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Guest DC3 Pilot

DC-3 alcohol gauge; alcohol use

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Guest DC3 Pilot

Hi group,From what I've read, isopropyl alcohol is used on the DC-3 to de-ice the windshield and the props. From the panel, it appears there are two alcohol tanks of 13 gallons each (effective; the gauge only goes to 11, but the note says you have 2 more gallons when it reads empty). Questions:1) Are there other uses for that alcohol besides the two I mentioned?2) When I fly, the alcohol is used up over time even though the de-icer switches are in the off position. E.g., on a recent long flight (testing fuel range) both alcohol gauges dropped from 11 gallons to 6 gallons over a 3.5 hour period from takoff. Does this mean the alcohol is being used automatically somehow?Thanks for continuing to fill out my understanding of this wonderful simulated DC-3.Gary

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Yes, there's a long tube that goes from the tank all the way back to the galley so the hostess can top off the pilots' Maragarita pitcher. ;-)Actually, Fred programmed that gradual decrease in quantity to simulate normal use of the de-icing alcohol which would be controlled by the knobs, if FS would allow alcohol use, which it doesn't - the Puritans!Bill RambowMAAM-SIM http://www.fssupport.com/maam/maamsim_neon.gif


Bill Rambow

MAAM-SIM

www.maam.org

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Guest DC3 Pilot

Hi Bill,Very funny :-)On the technical side . . . almost every flight conforms to what you say, namely that the alcohol tank levels drop over time. However, today I took a 2-hour flight from Prince Edward Island to Newfoundland, flying at about 3,000 feet. I noticed during flight that the alcohol gauge wasn't moving, and when I landed and checked out all my stats (fuel, groundspeed, etc.) I discovered that the alcohol tanks were still full. Is this possible? :-) Or do I have a rogue DC-3 on my hands? :-)Best,Gary

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Guest SPOFF

GARY: In real life, in the DC-3, alcohol was used primarily at the propellers...it's metered out along the propeller blades to discourage ICE formation. Ice is usually found IN Clouds when the temperature is at or below freezing. If you were flying outside these conditions, alcohol wouldn't be required. SPOFF

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Guest DC3 Pilot

Hi All,New info . . . I've been doing a lot of test flights with my M.A.A.M-SIM DC-3 (BEA cargo version) for various purposes, and during each I make a note whether the alcohol level drops over time or doesn't (always with all de-icer, pitot heat, etc., switches OFF). I then try to correlate that to something. This is very preliminary, but so far I've seen no exceptions.When the OAT is negative (-), the alcohol level drops over time. When the OAT is positive (+), the alcohol level remains full.Any comments from the designers? :-)Best,Gary

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If I ever get caught with a bottle or two in a DC3, can I get away with saying it's for the plane? :)Jason


Jason

FAA CPL SEL MEL IR CFI-I MEI AGI

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Hi Gary,I can't reproduce this problem. Alcohol should only be consumed when either or both anti-ice switches are on, and OAT should not be a factor. These switches only activate prop de-ice by the way.When fuel is added a corresponding quantity of alcohol is added and full alcohol tanks should last for about 5 hrs of use with both switches on.It works as advertised for me and unless others can report the same problem I am at a loss to suggest a solution.However... I did just discover a bug in the gauge that causes both needles to display only the right alky tank. Not too big a deal I suppose since both are likely to be used simultaneously.Fred

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Guest DC3 Pilot

Hi Fred,Thanks for the response. Must be something unique to my situation . . . but it continues to happen. For example, right now I am in the middle of a long-range test (5 hrs. 41 mins. gone; still on main tanks, but barely) and the alcohol is down to 4.0 in each tank. The de-icer switches are off and have been since takeoff. My theory about OAT is blown, however, since the OAT on this test (low altitude, mid-Pacific Ocean) has been positive all the way. If the phenomenon turns up somewhere else, and you figure something out, by all means let me know.Best regards,Gary

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