PREHEAT ENGINE UPDATED
All our parts are installed "on" the engine. Nothing is installed inside the engine, and you do not need to remove any OEM parts or replace any OEM parts with our parts. For example, our competitor's system replaces the OEM intake manifold bolts or rocker cover bolts with their own heated bolts. These are simply hollowed out bolts with heating elements epoxied into the hollowed out shank. The intake manifold is held to the cylinder head with only two bolts. If a hollow bolt heater breaks, that side of the intake manifold would come loose and extra air would be sucked into that cylinder, which would lean the mixture and possibly cause engine damage and a power loss. As a general design philosophy we feel it is safer not to replace parts that were installed by the engine manufacturer, especially structural parts like bolts.
This is what the system looks like on a Lycoming 360. Note the band heaters around the cylinders, plugged into the harness which is clamped to the top center of the crankcase. The AC plug can be mounted wherever you like but on this engine it is clamped by the front right cylinder so the extension cord can be plugged in through the air inlet.
Tanis Aircraft Products is the leading manufacturer of aircraft engine preheat systems. Tanis Aircraft started business in 1974, we were the first to develop aircraft engine preheat systems for piston engines, first to offer helicopter preheat, first to offer turbine preheat, and the first to meet the rigorous requirements for FAA Supplemental Type Certification.
Tanis preheat systems are designed so you will achieve the maximum benefit from our system within 6 hours of use. Most of our data logging results show a 40 to 50 degree F increase (22.2 to 27.7 C)within the first two hours of use. Refer to engine/aircraft documentation for minimum temperature required for starting. The heating follows a "standard reducing curve" for the temperature rise of the engine.
"Preheating is required whenever the engine has been exposed to temperatures at or below 20F/-7C (wind chill factor) for 2 hours or more." Continental Service Information Letter No. SIL 03-1 or the Continental Standard Practice Maintenance Manual M-0.
YES!!! Current Tanis systems use elements that are compatible with all engine analyzers/monitors. Our standard and STC systems do not use the CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) thermocouple well. Instead of using the CHT well we use a bolt/screw element that can replace a rocker cover, baffle pad, or intake bolt/screw. See instruction TN02771 for more information. Legacy (Old) systems and kits may still use CHT well elements.
Tanis Aircraft Products has wide range of piston engine preheat products. We have kits for engines from manufacturers like Austro, Continental, Franklin, Jabiru, Jacobs, Lycoming, Rotax, and more. All of us at Tanis truly care about your aircraft's longevity, your safety, and your ability to get to your destination despite the cold weather.
I was fortunate to have a strong tailwind that assisted me in reaching the airport with a non-event landing. My mechanic said the engine failure problem was caused by lack of lubricating oil due to improper preheating. This engine had just 380 hours since overhaul. During engine rebuild my mechanic insisted that I install a preheating system and recommended the Tanis brand. I followed his recommendation and have been extremely pleased with the Tanis heater.
This failure happened to me back in the mid 1980s and I have installed Tanis heaters on each aircraft owned thereafter. I currently use the Tanis TAS 100 on my IO-360. I use this system from Fall to Spring, which is generally October to April. The Tanis heater is very economical to use, so I keep it plugged in 24/7. My electric bill cost to keep my engine properly heated in an unheated hangar is approximately just $12.60 month. I now have the piece of mind that my engine is properly heated and ready for operation."
Tanis Aircraft Products is the leading manufacturer of Aircraft Engine Preheat systems. Tanis Aircraft started business in 1974, we were the first to develop aircraft engine preheat systems for piston engines, first to offer helicopter preheat, first to offer turbine preheat, and the first to meet the rigorous requirements for FAA Supplemental Type Certification.
Our website has information on Piston aircraft preheat systems, Turbine engine preheaters, Rotorwing preheaters, and Replacement parts & accessories. We manufacture all of our own systems at our facility at the Glenwood Municipal Airport (KGHW) in West Central Minnesota.
