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e::- s

© Auflage 1995 by Verlag fiir Technik und I landwt:rk
Postfach 22-·•. 76492 Baden-Bade n
English Language © 1995 Traplel Publications Limitnl

Translated from the original German by Keith T homas

Technical suppon by Tom Wilkinson

© 2005 Traplet Publications Ltd

All rights reserved. All trademarks an<l registered names acknowkdgell. No tY.•rt of this book mar he copied.
repro<lun:d o r transmitted in any form without the written consent o f th e Publishers.
The informatio n in this book is tme to the best of our knowledgt.> at the time of compilation. Recommendations an::
made without anr guar.intee, implic::<l or othe rw ise, o n the:: part o f the author o r pub lisher, who also d isclaim any
liability inc urre::<l in connectio n w ith the:: use of data or specific informati on containe::d w ithin this publication.

First published by Traplet Publication s Limited 1995

Second Edition .2002
Third Edition 2005
Trnplet House.
Pendragon Close,
Worcestershire. WR 14 l(;A
United Kingdom.

ISBN l 9003"."I 91 X

Technical draw ings by Lee:: Wisc:tlale

Front Co11er: The Wren M\f/44 is current~)' t/Je smallest

production model afrcraft gas twiJine - a nzan•el of ml11iaturisatiou.

Rack Col'er: Two PST GOOR gas turbines puwcr Dtll'id's F-1-i Tomcat.

f' ~ I} ~ I I A 1

Printed by Wa Fai Graphic Arts Printing Co.. I lung Kung

About the Author
homas Kamps. l)ipl.-Kaufmann (approx. GB c::q ui v-
aknt: U.Sc . b usiness stud it's), born 19-0 . The
author's liki ng for techno logy stretch es back as far
as h e can rt:mt:mbe r. No sweet s or c h ocolate in his
Chri:.tma:. stoc.:king: it wa~ full o f e lectrical an d mech ani-
cal compo nents. Following h is practical inclinations, h e
converted tht: fami ly cellar workshop first into a p rc::ci-
sion e ngin c::ering ma n ufacturing workshop. and subse-
quent ly into an e ngine tc::sting station. He is luck1· - his
ndghbours art: very sympathetic towards his hobby.
llis prJ(.'tic:ll capabilit ies are matc hed hr his th eoreti-
cal understanding - as witnt:~ the efficiem, smooth-nm-
n inJ? engines he has made . a number o f publish t'.d articles,
and not lt'.ast this h<x>k.
Currentl)' he is li\·ing in Zurich/SwitZt:rland and works
in a major Swiss hank. In addition to mo<ldling he e njoys
in h is leisure time . reading, skiing and running.
he idt:a o f the gas turhint' cm be 1raccd back to a also reflected in the ac1ivi ties of the GTBA , the (;as
patent filed by the Frenchman Guillaume in the Turbine Builders Associ:ltion. which has approximately
year I 921, and is therefore quite old. However. it 1,700 members enrolled to date: and which facilitates the
was many years before ii proved possible to put the prin· exchange of ide::as and prnctic;1litics.
ciplt' into practice in tht' form o f the jet engine. In the The thrust figures have increased significantly. High
late 1lil1t'teen-thirties Hans-Joachim Pabst von Ohain and tech materials are used in the area of the turbine whe::cls
Sir Frank Whittle sun:eedcd virtually simultaneously in and bearings. By far. no o ther e ngine can give:- so much
applying the principle to constnict a working engine. tlight power to a mode l plane as a small gas turbine .
It has taken us modellers a !!feat deal more time to \.ommercial engine::s offer thrusts of lOON or more .
bring the idea to fruit ion. T0<.1 complex and too much Electronic starters and control units become more and
trouble - that was a lways the ve rdict. Now and then more standard. lberefore I haw paid special attemion to
rumours of succt:s.'iful m1x.lel-s<:ale ga~ turbines filtered lO the constantly increasing number of production rurbines
the outside:: world. but in m:my cases the engines were now on the marke t and have revised and updated the
only capable of running when their construct o r was description of these:: power plants.
dreaming. In my eyes, the rapid devclopmenl has o nly been pos-
As a result we in the model world were truly aston· sible because of an open informatio n exchange by ama-
ishcd to learn that amate::urs had actually managed tu pro- tt'.urs and h o me builders. Many commercial e ngines
duce:: working jet e ngine::s using relatively straightforward include the know ledge of many amateurs and their con-
methods. The:: ke::y to success lay not so much in high-level struction is in many ways very alike tu the:: Microturhine.
precis io n manufacture. bur in simplicity and careful KJ-66 or its predecessors. In thi~ second edition I have
matching of individual components. As Kurt Schreckling a lso im proved the building instructio ns to achi('ve an
has shown with his engine~. if the design i:o. right. then it ea'>ier construction with a solid performance.
is possible to use a wooden compressor w heel and still At this point I wish to thank very sincerely all those
achit'vt: a thrust:weight m1io comparable to that of a fuJl- who have helped me w ith tips and idea.... and espc::ciaHr
size aircra.ft je::t engine. jes(1s Artes de Arcos, Otto Bnihn, Alfred Kittelberger, Ridi
I lowever how do we go ahout designing a working jct Reichstetter, Tom Wilkinson ancl John G. Wright.
e::ngine? Whal special charaete::ristics have to be consid-
ered? How do these engines work, anyway? This book Thomas Kamps, April 2002
a ttempts to answer 1h cse questions and many
01hers. with the overall aim of helping you to understand
this new type of engine::. As such ii is really aimed at the
beginner IO jets. bul c.lon ' t give:: up if you are already famil-
iar with that speci:ll kerosene fragrance; you w ill still find
a few useful idea'i here even if you already have some
experience of jet engines.
At this point I would like to offer my j!f'.tteful thanks to
my like-minded friends and colleagues for tht:ir help and
encouragement. My spc::<:ial thanks must go to Kurt
Schreckling, Bennie: van de Goor and Han Jenniskens for
the ir helpful and useful comments. I wuukl also like to
thank Karl-Heinz Collin and Arno Foerster, who were
vc::ry hdpfol in i.mparting their specialist knowledge :md

Foreword to the second edition

In recem years model jets have hc::comc more and
mo re common at o ur firing fields. Many engines are avail-
able today. Tht> new power source has been proven
strong and re liable. World Champio nships have been
held and the w inning models were powered by jet
engines. le seems that th<: ducted fan will he replaced
soon. The growing interest in this small turbo engine is

Introduction ............. ...... . . . .. ....... . . 11

How do jet e ngines work? . . . . . . . . . JI
Tbe ope11 gas 111rl1i11e process . . . 11
77.1e qul!sliu11 c!l ej)icienq· . . ..... . . . . lj
The development history o f the jct engine . . 14
It all s1a11ed ill tbe 1930s ....... . . 75
77>e mhustjel e11p,i11es ofthe 1950s . . .. /6
Prototypes for model jet engines ... .......... . . IH
Dm11l! e11p,i11es and APl z~ <Auxiliary Po wer UuifsJ .I H
I (1'/X'r-<."httf"Ri118 . 79
B1rly model jet engines . .. .. .22
,Ha.\· Vreher :~ Bahr Mamba ........... ... . ..22
7be Su •edisb PAL .~)~5/em a11d 1/s su cces..;or Turbo111i11 .. .22
Kurt Scbrec:klin/!, 's FD series . . . . .23
Turhorec: T210Jiv m.fP.\' . .26
Model jet engines 10 date ....... ... . .28
I . I . 77.u! J-450 l~r Sopbia Prec:isiu 11 .. 29
7.2. lll1T - Ad1•a 11ced .ilic:rv T11rf1i11<'!i . .w
I .3. 1l1e 1\.166 . . . . . .. 31
1.4. 111e .-111es-7il1'bi11es .. .J2
1. 5. The Jet Cllf model 111rhi11e J:J
7.6. The Smallest E11gi11l'S . . . . . . . . . . . . )4
1. 7. Turtx,p 1vp and Sbt!/i Power f;'11giiws .. 36

Ch ap ter 1 The Compo ne nt Parts of a Mode l j e t Engi n e .P

Special feature:-s of small gas turhines J7
Comhustio 11 ~-
Rotor desig n .. ..... . .38
Cup losses . . .... .. . .J8
C<111d11sio11s relating to the mode/jet e11gi11e .:)9
The compressor ......... . .41
The mdial compressor ............ . .42
Typical culc11llllio11 for a radial comprt-ssor . .M
T11rlxx:hr1 rp,er co111prr!SS01-s . . . . . . . . . 15
"fl.1e co111pressor c:baracteristic p,mpb . 1'""'
Dijfuser u'heels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4H
£w1111ple u/ calculating tbe d!fli1ser -~ 1·s1e111 .5 7
'/l1e su rge limit ..... . . 52
'/ be axial compressor . . . . . . . .54
Exnmple calc11/atiu11: axial co111pm-.sor stage . .55
T he <.:omhustion <.:h amhc::r . . . . . . ............ . .57
/X>siµu a11dfimctiou uf the cu111lmslio11 chamber . . <;-
The q 11estw11 off uel .5H
.I fixture formation .......... . .. 60
"/ be sig11ijica11<:e of re-circ:ulatio11 zones .. . .62
T urhine stage;· and e xhaust cone ... . .63
I Jo u • the 111rlm1e sWJ<l' u ·orks ... . .63
Axial turhlne or radial turbine? . . . . . . . . . . . .65
f)esi~u and 1•ector diap.rams q(an c1.Yial turhi11e . .65
Typical calc11/atio11: turbine desig11for a mode/jet engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Ce11tr((ugal loc1cf.<; 011 the rotor uheel . . ....... . .68
The exhaust cone . .......... .. .............. ....................... ...... .. .69
17.w shc!/i <!la mode/jet enf!.ine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . •. . . . . . . .69
Calc:11lati11g rhe critical rotatio11al speed . •... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. • . 70

Chapter 2 A Home-made Model J et Engine . . .' ]

Introduction .... . .... . . .. 71
\f'hat too /.<; u·ill ! 11eed.> .... .•..• .. --,
Selec:ting material~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
n.1e c:ompres:;or u•heel . ,.............. ... . . .. . . 74
Construc ting the engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Makillf!. the sht!ft . . . . .............. ........... . ... . . 75
The sbc1ft t11111iel and heari11~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. , . . . . . . . . . . . ..6
17.1e turbine nozz le p,11ide l 'Clll<' SJ:5tem ... . . .......... . . ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . .. .. 78
17.1e turbine tl'beel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7H
Balancing . . . .... ........ .............. .............. .............. . 79
The compressor s_1-:;tem . . . ... ... . ..... . .. ......... . ..9
17.1e c:o111h11stio11 chamber . . • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80
7be bousing . . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
AsSc'mbling the components . . . . . . . . . ........... ... .HS
Running the e ngine for th e first time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . • . . • . . . . . . . . . . . .85
Bench running stand for kerosene operation . . . . . . . . . , . . . . .87
Pumps, tcmks and other equipme11t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88
Ru1111i11f!. tbe engine 011 kerosene . . . . . . •. . •. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .H9
General instructions for differe nt com pressor!i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Optimising the performance of mo<ld jct engines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... . .. . . 92

Chapter 3 The Engine in Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Safety: the first Commandme nt . . . . .. , . , . . . . •. . . . . . . .94
Measuring th e engine·s perfonnance data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Rotational speed. pressure cmd thrust . • ..• . .. .. ..•.. . •.. .•.. . . 9'>
Measurements for tbe ad1wzced operator . . . . . . • . . . . • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . .95
Using jet engines in model aircraft . . . ............... .97
F11ndame11tal spec:ialjea111res ... ... . .. .97
Nou·jet e ngines hebave in fligh t . . ... . • . •... • ••.... ......... ... . .. ... . ... • • .. .. 97
Air i11ta/..~e desi}!.n . . . . . . . . .•. •. . . . . . . ..• .., . .98
Cooling tbefuselage . . • . . . .. .... . .. ...... .. . . . .... ....•..... ......... . .. . . . . 99
Auxiliary Equipmc::nt ..... ...... ..................... .. •• ........ ... . ... .. • . ... .... .. IO I
Partic ular problems encountered in jet-powered flight . . . ... ••.. . . .. . .. . ............ . ... .102
Tbmst delay . . . . ....................... . 102
Gyroscopic ~[fec:ts . . . . . . . . . . . ... ... ... ... . 103
l'ault-finding ..... .... . .. ..... • . ... .. ....... ..... . . •...... . ... . .. ... J 04
\f'bat tbe sound qf tbe engine tells you . . . ..,... ... . .. . 104
Exceeding tbe pressure limit (s11~i11f!,) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 105
A standard prubkm . . . . .......... • . . . . . . . . . . ••. . . . . . . . • . . ... ... 705
l:.xcessim~1· bi~b exhaust !{llS temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . • . . .. . 105
Maintc::nance and repair . . . . ..... .................. . ..... . 106
Cbec:ki11f!. the bearinp,s . . ... . . . •. . . •. . . . . . . . .106
Clecmi11,~ tbe engine . . • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . ... . ... . . ........... . 106
Bibliography . . . . •. .... ..... . 107
Notes .... . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . JOH
How do jet e11gines work? basic princ iples. tJ1e jet engine will soon give up its m}'S-
terious secrets.
Ga:-. turbint':o. have lo ng since claimed a se c ure place
for themst'lves in o ur world. Amon~-;t the most oh vio us Th e open gas turbine process
examples are the innume r;ibk aircraft which day afte r Regardless of whether w e are consid erin g a s haft
dar tlr ahove us, trailing their wakes o f condensation power turbine (designed to produce mechanical power)
across the sky, but that's no t all: gas turhines are at work or a jd engine. we find the same working process at the
w ht'.re you might no t know it: nowadays they arc used core : it is terme<l the open gas turbine procc::ss. Air is
more and more co mmonl y in power statio ns , d ectricity s ucked into the e ngine an<l comp ressed. The comprt'ssed
generators. boat engines and muc h mo re. air the n flows thro ugh a comhustio n chamber in w h ich it
Suddenly these engines are increasingly being used to is heated to a high tempentn1rc.
propel mo<lt:ls. and that is w hy we need to unde rstand In their hot st;lle the gases arc c;tpablt' of performing
how they work. Unfortunately it is much more difficult to more: work than was put into them during the compres-
explain how a gas turhine works than to elucidate what is sio n stage:. Finally the air expand s again as it is relea~d
probably the most important e nt:q.ty machine of our time: into a turbine. to w hich it imparts a proportion of its
the piston engine. There the imnwnse p ressure caused by power. 111is p rocess sets the turhine spinning, w hich in
explosive combustion moves a pisto n running inside a rum drives the c ompressor to which it is connected b)' a
qlindt'.r. shaft. TI1e residual e nt'rgy in tht'. exhaust gas am now he
111e principk is ckar a nd comprehensible. Alas. it is explo ited t o St'.rve the purpose of the e ngine . If the
just impossibk to explain in so few words how a g;1s tur- e xhaust stream o f the hasic gas turhine is further accele r-
bine works. I lere we find spinning rotors and wheels, gas ated b y an t-x haust cone the: m:tchine becomes a jct
flow an<l energy conversion, but don't kt that worry you engine .
- once we have ma<le a link headway in explaining the The resulta nt flow o f ho t gas p roduces a forwards-

Compressm· Combustiort cht1mber Turbfrte

0 0
C> 0

C> 0

0 0

- 0

g h
Dit1gram ofa jet ei1gi11e.
a) Air irttake. b) Compressor blades, c) Ri11g ofdiffuser bla<les, d) Compressor r otor,
e) F1·011t bearing, f) Fuel injector 11ozzle, g) Combustion cbm11ber, /J) !ii/Jaft, i) Nozz le g1tide 1•cmes,
j) 1url1i11e rotor blades. k) Tm·bi11e r otor. I) Tail co11e.

Mode/jet Engim>s 11
a b c

Tj1pes oft11rlJi11e compressor.

t1) Axial compressor. b) Rt1dial comp1·ess01: c) Diago11al cm11p1·essm:

dirt:ctt:d force, i.e. there is an equal and o pposite reac tion (:ent in order to achieve stable <:ombustion. The sole pur-
according to the familiar laws of physics. p ose of the combustion (:hambe r in a gas nirbim: is to
The gas turbine is dasS\:d as a heat engine as is the pi::.- heat air. A':> :1 result the gas turbine is not bound strictly to
ton engine familiar to model flyers, so it will be no sur- a spc::cific foe!. ln principle the engine could be made to
prise ro find that both engin es s hare certain bask work if an electric h eating element were used instead of
features. The working medium is first compressed a nd burni ng kerosene.
then heatc:d in a combus tion chamber. In the piston The crucial difference hetween the gas turbine and the
engine the heating occurs by the combustion of a fuel - piston engine is in the se::quem:e of the processes within
ai r mixture , the combustion occurring in an explosive the engine. The piston engine completes the stages of its
form. l11e result is a tremendo us rise:: in pressure inside power cycle in sequence, one by one, whereas the gas
the cylinder. In contrast, the analogo us proc ess inside the t.urbine does everything at the same time. Air is const:mt-
gas turhine is isobaric in nature, i.e. the pressure remains ly s u c ked in and compressed , heated and expanded
constant when the working gases flow through the com- again. It is this very constancy w hich constitutes the great
bustion chamber. ·nms in the case of the gas turbine the advantage o f the gas turbine. The individual processes
increase: in usabk power is not due to a rise in pressure run continuously and in separntc:: spaces o r areas of the
in the combustion chamlx'r. Q uite the opposite: in prac- e ngine .
tice we have to accept a loss of pressure o f a few per Every gas turbine possesses a compressor and a tur-
bine. These components are designe d in the form of a
continuous tlow machine. In comparison with piston
engines they ofkr the important advantage that they are
able to produce great powc:-r in the:: s malkst possible
s pace::. For example, a model e n g ine 's s ingle:: turbin e::
w h eel, just 6'5 mm in diameter, can drive a compressor
with a power abso rption o f more than 20 kW at full
throttle. In fulH;ize jet engines the power levels a re
astronomic - to th e p oint where they are difficult to
The compressor of a gas turbine is always some fonn
of turbine machine:-; usually dther an axial or a radial com-
pressor. In the case:: of the:- axial type the gas flows parallel
to the drive shaft. w hile the radial type hurls the gas out-
wards pc:-rpendicular to th e shaft. A third type - the diago·
n al c·ompressor - is used rnrely, hut it is still wonhy o f
mention. As is easy to see, this re presents a hybrid of the
two oth er typ es. The air arrives in the axial direction and
is pushed on in a broadly axial direction. the diame ter
of the tlow increasing steadily. The axial c o mpressor
is broadly similar co the fan o f an impeller (duc ted
fan) . A compressor may consist of several
stages, each stage consisting of a rotating compressor
wheel and a fixed diffuser w h eel. also known as the sta-
Si11gle stage axial turbi11e. tor. T he rotor and stator are always fitted with a particu-
ll} Nozzle guicle r•m1es, b) Rotati11g bl11des. lar number of va nes or Mades. The air is initially
accelerated as it flows through the stages, then s lowed

12 .Hode/.fet Engines
down again slightly. As a result of this proct:ss a propor- Like the comprc:,,..,or. the power turbine can ht: con-
tion of the air·s kinetic cncrgr is convcrted into prcssure Mruc ted in axial o r radial form . lhe first s uccessful gas
energy in each stage. Multi-stagc axial comprcssors are turbine designed b )' Pabst von Ohain ( 193-) Wa!> fittc:d
standard for full-size gas turbincs. Modem jet engines with a radial turbine . In the:- courst' o f time the radial tur-
have extremely complt:x compressors consisting of up to bine has been supt:rst:c.Jed almost t::n tire ly hr rhe axial
17 stages and even morc. The rt:s uh is an increaSt: in prc:s- type . Evc:-n by the: 50s tht: radial turbine only survived
sure of up to 30 times. occ:1sionallr in lo w-power shaft power engines. Howcver.
The: r.tdial compressor is muc h simpkr in constmc- for modcl jct engines this typ e of turhinc could still bt: of
t ion and therefore muc h mo r c s u itable for model interest.
c:ngines. The air flows into thc wheel i11 the axfal dircc-
tion and is then flung outward b)' centrifugal force. On it:. The question of efficiency
own this device is know n as a centrifugal compressor. We will n ow c onsider the p rocc:sses inside:- the:- gas t ur-
Once again a single stage con sists of a rotor and a stato r, bine somewhat m o re closc:ly. If wt: adopt tht: prot:t:!>s
although the pressure:: inc rt·aSt: per stage is much higher described here , the: engint: can <>111)' function if the tur-
than with an axial compressor stage. As a result gas tur- bine produces sufficient powe r to d rivt: the compressor.
bines wi th radial comprt·ssors can often managc with I ' nfortunatcly turbines a nd compressors are not zt·ro-
only one stagc. loss machines. In each stage friction and turbulence
Additional advantages of the radial comprcssor arc its absorb pan o f th e e n ergy an d w aste it as h t:at. To mini·
robui.t nature and ih inhe rent rdiabilit)'. The disad van- m ise friction losses there musr he a gap betwee n the
tage" is the la~e frontal a rea of th t· machine. Gas turbines rotor bhtdes and the ho usinµ to avoid any danger of foul-
with a radial compressor art' the refore always somew hat ing. This c lear.m et: tht:n allows a proportion o f th e:- f?.aS
hulkT simply to slip past the rotor.
'fhe second conunuo us flow mach ine in thc gas tur- To counter this problem and still kct:p tht: e ngine: run-
bine: ii. the actual turbine:. This can he visualised as a com- n ing it is essential to kt:ep the tcmperature of thc gas -
prc:ssor " in reversc". The tu rbin e con vert s pressure and thcrcfort: its power capacity - high cnough to com-
energy into rhc:- !>haft p ower which is require d to drivt: pt:nsate for th e losses. However. the permissible: gas tem-
the comprt:ssor. Sinct: the h ot gases contain much m ort: pc:raturc is not infinite ly high . ·ntl' maximum tt:mpt:r.tturc
encrgy than the compressor absorbs, the:- system is self- is limitt:d by the strenµth o f the materials used in tht:
sustaining. If the llnal t<:mperature aftcr th c combustion engine. especiall y where the modt:llt:r does not have
chamber - what is known as tht: combustion gas tempt:r- access to hcat-resistant steels. The only way out of this
arure - is high enough, additional powe r can ht: t:xtrac tt:d dilc:-mma is to strive: for max imum possible efficiency o f
from it. the compressor and turhine . This is one of tht: m osr diffi-
Like the compressor, the turbine it"elf may consist of cult probkms for the modelle r to tacklt:, since: the: lawi.
one:- o r more stages. Wht:n the air reaches the tu rbine o f physics have b een d rawn up to thwa.n tht: t:x peri-
stage it first ftows rhmugh the stator w hich convc:rts pan mentcr. The smalle r we make th e compressor and tur-
of tht:: pressurt: t:nergy imo kinetic ent::rgy. As the gases binc, t he le:-.'> efficient, in general te rms . they becomc.
pass through the fixt:d
stato r they arc accele rat- A /read)' ,.ecog11i.w1bly a motlel jet e 11gi11e, this desig11 p1·01l11ced 5 Newu m ... of
e d in the direction of t hrust 11t a 11111.xim um .~peetl of35.000 1p111. Tbe fuel - p 11,.e diese l - w11s
rotation of the rotor. 11aporised i11 a copper t111Je c111d bur1uul i11 " 1·e11erse.flo111 combustion chamber.
The gas is accc::knucd
onct: more: wit hin th t:
vancs of the ro tor, h ut
this time: in the:: opposite
dirc:ction. 111e net result
is a powerful peripheral
forct: acting o n all the
ro tor blades, and taking
the: form o f a propulsive
to rque:. This peripht:ral
force a r isc:s from the
recoil which th e:: rotor
blades experience . As
the cxhaust gast:s flow
through at high speed
th ey are accelerared in
the direction opposirt: to
that o f ro tation. On th e
oth cr hand tht: twisting
morion produced b)' the
nozzle guide vane sys-
tc:-m p r od uces a n im-
pulse force:- in the ro to r
hlac.Jcs, varying accord·
ing to the dcsign of the
turbine stagt::.

.11odel.fet Engines 13
Simply rt:ducing the size o f a gas turbine and building ituntil the air diffuse r syste m in the compressor re gion
to m o d el s cale docs not h e lp, as it is impossib le toh ad heen reworked , and even th en the e ngine's n mning
red uce th e size o f the gas molecules in the air at the qualities were very unsatisfactory. In subseque nt exp e ri-
same time. It is the air mo lecules w h ich arc responsiblem e nts I used the:: h o using o f a comme rc i:ll t urbochargtT
for the inferi or aerodynamic c haracterist ics o f sm all je t
in an e ffort t o impro ve compress o r efficie nc y. The
engine blades compared w it h large o nes. It is the same cxpe rime mal e ng ine· based on this c o m pone nt worke d
p roble m that we enco unte r w ith ve ry small m odel air-at t he first attempt. The c o mpressor and d iffuser syste m
c raft wings - w hich is w hat the blades re ally are . This
were taken from an exh au st gas t urboc h arger d esig ned
was t he reason w h y we m o d e llc::rs w t:: r e so pleased
for a lo rry e ngine. and the air supplie d hy the compres-
w hen it p roved possibk to make a m odd je t e ngine nm sor w as duc ted to the gas-h e ated combustion chambe r
at all. b y m ean s of s piral rnbing. The turbine w as a h ome-
The first e ngine w hich I cons tructed refused to run made axial d evice w ith a rotor forme d fro m thin sheet
m e tal. I nitially the
E.,11erime111<1l e11gl11e:first 1-u11Octobe1· 1990. maximum speed· 19.000 rpm. c ngine's efficien c y was
pressu1·e nllio: 1.0 4,fuel: propa11e gas. so p oor that the syste m
could only ju s t k eep
itsel f runnin g. At th e
same t ime the tempera-
ture of the gas was so
high that th e turbine
ro to r glown l brig ht
o range . Residual e n ergy
for thrust was virtua lly
n o n -existe nt . W he n t he
thro ttle was o p e ned the
spiral h ose inflated itself
h o rri b ly, a nd the c o m -
pressed air w histle d o ut
from many a leak.
Sine <:: t h t: n I (and
Otht:rs) have p roduced a
serie s of usable m o d e l
jet e ngines. The e fficien-
cy of the stages h as been
improved to the point
w he re the gac; te mpe ra-
t ure: can h e h e ld down
to a sen s ible level.
How e ver. t h e relativd y
poor ro tor efficien cy still
manifest s its df in t h e
e ngi n es' high fu e l con-
sumptio n : s p ecific con-
s umptio n is ah o ut 2-3
timt:s that o f comparable
full -s i ze e n g ines and
abo ut 8 times the con-
sumptio n o f mo de m by-
pass e ngines.

