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Jet engines

Remember the days when you were just a kid and used to be amazed by those blue streaks on the backdrop of the sky made by the planes passing by? Literally speaking, the history of aviation extends for more than two thousand years. From the first man made aircraft, the kite, to the marvels of today, the supersonic jets, we have come a long way. But it wasn’t much long ago that our species discovered that manned flights were possible practically. With the beginning of the 20th century, the idea of aircrafts powered by engines culminated into reality.

Modern planes are powered by gas turbines. Yes, that’s the technical name for jet engines. Jet engines basically burn liquid fuel to produce thrust that propels the plane forward. The rest of the feat is achieved by aerodynamic wings that create lift which is essential in manoeuvring the plane’s direction. In layman’s terms, a jet engine uses the same principle as does the car: it facilitates combustion of a mixture of air and fuel in a proper proportion to produce energy that powers the vehicle. The jet engine has a long tube that carries out the combustion. In the first step, the tube draws the air in through the turbine in the front. The second step involves the compression of the air drawn in, to increase the pressure and the temperature for an effective burning. The fuel is then injected into the chamber and combusted with the air in the next step. And last of all, the burning fuel is then exhausted by the rear outlet to produce a force which pushes the plane forward.

The jet engine was invented in 1937 by a British engineer Sir Frank Whittle. The modern jet engines do resemble his model closely except that his design did not have a propeller at the front. Since then, the designs have improved drastically. Today’s jet engines can be classified into four groups.

1. Turbojets:

These were the first jet engines to be made; Whittle’s first design was called a turbojet. These engines are the simplest kind of engines to be used in an aircraft. It has no propeller at the front. The plane moves forward by the thrust produced by firing hot jet through the rear. Mostly suitable for low speed planes that do not intend to carry too much load.

2. Turboprops:

These are the engines employed in a plane with external propellers. The exhaust produces little thrust in the engine. Instead it powers the propellors at the front which pull the plane forward.

3. Turbofans:

If you have travelled by a passenger plane, these are the engines you would have witnessed in work. These engines have huge fans mounted at the front which work like propellers. These are more fuel effecient and quieter.

4. Ramjets and scramjets:

These engines lack both the compressor and the turbines. Instead they are so designed, that the inlet is a tapering nozzle that compresses the air automatically. The only requirement they have is that the air should be entering the nozzle at supersonic speed. These engines produce a rocket like thrust and mostly used in supersonic and hypersonic aircrafts.

Air travel has become so common these days. And so have the companies that manufacture jet engines. These are the few companies that manufacture engines for the aviation industry.

Honeywell

Engines designed by Honeywell have been at the forefront of aircraft propulsion since 1953. Honeywell's high-performance, high-power engines are reliable, time-tested, require less maintenance due to a simple, rugged design, operate in the harshest environments, and are fuel efficient. Honeywell's continuous improvement programs have resulted in engines that provide more power with lower fuel consumption. These improvements increase mission range and payload capabilities over a wider operating spectrum for both civil and military operators: at a competitive price. Their engine reliability and performance enhance safety, increase aircraft availability, and reduce maintenance and support costs.

HTF7000 turbofan engine

The HTF7000 family is all about availability, reliability and performance. Maintenance is quick and easy. Key line-replaceable units can be replaced in 20 minutes or less with minimal tools common to every toolbox. The remarkable design of the engine has simplified access to the engine and significantly decreased maintenance time. The HTF7000 improved fuel efficiency is accomplished by a wide cord damper less fan, SLE compressor airfoil technology, a low-emissions effusion-cooled combustor, transpiration cooled HPT blades, and a dual channel FADEC. The HTF7000 is available with a full nacelle and thrust reverser. The HTF7000 incorporates time-and cost-saving maintenance features. Individual LRUs can be replaced on average in 20 minutes or less with no shimming, rigging or adjusting using standard hand tools with nothing more than an idle power leak check. Engine changes can be accomplished in three hours with two technicians. Using MSG-3 protocol and 39 strategically placed borescope ports for 360-degree visibility to all gas path components, the HTF7000 is a true “on-condition” engine.

Pratt and Whitney

Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies. Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. As one of the "big three" aero-engine manufacturers, it competes with General Electric and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both of these companies. In addition to aircraft engines, Pratt & Whitney manufactures gas turbines for industrial and power generation, and marine turbines.

GTF engine

The GTF engine, with its revolutionary geared fan technology, is transforming aviation by delivering game-changing economic and environmental performance. The GTF engine powers five aircraft platforms, with the Airbus A220, the Airbus A320neo family and Embraer E190-E2 already in commercial service. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and Irkut MC-21 are currently undergoing flight testing. The GTF engine has met all performance specifications since the start of entry into service. For example, the GTF-powered A320neo has achieved a 16% reduction in fuel consumption, a 75% reduction in noise footprint and a 50% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The GTF engine's fan-drive gear system is just one component of this next-generation engine. The Pratt & Whitney GTF engine also incorporates advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials and other major technology improvements in the high-pressure spool, low-pressure turbine, combustor, controls, engine health monitoring and more. Pratt & Whitney GTF engines will help drive more efficient, sustainable air travel, enabling airlines to open new routes and fly more people farther, with less fuel – and much lower noise. Operators have the ability to create options for routes that didn’t exist before and make point to point destinations more available to the flying public. These benefits result in quieter communities, quieter flights, cleaner air and economic development. The pioneering technology of the GTF allows for further evolution and performance enhancements in the future. Being at the very early stages of this new technology, we see a tremendous runway for further efficiency gains and new aircraft application

General Electric aviation

GE9X engine

With the most extensive technology maturation program in the history of GE Aviation, the GE9X engine delivers world-class reliability and performance at service entry. But first, components undergo rigorous testing at specialized facilities around the globe. Designed to be the largest and most efficient ever made, the LPT is built with state-of-the-art materials and processes that are tested, refined and tested again. Capable of handling the highest pressure ratios and temperatures in aviation history, the combustor required the creation of specialized testing facilities in Ohio. The advanced materials, coatings and aerodynamics in the GE9X engine will be validated through GE Aviation’s most extensive technology maturation program ever. Designed specifically for the Boeing 777X airplane, the GE9X is said to be the most fuel-efficient jet engine GE has ever produced.

Rolls Royce Holdings PLC

Trent 1000 turbofan engine

Rolls-Royce Trent is a British family of three spool, high bypass turbofan aircraft engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce PLC. The Trent 1000-powered Boeing 787 is 20% more efficient than the Boeing 767. Optimised specifically to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft, it draws on the technology and experience of four previous generations of Trent engines. The Trent 1000 powered Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 20% more efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft. The Three shaft architecture better supports “all electric” aircraft with a bleed-less engine system producing a more stable operating cycle. The Trent 1000 engine has a number of features to safeguard against core icing and a heated ESS (Engine Section Stator) system which delivers advanced ice protection. IP power off take efficiently drives the aircraft electrical systems while improving engine handling and operability at low power. The all-electric architecture of the Boeing 787 aircraft requires that no bleed air is taken from the engine, but up to 500kW of power is extracted from each engine to drive the aircraft systems. 10:1 bypass ratio is the highest bypass ratio of any Trent, making it the quietest engine on the Boeing 787 aircraft today. Over 85% of the engine’s thrust is generated by the 2.8m diameter fan. Low hub to tip ratio maximises airflow at a given fan diameter and improves FOD protection to deliver superior performance retention. Adaptive HP cooling system lowers fuel burn and delivers better engine performance retention.

 
 
 
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