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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/063541
Kind Code:
An inverted aricraft i.c. piston engine (10), such as a two-stroke, compression-ignition (diesel), incorporates a lubricant (oil) and/or coolant heat exchanger (20), mounted upon the engine, below an exposed crankshaft (13), and/or enclosed crankshaft housing (12), adjacent a propeller mounting location (17).

Wilksch, Mark Conrad (8 Partridge Close Buckingham Bucks MK18 7HH, GB)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
October 26, 2000
Filing Date:
April 19, 2000
Export Citation:
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SENECA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED (P.O. Box 107 Oceanic House Grand Turk, TC)
Wilksch, Mark Conrad (8 Partridge Close Buckingham Bucks MK18 7HH, GB)
International Classes:
F01M11/06; F01P3/18; F02B39/14; F02B67/10; F01M1/12; F02B3/06; F02B75/02; (IPC1-7): F01P3/18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wilksch, Mark Conrad (8 Partridge Close Buckingham Bucks MK18 7HH, GB)
Wilksch, Mark Conrad (8 Partridge Close Buckingham Bucks MK18 7HH, GB)
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1. An inverted'engine with a lubricant (oil), and/or coolant, heat exchanger, or radiator, mounted to the engine, below an exposed crankshaft, or enclosed crankshaft housing, adjacent to a propeller mounting location.
2. An inverted'engine as claimed in Claim 1, with a lubricant (oil) and/or coolant heat exchanger, shaped to fit around a crankshaft, or crankshaft housing, adjacent to a propeller mounting location.
3. An inverted'engine, according to either Claim 1 or 2, where the heat exchanger comprises an integrated assembly, of multiple individual sections.
4. An inverted'engine, according to any of Claims 1 through 3, with compliant mountings, between heat exchanger and engine.
5. An inverted'engine, according to any of Claims 1 through 4, with noncompliant, or rigid, mountings, between heat exchanger and engine.
6. An inverted'engine, according to any of Claims 1 through 5, with (rigid and/or compliant) heat exchanger mountings, incorporating coolant transfer passages, to interconnect engine and heat exchanger.
7. An inverted'engine, according to any of Claims 1 through 6, with a heat exchanger mounted directly upon an engine casing.
8. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for aircraft propulsion, driving a tractor propeller, mounted at one crankshaft end, and disposed whereby cooling air, flows through the heat exchanger in a direction generally parallel to the engine crankshaft axis (or at a modest inclination to it) then to an engine bay.
9. An inverted'aircraft engine, according to Claims 1 through 7, configured for a pusher propeller, with air flow initially past the engine then through the heat exchanger in a direction generally parallel to the engine crankshaft axis (or at a modest inclination to it) before passage through the propeller.
10. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for exclusive or partial liquid cooling.
11. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for at least partial air cooling.
12. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for a twostroke combustion cycle.
13. An inverted'engine, according to any of Claims 1 through 11, configured for fourstroke combustion cycle.
14. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for compression ignition.
15. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, configured for spark ignition.
16. An inverted'engine according to any of the preceding claims, with an inline configuration.
17. An inverted'engine, according to any of the preceding claims, with a mutuallyinclined cylinder bank configuration, such as a 'V'or a'W', allowing for multiple inline cylinders in a bank.
18. An inverted'engine, substantially as hereinbefore described, with reference to, and as shown in, the accompanying drawings.
INVERTED AIRCRAFT ENGINE CONFIGURATION-RADIATOR LOCATION This invention relates to various aspects of internal combustion (i. c.) engine orientation, the disposition of engine ancillaries and their constructive combination, in particular coolant system heat exchanger location and installation for an inverted engine, in particular one configured for aircraft propulsion.

TERMINOLOGY RADIATOR The term'radiator'is used herein to embrace any form of heat exchanger, and is not restricted to a particular form or mode of heat transfer-and in fact radiation is not a significant mode, compared with conduction and convection.

