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Winter operations / lowest temperature for starting / preheating methods (merged)

Now that the winter months have come – what do you esteemed co-forumites use to pre-heat your engine while away from home base?

The home-base pre-heat issue has been solved thanks to a portable ceramic heater, scat tubing and a GSM switch (by far the most expensive piece of the ensemble). However the lack of apron 220v outlets precludes taking it anywhere…

Last Edited by Shorrick_Mk2 at 10 Nov 15:16

I just got one tow days ago :-) It is 220 V, but i will mostly use it in my hangar.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 10 Nov 15:10

Away from base would have to be some sort of liquid fuel heater, no?

And hope that the resident risk manager will not notice it

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The two contraptions i’ve seen are either converted coleman lamps that can burn avgas or the Red Dragon LNG heater.

Good luck pulling either one out on a civilised ramp.

Both a whopping 600 bucks.

Thank God the engine cooling system is optimised for cruise ops. The fact that in winter you can’t get it to cruise didn’t seem to feature in designers’ minds.

An Eberspächer would’ve been such an elegant solution…
this may help but not a cheap solution


If cold weather is a problem the Canadians are the experts at finding a solution! Pilot DAR would advise the best solution.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

I saw that one Peter – but how long would one last d!cking around with an open flame on an apron anywhere in Europe? Ramp safety freak out when they see rampies smoking in the huts – I don’t think they’d be overjoyed with a pilot starting a camp fire underneath his engine…

In all my years flying piston twins for a living (and instructing on singles and twins) I have used an engine heater only once: On a ferry flight at Goose Bay after a night parked outside at -40 degrees Celsius. All European winters (-10 … -15 degrees C) could be handled without a heater (no hangar ever!) but sometimes ground power was required because of the cold battery. If we didn’t forget about it, we removed the battery and stored it inside an airport building overnight.

Last Edited by what_next at 13 Nov 09:53
EDDS - Stuttgart

That’s correct if all you care about is “will it start or not”. If you know the plane and the battery is good – it will. My 74 Warrior never had a pre-heater and if it wouldn’t start I jumped started it with the car …

Now with the SR22 I finally bought the (above) preheater, because I am sure that it it’s better for the engine to be warmed up in temperaturs at or below 0 C. From all i know wear is significantly reduced using a pre-heater.

I will only use it below 0 C, I think.

My thoughts as well. I’ve started the SuperCub after a night on the glacier – but I was paying by the hour not the cylinder :-)

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