Power loss at Altitude Question?

ventana7

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Salida, Colorado
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Does anyone know the exact formula for figuring out how much horsepower is lost per 1,000 feet in altitude?

Thanks.

Rob
 

13brv3

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Good question. The best answer I can come up with is about 3% per 1000 ft in "standard atmospheric conditions". That fits almost exactly with the aircraft rule of thumb that you can only get 75% power at 8000 ft.

The other major factor will be mixture control. That 3% per 1000 ft will be assuming you can keep the mixture optimized by reducing the amount of fuel flow to match the reduced air density. If you can't do that, then you'll be running richer than optimal, which will reduce power even more.

Cheers,
Rusty
 

C. Beaty

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The power an engine can produce is directly proportional to barometric pressure and inversely proportional to absolute temperature. So the relationship between power and altitude is not a simple one.

Aviation handbooks give the following approximation for available power without supercharging:

Altitude, feet…..…….…..0………5k…….10k……15k……20k…….25k
Fixed pitch prop………...1……0.82…..0.66….0.52.…0.41…..0.30
Constant speed prop….1……0.85…..0.71….0.59….0.48…..0.38
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Hello Rob,

The short answer is that there is no set loss.

In my experience different engines respond differently to a change in air density.

When we build an engine for Bonneville, which is at 4,400, we use a lot of compression and short cams.

When we build an engine for forced induction we use less compression and longs cams.

The idea is to keep the brake mean effective pressure in the best range.

Typically, an aircraft will go further on a galleon of fuel at altitude because there are many things that change as the air thins out.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

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Nipomo,California
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As the air gets thinner the size of the carburetor venturi needs to be smaller to get a good signal and good fuel atomization.

With fuel injection their needs to be something to tell the injectors to inject less fuel as the engine takes in less air.

How well these things are addressed has a lot to do with how well the systems work at altitude.

One system is not inherently better than the other.

An altitude compensating turbocharger changes all of this.

Thank you, Vance
 

Aussie_Paul

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Since 1982 Gyro 5000+ mostly instructing, and approx. 200 fixed wing in the late 1960s.
Does anyone know the exact formula for figuring out how much horsepower is lost per 1,000 feet in altitude?

Thanks.

Rob
Until you need oxygen, none with a turbo Rob :D :D

Aussie Paul. :)
 

davidnane9

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Sep 13, 2017
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Location
uae
Question: RV 4 equipped with Rotax-914 engine and variable pitch propeller.
Problem observed during flight above 7000 feet , vertical speed become 0, rpm over shoot for 2,3 second up 6300 when turbo engaged for gaining height.i did effort for Turbo but not gaining height. Feels like under power. But take off was normal. Air Box target pressure normal. All other engine parameters also normal.
So come back to pavilion.
Suggest possible causes please.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Oct 30, 2003
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16,327
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Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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I have had similar issues in two different Cavalons with 914.

One would over boost briefly and then reduce to very little boost.

It turned out to be a sticking waste gate.

The other had to do with the inlet temperature sender. It would reduce the boost to zero and then, after a while it would go back to working normally.

I don’t recall what manifold pressure I was running. It fit the definition of cruise power in the POH. I was around 9,000 density altitude on a warm day in Utah near Cedar City.
 
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