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starters and generators

Asked by: 2092 views General Aviation

i would like to know the basics of what comprises a starter and a generator.

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2 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Apr 03, 2012

    Can you be a little more specific?
    Starters can be electric or air starters or in the case of a 1930 WACO I fly, my hands and arms.
    Can also be a combination unit as in a starter-generator on a turbine engine.
    Do you have a certain airplane/engine in mind?

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  2. Curtis Ide on Apr 12, 2012

    A starter/generator is a dc electric motor that can use power to turn or when turned can produce power.  They use a armature wrapped in a metal coil and a magnet all attached to an axle.  By powering the metal coil you can cause the magnet to move thus causing the axle to rotate and on a starter/generator you can then move the axle and cause the magnet to move which causes the coil to power. 
    Generators are pretty common – you see generators in lawn mowers where the spinning of the engine creates power to make its own spark.  In shake flashlights that create power as the magnet runs through the coil and is stored in a rechargable batter, and many more.
    To take this a step further an alternator is essentially the same as a generator except it allows you to add electricity to the magnet which can create a stronger or weaker magnetic field.  Many cars and airplanes use alternators because they can create constant output at a wide variety of engine rpms.
    Hope this helps.

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