The effect of humidity on engine power at altitude

Brooks, D G Garlock, E A

From tests made in the altitude chamber of the Bureau of Standards, it was found that the effect of humidity on engine power is the same at altitudes up to 25,000 feet as at sea level. Earlier tests on automotive engines, made under sea-level conditions, showed that water vapor acts as an inert diluent, reducing engine power in proportion to the amount of vapor present. By combining the effects of atmospheric pressure, temperature, and humidity, it is shown that the indicated power obtainable from an engine is proportional to its mass rate of consumption of oxygen. This has led the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to adopt a standard basis for the correction of engine performance, in which the effect of humidity is included.

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