Next Article in Journal
Using a Drone to Search for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)
Next Article in Special Issue
Numerical Study of a Direct Injection Internal Combustion Engine Burning a Blend of Hydrogen and Dimethyl Ether
Previous Article in Journal
Effective Exploration for MAVs Based on the Expected Information Gain
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Powerplant Reliability Issues and Wear Monitoring in Aircraft Piston Engines. Part II: Engine Diagnostic

DIN-Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna (BO), Italy
Drones 2018, 2(1), 10;
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Propulsion)
PDF [771 KB, uploaded 7 March 2018]


This paper introduces a method to efficiently monitor the status of a piston engine during flight. ECUs (Electronic Control Units) make it possible to fly safely without emergencies or urgencies with random electronic failures of components and connections. The same can be easily done on older engines by adding a reliable digital monitoring system and an automated calibration of the carburetors. In fact, their reliability is several order of magnitude inferior to modern turboshafts. In modern engines with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) as the “on” button is pressed the sensors and actuators are checked. The CPUs will then run start-up during the cranking phase (engine running without ignition). If everything is all right, then the engine starts and the post start checks are also performed. During flight, the ECU checks CPUs, sensors and actuators. Therefore, the electronic system can be monitored with high reliability without much effort. The sensors may crosscheck the engine situation and may output very reliable early diagnosis of incoming failures. Statistical data on spare parts are invaluable for monitoring application, signaling weak or not-lasting components and failure modes. This is another advantage of automotive piston engines conversions to aircraft use. View Full-Text
Keywords: piston engine; aircraft; reliability; monitoring piston engine; aircraft; reliability; monitoring

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Piancastelli, L. Powerplant Reliability Issues and Wear Monitoring in Aircraft Piston Engines. Part II: Engine Diagnostic. Drones 2018, 2, 10.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Drones EISSN 2504-446X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top