There’s been a recent interest in the auto world by replacing the car engine with an aircraft engine.
A few videos on YouTube have even surfaced displaying the swap. After watching the videos one may begin to wonder why every vehicle isn’t operated by an airplane engine and what the differences between the two motors would be.
To begin with, there are many differences that are critical to the performance of both vehicles.
Technically speaking, both motors are effective in powering a land dwelling vehicle, but there are many mechanical technicalities that make each of the motors different.
It doesn’t take much horsepower to get a small car up to 70 mph, especially when the top speed is often ten times that. Cars are efficient in terms of power usage. They never truly function with the full power available.
Instead, most vehicles will use as little power as possible to get the job done. The jet or an airplane is the complete opposite in terms of power efficiency. The airplane will use 100% of the power just to cruise the skies.
On average a car will utilize about 10% of its potential power during the duration of its lifetime. An airplane on the other hand, uses mostly 70% of its available power on an everyday basis.
The airplane engine has two jobs it must perform well in order to fly. The engine must overcome the drag that the wings produce in order to create lift for the plane while powering the plane through the air. The tires on a car is a sufficient enough lift for the vehicle without requiring any additional lift support.
Duty cycles are completely different as well. The duty cycle is described as controlling the operation of the vehicle and determines whether or not the power will operate continuously or intermittently.
Usually two thousand car hours will result in 70, 000 to 100, 000 miles traveled which is half of the expected miles from the car’s average lifespan. On average a plane engine can expect to operate for only 2, 000 hours total.
The airplane is capable of lasting at least 40 years compared to a car that usually becomes inoperable at seven years on average. Airplane engines are depended on for running at the top of their performance for short bursts of time.
This run time produces additional wear and tear on the motor, but not as much as a car motor.
The operating environments are considerably different. A truck or car engine isn’t typically depended on to run at the top of its performance for long periods of time. The interior under the hood or the cowling of the aircraft endures daily stress as well. The stress and or damage inflicted on an airplane on a daily basis is especially concerning.
A hot sunny day on the ground can turn to teeth chattering temperatures once above the ground in mere seconds upon taking off. Any unexpected rain can shock vulnerable and unprotected air cooled cylinders and heads.
The manual operation of these cooling systems for the aircrafts are often partially operated at the recommended standard causing more wear and tear on the motors.
The operators vary. Some everyday pilots may be more in tune with their aircrafts and treat them exceptionally well trying to preserve as much power and performance as possible. Other pilots do just enough maintenance to keep the plane in operable condition.
Pilots in general have more considerations and details they must pay attention to in order to make sure everything operates sound mechanically. Everything from fuel type and grade, to temperature management are especially key to making sure the plane will operate as it should.
The management of these crucial things are not as concerning or are not relevant to a truck or car.
The maintenance is another difference. Most modern cars that are on the streets these days don’t require any special tune ups. Maintenance is still required and crucial to the well-being of the car.
Airplane engines usually receive mechanical work and maintenance at least once a year. But the most important thing is the consequences should the hardware or engine fail in both vehicles. If a car engine dies or stops operating, the operator can simply pull over when safe to do so.
Whenever an aircraft engine fails, the pilot needs to land as soon as possible. Landing a plane in an unknown area or a place not designated for aircraft is especially nerve wracking and dangerous.
In essence, there are a lot of differences between the two most popular forms of transportation today.