Engine instruments that indicate oil pressure, oil temperature, engine speed, exhaust gas temperature, and fuel flow are common to both turbine and reciprocating engines. However, there are some instruments that are unique to turbine engines. These instruments provide indications of engine pressure ratio, turbine discharge pressure, and torque. In addition, most gas turbine engines have multiple temperature-sensing instruments, called thermocouples, which provide pilots with temperature readings in and around the turbine section.
Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR)
An engine pressure ratio (EPR) gauge is used to indicate the power output of a turbojet/turbofan engine. EPR is the ratio of turbine discharge to compressor inlet pressure. Pressure measurements are recorded by probes installed in the engine inlet and at the exhaust. Once collected, the data is sent to a differential pressure transducer, which is indicated on a flight deck EPR gauge.
EPR system design automatically compensates for the effects of airspeed and altitude. Changes in ambient temperature require a correction be applied to EPR indications to provide accurate engine power settings.
Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT)
A limiting factor in a gas turbine engine is the temperature of the turbine section. The temperature of a turbine section must be monitored closely to prevent overheating the turbine blades and other exhaust section components. One common way of monitoring the temperature of a turbine section is with an EGT gauge. EGT is an engine operating limit used to monitor overall engine operating conditions.
Variations of EGT systems bear different names based on the location of the temperature sensors. Common turbine temperature sensing gauges include the turbine inlet temperature (TIT) gauge, turbine outlet temperature (TOT) gauge, interstage turbine temperature (ITT) gauge, and turbine gas temperature (TGT) gauge.
Turboprop/turboshaft engine power output is measured by the torquemeter. Torque is a twisting force applied to a shaft. The torquemeter measures power applied to the shaft. Turboprop and turboshaft engines are designed to produce torque for driving a propeller. Torquemeters are calibrated in percentage units, foot-pounds, or psi.
N1 represents the rotational speed of the low pressure compressor and is presented on the indicator as a percentage of design rpm. After start the speed of the low pressure compressor is governed by the N1 turbine wheel. The N1 turbine wheel is connected to the low pressure compressor through a concentric shaft.
N2 represents the rotational speed of the high pressure compressor and is presented on the indicator as a percentage of design rpm. The high pressure compressor is governed by the N2 turbine wheel. The N2 turbine wheel is connected to the high pressure compressor through a concentric shaft. [Figure 6-27]
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.