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SUBSONIC AND

SUPERSONIC AIR INTAKES


(JET PROPULSION)

INTRODUCTION
Inlets are very important to the overall jet
engine performance & will greatly
influence jet engine thrust output.
The
faster
the
airplane
goes
the
more

critical the inlet duct design becomes.


Engine thrust will be high only if the inlet
duct supplies the engine with the required
airflow at the highest possible pressure.

The nacelle/duct must allow the engine to


operate
with
minimum
stall/surge
tendencies & permit wide variation in angle
of attack & yaw of the aircraft.

For
subsonic
aircraft,
the
nacelle
shouldnt

produce strong shock waves or flow


separations & should be of minimum
weight for both subsonic & supersonic
designs.

Inlet ducts add to parasitic drag (skin


friction+ viscous drag) & interference drag.
It
must
operate
from
static
ground
run
up

to high aircraft Mach number with high


duct efficiency at all altitude, attitudes &
flight speeds.
It should be as straight & smooth as
possible & designed in such a way that
Boundary layer separation is minimum.
It should deliver pressure distribution
evenly to the compressor.

Spring loaded, Blow-in or Suck-in- Doors are


sometimes placed around the side of the inlet
to provide enough air to the engine at high
engine rpm & low aircraft speed. It is also
operated during compressor surge / stall.
It must be shaped in such a way that ram
velocity is slowly & smoothly decreases while
the ram pressure is slowly & smoothly
increases.

SUBSONIC INLETS
Types
1. Internal Compression Subsonic Intakes
2. External Compression Subsonic Intakes

Internal Compression
Subsonic Intakes
A divergent duct acts as a subsonic internal
compression diffuser.
The
pressure
gradients
of
these
intakes
are

kept low enough to avoid large stagnation


pressure loss.
To keep a low pressure gradient, the
divergence angle must be made small which
increases the length of the diffuser and hence
the associated friction loss.

Internal Compression
Subsonic Intakes

External Compression
Subsonic Intakes
As we know that boundary layer in the
diffuser passage leads to losses, if the
compression of the gas is made to
occur before it enters the diffuser
passage (i.e. external to the diffuser),
near isentropic compression is possible.
The inlet is made up of a constant
area duct enclosed by a contoured
cowl.

External Compression
Subsonic Intakes
The presence of the cowl causes the
stagnation stream lines to diverge
between the upstream and the inlet
causing compression between the
two sections.
Such
inlets
are
not
suitable
for
high

subsonic Mach No. applications due to


the possibility of local Mach No. greater
than 1.

External Compression
Subsonic Intakes

SUBSONIC DUCTS

BOUNDARY LAYER

Inlet design
Inlet design requires a compromise between
external and internal deceleration.
Both can lead to difficulties, and a balance is
needed.
To
examine
the
effect
of
external
deceleration

on inlet design, methods are needed for


calculating both potential flow (internal and
external) and boundary layer growth on
intake surfaces.

Boundary Layer Separation


In
an
actual
engine
inlet
separation
can

take place in any of the three zones as


shown in figure.
Separation of the external flow in zone 1 may
result from local high velocities and
subsequent deceleration over the outer surface
and it leads to high nacelle drag.

Boundary Layer Separation


Separation
on
the
internal
surfaces
may
take

place in either zone 2 or zone 3, depending


on the geometry of the duct and the operating
conditions.
Zone
3
may
be
the
scene
of
quite
large

adverse pressure gradients since the flow


accelerates around the nose of the center body,
and then decelerates as the curvature
decreases.

Boundary Layer Separation


In
some
installations,
it
has
not
been
possible

to make the exit area of the intake more than


about 30% greater than the inlet area without
the incidence of stall and large losses.
A
Reynolds
number
effect
is
also
important

for large inlets and high speed flow.


At high angles of attack, all three zones
are subjected to unusual pressure
gradients.

Thrust on inlet Surface

Thrust on inlet Surface


Net momentum flux out of the
control volume is

Net momentum flux is


Bernoullis law

The above relation shows that the


Greater external deceleration (i.e.
the smaller the ratio ui / ua ), the
larger must be thrust increment.

Coefficient of Pressure (Cp)


On the outer surface of the nacelle, the
pressure must rise from some minimum
value Pmin (at the point where the local
free
stream velocity is umax ) to the ambient
value Pa associated with straight parallel
flow downstream neglecting boundary
layer.

Coefficient of Pressure (Cp)

Cp must not be too large otherwise the


boundary layer will separate.
An
average
pressure
difference
with
a
factor
s

value of which lies between 0 to 1 can be


written as
Therefore, thrust increment equation can
be written as

Area Ratio
Therefore the area ratio can be
expressed in terms of external
deceleration ratio.

