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Engine Start-up In Extreme Cold  
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1630 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7344 times:

When starting an engine in conditions of extreme cold, say below -30C, do you have to do it gradually to avoid something akin to heat shock in the combustion chamber and turbines? I had read somewhere that C-130's landing on the Antarctic ice sheet would keep their engines running on the ground for prolonged periods to avoid this kind of thing.

Faro


The chalice not my son
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7290 times:

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
When starting an engine in conditions of extreme cold, say below -30C, do you have to do it gradually to avoid something akin to heat shock in the combustion chamber and turbines?

The details vary from aircraft to aircraft (it's in the AMM), but you basically have to warm the engine up some amount before starting it. -30C should be OK. At -35C, you're supposed to idle a CFM56-7 for 2 minutes. If you cold soak for more than an hour at -40C or lower, you're supposed to heat up the engine using a diesel heater (aka Coldbuster) or equivalent prior to starting.

Tom.


User currently offlinewestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 753 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7281 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
you're supposed to heat up the engine using a diesel heater (aka Coldbuster) or equivalent prior to starting.

Good to know. Looking up the Coldbuster here:

http://www.spencer-manufacturing.com/products-coldbuster-mark4900.html

...the website does not detail how it works in terms of warming up the engines so would you mind enlightening us? I'm guessing that the famous yellow air duct that is normally channeled to the cabin for cabin heating is then bypassed within the airframe to air ducts leading to and enveloping the engine casings...?



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlineex52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7274 times:

Don't know about the 130, but with any other JET ENGINE I worked with they all had their individual cold starting quirks.

The J57 on the KC135-A, or the B-52-G would sometime hang start, and this usually required heating the PS-4 bellows (burner pressure) on the fuel control, or just let it hang if you were above the starter cutout RPM.

The little I worked with the RB211-22 on the L1011 they had a bad habit of hanging during startup in the cold, accompanied by copious amounts of white smoke.

JT-8, JT-9, 2037, 4056, they all cranked up without much trouble. With the CF6 in extreme cold you usually saw extremely high oil pressure, due to the engine not having a regulated oil pressure system, and the thick oil would cause this high pressure. Nothing really came out of that high pressure, but it happened.

As far as actual maintenance manual procedures that dictated that maintenance accomplish anything other than the usual procedures for start up in extreme cold, I do not recall any on the airplanes and engines I worked on.



"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 7207 times:

Quoting western727 (Reply 2):
...the website does not detail how it works in terms of warming up the engines so would you mind enlightening us? I'm guessing that the famous yellow air duct that is normally channeled to the cabin for cabin heating is then bypassed within the airframe to air ducts leading to and enveloping the engine casings...?

Nothing so exotic...you just aim the hot air duct at the offending components like a giant hair dryer. If you're trying to free the fan, just blow it in the inlet. If you're trying to warm the core, it's easier to blow it up the exhaust pipe (that way nothing bypasses the core as it would if you went in the inlet). If you need to warm up the oil tank or HMU, open up the cowls and "fire away."

Tom.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 7194 times:

On the B757s one has to ensure the rotors are not iced up to avoid rotation.Preheating the areas with warm air is a procedure adapted.
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinewestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 753 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 7186 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
you just aim the hot air duct at the offending components like a giant hair dryer.

This would have been awesome to see. I'm bummed I never saw this happen while living for several years at MSP and being a frequent business traveler.  



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1565 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 7186 times:

I think hard light offs, copious amounts of white smoke and hung starts are all side effects of having Rolls build your engines. The AE3007s do it.

I think it's 15 seconds from fuel introduction to light off max. At higher altitudes and colder temps, it's common to have the light right before you're ready to abort the start. They generally do it with a pretty loud bang, along with IMC behind the airplane. I had a line guy shut us off once thinking we had a tailpipe fire during the start.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 23 hours ago) and read 7145 times:

Quoting western727 (Reply 6):
This would have been awesome to see. I'm bummed I never saw this happen while living for several years at MSP and being a frequent business traveler.

