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In 1.0 there is a new part, the engine precooler.

The description says, it "improves jet performance" but not how or by what amount.

According to the stats it appears to be just a combined intake and jet fuel tank. Is that all it does or does it indeed affect the performance of jet engines in some way?

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  • A look on the wiki seems to indicate that it doesn't do much. – MBraedley Jun 7 '15 at 12:13
  • @MBraedley Currently I wouldn't trust wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com that much. 1.0 had considerable changes to the gameplay and the few active users the wiki has are quite swamped with bringing it up to date. The majority of wiki articles are still largely pre-1.0 and those about new features are mostly written quite hastily. – Philipp Jun 7 '15 at 12:38
  • In real life, colder air entering the intake of a jet engine makes the jet more fuel efficient. I suspect pre-coolers are real things and this is the KSP version of them. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precooled_jet_engine – Todd Wilcox Jun 7 '15 at 14:48
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Looking at the parts.cfg file for the engine precooler (Kerbal Space Program\GameData\Squad\Parts\Aero\engineNacelle\engineBodyRadial.cfg), the part has three functions, which is

  1. a resource intake
  2. a container for intake air
  3. a container for liquid fuel

The whole part is mostly a copy&paste from the engine nacelle (Kerbal Space Program\GameData\Squad\Parts\Aero\engineNacelle\engineNacelle.cfg). The only non-cosmetic differences are price and the lower "emissiveConstant" which is relevant to heat transfer between parts. So when the part gets really hot for some reason, nearby engines overheat a tad bit slower with the engine precooler than with the engine nacelle. That's everything. Nothing which directly alters the performance characteristics of attached jet engines.

tl;dr: no, it does not enhance performance besides providing intake air and fuel.

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