External Deceleration
From the relation of Area Ratio and External
Deceleration, it is clear that the larger the
external deceleration (the smaller the value of
ui / ua), the larger must be the size of the
nacelle, if one is to prevent excessive drag.
Even in the absence of boundary layer
separation, the larger the nacelle the larger the
aerodynamic drag on it.
If the external deceleration is modest (e.g. u i /
ua > 0.8), its effect on minimum nacelle size is
quite small.

Internal Deceleration
The use of partial internal deceleration is
more effective in reducing maximum
diameter because it permits a reduction in
both Ai and Amax / Ai .
Performance of an inlet depends on the
pressure gradient on both internal and
external surfaces.

Pressure Rise
(External & Internal)
External pressure rise is fixed by the external
compression and the ratio Amax / Ai .
Internal pressure rise depends on the
reduction of velocity between entry to the inlet
diffuser and entry to the compressor (or burner
for a ramjet).
Nacelle size required for low drag can be quite
strongly dependent on the degree of external
deceleration.

Inlet Performance Criterion

Performance Criterion
1. Isentropic Efficiency of
a
Diffuser
(defined in terms of
temperature rise).

State 02s is defined as the state that would be


reached by isentropic compression to the actual
outlet stagnation pressure.

Since,

Diffuser efficiency

can be written as

Ram Efficiency
2. Ram Efficiency (Defined in terms of
pressure rises)

r = (P02 - Pa ) / P0a - Pa

Stagnation Pressure ratio


The Stagnation Pressure ratio , rd is widely
used as a measure of diffuser performance.
For
supersonic
intakes

rd = 1 0.75 (Ma - 1)1.35

(A rough working rule adopted by American Dept. of Defense)


Which is valid when 1 < M < 5.

To obtain the overall pressure recovery

factor,

/
must be multiplied by
0a
the pressure recovery factor for the subsonic
part of the intake.
02

Diffuser efficiency and Stagnation Pressure ratio


are related.

The relationship between internal and external


deceleration depends on engine mass flow rate
as well as flight Mach number M.

DUCT EFFICIENCY
The duct pressure efficiency ratio is defined
as the ability of the duct to convert the
kinetic or dynamic pressure energy at the
inlet of the duct to the static pressure energy
at the inlet of the compressor without a loss
in total pressure .
It is in order of 98% if there is less friction
loss.

RAM RECOVERY POINT


The Ram Recovery Point is that aircraft
speed at which the ram pressure rise is
equal to the friction pressure losses
OR
That aircraft speed at which the
compressor inlet total pressure is equal
to the outside ambient air pressure.
A good subsonic duct has aircraft speed of
257.4 km/h for a good ram recovery point.

Supersonic Inlets
Even for supersonic flight it remains
necessary that the flow leaving the inlet
system be subsonic.
It
is
required
to
have
some
means
to

decelerate supersonic flow to subsonic


speeds tolerable by existing compressors
or fans.

Types of Supersonic Inlets

Reverse Nozzle Diffuser or


Converging
Diverging
Intakes
Normal Shock Diffuser or Pitot
Inlet
Oblique Shock Diffuser

Reverse Nozzle Diffuser or Diffusers


with internal contraction or
Converging Diverging Intakes
Deceleration from supersonic to subsonic
flow speeds can be done by a simple
normal shock with small stagnation
pressure loss if the upstream Mach
number is close to 1.
For high Mach number the loss across a
single normal shock would be excessive.
Therefore it is better to use a combination
of oblique shocks.

Normal-Shock diffuser
All existing compressors and fans require
subsonic flow at their inlet with 0.5 < M2 < 0.8
at high power conditions.
So the inlet must reduce the flow Mach
number from Mo > 1 to M2 < 1.
The simplest way to do this is with a Normal
Shock.
Prandtl

Meyer
Relation
for
the
normal

shock in a perfect gas is

V 1V 2 = a*2 = 2a0 2 / + 1

M1 * M2 * = 1

Normal-Shock diffuser

Normal-Shock diffuser
For low supersonic speeds, such diffusers
are adequate because the stagnation
pressure loss is small, but at Mo = 2, pt2 /
pto 0.71, a serious penalty, and at Mo = 3
pt2 / pto 0.32.
For example the F-16 fighter has a simple
normal shock diffuser, while the F-15 has
an oblique shock diffuser.

Oblique - Shock diffusers


The losses can be greatly reduced by
decelerating the flow through one or more
oblique shocks, the deflection and the pressure
rise of each being small enough to be in the
range where the stagnation pressure ratio is
close to unity.
It is very important to understand that an
Oblique Shock is in fact just a normal shock
standing at an angle to the flow.

Oblique - Shock diffusers

Oblique - Shock diffusers


M1n is given in terms of Mon by the same
relation given for M1 as a function of Mo. But
Mon can be made close to 1.
The
condition
for
a
weak
sound
wave
is
just

Mon = 1,

Oblique - Shock diffusers


By choosing the wedge angle (or
deflection angle) we can set the shock
angle.
A series of weak oblique shocks, for each
of which the Mn is near unity, hence all
lying in the range of small pt loss, can yield
an efficient diffuser.

SUPERSONIC INLETS WITH


VARIABLE GEOMETRY

This would work at one design Mach number,


the one for which the isentropic area ratio
between the incoming supersonic flow and the
sonic throat is exactly the as-built area ratio A1 /
Athroat.
But during the acceleration to this Mach
number the fully supersonic flow cannot be
established in the inlet without varying the
geometry.
Imagine the inlet flying at M0 lower than the
design Mach number.
The flow will look as depicted in the top right in

diagram shown in next slide.

This is because at the lower M0 the flow area


that would decelerate isentropically to sonic at
the throat is smaller than the built area A1.

STARTING THE DIFFUSER


If the flow arrives undisturbed at the inlet,
it could only occupy a fraction of it, the rest
of the flow into the frontal area A1 is
required to be disposed of which is called
Spillage.
This
Spillage
is
accomplished
by
the

detached normal shock; behind it the flow


is subsonic and it can turn around the inlet.

The shock at the full flight Mach number is very


lossy, and it is not practical to simply force the
plane to continue accelerating to the design
condition (there may not even be enough thrust
left to do it).
What can be done is to manipulate the
geometry to swallow the shock and reduce its
strength. This is called STARTING THE
DIFFUSER.

STARTING OF THE DIFFUSER

To "START" THE DIFFUSER, means to pass


the shock through the convergent portion, there
should be an increase in the throat area until
the normal shock is just at the lip.
At that point, any further small increase in throat
area causes the shock to jump rapidly to a
position in the divergent part of the nozzle
where the area is again A1.
This rapid jumping of shock from converging
portion to diverging portion takes place because
the shock is unstable in the converging section,
but stable in the divergent section.

This is accomplished by the flow due to which


repositioning of the shock to a location nearer
the throat, on the supersonic side takes place.
The process can continue until the shock is
almost at the throat.
This repositioning of shock in throat on the
supersonic side is called STARTING OF THE
DIFFUSER. For this successive step of
acceleration is followed.

Successive Steps in
Acceleration of a CD inlet

Condition (a)
Low subsonic speed operation.
Inlet
is
not
choked.

The airflow through the inlet and hence


the upstream capture area Aa is
determined by conditions downstream of
the inlet.

Condition (b)
Low subsonic speed operation.
Inlet
is
choked.

The inlet mass flow rate is limited by the


choking condition at At .
*
Since
the
flow
is
isentropic,
A
=
A
and the
t

upstream capture area Aa + is given by

Condition (c) to (f)


In condition (c) to (f), the inlet flow velocity is
increased gradually to design Mach No. MD to
position the shock first in front of the inlet, then
in the cowl or inlet lip, then it enters in the
converging part and jumps rapidly to diverging
part.
When the air intake starts operating in design
Mach No. MD, the shock repositions itself to the
throat nearer to supersonic side.

MODES OF INLET OPERATION


CRITICAL INLET OPERATION

The condition when the inlet can


accept the mass flow of air
required to position the terminal
shock just inside the cowl lip is
called critical inlet operation.

Modes of Inlet Operation


SUB - CRITICAL INLET OPERATION

The condition when the inlet is not


matched to the engine, due to
which the normal shock moves
upstream and stays in front of
cowl lip is called as sub-critical
operation.

Modes of Inlet Operation


SUPER - CRITICAL INLET OPERATION

The condition when the inlet


cannot capture the mass flow
required by the engine and the
terminal shock is sucked into the
diffuser is called super - critical
operation.

Modes of Inlet Operation

FLOW INSTABILITY
BUZZ
Buzz is an airflow instability caused by the
shock waves rapidly being alternately
swallowed and expelled at the inlet of the duct
and occurs in supersonic intakes at subcritical
operations.
It starts when the aircraft begins to fly at or near
the speed of sound. At these speeds sonic
shock waves are developed that if not
controlled will give high duct loss in pressure
and airflow and will set up vibrating conditions
in the inlet duct, called inlet Buzz.

Variable Geometry Duct


At higher Mach No., the inlet duct geometry is made
variable by any one of the following:
(a) Moving the inlet spike in and out so as to
maintain the oblique shock on the edge of the outer
lip of the duct (Axisymmetric duct).
(b) Moving the side wall or ramp to a higher angle so
as to force a stronger oblique shock front (2dimensional duct).
(c) Varying the normal shock (expanding centre
body).
(d) Varying the inlet lip area so as to vary the intake
area.

Rating of Engines - Bell Mouth


Inlet
The manufacturers rate their engines using a
bellmouth inlet. It is a subsonic inlet.
This
type
of
inlet
is
essentially
a
bell
shaped

funnel having carefully rounded shoulders


which offers practically no air resistance.
The duct loss is so small that it is considered
zero and all en e performance data can be
gathered without any correction for inlet duct
loss being necessary.

THANK YOU.