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Single engine loiter!?


Supersheep
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Found this on en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/A-10C:

 

Combat radius:

On CAS mission: 250 nmi (288 mi, 460 km) at 1.88 hour single-engine loiter at 5,000 ft (1,500 m), 10 min combat

 

Do they really pull one engine to idle, and retard the other throttle until they're almost stalling? And that gives so much extra waiting time over the area??

 

 

A bit puzzled,

Supersheep

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Not that I've ever heard of. Makes little sense either.

 

They do indeed reduce speed to best endurance to maximise loiter though, but by reducing thrust on both engines, not idling one of them.

 

Best endurance is achieved by flying with the AoA in the second white band on the AoA gauge.

 

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I saw that a few weeks ago as well and tried it in the sim out of curiosity. I can't remember what alt I was at, but the total fuel flow in the single engine case (after proper trim adjustments) was a bit greater than the dual engine case for a given airspeed (max endurance according to the AoA gauge). I think I completely shut the engine down though, I'm not sure if it would be different at idle.

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If you shut down you will also loose one of the hydraulic systems together with one side of the elevator-rudder control.

added to that, you will have much more drag that you have to compensate. With less ruder, there is even more drag.

 

I just did some flight testing:

-"standard" loadout of the a-10 loitering.

-5000ft

-147kts IAS

 

2engines --> 2x1200 pph --> 2400pph

1engline idle --> 300+2200 pph -->2500pph

 

So the added drag in this simulation is good for 100pph of fuel.

 

Point is that it doesn´t make any sence. Trimming the AC to forward flight is a PIA when adjusting the throttle. Maybe i will add some trials when loiting in an orbit. So idle down the inner engine. That can reduce some trimming, but i don´t think it will be better than running both engines....

 

I did also some short studies around. I find no indication of doing this, so i removed the "single-engine" text from wikipedia. Correct me if i am wrong...

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