What is a McDowell engine starter?

engine mcdowell starter
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What is a McDowell engine starter?

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There is no electrical system or starter on the C65 and earlier engines. The McDowell starter was a handle on the left side along the boot cowl with a cable. That pulled a ratchet that engaged a gear behind the prop. It would only pull the engine over top dead center, hence you needed to properly prime the engine and set the prop before climbing into cockpit. This system required at least one impulse magneto.

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