Friday, September 20, 2013

What Kind of Engine does an Aircraft have?

"Fan!"....that was the answer my colleague gave when I asked him the above given question. My brain instantly stopped working for 2 seconds. I didn't know what to think or what to say.

I am surprised to find out how much people didn't know about one of the most impressive invention that impacted all our lives. It is because of these engines, man can cruise at high altitudes at very high speeds.

Let me introduce you to "Turbo-Fan Engine". Watch this quick video:

This is how it works:
1. The fan or propeller suck up air,
2. Compress them,
3. Directs them to fuels cans in the middle where fuel is mixed with compressed air,
4. Fuel is then burned with ignites.
5. Burning/Combustion cause fuel to expand, and with the pressurized air the air goes out at very high speed.

Here's another video to broaden your perspective:

Now this is the basic concept of how the engine works. Remember that there is more to the engine than this.
It took years of development and hard work to finally make a jet engine that was reliable.

There are also different kind of engines, they vary in size and function.

1. Turbofan engines:
 They are the most common, used in passenger aircraft:

They have a giant fan/propeller in front of the engine. Now when thinking of it, my colleague was actually correct.

2. Second is Turboprop Engine:

They are used for high load, low speed aircraft.

They use a giant fan outside the engine.

3. Turbo shaft engine:

These are the engines used in helicopters.

4. And finally the Turbojet engine:

The engines used in fighter jets:

These engines lets fighter jets to go beyond speed of sound (which is a lot). These engines have fuel injectors called after burner. Contrary to other engines they have afterburners installed at the back of the engine. Enormous amount of fuel is injected to the already combusted air which creates a force like no other. It's actually pretty cool.

Company's like Rolls-Royce and General Electric are the leading manufactures of some of the best aircraft engines known to man kind. Both the companies are currently working to develop an environment friendly engine which will consume less fuel.

I encourage you to ask me questions so that you understand this better.

Thanks Guys.

Live Long & Prosper.

Bye ~ Chan

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