Can you start a single engine propeller airplane without battery power?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yep, no battery is needed as those engines use a magneto to provide the spark. The process is called "propping" and is very dangerous for obvious reasons.

    Source(s): Have propped C150s several times.
  • 1 decade ago

    Of course you can. None of the WW1 aircraft had batteries.

    All aircraft engines have magnetos (two actually), so no battery power is required for the ignition. Turn the mags on, prime the engine with fuel, and swing the prop (with someone holding the brakes or the aircraft tied down).

    I have started several aircraft by hand-proping and some semi-modern aircraft (like the Taylorcraft or Aeronca) originally didn't have batteries or electric start.

    Source(s): Commercial pilot, aircraft mechanic
  • 1 decade ago

    can't you just start it by turning the prop?

    My dad owned an old 1947 airplane that he started by grabbing the prop with both hands and and pulled it down kinda like a kick start. Dad also had a model single engine prop plane that he started with his finger. It did not use a battery.

    Source(s): dad owned airplanes and a bubble helicopter and model airplanes
  • 1 decade ago

    Sure, have done it many times. It's called "Propping". I suppose trying to prop a P/W R4360 would be a problem, but small engines are easy. I used to prop my Inverted Ranger (190 hp) when the battery was dead. My ole 7AC had a 65 hp, and no 65 hp had a starter (to my knowledge). starters didn't come in until the 85 hp engines.

    Source(s): Been there, done that
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  • 1 decade ago

    Ummmmm, only if it (I think) has one of those "manual crank points" (located somewhere at the front or back of aaaaa... a Model-T Ford). If your Petro-Prop plane does have a Manual Crank Point (or whatever its called), then you better have good muscles and a crank handle made of good, strong metal that will last 'cos you are gonna do a heck of a lotta cranking-up.

    By the way I should also add that it could be a dangerous task (injuries gallore): how will you avoid the prop when it follows suit (successful crank-start)? Safe cranking.

    Hey, just use the magnetos and forget about this long story I just gave. It'll save you so much. Happy propping.

    Source(s): Witnessed a friend manually crank-up his diesel generator to supply power to his house during one of those frequent power failures normally experienced in Nigeria.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. You can grab the prop and spin it by hand. Just be ready to move fast if/when the engine fires.

    Source(s): I was once told a story about a man who handpropped a big, radial cropduster engine and it cut him in two when it caught. Mr. Tootle was his name. May he rest in peace.
  • 1 decade ago

    Sure just move your Leg in motion with the Prop, and move backward in a calm manner.

  • 1 decade ago

    not really. only if its hooked up to a Ground Power Unit. there has to be some source of electricity to start it.

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