A particular example is a liquid/air radiator, with a honeycomb matrix of vanes-of large collective surface area-about a convoluted network of tubular flow passages, between a supply tank and a collection tank.

Heat transfer is primarily by conduction and (forced) convection to a (generally forced) air flow across the vanes and flow passages.

BACKGROUND ENGINE CONFIGURATION The diversity of (multi-) cylinder configurations, for (aircraft) piston engines-typically with a single, common crankshaft- include, for example: * a single-file row (ie an'in-line'configuration) ; multiple, discrete,'angularly-splayed', or angularly offset,'rows' (albeit there may be only one cylinder in each'row')-such as a'V'or'W'configuration; * in rows opposed, either horizontally, vertically, or at some other angle (eg. a flat'configuration); individually, around a common crankshaft axis, generally equi-angularly spaced, in one or more planes (eg a'radial' configuration).

There have been some engines with multiple crankshafts-for example, with cylinders arranged in an'H' (in effect, two flat'engines, sharing a single common crank-case), or with two pistons per cylinder, working in opposition, in various 'opposed-piston'arrangements.

It is known to invert'an in-line', or'V', configuration-so that the cylinders are below the crankshaft.

A prime advantage of such engine inversion, for aircraft propeller propulsion, is that the crankshaft sits high (er) on the engine-and so a propeller mounted directly upon it will be farther from the ground.

At critical flight phases of take-off and landing, it is important to maintain adequate clearance between propeller and ground.

The object is to reduce the chance of accidental propeller damage, allowing for undercarriage travel and fuselage forward tipping moment about the undercarriage.

Other ways to improve ground clearance include: * lengthening the undercarriage, in order to raise the whole aircraft further from the ground; * reducing the diameter of the propeller; and 'raisin the engine installation in the aircraft -but all have their drawbacks.

It is thus well-established for smaller aircraft, that use 'directly-driven'propellers (ie mounted directly upon a crankshaft end), to use an inverted'engine arrangement.

HEAT EXCHANGER OR"RADIATOR"LOCATION Waste heat from an i. c. engine has to be transferred to its surroundings, in one way or another.

For most engines, (except in marine use) the only convenient way to dispose of this heat is to transfer it to the surrounding air.

Such heat transfer can be directly from the engine components (ie air-cooling')-in which case the components are usually made with fins, to provide a greater surface area for heat transfer, by conduction and convection.

Heat transfer can also be through intermediate fluid-eg oil, water, ethylene glycol circulated around the various parts of the engine, in order to collect heat, then passed to a heat exchanger, or (loosely, radiator'), where the heat is transferred to the air.

The extra complexity of providing an intermediate fluid for cooling is a disadvantage, but it enables a reduction in the temperatures of key components, thus allowing a given size engine to be made more powerful, more reliable and longer- lasting.

It is essential that the cooling system be made extremely reliable, since engine componentry that is not effectively cooled will overheat and fail rapidly.

The heat exchanger (or radiator) usually comprises a series of finned tubes and fluid collectors at each end of these tubes.

The fins provide the large surface area required for transfer of the heat, by convection to the air.

The radiator may be made in discreet sections (each of which may comprise a number of tubes and their associated fins), which are then assembled into a single unit.

Typically a fan, or multiple fans, are used to increase the velocity of the air over the fins of the radiator-hence improving the heat transfer coefficient and allowing a smaller radiator to be used.

For vehicles, the movement of the vehicle may be sufficient to provide the relative air velocity, although a fan, or multiple fans, are often used as well.

In the specific case of aircraft engines, the velocity of the aircraft once flying is usually high enough that a fan is not necessary.

The air-displacement, thrust action of a propeller itself provides a very convenient high velocity flow of air, that can easily be used to advantage-especially when the aircraft is stationary on the ground, or has a low airspeed when climbing.

The engine lubricating oil is not usually the primary coolant, but often becomes hot, because of its contact with the high temperature components in the heart of the engine and the frictional heat that is generated at various component sliding contact surfaces.

