Re: Starting large piston engines

Date:         17 May 97 15:15:50 
From: (Louis A. Ramsay)
Organization: Netcom
References:   1 2
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In <airliners.1997.1109@ohare.Chicago.COM> "Carl Peters, M.D."
<> writes:
>How were large radial pistons (eg. on a Connie, DC-4,6) started? The
>starter would be electrical, but what was the source - the onboard
>batteries vs. an external generator cart?

     On the L1649, we would use external power as long as it was
available.  One of our stations (McGrath) didn't have ground power
available and they would leave No. 3 and No. 4 running while the
passengers were deplaned on the left (normal) and the baggage and
freight was removed from the belly.  Only bad part was the propblast on
the guy doing the baggage work - if the temperature was 40 below, the
combination of the temperature and the propblast would drop the
equivalent temperature down lower than 60 below.

     Summer was marginal as the batteries would give you a good start
for one engine and then wouldn't have enough juice left to start
another if the first one failed to strt.  This was particularly bad if
the temperatures were high enough to promote hard starting.  Again,
they would prefer to leave at least one engine running to take
advantage of the generator rather than depleting the batteries.  Wasn't
so much the depletion of the batteries that was the major concern - it
was the rather fast re-charging that could warp the plates and ruin the