Outside air temperature matters!
Engine performance, flight performance,
and personal performance. Are all affected drastically by the outside air
Engine start-up tips (Especially with Nitromethane fuels):
For whatever unscientific reason,
24 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be the dividing point between "Stubborn",
and "VERY Stubborn" starting engines.
Restrain your plane. Pound a
screwdriver into the ice, and tie your plane down! Skis are slippery! 'Nuff said!
- Use a higher Nitromethane content.
- Propane is the best startup fuel assistance. To do this you can carry a propane torch with you.
Simply open your carburetor and
turn your propeller while letting the propane fumes enter the
engine. Thus, priming the engine with propane and fuel.
Then, start the engine as you normally would. Often it will run on the propane for
a while and quit. But, the engine temperature will start to rise.
Repeat the process. This
can take 3-5 cycles to generate enough heat inside the engine before
it will run solely on the alcohol fuel. Older cans of
WD-40 used Propane as the propellant and therefore could be
sprayed into the carburetor to prime the engine as well. Newer cans don't work as well but still seem to help. The benefit
of this method, is that it lubricates, and loosens any sticky oil
inside the engine as it primes. Making it easier for the starter to
turn the engine. Ether, and other starting fluids should be
avoided. As they dry the internal engine parts. Ether
and starting fluids do
not react well with a platinum glow plug either.
Once started. Your engine will need to be tuned richer from your summer tune. Cold air is more dense and requires
more fuel. Opening your needles slightly before you even
try step one engine starting is a good idea. Go ahead and open the needle 1/4 or 1/2 a turn before you even try
and start it (at least the first time out), and don't forget to enrichen the idle mixture too!
Once running and tuned. Your engine WILL make more
power than usual. However, it can be deceptive, as it will usually produce less RPM, due
to the dense air loading the propeller down. This defies you senses, but if
you listen to the propeller barking in the cold air, you will
realize you are making some serious power!