

I've been flying my 140 around Lake Superior for the past 9 winters. Certainly no expert, but I've learned a few things.

I fly Phillips XC 20W50, which seems like an all around good oil. Nothing against a straight weight oil, just happy with how this one performs. I bought the winter kit for the 140 as well, and that seems to help. There is a serious struggle with trying to get any sort of good oil temperature while flying on the cold days. Preheating is done with a ceramic heater and the entire engine compartment gets it, and for at least an hour. I have a heavy duty timer that gets plugged in when there are days which I want to leave early, otherwise it is extra time at the coffee pot. When stopping, I keep the stops limited so as to not sacrifice any heat which may have been gained.

In the plane I always dress too warm and willing to take a layer off. There are always hot hands behind the seat, extra gloves, an extra hat, and a small survival kit which I have made. If the snow gets really deep and I plan to venture off towards the big lake or some of the National Forests, the snowshoes will go behind me as well. I wish I could figure out a way to be warmer when flying, but that battle has yet to be won....

The skis on the 140 are fun, but in there lies a lot more work and effort.

Joe
Joe Belany
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6930
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Re: Winter Flying

Post by 6930 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:25 pm

Hi Jeff,

Also a Northern Illinois pilot (Naper Aero). I too keep my plane in a heated hangar which is a great thing to be sure.

I run Phillips x/c 20-50 and have never found a compelling reason to switch to single grade oil. If I lived in Florida, sure. But here, where we can see a 50 degree swing in temps from one day to the next, a single grade oil does not seem to make sense to me. I may be wrong on that, but there it is.

I made up a set of covers for the air intake and oil cooler passages as you did. When the temperature is below 40 deg, I install the smaller oil cooker covers. They generally stay on from the end of October through the winter. I install the air intake covers when the temp consistently falls below 30 deg. If I happen to be flying on an unusually warm winter or spring day, I’ll take them off. It only takes a couple of minutes.

I generally do not fly when the temp on the ground is below 20. There are exceptions, but very few. It’s just too uncomfortable for my old bones and, as my plane is even older than I am, figure he’s not to happy about being blasted with super cold air either. I worry about uneven cooling on the front cylinders and all the other nasty stuff that comes with cold air. I know others may pop on skis and fly whatever the temp is, but I don’t.

Cockpit wise, I keep my old grey Navy blanket in the back and cover up my legs to try to keep warm from the blast of air that leaks into the cockpit around the doors. Thank God the heater works as well as it does!

Mike

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6898
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 7:00 am
Location: IS65 Sandwich IL.
Name: Jeff T
Aircraft Type: 48 140 C90
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Re: Winter Flying

Post by 6898 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:31 am

Hi Mike good to hear a reply from you. Sorry I don't make it to your runway like I should you know life gets in the way. Yea just through a winter question out there see if I'm missing something. Hope to keep in touch with you. Jeff
Jeff T 1948 C-140 NC3600V

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Name: Mike
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Re: Winter Flying

Post by 6930 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:32 am

Hi Jeff....I didn't realize it was you! I should have figured it out...I mean, how many Jeff T's with 140's live in Sandwich?

Let me know when you come out to visit Mike next. I'll swing by and we can catch up!

Take care,

Mike

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