The gas turbine engine, also known as a combustion turbine, is an aircraft powerplant type that utilizes the internal combustion of fuel and air mixtures in order to achieve thrust for heavier-than-air-flight. Through the various gas turbine parts that work together to compress and ignite fuel mixtures, different types of gas turbine engines can accommodate the needs of aircraft with their high power-to-weight ratios and reliability. In this blog, we will discuss the main components of the gas turbine engine, allowing you to best understand the common components that make up most models and types.
Depending on the aircraft in question, a number of possible combustion turbines may be used. With jet engines, turboprop engines, turboshaft engines, radial engines, and many others being readily available on the market, it can be confusing to know which is the best fit for a particular model. While many differ in when they were released and the power capabilities that they provide, most share some common components that separate the engine type from other powerplants. Generally speaking, the most common gas turbine parts that may be found in all types of gas turbine engines include the inlet, compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, and nozzle.
The inlet of the engine, otherwise known as an intake, is a part of the fuselage or nacelle that allows for the collection of air during a flight operation. As air is needed to increase the combustive capabilities of fuel, inlets ensure that a proper amount of air is captured for use by the system. Through specific geometrical design, the inlet ensures that little drag is caused by the capturing of air during flight, and that the speed of air flow is not too slow or too fast for the needs of the compressor.
Once the air has been captured by the inlet and is moving through the gas turbine engine, it then travels through various stages of the compressor section. In each stage of the compressor, sets of rotating blades and stators work together to increase the pressure and temperature of the air. To drive the blades for increasing pressure and heat, the power of combustion gases are harnessed by the turbine section at a later stage, and a shaft connects the compressor to the turbine.
Once the air has successfully been compressed for the means of ignition, it then enters the combustion chamber of the gas turbine engine. In this section, air is quickly heated up while remaining at a set pressure, and then it is fed into a nozzle guide vane towards the turbine. At this point, fuel is sprayed into the air to create an optimal mixture and is then ignited. As a result, rapidly expanding gases force their way into the turbine section of the engine.
As a series of blades acting similar to a windmill, the turbine utilizes expanding gases to force blades to spin. By harnessing this energy, the turbine can then use the shaft to drive the compressor section of the engine. As such, the gas turbine engine can be fairly self-sufficient in its operation once reaching a standard cycle.
At the final stage of the engine, spent gases need to be expelled in order to remove excess heat and pressure, as well as to continue the combustion cycle. Through a nozzle or other end area of the engine, gases are forced out of the engine and into the atmosphere. By utilizing certain shapes for the nozzle, the force of gases can be used to increase thrust, permitting aircraft to get a little more use out of exhaust before it is fully expelled.
Through each standard component, various types of gas turbine engines are able to take in air, compress and mix it with fuel, and then ignite the mixture for the generation of thrust. At Aviation Distribution, we can help you secure the various gas turbine engine parts that you need for your operations, offering competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on all that we carry. Get started today with a personalized quote on the parts that you are interested in when you fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided through our website.
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