THIS paper outlines some current problems in light airplane engines with particular reference to the 4-cyl horizontal-opposed air-cooled engines which comprise over 90% of all aircraft engines under 100 hp manufactured since 1935.
Statistics of the private flying operation from 1936-1940 are shown. Charts representing the results of the analysis and studies made by the Civil Aeronautics Administration as to the causes of all powerplant failures reported on aircraft equipped with this type of light airplane engine are given.
The method of investigating, tabulating, analyzing, and instigating corrective action of service troubles is described. The detailed handling of a persistently chronic and aggravating problem, namely, idling difficulties in flight, is discussed extensively.
The importance of the educational approach that must be applied in the handling of the manifold problems involved and as they pertain to the pilot, the airplane and airplane engine manufacturers, and the personnel of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, is discussed.
Additional service problems, such as replacement parts, icing, automobile fuel, overhaul, vibration, noise, starting, detonation, and so on, are also treated to the extent warranted by the seriousness of the problem.
In conclusion it is stated that, although the record is good, constantly improving standards of safety seem to be required to maintain this record.