The delJelopment
history of the
jet engine
Since they wer e in-
vente d je t e n gines h ave
bcen th e subject o f con -
tinuo u s d evelo pment,
and have e vo lved and
changed to an enormous
extem . TI1e dual require-
ments of highe r p e rfor-
mance :tnd bette r fuel
c o nsumptio n have r e-
s ulte d i n an e ndless
stream of new des ig n s.

14 .itode/Jet T:11gi11es
Ckar trt'.nlls can now be perceived: higher and higher iback as 1935. From today's point of view this machine
combustion gas temperanm:s (above I 500° C.) and prt'.s- had more in common with a washing machine drum than
sure ratios mostly in the r.mge 10 to 30. This is the o nly a jet engine, and indeed it could not nm imkpt:nd t:ntly.
way in which maximum power can bt· combined with Ernst Heinke!, who recognised th t'. significance of Ohain·s
efficient exploitation of fud. Turbine blades capable of work, a llowed him to continut: his c::xpt:rimems in the
surviving under such conditions are extremely sophisti· Heinke! works. About a yt:ar later. in March 1937. von
cated high-tech products. The simple form of the turbo- ()hain's S2 engine autonomously for the first time.
jet - what we might call the purt'. jet engine - has ht'.t'.n Only one month later Frank Whittk"s engint: was also
almost entirdy sidelined. In its phtCt'. Wt'. find extremely rnnning. Two years later th e S2's succt:ssor - the:- He S3 B
complex e ngines, most of tht'.m multi-shaft by-pass and - had been developed to the point w ht:re it was capable::
turbo-fan dt'.Signs. Tht'.re mu~t he many modellers who ·Of propelling an aircraft.
would like to design their own model jet engines, hut Von Ohain"s t:nginc:· is notable for its simplicity and
they w ill find no help at all in this type of prmocype. On functional nature. He used a radial compressor and a radi-
the c o ntrary: modem jet e ngines with all their sophistica- al turbine, both with an initial diameter of 600 mm. An
tion do an effective joh of scaring motldkrs off. If you are axial compressor stage was fitted in front of the radial
one of th ost'. wondt'.r-motldlers who is capable of produc- compressor in an effort to incrt:ase the pressure ratio.
ing a miniature version of such an engine at model scale The rotor, i.e. all the wheels and the shaft, was mounted
you w ill undoubtedly be feted as a mechanical on ballraces; one each h etween the axial and radial com-
engineer. but it is extremely unlikely that you will he able pressor stages and one behind th e turbine. Tht: maximum
to persuade your engine to run. rotational speed of the S2 engine was 10,000 rpm a1
Tht'. jet-mindt'.d motldle::r really has no alternative but which point it produced a constant thrust of 1. 2 ..... 0
to concentr.ite on the essentials of the matter: the open Newto ns. ·n1e t:xact tht:rmo-dynarnic data for this experi-
gas turbine process. 111e first question we have to cackle mt:ntal t:n gint: are not available , hut calculations show
is this: can a jet engine function at all if we do not that the compressor could only h ave produced an excess
achieve a particular minimum pn:ssure ratio o r a particu- pressure of around 0.8 to I bar.
lar gas tt'.mpt:raturt'.? Fortunatt:ly the answer b ye:.; It proved necessary to carry out a tremendous amoun1
theory p romisc:s that a gas turbine will function even if of exp erimental w o rk in o rder to optimise the combus-
tht: gas temperature is kept down to a value w hich we tion chambt:r. Initially von Ohain used a short-cut, in so
can comfortably handle. Prospects are also good wht:n far as gasc::ous hydrogen was used as the fuel. This gas
we consi<.kr pressure ratios; in fact, any minuscuk t:xcess forms a combustible mixture whe n mixed with air in
prt:ssurt: is tht:ore tically sufficit:nt to keep a gas turbine almost any proportion. Later a n umber of tubes were til-
nmning. ted, running through the:- combustion chamber. Petrol
Supporting evidence for this theory is found in early was pumped into the engine and vaporised i n these
gas turbines. The first examples were extremely simple in tubes, so that it was in a more or less gaseous stage w h en
design, but they did work. The tht:rmodynamic data, it reached the combustion chamber.
pressurt: ratio and combustion gas tt:mpt:r.tture o f these Similar problems afflict today's model jet engines. and
engines are within rt:gions which we can certainly the burning of liquid fuel still prt:St:nts us w ith serious dif~
achit:vt: with model jet engines. In shon, if we are look- ficulties.
ing for full-size jet
engines whic h might
encourage us in o ur
ques t for successful
model gas turb ines, we
should go righ1 hack to
the original develop-

It all started in the

The history of jet
engines begins in the
late 1930s. The German
physicist Hans-Joachim
Pabst von Ohain and
t he Englishman Frank
Whittle developed the
first engines indepen-
dently of each other and
almost exactly a t the::
same t ime. Von Ohain
had heen experimenting
w ith the:: new propulsive On 27th August 1939 the first jet-powered flight took place when the He
technology since 1933. 178flew powered by the He SJ Bjet e11gi11e. Thrust: 4.9kN al 13,000 rpm,
His first experimental throughput: 12 kgls, diameter: J.2m, mass: 360 kg.
engine, termed the SI , ljrom: Leist, E11cyclopedia ofjet engi11es [Gen11an]).
was comple t ed as far

Mode/jet E11gl11es 15
Model jet engines which arc cap able o f mnning on because of its simplicity and rdiahility . In many countries
diesel or kerosent' usually explo it the technique of prt'- it w~1s t he: starting point for further develo pments, and
vaporisation. This technique was tried at the time. but in numerous va riants were p roduced . These jet engines
spite of its simplicity it was not successful. Today it has were- used to propel many famous aircraft types. Thanks
bt:come a useful technique for model jet e ngines o n ce to tht• e n gine types' wides pread application we find
again. examplt:s in most museums and exhibitions of aircraft
cechnology. The technology is of particular in terest to us
The robust jet engines of the 1950s bec ause we can clearly see in ic the dementary principles
In the course of time more and m o r e com p anies of tht' jt:t engine. TI1e basic layout, i.e . ntdial compressor
tu rn ed t o the devdopm c nt of t his type of engine . combined with axial turbine, is o fte n used nowadays in
Amongst the best-known manufactu re rs a t that time model jct e ngines.
were Allison. General Elec trics. Pratt & \'<'hitnt:y, Bristol, Another very s uccessful family of e ngines was devel-
dt· Havilland, Rolls-Royce a nd Turhomeca. and thes e oped by the French firm Turhomeca. The company was
c omp:mies produced numerou:. variants on the gas n1r· fo unded in 1 9~8 with the aim of manufacturing air com-
binc: theme. Initially many cnizincs were: based on Frank prc::ssors for sup ercharging pismn e ngines. Tht: d evelop-
Whittle's general dc:siizn. The primarr feature of these ment of small gas turbines began in 194 1, and the first
engi nes is their twin-tlutc r:ulial compressor and single- approved jet engine of the series was known as the
stagc axial turbine. The: compressor wheel features Pimene. which produce d l.080 Newtons of thrust. T he
va nes on the front and rear faces . w hic h means th at Palas and Marbore types fo llowed in 195 I a nd I 9'i2
doubk the quantity o f air can he moved. A gigantic dif- respectively. At the same time:- shaft power engines were
fusc:r S)'Stem is usually con ne c ted to the rotor, ending in derived from the: basic design b y adding a further n 1rbine
convoluted ducts mnning to the individual com b ustion st age. Probably the bes t kn own re prese ntative is the
ch ambers. An axial n1rbinc is used . Th is rypc of engine: Artouste w hich was used in nu me r ous h elic o pters ,
is very clumsy a nd hulky. and its great frontal art'a including th e Alouene.
makes it a poor contende r for use in hiWi-speed jet air· All th est:· engin e types were hased on a ra dial com-
craft. pres sor and an axial nu-bine. Tht: <les ign o f the compres-
Neverthelt:ss t he Whittlt: des ign was very popular so r gives important clues to th e would-be designer of

Al/lso11J33-A-.J5 -Mmmf"ct1Jrer: Allison Dfriisio11. J11dimwpoli.<1. USA. tbrust: 20.5 kN 111 11. 750 rpm,
t/Jro1Jg/Jp111 39.5 kg/ s, pressm ·e r"lio: 4.25, e.x/Jaust gm; tempert1t11re: 686° C m11ss: 826 kg, 14 i11tli11idual
combustio11 cbtm1bers. Usetl ;,, Lockheed F80 Sbooti11g Star ""d Lockheed T33.

16 .llfod e!Jet E11gi11es

Exa111ples <if the Turbomeca Marbore II ccm befo1md i11 ma1ly museums. Co11linuo11s tlJrusL· 3.1 kN at
21.0001tJm. nu1.·~:imum thrust: 3.9 kN at 22.600 rpm (limited to 1'5111i1mtes). pressure ratio: 4. mass: 146 kg,
le11gt/J: J .566 m, clicm1eler: 56 7 111111.

dura t io n . Of course ,
very sm all proft":.sio nall)
built gas turbines d o
exist, a ncl the modeller
ca n draw inspira t io n
from the m. TI1is type o f
miniature t'.nginc is
o ft e n utilised where
h igh lcv d s of propul-
sive p ower must be
combine::d wi th low
weig ht a n<.! compact-
ness. For example . a
por tah le fire-fi g hting
water je t has be::c:n built
po wered by a miniature
~1s turbine ma<.lt'. b)' the
<.:ompanr o f Kloe<.:kne r-
11 u mboldt-Oe u tz. Mos r
of the e n g ines of this
typ e are base::<.! on radial
compresso rs a n<.! som e
o f th em even use radial
1"/Je Alllso11J33-A-35 is a typ ict1l represe111ati11e of the Whittle sc/.J()()I ofdesig11,
here with the double-jluled compressor clearly 11isible. I::acb combustio11 Drone engines and
c/Jmnber is t1ssig11ed to 011e d11ct of t/Je compresso1· diffuse r system. APUs ( Aux:i1iary Power
Small jct e ngines are
ofte::n used in umnanncd
aircraft (<.lro n e::s). w h ich
an: usually <.lcsignt'.d for
a s h ort flight durat ion
a nd <Lre subscqut'.ntly <.lis-
pose<.I o f aft e r bc::ing
used once. For this rea-
son the:: engint'.s art'. aho
designed for a short lift'..
The main d esign nite ria
for these units are low
weig ht an<.1, above:- a ll ,
minimum possih lt: <.:ost.
A t yp it:a l s inglc::-use
Perspecli11e cut-away drawi11g of t/Je Mt111Jore II (from: Leist, E11CJ•clopedia ofjet c::ngine o f this rypt: is the
e11g i11es [Gen1u.mj). Williams WR l. made hy
Williams Re::se::arch <:orp ..
model jct engines. Jn o rder to kecp the frontal area of th c Walle<.! Lake, lJSA, whidt was used in lite C.anadair C l 89
en!?Jnc small the de::signc:rs employed an ultra low-profile re<.:onnaissam:e dro ne . Fue l is injecte d via tin e o pening.-;
compressor d iffuser syst em. The diffuser vanes were in t h e rotating e ngine shaft, which acts as a c entrifugal
arr.inged in two rings - o ne radial, directly aft of the com- pump. "Ilic:: compressor and turbine rotors are t-.ach manu-
pressor w heel, an<.1 one axial at the p e riphery of the dif- factured in one pie::ce using a p recision casting process.
fu!'er system, after the di rection o f th c airflow had alread y This little e::ngine 's rotatio nal sp eed a n<.! gas te::mpe::rature
he::cn lldlt:cted. Thb neat trick allowc<.I the <.:Ompany to are very high. with the result that it achieves an excel-
build rdatively slim engines w h ich were very rohust. The lent press ure r.itio an<.! efflux ve::lod ty, comparable to the
s;une ~t:nc:r;tl typt: of <.liffu:K;r sys1em is also used success- p crforman<.·e values fo r full -s ize e ngines of s imilar
fully in mo<.lel jet engines. design.
At the same:: time:: d1e stresse::s due to Le mperature:: and
centrifugal force rise to suc h levels that tltc turbine:: w h eel
Prototypes for model jet e1lgines can o nly survive for a few minutt:s .
0 1<.I jet engin~ can certainl)' give:· us ideas for small Thc most common applic:uion for p roft>ssionally built
model versions, but there is no point in talking of actual sm~tll gai; turhines is the:: APIJ. o r Au xiliary Power nit.
prototypes. To my know le<.lgc . fully worki ng jet e ngines ·n1c!IC arc supplementary aircraft engines w h ich pmvide
small t:nough to ht: used tu propel a standard m o<.ld air- add itio nal p ower whcn r equ ire<.! . Small s haft powcr
cr:tft <.lid not cx ist until the late HOs. It is true that a ma- engin es a re u s t>d to drive e lectrical ge nerators o r
teurs made:: m any atte mpts at cons tructing engines to hyulraulic syste ms. Often these gas turbines can a lS<> sup-
model scale , b ut any success they achieve<.! was o f short p ly comprcsSt:d air in order to start the main e ngines.

18 .Woclel.fet Engines
The KHD Tl 12 is a
typical APU . Other
examples are the T 2 I 2
air pump and the T3 12
used i n the:- Tornado .
Thes e engines we re
d eveloped and !milt at
O herursel n e ar Frank-
fu rt. The rotors are
almost of m oclel s ize ,
and the c ompressor
con s is ts of o n e ax ia l
stage a nd one radial
stage. The combusti o n
chamber is designc::d as
a reverse flow typ e in
order t o save s p ace.
Afte r the combust ion
chamber comes a two-
stage axial turbine. The
axial ~:ompressor st age
is particularly note-
worthy, as the blades of Willillms WR2, lmilt 1962, tl1rust: 550 Newto11s, speed: 60,000 rpm, tln·ougbput.· l
th is .. trans-sonic .. w h e el kg/s. p1·essure ratio: 4.1, tlfr1meter: 274 mm, mass: 13.6 kg, a ge11erator is IJ11ilt
run at supersonic sp eed i11t<J t/Je i111tlke oj)(mi11g.
at full load . T h c:se
blades prove tha t it is
possible to design very
small axial co mpressors
cap able o f ac hieving
high levels of d 'fidency.
In technical terms the
engines of chis cype are
very hig hl y r e fin e d
power plants, and an y
amateur attempt at emu-
lating t h em would ct:r-
tainly he doomed co
fai lure . Even so, it is
obvious that much small-
e r gas turhine::s could
have been m acle if a
n eed for them h ad
In the meantime KHD
h as been taken over by
BMW and Ro lls-Royce .
Even coday th e n ew
company of 13:Vl\V Rolls-
Royce GmhH continues Kl-ID Tl 12, IJ11ilt 1963, le11gth: 789 mm, dim11eter: 368 mm, thro11gbp11t: Q.86 k g, s,
to work on ful l-s ize pressure n:1tiu: 4.96. speetl: 64.000 1-pm. 104 kW s /Jaft power. m c1ss: 34.1 kg, a
engines and small gas sta1-ter is fitted i11 tl1e <iir i1llt1ke.
exh aust gases flow through the turhochargcr and drive
Hype r-charging the compressor via its turhine st age. Therefore inside
There are other sourn:s o f ideas for the modeller c::very t urboc h arger th ere:: are:: a turb ine and a comprc::s-
interested in miniature jet e ngines. An other area w hich sor.
at first sight has nothing to do w ith je t e ngines can , in A disad vantage of exh aust turbo-charging is the::
fact, give us some:: inte::re::sting food for tho ught. Indee::c.I. delayed response of th e turbochargc::r. If th e driver sud-
this is an area w h e re som e impor tant comp one::nts can dt:nly ope::ns the:- throttle:: from idk the:: c h arger pre::ssure:: is
even he u~ed directly in o ur mode l je t c::ngine. What we very low, and thc::rc::forc:: rc::quirc::s a certain amount o f time::
are talking about is exh aust turboch argers. A turbocharg- t o get up to spe::c::d. Th is accounts for w h at d rivers of
er is basically a compressor which is used to fee d pre- turbocha r ged car s kn ow as turb o-lag. In m o d ern
compressed air to a piston engine . This technique turbochargers the inertia of the rotor is so low that turho-
inc re ases the engine::·s air throughput so that it can hum lag is barely perceptible. O ne ve ry n eat solutio n to this
more fuel and produce more powc::r. The:: e ngin e's prohlt:m is the:: bi-turho, w h ere:: two small c harge::rs, with

.\lode:/Jet H11g i 11es 19

Expet·imelllal ga.~ turbin e base d 0 11 11 l11,·bocha1-ge1:

corrcspontlingl)' shon r~ponsc time, are w;ed insu.'ad o f boc:harger to :tt'.ro - this technique is known as h yper-
o ne largcr one. charging and it t'.xploits the fact that a turhochargcr is
For special purposes a furt h er alternative is available a lready almost a gas nimine. Thc housing of the ch arger
w h k h can be uscd to shorten th e response time of a tur- ai.:commodates a turbo-compressor and a t urbine. T h e
t hro u g hput of th e tu r-
l11ter11al 11iew of the KHD Tl 12 s/Jowi11g the lll'O axit1/ t11rlJi11e st t1ges and t/Je bine stage is accurate ly
1·e11erse jlow co111bustfo11 cl u imb'->r- TIJe t urlJi11e r o tors are JOO m m a1ul 130 111111 match ed to that o f the
i11 dit1meter - t1l111ost model size C1l1·et1dy. compressor, fo r th t:
mass of thc ex h aust
whidt t hc enginc cmits
is cxactl) the same as
t hc mass of fresh air it
ingests. llte mass of the
fuel fed to the engine is
so s mall th at it can be:
ignornl. 111e exhau st gas
tu rh ochar gc r is there-
fore a l mos t a gas tur-
bi n e ; 11 11 it lacks is a
com bust ion c hamher .
In the case o f a h yper-
c h arger th e tu rboc harg-
c r is connect ed t o a
combustio n chamber.
When the main cngine is
idling , th e valves lc-.iding
to the combustion cham-
ber arc oix-n . and fuel is
injected a n d burned .
The t urt)()ch arger is tem-
pomrily i.:onverted into a
g:1s turbine by t his

20 :Hodel jet En[!.ines

FreslJ t1ir

P isto11 e11gi'1e turlJocbt1rger

Exbt111st gt1S

Diag1·am ofa t urbo-engi11e.

Fresh air
h i

a b f
cl e

Exh,mst gas

Diagram ofa l1yper-chm-gi11g system: a) piston e 11gi"lle, b) exhaust gas cluc:t, c)fueljet,
d) combustio11 c hamber, e) exhaust gas cluct to t urb·i11e,JJ turbi11e, g) i11lct m a 11ifo lcl, 11) va/r1e,
i) turbQC/}{trger compresso1:

means. and th erefore maintains a high rotational speed. gy and is seldom used. Its main application is to provide
The main engine now h as high ch arger pressure available brief increases in power in diesel engines. For example.
at any time. w ith zero lag, :md the net result b that the the BKS p r o cc::os d eveloped by MTU (Motoren-und
engine can produce high torqu e even at low engine Turbinen-lJnion, Munich) for military tank engines
speeds. exploits this tedmology.
Hyper-charging represents highly specialised teclmolo- The vital point of a ll this is that the modeller can

Model.let E11#11es 21
exploit exhaust gas t urhoch argt:rs as a source of parts for All those t urb int· d esigns w h ich h ave come TO m y
model jet engines. The d licic;:ni:y h:vcls achieved hy tur- notice. ;md w hich one can believe mig ht have run. have
boch arger compressors and turbines arc sufficientl y high om: feat ure in common: th ey im ple 1m:nt the basic p h ysi-
to enable a small gas t urb ine ro nm; and this applies to cal working princi ple:: using the simpll:st p ossible m eans.
ve ry small units too. as shown by t he p erformance gra phs In virtua ll y every case t h e a ir is com p rcsse::d u s ing a
o f a turho-engine. At full throttk t urbocharger p ressure s ing le-stage ra dial com p ressor . an d th e turbine sect io n
rises fa r ahove ex hau st p re:-.surt-. You migh t th ink that :1lso employs o nl y a single w h t"d.
th is indicates a rise in ~s pressure inside the co mhustio n Nevertheless. a num ber of modellt'rs have act ually SlK"-
cngint:. b ut this is not so. This is w h;u h ap pen s: simplr Ct"ed ed in making very small cngines w hich were capahle
hcating the gases is sufficient t<> drive the turbocharger. It o f rurming. and have used th em to p ropel model aircr.1ft.
would aho nm if t he engine were re moved and a simple The n ext s t:cti o n dea ls b rien y wi th several d ifferent
comhustion chamher were installed between compressor model je t t'ngine typ es. Manr of them are not in use today
anll turhine. anr more. New powerfu l s uccessors s u pplanted tht:m,
I const ructt"ll just such an e n gine for experimenca l hut esp ecially h ne we om set: the d ifferent approach es
purposes. hased on a scrap ixd lorry tu rboc harger w ith a the con structors c h ose to reach the ir target , a real work-
rotor diameter of '76 m m . The comb ustio n c hamber con- ing mode l je t e nj.!ine.
sisted of ;1 tin ca n , and the e ngi ne was ru n on propane
gas. It is only really possible to start this m on stro us c re- Max Dre her's Baby Mamba
ation using a vacuu m cleane r fa n . Even w h en the flame is \~hether is really a model jl·t e ni.tine depends o n
burnini.: in the combust ion c h amher some p atie nce is your point of view. Th e e ngi n t" is severa l m agnitudes
callell for, since the e ngine will nm ru n until the o il in the smaller th;m a nom1al aviatio n engine. but is still a rouch
hearings has reach ed its o p er.tting tem peratu re an d t he too large for mod e lling u se. The 1:3aby l\lam ha. o r mo rt:
rolOr system floats o n the film o f lu hricant. Wh e n th e acc u rately the 1 J0-'76C, was developed an ll built in the
engine is running , luhricat ini.t oil is pumped into rhe tur- m id 50s b y Dreh er Engi n e eri n g (USA ) . T he wh o le
bocharger hearinj.!S from a n oil t<tnk connected to com- e ngin e h as a mass o f 6 . 5 kj.t, it s diamete r is 151 mm.
hustion chamber pn::ssure . overall leni.tth -l 16 mm. The Rab y Mamba p rodu ces a
If you are interested in trying th is o ut. please hear in t h rust of 200 Newton s w hic h can h e increased to 240
minll that rh is c rudt" ohjcct is nevertheless a full y fu nc- New tons for b r ief per iod s . at w h ic h p o int the rotor
tional gas turh ine w ith all its inhe rent c h aracteristics, and spee::d is 96.000 rpm . O rig i1rnll y th e Baby Mamba was
that it must th erefore he handled w it h appropriate cau- desi~1'1ed as an auxiliary power source for g lide rs and as
tion. a po wer plant for lig htweigh t drones . One:: feam rt: of t his
For safety's sake you sho uld keep to a maximu m com- c ngine worth m ention ing is its u nco nventio nal com p res-
pressor pressure:: o f 0 .3 har - whic h equatc:-s to a rotat ion- sor uesign . The Baby Ma mba is ont' o f th e few eng ines
al speed of arou nd 50.000 rpm in th is case. TI1e rurh ine which utilise a diagon al compressor . This type o f com-
w heel can bt: obsern:-d w ith the help o f a mim>r and the prc~or gen erates a pressu re ra tio of l.8 from a single::
gas supply th rottled back if it starts glowing more b rightly s t age. Of co u rse. this is s light ly lower tha n can h e
than dull red. liq uid fuels such as petrol or dit:sel sho uld o htained w ith a r.tdial compres.o;or at t he same peripheral
not bl· used, again in the interests of safety , since liq uid s peed, b ut th e- d iagon al com p ressor makes u p for this
fuel tc::nds to collect in the compressor housing if it is not with a m uch smalle r fronta l are a . For t his rt'.ason the
burned immediate ly. Bab)• Mamba is an extremely s li m airc raft e ng ine .
Wh en the t"ngine is run up to speed this fuel is the n Unfortunate ly the e ngine is too comp lt'x to be copie::d at
disturhcd an ll burned . If th is <><:curs the e ngine may then true model scale. The turb im: and c omb ustion c hamber
accelcr.1te u ncontrollably an d ru n u p to dangt:ro usly high are made o f h eat-resistant nickel-basell alloys. an d these
speed s. m ateria ls are difficult for the mod e ller to o b ta in. T he
Fran k Whittk encounte red similar problems d uring his d esiJ.!n o f the compressor also calls for too muc h exper-
first experimt:nts in April 1937. Jt is reported that Whittle tise fmm t he expe::rimenter. nlc <.listrihution rights to the
opened tht: fuel valve:- o f h is \VI · (\Vhittle llnit) from an Baby Mamba are owned h) Franz K:wan. but Ch e t:ngine
initial speed of 2,.'>00 rpm. Immediate ly th e e ngine ran is of n o sii.tnificance for model applications.
out of cont rol, accelerating very quicklr and c:-mitting a
deafening wai ling noise. w h e reupon evcryonc:- except The Swedis h PAL Sys te m and its successor
Whittle himself im med iately ran for covcr. Turbomin
The reason for this lmexp ected h d1aviour was leaki ng Uack in 1982 threc Swedes s uc cec:ded in building a
fuel lines in the co mb u stion cham ber . Even hefore the w orking m o d e l je t e ngi ne . The n:1mc o f· the d esig n is
e ngint: was ignite d , p outs of kt:rosent' formed and immc- dcr iv<.'<.I from the Initials o f the con st ructors : Prisel. Alm e
<.liatcly caugh t light. le;1ding to un controllable.: combustion and Lyrsell. Th e core o f t he engine is the rotor of a Garret
and very high gas temper.atures . tu rb och arger , c o n sist ing o f a rad ial com p r essor and a
r.1dial t urbine. The actual e ngine is built a ro u nd the stan-
Early model jet e11gi11es dar <.1 ro tor. One not ab le fea t u re o f this e n g ine is the::
~lany amateu rs have made brave ;1tte mpts at h uik ling dcsi~n o f the c o mbustion c hamher. w hich is annuJar :md
model jet t"ngines. but until rcct·ntlr the success r.ate has arrani.:ed around the exhaust cone. As a result it can he
been modest . A good few e ngine::-. have: bcen c onstructed made as long as t h e designer w ish e s s in ce it d oes n o t
using admirahle manual skill and h undreds of hou rs of have to fi t b etween c o mpressor and tu rb ine . Reports
te nller loving care. b ut even so they are destined for a stat<.· t lw t t h e e n gi n e h as p rod u ced a thrus t o f 120
quie t lift- in a co lle ctor 's sh o wcase. In som e cases the Nt:w to ns at a rot ational s p eed o f I 05,00 0 rpm at fu ll
reai.ons for failure: can he seen just hy g lan c ing at the th ro ttle. The PAL jet engi ne is 460 mm long, 150 m m in
engine. diameter and h as a mass o f -1 kg. Typ e J P4 ke rosene w as

