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Thread: Backcountry Engine Preheat

  1. #41
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Pros of Whisperlite setup:
    -lower cost
    -light weight
    -does not require Tanis nor Reiff install, so can be used on other's aircraft who do not have those systems installed

    Cons of Whisperlite setup:
    -risk of fire
    -more involved setup

    Pros of Honda setup:
    -no significant risk of fire
    -easy setup...Tanis/Reiff already installed

    Cons of Honda setup:
    -expense of generator
    -expense of Tanis/Reiff
    -heavier weight

    Randy
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  2. #42

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    [QUOTE=SteveE;698239]In a previous life, I owned a laundromat. I used to wash coyote hides in the big washer after hours. Pissed my employee off. Hair everywhere, but the hides sure came out clean and smelled good. Use the big commercial washer for your blanket, they are designed for a lot of stuff.

    And you wonder why Texicans make fun of Okies......your employee might have just thought Ron Jeremy had been in to do a load of underwear
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  3. #43
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    Other Pros of generators: Charge your wife's cell phone/tablet/computer-keep her happy. Run a light or two, keep her happy. Run an electric blanket/heating pad, keep her happy....
    "Always looking up"
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  4. #44
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukum12 View Post
    Other Pros of generators: Charge your wife's cell phone/tablet/computer-keep her happy. Run a light or two, keep her happy. Run an electric blanket/heating pad, keep her happy....
    I like it! I have some motorcycle heated riding gear that would work in the cold if the extension cord was long enough. But the electric blanket is a good survival item..and that plus a Kindle reader would keep her happy while I shoveled our way out of stuck in winter overflow. Now for the microwave to cook popcorn.

    Gary

  5. #45
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Pros of Whisperlite setup:
    -lower cost
    -light weight
    -does not require Tanis nor Reiff install, so can be used on other's aircraft who do not have those systems installed

    Cons of Whisperlite setup:
    -risk of fire
    -more involved setup

    Pros of Honda setup:
    -no significant risk of fire
    -easy setup...Tanis/Reiff already installed

    Cons of Honda setup:
    -expense of generator
    -expense of Tanis/Reiff
    -heavier weight

    Randy
    Expense? What's money worth when it's -20 and your 100 miles from nowhere and can't get plane started and weather moving in and you might be there a few days. Geeze I'm really glad I saved a couple of hundred bucks. Have fun with that one. Old adage the cheapest part of flying is the owner. Not how I roll. Heavy? Less than 30lbs for generator. Ever flown a plane with density altitude of -15,000 feet? I've bivouaced at -40 for a day or two for other reasons than can't get plane started from a failed preheat. Not really very festive.

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  6. #46
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    Backcountry Engine Preheat

    I came to realization that many people posting havenít dealt with deep cold. Gary and I have and vollied good advice. Time of exposure in cold is key. Land, yank Honda, one or two pulls, plug in cord, BOOM, 2 minutes with gloves on and I have continuous heat. Other option: dig for Ammo can, try to assemble parts stiff, cold and delicate. Put fuel in stove. Heating paste. Try to light POS lightweight stove with heating paste and lighter that wonít work at subzero. 10 tryís and itís finally lit. Wind blows it out. Finally after 20 minutes stove is running and you got scat pipe thatís like a wedding Dick up in cowl but you had to put gap in cowl cover and let cold air in. Temperature from stove to cowl entrance halves. Wind blows whole contraption over so you get to start again. On and on. Meanwhile I took 2 minutes and went inside or started building fire. Or, thereís power available. I pull up to tie down and plug in. You go through contraption mode when you want to fly and spend 3 hours doing it. I pull cord, start and go. This is a no brainer. Put a Reiff or Tannis on if your serious about winter flying. Find a way to get 110AC. If your an occasional tourist, dabble at winter flying try your complicated stuff. In deep cold simple, fast and reliable is worth more than gold, could be your life.


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  7. #47

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    Herman Nelson BT-400!
    Tim
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  8. #48
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Scooter's post...well we're all aging but having camped at my remote shack and trapped for years all winter with a snowmachine and plane pay attention to what he says. It all works until it doesn't. Shelter, heat, experience with "been there" works.