Engine oil is thus often cooled by its own dedicated cooler- which may transfer the heat directly to the air, in a heat exchanger radiator'or to an intermediate fluid, and thence to the air.

Many different locations for coolant and oil cooling'radiators' have been adopted.

Whilst a lubricant (oil) radiator'is generally smaller, and is often mounted to the engine assembly, a coolant radiator'is usually mounted elsewhere upon the airframe, eg under the fuselage, inside the fuselage, under, or inside, the wing structure.

Smaller inverted'aircraft engines have often been air-cooled, with no requirement for a coolant radiator'.

Where a lubricant (oil) radiator'has been used, it is generally mounted towards the rear of the engine, or upon the airframe remote from the engine.

Some'flat' (horizontally opposed) engines have used oil radiator'locations below and beside the engine crankshaft axis, and toward the front of the engine.

Larger inverted'engines have been liquid-cooled, but with radiators'for coolant and lubricant (oil) mounted upon the airframe, remote from the engine.

STATEMENT OF INVENTION According to the invention, a fluid coolant heat exchanger, such as a radiator matrix or honeycomb, is mounted directly upon an engine or engine casing, at a location below a crankshaft axis, of an inverted'i. c. engine.

In practice, the coolant fluid is a liquid, conveniently water, albeit with corrosion and freezing inhibitor agents, such as alcohol, or ethylene glycol.

Alternatively, for severe low-temperature duty an entirely synthetic coolant may be employed.

Such a radiator location is conveniently adopted with special, or dedicated engine features, eg a (forward) extension of the crankshaft and crankcase (nose), to allow room for the radiator and associated airstream.

Although this involves some additional engine cost and complexity, considerable benefits accrue to an integrated engine cooling system-which have (albeit, surprisingly) been found to outweigh'apparent'disadvantages.

The radiator can be used for cooling either coolant, lubricant (oil), or both (on a combined unit)-so the heat exchanger location is applicable to either a primarily liquid or air- cooled (inverted'i. c.) engine.

The radiator can be conveniently attached to the engine structure, either directly, or indirectly, by compliant mountings, that help prevent, absorb, or suppress, transmission of (potentially) damaging vibration from the engine structure.

Thus, the mountings 34,35 depicted diagrammatically in Figure 1 could incorporate resiliently deformable bushes and/or flexible straps, hangars or ties.

In this way reliance need not be placed upon any surrounding airframe or other structure, and the engine and radiator constitute a compact, self-contained, integrated, module.

Such (compliant) mountings can desirably incorporate passages for the transfer of coolant, between engine and radiator.

The location according to the invention allows conveniently short and direct connection of fluid lines (if required) between engine and radiator-with the benefits of reduced cost, installation time and skill and reduced risk of leaks. For aircraft, risk reduction is of paramount importance.

Further, it allows direct passage of cooling air, from behind a propeller'disk', through the radiator-without the need for additional ducting.

The radiator can desirably have extensions, in order to make use of any available space around the front of the engine-with bespoke complementary profiling, to fit around other auxiliaries.

With a radiator mounted directly upon the engine structure, with or without compliant mountings, direct connecting passages can be used-eliminating hoses, other fittings, or connections, with reduction in cost, installation time, and risk of fluid leakage.

On'pusher'aircraft types, where the propeller is at the rear of the engine, air can first be ducted into the engine compartment-and exit through the radiator, for onward flow through the propeller disk.

There now follows a description of some particular embodiments of the invention, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic and schematic drawings, in which: Figure 1 shows a side view of a radiator mounted to an inverted' (turbocharged) aircraft engine; Figures 2 and 3 show an engine with radiator mounted upon resilient mountings; and Figure 4 shows an engine with radiator suitably shaped to fit around the crank-case extension.

The engine 10, comprises (among other numerous smaller parts) a sump 30 attached to a cylinder head 16, to which is also attached an exhaust manifold 22 carrying a turbo-supercharger 24.