22 .\!lode/jet F.11f.~i11~
usnl :1s fuc::I. Although
t hc:sc: figurc::s arc:: good.
the PAL systc:m w as not
adopted for model fly-
ing; at least. not during
the p eriod in w hich it
was devc::lopc::d.
Since:: that time:: the
Swnli~h firm of
Turbomin has produced
anoth c::r vc::rsion of the
e ngi ne w hich rdlc::cts
further d evelo pm e nt
work. The basic design, Comb11slio11 cba111ber F11el illjector jet E"xht111st co11e
with its characteristically
Diagram of tbe PAL e11gi11e.
large revers~-tlow com-
bustion chambc:r, has
been retainc:d. and this mc:ans that it is possible to use in the field, the turb ine is imprc::ssivdy simple to handle.
actual full-size: fuc:l o f the:: JET Al type of ke rosene. Fuel Maimenan cc:: work can and should he:: carried out hy tht:
enters the combustion chamber via five injector nozzles, customer, including bearing replacement. For the highl}
derived from the atomiser nozzles used in an oil s tressed rear turbine bearing the estimate d exchange::
bumer. At full throttle the:: Turhomin consumes :\30 ml of interval is 100 flights. The TN ~s weigh~ 3 kg including
kerosene p e r minute at an injecto r p ressure of 10 bar, the fud pump. Th e di:unc::tc:: r is 148 mm, the length i25
and dc:velops a thrust of 75 Nc:wtons. The maximum rota- mm. This makes the engine one of the h eavk r typc::s c ur-
tional speed is I <J0.000 rpm. and the pressure ratio is 2. I. re n tly available , and quite a large model is rc::quire(I to
111c: starting procedure is ingenio us : initially fuc::l is fed to an:ommodate it.
the engine b y a separate;: fud pump in the pit box.
However, th e:: kc::rosene o nl y r each es the c ombustion Kurt Schreckling's l'f) series
chamber through o n e o f the:: five atomiser n ozzles, In my opinion the FU t:ng ines (FO = Fe uer-l)osen -
w hc:rc: it is ignited hy a high-voltage spark p lug . Only at gas canistc:r) reprc::sent the most notable achic::ve me nt to
this p o int does the actual injector pump start running, datt: in the area o f model jet engines. Kurt Schreckling
taking ove r the:: fuc::I supply ~-ystc::m completely. The rotor wai. the first modeller s u ccessfull y to construct very
is nm up to spec::d using compressed air applied directly small, ligh tweight jet e ng ines using amateur means. His
to the comprc:ssor w hc:c::I. All in all the Turbomin TN -5 scarring p o im was not full-size jet engines; instead h e
is a very solid jc::t c::nginc::. Great em phasis has b een
placed o n th e:: s implicity of the design, and expensive Tbe Baby Mmnbll - '"' eye-catchi11g picture 011 the
high-tech componc::nts havc:: h ec::n largely avoidc::d in the Ktwtm catalogue.
interc::sts of low price. even though this has limited its
potential performance. For example, the b allraces used
are simple standard bearings. and the rotor systc::m is a
modified unit fro m a Garrett turbochar ger. ln ac tual use

The compressor wheel made of high-qu"lity

p{)'lt'ood, reinforced with cm·b011fib1·e_
(Photo: Schre'--kli11g)

Model jet Engines 23

took the fundamcnlal principles of th e gas tumine as his unit ·s c::ffidency usuall} stays at a high level. The only
rcfcn:nc.:e point and worked •from the ground up". d rawb:u:k is the: rotor"s slightly lower maximum rotation-
Thc foc.:al point of his considcr:ltion was this: what al spn:d compared w ith a wheel not littc.:d with a cover
was 1he hest war of making s mall rotors in order to plat<:'.
achieve maximum possihle effic.:km:r? ' l11c outcome was The:: compressor is driven by an axial turbine::. This is
a radia l compressor w ith many inge::nious features: a made of 2.5 mm th ick s heet mctal. The:- blade: profile is
rotor with suh:.tanliall r rctnx:urved bladcs an d a cover worked from the solid using a mini·grin dcr. &fore Kurt
plate: . This b a t ype:: of construction widely used in Schrcekling eomplt:tcd his tirst working c ngine he car-
ind ust rial fans , hut prohably never hcforc used in a jet ried out many cxpcrimcnts with com presi.ors and tur-
engine:. The cover p late ovt"r the blades almost completc- bines. He:- found that thc dlidcnq o f each stage:: was so
ly avoids till· gap lossc.:s w hic.:h are c ritical in small good that the engine was hound t o work · at least,
enginc::s. A furthn advantage o f this type of compressor is according to thcory. The first engine that he persuaded
its non-tc.:mpcr:uncn tal behaviour. Whc::thcr t he: rotor is to run was an c.:x p e rimcntal unit w hich was not recog-
required to move a large: o r small quanticy of gas, the:- nisa'hle externally as a gas turbine.
Th r next-but-onr ver-
Tl:Je FD..!: tlJe jlrst flirll'01·11.Jy mucleljet e11gi11e poll'ered by Jlon11<1ljilli11g stt1tio11 sion . the FD 2 - was
fuels. (1' /Jolo: SdJrt!<.:kli11g) alrcady such :111 improve-
nH.· 111 that it proved
c.:apahk of p ro pelling <1
model aircraft. l11is early
engine could already run
rdiably on liq uid fuel : a
mixt ure of diesd a nd
abo ut 15'% , petrol. The
engine ·s compressor
\Vheel was made of ply-
wood as in h is ini tia l
experimental work. hul
i n t hi s case it was
wrapped w ith carbon
fibre to reinfo r ce:: the
ro t or a nd th e:: cover
plate:. This constructio n
has p rovnl strong
e n ough to wi ths t and
peri pheral s peeds of
more than '.\00 m/s with·
out failing .
The e ngine was
developed furth er to
produce the Fl) ?> <ind
finall y a pro duc tion ve r-
sion in kit-form. All the
T/Je FD 3, he1·e installed in tl:Je "R11toni"s .. model jet aircnifl. c:: n g int:s in tht: sc.:ries
featu r e a compressor
w h e d built as <.ks-
c rihed. altho u g h the
production version is tit-
ted with a comprt:ssor
whed cast in aluminium
allor. Another character-
istic feat ure o f the FD
series is the fuel vapori-
sation syst em. It seems
likely that it was this sys-
tem togethe r with thr
combustion c h amber
t h at absorbc:-d most of
the designc:-r's c::xpc::r i-
rn e n t:t l labours. The
vaporiscr itself c onsists
of a coiled tube about
o n e and a h a lf m etre:-s
long, located inside the::
combustion c hamber. A
gear pump pushes liquid

24 :Hodel }I!! T:11p,i11es

fud into the hot vap oris-
e r where the fud , still
under press ure, is p ar-
tially vaporised. As p res-
sure fa ll!:. off more fud
vaporises in the injec-
t ion openings leading
inro t he comhusti o n
chamhe r.
The res idue of I h e
fuel. still in liquid fonn .
is injected into the com-
hustion chamber in fine
particles where it hum s
successfully. \ 'sing t h is
techniq ue the designer
was successful in creat-
ing engines w h ich
would run on Standard
"Filling St ation "" fuels.
This is an important
develo p ment, as modd
jet engi n es w i ll on ly
become widespread if
they are easy to o pe rate.
FO engines do not n eed
pro pane gas, which , TIJe kit t•ersion ofllJe FD 3 is produced IJ)' tbe Austri<mfirm of
altho u gh it d oes hurn Sch11eider-Sa11clJez.
ckanly and easily , is a
safery risk in a modt:I aircraft. struction. The sealing of th e h ou sing p resents no major
The therm odynamic data o f the FD engines are as problems. The exh aust temperature is in the rangt" 6oo~c
unusual as the overall design. The p ressure ratio is very to 650°C • va lues at w h kh ordinary 3 16 stainless steel
low. reac hing a value of only 1.5 at fu ll throttle. As a can still · jusr - b e used ;1s turbine marerial if rotational
result the whole engine can he of very lightweight con- speeds are ke pt to moderace levels. The jec eftlux speed

R11to11ius, presented IJ)' its b11i/,ler, Kurt Schreckli11g.

Jlodelj<:t E11~i11es 25

- - - ··- - - --
Turborec T240 fromJPX
JPX, a based in Vibraye in Northern France,
was t he lirst fir m to produce a jc t e ngine specially devel-
oped for model aircraft. The company·s first mrbine::. the
Turhorcc T240. was manufactured and marke::te::d as far
b<ick as 1991 . It is a sm all engine with a radial compres-
sor and radial turbine. The d esign is based on develop-
ment work carried out by the Frc:nchman Mich el Serrier,
who had worked o n producing a practical model jet
engine sim :e the mid-80s. Fo r his experiments he used
the complete rotor of a small turbocharger of <>O mm
diameter. In taking th i~ approach he started with the
advant age o f a c omple t e , professio nally manufactured
rotor systcm. TI1e compressor wheel and turbine:: wheel
arc accur.1tely matched to e:1eh other in tcrms of through·
put :1nd art: o f good efficiency. In additio n the turbin e
w h eel is m:tde of high -strength . h cat-resistanc materials
Tl1is mollified FD 3/ 64 f elllures a compressor anti Gin w ithstand very high lo<ids in terms o f tempera-
11•beel macl.1i11edfrom tbe solid. Tbe builder ture and rotational speed.
de«:ided rwt lo fit "' cm•er <>1•e1· ll.1e comp1·essor. The entire rotor is surrounded by a specially made
h ousing . In con trast t o a turbocharger this design
is ahout 200 m/s, which is rda1 ivcly low in comparison e mploys rings of guide vanes . TI1e compressor diffuser
with full-size enginc:s. As a direct result of this the e ngine s1•ste m is s imilar to t hat t>f t he Turl:x.Jmcca Marhore , i.e.
is very quiet in operatio n. The familiar thunderous noise it features o n e radial ring and one axial ring of g uide
of full-size jet engines is primarily a function of their very va nes, m illed from alumin iu m <illoy. The individua l
high e mux spec:-d, and the:- FD e ngines side·step this proh- vanes are machine d from the solid o n CNC milling
lcm. The- c-nginc:-·s thrust of :'0 Newtons is h igh for an machines. The combustion e hamher was designed t o
engine mass of about 7'l0 g. and this is due to th e co nsid· ru n on propane gas only. alt.h ough that does not apply
crablc throughput. in the latest models. The liq uid gas first flows thro ugh a
The:- engine is l6'l mm lo ng and I I 0 nun in diameter. ring welded onto t he h ot thrust nozzle . This arrange-
Th ese figu n:s make the:: FD 3 h ard to bt"at in terms of ment represents a small he:1t exch:mger, which partially
thrust/wdght ratio; even full-s ize jet engines d o not vaporises th e fuel. The p ro pane eventually reaehes the
alw<iys achieve s uch good values. In overall terms the FO turbine·s throttle, where a needle valve is used to contro l
3 must be judged an effective modt:I jt:t cngine, and it h as the:: gas flow, and wit h it the turbine·s nnational speed. A
already proved its reliability and p racticality in many mod- second adjus table:: throttle limits the fuel flow to the
d s. Thanks to the constmctional drawings produced by combustion chamber. Us ing th is techno logy the engine
Kurt Schrc-ckling many modellers have already produced o ffers dean and almos1 eomplete combustion. For thc-
thdr own versions. which h ave been made an d flown in same reason a fuel pump is not required since the gas is
many parts of the world. under pressure and readily flows into the engin e . After
the combustio n c ham-
1"1:1e ]PX T240, the first series-prod11ced model}et e11~i11e. he r t h e h o t gases flow
into the nozzle guide
vane syst em. This sec-
t ion is also different co a
turboch arge r because it
fe atu r es guid e vanes.
The h ot gas, n ow at a
temperature of around
750°C, eventually reach-
e s t he t u rhi n e wheel .
where it g ives up the
major part of its energy.
The remaining h eat loss
t akes place in the high·
volume t hrust nozzle .
T h e working gas finally
leaves the engine after
being accelerated t o a
speed of more than 300
The T240 produces a
th rust of around i5
Ne wtons at full th rottle
and a rotational speed of
122.000 rpm. Th e p res-
sure ratio is around 2. I 'l,

26 .Wod el.fet E11g i11es

the exhaust tempt:ratun:
approxima td y 650' C.
Funht:r thermodynamic
data h as n m ye t hcc n
puh tished hr JPX .
a lt hough caku latio n s
indkate a thru uv.hpul o f
around 0 . 13 kg/s and an
exh aust s p c:e<l o f YI">
m /s . The comhus t io n
gas tem pcnuure is proh-
ahly arou nd 830°C. At
these operating v;1 tu cs
the Turho rcc achievl's a
very commcmlabk fud
cons umption of arou nd
13 5 g gas pt:r minute::.
This corresponds t o a
volume of approximate-
1) 270 m l o f liq uid gas.
The mass of the T240 is
i.- kg. the le ngth .H S
mm, the maximum d iam-
eter 116 mm.
·m e engin e h as been
the subject of a contin u- T/Je JPX turlJi11e 011 t/Je test s ta11d
o us progr.unme o f modi-
fic."lltion :md develo pment. Its direct successor, the T250P, tht: st:mdard comhustion chamber with a kerosen e-burn-
offers im:rca:><:d thrust combined w ith tower engine mass. ing varianr using hooked tuhes (sticks). The various ver-
J PX q uotes a continuous p ower rating for this e ngine o f sions for Jet A I fue l all p roduce th e same thmst as the
49 Newton s at a spt:ed of I 18.000 rpm . T he e n g int: p ro p an e gas p owered types. J PX t u rbines have p roved
weighs 1.55 kg plus au xiliary equipment. The: thrust u f thei r p r.1cticalit y at n umerous tl yin g events. and tht:y
the turb in e can be inc r eased t o a m ax im um of c;9 bc:en p o pular and successful in spite of their high pur-
Newt ons for a b ri t:f pt'riod, for example , at take-off. c hase price. Several kit man ufacturers havt: offc::rt:d vc:r-
Funhcr dt:vclopment has resulted in a new. own.desig n sions of thcir m odels that art: specially d esigned for
rotor syst em, in w hkh the compressor and tu rbi n e these e ngi nes. T h ere h ave:- even hce n m odt'ls w hich
whcds arc connectccl to each other hy a large-diame ter have were d esigned exclus ively for the installation o f the
tuhular sh aft. The w h eels arc m an ufacrurnl specifically T240 o r their s uccessors. T he importance o f the JPX
for this engine . The turbi ne based on this work i!' thc:- st:ric::s latc::r tlccreased from year to year. Other construc-
T 260P, and its spccified p ower o utput is 60 Newto ns tions w ith axial turbine w h eels have provt: n faste r to
continuous thrust. Its mass remains at 1.7 kg. Tl11:: othe r accelerate a nd m o re p owerful. Also the use of liquid
dime nsions are lar)(ely the same a!'. tho!'.e of the o riginal propan<: gas has always bee n a disadvantage compared
T240 versio n. These late r e ngines also run o n propane t o the easy to handle kerosen e . Mocklk r s using thc:-
gas. Turborcc need a con s iderable amo u n t o f auxilia r y
I land ling th e fue l ( liquid propane gas) does require a equipment: compn·sscd air is needed to stan the e ng ine.
cautio us. circumsp ect approach. Tht: only ty p e o f fuel T his is fcd th roug h a nozzle to the c ompressor w h eel.
tank w hich can he used is a p ressure container, and this
must he located close to the Centre o f c;r.1vity of the T/Je Sopl,ia liq11itl.f11e lled e11gi11e is of 11ery1si111ilt1r
model aircr.ift. Wi tho ut doubt propane gas represents a 11ppeartmce to tbe ]PXfnmily.
consid erahle lire h a1..a rd . If th e model should catc h fire.
the tank re p resents a d<t11ger to everything in the immedi-
aie vici nity. For this rt·ason a fi r e extinguisher is an
absolutely essc:mial comp onent of th e:- standard equip-
ment - alt h ough this also a pplies to o t her typ es o f jct
engine. On the:: o ther hand prop ane gas is a clean fuel; the
model never hecomes soiled w ith s pilt d iesel o r
kero:><:ne. A funh e r ad vantage is the lack o f problems in
igniting the mixturt' in the combustion c hambe r.
In recent years great c ffon s have been made in con-
vening the turbines to run on ke rosene. O n sever.II occa-
sions the compan y has anno unn:d scr ic::s produc tio n o l
the · K" version d esigned for liquid fuel , and eventtmll y
this version did reach the model sh o p s . The turbine
employs a number of small injector nozzles w hich atom-
i~ the kerose ne very tinety. Some .JPX owners have also
convertc:-d the ir own e ngines to kerosene hy rc::placing

Model j et £ 111-: i 11es 27

th e rear is slale of the art. Only AMT still use their own
walkin g sticks type. Rurning re:tl keroM:nc in model size
combustion chambers was fon11erly a significant problem.
Nowadays most combustors work well with kerosene so
that tanks with liquid prop ane gas are no lo nger required.
A\1tomatic slarlers that spin th e e ngine 's rotor o n com-
m and are also w idely sprt:ad. These moto rs arc locatnl in
the air inlet. Wh e n started , the inertia of the:: dutch press-
es an o-ring to the spinner of the:: compressor wheel. As
lo ng as the engine's shaft doesn't overtake the starter. the
syste m is loosc::ly couplc::d.
Mirroring <lc::vdopme nrs in full-size engine huilding.
the:: t rend has been towards hig he r pressure ratios a nd gas
temperatures. However, the rise has b een modesr, and
the values are still a lo ng way below those usnl in "full-
size- aviation. As a result it is inevit:1b lt: that fuel efficien -
cy a nd power density remain inordinately low in
In gcnt:ral terms it is important to have a rea listic
understanding o f the compkxit y of all the m odel jet
engines currency availab le commercially. Extremely tight
manufacturi ng t o le rances a re essential where all the
revolving parts are concerned, o the rwise there c1n ht: no
guarantee of long, tr ouhle-free operation. Som e:: of the
compone nts used for the rotor. c::specially the radial com-
prt:ssor. are sourced from the motor car industry. These
pan~ are dynamically balanced with great precision at the
facto ry. and this ensures smooth running even at very
high rotational speeds . Any attempt at improving the bal-
ance - unless you have exp e nsive special equipme nt - o r
even dismantling the rotor assemhly incorrectly, :tlmost
inev ita hly r es ults in a worsening of rotor balance .
111e 1'250P supplies ple11ty of tbrust wbe 11 correctly Maintaining the engine in the amate u rs modelle r's work-
i11stcilled i11 the fuselage. shop, as happens with small pisto n e ngines, is generally
n ot possible. Most manufacturers state that a d efective
w hich it sets in rotation. JPX has now stopped develop- e n gine must be re turne d to the manufacturer, o r a n
ing and producing this famous series. aurho rised service centre, for servicing. and the re:: are
good reasons for this.
Model jet engines to date The je t e ngine 's control system is also complicatc::d.
In recent years various nu-bines have bt:en devc::loped Most commercial turbinc::s are supplie d w ith control units
to the point w h ere they are ready for series p roduction. that automatically regulate the e ngine, based o n cmcial
anll are now availabk to the kc-t'.n modc::lkr. The thrusr facrors s uc h as rotational speed o r pressure, and exhaust
figures roSt'. almost from yc-ar to year and have reached a gas t e mperature. The control unit's software:: includes a
kvc::I that b almost too high for many amateur pilots. special program sequence for starting the engine, which
Th rus t s of I 10 Newto ns and more are w idespread. ensures that th e fuel tlow is mc::tered at th e o ptimum rale.
Vertical climhs are e-.tsily p ossible if the mo<ld weight is the propanc:- gas for starting can e nte r and the glow plug
low. is rurned on for this m omc::n t. These fac ilities make::
At the: , e t im e . manufacturers also realised the e ngine operation much easie r and also safer. Today many
demanll for even smalle r e ngines. With high e r rotational engiJ1es can be started and run completely v ia the remote
spn :ds it is even possible to build much sm:tllt:r engines control. During operation the rotational speed and the
then described here in the building ins tructio n s. exhaust gas lemperature (EGT) are permanen tly moni-
Compressor diamett:rs of only 50 mm and below are used tored and regulated.
in commercial engint:s. Tlu:se small units reach rotational It is especially impo rtant that the:: control unit takt:s
speeds of 180 ,000 rpm and more. Apart from their main into account th e possibility of user c::rror, and eliminates
us1; - pr<Xlm:ing thn•~t to propel the aircraft - these very the danger~ from such mistakc::s. Playing about w ith the
small engines have proven ideal for driving a second throttle stick w h en controlling a piston e ngine d oes n o
stage free turbine to deliver shaft power. harm, b ut rc::pc::ating rhe experiment with an unregulated
The general layout h as become mo re and mo re similar jet engine will wrec k it in ve ry s hort order. At o n e
nowadays. ·n1e designs follow the former amateur con- extreme the r otati o nal speed of the turbine may fall
structions, as they have provc::n rdiahle and p owerful. All below w hat we:: call the ~ustain speed. i.e. bdow the
model jc-t enginc::s use compressors from car or lo r ry tur- po int at w hich the rotor is capable:: of accder.tting under
bod 1argers. The working turbine is a single stage axial its vwn power. Ar rhis point the compressor and turbine
type. The use of heat resistant a lloys such as lncon el 7 1~ are working at greatly reduced e fficiency, and al the same
or Nimoni<: typ t:s is standard t0day. The design o f the timc:: b earing friction has a much more:: serious influe nce.
combustion c hambe r has been taken over from th e home- If you open the throttlt: in thb state. any turhine w ill be
huilt engines. Pre vaporisation of kerosene in sticks from <lam.aged or even ruined in just a few seconds. Even more

28 Mode/Jet £11J!,ines
AMT Olympus KH66 WREN MW54 JF-50 Bee
Engine diameter (mm) 130 112 87 80
Length (mm) 267 230 150 173
Compressor diameter (mm) 84 66 54 50
Turbine diameter (mm) 84 66 55 50
Engine weight
(without fuel pump and ECU) 2475 930 800 800
Maximum rpm 108'000 115'000 160'000 180'000
Idle rpm 34'000 35'000 45'000 50'000
Thrust @ max rpm (Newton) 230 75 54 63
Pressure ratio 4.0 2.2 2.3 2.3
Fuel consumption (ml/min) 800 300 210 220
Mass flow (kg/s) 0.45 0.23 -0. 18 -0.2

dangerous is the opposite extreme , which is the turbine's how. The complicatt"d handling and th e progress w ith
ability to run away uncontrollably. This is simply the o ther designs made:: this tuminc: become:: more an d more
result of feeding too much fud to tht" t"ngine, and allow- meaningkss. Yet eve::n today some:: examples 0111 be
ing it to exceed its safe max imum rotational speed. The found at jet meetings.
latter case is panicularty hazardous and the con tml unit
must preve::nt it happening w ith perfect rdiahi lity. 1.2. AMT - Advanced Micro Turbin es
An y moddler w h o uses a je::t e ngine must b e:: fully Re::ally trend-setting e ngin<'S have been designed in th e
aware of tht: special d1aracte::ristics of these powt'.r p lants Netherlands. Han Jenniskt:ns and Ben nit: van de Goor
and ham.lit: them cautiously and resp o nsibly. However. started earlr in the 90s w ith their turbine constmctions.
modd jet engines can be considcrt'.d saft: provided that Roth were experienced pulsc:-jt:t builders and pilots and
you observe eleme ntary safet y precautions aimc::d at prop- became re::al model jt"t pioneers. 'lhey have heen the core
t:r fuel metering and thl· avoidance of tire. of a te::am and have:: worked togt'.th er for m any yea rs .
\1any cakulations and experiments have rnken place in
1. 1. TheJ-450 by Sophia Precision 1990 and the following years. I have also been in comact
The ovt"mll dc::sign of the Japane;-se J-4'i0 turhine is vc::ry with them and we exchanged many ideas.
similar to that o f the Frt'.nch T 240: here again we:: find a "Ole company of Advance::(.! Mkro Tud1incs (AIVIT) was
rotor consisting of a radial comprt'ssor and radial tur11int". later founded specifically to manufacrure and market the
Tht: major d ifference bt:rween the two t:ngines is the engines. This philosophy has proved to o ffer many ad,·an-
combustion chamber system: the ) 450 uSt:s a mixt ure of tages: planning, development, testing and productio n an:
petrol and kerosene as fuel. Burning this mixture:: in such all carrinl out in-h o use:. and this results in a n1rhine that
a small combustion chamber presents many prohlems. In incorporates many good ideas and a great we::alth o f t"Xpt:-
contrast to propane:: gas, tht' liquid fuel h as to be very rience::. Tht:ir first tngine , the Peg:1sus Mk-2 h as been the
finely atomised or vapor ised. For this engin e Sophia most powerful production model jet e ngine for years.
Precision dt:cided to takt' t he route of direct injection In contrnst to most other manufacture rs, AMT decidc::d
through small :uomiser jets, using an injector pre::ssun:: of on a genuine axial n1rbinc from t he outset; a type:: of tur-
arou nd 10 har at full throttle. The high pressure is pro- bine which is now absolutt:ly standard in all full-size jet
duce::d by a powe rful dt:ct ril· gear pump, which sucks the engines. \Vith an axial turbine the working gas flows par-
fud mixture: from a tank anll force::s it into the e ngine. Of a llt:I to t h e s haft all the time it is passing through the
course, the turbine could also he run on pure kerosene::, rotor. 111e o nly component that is tkrivt:d from a tur-
hut to achie,·e reliable:: ignition of the mixture in the com- hochargt:r is the rndial compressor wheel.
busLio n chambc::r the flash point o f the fuel must be very The hot devdopmem-p h:ti;(.' began in 1992 with a first
low. To achieve:' this the:: kerose ne is mixed with gasoline::,
which is highly volatile and thert:fore a serious fice:: haz- Tbe Sophia Precisi011J-..J50 installed i11 an F86.
ard. Initially it was necessary ro preheat the J-450 w ith a
hot air gun fo r several m inu tes if weathtT conditions
were cool; only the n was the spark p lug projecting inside::
thc combustion chamber capable of igniting the fud.
Howe::ve::r, thc::st: problems h ad bt'.t:n solved . The
e::ngine is designt"d to produce a continuous thrust o f
around 55 Nt"wtons, but it can provide up to 60 Newtons
if required. Its maximum prt"ssure ratio is 2.4 at a ro ta-
tio nal speed of 150,000 rpm, and t hese figures clearly
exce::t:d those of tht: Turhorec T240. The Sophia Precis io n
J-450 weighs 1.8 kg witho ut the fut:I pump. Tht" e::ngine
did not feature: a speed limiter, and was sold without a
regulator. As with the JPX n 1rhint'.S, compressed air from
a bottle is required for staning. A JO-litre steel bottle is
sufficient for 10 to 15 starts. The nHKldle r. w ho used the
Sophia needed a lot of equipment and technical know

lfvdelj et E11gi11es 29
The AMT Olympus, Pegasus and Merc11ry f amil)• cif e11gi11e.<t.

protocypc. Thi~ powc::r plant wa~ fitlc::d w ith an 84 mm

E1•en the first p1·ototype AMT Pegasus (Mk-1) diameter rotor, and after a shorr period of developmelll it
produced a thrus t of JOO N. The blade tips are was ~tlready producing an impressive:: thrust of around -o
mo1•i11g at a speed of about 1500 km/ h1· at full Newtons. Continual improve m ents in the area o f the::
throttle, arlll this dem~mds e11ormous precisio11 in combustion chamber aml th e nozzle guide vane system
mm11ifact11re. (Photo: AVIVA Press,joop We11steclt). increaM:d this figure to a final valu e of 100 Newtons at a
rotational ~pc::ed of 95.000 rpm. In the course of the next
fc::w yc::ars this c::nginc:: complt:tt:d num c::rous tc::st flights
mountc::d o n a Heinke! Salamander. The next p rototype,
the Pegasus Mk-3, re tlected a further improvement in the
technology. With a similar rotor. consisting o f a Garrt:tl
com pressor w h eel and an axial turbine , the e n g ine
achieved a re markable l 50 Newtons of static thrust at a

The NGV systems a11d t11rbi11e w/Jeels oftlJe AMT

Ol)•mpus a11d Mercury cC1st in l11co11el 713.

