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Chapter: Mechanical - Gas Dynamics and Jet Propulsion - Jet Propulsion

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Types of Jet Propulsion System

The jet propulsion engines are classified basically as to their method of operation. The two main categories of jet propulsion engines are the atmospheric jet engines and the rockets.

Types of Jet Propulsion System

 

The jet propulsion engines are classified basically as to their method of operation. The two main categories of jet propulsion engines are the atmospheric jet engines and the rockets. The atmospheric jet engines require oxygen from the atmospheric air for the combustion of fuel. As a result, their performance depends to a great degree on the forward speed of the engine and upon the atmospheric pressure and temperature.

 

The rocket engine differs from the atmospheric jet engines in that the entire mass of jet is generated from the propellants carried within the engine, i.e., the rocket engine carries its own oxidant for the combustion of the fuel and is therefore, independent of the atmospheric air. The performance of this type of power plant is independent of the forward speed and affected to a maximum of about 10% by changes in altitude.

 

1 Air Breathing Engines

 

Air breathing engines can further be classified as follows: 

1.Reciprocating engines (Air screw)

 

2. Gas Turbine engines

 

(i) Turbojet

 

(ii) Turbojet with after burner (also known as turbo ramjet, turbojet with tail pipe burning and turbojet with reheater)

(iii) Turboprop (also known as propjet).

 

3.   Athodyds (Aero Thermodynamics Ducts)

 

Steady combustion system, continuous air flow – Ramjet (also known as Lorin tube)

(ii)        Intermittent combustion system, intermittent air flow – Pulse jet (also known as aero pulse, resojet, Schmidt tube and intermittent jet).

 

The reciprocating engine develops its thrust by accelerating the air with the help of a propeller driven by it, the exhaust of engine imparting almost negligible amount of thrust to that developed by the propeller.

 

The turbojet, turbojet with afterburner and turboprop are modified simple open cycle gas turbine engines. The turbojet engine consists of an open cycle gas turbine engine (compressor, combustion chamber and turbine) with an entrance air diffuser added in front of the compressor and an exit nozzle added aft of the turbine. The turbojet with afterburner is a turbojet engine with a reheater added to the engine so the extended tail pipe acts as a combustion chamber. The turboprop is a turbojet engine with extra turbine stages, a reduction gear train and a propeller added to the engine. Approximately 80 to 905 of the thrust of the turboprop is produced by acceleration of the air outside the engine by the propeller and about 10 to 20% of the thrust is produced by the jet exit of the exhaust gases. The ramjet and the pulsejet are athodyds, i.e., a straight duct type of jet engine without compressor and turbine wheels.

 

2 Rocket Engines

 

The necessary energy and momentum which must be imparted to a propellant as it is expelled from the engine to produce a thrust can be given in many ways. Chemical, nuclear or solar energy can be used and the momentum can be imparted by electrostatic or electromagnetic force.

 

Chemical rockets depend up on the burning of the propellant inside the combustion chamber and expanding it through a nozzle to obtain thrust. The propellant may be solid, liquid, gas or hybrid.

 

The vast store of atomic energy is utilized incase of nuclear propulsion. Radioactive decay or Fission or Fusion can be used to increase the energy of the propellant.

 

In electrical rockets electrical energy from a separate energy source is used and the propellant is accelerated by expanding in a nozzle or by electrostatic or electromagnetic forces.

 

In solar rockets solar energy is used to propel spacecraft.

 

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