Engine heaters.

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jpilot77
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Engine heaters.

#1 Post by jpilot77 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:55 am

Anybody have any experience with engine preheaters? Wonder if it is worth the cost and how effective they are with the cold weather right around the corner?
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Re: Engine heaters.

#2 Post by Doc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:03 am

jpilot77 wrote:Anybody have any experience with engine preheaters? Wonder if it is worth the cost and how effective they are with the cold weather right around the corner?
What aircraft type. For a 172 etc, we used to just stuff a ceramic heater under the cowl.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#3 Post by iflyforpie » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:14 am

The best are the Tanis heaters. They heat the oil pan and each cylinder. Runs between $500-$800 depending on the system but there is no better way to preheat. Sticking a space heater up into the cowling isn't enough if you are operating in -10/-20 or lower.

Not cheap, but I am willing to bet it will knock at least that amount off your overhaul bill or unscheduled engine repairs...

http://www.tanisaircraft.com/index.php
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Re: Engine heaters.

#4 Post by jpilot77 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:00 am

I have a Seneca 1, so portable heaters are gonna be a problem. If I decide not to fly bellow -10 is it still worth it to install a heater?
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Re: Engine heaters.

#5 Post by iflyforpie » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:28 am

For those Lycomings with the camshaft way up high, with no oil and none coming anytime soon because of the cold, you bet.

Either that or pickle your engine because you sure don't want to have the engine full of moisture with exposed surfaces over winter.

However; the best maintenance for any aircraft IMHO is to fly it as much as you can...
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Re: Engine heaters.

#6 Post by The Mole » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:29 am

Little Buddy car heaters. They have to run under a good engine blanket for hours, or overnight to be effective. In the field we use one under the dash one in the transmission deck and one in the engine. Take the battery to bed with you and snuggle with it..... when you land always put the blankets on, If you have no power, Below -20 start the aircraft ever couple hours. Always keep the battery warm. I you follow this regime you will have no problems. If you have a frozen aircraft ie cold soaked. Herman nelson is your friend.. don't know who herman is, go back to OZ

i couldn't find any stc info for those heating pads. They look the same as the automotive ones, just custom fit.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#7 Post by PAJ » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:44 am

I have a Reiff Pre-Heat System with a HotStrip element on the oil sump. Takes a few hours but have a programmable timer for that.

Also have an insulated engine cover.

http://www.reiffpreheat.com/product.htm

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Re: Engine heaters.

#8 Post by Doc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:10 pm

If you're not going to fly below -10, and it's your money, I'd consider a good multi-grade oil. Do you have a hangar you can pull it into for a couple of hours, or a night before you fly?
Engine covers are a waste of time if you have no heat source. I've seen guys blanket up their Navajos for the night with no plug ins. Total waste of time. Another point. Wind chill has nothing to do with engine heat. If it's -5 and the wind is blowing 30 knots, your engine will never get colder than -5.
As iflyforpie (wonder if he'll fly for cake?) points out....fly it. Running it up to temp isn't the same thing.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#9 Post by beaverbob » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:13 pm

Stick a car warmer in the cowling and wrap the engine completely with an insulated cover, designed for the plane, and your engine will be as warm in the morning as it is on a summer morning.
I have done this at -50
If no electricity I use to use a propane heater something like a Herman Nelson only smaller, with a 12 volt blower motor so you can run it off you truck battery. Still need the insulated cover, of course, then it only takes about 30 minutes to warm up. Even though I haven't used it for years it is till in my storage shed.


http://www.aerocovers.com/

http://www.kinnearupholstery.com/

Any to answer the first question - Yes it is worth the cost.
Bob
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Re: Engine heaters.

#10 Post by jpilot77 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:31 pm

Thanks for the info folks, I want to fly it as much as possible and I would idealy like to have it in a hanger but some of the other fixes might also be good.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#11 Post by HS-748 2A » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:16 pm

T.C. issued some sort of a very unorothodox 'blanket approval' for the permanent installation of a ceramic heater under the cowl of piston engine airplanes.

"So long as it does not interfere with engine controls, fire detection or supression systems, the benefit of such a heater installation is considered to outweigh the risk.." Or something like that.
It was a suprising deviation towards common sense by T.C.

Does anybody have a link to that? I think it was a 'Service Letter.'
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Re: Engine heaters.

