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Old 09-19-2018, 11:20 AM
azrv6's Avatar
azrv6 azrv6 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 132
Default Bungee Starting

The battery in the RV6 was dead this morning so I decided to give bungee starting a try:

It usually takes a couple of people to pull the bungee, and I'm still looking for volunteers!

Just joking of course, but here is the rest of the story.

My dad was an Air Force pilot for 25 years and flew in the Pacific theater in the late 1940's into the early 1950's. He left several photo albums with pictures of remote airfields, different planes, etc. Amongst those photos I found this one:

I was always curious about this picture. Then yesterday, while thumbing through some old issues of Vintage Airplane magazine I came across an article from May 1998 written by Hank Palmer titled Bungee Starting.

Here is a link to a pdf file of the article.

A picture of the article:

Some paragraphs from the article:

I have used a bungee to start everything from a Stearman to the Hellcat, and in the 1950's when I was flying C-46s in air freight service all over Central and South America we always carried one in the belly, along with a spare set of spark plugs and a spare mag. To start these bigger engines it usually takes four men to stretch it, or in most cases we used a Jeep.

It is also important for the person or persons pulling the bungee that they line up just slightly ahead of the rotational plane of the blades, so it will lay across the hub, on top of the hub (or spinner if it has one), but will not be caught by a blade and wind up in the prop when the engine starts. Failing to keep the bungee and line clear of the prop could have dire consequences.

The person pulling the bungee will be standing right in line to be hit on the head by the boot after it leaves the prop tip, so he needs to be ready to duck. I never saw anybody hurt in this way.

Now I understand the picture.
Dave Binkley
RV-6, O-360-A1A, C/S
1932 Monocoupe 110, Warner 145 (
Sedona, AZ
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:45 PM
HFS HFS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lemoore, CA
Posts: 236
Default Crop Duster Pull Start

Do a YouTube search for this.

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Old 09-19-2018, 07:54 PM
Aluminum Aluminum is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 196

What could possibly go wrong.
Dan V
'91 Zodiac flying since 2013
RV-14A in progress
2019 dues worth every penny
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:42 AM
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G-force G-force is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Castaic, CA
Posts: 528

Amatuers, try this!
Mike Sumner
Castaic, Ca
2018 dues paid
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:52 AM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 1,716

My Bro used to say they would start the RR Griffon on a Shackleton using sandbags when down route if they had issues......
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2018
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:32 AM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,167
Default Bungee

Paul Poberezny with some helpers used to start the DC3 with a rope.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:04 PM
teamvizsla teamvizsla is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Apple Valley, MN
Posts: 2

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Old 09-20-2018, 02:23 PM
JimRice JimRice is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 93
Default Re: Bungee Starting

IIRC, in the C-47 manual, the USAAF had an emergency start procedure using a rope wrapped around the prop dome and pulled by whatever was available, typically several people.
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:49 PM
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G-force G-force is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Castaic, CA
Posts: 528

Just don't be this guy:
Mike Sumner
Castaic, Ca
2018 dues paid
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