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abh_jc_03

Flying prop planes

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I'm not sure if this is where to put this, if it's wrong I'm sorry. I am trying to figure out how to understand the prop pitch and mixture during climb and cruise. I'm flying a C182 skylane and I keep the throttle at full which puts the RIM at max which isn't good on the engine. I'm not familiar with the terminology. Does lean mean mixture all the way in? Please help if you can. Thank you.

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Simplified "basic" instructions.....

 

Rich mixture is all the way forward.  Think about leaning around 3000'.  FSX gets quite noticeable at 6000'.  At my airport altitude of 4700', I always start full rich, and then pull the knob out a bit. For simplicity in flight, just pull back on the knob until engine is rough, and then push it a bit forward. Full throttle doesn't hurt, as the prop governor settings are set for red line rpm.  For basics, always takeoff with prop knob full forward. This is the finest pitch, which allows then engine to develop full rpm, which is also it's full horsepower, depending on altitude. At higher altitudes, the engine won't obtain full horsepower.  In cruise, pull the prop knob out to lower recommended rpms.  On final to land, push the prop knob forward again, as you'll need as much horsepower as possible for a go-around, or touch and go.  If you're looking for as much speed as possible, it would be throttle full forward, and the prop knob full forward or just slightly back. In this case the prop pitch is actually a coarser pitch, than it would be on the takeoff. It's all controlled with the prop governor, automatically.

 

There is a lot more, involved, if you really get into it, but this works.

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With constant speed prop aircraft, your throttle will control the power (manifold pressure), the prop lever will control RPM and the mixture will control the fuel to air ratio within the engine.

 

Typically unless there is another procedure specific to that aircraft you will take off with all three levers up, as you enter the initial climb you will back off the throttle and then pull the rpm's back to 2500ish RPM. Now this is specific to the Piper Arrow, it may (most likely) will be different for the C182. At 1,000 AGL on the climb you would pull the power back to 25" of manifold pressure and then reduce the RPM to 2500. The mixture will need to be leaned according to your pressure altitude.

 

LAdamson, beat me to it. As said before this is a very quick lesson for a rather in depth system on the plane.

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Leaning means adjusting the air-to-fuel ration, according to the amount of oxygen that is present in the air around you. The higher you go, the less oxygen is available, so using less oxygen with the same amount of fuel means that the fuel isnt burned optimal.

 

Values of what a specific aircraft needs during take-off, climb and cruise are mostly mentioned in the manual, or sometimes even the checklist that is provided with the aircraft. So it's always useful to checkout all the documentation you get with the aircraft.

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