3n i'vfodel}et 1!11~i11es
p ressure r-.itio o f 3.5; a figu re w h ich lies in the range of lion of U. 17 kg/N/h at full t h rortlc , t hc e ngine is e xt reme-
full-s ize e ngim:s of s imila r desig n. This e ngin e prove<l ly fnigal o n fuel. hut this slill mean s that it co ns umes th e
heyond all d o uht the feasibility o f an axial turbin e in a su bstantial quan t ity o f 350 m l o f kerosen e pe r mi n ute .
mcxlcl jet e ngi ne. T h e Pegas us is e x t re mely com pact, w it h a uiam c:-ttT o f
111is level o f power was co nsi<lere<l n o lo nge r appro- 120 mm anu a le n gth of 2..,0 m m. an u w eighs 2050 g
priate to the m o<le l aircraft application, so the p ro<luc tion incl ud ing fud pump anu electro nics. Many of t hese fca-
enginl· is slightly smal ler. 111e p roductio n , ·ersion o f th e tun ::. that were fi rst found in this e::ngin e are sta nda rd on
~lk-J featu res a 76 m m diame te r compressor w h ec::I, o ther.. to<lay.
w hich is pan o f a h igh-th roughput Ga rre n turbocharger. Two funht:r engines h ave tx:cn d evelop ed on the hasis
The diffuser sptem con s ist s o f t wo rings o f vanes. o f this proven d esign. 111c fi rst was an even more power-
thro ugh w hich air flows first radially an<l the n axially. TI1e fu l va ri a nt, t h e O ly mpus , w hic h is based o n existing
compressor is driven by an axial t uri)itle wheel. manufac- Pega:.u:. c o m pone nts. hut e mploying an 8 4 mm Garre ll
tu red h y a sp e cialist compan y using a v ac uum cas ting unit as comp ressor w h eel. The turbin e wheel was origi-
p rocess. ·m e mate rial is a he avy-duty heat-resistant nickeJ. nall y that o f the Pq~asus. but a la rge r diam eter unit is now
haSt:d alloy - the same mate1i al fro m w hich turiXJcharger used . In t h is c o nfigura tion the AMT Olympus p roduces
compon ents and gas t urbine vanes are m anufactured. 230 Newtons o f t hrust, w hic h is well outside the sp e c-
T he c ombus ti o n c h a mbe r o f t h e P egasu s Mk-3 is trum o f nor mal modd ap plicat ions . Hardly any m odd jtc·t
designed to work with Jc t A I kerosen e o r a comparablt: aircn1ft arc designe d to hand le suc h levels o f power. As a
fue l. injected hy means of so-calk:d sticks. o r mixer tubes. result ii o nly for ms a suitable power p lant for the highly
ThcSt: tuhcs e xtend into th e combustio n zone of the c o m- ex p e rienced and very s ak ty-cons dous modclk r w ho
bustio n c ham ber. w h e re th e fuel vaporises and m ixes w ishes to build and tly reall y extraoruinarily large m ode ls.
w ith t hc comh ustio n air. The injec tion p ressure required Like th1: Pegasu s. the O lympus turbine is also co ntrolled
for t his to work is very low. Much developme nt work on by a sophisticated syste m of electronics. The m ass of the
optimising the combustio n ch amber has resulted in a sim- e ngine is 2,400 g . External!)' it is vin ually identical to its
p le. rcliahle syste m: fuel is burned very efficie n tly (i.e . s malle r broth er. a lthough the u iamete r is a little larger at
completely) from a very low id le spee d right u p to full 130 m m . T h e: the r mody n amic d a t a produced b y t h e
thrortle . For staning it is neceS!Sary to p re-heat the com- engine a lmost approach tho1>t: of genuine drone engines:
bustion c hamtx:r using~ from a small c artridge. and th e th e p rt:sS\tre ratio reaches a value of 4 , the e xh aust ga..'>
mixture is act ua llr iJ,tni te<.I usit1g a glowplug . te m perature 65<rC. At full th rottle. w h ich is no less than
111c engine designers ~1lso invt:Sted som e fres h th ink- I 08.000 rpm. t he O lymp us consumes 800 ml of ke rosene
ing In the mailer o f th e roto r hearings. They realised th at per m inute.
the ex1reme rotation al speeds encounte re d in a modd je t 1lowc:vc:r, th e:: latest ucvclopment from AMT is m ore
engine actuall)' called for a lubricant o f very low viscosity. significant . as it is a smaller turhi ne : th e Merc ury. He rc
In fact, the viscosity of the kerosene fuel itself was suffi- agai n , t he d esign of the e n gine is b as ically the sam e as
cient to lubricate th1: bear ing.-;. and this made it p<.>ssihle th at of th e Pegasus. but in te rms of size and thrust it is a
to om it the o il tank genendly used u ntil th en . Inside the good match for m ost curr(·nt model jet a ircraft. O ne
engine a p ipt' g uklt:s a few pen:cnt of t he fuel to the h c::ar- notab le attribute b th e turl) int:':. mod es! e xternal diame-
ings. T o e n s u re d flT t ive lu b rica tion c::v e n w h e n t h e ter, w h ich is a d e libe rate design featu re. l he case diame-
ke rosene fuel is abovt· its boiling point, 4.5% o f turbine te r is o n ly 100 mm, and the lengt h just 225 mm. These
oil is addnl to the fuel. Th e c::ngine is fitte d with h ybrid small dimen skins are o n ly p ossible because the e ngine is
hearings with silicon-ni tride r unning surfac es. b ased o n a ver y s ma ll rotor. Neve rth e less. the turbine
Th e Pegasus is regulate d by a special micro-processor p roduce:::. a n impn.::.sivc t h rust o f 88 Newto ns. a nd the
controlled e lectro n ic u nit. A sensor p icks u p the rota- secre t 10 its high output is the high rotatio n al speeus at
tio nal speed of tlw rotor, w hile a thermo-elc::ment moni- w h id1 it run s: t he full th rottle s peed is 150.000 r pm . The
tor.. the exh aust gas te m pernture in the th rust n ozzle. Th e ax ia l t urb ine w h eel is an o t h e r p re<.:isio n cast in g in
e lectronic u nit the n co n trols the injecto r pum p o n the lnconc l 7 13 . The 1\k rn u:y ach ieves a p ressu re rntio of 2.8
basis of this data a nu th e p ositio n o f the throttle st ic k. at an exh a ust gas urc: of 6 50 °C, and fue l con -
Th e un it includes p ro tection again st over-revving, a nd sum p t ion is ve ry low a t aro u n d 360 ml p e r min ute.
also prevents th e tu rbine· r unning below the safe mini- Exte rnally the smalle r engine is very simila r to its two
mum rotational speed. The contro lle r software provides a lal')!cr broth ers.
furt he r program seque n ce to g ive re liable starting. The In the meantime the good team o f Benn ie an d Han has
turbine is also stopped un de r computer contro l. Before un fortuna tely split up anu t wo branch es develo pnl. They
the fuel supply is c ut off. th e e ngine is run to a ro tatio nal are AMT Nethe rla nds and AMT USA. Both companies are
speed at w hich the exh aust g;1s temper.iture is at a m in i- legall)' indepc;·ndcnt, but now sell similar rurbines.
mu m. Th b means th at lillle heat ii. able to pc::netrate t o
the delic:tte hearings w he n the rotor is statio nary an d thl· 1..3 .. The Jg 66
flow of cooling air non-existent. Special software is also In recent years Sch reck ling has ahan doncd his o riginal
arnilable to allow th e t r-Jnsfe r o f c urre nt op e ration al data ucsign. The lates1 t urb ine that is linked to his n ame is th e
from the controller to a Personal Compute r via a sc::rial KJ 66. ·111is is a high-pcrfom1ance mcxlel je t e nginc t hat
link. h as htc·c o me extremely well known since its introduc tion.
T he Pegasus Mk-3 was rate d at a co ntinuous th nist o f The n ame is de rived fro m th e initials o f th e first n am es of
I 00 New1o ns, and thus represented th e rop end o f the the moto r 's m anufacturers. Kurt Sch reckling and J csu!'>
power spectm m o f mouel jt't e ngines for some years. The Artcs, w ho collahor-Jtt:d o n the design o f the n ew e ngine.
turbine's full throttle spee d is 105,000 rpm. At th is speed T he KJ (,(, is externall y similar to t he o riginal FD 3/6~ .
the pressure: r'J tio is 3. the throug11put 0 .28 and the w hic h w:1s dcsigm:d by Kurt Schrcckling. b ut that is all
efflux spcnl just on 360 m/s. With a sp e cific consum p- th e two turbines h ave in comm o n. O nly the outer h o us-

.llodel jet t"npJ11es 31

The Gen1u111 Beh<>tec lnis i11tenU11lJ' a simila1·
desig11 tu tl1e KJ 66.
KJ 66 a11d Microturbi11e (left).
therefore offers an impressive rhrusr:wcight ratio. With
ing of the:: c::ngine was rc::tained for the new design. It is thest: figures the turbine is capable of providing plenty of
the case of a small gas comainc::r which can be bought as thrnst for virtu:11ly any modd jt'.t aircraft.
a camping accessory. The otht-r intc::rnal parts have:: hc::c::n Further devdopmc::nti. around the KJ 66 include an
entirely re des igned , and in gc::neral layout they corre- elect ronic control unit. Gaspar Espidl, a member of the
spond to the Micro-Turbine described in these buikling tc::am ci:ntred on Jesus Arres, has develop ed an e ngine
instrnctions. governor whil:h controb this (and other) model turbines
The compressor is a proven turbochargt'.r whc::d with vcry acc urately. The electronic circuit monitors both
a diamerer of 66 mm. This component is mm:h more: dli- exhau~t gas tc::mpcrnrure and compressor pressure. and
cic::nt than tht' woollen type: prcviously used. The c o m- maximum and minimum pressures can be:: entered to suit
pn:ssor d iffuser takc::s the: form of a machined aluminium the specific application by mc::ans of a handhdd data ter-
part. whoM: vanes take the form of fat wedges. The axial minal. Tht: KJ 66 ha~ not been produced as a complete
turbine whc::el is a precision-made fine cast item with 23 c:: nginc:: in t he beginning. A set of plans and tht: most
vanc::s that can tolerate extremely high rotational sp enls. important part~. induding the t urbine wheel have been
The wheel is cast in Spain in Incond -r 13. It has bec::n a available. Meamvhile almost all parts can he bought from
co-operation bctwet:n J esus, Kurt and me to c::nabk thc:: diffc::rent vendors. This turhine-<lesign has been c opied
whed w fit the K.J anu the:: Micro-Turbine:: as well. It is many timc::s and many of the current commercial turbines
now also used in othc::r c::nginc::s of thc:: same size. look like this turbine in many points.
The combustion c h ambc::r c::mploys the now proven
stick principk . The actual combustion c hamber is very 1.4. The Artes-Turbines
compact, so that a sh ort shaft can he used. lhe shaft is Jesus Aries and his Spanish Tc::am mo ved on in devel·
carried in two hallraces that are mounted in an alumini- oping their own modd c::ngines. The o riginal design of
um shaft tunnel; the hearings arc:: preloaded by means of a the: KJ 66 was improved and new components were:
spring. added. Th e J G-100 Eagle, a dc::sign of Jesus and (;aspar
·me:: KJ 66 h as a high maximum rotational spc::c::d. The Espiell. had been th e n ext turbine. TI1e thrust had almost
use of a wry strong turbine:: whc::d makc::s it possibk to doubled and 150 Newtons wc::re p ossible w ith this
nm the jet c::ngine safely at very high peripheral speeds. machine in a casing of only I 08 mm diarnt::tt'.r. This
At 11 5,000 rpm the KJ 66 produces a thrust of 15 tremendous p e rformance is possible by some changes,
Nc::wmns, and ar the samc:: time:: the weight of the engine::
is very low thanks to its use of thin sheet materials. The The ca!>·t t11rbi1ie wheel oft/Je JF-ser-ies.
KJ 66 weighs around 950 g, depending on version, and

AK] 66 built irtlo a fuselage.

32 .41odel.fet lillf.! i 11es

Jet Cat P120111ou11ted 011 a Ka11aroo trai,-,er

KKK turbocharger compressor is used, combined with a

Jesus Artes with 011e of his]F-50 Bees. ,c ast axial turbine.
The combustion chamber is equipped with six sticks
especially by using larger compressor and turbine wheds. in which the kerose ne is pre-vaporised. Propane gas is
The new combustion chamb<::r has 12 sticks and the com- used for ignition, tired by an electric glow-plug. Initially
pressor wheel has I 6 blades with aggressive, almost the two ceramk bearings were lubricated by a separate
upright e nding b lades. At full throttle it reaches a rota- ,oiJ feed system, and the e ngine was supplied complete
tional speed of I ~2.000 rpm and a pressure ratio of 3.4. with an oil metering pump. hut since then the manufac-
The series version, now called JF-120 Super Eaglt: is ture rs have chan ged to a maintenance-free fuel lubrica-
produced in collaboration with Felipe Nier.o in Mexico. t ion system. Th~· front h earing is pre-loaded in the
The thrnst is slightly lowe r and now reach es I 35 Newton. forward direction, as in the AMT engines. In purely visual
The casing of the turbine is made o f aluminium. Man) terms the turbine is very neat and u ncluttered, and makes
details have been improved. Jesus spends m uch time in an excellt:nt impression.
development and continues to experiment with n ev. The output power is quoted at 80 Newtons, which is a
thrust cones, bearings, guide vanes and other pam;. very high level, and ample for powering models with a
Apart from the JF-I .lO other similar e ngines have been take-off weight of 12 kg or more. The engine weigh s just
developed. One e ngine, called JF-100 Falcon, has a small- over l.i kg complete with all acces.o;ories. However, the
er casing uf only 98 mm diameter hut still delivers a real highlight of the system is the integral starter. Once
thmst of I 00 Newtons. A lot of time h as been invested in the model's fuel tank has been tillnl and a ll batteries
building much smaller engines. The latest result, the JF-'>O ch arged, all you have ro <l<.> to start the engine is operate a
Bee is described at the e nd of the c h apter. Beside the switch on the transmitter the electronic circuit does the
engines, Jesus dt:livers a lot of parts. Cast turbine wheels, rest. First the starter is switched on; this engages w ith the
nozzle guide vanes and shafts are available. compressor hub automatically and sets the rotor spin-

1.5. The Jet Cat l)pical is tlJe electric starter ofthe Jet Cat.
model turbine
This model e ngine is
an interesti n g un it ,
which incorporates sev-
e ra I real innovations .
The feature that immedi-
ately catches the eye is
the ekctric startc:r
motor w hich is integrat-
ed into the t urb ine· s
inlet o pening. The
essential control compo-
nents are hidden away
discreetly in the inunedi·
ate vicinity of the inlet
hell mouth. Everythi ng
is conceakd . and the
engine is very compact
overall. In terms of tur-
bine t echnology the
JetCat P80 is very close-
ly based on existin g
home-built engines: the
proven 66 mm diameter

Model }el E11gi11es 33

TIJeJ F-50 s ectioned . the s mall t.mgitte is compact
jus t like toys. Parts of J esus ' Natto Bee. a 11d s ta ble.

ning. At the same time th e gas valve opens, and the g low- the entire starting p rocedu re can be carried o ut w ith ease
plug is switchc:-cl on. A thermo-element reports ign ition in and convenience from th e transmitter.
the combustion chamht:r h y detecting the rise in exhaust Also the o riginal JetCat P80 got b igger brothers. A
~s temperature. 1l1e electronic c ircuit responds by start- mof(." powerful version Pl20 , later a Pl(lO and even P2<X>
ing up the fuel pump. and the engine runs up to speed. with 200 Newtons continuous thmst is availahle now. All
Tne electric starter switches itsdf o ff, and th e gas flo w engin es look alike an d they a ll carry t h e c h aracteristic
required for ignition is c ut o ff au tomatically. From t his electric starter at t h eir front.
point on the turbine is re!,!td:m::d using the functions now
common to most modern engines. Maximum rotation:1l 1.6. Th e smallest e n gines
speed and exhaust gas temperature are au tomat icall y Despite t he tremen dous inflat ion of thrust figures in
limited. rece m years. muc h sm alle r engines h ave heen devel·
TI1e JetCat mod el turb ine has already p roved itself ino p ed. Fift y or s ixty Newtons of t hrust is more t h a n
many model aircraft: it is a ve ry eftident and lightweigh tenough to p ropel small ai r frames . New tu rboch arger
powt::r plant, its compact external dimt·nsions allow the developmen ts from the:: car industry also h e lp to enab le
t·ngine to he fitted easily into most model jet aircraft. TI1e
new d imensions in small gas turhines. TI1e car in dustry
set includes compreh ensive instnictions and mounting p roduces smaller and smaller cars with turbocharged
materials. The JetCat has heen the first model rurbine that engines. Thc::se turboch argers a re so small. that th ey seem
has heen distributnl in rej?u lar model shops hr Graupner. to be almost toys. The smallest compressor wheels have
'Jnis fact must not imply that this power p lant is some- diameters of only 35 mm. The blades are cast w ith a
thing for a beginner. You also must be an experienced t hick ness of just 0.4 mm. You could merely cmsh th em
modeller to operate th e system cor rectly, but, this pre- with your fingers. Gen erally the n umber o f b lades a re
condition fu lfille d and the system cor rect ly in st alled,
onlr 8 or lO and they are greatly rctro·<:urved. T h e cffi.
the model is simply carrit'd to the take-off strip. where cicn:cy of t hese w heels b almost as h igh as that of the ir
bigger brothers W h eels
R elt1tio11 belwee11 rotati1ma l sp eed tmd compresso r dfa mete 1·. of 50 m m reach almost
80%. T h e availability of
rpm Rot ational speed at 400 metres I sec blade tip speed these parts makes very
s ma ll and powerfu l
240'000 engines possible.
T h e number of revo-
220'000 1ut ions r eaches new
dimen sion s as well. Up
200'000 to 180,000 rpm are nec-
essar y. T h is mea n s n o
180'000 lc::ss then 3.000 revolu-
66er, KJ-66,
t ions per second . If
160 .000 + - - ------i JetCat, etc. perfectly balanced, yo u
lose t h e feel ing for
140'000 t h ese rotational speeds.
At fu ll t hrottle you just
120'000 hear a powerful roaring
and t he r p m just
100'000 b ecomes a number o n
t h e digital display. The
80'000 s hafts are fi tted with
h ybrid bearings w ith out
84 80 76 72 68 64 60 56 52 48 44 40 36 32
<.:<1ges. They are gen eral-
Turbine wheel diameter [mm] ly lubr icate d w ith fue l.

.34 ModC'l.fet £11~i11es

The MW 54 a '1d iU s m a lle 1· IJrotl1er the MW 44.
l'he Bee 0 11 t11e l est he,,c l1. You d on't realise the
e.Ytrem e t·otalio11al speed. d ime nsions thl' thrust n: ad1cs 'l<i New ton a t about
16o,OOO rpm. Utter developments led to an MW54 MK3
As w ith the maximum n :volu tions, idle speed a lso with an augmented thrust o f b4 Newtons. With this n or-
increases. It' is typically around 50.()(X) rpm for the small-mal s ized models can he flown without an y problems.
est engines. The small electric starters have to spin up The construction is also ideal for models with two or
extremely h igh to get the engine to run safely. 1hrec engines. Also the fuel consumption is relatively low.
A typical ex~tmpk for a very small engine is Jesus' JF- l11e construction of the combustion c h amber is worth
50 Ike. 111e overall d esign is similar to that of its larger m e ntioning. Espec ially in small engin cs the complete:
brothers. The outer diameter h as been reduced to only 80 cumhustion of th e fuel is a serious problem. 111e comhus-
mm, the.- kngth is 17:\ mm. Th e J F-50 Bee reaches full tor of the MW 54 ha'i a length of only 4' mm. Wit h in this
th rottk at 180.000 rpm and a thrust of 60 Newtons. If distance combustion and mixini;: of secondary air must
you hold this mach ine in your han ds you realise: that it is t ake place. John and Mike arc using the proven sticks, h ut
really only as hig as a coffee-<:up, but at the test bench it h ere ther a re formed like an ·s· and e n d at the inner diam-
certainly earns high respect because o f the really high e ter of the co mbustion chambe r. Additionally small n oz-
pe rformance. The Bee has an electrk starter and is entire- zles lead air into the chamber. That tht· concept works is
ly digita lly controlled . The weight is HOO g . Jesus has proven hy the low exh aust gas tcmperature of 5-0 "<:
already devt:loped an even mud1 smalle r engine. This without the exha u st nozzle. Wi th the thrust nozzle
Nano &e is already working but is. at time of writing, still m ounted about 575 'C is reiichcd.
in an experimental stage. Th e Nano Bee h as a wheel Mike and John have also p roduced an even smaller ver-
d iameter o f only 35 mm. Tiu: external diameter is only 58 s ion. Tiu· MW 44 is a fully develo pcd series e ngine w ith a
mm. It fits into a heverage can. wheel diame ter of only "'"' mm. Its potential is about ~2
Another small turhinc
h as been deve loped in The MW 44 built i 11to a tr<li11er. With th<• IJmul close to ii you e<m imagi11e tl1e
England John c;_Wrigh t extre mely small size.
and Mike Murphy h ave
designed the MW 54. a
small engine based o n a
turbocharger compres-
sor . T h e name is also
derived fro m the names
of the builders and th e
diamete r of the com -
pressor. The e ngine uses
a 54 mm Garret com-
prt:ssor w h eel. Thc tur-
bine whcel is exact ly
one millimetre larger. It
is, as well as the NGV, a
cast part made of t he
heat resistant material
Incond 7 13 .
The MW 54 is very
small an<l light. lls o uter
diameter is onl)1 87 mm
and the le ngth is about
150 mm . The engi n e
weighs ju:.t 650 g and
although of such small

Mode/Jet £ 11pJ11es 35
is by far t:'asie r then to couple the gears directly to the
c ore;: engine's main sh:tft. The e ng ines c;m he used to
drive· a propeller (turho pro p) o r to drive: the roto r o f a
helicopter (shaft power engine).
Very small turbines arc esp ecially interesting for turho-
prop applications. Their p ower is generally sufficient for
m ust applications a n d the fue l con s umption is low.
Building a shaft powc::r e ngine . based o n an A.\1T Olympus
could theorc::tically d e liver aho ut '50 kW and thercfort:
power a small car - too much fo r an y m odel applicat ion.
One popular co ns trnc tio n is based on the MW 54 core
c::ngine . "Illb :.m all turbine is usc:d as c ore gas gener<1tor
for th (· turhoprop assembly. With a much biggt:r second
turhine whe::cl insu:ad of the thnist nozzle , up to c; kW
shaft power are reached. "tnis assembly p owered a m odel
111e MlV 54 in turf)()pro/> c01yigun1tio'1 drlr•i11g a hc::licopter re liably already in 1999. In this s haft p ower
big propeller. version. the:: turbine i:. mountnl against tlight direc tion.
The hot exhaust gases stream to the fro nt, where the
Newtons and the weight is o nly '170 g . The rotor spins up power turbine is located. A big propcllc::r b then drive n
to an amazing 190.000 rpm. The:: MW 4-t and MW 54 are via a gearhox. The power can get so high, that some pro-
sold thro ugh WREN Turhinc::s Ltd. l';trts and complc:te kits pellers can break at full throttle . The engine is available
for the MW'>4 are also available. from WREN ready huilt as a kit.
Some turboprops havc in the meantime bt:corne com-
1.7. Turboprop and shaft powe.r e ngines merciallr availabk . but the)' can also be built from a plan.
Ap:trt from dirc:ct jet. o thc::r means can also he used to Herc rou can add a second turhinc st age t o an existing
pro pel airfra m es. The gas jct o r the e ngine deli ve rs gas tu rbine o r huild a sp ecially design ed constrnction.
e nough e nergy to produce p lenty of shaft power. The \ .c::rtainl) thc cffort b highe r th an if you o nly try to huild a
most p opular way is to use the exhaust gas jct to drive a normal jet engine . Kurt Schrc:·ckli ng did a lot o f dt:velop-
secondary turb ine stagt:'. This dt:sign has impo rtant ad van· mcrnt in this field. Hi~ building instructions are also avail·
tagcs. The second turbin e stage:: ;u.:ts as a clutch. The pro- able in a Traplc::t Publicatio n s book. The title b : "Tht'
pc llc::r can evcn bc hdd sto pped , w hile: th e core engine is Mo<-lcl Turbo-Prop Engine".
spooling up. Thc second turbine scat-:c: has a lso got much
lo wer rotation al speed-;. Construc ting suitable gcarhoxes

H o m e/J11i/J turboprop i11 tu•/11 s haft co11fig11ratio11 base tl 011 a r1ery s mall core e11gh1e..

