Knowing Your Plane’s Exhaust
For a lot of people or plane owners, a plane’s exhaust is just a component of the aircraft that lets out smoke from the engine. Others feel like it’s a part of the aircraft that causes the weird noises a plane makes, allowing people to think of it as an old, and possibly damaged vehicle. These myths often change the way we look at aircraft, their parts and each of its functions. Mufflers are more than a metal hose-looking component that is used to let out some steam from the engine. It is a vital part of the aircraft engine that can make or break a flight. So, we rounded up a few of general knowledge must-haves that new aircraft owners should know to avoid costly repairs and deadly mistakes:
WHAT IT’S MADE OF
There are two most common materials used when crafting mufflers, the stainless and Inconel. Without further scrutiny, these two will be confusing to tell apart. More often than not, newbie mechanics fail to differentiate which is which unless chemical and stress tests are done.
It is essential to know what kind of mufflers you have to determine how you should maintain and repair them. This is not only for mufflers, but all other parts of the aircraft. An owner should know what the components are made to avoid problems in the future.
With those things said, there are some inspection tips that we’d like to share to serve as your ultimate guide in knowing your plane’s exhaust more.
First of all, do a thorough observation of your mufflers—check how it sounds, double check the smoke level, and look at the lubrication of the parts.
If there is something unusual, you can start removing the shields and shrouds, so the mechanism inside is revealed. Once this is done, you can check for cracks, leaks, and loose parts. If you think there is a leak, you might have to conduct a pressure test so you can see which parts need plugging or sealing. You can also use this method to repair cracks. As for loose components, be sure to fasten them tighter before closing the mufflers again.
Mufflers look like a massive puzzle for everyone, especially for high-end planes like the Mooney Aircraft. With a complex structure, it could sometimes be ironic that the repairs we want to get are quick and easy, yet we try so hard to find complex components we think will fit and solve our exhaust’s problem. Be on guard and never force any parts of the elements to fit. Doing this can cause an even bigger problem than the ones we are trying to solve.
It is also not wise to use the same gasket twice. Be sure to replace gaskets after a single use. Properly align components especially if it is an OEM because neglecting so can cause a mismatch and can be fatal for a flight.
Be sure to do a last look on all installed hardware and clamps for wear, pitting, or heat stress and replace all of them if necessary. Do not wait until it is no longer functional. At the first sign of a problem, replace or repair your component.
If you are a proud owner of an aircraft, be sure to look for a partner that can maintain your plane and can provide you with parts and components. With Knisley Exhaust, our partners have access to a pool of aircraft experts and extensive inventory of parts and components.
Send us an inquiry, and we will be happy to help.