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Old 09-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
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Flying radial vs. jet engines‏

I'm just a bit too young to have experience in radial engine aircraft. But one of my good friends does. He was a FE in P2's & P3's and thinks this is one of the funniest things he's read in a long time.

Starting a radial engine aircraft
Be sure you drain both the sumps. (You can fill your Zippo lighter while you do this) Look out the left side of the oily cockpit canopy and notice a very nervous person holding a huge fire bottle. Nod to this person.
1. Crack throttle about one-quarter of an inch.
2. Battery on
3. Mags on
4. Fuel boost on
5. Hit starter button (The four bladed 13' 6" prop will start a slow turn)
6. Begin to bounce your finger on top of the primer button.
a. This act requires finesse and style. It is much like a ballet performance. The engine must be seduced and caressed into starting.
7. Act one will begin: Belching, banging, rattling, backfiring, spluttering, flame and black smoke from the exhaust shooting out about three feet. (Fire bottle person is very pale and has the nozzle at the ready position).
8. When the engine begins to "catch" on the primer. Move the mixture to full rich. The flames from the exhaust will stop and white smoke will come out. (Fire bottle guy relaxes a bit) You will hear a wonderful throaty roar that is like music to the ears..
a. Enjoy the macho smell of engine oil, hydraulic fluid and pilot sweat. 9. Immediately check the oil pressure and hydraulic gages. 10. The entire aircraft is now shaking and shuttering from the torque of the engine and RPM of prop. a. The engine is an 18 cylinder R-3350 that develops 2,700 HP.
11. Close cowl flaps to warm up the engine for taxi.
12. Once you glance around at about 300 levers, gauges and gadgets, call the tower and taxi to the duty runway.

Taking off in a radial engine aircraft
1. Check both magnetos
2. Exercise the prop pitch 3. Cowl flaps open.
4. Check oil temp and pressure.
5. Crank 1.5 degrees right rudder trim to help your right leg with the torque on take-off.
6. Tell the tower you are ready for the duty runway. 7. Line the bird up and lock the tail wheel for sure. 8. Add power slowly because the plane (with the torque of the monster prop and engine power definitely wants to go left).
9. NEVER add full power suddenly! There is not enough rudder in the entire world to hold it straight.
10. Add more power and shove in right rudder till your leg begins to tremble.
11. Expect banging, belching and an occasional manly fart as you roar down the runway at full power. (I have found that the engine can make similar noises)
12. Lift the tail and when it "feels right" pull back gently on the stick to get off the ground.
13. Gear up14. Adjust the throttle for climb setting
15. Ease the prop back to climb RPM
16. Close cowl flaps and keep an eye on the cylinder head temp.
17. Adjust the power as needed as you climb higher or turn on the supercharger.

Flying the radial
1. Once your reach altitude which isn't very high! (about 8000 feet) you reduce the throttle and prop to cruise settings.2. The next fun thing is to pull back the mixture control until the engine just about quits. Then ease it forward a bit and this is best mixture.
3. While cruising the engine sounds like it might blow or quit at any time. This keeps you occupied scanning engine gauges for the least hint of trouble.
4. Moving various levers around to coax a more consistent sound from the engine concentrates the mind wonderfully.
5. At night or over water a radial engine makes noises you have never heard before.
6. Looking out of the front of the cockpit the clouds are beautiful because they are slightly blurred from the oil on the cockpit canopy.
7. Seeing lightning in the clouds ahead increases the pucker factor by about
10. a. You can't fly high enough to get over them and if you try and get under the clouds----you could die in turbulence.
b. You tie down everything in the cockpit that isn't already secured, get a good grip on the stick, turn on the de-icers, tighten and lock your shoulder straps and hang on.
c. You then have a ride to exceed any "terror" ride in any amusement park ever built. You discover the plane can actually fly side wise while inverted.
8. Once through the weather, you call ATC and in a calm deep voice advise them that there is slight turbulence on your route.
9. You then scan your aircraft to see if all the major parts are still attached. This includes any popped rivets.
10. Do the controls still work? Are the gauges and levers still in proper limits? 11. These being done you fumble for the relief tube, because you desperately need it. (Be careful with your lower flight suit zipper)

The jet engine aircraft

Starting a jet
1. Fuel boost on.

2. Hit the start button
3. When the JPT starts to move ease the throttle forward.4. The fire bottle person is standing at the back of the plane and has no idea what is going on.
5. The engine lights off---and---
6. That's about it.

