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Cessnaflyer

Shotgun starters?

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Been wondering this ever since I saw the movie Flight of the Phoenix (the remake, haven't seen the original)...What is the purpose of the shotgun starter in the aircraft they used for the movie? It's obvious it has an electric starter... So, what purpose does the shotgun thing serve?(Hopefully this is the right forum to ask in.....)

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BEFA flyer?I assume that is after the Boeing Employee Flying Association.

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I saw it used once years ago on an old Spitfire. It took them 2 cartridges to fire her up. In the original film of "Flight of the Phoenix" it was the only way to get the plane to start, what was worse is they only had I think it was 3 cartridges, and so had to get her to go with the final one, typical film it all rested on that last cartridge and she fired.

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So, I guess being able to hear an electric starter right after the cartridge blast is a technical error in the movie, then.....I could see it being used as the sole starter, but the electric starter in the movie threw me off... Of course, they can't just have it start on the first for-the-money cartridge.... They just *have* to make it fail until it miraculously starts on the final cartridge... :( (The remake just adds an extra failed start and an extra magnetos-off firing to add even more suspense for the final cartridge...)Did a yahoo search on cartridge starters, and from what I saw, it apparently takes 2 cartridges to start any engine, minimum. Once with the magnetos off (though doesn't explain why), and the 2nd and subsequent shots were for the money.

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A quote from Pierre Closterman's book "The Big Show" on starting a Hawker Typhoon in WW2."I unscrewed the wobble pumps; one sent a mixture of alcohol and ether into the carburettor, the other a mixture of petrol and oil into the cylinders.I inserted a cartridge into the starter. (The Koffman system, which uses the violent expansion of explosive gases to get the engine turning. If the engine doesn't start first time it will almost certainly catch fire, being bung-full of juice.)" The engine was the Napier Sabre which was a 24 cylinder H-layout sleeve-valved engine. It initially developed about 3500hp, and 4000hp ultimately.

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Back in the dark ages - 1972/3 - my US Navy squadron used them at least once a quarter to start the R3350's for our C-121 and EC-121 aircraft.That was a training requirement more than a practical requirement - each aircrew - pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer was required to make at least one start - and each of the six Connie's was required to make a start that way.Even though all the aircraft had APU's. But the crews had to be familiary and able to execute the procedure. The aircraft system also had to prove it was in working condition.The magneto's off deal is the same requirement as when I have to pull the starter cord on my lawnmower with the spark plug off/ unattached. The cylinders get too full of fuel and "flood". The magneto off cycle pumps the excess raw fuel out of the cylinders.I'm even so old I used to have the same issue sometimes with starting my car on cold days with the manual choke.

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>I assume that is after the Boeing Employee Flying>Association.Yup, some of the best rates around for those that can join.Brian

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>So, I guess being able to hear an electric starter right>after the cartridge blast is a technical error in the movie,>then.....>>I could see it being used as the sole starter, but the>electric starter in the movie threw me off... >>Of course, they can't just have it start on the first>for-the-money cartridge.... They just *have* to make it fail>until it miraculously starts on the final cartridge... :( >(The remake just adds an extra failed start and an extra>magnetos-off firing to add even more suspense for the final>cartridge...)>>Did a yahoo search on cartridge starters, and from what I saw,>it apparently takes 2 cartridges to start any engine, minimum.> Once with the magnetos off (though doesn't explain why), and>the 2nd and subsequent shots were for the money.And don't forget the Jimmy Stewart uses the second to last shell to clear the chamber of soot and debris ... much to the disgust of the others. Nerves of steel, he had. :-)

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The Cartridge type starter was used a lot by British aircraft during the 40's and 50's.Koffman starters were fitted to piston engines types ranging from Sea Fury's down to the Chipmunk.Even gas turbine types like the Sea Hawk, Canberra, and some Hunter marks had cartridge starters fitted. During my years on Hunters I can remember the task of changing these well!! I must admit though I can only remember a few rare occasions were an engine failed to start and that usually was because of pilot "finger" trouble...

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Yeah I was thinking about joining but I get better rates from the government :(I just don't fly enough to justify the cost to join and the $90 monthly fee.

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