The cylinder head is itself attached to the crank-case 14, which is closed at its upper face by a crank-cover 11.

The crank-case 14 and crank-cover 11 both have extensions 12, which support (through bearings) the crankshaft 13, which is extended beyond the faces of the crank-case 14 and crank-cover 11 and terminates in a flange 17 which may be used to connect to a propeller (not shown) or the like.

The space beneath the crank-case/crank-cover extensions 12 is used for a radiator 20, which is mounted via mounts to the crank-case and/or cylinder head and/or crank-cover.

Coolant passes between the radiator 20 and the rest of the engine via passages 18.

Intermediate brackets 34 & 35, may be placed between the radiator mounts and the engine casings or between the radiator and the radiator mounts as appropriate.

Here the radiator 20, is supported by resilient mounts 23 and 25, which are attached to the crank-case extension 12, by suitable fasteners (not shown).

The crankshaft 13 carries a hub 17 for the attachment of a suitable propeller 19 (shown in part) for propulsion of an aircraft (not shown).

The coolant passages 18 transfer the coolant between the radiator and the rest of the engine.

In figure 4 the components are very similar to those of the previous figures except that the radiator 20 is extended up and to each side of the crank-case/crank-cover extensions 12; the radiator extensions at 31 & 32 providing extra area for passage of the cooling air.

By this means a greater amount of waste heat may be removed from the coolant either to allow for a higher power output from the engine, or to allow for adverse conditions, such as are encountered in hotter climates.

Figure 5 shows an engine with a radiator mounted direct to the structure, and with coolant passages transferring coolant directly between the two.

The radiator 20 has a flange or flanges (or other suitable connection points) which are clamped to the crank-cover 11 (or crank-case 14) extension 12 by fasteners 29.

In this case the coolant passages 18 may be internal to the crank-case/crank-cover extension 12 so removing any need for external'coolant pipes or hoses.

The aforementioned features apply to an engine of generally inverted'configuration that could in addition (but not exclusively) include any of the following features: two, or four-stroke combustion cycles; * high, or low-mounted camshafts; * multiple cylinders; * compression-ignition ('diesel') combustion; * spark-ignition combustion; * liquid fuel (eg gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas); or * gaseous fuel.

* Integral sump lubrication (also know as"wet"sump lubrication).

* A lubrication system using a separate sump or oil catch tank (also known as"dry"sump lubrication).

* A mechanically-driven super-charger, or multiple super- chargers.

A super-charger or turbo-super-charger or combinations thereof.

* A downstream turbine geared to provide extra power to the crankshaft (usually known as'turbo-compounding').

By placing the radiator at the front (for tractor' installations) good air flow through the radiator is obtained by direct pitot'recovery of dynamic pressure from the free airsteam with out the need for additional ducting or a plenum chamber.

A pitot'pressure recovery scheme has the advantage that good effectiveness of cooling flow can be achieved without the need for a plenum chamber with associated baffles and sealing strips.

Thereby a particularly simple and advantageous installation can be achieved, significantly reducing cost.

In addition the radiator position advantageously allows heated air to flow from the radiator thence over other parts of the engine assembly such as the exhaust system and turbocharger (if fitted) thereby cooling these components without the need for provision of additional localised cooling.

Because the air from the radiator is still relatively cooler than the exhaust system components, this air is effective in cooling exhaust components despite being a waste'product of the primary engine cooling system.

COMPONENT LIST 10 i. c. engine 11 crank-case 12 forward crank-case/crank-cover extension 13 crankshaft extension 14 cylinder block 16 cylinder head 17 propeller mount 18 passages 19 propeller 20 radiator/heat exchanger 22 exhaust manifold 23 radiator mounting stay 24 turbo-charger 25 resilient mounting 29 fastener 30 sump 31 radiator extension 32 radiator extension 34 radiator (to engine) mounting 35 radiator (to engine) mounting