Take off in the jet
1. Lower flaps
2. Tell the tower you are ready for take-off.
3. Roll on to the duty runway while adding 100% power.
4. Tricycle gear---no tail to drag---no torque to contend with.
5. At some exact airspeed you lift off the runway.
6. Gear up
7. Milk up the flaps and fly.
8. Leave the power at 100%

Flying the jet
1. Climb at 100%
2. Cruise at 100%
3. It is silent in the plane.
4. You can't see clouds because you are so far above them.
5. You look down and see lightning in some clouds below and pity some poor fool that may have to fly through that mess.
6. The jet plane is air conditioned!! Round engines are definitely not. Jet engines are not round? If you fly in tropical areas, this cannot be stressed enough.
7. There is not much to do in a jet, so you eat your flight lunch at your leisure.
8. Few gauges to look at and no levers to adjust. This leaves you doodling on your knee board.
9. Some call girl friends on their cell phones: "Guess where I am, etc."

Some observed differences between radial engines and jets

1. To be a real pilot you have to fly a tail dragger for an absolute minimum of 500 hours.
2. Large round engines smell of gasoline (115/145), rich oil, hydraulic fluid, man sweat and are not air-conditioned.
3. Engine failure to the jet pilot means something is wrong with his air conditioner.
4. When you take off in a jet there is no noise in the cockpit. (This does not create a macho feeling of doing something manly)
5. Landing a jet just requires a certain airspeed and altitude---at which you cut the power and drop like a rock to the runway. Landing a round engine tail dragger requires finesse, prayer, body English, pumping of rudder pedals and a lot of nerve.
6. After landing, a jet just goes straight down the runway.
7. A radial tail dragger is like a wild mustang---it might decide to go anywhere. Gusting winds help this behaviour a lot.
8. You cannot fill your Zippo lighter with jet fuel.
9. Starting a jet is like turning on a light switch---a little click and it is on.
10. Starting a round engine is an artistic endeavour requiring prayer (curse words) and sometimes meditation.
11. Jet engines don't break, spill oil or catch on fire very often which leads to boredom and complacency.
12. The round engine may blow an oil seal ring, burst into flame, splutter for no apparent reason or just quit. This results in heightened pilot awareness at all times.
13. Jets smell like a kerosene lantern at a scout camp outing.
14. Round engines smell like God intended engines to smell, and the tail dragger is the way God intended for man to fly.

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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That's very funny! Just to add to the confusion I read today that several aircraft engine manufactures are building diesel engines (compression ignition) that run on Jet A! I see confusion on the flight line in the future.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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I took an off-hour class on basic airplane design here at Boeing not long after I hired in that was taught by one of the company's top aerodynamicists. One of his sessions he titled "There's nothing new under the sun." His premise was that virtually everything (at the time) that had been done with regards to airplane design since WWII had been thought of, done, or at least attempted by the Germans during WWII. And he had the examples to prove it.

The Germans had diesel engines in some of their planes during the war. They were not particulary effective because they were heavy but operationally they worked fine.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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I know it's a big world, but what's your freind's name?

I was a weapons specialist tech / countermeasures operator flying on P-3's for the first part of my Navy career. Stranger things have happened... maybe I know him? I was in VP-31, VP-9, VP-48 and VPU-2.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #5
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1. Once your reach altitude which isn't very high! (about 8000 feet) you reduce the throttle and prop to cruise settings

The P2V7 had 3 PRT (power recovery turbines) and a 2 speed supercharger setup , and water injection for TO.

At 12,000 ft the engine would be reduced to about 1000RPM and the blower shifted into high.

No problem with high altitude cruise , except no cabin pressure so O2 was needed .

AS head nosepicker I got a lot of engine check rides after an engine change , all the LCDR were too busy to fly their own aircraft.

Most fun , feathering an engine , and watching it slowly rotate backwards!

No problem it unfeathered OK , and was re indexed..
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SomeSailor View Post
I know it's a big world, but what's your freind's name?

I was a weapons specialist tech / countermeasures operator flying on P-3's for the first part of my Navy career. Stranger things have happened... maybe I know him? I was in VP-31, VP-9, VP-48 and VPU-2.
His name is Bob Garvey. I know he was in VP-68 because I was too, but about 10 years later. I'm not sure what other squadrons he was in. Another friend of mine that lives right up the street was also a VP-68 guy. And Bob's insurance agent turns out to be his ex-CO from VP-68!

It's a big world, but smaller than we think sometimes!
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:03 AM   #7
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That's funny, BL. I'll copy that for my friend who flies the Learjet 60 and the DC-3. He really loves that -3 and is quite the aviation historian having written several books about the DC-3/C47 and other WWII beasts. I'm flying with him next week and it's his birthday, so just gave me something to give him on his BD. (Yes, pilots really ARE that cheap!)

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