36 Model]et E11~i11es
Chapter I

The Component Parts

of a Model]et Engine
his se::ction pre:-se::nts the: most important compo- components of the engin e . Although it has no moving
nents of a mode;:! je::t e::ngine:: - the:: compre::ssor, part!:> and its only task is to heat air by m e:ms of the
combustion chamber and turbine - one by one. combu stion of fuc::I. there are:: consider.tbk problc::ms
Details are provided on the principles and method of involvt:tl in optimising th e:: <lc::sign. nle rc::ason for thc::se
working of the parts , and also the methods of calculac- u ifficulties is the e::xtremely short period which the:: a ir
ing the data for designing these essential components . spends in the combustion chambe::r. On average this is
The hasic the::ory required is explained gradually and only about 1/500 of a second. In this p eriod the fuel and
illustr.ited with the h e lp of examples. T h e unde::rlying air have to be mixed. burned. and secondary air added to
formulae relating to each part are stated at the beginning the mixture.
of each section and discussc:d briefly where necessary. In this respect chemist!)' presents the modeller with
Only a small number of formulae art: req uired overall to serious problems. In fact· the expansion speed of t h e
calculatt: the e::sse::mial data for a jet engine, and you will name front is severely limited. It is therefore essential to
also find that eve11-rhing turns up again whe::n we:: discuss s low down the flow inside: the combustion charnbe:-r to a
the turbine. I would like to point out to you he::re th at, huge extent, so that the:: gas speed in the (:ombustion area
although the theo11· presented in this book can certainly (known as the prima11· zone) is very low. At high rotacion-
be used tor the calculations relating to a model jet engine, a l speeds gas flow speeds up markedly, and the efficie::ncy
the mathematics h as nan1rallr been simplified somewhat. of combustion falls off quickly, i.e. fuel leaves the e ngine
non 't be concerned - the complete calculations conce::rn- unburned. This can reach the extent that unburned fuel
ing all the tlow processes inside a model jet engine would forms a plume of w h ite smoke as it le:1ves th e e::xhaust. At
fill !)everal volumes, if it wert' possible at all. All this its worst the flame is simply b lown o ur. However, th e
means is that there is plenty of scope for experimental r ate of flow in the combustion c h amber can onlr be
work on th e completed engine::, using the modelkr's slowed down if its cross-sectional area is corre::spondingly
favourite method uf detennining the best possible design large. liquid fuels present a particular prohlem h e re . as
and construction of th e compone::nts. We:: shall start with combustion cannot take place until a combustible mix-
the compressor, as all the mher components are:- de::signed nm:: is forme::d - a complex proce ss in itself. The length of
and adjusted to s uit this part. T h e reason for this the combustion chamher plays :m important role here. If
sequence of operations is th at in this area the modeller the chamber is too short only a propo rtion of the:: fud
can use a ready-made compresM>r wheel as used in tur- hurns in tht· combustion chamber. and the flames then
bochargers. As a re:-sult, selecting a particular compressor continue into the turbine stage. Even if the engine runs at
w h eel determine::s tht: ove::rall characteristics of the engine ~Ill in such a state , this problem will always result in indti-
at a stroke. cie::nt exploitation of fuel. Stream :. of hot gas, still burning,
t h en p roduce local overheating in the turbine - what are
Specialfeatures q.f small gas turbines known as hot :.pots. Poor combustion also has an
unfavourable effe::ct on the efficiency of the t u rbine.
Model jet engines are not simply reduced-scale models Exhau st temperatures rise to excessive levels a ltho ugh
of full·size engines. l11e hasic method of working is the t he compressor and lurbine stages may actually be work-
same, but there are sp ecial considerations which demand iJng efficiently. Viewed overall, it is c lear that an efficient
a diffe::rent and usually :.impkr dc::sign. Any comparison combustion ch amht:r is a fundame::ntally essenti:ll fe:1ture
between a real aircraft engine and a modd jc::t c::ngine ini- of any p ra ctical model jet engine. Many industrial
tially throws up few similarities. Most modern gas tur- miniatu re:: gas ru rbines side::-step the problem of m inian1r-
bin es include fe::ature::s such as multi-stage compre::ssors ising the combustion chamber. This is done by arrang-
an d turbines. blade cooling, complex regulatOI)' and con- img a se::parate , large-volume:: combustion c hamber
trol machinery and so o n. and thc::St: arc:: simply not prc::- a djace::nt to th e rotor. A central fud injection vaporise::r
sent in the model version. In our case everything depends jet in th e m idd le of the flame p ipe is then all that is
on simplicity and functionality . required. Unfortunately this solutio n is very bulky, and
cannot he used in a jet engine designed to propel model
Combustion aircraft.
The:: combustion chamhc::r is one:: of the most critical

:vJodeljet E11gi11es 37
Ro to r d esign the Ct'ntrifugal forces rise furth er. Th e o nly force:: w h ich
Turbine engines only prodm.:e h igh p ower at ve ry countt'rs this e ffec t is the sh a ft 's n atural resilie n ce. As
hig h periph e ra l spn:d s . This ap plies to full-size je t Ion~ as th is is greate r than the centrifuga l force, the hend-
e ngi n es aml also to sm all ones, i.e. m odd je t e ng ines. ing s tays w ithin relativd y nar row li m its . However. if ro ta·
Th is inevit;ihly means very h igh rotational speed s to take timrnl speed continues to rise wt· reach a po int w he re the
inro act·ount th e smaller whcds. Our small e ng ines often rotational freque ncy of th t' roto r is t he same as the reso-
run at speeds in excess of 100.000 rpm, ckp ending o n nan t fre<1uency. At th is point resonance sets in and any
the diamet er o f t h e:: rotor. These very h igh rota t io nal min ute:: imbalance:: causc::s the:: rotor to hend an d oscillate.
speeds ma ke part ic u lar tkmands on t h e:: modelle r, as The deformation in the shaft incre:1ses un contro llab ly and
they require that the rotor s1·stem Ix: made to extremely the shaft is destroyed. However. hefort: this h appens. i.e .
h igh len·ls of precision. En:n n ·ry s light imha lance wt:ll ht:low the critical rotat io n al speed. the shaft may he
rcMtlts in substan tial centrifugal forces. w h ich in t u rn so serious ly dist orted that it is permanently bt:n t, and th<·
lead to a sligh t elasti c d e fo rmation ( b endin g) o f t he:: ht:n<l mar even be visib le to tht: naked eye. If th is occu rs
shaft. rhe disto rtion in turn inc rt'ases the imbalance. and in a mo de l je t engine the:: result is sudden, inte nse vibra-
tion at full throttle. As tht: engint' r uns d own the:: d amage::
will he o bvious by the compressor sh:1ft running o ut o f
W he n you art: runn ing the gas tu rb ine it is th e re fore
t·ssen tial to t'nsu re that the rotatio nal speed o f the s haft
remains significantly hdow th e c ritic:1l speed. l l1e:: critical
rota t ional freque nc.-y varies accon.ling to the shaft materi-
al, t he mass and geometry of t he roLOr and t he:: arrange-
men t of the:: he-Mings.
As a bm;ic rult' we:: can state that, the lo nger the shaft,
th e lower the maxim u m permissihle rotational speed. At
model s izes. for example , le ngthening t he shaft b y a sin-
g.le cent imetre reduces the rotatio nal speed strength b )
up to aho ut .l0°-.,. For tht: ~ame re ason the re are limits o n
F F t he length of th e:: c o m b u stio n d 1ambe::r. as it h as to fit
bt:Lwe::en the com p ressor and the rnrhine::.
Di<1g ram ~f <l111u1111ic be 11di11g <>f tbe e 11gl11e 's sl1aft T he act ual rotor hea rings take:: the form o f hallraces
11s it appnx1cl1e s tl1e c r l lic11I rotaliorwl speed. and , curiously e n ough , t hey gene rally p resent n o prob-
lems . 111e only essential st ricture here:: is th at the bearings
must ht: lubricated and cooled adequately. Provid ed that
this is the:: case, then you can safel)' exceed the n ominal
maximum spet:d stated by the heari ng mam.1fucnire r by
up t o th ree times. Heat-resistan t steels such as basic stain-
less. stet'! are extraordinarily poo r: conductors o f heat. and
it is only this circumstance:: w h ich t'nables us to keep tur-
b ine bearings at a low te mperarurt:. Altho ugh the temper-
ature o f the turb ine blades reaches more th an 600° C, the
hearings, located only a few centimetres away, stay rela-
ti vely cool. However, t h i:. b o nl y t rue if the c o r r ect
amount of air is duc ted to the:: bearings for cooling. If very
h igh rotational speeds are re q uired we recommen d that
t he bearings he p re-loaded usually to a m inimum value.
Six-cialist literature from bt:'.iring manufacturers sh ould be
!!rutlit:d o n th b point.

Gap losses
T he re m ust be a slight gap between t he comp ressor
an d tu rb ine w he::t:ls a nd t heir housing to p rovidt· clear-
ance for the m oving parts. Nlltu rnll y it is es~ntial to keep
t his "escape ro ute" as small as possib le , o therwise:: gas will
llow past tht: blades instead of th rough them. The w idth
of the: gap is primarily d ictated by the:: potential the rmal
loading. When the e ng ine is started up from cold the t ur-
hin~· blades almosr instan taneously rc::<1ch th e same tem-
perat ure as th e gas, but the:: surrounding housing takes a
little time: to warm up. n 1e:: ckarance m ust t herefore ht:
great enoug h to avoid the tu rbi n e b lades to uc h ing the
housing as th ey t:xpand more quickly. The reve rse case
must also Ix- c o nsidered: w hen lht: e n gine stops rnn ning
th e hou sing cools quickly, a nd could foul the spin ning
rotor b lades w hich are still hot.
R ot<>,. of a mode /jet e 11g i11e ( Ml11i -1i1rhi11e). In industrial gas turbines the gap is 2 to 3 th o usands

38 .lfodel jet Eng ines

of the rotor diameter. For example, the turbine deararn.:e Conclusio n s r e lating to the mode l jet engine
of the Turhomeca Anou ste . w ith a rotor diamc:-te r o f 220 In designing a model jet e ngine the aim of the exercise
mm. is only 0 .4 mm. This narrow gap did occasionally is to exp loit th e b asic princip les o f the gas turb ine , as
muse the engine to stop w hc:-n the housing touched the: already desc rib e d , usin g the s implest p ossible mc::ans.
bladc:-s and jammed th<" rotor. This straight forward aim p resents pknty o f problt:ms in
In p ractical tem1s such tight clearances are not feasihlt: itself. w h ich means that the m<xlt:lkr can cen<1inly spare
for mo<lel jet engines. Extreme accuracy in the worksh op himself an r tho ughts o f t1:chnical refinement. It is safe to
might make this possiblt:, h ut in any case uneven temper- assu me thac aftt:rburners. m ult i-shaft ro tor syste m s an d
ature distrihm ion in the exhaust gas is virtually unavoid- b y-pass e ngine:. w ill not find many advocat es in th e
ahle, and this would tend to cause ht"at distortion in the model arena. T h e o b vio u s c h oice for t h e modt:I jt:t
turhine sh rouding system. Fouling of thc: turhine would engine's t:ompn:ssor is th e radial type . With a single stagi:
th en be inevit;iblt:. For model jet e ngines we must the re- this sort of w h eel can provide a n acceptable p ressure
fort" :1ccc:pt a g;ip of 5 tho u sands o f the: rotor diameter ratio . The axial compressor gt:nt:rally used in full-size jc:-t
and learn to live:- w ith the inevitable losses. The distance engines unfortunately presents a multitude o f problems at
bc:-twei:n the: rotor blades and the hous ing of a model jet modd scak . Cak:ulalions sh ow that a gas turhine coul d
engine w ill typ ically lie in th e range 0. 3 - 0. 5 mm , func tion w ith a single-stage :~xial compressor , hut in prac-
d epe nding o n thc: turhine diameter. These values are e<1si- tict: sud1 :111 eng ine would only develop as muc h thrust as
ly w ithin the scope o f the amateur. Mowev1:r, any furthc:r a good-qua lity h eat gun . The low pressure ratio wou ld
w idening o f the gap w ill result in a significant drop in dti- g ive a ve::ry lo w efflux speed. and fuel consumption
cienq. With a gap of one millime tre the engine w ill not would be unacceptahly h igh .
run at all. Similar rult:s apply to the compressor a rea, To o btain a pressure similar to that o f a singlt: srage
altho ugh our t:xperience shows that a small radial com - radial compressor an axial compressor would rc::quire al
pressor with a gap o f OA m m is still quite dlicie nt . Gap least three stages. and th e construction of a multi-stage
losse!' can he avoided a lmost completely h y using w hat com p ressor is enormo usly complicatc::d . TI1e stator h ous.-
are known as e nclosed rotor w h eels. These wheels fea- ing would h:1Vc to bt: made in two h alves w ith an exactly
ture a plate which covers the compre ssor blades to form c ircular inte rnal cross-section. It would no longer he pos-
e nd osc:<l duc t!>. Th e d isadvantage is the s lightly lower s ible to support the rotor on only two bearings, as this
rotatio nal speed st rength of these wheels. wo u ld d ic tate a ve ry lo w critical rot a tional s pee d .

18.()'J(, Gap loss of a t11rbi11e stage, according tn Dieyzel (blade h eight JO mm)




Cl. 8.()')(,





0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Gflp widtlJ (1m11)

Gap losses at the t11rblt1e s tage of a model jet e11gi11e.

Model j et J.:'ng ines 39

Engine fl)3 Micro-Turbine T 250P Marbore l.F6-MC
Firm/Constrnctor S<.:hreckling Kamps JPX TurtXJmeca GE, MTll, SNECMA
First Run I yt}() 1993 1995 1952 1983
Fouga CM I ~o Airbu s A :B O
"Magister" Boeing 7 4 7

Thrnst (Newtons) 30 50 59 3.900 262,500

:vlao;s (Kg) (J.75 1.1 4 1.55 146 i ,066
Pressure: Ratio 1.5 2 2 .15 4.1 32
Intake temperature (°C) ca.700 ca.6"i0 ca.7 IO -so 1.280
Specific Thrnst (N/kg) 40 44 38 27 65
Consumptio n (kg/min.) O. l (J 0.16<> 0 .177 7 .6 158
Specific Consumption (kg/N/h) 0.32 0.2 0.18 0 .11 7 ().()36

Neverth ele:.s, in theory this type of compressor might at all like thc:ir full-size cousins from the outside. In fact,
have possihle applications in the model sce ne. the relative p roportions are more o r less revel"S('.d. In a
Once the: type of compressor has bt'.t'.n sek ctnl. the full-size jet engine the combustion chamber constitutes a
layout of the: turbine stage is already fixt:d to some extent. short section between compressor and turbine, but it is
A singk-stage turbin e is q uite adequate, and both axial usually the largest compon ent in the model version.
and radial turhines are feasibk. There are further differences in te r ms o f specific power.
Single-stage compressors and turbines take up little:: Model-size compressors and tur bines are less efficient
space, hut the same does not apply to th e: combustion than industrial aircraft engines. ff the engine is to nm at
chamber, and that is why model jet engines do n ot look all, tihe turb ine must ext ract most of th e available energy

180 (/11le11e111p era111re 20°C efficie11cy 75%)


0 120

.:;:: 100
§ 80
"'~ 60


1 1,2 1,4 l,6 1,8 2 2,2 2.'J 2.6 2.8 3
Press11re ,.atlv
Temperature rise i11 t/Je turbi11e compresso1·.

40 Model j et 1::i1t::inl'S
from the exhaust flow. As a result o nly a relatively small compressor. In t he model sp here it varies w ith in t he
residue: of energy is left to produce th rust. This fac.'t. cou- rnnge o.65 to 0 ...,8.
pkd with the low prt:ssure ratios which can Ix- achicved
in model jet enl(ines, has the e ffect that o nly ~ to 8 per TI1e lower the cocfficic.:nt. the more <c"nergy is converted
cent o f the energy contained in the fuel is t urned into u selessly into heat , and the greater the tem per.uu re
thrust. Nevertheless, since these small e ngines are low in increase 6T in the compressor.
mass thcy ad1ieve thrus t:wt:ight ratios comparable to
those of their full-size friends. 'Ille drawback is fuel con-
sumption: the model pilot who wishes to use this type of
cngine in a model must allow for the installation o f a very
large fuel tank. One o f the most important equations w;ed in calculating
the compressor - and in fact the e nti re en~inc - is what is
The compressor known as the continuity equation . It can be used virtually
everywhcrc and fortunately it is extre mely simple. It
Tht' p urpose of t he compressor is to compress the air states tha t the volume of gas which flows in o ne second
dr.1wn into the cngint'. T he hasic principk of all compres- through a known cross-sectional area A at a known speed
sor.. is the: s:um.:: it converts kinetic e ne rgy into pressure c is the product of A and c. Logically thc volume w hich
energy. 'fo ach ieve this the air drawn into the compressor flows doublt:s if we double the c ross-sectional area o r the
is first llccele ratcd to high s peed and then d ec elt:rate d; speed. Onc value which h always of interest is the
this action conve11s the speed of thc gas into pressure. lf throuµhput , i.e. the mass o f gas which flows per second,
a radial com1lressor is used, ccntrifugal force provides a ~md to calculate this we multiply the volumetric flow by
further increase in air pressure. During this process the the d ensity of the gas.
temperature of the medium rises at the same time as the This J::ives us the classic continuity equation:
gas pressure rises. 111is effect w ill he familiar ro anybody
w ho has pumped up a tyre with an ordinary hand-Operat- m = c xA x p
ed p ump. m = Throughput (.kg/s)
The work done is Stort'd in the ga.o; leaving the com- c = Speed (m/s)
pressor. In technical terms this is an increase in the A Flow c ross-section (ml
e nthalpy ( -heat content o f a s ubstance per unit mass- ) of p (;as density in the cross-sect ion (kgtm.\)
the air. In theory the rise in enthalpy corresponds to the
specific powcr of the compressor, although in pract ice W11en using this equation it is important to keep to the
Wt' have to ma.kc allowance for the inevitable losses. correct units of measurement. We can exploit the fact
that the throughput in a model jet engine is virtually con-

.,... - 1) stant lit all points. We can ignore the mas.'> of the file) sup-
plied to the engine since it rcpresents only about 1.7% of
L'lh Enthalpy increase (J/kg) thc air throughput.
T = Inlet tcmpcranm: in ° Kelvin We can now find the flow speed for any cross-section
c" = Specific thermal capacity of air, 1000 (J/.kg/K) p rovided that we know th<.· th rough put and the gas state.
Jt = Pressure ratio of the comprt'ssor, i.c::. To calculate gas density we only need the pre&.,ure and
final prcssurc/inkt pressure temperature of the gas.
rP = p/(R x 'l )
The expom:n1 in the formula (0.286) is derived from the p = Absolutc pressure of the gas in Pascal (N/ml)
pol)rtropk coefficient n . In the case of an uncooled com- ( I bar= 100,000 Pa)
pn:ssor (known as adia·
bat ic compression ) n = lrdet "ir <:omp,.essed t1/r wridmstion gas Ex/Ja11st gas
1.4. The expone nt used 288 K(l5°C) 377 K (98°C) 973 K (700°C) 843 K (570°C)
in the formula is (n· I)/n 1.013bar 2bar I.92bar 1.013 bt1r
= 0 .285.., 1. o r 0 . 286 p; 1.225 kg/m3 p=1.88 kg '111.J p • 0.69 kg!m3 p; 0.42 kg!m3
when rounded up. This 11/J;O/d/kg /Jh= 67 kjlkg NJ • 166 lif/ kg /Jh ; () /di kg
value (or its reciprocal c = 300 mis (1,080 km 'b )
3.5) crops up again, and
again in all thermal cal-
The input power
w h ich the compressor
rec1uircs for its work can
be cakulatcd as follows:
ri1 is the compressor
tnroughput in kg air per
Gas states in a
model jet engine.
11 is the efficienq of the

The radial compressor
For a model jet engine this t ype of compressor
I appear.; to he "made to measure". The radial compressor

is extremely robust and st raightforward in construction.
Because of these advantages it is still u sed today where it
would be possible:: lO replace it w ith the more effect ive
axial compressor.
The radial compressor can he built in various configu·
rations wh ich e xhihit widely varying c h aracteristics.
although the two main categories are those w ith a cover
plate, and those without. The former type features a plate
covering the hlades. d esigm:d to avoid gap losses. The
resultant compressor is an "enclosed wheel" type. A sec-
ond importan t feat ure is the curvature of the blades.
whereby the crucial point is the angle of the blades at the
wheel exir. We have to d ifferemiate between w heels
w ith radial b lades and th ose w ith retro-<:urved blades.
Practical ex p e rim e nts h ave shown t hat a ll these
whee l forms are sui tahk for model jet engines.
Regardless o f the p recise type of radia l w h eel, the air
dr.iwn in flows in the direction of t he rotational ax is .
Once in side the whee::! t he gas follows the b lade ducts
and is pushc::d o utwards in the r.1dial direction under the
influence of cent rifugal force. Finally the air leaves th e
wheel an d flows at high sp eed into th e adjacent compres-
sor diffuser system. Here the gas is slowed in the widen·
ing ducts and the residual kinetic energy is converted
into pressure. The overall pressure r ise in the stage is dis-
tributed over the wheel an d the diffuser syst c::m. T h e
reaction level r o f the compressor stage can he defined in
general terms as follows:

Types ofradial compressor (top to bottom):

wheel with radial~y tippecl blacles; wheel with
sligbt{v retro-curved IJlatles; enclosed wheel Ywheel and Y~••i<c are the values for the work which is
with g reatly r etro-cu,-ved blades. done o n the air in lhe wheel and in che overall stage
respective ly. The unit of measureme nt here is J/kg.
The distribution of the two components is dc::tt:nnined
T Absolute gas rc::mperacure in ° Kelvin hy the type of blade form used in the whc::el. Radially
R = Gas constant for air and for comhusti on tipped blades supply a reaction value of 0 . 5. With sub-
products produced in the e ngine (287 U/kg!K]) stantial retro-curvature this value is much highe r, which
p G;u. density in kg!m3 means that most of the energy conversion takt:s p lace
inside the wheel.
Compressor u1l1eels of95 mm and 66 mm diamete1". The former is already The increase in pres-
slightly too large for normal model use. sure in a radial compres·
sor varies according t o
the deflec tion o f t he
gases in the direction o f
the peripheral motion.
Peripheral sp eed is not a
constant in a radial com-
pressor. and this is the
crncial advantage of this
type of unit . At t he air
inlet the whed d iameter
is small , and the peri-
pheral speed therefore
correspondingly low. In
contras t , maximum
p eriphe r a l speed is
reached a1 the wheel
o utlet. The overall
deflection is the refore
consider-able. Th e work
d o ne can be calculated

42 M ode/jet Engines
Y,h = U2 x Czu - u, x C1u compo nent. In the w heel we obtain the ahsolute speed
u 1 = Peripheral speed at th t: wheel inle t by vector addition o f rdative and peripheral speed . A fur-
u 2 = Peripht:ral speed at the w heel outlet ther important speec-d compone nt is w hat is knmvn as the
C' lu• c 111 =Gas speed in the per ipheral direction at the radial compone nt c 111• The radial spcec-d is the compone nt
w het:I in let and o utlet of the ahsolutc:: speed in a di rectio n perpendicular to the
perip heral directio n. The magnitude of cm de ce nninc::s the
For our purpost:s we can simplify the fo rmula even fu r- thro ug h p ut of the comp ressor.
ther If the compressor consists o f a single radial stage, ·n1c work done is determined by the components ui
then the gas flows into the compressor without any twist- and Ci u· If we assume a constant rotatio nal speed and
ing motion. This means that t he airflow is perpendic ular th us a given perip her:il speed the rise in pressure varies
to the periph t'ral d irection at the wheel inlet. As a result onlr accord ing to c 2.,. The steeper the hlade angle ~ 2• the
t he inflow speed has no compone nt in the rotational larger th is component bee-comes. W heels w ith radially
dire<.·t ion. l be expression u 1 x c 111 becomes equal to zero. tipped blades - (:S2 = 90° - the refore provide thee- h ighest
and the following formula ap p lies: pressure. In this special case c 111 is always the same as ul •
which means that the work d one is:

·nu: net result is that we only nee::d to consider the flow

conditions at the w he el o ut let. At this po int we use a Fo r certain special applicatio ns comprec-ssor w hee-els w ith
velocity d iagram to clarify mancrs. ln a velocity diagram forward c u rved hlad es are used, hut they are o f no inter-
th c:- individual flow components arec- d rawn as vectors . e..-t to us here. The conclusion that w heels with radially
The vector arrow shows the direct ion of flow. while the tipped hlad es are the best solutio n for model jet e ngines
lt:ngth o f the arrow shows the magn itud e o f the speed. In because of their high p ressure is not correct. The velo-
the resultant velocity d ia1tram you c an use trigonometry city diagram shows t hat the absolute speed c 2 , i.e. the
to ohtain the values you wllnt. "fhis gives you an alterna- speed at w hich the air leaves th e w h e el , is s till very
t ive me thod of de termi n ing :111 the vital flow a ng les: high .
e ither by calculation o r by consulting graphs. A large proportion of the pressure gain takes place in
All the speed s at the w heel inlet and o utlet are given the diffuser syste m of the comp ressor, w he re t.he residual
the suffix numbers 1 o r 2 in order to differe ntiate thc::m ki netic e ne rgy in the gas is red uced . llnfortunatdy the
clearly. We will <.· onsidc::r the absolute spet-d of the gas c. com p ressor diffuser system inevitably involves significant
tht- relative speed w a nd the perip heral s peed u . T he losses at mod e l scale.
:1bsolute speed is the gas spt-ed at a particular, fixed point In contrast , wheeb with retro-cu rved blades convert a
of observation. In contrast . t he term relat ive sp eed larger proportion of the energy w ithin the w heel itself.
applic::s to those components w hic h relate to the blades i.e . the reaction level is greater th an 0.5. The speed a t
which a re in motion. If we could hitch a ridt- on the com- which the gases flow into t he diffuser system is slightly
pres.'iOr w heel, the measu red flow would be t he relative lower because the curvature of the blades is o p posed to

Flow co11ditions i11 tlJe rotor of a radial compres sm ··.