    I know a local trapper that flew the Yukon Flats for years with a 8x10 wall tent and a metal stove filled with fire wood. The engine was still clinking down when he was camped inside a shelter and was getting a hot fire going. That was before generators and heaters.

    Ever stand next to your plane in a breeze at -cold under a full moon in deep snow and wonder...how am I going to get this and me to a better place when it's time with this crap? I have and know what it takes to have a comfortable safe experience when it counts.

    Gary
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  9. #49
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    The last post reminded me of this picture I took last winter. I donít remember the temperature now. It was below zero but not a lot below. I walked outside from the cabin with a full moon rising and took a couple of pictures. Propane light in cabin. The Honda was hooked up but not visible in this picture.

    I like winter.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  10. #50

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    This thread is like Readers Digest. So much drama!

    My gas stoves have started fine in -50 temps. My generators have not. Starting fluid helps. Gas stove to preheat generator? Done that more than a few times. Little portables can get placed indoors to warm up but 1000w generators don’t make enough power to preheat a bigger generator unless you added a preheater to it, and I never have. No need. Gas stoves work fine. One of my Cabin tricks is to keep a torpedo heater with an inverter mounted to it. Grab a battery and it’ll heat whatever I point it at. This one is ready to go north when the river freezes. Making heat in Alaska winter requires a little MacGyvering if you do it long enough.

    Cabin life. You wake up early to find the thermometer registering -48*. Next, you find out your propane bottle is too empty to make gas to make coffee so you get to drag a new hundred pounder out of the shed and through the snow so you can change the bottle. At -48 in the dark. Flashlight in mouth isn’t ever comfy in -48, let alone dragging a heavy bottle with an early morning stiff back. The things we do for fun.
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  11. #51
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    This thread is like Readers Digest. So much drama!

    My gas stoves have started fine in -50 temps. My generators have not. Starting fluid helps. Gas stove to preheat generator? Done that more than a few times. Little portables can get placed indoors to warm up but 1000w generators donít make enough power to preheat a bigger generator unless you added a preheater to it, and I never have. No need. Gas stoves work fine. One of my Cabin tricks is to keep a torpedo heater with an inverter mounted to it. Grab a battery and itíll heat whatever I point it at. This one is ready to go north when the river freezes. Making heat in Alaska winter requires a little MacGyvering if you do it long enough.

    Cabin life. You wake up early to find the thermometer registering -48*. Next, you find out your propane bottle is too empty to make gas to make coffee so you get to drag a new hundred pounder out of the shed and through the snow so you can change the bottle. At -48 in the dark. Flashlight in mouth isnít ever comfy in -48, let alone dragging a heavy bottle with an early morning stiff back. The things we do for fun.
    That's darn clever Stewart!

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    Re: Northern Companions, ammo boxes, or whatever combustion heater a guy may choose? I've heated my plane with my ammo box on days when I had a 1000w Yamaha sitting in plain sight. No burden. I usually will be outdoors playing with the dog or dragging the strip on a snowmachine anyway. I use the generator, too, but the idea that one is a chore and the other isn't? Not true in my opinion. Preheating and wing covers are always a chore. But on a cold, clear, sunny day I'm not in a hurry. On a low, windy, cruddy day with a black wall of weather approaching? Different story. Fire it up cold. Let's get the hell out of Dodge!

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mit greb View Post
    Herman Nelson BT-400!

    Now yer talkin!

  14. #54
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    I know a local trapper that flew the Yukon Flats for years with a 8x10 wall tent and a metal stove filled with fire wood. The engine was still clinking down when he was camped inside a shelter and was getting a hot fire going. That was before generators and heaters.


    Gary[/QUOTE]

    That is what Sam White used to do. Probably the most incredible resourceful outdoor man that ever lived.