The engine OEM's know that airlines hate having to do this, so they make sure the engines will play nice for the majority of the time. If you keep the engines ice-free and don't go below -40C for long periods of time, you generally don't have to deal with it.

Tom.


User currently offlinewestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 753 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 7039 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
so they make sure the engines will play nice for the majority of the time.

Figures. Thanks, Tom. Now, I know you're watching the USA/Canada hockey game at the moment, no? Thanks to Canuck Kane for that assist, BTW.  



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3152 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 7027 times:

There is no such thing as a gradual start. The starter valve is either open or closed. The FADEC might wait a moment longer when adding fuel and you will likely see things like higher than normal oil pressure for a few moments and lower than normal ITT.

While there are some special procedures as mentioned when it gets really cold, most of the time nothing is really that different. Modern airliners are made to operate within a huge range of temperature so they can service the areas of the world that are inhabited.

Remember that even with no fuel and the starter turning the engine over it will warm up due to the compression of the air going through the engine.



DMI
User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 18 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

777 with the RR Trents states in AMM NOT to advance throttle until oil temp reached 50 degrees. Have sat for 10 minutes to wait for oil to warm up, makes ATC a little upset.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4071 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 13 hours ago) and read 6864 times:

Quoting ex52tech (Reply 3):
The little I worked with the RB211-22 on the L1011 they had a bad habit of hanging during startup in the cold, accompanied by copious amounts of white smoke.

Yes, once had a TWA L1011 starting up that completely filled the cul-de-sac at ARN with white smoke, I had to keep the fire brigade at bay.
At M20deg, after a few days cold soak, the RB211-22B was a very slow starter. You must let the engine accelerate to max motoring speed, by then the oil pressure was off the clock high, and the oil quantity was showing zero, then turn on fuel/ign and wait 30-40 secs before the rumble started as light off was achieved. Then careful use of the enrich switch to accelerate the engine without getting overtemp.
TWA managed to get smoke on every start, but they insisted on putting fuel/ign on much too early


User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3395 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 6830 times:

The JT8Ds on our 732s never seem to have too much trouble starting in the cold, but if you did want to warm them I'd imagine it's much the same as tdscanuck described, fire up the old coldbuster and aim the yellow hose at the parts you want to warm...

On the 748s we have four heaters installed per side (three for the engine and one for the gearbox) and wired to a special plug on the side of the nacelle, and any time its parked out in the cold for a length of time you simply throw the engine covers on to keep the snow out and provide some form of insulation, and grab some extention cords and plug it same as you would a car. The simple system seems to keep them happy enough to start fine, and then once they're going simply idle them untill the oil temp reaches the recommended point and off you go...


CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 6705 times:

There are only a couple things regarding cold ops on our 727's with the JT8D-15.

The start itself is just as routine as a normal start but we'll get an 'Engine Oil Filter Bypass' light on in colder temps which usually goes out within a minute or two depending on the OAT. We also let the oil temp rise to at least 0 C before moving the thrust levers.

Ah, Coldbusters.... a mechanics third hand in extreme cold conditions. Last winter I had a cold plane after a weekend layover at -36 C OAT with a windchill of -54 C. Our company policy is to start the engines and check all systems before the aircrew arrives. Well, the #3 engine oil pressure indication was stuck at 5 psi when started. The oil temps were good and the bypass light went out after 45 seconds so the oil pressure was good pointing toward a pressure transmitter problem. Dig the cold buster out, crawl on the maintenance truck, open the lower cowl and aim copious amounts of hot air onto the oil pressure transmitter. After about 15 minutes of the hot air treatment the transmitter started working. We avoided a departure delay with the use of the coldbuster.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 6694 times:

Do FADEC-equipped engines have a special extreme cold start setting?

How much does a Coldbuster cost?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6541 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 15):
Do FADEC-equipped engines have a special extreme cold start setting?

