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Physics of How a Jet Engine Works

Uploaded by sls465 on Apr 18, 2007

Physics of How a Jet Engine Works

The idea of utilizing the physical principle of reaction on a large scale by means of rockets is usually attributed to China in the thirteenth century. Not until after the Second World War, however, did rocket technology mature to a state which made the idea of space travel a practical possibility, owing largely to a giant step forward during the war itself.

Although earliest models of the steam turbine date back as early as the 17th century, practical applications of the turbine engine had to wait until the turn of the 20th century. Today, the gas turbine engine is the most widespread and most effective method of aircraft propulsion, having almost totally displaced the reciprocating engine, which, up to the 1960s, was the common power source in aviation.

There are four types of engines I will be talking about; the turbojet, turbofan, turboprop, or the turbo shaft. The gas turbine represents one of the most technological achievements in aviation, the successful introduction of which made possible a tremendous acceleration of progress in all fields of aviation.

Some of the historical milestones that are major steps toward turbine engine development, ending in the use of the gas turbine for aircraft propulsion are as follows:

1687 - the English philosopher and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton formulates three laws of motion which form the basis of modern jet propulsion, according to which:

1) a body remains either at rest, or in motion of constant velocity, unless an external force acts on the body;

2) the sum of forces acting on a body equals the product of the body’s mass times acceleration produced by these forces ( i.e. force = mass times acceleration);

3) for every force acting on a body, the body exerts a force of equal magnitude and opposite direction along the same line as the original force.

1791 - John Barber, an Englishmen, was granted a patent for a gas driven turbine engine which utilized the thermodynamic cycle of the modern gass turbine. The power plant was to be comprised of a gass generator with compressor, combustion chamber and a turbine wheel - components that are fundamental to today’s engine. This engine was never built.

1918 - Sanford Moss, at General Electric in the United States, develops an exhaust turbo-charger for reciprocating...

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Uploaded by:   sls465

Date:   04/18/2007

Category:   Physics

Length:   18 pages (4,072 words)

Views:   9327

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