#12 Post by Lurch » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:29 pm

One plane I fly has a TANIS heater, the thing works very well. Minus 30 and it fires right up and the oil temp is up to temp in minutes, quicker then in the summer. If it snows I always find ice at the edge of the engine cover from where the snow melted.

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Re: Engine heaters.

#13 Post by Hvd2Pilot » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:43 pm

Flying during the winter?

I always thought that God invented winters to give pilots time to pay for their fuel from the previous flying season. :lol:
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Re: Engine heaters.

#14 Post by midwingcrisis » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:38 pm

Tanis...or hangar
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Re: Engine heaters.

#15 Post by HS-748 2A » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:23 pm

BeaverBob,

Did you build that thing yourself? Looks like a pretty good rig.

What did you use for a nozzle? BBQ ignitor, I'm guessing?
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Re: Engine heaters.

#16 Post by BGH » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:32 pm

If you are using any type of heater make sure there is no fire hazard & don't leave the heater plugged in if you're not going flying as the moisture generated will turn your engine into a rusted piece of junk very quickly.The longest I leave my safeheat electric oil pan pad plugged in is overnight for an early am departure.I also use a good cowl cover to keep the heat in.I've got a continental io520 D & it only takes a couple of hours to go from -30c to +10c for oil temp.I never preheat if I'm not going flying anywhere.

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Re: Engine heaters.

#17 Post by PAJ » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:48 pm

BGH wrote: ...... don't leave the heater plugged in if you're not going flying as the moisture generated will turn your engine into a rusted piece of junk very quickly.The longest I leave my safeheat electric oil pan pad plugged in is overnight for an early am departure.
I often wondered about that ... here is what Reiff says ... believable or marketing spin?

http://www.reiffpreheat.com/FAQ.htm#QA3

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Re: Engine heaters.

#18 Post by Donald » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:53 pm

The "frost-fighter" brand will produce a tremendous amount of moisture, the "herman nelson" is relatively dry.

The "tanis" heater though, is by far the best, imho.

For the real cold, tanis + proper engine blankets + batt blanket + buddy heaters in the engine inlets + buddy heaters near anything electronic + heat in the cockpit for the gyros.

As you run out of options power-wise, you must decide what is important, for me it was always engines (incl batt), then apu, then electronics.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#19 Post by black hole » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:11 pm

For the pilots that fly every day, and just need to keep the engine warn at a remote location occasionally; plugging in a tanis set up on a warm engine overnight is a good deal. The Tanis is not a good deal to heat a cold soaked engine to fly in a few hours at -30. I Found that the old car heater to be better.
The big problem is when there is no power available. I have seen many jury rigged outfits and even a Honda generator to provide power. I made a rig that fit in a tool box from a VW van heater. It would warm one engine on my PA-23; I then started the engine and it then provided power to warm the other.
There is no substitute for a tight fitting engine cover.
Does anyone remember the old blow pot?

BH
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Re: Engine heaters.

#20 Post by paydaymayday » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:46 pm

Used to use a gigantic 3 foot by two foot combustion 'dragon heater' with two pipes that would fit up to the cowl intakes. Leave the thing running with the vents open on a small to medium piston aircraft and the cabin would be +15 while it was -30 outside. Now, I just use engine blankets and internal engine plug in heaters for the PT6s.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#21 Post by Doc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:55 pm

Okay, a lot of answers to a simple question. With an even simpler answer!!



wait for it





wait for it




wait for it




The Bahamas!!!!!!!
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Re: Engine heaters.

#22 Post by black hole » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:01 pm

I'm with you Doc!!!
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Re: Engine heaters.

#23 Post by beaverbob » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:49 pm

HS-748 2A wrote:BeaverBob,

Did you build that thing yourself? Looks like a pretty good rig.

What did you use for a nozzle? BBQ ignitor, I'm guessing?

I bought it at an industrial supply company in Dawson Creek in about 1973. Something like a Napa or Northern Metallic store.
It has a temperature limit switch on it as well.The regulator is adjustable if you want more heat.
Bob
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Re: Engine heaters.

#24 Post by RobinsBright2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:20 am

Space heaters also come in handy if you have a room in your home or office that lacks heating ductwork, is poorly insulated or is otherwise difficult to heat.
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Re: Engine heaters.

#25 Post by Hockaloogie » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am

Eight year bump, well done.
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