Mode/jet Engines 43
the direction. In our exp erience:- the compres- A is t h e cross-sectional area of the compressor outlet. It is
sor is more efficient overall if the wheel is fitted w ith calcuilated from the expres~ion d 1 • rr • b 1 , where d 1 is the
retro-curved hlades. whed diameter and b 1 the hlade height at the outlet.
In practice the pressure ratios which these compres- p is the density of the air immediately it leaves tile
sors achieve is not as high as the theoretically possible wheel. A sample calculation for the supply va lue is
levels. There are two reasons for this: when air is flowing included in the section o n diffusers.
through the compressor losses occur which reduce the
work performed. In addition, the gas does not follow Typical calculation for a radial compressor
accurately the path dictated by the:- blades. The deflection From all this theory it is possible to derive a few sim-
in the air in the pt:ripher:tl direction is lower than predict- ple formulae which are genuinely helpful at the design
ed by theoretical calculations. 111is effect is known as stage of a model jet engine project. l11e actual work donc-
blade slip. If we wish to move away from the theoretical is assumed to he equal to the gain in enthalpy. Using this
situation and find out exactly how much air is moved and information the pressure value for a particular wheel can
wi th what level of efficiency, we have to take into he calculated as follows:
account the reduced pertonnance factor µ and the inter-
n al dficit"ncy TJ. 2xc:PxTx(l't"""' - l)
lktermining the parameters µ and 11 is ve:-ry difficult, 'ljJ = - - - - - - -
and they are usually found experimentally. For this reason
a different mc::tho<l is used to calculate the basic data for a
model jet e ngine compressor. Let us assume that a model jet engine, running at a mea-
The calculati ons relat ing to a radial compressor are s ured rotational speed of 56,000 rpm, achieves an excess
carried out using non-dimensional values. l11ese allow us pressure in the housing of 0.2'! bar. The wheel diameter
to establish all the important data relatively simply h y is 66 mm, the air t emp er'dture J -,.o <: and air pressure
observing easily measurable magnitudes. The parameter!> 1000 mhar.
which define the characteristics of a compressor are its The pressure value can now be calculated from this
throughput and pressure gain. J;or compressor pressure data is as follows:
we define a pressure value 'I' as follows:
2x IOOOJ I kg I Kx290Kx(l.240.21l6) - I
1J! = - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(0.066 m x 3, 146 x 'l(l()()O. I I min I 60s I min)'

The peripherdl component c 2u of the absolute speed is l11e units cancel each other out (IJ=kg.m 1/s1 ). This c:alcu-
not included in the definition. The compressor's pressure lated value is typical for model jet engines with slightly
value remai ns Iargdy constant over a broad range of rota- re tro-curved blades. Another h ome-built engine with a
tional speeds. turbocharger compressor and radially tipped hlades pro-
Provided that we know the:: pressure value, we can duces a pressure value of around 1.16. Large compressors
determine the work done, and from it the pressure ratio in jet engines achieve better values due to the number of
relative to the:- peripheral speed Ui· l11e peripheral speed blades (usually higher) and the consequent improvement
in tum can he calculated from the rotational speed. in the reduced performance factor. For example , the
For ordinary <lay-to-<lay operation of a model jet engine Turhomeca Mamore achieves a pressure value of 1.35 in
the reverse of this procedure is also useful: instead of its basic form .
measuring rotational speed hy some complex method, all If the compressor blades feature greater retro-curva-
we do is measure the pressure, which can be done: using ture . the specific pumping performance is lower; in the
simple me:u1s. case of Kurt Schreckling ·s FD 3 the value of 'ljJ is around
The second non-dimensional value relates to the 0.86. although it varies according to wheel design and
throughpur of the radial compressor. The supply value or constn1ction.
th roughllow value defines the radial component cm, from W h c::n a model jet engine is running the pressure value
w hich we can calculate the throughput with reference to only varies within narrow limits . It is certainly permissi-
the peripheral speed u 1 . For our purposes the supplr ble to calculate rotational speed from the measured pres-
value <I> can he defined as follows: sure ratio, and vice ve rsa. The pressure ratio can he
calculated from the formula:

Definitions of the supply value vary across the: specialist

litemture; it may be defined as the:- gas flow at the inlet
or outlet of the wheel. In this hook we relate it deliber- According to this fonnula the pressure rntio of the engine
ately to t he compressor wheel o utlc::t. We should also amounts to about I .o44 w h en running at an idle speed of
note that the radial speed at the wheel outlet is not dis- 25.000 rpm (corresponding to a peripheral speed of 86
tributed evenly, and hence c 111 should be considered as m/s).
an average speed. The throughput achieved by the com- Tlhis corresponds to a water column of 44 cm and
pressor can be found from the continuity equation as agrees very closely with the actual values.
follows: \Vorking the other way ro und, we can determine the
peripheral speed and from that the rotational speed from
m= Axc,.xp=Axq;xu,xp the pressure value and the pressure ratio.

44 .llode/.f<'f E11gi11es
work at reasonable efficiency in a narrowly dc::tinnl r.angt"
lxc xTx(Jt>..?&1 - I) of throughputs. If the:: engine:: eonnected to the tur-
u =
( "' ) h<x:harger rc::quires mort" air, the compressor's effective-
nc::ss diminishes significantly. For a mode::I jt:t t:nginc:: this
The:: engine:: we are using as an example produces a thrust narrow opc::rating range:: is not necessarily disastrous,
of 30 Newtons on the:: test hench. The p ressure:: above since the throughput of the turhine stage is also limited
atmospheric in the:: engine:: is thc::n 0. 91 bar. Normal condi- to a re::lative lr narrow range::. In fact . many full-size jet
tions apply, i.e. an air temperature:: of 15° C = 288 K and engines use whec::Is with radially tipped blades. The:: provi-
an air pressure of 1.0 I ~ hPa. The:: pressure r'.ttio is there- so wirh this rype of blade is that the throughput of the::
fore:: equal to ( 1.013 + 0 .91)/1.013 == 1.898. model jet engine has to be mat<:he::d very aeeuratc::Iy to the
compressor , otherwise:: good re;:sults w ill n ever he
obtained. The:: charactc::ristics of the:: compressor wheel
2 x I OOOJ I kg I °Kx 288K x ( 1.898° 286 - 1)
must be:: borne in mind w h c::n you are operating a 1mxkl
u =~( 0.98
jt:t c::ngine. When the throttle is opened the:: throughput of
the:: turbine:: stage falls for a moment, with th e result that
u =~018220m 2 I s 2 ) =314 m/ s the compressor simply goes on strike if you advance the
throttle too quickly.
The rotational speed can he:: calculated from the stated Nowadays compr essor whec::ls with retro-curved
peripheral spc::ed as follows:
TurlJocharger compressor from a diesel e 11gi11e.
Large wheels such as the 011e show11 a1·e ofte-11
n =60s/minxu = 60s/minx344m/s = 99,'-I.' 95rpm 111achi11edfrom solid.
d 1 x.rr 0.066mx3.14159

Turbocharger compressors
For the modeller the:: compressors incorporated in tur-
oochargers are an idc:al starting point for the:: eonstruc-
tion of a model jet engine::. They take the form of small
radial wheels which have been refinc::<l to a high level
through innumerable:: experiments carried out hy
experts. The strength o f these wheels is so great that we
need not worry about it even at very high rotational
speeds. The specifications quote failure speeds of more
than 600 m/s at the periphery, which arc:: wdl bc::yond
any model application. Other components in the model
jet engine::, such as the:: shaft and the turbine wheel, have
much lowc::r rotational speed limits. Nevt:rthc::lt:ss the
high speeds necessarily involve certain h azards. There:: is
no place for cardessness w h en the mo<ldlc::r is working
with such high-speed rotating parts. The wheels must not
he modified in any way, and especially not weakened in
the:: hub area. TI1ey must he securdy attaehc::d. For this
reason a left-hand thread fixing is essential for a right- Small turbocharger.from a lorry diesel '-"'gine. The
hand rotation wheel. The compressor wheels of tur- wheel has a diameter of 76 mm and featun!s
bochargers arc:: usually cast in aluminium alloy using a radially tipped lJla<les. Wbeels of this type were the
high-quality casting process; a technique which allows startingpoi11t.for se11ert1I experiments. The model
the produetion of c::xtr.tordinarily complex curves and jet engine based on it eventually produced a thrust
twists. The design of this type of w h eel could never he of 40 Nat 81,000 rpm.
calculated usin1;: amateur means, far less actually made::.
Modem turhocharger wheels achieve:: c::fficic::ncy kveb
which approach to w ithin a few pc::rcc::ntagt" points those
of the radial compressors in industrially produced full-
size gas turbinc::s. Overall thc::se components offer by far
the most promising start for building a really powerful
mol.lel jet engine.
As supplied turhocharger compressors art" accurately
dynamically halanced and can he installed directly in the
model jet engine. fk:ar in mind the usual m le on size: the
higger, the better. Good wheels of around 60 mm diame-
ter achieve efficiencies bc::tween 70 and 75%, while larger
versions approach 80%.
In recent dc::eades turbocharger comprc::ssors have
been the s ubject o f eon sidc::rahle development. Early
c::xampks virtually w ithout exception featured radiall)
tipped blades. since these:: types are easy to manufacture
and supply high pressure levels. However, they only

.Hodel j et Eng ines 45



Bebai•tour ofa radial compress or at a) low throughput tmd b) high thro1'ghp1'1.

blades have s uperseded all o thers . These wheels a n :: large relative to the throughpur, the compre!>.~r s upplies
manufactured in large numhers and in numerous variants. more air at low p ressure . If on the o the r hand the
Usually the blad e tip an gle (3 2 is between 60 and 75°. TI1is throughp ut of the turl>ine stage is too small. the pressure
type of compressor h11s the ad,·antage that the now rises, and the volume of air moved falls. T he overall result
through the blade ducts possesses a compo nent o pposite is that, w ithin certain limits, t his type o f compressor
to the peripheral direction. Thus th(' specific work done adjusts itself automatically to ll given turhine stage. If it is
varies according to the rotational speed and th e through- your aim to build a successful jet e ng ine you w ill have
put of the w heel. much better prospects if you use <1 w heel with re tro-
When small volumes of air a re moved, the relative curvcd blad es. In practice 1his type of engine o ffers the
speed w 2 in the hlade duc ts is low. The component of the extra advantage that it can be accelerated extraordinarily
absolute speed Ciu in t he perip heral direction is then c.iuickly, as the compressor w<>rks e fllciently o ver a w ide
almost as great as the peripheral speed u 2 . ln this situa- range o f rotatio nal s peeds. This effect is particula rly
tion the specific work d o ne Y,h = u x C.tu is of a similar marked if the compressor blades feature s ignifi<-<m t rc::tro-
o rde r to that of a compressor with radially tipped hladc::s. curvat urc , as usec.l in Kun Schrcckling·s FO :$. where the
As th ro ughput rises, and the gas speed in the blade blade angle is only -15°. Ao; a resul t the cng.ine responds to
ducts becomes high, the component c 2.. becomes smaller the th rottle a lmost as fa st as a wt:II adjusted piston
since the air between the blades flows in a slightly back- engine.
wards directio n, opposite to the direction o f rotation. As Turbochargers of a useful size for model jct e ng ines
a result the pressure supplied h y the c ompressor is now arc:: u~d wi th a bladc:::less annular diffuser system.
lower. If the turbine stage in the model jet engine is too As t h roughp ut var ies, t he tlow di rection in the

diffuser system also
c hanges . The effect is
n o t dramatic w ith a Pressure rati<>
bladt:kss an n u lar dif-
fuse r provided that the::
anglt:s are not too s hal- 2.4
low. In contrast, the ini-
tial direction of flow is
c rucial with the bladed
diffuser system used in
a model jet e n g ine . In
conse<1uence the opc::rat-
i ng range o f the com-
prc::ssor in t h e modt:l
jet e n gi n e is s lightly 1.0
restricted compared
to that o f the tur-
The compresso.-
charactei-istic graph
The d ata for a com-
pressor are mmally pre- 120000rpm
sented in th e form of a 1.6
diagram: the characteris-
t ic graph , from which
the essential data for
t h e w h eel can be read 1.4
directly. A characteristic 100000
graph is a valuable hut
no t absolutely essential
tool when designing a 1.2
model jet e ngine.
Usually the air
thro ughput and/or the
compressor flow are dif- kg/s
ferentiated on the x-axis
of the:: d iagram. T11t: 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
pressure rat io is stated mass flour
on the y-axis. l)pical compressor char11cteristic g1·aph ofa turlJochai--get·
The c h aracteristic compressor witlJ retro-cun>ed blades. Other charcicteristic graphs are
lines in the diagram give ilh1strt1ted f11 Gert Hac k's b<>Ok "1i1rbo ctirs, turbo-engi11es" from
the potential pressun: Motot·buchverlag, Stuttgart ( Gen11cm).
and throughput for the
Stated constant rotation-
al speeds. These c urves always have a negative gradient,
i.e. the more air tile compressor supplies, the lower the
This hasic fact also applies to wheels with radially
tipped blades. TI1e work done and thus the:: possible final
pressure are exclusively dependent on pe1ip h t:ral speed,
b ut in p ractice the reduced p erformam:e factor diminish-
es as throughput incre-ases. When the pressure is great,
the gas follows the path dictated by the blades less and
h;;:;.s <IC(.;Uf'..ttely, i.e. the: actual sp ecific work done is slight-
ly lower.
"Island"' traces on the graph indicate e fficiency. Note
that optimum efficiency is usually possible only within a
narrow range. In designing a turboc h arger the aim is to
mateh the compressor·s characteristics acn1rately to the
piston e ngine to which the unit is attached, but the ''best
efficiency"' position on the diagram is also a useful indica-
tor Jor a model jet engine .
The compressor characteristic graph always applies to
a particular atmospheric pressure and temperature. In Air ptltl:J tl:Jrougl:J Cl blad~less a111iule1r space.
differen t conditio n s - for example a high-pressure

Model j et Enp,ines 47
Turbocharger diffuser system. The height of the.flow duct is reduced immediately behi11d the rotor

weather situation with vt:ry low tempcraturt:s - through- Diffuser wheels

put and prt:ssurt: rise significantly. In the compressor diffuser system the residual speed
In the s:1me:: way the:: c h aracte rist ic diagram only energy in the flow is converted into pressure encrg)'· In
applks in conjunction with a given diffuser system. If the this case the energy in rhe gas is proportional to the
compressor wheel is used with a different diffuser system square of its speed. T herefore if we can halve the gas
important parameters may alter. The compressor c harac- speed in the diffu~r system we have already con verted
lt:ristic graph of a turbocharger is not the:: same:: as the:: three-quartt:rs of its energy. A particularly critical p oint
graph w hich would result if the same whed wt:rt" h ere is the area immediately behind the rotor wheel.
installed in a je t engine. The m ost significant changes where flow s peeds are srill high. Th t: diffust:r system in
would be in the optimum t:ffidc::ncy level and the posi- this area must h e matchnl very accurately to the rotor
tion of what is known as the:: surge line. w h eel. If a hladt:d diffuser system is used the diffuser
blalles must he designed in such a way that t hey start
t:xactly in the direction of the flow. A variation in the
flow angk of o nl y a few <.legrees may mean that the
moc:.kl jet c::ngine:: refuses to nm. It goes without saying
that obstacles to the gas, such as pipes and retaining
bolts. must ht: kept away from this are-.i.
The compre ssor diffuse::r, also known as the stator, can
be built in any of several varian~. In principle we can <.lif-
fcrc::ntiate between bla<.le<.I and n on-blade<.! <.liffuser sys-
I t e m s. In the spe::cialiM literat ure the latter is ge::nerally

I te::rme::d a bla<.ldess annular space. TI1is type is very easy

to makt: and is efficient if designed carefully. The greatest
advantage of the bladeless annular s pace is that the com-
prc::ssor as a w hole h as outstan<.ling regulatory characteris-
tics. Since there are n o bla<.les it is not possible for an
incorre::ct choice of blade anglt: to result in flow break·
The:: best solution for a model jet engine is a hla<.led <.!if·
fuser system. However. the diffuser hlade::s should not
c start immediately adjace::nt to the rotor, as al this point
the:: flow spe::e::<.I is still ve::ry unevenly distributed. It is best
if the flow has a chance to even itself out between the
rotor wheel an<.! the diffuser blades. If rhe angle o f the gas
flow from the rotor wheel is shallow. the <.liffuser blades
can b egin closer to the rotor whcd, as the:: air then
·rypes ofcompressor diffuser systtm1: follows a longer path to the:: diffuser hlaclc::s. In the modd
a) Straight diffuser blades, jet engine the <.liffust:r hlade::s should starl aftc::r a gap at
b) Forwa1·d curved blades, 1.15- 1.2 timc::s tht: wheel diame::ter.
c) Wedge-shaped blade diffuser. It clearly makes sense to place a small annular space
in front of the diffuser hlades. Although there are no

48 ,l!fodel.fel Enp. i nes

hlades at this point to force the air in a p articular d irec- ed se nsi hle eflicienq· levels. An extra prohlem is t hat this
tion . as the diametc:r inc reases tht" gas tlow slows down. t rpe o f diffuser canno t eliminate t he twisting motio n of
and w ith thi~ comt"s a riM." in pre:,:,ure. The catLo;e of this Lhe ga.-.cs. \Vhcn t he air tlows towards the centre of the
is not, as you might imagine , the widening c ross-sectio n e ngine in the direction o f the com bustion chamber , the
of the ;1nnular :.pace .is the d iameter increases. but the spiral law again dictates th at the peri pheral comp<mc:nt o f
effect of centrifugal fo rce. directing the gas o utward. ' Ille t h e tlow c 0 would increase as tht> radius falls. In con se-
effect of th is force is to in crea.o;e the p ressure of the medi- quenc e:'. gas pressure wou ld then d iminish agai n . To
um as th e diamete r r ises. HtJWever. according t o coun tc:: r this e fkct diffuser b lades would certainly he
Bernoulli's law the to tal energy in the flow is always con- n eeded at the periph ery o f the d iffuser systt"m to e limi-
stant. Where p ressure rises, spec::d must fall, because no nate the rc:sidual spiral motion.
new energy is added in the diffuser system. The spiral law In a h laded diffuser syste m the situation is different.
derived from th is states that the product of the radius in ·111e diffuser hl:u.lcs form im.lividual flow ducts , widening
the diffu~c::r system amt the speetl in the peripheral direc- t owards th e p e riphery. The periphernl componen ts of
tion is constant. the gas a nd the t w isting motio n no lo nger have to he
taken into ;u.:count, and the onlr thing that intercsts u~ is
Spi r-JI law. or Vortex law r x c., = Constant t h e: flo w w ithin th <:'. individua l c hannels. T h e c rucial
point here is th e ex p a n s io n a n gle of th e b la d es.
This physkal fact of life plays an important role in on.Ii- 11Jn fortunatdy we are restricted in o ur c ho ice of angle, as
nary dailr life as wel l as in the model jet engine. The spi- there is a danger of flow breakdow n . The spedaliM liter.1-
ral law is obvious if, for example, we stir a cup of tea, ture recommends exp an sio n angles he tween 8 and 10
where the speed is highest c lose to the centre. In con- w h ere the flow is slow. For o ur application, h owever , the
trast , the p ressure is h igh est at the edge, as we can te ll angles can he s lightly larger to take into account th e
from the height of the tluid. cxt remely small dimensions of our e ng ine . The reason for
111c: speed i!I inversely pro po rtion al to the d iame ter of t h is is th e influence of the ho unda r y laye r whic h
the diffuser system. This indicates the d isadvantage of the becomes narrower as the w idth o f th e blade ducts rises.
hlade less annular sp ace. If we an: ai ming at efficient pres- However. if we c h oose an expansion angle significantly
su re conversion we need a la rge diameter diffusc:r. a bovc t hese values, the flow tends to break away from
Widening tht· now duct dot'S not help. Quite the o p p<>- thc hlad~. w ith resulcant severe los.-;cs. In contrnst, small-
sitc:: this would result in flow hreakdown in the d iffuser, er angles produce: pressure conversion at too low a rJte,
w hich would involve substantial losses. with t he result that the gas flows through the ch annels
1l1c: air nowing through the diffuser descrihes a spi ral for a long time al high speed, producing severe friction
p ath from tht: end of the rotor w h eel to the:: e nd of the: los.scs.
diffuser. ·m e angle of the gas flow at an imaginary tangent You 1.:an give your imagination free rein in the matter
is constant at everr po int on the path, and follows t he of the blade configuration in the diffuser. Some types o f
o utflow angle of the: rotor w hec:I. In mathematical te rms guidt" vant" arc curved in the direction of rotation of t he
the flow path desc ribes a logarithmic spiral. w h ereby the compres.-;or, others in th e opposite directio n . Anothe r
outflow angl<: of the: gas from the:: rotor wheel determines pop ul ar design is the wedge:: blade diffuser. The blades
the length of t he path. l11e greater this angle::, the faster grow wider towards the periphery to form thick wedges.
the gas rc:adics a largt> diameter and a high pressure. 'Ille t hick enough to accommodate fixing ho lts. This a lo ne is
friction losses whi<.:h arise in this pnx ess arc:: also pro po r- an excelle nt re ason for th e practic;tl modelle r to opt for a
tional to the length of the path. If we combine a compres- !blade d diffu~t"r w h eel, as thc: bo lts required to re tain t he
sor w h eel with a very s h a llow o utflow ang le and a compressor cover can be faired into the diffuser blades
hladeless diffu~·r, we obtain a very long flow path and without spoiling the gas flow.
correspondinglr low efticic:nq'. If we select hlades of constant th ickness th e n the
For this re;1son modem compressors, especially in tur- expansion angle lx:tween two adjacc:nt blades is c;akulat-
bochargers. utilise hlade less diffuser systems w hose c h an- ed as follows:
ne l becomc:s na rrowc:r away from the cen tre . This means
that the cross-sectional area does not hccomc:: larger, and E = 360°/z
the air i:. fo rced to a larger diamete r by a s ho rt route , E Expansion <Ulglc::
incurring low lossc::s. Unfortunately th is trick does n o t z Number of blades
h elp u~ reduce th e exte m al d ime nsio n s o f the diffuser
system . 'Illus for a model jet t'.ngjne a b ladeless diffuser lf we aim for an expan~ion <tngle of 15· then we ha,·e to
alone appears to he an unpromising solution. O ne of our constntcl a diffusc::r s1·stc::m with 24 blad~. For smaller
p rimary considerations in d esigning a model jet e ng ine expan sion anAle~ even more blades wo uld be required.
must be thc diameter of the unit. If we are to keep the I lowcvcr, more bL1des also m~m more friction and thus
frontal are1 o f the engine as compact as pos.sihle. the dif- g reater losses.
ftL'\er apparatus must he as small as pos.sihle. 111e air can For t h is reason it is better to use b lades which are
only be ddlt:cted towa rds the com bustion chamber w ith· curved slightl)' forw:mh. forming gently wideni ng duc ts .
out incurring St:vcrc· losses once it h as given up most of In general terms the pressure conversio n takes place
its energy. llcre again the spiral law plays a role::: the cen- muc h faste r than in the hlacleless annular space alre<tdy
trifugal forces w hich arise in th e deflection process tend (lt:scrihed . If the compressor is designed carefully it is
to accelerate the flow on the: inside of the curve, prod uc- n ow p ossihk to bui ld a modd jet engine o f rc:lativelr
ing new losses. small overall diameter. Nevertheless we: sh o uld not he
If we were to use a bladcless annular sp ace atom: we t oo parsimonio us with the ovemll diam ete r o f the d iffuser
would h:we to make the diamete r of the e ngine at least srst em ; a good starting point is a housing diam eter
twice: thc uiamctcr of the compressor w h eel if we wa nt· ~tt least 1 .6 times the diameter o f t·he compressor rotor.

The giga11tic diffuser s_ystem oft/Je Allis011J33·A·35feat11res 14 very /Qui-profile diffuser duct.... Note tl1e
bladeless sp11ce ttrrcmged between t/Je rotor w/Jeel mul t/Je diffun>r bl11des.

