Aircraft Motors VS Auto Motors

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.

Remote Flying (UAV)

We are in a time of rapid evolution and fast changing ideas, it seems like we all are getting justed to diversification and new stuff coming at a fast pace. The technology it starting to have big impact in many areas of life one of my favorites is flying and moving thru the air like never before, it is a very effective way of transportation and all the other ideas that emerge from that.


If you look back in time, in order to fly an aircraft and I mean big passengers planes at least 3 to 4 people were sitting in the cockpit managing all the instruments and interpreting all the information in order to have a safe flight. Now we have a maximum of two pilots and maybe another two that are resting in the cabin that will replace them in very long flights, that is a significant reduction of manpower compared to some years ago.

Continuing with the same idea many of the duties of a pilot are taken care by computers and radio signals, for example the advance autopilots that we have today are capable of landing an aircraft safely only with the supervision of the pilots, signals from the airport and from the airplane are continuously being sent, received, analized back and forth at a incredible fast speed and the most important point, with no mistakes or errors.


This takes me to write about completely unmanned aircrafts, having all this technology at our service and use took the inventors and engineers to create the so called drones and UAV’s for all kind of different purposes that you can imagine for good or bad. I am one of the individuals that like to think in the positive impact of these kind of creations, I have seen quadcopters helping firefighters for example, helping searching for a missing person in the desert, scanning farms and crops looking for animals that might get hurt during the harvest due to the use of huge tractors and automatic machines that can’t stop very easy in case there is an animal in the way.
The shift from manned to unmanned flying objects is very sensitive anyways due to the safety of the people in the air, but that does not mean that this is an impossible change.

Classic Aeronautics

2014-08-25_1436Military aeronautical design and research has been the zone were the major advances in development happened in the past. The military has always had more budget and no limitations in terms of design and creation of new aerostructures, it is like having “carte blanche” or to be in a paradise for designers, inventors and developers. If you are in the civil aviation world, you may know all the limitations in terms of laws and the countless barriers that you may encounter if you want to design something new and advanced.

If you look the history of civil aviation you will see that most of the designs and type of aircrafts came from the military a couple of years later. In terms of avionics and navigation is also a place where the air force is responsible for huge improvements and technological advantages that we see in the passenger and cargo air transportation, a lot of the most reliable methods of air navigation that are still used today came from army developers.

During the WWII aviation in general had major improvements in all areas, new airframes and airfoils were developed for faster and lighter aircrafts, engines with a tremendous power were also constructed, at that time fuel consumption was not the issue. Even today in warplanes the fuel consumption and flight time is not really a subject to pay much attention, this machines need to be fast and very agile in the air to be able to fight other aircrafts and ground artillery. If you are not a top secret rated soldier in the air force like me and most of the population in the world then we will maybe never know what is “cooking” in that area.

Today aviation is becoming more and more necessary for the world in general, the world population keeps growing, business globalization and extension to international territories is considered necessary for progress today, everyone wants to receive their products as fast as possible, today you have the ability to buy what you need from other countries from the comfort of your home, all these facts require fast and high capacity flying airplanes. Therefore civil aviation needs to keep improving at a very fast pace, at the moment the construction of new airplanes is massive, the rate of aircraft builded per month is impressive on some of the most popular manufacturers.

This is definitely still a category of the future, even when the dream of flight started many years ago, the evolution in technologies for all kinds of objects that can fly and fill any kind of purpose in the air are very fast paced. Today the variety of flying objects is much bigger, before there was pretty much only two categories; aircrafts and helicopters, today are airplanes, helicopters, drones , UAVs, rockets, and so on.