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Turbine Engines

in Aircraft Systems

An aircraft turbine engine consists of an air inlet, compressor, combustion chambers, a turbine section, and exhaust. Thrust is produced by increasing the velocity of the air flowing through the engine. Turbine engines are highly desirable aircraft powerplants. They are characterized by smooth operation and a high power-to-weight ratio, and they use readily available jet fuel. Prior to recent advances in material, engine design, and manufacturing processes, the use of turbine engines in small/light production aircraft was cost prohibitive. Today, several aviation manufacturers are producing or plan to produce small/light turbine-powered aircraft. These smaller turbine-powered aircraft typically seat between three and seven passengers and are referred to as very light jets (VLJs) or microjets. [Figure 6-22]

Turbine Engines

Figure 6-22. Eclipse 500 VLJ.

Types of Turbine Engines

Turbine engines are classified according to the type of compressors they use. There are three types of compressors—centrifugal flow, axial flow, and centrifugal-axial flow. Compression of inlet air is achieved in a centrifugal flow engine by accelerating air outward perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the machine. The axial-flow engine compresses air by a series of rotating and stationary airfoils moving the air parallel to the longitudinal axis. The centrifugal-axial flow design uses both kinds of compressors to achieve the desired compression.

The path the air takes through the engine and how power is produced determines the type of engine. There are four types of aircraft turbine engines—turbojet, turboprop, turbofan, and turboshaft.

518VcjVMo3L._SX402_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about aircraft and their systems with A Pilot’s Guide to Aircraft and Their Systems by ASA. Pilot-oriented rather than mechanic-oriented, this guide to aircraft systems is designed specifically to help general aviation pilots understand how aircraft systems work so that they can better use them in flight.


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