Van Bortel Blog

Intercoolers

Our turbo-chargers are just small air compressors. Their sole job is to send compressed air to the engine; that's how we maintain (or increase) power at altitude. There are other engine components that control turbo-charger output, but the turbo just pumps air. It's that simple.

One problem that we face in turbo-charged aircraft is the temperature of the compressed air. Anytime air is compressed the temperature is increased. For our piston engines, this produces a number of problems. Increased induction air temperature increases cylinder head temps and can lead to detonation, which can caused catastrophic failure of the engine. Hotter air also results in less efficiency. Hotter air is less dense, meaning that there are fewer air molecules entering the cylinders for combustion, which decreases the volumetric efficiency of the air. This works against the efforts of the turbo-charger.

Read more: Intercoolers

P-Static, Lightning & the Cessna Corvalis

By Darryl J. Taylor

Precipitation Static, commonly referred to as P-Static, can be a major source of frustration for aircraft designers, engineers and pilots. P-Static can cause significant radio interference on VHF and UHF bands and aircraft damage if not properly discharged.

P-Static exists as a result of two atmospheric conditions. The first being an aircraft's presence in a thunderstorm. Since you shouldn't be flying in or near a thunderstorm, we'll focus on the second, the triboelectric charging caused by snow, rain or dust particles contacting the vehicle frontal surface. Triboelectricity is a charge of electricity generated by friction. Think static build up between your shoes and carpet.

Read more: P-Static, Lightning & the Cessna Corvalis

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