FADEC and autostart are not necessarily connected functions. As part of normal operation, the FADEC needs to know outside air temperature, so there should be start schedules programmed in there across the entire range of engine operation. Keep in mind that the FADEC can handle in-flight restarts just fine at temperatures far colder than anything you'd ever see on the ground.

Quoting faro (Reply 15):
How much does a Coldbuster cost?

Used ones online seem to be a few thousand dollars.

Tom.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6521 times:

So, one must wonder what exactly the Ford 4.2L V6 in the coldbuster does...a large automotive V6 engine isn't exactly going to generate a lot of heat all by itself. I'm guessing it's more for moving the air which is heated by other means?

I know the Ford 3.8L V6 is a popular engine for ground start carts, baggage tugs, and other ground equipment usages...  

I know that the Ford 3.8L V6 in my first car, a Ford Thunderbird, on a cold winter morning, didn't even produce enough excess heat to warm the inside of the car until she had been running about 10 min.    Of course, that was old school, where the thermostat had to open before hot coolant was allowed through the heater core.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinestevenjehly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6354 times:

There are numerous and interesting stories of the old-timer Alaskan bush pilots and cold weather flying. They would often times drain the oil from the engine(s) and take the oil into their cabin or tent for the night. They would also have to keep firepots burning throughout the night under the engine(s). With great care I might add. They would also put on motor and wing covers. At times they would dilute the engines - injecting small amounts of gas into the engine oil to thin it and faciliate cold weather start. See Winging It! by Jack Jefford, pioneer Alaskan aviator for a great first-person account of early bush flying. A good read.

User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6323 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 17):
So, one must wonder what exactly the Ford 4.2L V6 in the coldbuster does...a large automotive V6 engine isn't exactly going to generate a lot of heat all by itself. I'm guessing it's more for moving the air which is heated by other means?

Tha ColdBuster uses a water jacket over the exhaust manifold to transfer the exhaust heat to a separate water circulation system to use for heating. It heats up quite quickly as it's also driving the blower and can get 160 C air into the aircraft air distribution manifold within 5 to 10 minutes.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6270 times:

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 19):
The ColdBuster uses a water jacket over the exhaust manifold to transfer the exhaust heat to a separate water circulation system to use for heating. It heats up quite quickly as it's also driving the blower and can get 160 F air into the aircraft air distribution manifold within 5 to 10 minutes.

Cheers,

John

Just corrected my temps from Celcius to Fehrinheight.



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6241 times:

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 19):

Ah, thanks.

Always cool to learn how stuff actually works  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineex52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6165 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 17):
I know that the Ford 3.8L V6 in my first car, a Ford Thunderbird, on a cold winter morning, didn't even produce enough excess heat to warm the inside of the car until she had been running about 10 min. Of course, that was old school, where the thermostat had to open before hot coolant was allowed through the heater core.

Even in the OLD OLD school 1966 LTD that I owned, the hot water for the heater was taken out of the intake manifold before the thermostat, so that you got heat as soon as possible. And my 93 Taurus, and my 96 F250 power stroke. I wasn't aware that it was taken from the engine anywhere else, other than before the thermostat.

I worked in MSP for years and never have seen this equipment that you guys are talking about. We just cranked them up and went to the gate, or hangar, they will warm up on the way.



"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6134 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 10):
There is no such thing as a gradual start. The starter valve is either open or closed. The FADEC might wait a moment longer when adding fuel and you will likely see things like higher than normal oil pressure for a few moments and lower than normal ITT.

Depends on what engine you are talking about. For "modern" engines (designed after the 1950s) you are correct, but with the J-33, designed in the 1940s, you have an option to use manual start, in which the pilot takes over the functions of the FCU and regulates the fuel flow from shut off to the grd idle detent by using the throttle, watching RPM and EGT like a hawk. We´ve done it when we first started my friend´s T-33. You´ll have to be careful though, since, with too much fuel, you´ll produce nice flames from the tailpipe. Once you have reached the ground idle detent, the throttle will operate just like with any other engine.

Jan


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