  15. #55
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    I have a battery and 12-120V inverter mounted in my truck and a portable one out in the woods camp if I don't want or can't start the generator. I think they are about 800-1000W inverters from an auto parts store and not expensive. Also 25K BTU fuel oil space heaters at both ends with 90* angle stove pipe on the outlet. The are mostly unavailable now new except from DeWalt today especially the 25K units. Quicker heat than other stuff but have to make sure there's lots of air flow through the engine. Throw a tarp cover over all and don't melt things. Fuel boiling in the glass gascolator is a sign of too much heat being applied. Those heaters make starting a snowmachine and warming the belt easy.

    The canvas tube shaped cover over the engine down to the ground I described earlier is an old design developed by the early aviators in Canada and Alaska. Prop pokes up vertical (is covered separately) and allows a vent spot for hot air. I can put it over an engine cover with the electric heater inside and the generator inside the tube on the ice to stay warm out of the wind, or stick the nose of the space heater inside without the engine cover on and use it for heat. It also makes a small light tarp shelter to carry along in the plane for a lean-to backstop against a wood fire or to get out of the wind.

    Don't forget to wrap your flash lite with tape so it doesn't freeze to your mouth.

    Gary

  16. #56
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G44 View Post
    I know a local trapper that flew the Yukon Flats for years with a 8x10 wall tent and a metal stove filled with fire wood. The engine was still clinking down when he was camped inside a shelter and was getting a hot fire going. That was before generators and heaters.


    Gary
    That is what Sam White used to do. Probably the most incredible resourceful outdoor man that ever lived.[/QUOTE]

    I met him briefly before he passed. Had a guy from work that lived nearby Sam that took him a fish or some game to go with his garden produce. We had tea and he talked about flying his L-5 Stinson and winter camping...that's where first I got the heads up about an instant camp in the cold. Then Joe Mattie another trapper told me he carried one too so the idea stuck. Both of them surely outdid me when it came to going and doing in winter. Different class of folks back then than now.

    Edit: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-White-Ala.../dp/1575101300

    Gary

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    We have gear options that our fathers and grandfathers never would have dreamed of. That makes what used to be extraordinary in their day rather ordinary now. GPS, sat phones, 6# tents, Wiggy sleeping bags, gore tex, polar fleece... the list is long. Heck, look at Scooter's wife as an example. She takes minimum gear and runs across Alaska in the middle of winter. On purpose! The old timers would have said she's crazy.
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Interesting question about side down travel for the gen so maybe experiment at home first. I have no idea what would happen but there are a couple of things to consider. Honda vents the carb out of the gen's case through some plastic tubing that's on the side of the oil fill cover. If the carb's inlet valve is opened due to draining some fuel then more fuel under pressure from a closed-vent tank might work its way through the carb and out the vent lines. Same for the oil breather plumbing that's on the same side on the 2000 models at least. The fuel tank outlet is lower than the carb and is pumped up to the carb.

    So I guess my inclination is to try setting it sideways with the carb/oil breather UP and see what happens. Might have to empty the fuel tank for transport and then refill before running.

    Edit: good point about the oil and rings/valves above.

    Gary
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    I laid the generator on it's side for 24 hours with the carb on the up side. Following this I looked around inside with a flashlight and couldn't see any oil or fuel inside of the case. So, I placed it on the floor, opened the fuel vent on the cap, gave it some choke and pulled. It almost started on the first pull and took right off on the second pull.

    I'm sure I'll never leave it in the pod on it's side for extended periods. It seems safe to carry it that way for a few hours from this test. At least with my generator.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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    Fooled around with ideas last year, biggest issue, in my mind, was trying to keep the heat in the cowl regardless of which external heat source you used. Cub cowls are hard to plug up.
    Commercially avail cowl covers are pretty bulky and heavy. Couple of us started using Mylar space blankets taped around the cowl during heating, this evolved into sewing up a cover out of Mylar tarp which is a little more durable but still light and compact and reusable, attached over cowl with fastec buckles. Cotton pant leg sewn in the bottom to accept heat tube.
    the heat source was derived from an MSR stove and some Ace hardware parts.
    all cheap and compact. Ducting is 3" aluminum vent hose, (not dryer duct hose) that accordions to about 4 times its collapsed shape. all the components "nest" together when stored
    Im still a little nervous around this setup as heat source is open flame. Fire extinguisher close at hand and don't leave heating plane unattended.

