Category Archives: Radial

Tinker Celebrates 75 Years: Vultee BT-13 aircraft profile

The Vultee Aircraft Corp. BT-13 “Valiant” was a single-engine, tandem-seat trainer produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Navy and foreign allies prior to and during World War II. The aircraft was selected and produced as a primary and follow-on intermediary trainer due to its ruggedness, forgiving flight characteristics and stability. Most of the pilots produced in the early years of World War II conducted initial training, or Basic Training, hence the BT name, on the BT-13.

Continue reading Tinker Celebrates 75 Years: Vultee BT-13 aircraft profile

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The 100 hour Radial Engine Annual Inspection Series – Compression Check

This is the fourth topic in the series about the 100 hour / annual inspection. This series focuses on maintenance performed during an effective 100 hr. inspection on R1340 and R985 engines:

  1. Oil Change with filter/screen & sump checks.
  2. Valve adjustment – Positive or compression.
  3. Ignition timing check – Spark plug servicing.
  4. Compression check – differential. 
  5. Air filter and carb – heat system check.
  6. Fuel System Screens.
  7. Cylinder Head Checks.

Continue reading The 100 hour Radial Engine Annual Inspection Series – Compression Check

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Radial Engine Preservation: 5 Simple Tips to Follow for Radial Engine Storage Pre-Service

“How long did you say the engine sat idle?”  What should be done to an engine to return it to service after it has sat idle for years? Answering that question requires the answer to several other questions: Was the engine preserved before it was put into storage? Was it stored in a climate controlled facility? No? Out in the weather? Were the exhaust stack(s) and carburetor air inlets plugged? Was the engine periodically run-up to operating temperature? Did it have preservative oil ran in the engine before entering storage?

Continue reading Radial Engine Preservation: 5 Simple Tips to Follow for Radial Engine Storage Pre-Service

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Feeling Of Flying Radials

jdoumis_de593e5750718b60aa217b56b446f83d6c79d958-0For private pilots and aircraft owners, the motivation behind this pursuit can be personal, but it can also be practical. Along with a love of aeronautics, pilots are also in tune with engine performance, as this does impact the overall experience. For owners of small commercial fleets, a focus on safety and efficient performance can often be the deciding factor in terms of what type of aircraft and what type of engine will provide the strongest asset.

Continue reading The Feeling Of Flying Radials

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Getting A Fresh Start On Your Radial Engine

Getting A Fresh Start On Your Radial EngineAt Covington Aircraft, installing radial engines is part of our regular routine.
However, we find that many pilots and aircraft enthusiasts enjoy working on their own airplane, as this knowledge of mechanics can provide better safety during flight. By understanding the operation and parts of the radial engine, it also becomes easier to identify possible problems quickly, and to troubleshoot concerns in-flight for a smoother journey. Continue reading Getting A Fresh Start On Your Radial Engine

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Just How Does A Radial Engine Work?

Just How Does A Radial Engine Work?In the aviation field, there are lots of different engines that drive our aircraft upwards and forwards. From the huge turboprops on jets to smaller turbine engines and beyond, there are many different types of engines out there. One of the most popular has been and remains the radial engine, and understanding more about it is important. Continue reading Just How Does A Radial Engine Work?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Advantages Of Radial Engines

Advantages Of Radial Engines These days, most large airplanes have started using turboprops and jet propulsion systems. But the reality is that for those who own smaller airplanes or fleets, a radial engine may be a much better option. Understanding why, can help you understand why that radial engine – though an old model – could still be the best call for your plane. Continue reading Advantages Of Radial Engines

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

PT6 Celebrates Fifty Years Part 1

When it was developed in 1963, the PT6 was the first turboprop engine rated at 450 shaft horsepower, impressing Beechcraft to the point that the company chose to install the engine in their King Air line of turboprop twins.  Fast-forward 50 years, and Beechcraft still choose the PT6, although of ever-increasing power ratings, to power their engines.

 Before The PT6

beechcraftPratt & Whitney began development of the PT6 in the late 1950’s in an attempt to replace the manufacturer’s Wasp radial engines, developed during in the 1930’s.  In 1925, Frederick Rentschler, President of Wright Aeronautical, approached his brother, Gordon, and Edward Deeds, who were both on the board of Niles Bement Pond, convincing them that Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool, a subsidiary of Niles, should fund the creation of a new aircraft engine Rentschler and a colleage, George Mead, were developing.  The engine was to be a large, air-cooled radial design.  The executives at Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity for growth and lent Rentschler $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name and space in their building to begin creating the new engine.  Rentschler left Wright Aeronautical and took over operations of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, The first of the Wasp series debuted on December 24, 1925, quickly becoming one of the most widely used aircraft engines in the industry due to their superior speed, rate of climb and reliability.  Charles Lindbergh and Ameila Earhart both set records in Wasp-powered aircraft.

Wasp to Hornet

 With the development of the PT6 still a few decades away, Pratt & Whitney created the next line of radial engines, the Hornet, rated at 525 horsepower.  The dependability of both the Wasp and the Hornet made them very popular among commercial aircraft, and as the public use of air travel increased, so did the demand for Pratt & Whitney engines.  As it became apparent that the United States would enter World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on manufacturers to produce 50,000 aircraft a year for military use, requiring Pratt & Whitney to expand its workforce from 3,000 to 40,000.  Throughout the war, Pratt & Whitney continued to innovate, until, by the end of the war, their largest engine provided 3,600 horsepower.  However, radial engines were slowly being replaced by lighter turboprop engines.

Vision of the PT6

In 1957, Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity to channel profits from the piston engine spare parts business to the development of smaller gas turbine engines than those currently being manufactured in the United States. The company gathered a team of 12 young engineers after conducting market studies that found there was a need for a 500 shaft horsepower engine that could replace piston engines, such as the Wasp and Hornet.  In December 1963, Pratt & Whitney shipped the first of the PT6 series, the PT6A-6, a highly innovative gas turbine representing technology advances that were significant at the time.  Because gas turbines have a higher power to weight ratio than piston engines, the PT6 was perfect for aviation engines.

pt6aThe PT6 has enjoyed a rich and colorful history since it began production in 1963, and Pratt & Whitney is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this timeless aircraft engine.  Learn more about the colorful past, pioneers who flew this engine and continuing evolution of an engine ahead of its time.  For more information on the PT6 or about aircraft maintenance, contact Covington Aircraft online or by telephone today.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS