5 Basic Types of Aircraft Engines That Most of You Don’t Know
Engines are the power generating component of an aircraft.
There are different types of aircraft engines are used in different aircraft to meet different types of operational condition.
A reciprocating engine, Turboprop engine, Turboshaft engine, Turbojet, and Turbofan engines are commonly used engines in modern aircraft.
Apart from these non-air breathing type rocket engines are there.
A reciprocating or piston engine consists of one or more piston covered with the cylinder.
When the fuel-air mixture is introduced to the cylinder and compress it using the piston the fuel-air mixture will explode inside the cylinder.
That pressure push back the piston to the bottom of the cylinder.
#1 Reciprocating engine
In reciprocating or piston engine the reciprocating piston will convert the pressure to rotary motion. Aircraft reciprocating engines are further classified into the in-line engine, V type engine, Radial engine, and Rotatory engine.
i) Inline Engine
The in-line engine is one of the important types of aircraft engine which consist of a set of cylinders arranged in a single row.
The number of cylinders is even in most of the cases. And this is a straight engine and its frontal area is very less so that shape is very useful in aeronautical applications.
ii) V type Engine
V- Type engine is another type of aircraft engine which was developed during World War 1. In this type of engine, the cylinders are arranged In two rows. The cylinders are opposite to each other.
This type of aircraft engine has the frontal area slightly greater than the in-line engine.
iii) Radial Engine
Another important type of aircraft engine is the radial engine. A radial engine has a circular arrangement of cylinders and a cantered crankcase. This type of aircraft engine has a favorable power to weight ratio.
The large frontal area is the major drawback of this type of engine that makes the engine aerodynamically inefficient than other engines.
iv) Rotary Engine
The rotatory engine is another type of aircraft engine which is similar to the radial engine but its crankshaft is fixed to the airframe and propeller is fixed to the engine case. In this engine, the cylinders are arranged in a circular way.
#2 Turbojet engine
The turbojet engine is the first and simplest jet engine. The turbojet engine consists of an air intake, compressor, combustion chamber, and exhaust nozzle. Air enters through the inlet and compressed at the compressor.
The compressed air will be mixed with fuel and ignited at the combustion chamber the burning fuel add energy to the exhaust air. This energy is converted as thrust in a turbojet engine.
In the turbojet engine, the air will be accelerated from the inlet to the exhaust nozzle. The turbojet engine is useful only for high speed. The maximum efficiency of the engine will be achieved at Mach 2.
#3 Turbo Fan Engine
The turbofan engine is more efficient than turbojet in low speed uses so this type of engine is widely used in commercial aircraft.
In this model, a ducted propeller will also come along with the air in the inlet section of the turbojet engine. Thrust will be produced from both propeller and exhaust nozzle. This will give improved fuel efficiency.
#4 Turbo Prop Engine
A turboprop engine is also developed for low-speed civil aircraft. The civil aircraft require this low-speed engines. So a turbo Prop engine provides the low speed like a normal reciprocating propeller engine with high power and low maintenance cost of a gas turbine engine.
#5 Turbo-Shaft Engine
Turboshafts are the engine used in helicopters and other rotor driven aircraft. The principle behind the turboprop and turboshaft are almost the same.
In this engine, the rotor is driven by a transmission mechanism which is driven by the gas turbine engine.