View Full Version : oil leaks

06-16-2005, 11:17 PM
So, here's something that has always puzzled me with our DM.

If you get an oil leak (dark trail behind the plane), you will eventually destroy your engine. All fine and acceptable, you can always make an analogy to a car.

But when running out of oil in a car, the engine seizure is almost instant. It takes only few seconds between the time you start losing oil and the time the engine is damaged beyond repair. Now of course, our cars have only few liters of oil, but these are also smaller engines. I think that it is still in relative proportions to an airplane engine.

Now, where am I getting at ? Our planes get an oil leak and continue to fly and fight unhindered. For minutes literally ! How realistic is that ? If a cannon round made a hole in your engine block and you are losing oil (usually pumped under pressure), how long would it take to drain it ? Certainly not 5 minutes of combat and RTB, as is the case here.

Anyone knowledgeable ?

06-16-2005, 11:28 PM
I remember something about IL-2s flying for long periods with punctured radiators. Oleg commented that, in the game, the engine siezes much quicker than historical. They can go long periods without oil.

06-17-2005, 12:42 AM
I seem to remember an experiment being done where a car was driven without any oil in it whatsoever. It was a while ago, and I've forgotten all the details, but from what I remember they wanted to see if it could get all the way around the block before the engine seized.

It went around quite a few times before finally grinding to a halt. I don't remember how many times, but it was a surprisingly large number. I think it took around 15 minutes to die, but I really wish I could remember the specifics. Does anyone else remember something like this?

I'd imagine that a big wartime radial would be a bit tougher than the engine in a cheap American car from the 90's...

06-17-2005, 07:24 AM
All the oil isn't going to go immediately leaking out the hole like you put a BB through the bottom of a milk jug.

Oil is thick and stays on the parts, but after a while of it not being pumped back onto those same parts it moves around doesn't protect as well anymore.

It also all varies on the size of the leak.

There are pictures of P47s that have their entire fuselage covered in oil with noticeable damage to the engine nacelle, but they are back at their base.

06-17-2005, 10:49 AM
There was an experiment some years ago done by one of the synthetic motor oil manufacturers in the UK. They filled a car engine with their stuff, drove it a few miles to spread it around nicely, then drained it all out. Thene they drove the car from London to Birmingham - about 100 miles. Not sure what state the engine was in when it got there, but it made it.....