Most experts recommend preheating anytime that temperatures drop near or below freezing. However, 32 degrees Fahrenheit is only a general guideline. There are more critical temperatures below freezing where preheating becomes far more important, as well as temperatures above freezing where preheating still has some benefits, especially for other components under the cowl such as batteries, hoses, etc. According to research cited by Peter Tanis (of Tanis Aircraft Services, Inc.), 20 degrees Fahrenheit should be the minimum engine temperature to prevent engine damage at startup. Keeping the engine above 40 degrees Fahrenheit is easier on the battery during starts, reducing startup times and the associated wear. And, if you try to keep your engine above 60 degrees Fahrenheit before starting, you will generally see additional benefits in reduced engine stress and cylinder wear, and more efficient run-up times.
The most common preheaters are built-in, electric preheating systems. The most common systems are produced by Tanis Aircraft and Reiff Preheat Systems. Basic preheaters consist of a small electric pad that is bonded to the oil sump. However, it really pays to make the (small) investment in a more extensive preheating system that includes heating elements for other parts of the engine, including the case and cylinders. Tanis uses a variety of component options to heat the different parts of the engine, including heated intake tube bolts and valve cover bolts. Reiff uses heated bands that wrap around the base of each cylinder. Both are excellent solutions. I have personally been using a Tanis system with oil sump heater, case heater, and heated valve cover bolts for many years with excellent results. With either system, a well-insulated cowl cover is strongly recommended to ensure that the entire engine compartment is kept warm.
Condensation occurs anytime warm, moist air flows over a surface colder than the dewpoint. In the case of electric oil sump heaters, the warm air above the oil can condense on the cold parts of the engine, such as the cylinders and camshaft. Since water is a key ingredient for corrosion, leaving only an oil sump heater plugged in for extended periods of time can lead to premature cylinder and camshaft wear. However, if a complete engine heating system is used in conjunction with an insulated cover, corrosion concerns can be largely eliminated. I have personally tested this theory using a humidity gauge while tied down outside in the cold, wet weather. Using only the sump with no blanket yielded high humidity levels. Adding either a cover or a complete engine heating system yielded much less humidity, and the combination of a high-quality insulated cover along with a complete engine preheating system produced an environment in the cowl that was exceptionally warm and dry. I found that even residual moisture in the cowl was gone within hours and my warm-up times before takeoff were virtually eliminated by the time I reached the runway. I later added a thermostat control to maintain a constant temperature in the cowl.
Leaving your preheater on for extended periods of time is controversial, mainly due to the potential for increased corrosion; a valid concern. Different situations dictate different recommendations. Above all, regular flying of the aircraft, frequent oil changes, and the use of anti-corrosion additives such as CamGuard will have the greatest impact on reducing your exposure to corrosion. If you adhere to these first, you should be able to keep your engine compartment constantly preheated as noted above with no negative results (other than wasted energy). This complete setup is about as close to a heated hangar as you can get while still outside. If, however, you expect weeks to pass between flights, then it makes more sense to switch to preheating before each flight and storage at low winter temperatures where the temperature itself will slow the corrosive process. There are a variety of remote-controlled switches available now that make it easier than ever to get your aircraft heating before you even venture out to the airport.
At what temperature does it start to become beneficial to preheat a piston aircraft engine prior to starting, and how does one ensure that the engine is thoroughly and evenly heated?I'm pre-heating on the ramp, using a forced-hot-air heater.
Pre-heating your engine in the winter is important for a bunch of reasons, but there are two main ones that should get your attention - the first is preventing metal-on-metal wear by ensuring all parts have adequate clearances to function, and the second is improving lubrication by making sure your oil is ready to flow, and the spaces it's going to flow in to are opened up enough to let the oil in.
Starting a piston engine is responsible for most of the wear the engine sees in its life - surfaces which have long since had their protective coatings of oil drip off are banging together while you crank the engine, and for a few seconds after startup until the oil pump can build up pressure and splash lubrication in the crank case can thoroughly coat the other moving parts. 041b061a72