Shock cooling
Problem Solved!

About the Benefits
  • Overview
  • Getting rid of the heat
  • Heat - the top end killer
  • More power per cubic inch
  • Better performance and fuel economy
  • Radiator technology - past and present
  • Shock cooling - Problem solved!
  • The secret to achieving longer TBOs
  • Flying faster on the same power - reducing cooling drag
  • Side benefits - Safer cabin heat
  • Dispelling the Myths

  • The chill factor - rapid descents
  • We have all heard about it and talked about it - shock cooling and the problem with rapid descents. Novice pilots throttling back and pointing the nose down after misjudging their distance and altitude to their destination airport. ATC calling us and asking for our 'best possible' descent rate to a new assigned altitude. 

    Shock cooling is unique to air-cooled engines in aircraft. Aircraft are one of the few moving vehicles that can keep up a high rate of speed with little or no power for a long duration. During a rapid descent our air-cooled engines may cool down anywhere from 100 to 250F in a matter of a few minutes. The problem is that this rapid cool down is usually uneven and leads to warpage of the cylinder heads and even the cylinder barrels. But shock cooling isn't the only enemy - there is also shock heating to consider. Once the engine has cooled down a rapid increase in power will also heat the cylinder heads up unevenly further aggravating the huge temperature differentials that tend to exist in air-cooled heads. As the power is increased the exhaust side of the head rapidly heats up while the intake side remains relatively cool. This uneven heating introduces the kinds of stresses that lead to cylinder head cracking and loss of valve seats.

  • Water cooling controls the temperature
  • A water cooled engine doesn't have a shock cooling or heating problem. Since a thermostat controls the coolant temperature the engine remains at a stable temperature during all phases of flight. Both shock cooling and heating become a problem of the past. Furthermore because a water cooled cylinder head maintains a T6 hardness it is far more capable of resisting cracking due to quick changes in power. But even those quick changes in power don't result in tremendous changes in cylinder head temperature since the coolant quickly absorbs the higher heat output.

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    1413 Prospect Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
    Proudly MADE in the U.S.A.
    Proudly MADE in the U.S.A.