50 :Hodel.fet E11Rines
Forzt•artl-c zt n >e d c ompressor 11i.ff11ser bltides 111
111e bltule:free cmnulat· .<>pt1ce was use d comlJinlltitm with turbo c:lmrg«tr rotor w/Jeels /Ja1•e
successfully in t/Jefirst /Jome-built gas t11t"bi11es. An produc:ed tbe best results to d11te.
t1xial diffuser system is fitted at tl1e peripl1ery.
cantly. In fact the comprt:ssor givt:s good resu lts even
Any smaller than this, and the efficiency o f the syste m suf- w hen the model jet engine i~ idling.
fers d irectly. usually in the fom1 of excessive exhaust gas
nxd,xJT IOOOOOx I I minxO.o66mx :U4 = ,_.
, (,m I s
Example of calculating the d iffuser system
ill= 60 60s/min ·
We will assume thar the core of the c ompres.o;or is a
typical turbocharger w h eel with retro-curved blades. The The peripheral speeds may sound astron omically h igh.
calculation is based on geometric al data, b ut also takes At its p er iphery the rotor is turning at a speed of almost
into account our own experimental findings. In my exp e- 1.250 km/hr. However, it would still not bt' correct to
rie n ce t h ese values can h e carried over t o oth e r tur- state that the air in the compressor is flow ing at s uperson-
bocharger roror.o of similar design. ic sp eed . When the:- gas readies the end of t ht:: rotor
This means that the prospecti ve engine builde r can wheel it h as already been compressed to h alf its volume.
calculate the values for a compressor for his jet e ngine ii.e. pressurt' and tempe r:1ture are already m uch high e r. As
w ith reasonable accuracy even if he does not have access ~• result the speed of sound in th e m t'c.lium itself rises.
to the characteristic graph of the turbocharger. Even at a perip h eral spee d of more:: than 450 m/s the
The roror wheel we will consider h e re is 66 mm in sound barrier cannot he exceeded wi thin t he model jet
diameter and h as I l. blades , ending at an angle of ab out engine.
65' . The blade height is 5 mm at the wheel outle t. The From th e compressor characteristic graph we can see
nominal ro tationa l sp eed of the unnpressor h as been that the compressor runs at maxim um efficiency at the
chosen to keep the s tresses arising in the model jet e ngine's nominal rotat ional speed it the throughput is
engine w ithin reason -
a ble limits. In this Here the d!ffuser bltttles are ~li11ided into " ring of radial blt1des tmd n ri1lg of
respect the maximum 11xial blt1des.
rotational speed primari-
ly depends on the tur-
bine whed, which is
subject to severe thermal
loads. If a s uitable
hlade fo rm is use d in
co mbination w ith high-
a lloy nicke l-c hromiu m
steels peripheral roto r
l>peeds of more than 300
m/!i are acet:ptabk, e ven
with amateur means. If
high-temperature materi-
als are used this value
can be push ed furth e r.
The nominal rotational
speed is the r efore as-
sumed to be I 00,000
rpm. This corresponds to
a peripheral s peed of:
If the vah1e for this pard-
m e t e r turns o ut t o h e
higher or lo wer t ha n
assumed , e ffi ciency
should not suffer signiti-

Jfode!Jet E11t>1i11es 51
0. 135 to 0.175 kg/s. Since the thrust o f the model jet As a by-product of this cakulatio n we c;m find the supply
engine rises in proportion to th e throughput. it makes value at the nominal point: c,./u 2 = 104/346 = 0.3. Th is
senSt: for us to aim at tht" highest possihk valuc here. value is typi<.:al for turbocharger w h eels. as sh own hy the
Against this requirement we h ave to set the need for c haracte ristic graph:. for similar roto rs . If you possess a
1hc engine to possess a broad operating range and good, retro<urved compressor roto r hut lack the c haractc::ristic
docile control characteristics. We therefore aim to set u p graph, you can assume: this value. Wh eels w ith ro1dially
1hc diffu~er system for a throughput of 0. 16 kg/s. Finallr tipped blades generally produce lower supply values. In
we extract the pressure rati o from the c haracteris tic the auth o r's experience you can assume a value in th e
graph. At 100,000 rpm and a th rough put of 0. 16 kg/s this range 0 .25 to 0.27.
is around l.88. Standard tempcrat ure and pressure pre- Once wr know the per iph eral speed ul> the known
vail, i.e. a temperature of 15° <:and atmospheric p ressure radial spec:d cm and the blade tip angle f\ 1 , we can calcu-
of 1.013 hPa. late t h e overall speed vector a'i follows:
Now the p urpose o f our calculatio ns is to obtain an
overall view of the flow conditions at the w h eel o utlet
C 2u =u 2 - (c 2m I tan(/32 )) = 346-(104 I tan(65°))
and the diffuser inlet. Because of the high pressure ratio = 298m / s
the effect o f air compressibility must also be taken into
account. We w ill assume half o f the possible pressure rise The final calculation is to define the:: o utflow angle a,
h as a lready taken place i n the compressor wheel. found from the equation tan (a) = cn/Czu = 104/298 =
Admittedly this assumption is a simplificat io n, hut m y 0 .3'19. 11ms at the periphery o f the w h ec:I the gas leaves
experimental findings to date show that this is reasonably the ro tor at an angle a o f 19. 24° to an imaginary tan -
accurate. We can n ow calculate the pressure ratio after gent. This an gle is a constant - even after the gas has
the rotor w hee l as follows: flowed th rough a hladeless annular space o f constant
width . Th is indicates that the adjacent diffuser b lades
should he set at an angle of about 19 °. Ot_-pending on the
../188= 1.37
thickn ess of the blades up to 2° may be: added to this fig-
ure to take into acco unt the effective reduct ion in cros.<;-
If we assume an efficiency of 74% and an inlet tempera· section.
ture of 288 K ( 15 4 C) the air temp erature rises hy: For compressor w hc:d s w ith radially tipped blades cal-
c ulating the guide vane angle b a s impler matte r: t he
288 e(jua tion is ta n (~~) = <)> 0 ) . For optimum e l'lic ie n cy the gas
6T = K .(137n286 -1) =57K
0.74 flow should be: at a much sh allower angle. The calculated
value is 15°. w hic h should again he correctc::d to 17 ° to
to 325 K o r 52° C. At the same time gas density rises t0: allow for the narrowing of th e b lades. One o f the autho r 's
model jet enwnes hai. a guide vane angle of 20° and radi-
ally t ipped compressor hlades, an d ii act ually tends to
= 1. 37 x101300Pa =L 488 k / m3 surge at full th rottle.
p 325K. 287) ! Kg I K g
The surge limit
Wi th the help of the continuity equation we can calculate TI1e "surge limit~ of a compres..'IOr refers to a ten dency
th e radial sp eed c m. The cross-sectio nal area A is the to s upp ly the w orking medium cyclically instead of co n·
annular c ross-section at the periphery of the rotor. stantly. This may sound innocuous, but in the w o rld o f full·
size engint'S it is viewed w ith gn::at alarm, since Lhe usual
result is more o r less sevt:re damage to the engine. In the
Ox 16kg/s
c"' = = 104m /s case of model engines the results arc not so dramatic, hut
l.488kg I m ' x3. 14x0.()(>6mx0.005m even so tht: thoughtless experimem er could damage the
compressor o f h is engine br needlessly exceeding the
surge limit.
Compressor surgt: has
a vt:ry simple cau se .
Consider a compressor
running at constant rota·
tio n a l s p eed in a je t
engine and conveying a
particular quantity of air.
If we rcscricl the throu~h­
p ut of the engine , per-
haps br using 100 small a
turhine w heel (due t o
mbtake:. in t he calcula -
tions). then th e compres-
sor w ill push less air
through , but a t higher
pressure . The c ompressor
<:~Ill t herefore compensate
1be rJector ,/i11gramfo r the calc1'lated example. for m inor inaccuro1cies in
d esign .

52 Mode/jet 1::11~ines




1 ()()()()() rpm

1.4 90000rpm



0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.3
E.\·plmullion of compres.'ior su1-ging u •hen the e 11glne is accek>rated. If the throttle is
sudde11ly opened, e.g..'itarti11gfrom p oint A, throughp11tfalls i11ititll()'. arid poirlt Bis reached Only
ttfter 11 slig ht delay d<1 rotatio11al speed tmd t/Jror1g/Jput r ise, 1111tl we reach the s uction li11e C If
acceleration is e1•enf<1s ter. point B could e.'CteJrd into the surge zo11e.

However, if the throughput is excessively rest ricted, as surge cycles. The frequency o f t he cycles va ries
the results arc fatal. The o utflow angle of the gas from according co t he volume of the engine housing: t he larger
the comprt-ssor wheel becomes too shallow. As a re.suit the engine's inte rnal volume, the lower the frequency.
the ~as flows onto the blades of the diffuser system at In a model jet engine the surge cycks follow o n so
such an anglt: that the airflow breaks away. If t he com- quickly that all you hear is a loud. unmistakable growling
pressor is titled with a bladeless annular space the flow sound. If this should happen it is essential to close the
paths grow lo nge r and the friction losses rise substantial· throttle immediately, sinct> the engine w ill usually never
ly. Overall the pressure in the compressor collapses. clear the condition hy itself. If you do not close the throt·
Sudde nly the pressure supplied by the compressor is tit: the turhine wheel will overheat.
lower than the pressure of the g;1ses which are already In full-size jt:t engines the oscillations resulting fro m
inside tht' t:ni.tine, and the direction of flow reverses. This the surAe p h e nomenon usually cause damage to the
reverse flow continues until the housing pressure has blades, so the sit uation has to be avoided at all costs.
been reduced, and tl1e compressor s tarts to supply air Some axial compressors are titted with variable compres-
again. sor ditfoser blades which adjust the mselves in a fraction
This process repeats itself at regular intervals, known of a set:tion to sui t the prevailing flow angle. It is also

Mode/Jet Engines 53
possihk t o vent c o m -
pressed air which c;1rn;es
t h e throughput to rise
again . and k et:ps t h <::
t:ngint: a safe distance
from the surge limit.
However. compressor
s urge can evt:n o ccur
under cenain circum-
st a nces e ven if che tur-
bine stage is designed to
ensure chat its thro ug h-
put lies in che region of
optimum compressor
efficie ncy . W h e n th e::
th rottle is op<::n ed fro m a
p a rti c ular r o talio nal
speed. the combustion
gas temperature immc::<li-
atd y rises. Howc::ver. th<::
inertia of tht: rotor c;m~
es the rotational s peed
o f the engine to remain
con stant for a moment.
A 11 example <if a turl10 slJtt.fl engine U'ilb a small axial <.-om111·essor: lsoto1• GTD The dens it) o f th e gases,
350. built /11 1960. USSR. air tlJroughp11t: 2.19 k g/s. pressm·e rt1tio: 5.9, mass: 135 w hich a re now at a high -
kg, speed 45,000 rpm, 295 klV .<>lwft power. er temperatu r(', falls. and
the co n sequence is
re<luced mass throughput :1t the turb ine stage. For a
mome n t th e turbine scagc is su<l<le nly working m uc h dns-
er to the comp r<::ssor s u rge limit. Only t h e n does the
engilne·s rotor accelerate. Throughput rises. th<:: combus.
tion gas tem perature falls and stabilises again close to
th e starting value. However, if we open the thro ttle too
quickly, t he th roughpu t may m omenta ril y fall to the
point whe r e the compressor star ts t o surge. If th is
shoul<l happen, it is essential to reduce the throttk st"t-
ting imm<::diatel y. The compressor surge limit is more
critical in a m odel jet e ngine if the blade tip angle of the
compressor roto r b lades is large. Model je c e ngines with
retro-curved blades are <::xcrc::m<::l y resistant to surge. In
contrast, types with radially tipped hlades are very sus-
ceptible to surge when the throttlt: is opened. In this
case th <:: surge limit va ries p rimarily according to t h e
design of the diffuser system. If the b lad e angle is exces-
sive .. th is type of compressor tencls to s urge even at full-

The axial compressor

T o date l have n ot heard of any model jec e ngine wich
an axial co mpressor.
Nevertheless the axial compressor deserves atte ntion.
and I will deal wi th it briefly. I h ave dditx: rately simpli-
fied the theory, and <.:oncencrated o n the most commonly
uS(;U type:. Tht:re is n o rea:mn why an axial compr<:ssvr
should no t he used for a model je t engine, dth <::r alone or
in comhination w ith a radial compressor. Industr ially pro-
duced small gas turbines oft<::ll feature o n e o r more axial
scages in front of th<:: radial compressor. and even at very
small dimensions these compressors exhibit adequac<:: effi-
cien cy kv<::ls. The smallest· axial w h eels have a diamete r
of a1·01111<l 90 mm and are fitted in tront of radial compres-
Vieu• <ifthejfrst tln·ee t1.-..it1I compressor s tages;,, sors.
the Isotov GTD 350. After the axial compress01· T h e advantage of the axial compressor is its grea t
comes one radial stage. The diameter of the w beels t hro ughput combined with small frontal area.
is only ahout 130 mm. T h e p ressure rise in an axial stage is usually distrib-

54 Hode/Jet E11p,i11<!s
uted in equal parts b<:twccn the rotor hla<ks and the <.Iii~
fuscr hladcs, i.e . h alf of the work done is carried out in
the rotor whe::el itsdf. The s°'alled reactio n level then
c.:an be defined as follows:

r = Y 'Wheel ' Y S1age = 0.5

r = Reaction level o f th e sta~e J

Y \H~-.:I = Work done by the rotor blades (J/kg) II
Y N•i:< =Work done b)' th e stage overall (J/kg)
From this it follows that the rotor array and the diffuser
array should ut ilise ge::ometric<1Uy similar blade forms.
·m e air tlows to the comprt'ssor rotor aml strikes the
rotor blades w hich are moving at a high pt'ripheral sp eed.
"Jbc blades are profilt:d in such a Wa)' that the tlow is easi-
ly dive rted in the direc tion o f the shaft axis. TI1e e ffective
flow cross-sc:ction at the;: rotor inlet is smalle r than at the
rotor outlet because of the more acute angle of the llO\\
relat ive to the periphery. In c onsequ ence the airflow F/011• n11ulitio11s in " " 11xi11f s t11gc•.
slows down w ithin th e b lades. and speed is converted
into pres..,ure in the now familiar war. Tilis slight deflec-
tion in the: direction of the:: pcriphcry is responsible on its
o wn for the pressure rise:: in the rotor wheel. If blades
with a grt'at er curvature Wt're used the flow would
incvitably break down . ;111d a significant reduction in
... D<1 • 90 mm ...
dficiem..-y would resu lr.
"llte flow d etkction which constitutes the:: work done
is the vectorial differe nce bet ween the speed w 1 o f the
g;Lo; relative to the diffuser b lades al the w heel inlet and
Di• 70 mm ...
Wz at the w h e el outlet. If we consider the absolute
speeds of the gas. the difference in speed is naturnll)' the
same. In the compressor difTu:.t:r systc::m a fort.h er. mirror-
imagt' spced change thc::n takes p lace. The absolute speed
at the rotor w hce l outlet abo re p resents t h e relati\"t:
spet:d at the guide van e inlt:t. If we assume a rc::act io n
level of 0 .5 the deviation in the rotor system and the
guide system is of the same:: magnitude.
If we consider the speed vecto rs w 1 and Wz it is obvi-
ous th at w 2 is smaller , i.e. its vector arrow is shoner than
that of w 2 • TI1e reduction in speed energy w hi c:h this
represents has been converted into pressure energy. Tlw
theoretical specific work done by tht" axial stage is:

To move from theoretical calculat ions to the acrual work

do ne, we multiptr Y,h hy the n :duct:d performance facto r
µ and th e internal efficicncr 11· The reduced perfonnancc
factor takes into account the fact that th e gas
docs not keep exac:tl)' to the p:llh dictated h r the hladc.:s,
as with the radial compressor, and that the d eflectio n o f Diagram of cm tu:itl/ s ltlge llS calc11lated.
tht" airflow w ithi n the h ladt"s is lower than calculated.
The: internal dficiencr 11 reduces the sp ecific work do ne
by the magnitude of the losses w hich occur in t.hc: We will assume a compressor with a ro to r diameter o f
blades. 90 mm and a huh d iameter of 70 mm. TI1e black profile
might he such that the deviation 6w is one rhird of the
Yw = Y,h x µ x l) periphe ral speed. ·me strength of the rotor allows a maxi-
mum rot atio na l spced of 60 ,000 rpm . Efficiencr a n d
Example calculation: axial compressor stage reduced perfom1a0ct: fac Lor are both assumed to be 0 .7 -
Now we will calculate the c sst:ntial ch aracteristic data on the optimistic side.
fo r an axial compressor at model scale. To simplify mat- All calculation s are based o n the average s tage dia-
ters we w ill assume a numher of typical figurc:s relating to meter <Im.
full-size compressors. If you like your mathematics a little
more accurate, I recommend that you read the books by d _ <la +di _ 0.09m+0.07 m _
Dietzel and Rohl. m - 2 - 2 - 0 . 08m

.l1cxle/jet E11~i11es 55
The average pt:riphc::ral spc::e<.I b thc::n:

u = n x d 111 x n = 60000 x I /minx 0.08m.3, 14 = 250 m s

(><.> 60s I min
From these figurc::s the:: dc::viation in the p c::riphc::ral direc-
tion can be calculated to be 250/3 = 83 m/s with the
blade profile we h ave assumed. The theoretical specific
work done is thus:

Y,11 u x t.w=20750 ml/sl

20750 .J/kg O=kg x m 2/s2)

From the actual specific work done:

Y,," = Y,11 xµ x17 = 10.169.J I Kg

we cm determine:: the pressure ratio of the stage. To this A fuel feed ringfor propane g11s prm•ed adequate
c::ml we equate the work to the gain in enthalpy and for i11itfr1l engi11e e.,11erlme11ts.
n:solve the formula according to the prc::ssurc:: ratio.
If the inlet temp erature is 15' C (288 K) the- pressure 1n2
n= =57
ratio works out at 1. 129. l l1e c-xcess pressure after the lnl, 129 '
compressor is there-fore no b e tte r than 0 .1 l.9 bar. This
indicatc-s that sever a l comp resso r s tages wo uld h e:: or (l. stagc::s, to obtain a pressure rntio of 2.
required in order to obtain an acceptable:: pres..,urc:: ratio Th e:: notable fean1rc:: here:: is the very high throughput o f
for a p owerful mode::I jet turhinc::. ln each stage:: the:: pres- the:: ;1xial c ompressor. like the pote ntial sp ecific work
sure: would risc:: by approximately 1.129 timc::s. d one, t his varies greatly according to the blade form .
The overall p ressure ratio aftn n stages is thus: The: steeper the blade angle . the:: greater the meridian
component of the :1irflow. In this case the term mean s
~h crall =(~tagcY' th e:: spc:c::d component in the:: direction of the sh aft axis.
This speed component remain~ largdy constant when
Therefore we would need air is flowing chrough the compressor. A rypical value

1)'/Jiatl e.,·ample of 1111e1•e11 combuslio11: some 11ozzle gui<le 111mes ure glowi11g lJrigl1tly, otl1ers are ahnost
col ti.

56 .Wodel.Jet E11,qi11es
might be:: cm = 0.6 x u. fiased o n this assumed value:: the extend into the turh inc area the:: gasc:s continue:: to he
compressor throughput can be estimated using the conti- heate d . This is n o t desirable::. a s it causes the overall
nuity equation: c:xhaust gas t emperature:: to rise to the point where the
turbine overheats.
Ill= r xc 01 xA = l.225kg Im' x0.6 x250m/s x0.0025m' For the~ reasons we have to strive to keep combus-
= 0 .46kg/s tion of the fuel as far as possible completely confined
within the engine. It is an unfortunate fact that model jet
e ngines trailing a long wake of fire arc: fit o nly for the
Jn spite o f the hlade he ight we have a.;sumed o f just IO showcao;e. Building a model jet e ngine combustion cham-
mm the thro ughput is clearlr very s ubstantial. The real ber that works really well is the work of Sisyphus <King
question is whether this trpe o f c ompressor could be:: of Corinth, condemned to mil a hugt> rock ceaseles.-;ly u p
made using amateur means. Naturally the crncial point is a hill) . Many parameters have an important influe nce on
whether the efficie ncy that could be:: achit:ved is sufficient comhustion. amongst them the fuel in use. the injection
to allow the gas n1rbine to work. The other critical p o int method and the: air throughput. 1 have even come acrnss
is the matching of the com pres sor to the turhin c . a case where an engine was re-assemhled after heing dis-
According to the: spedalist literature the airflow in the mantled, only to find that the llame configurntion in the
axial compressor breaks down immediately if the compo- combustion chamber was compktd y different despite
nents arc not accurate ly matc hed to each other. the fact that no deliherate changes h ad been made to the
e ngine .
The combustion chamber Unfortunately it can he very difficult to pin dow n the
cause o f problems w hic h a risr w ith the combus tio n
ModeUers do not generally g ive the comhustion cham- c h amber. The only solution to this dilemma is to carry
hcr the atten tion it d eserves: if you believe that the main out systematic experiments a nd test different d esigns .
p rohlems for a model·sized jet engine are the compressor, However, an t::xtremely u sahle combustion chambe r has
turbine anti bearings, you arc wrong. The real pro bkm n ow been developed afte r many expc::rimcnts and w ith
area is the: combustion c hamber. Optimising the perfor- the help of much expert advice. The: desiJ{n explo its the
mance o f the combustion chamher is not simply a matter technique of vaporisation which was d eveloped in the
of pushing fuel consumptio n down as low as possihle, or early 50s hy Armstrong-Siddeley and is stilJ in widespread
of preventing flames roaring out of the turbine. No, a use today in small jet engines.
good comhustion chamher is the basic pre-condition if
your jc:t engine is to functio n at all. These are the main Design and function of the combustion chamber
reao;ons: In the:: combustion chamhcr the: air s upplied by tht
If combustion is uneven the inflowing air is not heated comprc:-~or is mixed with fuel and humed. Stable:: com-
to full t em p erature in certain areas o f the combus- bustion can only be ach ieved if an approximate ly stoi-
tion c hamber. The enth alp)' o f th is p o rtion o f the: ai r chio metric mixture ratio is prc::scnt . 1l1is means that the
only rises slig htly, and in consequence does little work fue l - ai r mixture must contain s ufficient O>rygen tha t
when flowing through the turhine stage. To compen- comple te c o m busti o n takcs place. If a st o ichiometric
sate for this deficit the rest o f the: air must hecome tha1 mixture:: is prc:-sent we spt:~lk of an air surplus f.. o f one.
much h otter when it flows through the turbine . This As w ith model piston engines we have a rich mixt ure
uneven tc::mperan1re distribution results in uneven speed when A. is less than o ne , and a lean mixture:: when f.. is
distrihution in thc turhine n ozzle guide vanes an d thus grc:ner ;!ian one. If the mixture is too lean there is a risk
poor overall efficiency. In the worst case this simply that combu!><ion will simply cease - the:: flame goes out.
means that the model jt::t
engine will n o t run at
al l. Fuel
Even if comh ustion is
consistent the re can h e
prohlems. The task of
the comhustion cham-
ber is to heat the pres-
sur ised air. The h o t air :-~-,
can then perform m ore
work when it is decom- To the
p ressc::d than was
requirt::d to compress it.
.. -,

However , if the:: a ir is
h ea t ed during th e
decompression p rocess
the effect is largely nulli-
fied . This means tha t
comhus tion must he::
restricted to th e con -
fines of the combustion Primary Zo11e
chamher to the greatest
possible:: extent. If the Diagram ofthe co11st1·uclio11 of a c<>mbustion c/Jamber.
flames are too long and

Mode/jet Engines 57
In the model jct engine this situation cm occur if the internally hy means of fine cooling air holes about 1- 1. 5
throttle:: is closed suddenly. The compressor is still supply- mm in diameter. The air which flows into the combu~tion
ing a large quantity of air w hich then bums with little fuel chambc::r through these small holes only penetrates to a
present. The flame in the combustion chamber is then tlepth of a few millimetres. and this tends to cause the
simply blown out. formation of a cooling film which linc::s the:: combustion
TI1e oppositt: problem - too rich a mixture:: - occurs c hannher walls.
when there is a lack of air in the combustion area. \Vhen On t h e other hand it is desirable that injected air
the engine is running this fault manifests itself as a yellow sholllld penetrate furth er into th e secondary zone of th1:
flame visibk through the t urbine blatlc:-s. The:- yellow combustion chamber. Within certain limits the gas mix-
flame consists of glowing carbon particles which cannot ing can he influenced hy varying rhc:: holt:: gc::ometry. IJ a
be oxidised to carbon dioxide because the necessary OX)'- give11 arc::a of opt::ning is req u ired for the c o mbustion
gen is absent. TI1e usual rc:-sult is a layer of soot depositc::d c h amber, that opening can be divided up into many small
on the combustion chambc:-r walls. holes or a few large ones. and the choice has its effect on
When burning kerosene or d iesel stoichiometric com- the temperature profile at the outlet of the combustion
hust ion occurs w ith an air - fuel ratio of 1-l .7 to one. chamb er. For exampk, if we opt for a largt:: number of
Stoichiometric mixtures burn at very high temperatures - small holes, t h en we obtain a low temp erature at the
even in model engines this may be up to 2 , uuo~ C , edges of the flow, and a hot central cort::.
tlepc::nding on the final comprt:ssor temperature. If we are The aim of every model jet engine designer - and this
to retluce this high value to the desired combustion gas applies to all gas turbines too - is perfectly even te:-mpera-
tempc::rature (around 650° C at idle:- and up to 850° C at turc dbtrih ution. Lowe:-r temperatures are desirable at the
full throttle) we have to introduce supplementary cool air base of the turbine blades, as the:: stresses in this area are
into the hot gases after they have left the combustion so high. Th us a secondary aim is to restrict the heat flow
zone. to the centre of the turbine disc, in the d irection of the
To achieve:: this we:: have:: to divide the combustion sh aft and bearings.
chamber into two areas: primary anti secondary. The
major part of the fuel combustion process occurs in the The question of fuel
primarr zone, and the air supply has to be adjusted to In principle the:: jc::t engine is not confined to a particu-
ensure that an approximately stoichiometric mixture:- is lar type of fuel. The main requirement is that the maxi-
present at that point. In the:- secondary zone:: the h ot com- mum quantity of e nergy is released during combustion. In
bustion gases are mixed with the supplementary air sup- pract ice most jet engines are designed to run on one:: of
ply. aml the result shou ld be a temperature which the the many mineral oil products which are commercially
turbine stage can withstand. In overall terms the air sur- available.
plu~ A. in the model jet engine lies within the range:: four Methanol is widely used for other types of model
to five. engine, but it anti other forms of alcohol are of limite:-d
Temperatures of up w 2,1)()()' C can occur in the p r i- use as jct fuel hecause of their low e:-nergy density.
mary combustion zone of full-size jet engines , and this although one of the author's engines has run successfull)
p resents immense p roblems. Glowing carbon particles on methylated spirits, or e:-thanol. Two calorific val ues are
radiate heat, raising the temperature of the combustion quoted for fuels - an upper and a lower value. lhe upper
chamber wlllls to 900< C in spite:- of the:: c::nvt:loping flow value can only he exploited if the water vapour produced
of fresh air ducrc::d from rhc:: compressor. In this environ- by combustion is condensed. In Ct) tlsequence o nly the
me nt o nly extreme high-temper.tture resiStllnt materials lower calorific value of fuels is of relevance to model jct
can survive. Nickel-based alloys are the usual solution, engines.
such as cenain sons of Nimonic or Inconel. The most promising route to instanl succe,,,, is tO use
In contrast, combustion chamber cooling is not a gaseous fuels such as propane o r bu rnne. No fuel pump is
problem in rhe model jet engine. TI1e low pressure ratio required as th e pressurised gas flows into the model jet
means that air is only heated slightly in the compressor, engine naturally. Mixing tht' gas with air is a lso relatively
so the overall temperature level is lower and the cooling straigh tfonvard; usually all that is required is a few injec-
effect of the air ~upplicd by the comprcs:-.or b consider- tion openings distributed around the combustion cham-
able. As a result ordinary 316 shee t stainless steel is an ber. The:- flow of pressurised gas tlr.-1ws sufficient air in
adequate marerial. The combustion chambc::r b cooled with it tO produce a combustible mixture.


