Reciprocating Engine Lubrication Systems – Dry Sump Oil System

in Lubrication and Cooling Systems

Many reciprocating and turbine aircraft engines have pressure dry sump lubrication systems. The oil supply in this type of system is carried in a tank. A pressure pump circulates the oil through the engine. Scavenger pumps then return it to the tank as quickly as it accumulates in the engine sumps. The need for a separate supply tank is apparent when considering the complications that would result if large quantities of oil were carried in the engine crankcase. On multiengine aircraft, each engine is supplied with oil from its own complete and independent system.

Although the arrangement of the oil systems in different aircraft varies widely and the units of which they are composed differ in construction details, the functions of all such systems are the same. A study of one system clarifies the general operation and maintenance requirements of other systems.


The principal units in a typical reciprocating engine dry sump oil system include an oil supply tank, an engine-driven pressure oil pump, a scavenge pump, an oil cooler with an oil cooler control valve, oil tank vent, necessary tubing, and pressure and temperature indicators. [Figure 6-4]

Figure 6-4. Oil system schematic.

Figure 6-4. Oil system schematic. [Click image to enlarge]