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    After a year plus with my “skinny” half-thickness insulated engine cover? I’ll never go back to a puffy cover. Half the normal insulation is more than adequate.

  21. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Fooled around with ideas last year, biggest issue, in my mind, was trying to keep the heat in the cowl regardless of which external heat source you used. Cub cowls are hard to plug up.
    Commercially avail cowl covers are pretty bulky and heavy. Couple of us started using Mylar space blankets taped around the cowl during heating, this evolved into sewing up a cover out of Mylar tarp which is a little more durable but still light and compact and reusable, attached over cowl with fastec buckles. Cotton pant leg sewn in the bottom to accept heat tube.
    the heat source was derived from an MSR stove and some Ace hardware parts.
    all cheap and compact. Ducting is 3" aluminum vent hose, (not dryer duct hose) that accordions to about 4 times its collapsed shape. all the components "nest" together when stored
    Im still a little nervous around this setup as heat source is open flame. Fire extinguisher close at hand and don't leave heating plane unattended.

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    Looks like a simple set up. My favorite part is the McCatto painted prop.....what length and pitch?

  22. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinJ View Post
    Looks like a simple set up. My favorite part is the McCatto painted prop.....what length and pitch?
    couldnt tell you, not my plane..
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    Real old school stuff was to drain oil at end of flight and heat on stove before flight. What a lot don't add is they also used the Tent cover over cowl to preheat the engine before adding oil.

    How about oil dilution with gas. Another old school way to get the job done!!

    DENNY

    DENNY

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    I use the lower half of an old lightweight sleeping bag I "retired", and cut in half, (giving me the excuse I needed to buy a new one) as an engine cozy. It's also part of my winter survival gear, along with my 2 other full bags. 1 light weight, 1 medium, put them together, one inside the other, plus the half bag, and I'm not getting cold, pretty sure anyway.

    I just bought a 1000 watt Yamaha, instead of the Honda, as it's 1 lb. lighter, and a bit quieter decibel wise, and seems to be be equally highly regarded. I bought it to run my crane operator cab AC unit, a little 5,000 BTU household unit that only draws 400 watts. And of course, I now have a mobile power source for ski flying. Anyone with any experience using the Yamaha. and if so, does it also need some mods on the breather?

  25. #65
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    "Im still a little nervous around this setup as heat source is open flame. Fire extinguisher close at hand and don't leave heating plane unattended."

    Ok, let's see if I get this. Engine covered to protect from wind, cold and heat loss, gas (flame producing) heat source under my engine with me standing in the wind and cold with fire extinguisher in hand to protect my $100,000+ investment. Makes me shiver just thinking about it and I'm sitting at my desk with a hot cup of coffee in hand. However that's just me and my stinky opinion on the other side different strokes, missions and needs. That I get.



    Reiff and Honda.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!
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  26. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    How about oil dilution with gas. Another old school way to get the job done!!
    This used to be an option when ordering new 180/185s.
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorguns View Post
    Attachment 33248Attachment 33249Attachment 33250Attachment 33251
    Coleman, This fits in a small box. I put screws in the cap to hold it up off the burner so air can filter up. Dryer hose. Heats fast and with a cowl cover on does great. May find minor changes as you go along with it.

    Doug
    Dryer vent hose is a bad idea. Not fire proof. check out this video on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfExQ3mwBH8
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  28. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I just bought a 1000 watt Yamaha, instead of the Honda, as it's 1 lb. lighter, and a bit quieter decibel wise, and seems to be be equally highly regarded. I bought it to run my crane operator cab AC unit, a little 5,000 BTU household unit that only draws 400 watts. And of course, I now have a mobile power source for ski flying. Anyone with any experience using the Yamaha. and if so, does it also need some mods on the breather?
    I have a 1,000 watt Yamaha. It works very well and runs the Reiff heaters without any problem. I've not yet had any problem with it (in terms of the breather or otherwise), but then again I no longer fly when it's colder than -30.

