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Is it ever too cold aloft / what to expect from the cabin heater?

I fly a P210 Silver Eagle which has a quite poor heating. It’s getting quite cold and the windows are iced up when I cruise in FL200 which is my usual cruising level. So I looked for some kind of additional electrical / rechargeable heater. I found this one but would be interested if anyone has other recommendations.

Thanks, Andreas


Andreas, you don’t have bleed air heating?

EGTK Oxford

I have but it’s not getting very warm. It seems to be a recurring problem but that forum is almost dead. I’ll try the suggestions I found there.

Last Edited by Muelli at 18 Nov 12:57

I can’t read the German but it says 8A at 12V which is only 100W, which is nothing for a cockpit. It would be OK for anti-frost for the windows while parked, but I can’t see 100W doing anything useful in flight.

For the Janitrol heaters they talk about 100k to 600k BTUs/hr which equates to 30kW for the smallest one! That amazes me… You can heat an entire 5-bedroom house with 30kW, easily. But when we discussed the fuel flows involved here a while ago it does sound about right, because 0.5-1.0 USG/hr would empty my 1000 litre oil tank at home in a few months. Still, it does amaze me that a pressurised cockpit would be needing that much heat.

Before I typed the above, my order of magnitude guess for the maximum output of the TB20 heater (if you can call it that – it’s the usual exhaust jacket kind of thing) was about 5kW but maybe that guess is too low in view of the above figures. And my TB20 doesn’t have any massively obvious draughts… the avionics cooling fan output gets dumped into the cockpit (via the gaps between the centre stack instruments) and if the OAT is say -20C that air is still very cold when it enters the cockpit.

Come to think of it… next time my house oil boiler needs yet another service, I ought to replace it with an old Janitrol heater which is about 1/10 of the size

Last Edited by Peter at 18 Nov 12:52
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, Peter, it’s just to deice the windows and to warm the feets of the rear passengers.


Here is how the window looks sometimes:


Sounds like a problem with the bleed air system or a design issue. Any turbine should have enough heat in the bleed system that it can heat a small GA cabin easily.

EGTK Oxford

I can’t believe 100W is going to do more than warm up somebody’s big toe…

There is something funny going on here.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That heater is with a rechargeable battery, no way that it could heat your windows. This is a toy, which is meant to defrost a car window at -2C.
You need a more powerful heater. On the other side of your windscreen is -20, -30C or less.
I face the same issue. Up to -15 OAT my heating is ok, but below that it is just too cold to fly, let alone flying 3 to 4 hrs.
Yes; I tried thermal underwear, still too cold.

Something like this

But where to get 2.5 to 4kW in an aeroplane.?

Last Edited by mdoerr at 18 Nov 15:00
EGBE - Coventry, United Kingdom

You won’t. That’s why I thought of a rechargeable heater. But it seems to be useless. Anyway, the solution is with the bleed air. There’s something not ok as the turbine should actually produce enough. I have to check that.

Checked that. I have a RR helicopter turbine which doesn’t produce enough bleed air in FL200 so that’s the reason why it’s cold in the cabin.

Last Edited by Muelli at 18 Nov 15:11
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