Carburettor Icing

As the flight continued the pilot failed to notice that the RPM was slowly winding down accompanied with a little vibration from the engine. Eventually the engine stopped. The pilot called ‘Mayday’ and made a forced landing. The engine was found to be OK. The verdict, carby icing. 

Carburettor icing has been around in normally aspirated aero engines since the dawn of aviation. The icing comes from a combination of moisture in the air, the temperature and sometimes the design of the engine and its carburettor. Some engines are more prone to icing than others. Even cars can suffer from carby icing. The early Australian-built Fords were one. Early liquid cooled aero engine designers used heated water in intake manifold surrounds to try and ward off carby icing not realising the icing was in the carby not the manifold. 

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