Features

January 2016 Issue

Air-Cooled Engines

Itís likely your airplaneís engine is air-cooled, which is a simple, reliable system, but one also requiring awareness and management.

The engines powering the vast majority of personal airplanes are air-cooled. This means they donít have a radiator and a liquid-based system like most automobiles we might drive to the airport. Yes, piston powerplants like those in the Rotax line, as well as many diesel engines designed for aircraft, are liquid cooled. But these more modern designs are in a distinct minority. In fact, besides the metallurgy, the basic configuration of aircraft piston engines has changed little since before World War II: Flat, horizontally opposed or radial designs from that era predominate.

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