View Full Version : Looking for tutorial for reading gauges (engine temp, manafold pressure, etc.)

11-18-2007, 07:30 AM
Although the basic version of FB has some basic descriptions of the guages in the cockpit, I still have trouble reading the overall situation of my plane - i.e. my engine is smoking and I'm not sure if its critical and need to bail, land ASAP, or can continue with the mission with time to return to base later. I also fly B-17 by Microprose and the engine gauges are fully explained so that you can make adjustments (open cowls to cool engine temp, etc). I looked on the "Sturmovik Essentials" page and on other links, but found nothing. Are there any pilots out there that can describe how to read (and translate into action) the engine gauges?
Thanks in advance.

11-18-2007, 07:46 AM
As far as needing to land/bail/etc, you generally don't need to read any of the gauges. The types of smoke have very definite and specific effects.

Light thin smoke from engine: No noticeable effect for duration of mission.

Heavier smoke from oil cooler: About 5-10 min of normal operation followed by a grinding noise with gradual reduction of RPM for about 5 min, followed by seizure.

Heavy black smoke from fuel tank or engine: Imminent fire.

Fire: If from the engine; plane is about to explode. If from fuel tank, you can continue flying until you run out of gas (unless your pilot is burning, then you should probably bail out).

If your engine is dangerously hot, you will see an 'engine overheat' message. If this is left unchecked for 5-10 minutes, it will cause a gradual reduction in RPM for about 5 minutes followed by seizure. Overheat damage is irreversible once it has begun.

The overheat message appears when the oil temp or water temp exceeds a defined 'overheat' value, over which the engine can be damaged if sustained for too long. These values are different for each plane.

If you are climbing and you find the RPM and manifold pressure is unusually low, you may need to shift to the next supercharger stage.

Other than that, the gauges will not say anything useful. They just go up when you increase power, and down when you decrease it. Unusual numbers will suggest that something is wrong.

The sound of the engine is most important to determine it's health. The louder the grinding noise, the less time it will run for. If there is a correlation between throttle setting and damaged engine life, I have not noticed it.

11-18-2007, 01:23 PM
Hi DCO57.

If, like me, you enjoy managing the engine in order to keep it sweet (cool) for those times when abuse is called for - i.e. in a fight - then the gauges are very useful.
Different settings for throttle and rpm are set by them according to the situation. Climbing, cruising, when to 'change gear', descending, joining the circuit and landing all have different power and rpm settings if you want them to.

If you're interested in using gauges, you could start looking here for relevant historical 'pilot's notes':


and 'IL2 compare' is also very useful:

A damaged engine can be preserved to run for longer than it otherwise might. Reducing the throttle and rpm to maximum cruise settings for the altitude you're at can reduce the speed at which it deteriorates. It all rather depends on the nature and extent of the damage though.

Keep the engine sweet, and you'll never overheat! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif