Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winter Flying

I'm not one who enjoys flying and have no plans to fly anywhere, hopefully in my lifetime. Those of you who do enjoy flying may want to read this article by a pilot over at lewrockwell dot com about hazards of winter flying, which mostly consists of icing on the wings and runways. He points out flying in cold weather- icing aside- is actually more efficient as the cold air is more dense, thus providing more lift. I have read previously that flying in very warm air is problematic in the opposite way- less lift, since the air is less dense.


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

High school physics, I wish we had made it compulsory for graduation generations ago.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger sky hammer said...

Just got back from Garberville, where I took up our modified 172 up for spin.The cold thick air definitely helps with rate of climb.
Am flying to Arizona on Monday to look at property.
About 10 years ago, we flew to Kansas, where we had the engine boosted by 50 HP, added vortex generators and STOL winglets.
Those additions really help in warm weather. They increase the rate of climb, air speed and reduce stall speed.
Comes in handy when flying low in the canyons around here in the Summer time.
The main problem I have in cold weather, besides icing, is that we run 50 Weight oil and the engine is air cooled. Have to run the engine a little longer before take off to thin the oil and get adequate oil pressure.
Today, at 5000ft, the outside air temp was 5 degrees, not taking into account wind chill.
I have an oil pre heater, but I don't run it much unless I have to, robs the engine of power.


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