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The Importance of the
Cooling System for Gyroplane Engines.









Smooth Flying and Engine Temperature
Engine Cooling

Liquid cooled engine.
There are four important areas to maintain:

  1. Radiator / radiator core
  2. Pressure Cap
  3. Thermostat
  4. Coolant

Most circle checks would include coolant level check and leak check. But, if your gyroplane has lots of hours then you have to consider preventative maintenance.
If the thermostat fails and remains open then the engine will never warm up to operating temperature. Too low a temperature and fuel economy will suffer. Replace the thermostat when you replace the radiator hose.
Radiator hoses should be replaced when you notice any swelling around the clamps that secure the hose to the engine. Why wait for a failure.

The pressure cap is a complicated and necessary part of keeping the water system from boiling. At higher altitudes liquids boil earlier than at lower altitudes. High pressure increases the boiling point. Replace the radiator cap often. If the engine is allowed to get too hot for too long it will self destruct. It's important for the engine to reach operating temperature and have that temperature constant.

A typical four cylinder gyroplane engine, (automotive type) will have 2200 explosions per minute (or more). These explosions in the cylinders produce a lot of heat. Coolant circulating in passages around the cylinder walls, absorb excess heat. Plain water will work in an emergency situation, however for longevity of the cooling system something more than plain water is required. Check your engine manual to see what type of coolant should be used in that engine. Don't just add anything. Most coolant types include additives to lubricate the water pump shaft and prevent core corrosion.



Air cooled engine.
There are three important areas to maintain:

  1. Fins
  2. Oil leaks
  3. Fuel Mixture

"It's air cooled, I don't have to check much". Really?

If the fins become cracked or broken off there will likely be a hot spot at that point of the cylinder head.
If an oil leak is left unattended then a blanket of dust will form reducing the cooling effectiveness of the fins in that area.
If the fuel / air mixture is too lean* then the engine will run hotter and require cooler air and more of it to remain at proper operating temperature.

But, yes, air cooled engines have much less 'gear' to deal with for maintenance.

Revisions: * Regalpony research.
*1 Regalpony illustration