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2.2.5: Propulsion plant

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    The propulsion in aircraft is made by engines that compress air taken from the exterior, mix it with fuel, burn the mixture, and get energy from the resulting high-pressure gases.

    There are two main groups: propellers and jets.

    A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. The first aircraft were propelled using a piston engine. Nowadays, piston engines are limited to light aircraft due to its weight and its inefficient performance at high altitudes. Another kind of propelled engine is the turbopropoller (also referred to as turboprop) engine, a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear. Turboprop are efficient in low subsonic regimes.

    A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion in accordance with the third Newton’s laws of motion (action-reaction).

    截屏2022-01-10 下午8.49.37.png
    Figure 2.15: Propulsion plant.

    It typically consists of an engine with a rotating air compressor powered by a turbine (the so-called Brayton cycle), with the leftover power providing thrust via a propelling nozzle. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets. These types of jet engines are primarily used by jet aircraft for long-haul travel. Early jet aircraft used turbojet engines which were relatively inefficient for subsonic flight. Modern subsonic jet aircraft usually use high-bypass turbofan engines which provide high speeds at a reasonable fuel efficiency (almost as good as turboprops for low subsonic regimes).

    2.2.5: Propulsion plant is shared under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Manuel Soler Arnedo via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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