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Cold-weather starts

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:52 PM
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rcguy59
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Default Cold-weather starts

About this time last year, I took my ShockJet/Superbee to the field to fly. After three failed attempts to start, it occurred to me to increase the propane flow setting. That cured the Bee's ills and it started and ran just fine after that. Low temp (mid 30's) and cold propane were a bad combination, it seemed. Today I took my Rabbit-powered ShockJet to the field. The temps were in the mid to high 30's, so I expected similar problems. The propane and airplane were thoroughly cold-soaked by the time I got to the field.

After assembly and pre-flight, I attempted a normal start. Without changing any of the settings the ECU came from the factory with, that Rabbit lit up instantly and ramped-up to running just as fast as a warm, summer day. Thanks to JetCentral, even winter flying will be trouble-free with my trusty Rabbit. Thanks again, JetCentral!
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:03 AM
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Default RE: Cold-weather starts

Just as you mention, I found this weekend that my Super Bee had to tweaked a bit to start reliably in the cold weather (30 f). I had to bump the propane up a % or two and I had to turn the power to the glow plug down a notch or two. I burned through two plugs before getting that right. Something about the cold weather seems to make them more prone to snapping the coil. I had used the one plug for quite a while on the same setting, but it did not like the cold.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:57 AM
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Default RE: Cold-weather starts

Any tricks we should know about on the Kero Start turbines during cooler weahter?
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:38 PM
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Default RE: Cold-weather starts

Hi. Here in Norway we fly our planes on the frosen lakes, during the winter. We fly at minus 10-15 degrees celcius.
The most important thing to remember, is to keep the gas (propane/butane) warm. The colder your gas gets, the harder it gets to start the turbine.
A picture of me, and my FEJ F-4 with two ATJ-120Ti, on a superb winter day.

Christian
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Cold-weather starts

My guess would be the main difference is the internal igniter on the Rabbit. Ihave two and no propane% changes with temp changes. Ican confirm that the gas did have to be increased in cold temps on the original super bee and falcon - both with glow plugs.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:07 PM
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Default RE: Cold-weather starts

I too wondered if the ceramic igniter was what made such a difference. Whatever the reason, it's always nice to have one less thing to worry about.
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