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How to lean the mixture in a piston aircraft!

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  • How to lean the mixture in a piston aircraft!

    If you have participated in a group flight that had older piston style aircraft or just like to fly smaller aircraft but never understood how to properly lean the aircraft, this is for you! Now to clear this up a bit, not knowing how to properly lean the mixture on a piston powered aircraft is nothing to be embarrassed about. Many people think that proper leaning of the air/fuel mixture is some overly complex thing that requires hours upon hours of ground school training. The truth is, it's quite simple and while there are more complex ways to do fuel mixture leaning that might bring slightly better performance, this following video will give you everything you need to properly and safely set the fuel mixture in any piston powered aircraft.



    I hope this video was as informative and easy to understand for you as it was for me, this video helped me impress my flight instructor on one of my more recent flights as of this posting. If you have any comments and or questions regarding the tuning of the mixure please feel free to reply.
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    "Remember, when in doubt hold on to your altitude, no one has ever collided with the sky"

    "Speed is life, Altitude is life insurance"

    "Respect the ground, for during the 100 or so years that man has been flying things made of metal going hundreds of miles per hour, and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose."

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  • #2
    For FSX pilots, here are a couple of really quick ways to keep your fuel-air mixture ratio at its most efficient.

    FSX assumes that the most desirable fuel-air mixture ratio for piston engines at all normal altitudes is 83 mills, or 8.3%. Between 75 and 91 mills, FSX will not complain. Outside that range, FSX will suggest you need to change the mixture. Outside the range of roughly 60 to 100 mills, your engine may stop entirely.

    The first way to keep an eye on your mixture leaning is to fit my mixture computer. You'll find it on many of the freeware aircraft that used to be on my OneDrive and it's easy to copy over to other aircraft (if you know anything about panel.cfg files). There was a colored version and a monochrome version. The trick with using this gauge is simply to keep adjusting your mixture so the needle is pointing vertically upward! Here are the dials of the two versions minus the needles:



    The second way is to use this gauge to create a reference strip on your throttle quadrant. Here's one on mine, next to the red mixture lever. It's calibrated in altitudes, and I just set the mixture lever against my current altitude, whether or not I have a mixture computer fitted.

    Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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    • #3
      Great info, i knew most of this, but some I didnt, great refresher! Thanks.

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      • #4
        On planes with an exhaust gas temperature gage (EGT) I just play with the mixture while monitoring the exhaust temp. Adjust mixture for max exhaust temp. Too rich and the EGT will be lowered from the peak. Too lean and the temp will be lowered as well. Makes sense since unburned fuel cools the exhaust gases. The reason that the temp is lowered when the engine is too lean is that the engine is not burning enough fuel to reach peak EGT.

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        • #5
          Where can I find the lambda gauges? I have downloaded and installed an auto lean program that gives idle cutoff, auto lean, auto rich and emergency rich, but, it doesn't have any gauge display.

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          • #6
            Would it be lazy, or just old-school, that I just adjust mixture by the sound of my engine, and second by my max fuel flow? May not be as precise, but its always gotten me by without harm. Awesome gauges, Storm... will have to play around and see if I can work em in!


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