  29. #69
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  30. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverking View Post
    Dryer vent hose is a bad idea. Not fire proof. check out this video on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfExQ3mwBH8
    I could never make those little propane bottles work in the cold.
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  31. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    After a year plus with my “skinny” half-thickness insulated engine cover? I’ll never go back to a puffy cover. Half the normal insulation is more than adequate.
    I'm in need of an insulated cover and have been battling with the options. I do wish to travel with it so bulk and weight are both important. Kennon's are quality but appear large and heavy and are $$$$$. Bruce's seem good but again not light but less $$$$. Mac's say there's are lighter and thinner and even less $$. I was concerned with the Mac being too thin (3/4") and was glad to see your comment that even thin does well. Did you make yours or buy it and who from? FYI, I will be using Reiff.

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    Fine Line in Anchorage made mine and it's about 3/4" thick when fluffed up. They rate the insulation by weight and this one is half of their standard cover's insulation weight and more than I need for preheating. The Reiff's output is plenty as long as cold air isn't moving freely through the cowl. Insulation value isn't very important in that application. I really like the smaller packed size. I may go even thinner with my next one. Fine Line sews a compression stuff sack right to the cover. Remove the cover, stuff it in, pull the straps tight, and it's small enough to toss wherever I want. If I'm really tight on space? My wing covers each have sewn-on stuff sacks, too, so I can stow wing and tail covers in small packages and the engine cover separately.

    Here's my Cessna's engine, wing, tail, and windscreen covers sloppily stuffed into the engine stuff sack. With care I could reduce the size. My full size cowl cover alone is a chore to stuff into a GI duffel bag that's twice as big.
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  33. #73
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I haven't kept up with the latest in covers but these folks have treated my custom ideas in the past well: http://alaskawingcovers.com/CowlingCovers.html

    Fabric flexibility is a concern and some materials aren't in deep cold. Their polyester has been for me. Maybe there's better manufacturer's and materials and we can learn together.

    Gary

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    If you want minimum stuffed size make sure your chosen shop isn’t using Tennis balls and loops. Nylon hooks and 1/4” bungees stow smaller. Fine Line uses Velcro on the engine cover. No tangles. I’m okay with anything other than balls.
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  35. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I haven't kept up with the latest in covers but these folks have treated my custom ideas in the past well: http://alaskawingcovers.com/CowlingCovers.html

    Fabric flexibility is a concern and some materials aren't in deep cold. Their polyester has been for me. Maybe there's better manufacturer's and materials and we can learn together.

    Gary
    Linda at AK Wing Covers very good to work with. So is Doug at Fine Line. I'm lucky as my covers came with plane I bought from SB.

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  36. #76

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    I have had great luck with AK Wing covers. They know what problems you will have before you do. Lots of good mods for each type of plane. They would be my #1 Choice
    DENNNY
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  37. #77

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    Aug 2014
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    I've been running my generator inside the cabin of the plane for preheating and ducting the exhaust outside, allowing the engine cooling fan to blow warm air into the cabin to defrost windows and warm radios. I installed a short piece of SCAT hose on the exhaust outlet of my Honda EU1000, the wire in the hose will actually thread in between the exhaust and the plastic housing and holds very tight. Then a longer piece of hose can be attached and along with the extension cord be routed out of the cabin. Works great.
    Thanks JohnnyR thanked for this post
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  38. #78

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    Nifty idea. Makes me think about putting in a dedicated exhaust pipe through the side-wall and bringing the plug for the Reiff heaters through the firewall.
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  39. #79
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
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    Fairbanks, AK.
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    At one time I had thought about riveting a SCAT hose duct adapter to my generator's case around the exhaust outlet but never followed through. Now knowing the hose can be screwed into that hole makes me want to revisit the mod...great info! The SCAT hose's heated air and exhaust could be used to thaw stuff in a small space and placed next to my Bravo snowmachine engine for work or just to get it to start easier in the cold. Moving right along.....

    Gary
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  40. #80

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Exhaust out the scat, heat out the grate louvers for the cabin, cord out to the little buddy heater in the cowling.
    Thanks NunavutPA-12, marcusofcotton thanked for this post

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