Diesel Petrol J Pl/jetA J P't Propane MethanQI
Oensity [kg/I J 0 .85 0 .-.6 0 .804 o.-.6 o.5(1) 0.79
Hou [MJ/kg] ·l2.8 12.5 ·13.3 >42.(> 16.3 19.5
Boiling Range ( 0 C) l 90-33'J 80-130 I6o-260 60-240 -42 65
Fuel tank Capacity (ml) 880 990 920 990 1,380 2,080
(5 ~inures, 30 N Thrust)<l>
Flammability/Fire Hazard Low High Low High Very High High
Price (E/1) 0 .8 l.05 l.2 0.7 0.6

(I) Liquid lJ ntler Pressure::

(2) Sufficient for 5 minutes of powered flight at a thrust of 30 Newtons. (Specific Consumption = 0 .3 kg/N/h)

58 Mode!Jet E11g i11es

Propane gas is flamm:1hk w hen mixed with air in any
concentration in the range: l.. 1 to 9 . 5 per cen t by volume.

This hmad ij.tllWon r.mgc: offc:rs clear advantages in t he:
combustion chambc:r, h ut it also presc::nts major d rdw-
b:tcks in terms of handling the fuel. Propane ga-; is a sc:ri-
ous fire hazard and rc:adily mixc:s wit h air to form an
explosive mixture:. As a result it is c:ssc:ntia l to be: very
careful when working with thc:sc:: materials. Liquid gas is
particularly dangerous to handle. You should not attempt
to use liquid gas unless you possc::ss ap prop riate: inst ru-
mentation and hose cquipmc:nt. An especially dangerous
'----- Dlrec:t injectio n w ith sp ray 11ozzle

pra<:tice is to s upply liquid gas to an experimen t:tl jc::t

engine hy invc:-rting the: g;1s bottle. If a hose bc:comc::s dis-
con ne<:tc::d t he result w ill he a n uncont rollable gas
The boiling poin t of liq uid p ro pane gas is -42 ° C at
no rmal ambient pressu re. Es<:aping liq uid gas immediate-
ly cools 10 this te mperature and in so d o ing draws a high
level of thermal c:nergy from its c::nviron ment. If that envi-
ronmt'.nt is your skin you will very quickly suffer cold
burns. Fuel rmp orlsatio11 ;,, s tick s
liquid fut:ls such as petrol, diesel and kc:rosene are
genc:r:tlly t"asier to handle. All thc:st: materials are minc:-rnl
o il distillates, difft:ring primari ly in t heir boiling point.
The density and eneri:,1· contc:nt of fuels reprc::sc:nt aver-
age values and are liabk to vary from bat ch to hatch.
Special fuels for jct engines include t he JPl to J P8 vari-
eties of kerosene (jet petrol), although in fact only ]Pl o r
)et A us~."<l in c ivilian ;1viation and JP4 military jet fud are
of rt"al intcres1 to us.
Pt'.trol and l)'pe JP4 kerosene contain the:: highest con-
centrdtion of volatile hydro-carbons. They have a low
hoiling point and therefore rt:preS(:"nt a vc:ry :.<:rious fire Vaporistttio 11 ;,, t11IJ11lar coil
hazard. JP4 ke rosene: is primar ily used in t h<> military
sp here. This materiars low boiling po int and low flash Me<m.'i off u el l11jeclio11 i11 model j et e11gines.
point (the tempc:raturc at w h ich suftident liquid evapo-
rates to form a mixtu re:: w hich can still just he igni ted hr
sp:1rks) mt"an that thc::y
can be i~n ited in a com- Tl:Je Allism1J33-A -35f eat11res a total of 14 i11dl1•i<lua l combustio11 chamb•..,-s ll'ith
bustion c hamber unde r 0 11e atomise1·j et et1ch . Tl:Je l11te 1·-co1111ec:tl<ms at the primary zone <u··ea e11su1·e
c:xtrcme c ircumstances. thllt the fla m e b11r11s e 11e111J•.
J P4 vaporises well ,
whi<:h means that it can
he expc<:tcd to mix
well w ith a ir and pro-
d uce: a s table f1 ;1me.
l ' nfortu natt'.ly it is diffi-
culr w procure J P-4 in
small quantitit:s, which
means that this fue l will
probably never he
widely used hr mod-
Pure petrol ha'i simi-
lar properties to JP4 but
the boil ing range i s
mo re narrowly defined,
whi<:h results in a less
stable flame in t he com-
bustion <: hamher. For
t his rc::ason it makes
sens<.• to use a mixture
of petrol and other less
volatile fuels s uch as
JP I or d iesel. ro r
examplc. t he: cngines

Morla/Jet E11gi11es 59
The combustio11 chamber of the Turbomeca MarlJore. 11:1e.fuel is i11jected tlJrough the tubula1· shaft.

ma<le by Kurt Schrec kling run on a mixture of I 5°1, petrol which means that it is not p ossible to ignite spilt fud
and ~5% diesel. The petrol should be of the unleaded with a match. Even so, please don 't unden::stimate their
type. The octane rating. which is so imp ortant for car ability to get a lire going. ~alsa wood soaked in fuel burns
engines, is of no interest to the model jer engine. Anti- rather well.
pinking fu els such as Super o r Super-Plus p ossess a Overall we have found that JP I kerosene is the best
greater proportion o f highly toxic aromatics such as ben- fuel for model je t engines. Its wide bo iling range provides
zene and toluene, and they generally do not have a highc::r good vaporisation and a stable flam e, and in these
calorific value. respc::cts it is far superior to diesel and petroleum. The
For model jt:r engint:s diesel, petrokum and JP! are a model jet engine presented in the following section is
very good choice, and rh ese fuels are generally easy ro designed to run on p etroleum and kt.'rosene, hut fut:I
ohrain. Kerosen e is b est purc hase d at s mall airfields combustion is better withJI'l. One further positive point
which are equipped to refuel helicopters. Note that air- is that JPl has a more pleasant smell than diesel o il when
lidd rc.:fudling n 1uipm ent is invariably titted with a huge burrnc::d. In fact the fragrance of the exhaust gas s uggests
nozz.le, so take a container with a large opening. All rhe that you must be in the vicinity of an airport.
fuels mentioned above have a relatively high flash poinr,
Mixture formation
Vaporiser comb11stio11 chamber with tubular As with model piston e ngines good combustion cm
coil -Sc/Jreckli11g tyJ1e. only be achieved if the fuel is thoroughly mixed with the
combustion air. In a mode l jet engine this process has to
be completed in a very short time to ensure that as much
as possible of the fut:I supplied is burned, and does not
simply lc:avc: the: <.:ombustion \.:hambcr tmust:d.
With the use of liquid fuels thc::re are two pos,,ible
mdhods of Conning the mi xture: atomisation and vapori-
s:nion . Most full-size aircraft e ngines employ fuel atomisa-
ti<m, whereby complex injec tion pumps force tht.' fuel
into special injector jets unde r high pressure. The quality
of c,o mbu,,t'ion is very largely tktcrmined hy the droplet
size of the atomised kcrosc::ne : the smaller the individual
droplets the faster thc::y vaporise and burn. In practice
atomisation only works effectively if the injection pres-
sure is high. as the throughput of an atomiser je t rises
with tht' ::.quare root of the:: injector pressure.

60 ,lJudelJet £ 11µ i11es

A realistic requirement for a model jet engine would might lead us to lx:lieve. As a rule part o f the fuel rem;1ins
be a fuel metering range of one to five :md an atomist-r in liquid form and only turns into gas in the primary zone
pressure o f around 2 bar. and this would call for an of the combustion chambt'I'.
injct:tor pump capahle of producing at kast 2 x 5i = 50 Kurt Schreckling's e ngines exploit this tec hnology.
har at full throttle. Standard swirl jets could bt' borrowt:d The fud enters the combustion chamber through a coil
from a domestic oil-tirt:d ccntml hcating systc::m, hut this -consisting of one to one and a half metres o f stain less
calls for a high level of undc::rstan<.ling of complex pump steel tubing. TI1e h ot g;1ses of combustion wash ;1round
technology. Indust rial aircraft e ngines usually ust' what the coil o f tubing, vaporising part of the fud whic h tlows
an: known ill> doubk jets wit h ont: o pening for the idle into the primary zont' under high pressure. In de\·t:loping
range and additional injc::ctor cross-section al area for full this technology Schreckling confronted many and va rious
throttk. p roblems. but h is experimental work certainly producc:d
Nt:vt'rtheless, direct fuel injection app,-ars to Ix: ft:asi- a workable system.
bk for small engine::s. Because of the high tempt·ratures to which th e c.:oil of
In small profession ally-made:: gas turbines a simple tubing is subjected, it is not possible to solder injec to r
hut very effective solu tion has heen adopted: fuel is jets to the tubing, which means that the e ntire injec tion
injected into the combustion chamber through the h o l- p roce~s must take place: by means of accurately cut
low rotor shaft. The fud is pumped t hrough the com- holes a.lone. The length and arrangement ot tht' vapori-
pressor undt:r low prt:ssure. then into the e n gint:'s ser an: crucial, and musl be "just so". lf the coil is too
revolving shaft. At the a ppro priate p o int it passes in a s ho rt, or located in th e cold area, too much fuel lt:aves
finc:ly atomised for m int o the combustion chambt'r the vaporiser in liquid form, with poor c.:ombustio n and
through small openings, whert:by the spinning s h aft a wake o f tire str eaming behind the t:ngine the net
works as a ct:ntrifugal
pump. l11e adv:mtagt: of
th is technology is it s
simp licity. The atomiser
com: is exactly circular,
which promotc::s even
tempera ture distri bu-
tion. Even at low rot a-
tional speeds th e
process results in fine
atomisation of the fuel.
The crucial drawback
of s haft inject ion is
the complex air p ath
through the enwne. The:
combustion chamber
must be immediately
adjacent to the ~haft ,
and this a rrangemen t
closes off the air supply
to the inside of the com-
bustion chamber. It also
makes it impo~sible to
use a shaft tunnel t o Fuel iP{jection by m eans of booked tubes.
strengthen the engine .
l11e Turbomeca Mar-
bore exploits this injec-
tion technology. a nd in
this case air flows into
the internal space o f the
engin e through hollow
guidt: blades. This is an
intt:rt:sting solution, hut
raih e::r complex for our
purposes. In the model
sp here fuel vaporisation
systems are gene rall y
used. ln principle: these
systems are:- simple h eat
exchan ger.> whic h feed
part of the heat of com-
bust ion to th e fuel.
However, these ~1·stc::ms
are not as efficient as
the term · vaporisor·

,Hodel.fet Engines 61
has t o he built in. w hic h itse::lf rahes th e injector p rei.,,ure
to about 2 bar. Th e va porisatio n itself has no effect o n
the injection pmct·ss, so oscillation s in the column of liq-
uid fue l in the system do not occur. 'Ille technique o f
pre-,•aporisation is primarilr utilised in small gas turbines
and jct engine:.. II w.ii. developed in England by
Armstro ng-Siddcley and used s uccessfully in the Viper
series o f engin es. This type of engine used cwo secs n f
twe lve vaporiser tubes , h ut we can manage with far
fewer for a model engine. Only six tubes are required to
obtain sa1isfaetory temperat ure dii.tribu tion.
The fuel injector tubes must he con stmcte d wi th par-
ticular care , as their qua lity is cmcial to th e cempe racure
distribution w ithin the engine. As w ith ato miser jets, the
quantity o f injected 1uel is pro portional to the square root
of the injector pressure.
Fro111 pan of t/Je comb11slion dmml>e•· witlJ six As a result th e fuel p ump must p rovide a very w ide
/Jcx>ke1l t11bes. range o f pressures if tht: en i.:ir1e is to be fully comrollable.
At id le the injec tor pressure is so low th at even tht' h ydro-
result. If the vaporiser is too long the te mperature tends static prt:ssu rc: difft'rence in the ring of distribu tors in th e
to rise un comforrnhly h ig h , w ith the following result: comhustion chamber manift'st~ itself. as slightly more fuel
w he n the th rottle is closed tht: fuel heats up to a point flows th rough the bottom vaporiser t ubes than through
above its thennal srnhility (for .JPl <Uld .JP2 approx. 260° the upper ones.
C). In the: worst case soU<l carbon partid es tend to fonn. T h i:. results in slightl y stron ger combustion in the
w h ich in the course of time block the injector o penings. lower part of the combust ion l'hamher w h en the model
A further problem is that the column o f liquid in the jet engine is idling. Al full throlllt' the hydrostatic prei.-
vaporiser tube te nds to oscillate , in w hich case the power s ure d ifft'.rcnce is no mol't'. th;m <> cm of fuel column. TI1is
of the engine rist.~ and falls at intervals of a few seconds. is ncglij.tible, and combust ion is very even.
The engine.: is vc:ry difficult to com rol if this h appens.
since there is sufficient fuel in tht: vaporiser for 2-3 se::c- The significan ce of re-circ ula tion zones
o nds of mnning at full throttle even if the fud pum p is An important factor in th e devdopm<.:nt o f an efticient
switcht:d off. If the vaporiser s11 stem h as a tt:ndency to combustion chamber is t he design of the primar y zone.
oscillate then the engine must no t be considered as a Even if the fuel and air arc.: thoroughly mixed th e flow
power plant for i1 mooel aircraft. TI1e cause of the oscilla- speed in the combustion zone must be kept very low. If
t ion is sudde n vaporisation of th e fue l. When this hap- the flow speed is higher than the ex pansion speed of the
pens, onl} a little fud n:aehes the comhuscion c hamber flame from , the combustion simply goes out. hut even if
since the fuel g11s requires a lot of volume. Combustion the gas speed is sufficiently low the:: results w ith a small
only resumes properly when thl· coil o f tubing has cooled combusti on chambe r a rt: inevitably u nsatis-
slightly, i.o that liquid fuc.:I lc.:avcs the vaporiser again . The facto ry. The fuel b urns so s lowly that the combustion
coil o f tubing then h eats up ag;iin in turn, and tht'. cycle ch amber needs to h e very lo ng .
continues. For this reason it is important to tki.ign the comhus-
The usual remedy for t his problem is to run the tion ch ambt:r in suc h a way that hot gas - if possible still
engine on a fuel mixt ure w ith a high er boili ng range. Kurt burning - passes through the primary zone again. l ·nkss
Schrt:ckling's FO engint"i. run hcst on <.liescl w ith an addi- this reverse flow (re-circulmion) takes place, it is impossi-
t ion of 15% petro l. The petrol h as a low hoiling point, ble t o vapori:.e amt ign ite that part of th e fuel w hic h is
and this ensures that part of t h e fuel vaporises still liquid. If re-circulation can be achieved a stable core
reliably even w hen vaporiser temp eratures are rdatively of ho t gas forms in 1l1c p rimary zone. If a hack flow area
low. is p r esent, the name in t h e primary zone is vi rc ually
·n1c walking st ick mt"th od owes its name to the shape anchored in that position . This appears to be the only
of the vaporisc.:r tuhc:s, which are curved round like the way of constmcting a small combustio n cham ber w hich
bandit' of an umbrella or walking stick. Th ese h ooked works efficiently.
tubc:s duct air and fuel directly into th e primary zone of Re-circulation o f the ho t combustion gases is an esscn-
the combustion chamber. The fu el is actually inject ed tial feature of the model jet cni.:ine de:st.Tibed in t he next
th r ough lhin tubes each of which open:. into one section. The vaporiser is not capable o f vaporising all the
hooked tuhc. The advantage:: of this technique is that the fuel in the h ooke<.I tulx'.s, and th e liqui d residue is tl ushed
fuel mixes with th e ai r to some extent even bt"fore it onto the front face of the combustion chamber. This fuel
reaches the combustio n zon e . The n::mainder of th e liq- would n ot vaporise and burn without th e h eat of the re-
uid fuel is squirted o nto the fro m face of the combust ion circulating combustion gases. In fact the fuel unde rgoes a
chamber. cracking process at the front cover of the combustion
Tht· gre-.u advantage of this technique is that vaporisa- chamber. In the course o f time:: this results in the forn1a-
tion takes place unde r combustion c h amber pressure. In ti o11 of a layer of coke-like mate rial which peels off peri-
the caSt' of the model jct engine presen ted in this book od icall y. The model engine t h en s pits out glowing
the: actual injector p ressure is only about 0.5 har higher particles of soot like: an o ld-fashioned open lire.
than the comhusrion c hamber 1wc:ssurt:. In cons<.:quence There are many possible methods of achieving re -cir-
the fuel supply system is corrt'spondingly straightfor- c ulation. The:: usual <.:o urse is to sdect a h o le geometry
ward. To avoid supplyini.: too much kerosene a throttle which promotes g;1s tlow towards th e front fact: of the

62 :i>todel .fd E11µ,i 11es

Diag rmn <ift/Je rei•erse jlow in the p r imary zone ofa combustion
cl1mn/Je1· 11 1/1/1 slicks from 1·ear.

' To tl:Je

combustion c hamber. It is also possible:: to inject the fuel

in the opposite direction to the main flow. Tilis tends to
suck hot gas o ut of the r ear part of the combu sti o n
c ham ber and fe ed it back to th e combus tion area.
Baffles a re a lso widel y used, especiall y in the a fter-
b ur ners o f airc r aft e n g ines, t ogether w ith rin gs of
V-s h aped cross-sectio n w hic h produce a re-circu lation
area. However, where these methods ar e used in model
jet engines the result can be harmful cmcking of the c o m-
bustion c hamber. I have to admit that practical experi-
mentation is th e mo<lel builder's most u~ful aid when it
comes to designing a combustion c h amber. Since the tur-
bint" nozzlt: guide vane system allows us to observe th e
flame in the combustion chamber w h e n the eng ine is run-
n ing, it is at least possible to draw useful infere nces
regarding possible deficiencies simply by \Vatching th e
e ngine. V-sl1aped sheet mett1l guides anc bo1· thejlame i11
tbe comlJ11!.-tion cl:u11nber of" r<1m jet e11gi11e. The
Turbine stage and exhaust cone fu els i11jected t1gt1i11st the direction offlow through
numerous jets.
How the turbine stage works
t his typ e in the following section. The:: spc::cialist lite ra-
The turh int" stage, also known simply as the turbine, ture refers to excess pressure:: t urbint:s o r reaction tur-
extracts from the hot combustion gas the work required bines. Tht: m c::thod of calculating t he parametc::rs of a
to drive the compressor. Its method of working is there- t urb int: with a tliJferc::nt react ion level is analogous in
fore the exact opposite of the compressor. The turb ine principle::. TI1t: ovt:rall fall in the:: stage:: can he:: found from
redlKes pressure and converts it into kinetic energy. 111e the formula:
gases are ddkctt"d in the turbine:: b lades and thereby sub-
jt'.ct the blades to a periphc::ral furce which manifests itself
as torque.
The turbine stage itself c onsists o f a nozzle guide vane w he n the hot gas is expanded with a friction-free:: flow. a
system and a rotor. The overall e ffect o f the stage:: is to speed of
process the heat fall. The proportion o f the work carried
out hy the ro tor hlades in t h e:: stage:: as a w hole is c =.J{z xti..h)
expressed, as is the case with the compressor, by the
reaction level r. is achievc::d. However, in practice losses occ ur w hich
re duce the maximum possib le sp eed hy about 5"{,. This
mean s an actual e nergy loss of ahout I 0%, s ince:: kinc::t ic
energy r ises in proportion to the square:: of the speed. In
general term s these valuc::s arc:: much benc::r t han the effi-
ti..h1113d... ti..h~••i:• are the fall in enthalpy in the rot0r and in c ienq' o f th e compressor stage. It is also true that the:: gas
the overall stage resp ectively, in J/kg. flow in th e turbine's accekratio n ducts is m o re s table,
In practice gas t urbine stages are almost always w hich means that m u c h great e r gas deflec t ions can
dt:signc::<l with a n.:actio n lc::vd of r = 0 .5 . This means that bt' ach ieved ovc::rall. g iving substa ntial levels of e ne rgy
the heat fall ti..h~,""' is divided equally between the noz- conversion. That is w h y a single t urbine stage is ample::
zk and the rotor. For this reason we wiU only discuss for a m o del jc::t e n gine. A t wo-stage turhinc:: wo uld

lHode!Jet E11gi11es 63
pmvide no imprnvt:ment in th t· e ngine·s running charac- tota l p e r ipheral force is the sum of the thrus t forcc:s
te ristics. working in the direction of rotation.
The combustion gas flows first into tht: turbine·s nciz- In the final analysis o f turbine power we:: a re only inter-
zle guide vane system. w he re the:: hlade duc ts work like ested in those s p ec::d compone nts w hic h a r e in the
small jc::ts. accdc::rating tht- gases in the direction of rota- pt:ripheral direction. since work ca n o nly he p e rformed
tio n of the rotor. At tht: same time the:: gas expands . As in th e dirc::ctio n o f rotation. The p eripheral force is calcu-
pressure and te mperature fall , speed rises rapidly, reach- late<.! using the same rules w h ic h apply to the engine's
ing values o f around 4 50 m/s ( 1,620 km/hr) even in thrust :
model engines.
At this point the gases strikt: the turbine blades. Since F u= ril.t.W u; t.w u = w 2 - w 1
the t urbine w h eel is alread)' spinning at vc::ry high spt:ed.
we m ust diffen:ntiate vt:ry clearly b<:tween absolute and F0 = Perip hc:ral fo rce (N)
relativt: spt:eds. If wt: cou ld t rave l on the revolving rocor t.W.,= Spc::ed differenct: in the periphc::ral d irec tion
wt: would be subjt:cted to a gas flow not from the dirt:c- bet ween the inflowing and o utflo w ing gas
tion o f the: nozzle guide vanes, b ut to a greatt:r o r lesser (01/S)
extt:nt from the front. It is the rc::fon : a mistake:: to imagine w 1• w 1 = relative speed at the ro tor inle t (I) and the
that the turbine blacks sh ould be set at right-ang les to tht: rotor outlet (2) (m/s)
diffuser blades. The idea that the gas would strike the
broad side o f the blades at right-an1-tlt:s is correct - but
o nly w hen the:: turbine is at rt'.St. O nce it is in motio n the Finally the power o f the turbine is calculated as follows:
siruation is different.
The to rque producc::d by the turbine:: is the result of a P =Fu xu = ri1 x t.wu xU
peripht:ral force w h ich acts upon the turbine b ladt:s.
Th i:. fo rce c an he explain e d as follows: tht: gases are P = 111coretical turbine power (\Vatts)
acceleratc::d again in the roto r b lades, and are forced o ut u = Average peripher:il speed (m/s)
a t h ig h s peed in the direction opposite:: to r o tation .
The reby each flow duc t virtuall y forms a small jet pro- The gas w hic h leaves the:: tu rbine h as virtua lly no resi-
ducing a thrust w hic h acts upon the:: turbine blades. The dua l swirl. Whe n the gas flows through the s tage it

Nozzle g uide vanes Rot<>t· blades

C-Omlmstion chamber

No=le g Htde vanes


1iu·bine blades

/ c
/ 2




Di<igt·am of atr axial turbine s tage.

64 Mudel jet E11~ines

R a dia l t u rlJi 11e <>fa turboc:l:Jttrge,,- ( Gctrrett) - Th e
d iame t e r of t he w h eel i s only 52 m m.

Not much effort is r e qui retl t o p roduc e a s m a ll

turbine w h eel w ith a good le r>el efficie 11cy.

expands, amt the:- total !'>urplus pressure huilt up hy the

compressor is reduced. In consequ e nce the volu m e of
the gas rises, and this effect must be ta ken into account
when th e turhine stage is design ed. The same reduction
in e nthalpy has to take place in t he n ozzle gu ide van e and
the rotor blades. This mc::ans that the spec::d of the:: gas is
the same in both areas. The conti nuity equation now tells
us th at the free c ross-sectional arc::a for gas flow in t he
nozzle:: guide van e:. m ust he !'>maller than in the ro tor.
where t he gas has a lready been expan ded fully, and
therefore takes up much more space::.
In multi-stage gas t u rbi nes this effect is t;1ke n into
account h y increasing the rotor diameter fro m stage to
stage::. However. even w it h a single-stage turhin e this
must he allowed for if it exceeds a certain p ressure rat io.
111e essential enlargemenr in cross-section varies accord-
ing to the engine's p rt::ssurc:: ratio. At low pressures, as for
example in Kurt Schreckling's FO sc::ric::s, it is fc::asiblt: to
ignore:: compressibility altogt:ther.
At higher pressure ratios a constant c ross-section tu r-
bin e would resul t in a rise in the reaction level and a A s11ail housi11g is u s ed as th e t u rbi11e e nh'J' syst<.>1n
slight fall in efficiency. For th is reason it is best to make of a raclial t11 rlJi11e_ N<> 11ozzle guitle 11ct11es are
the free c ross-sc::ctional area of the tu rbine in a model jet req uir ed wit h t /Jis ty p e cif e11t1')1 system_
e ngine ahout 15 to 25% largc:T th an t he:' n ozzle g uide van e
c ross-section, th e actual figu re depending on the p ressure the:: roto r might wdgh anything up to 0.4 kg. 111at means
rat io achieved . In p r actice this means increasing the a h igh moment of inenia and a correspondingly poor ahil-
height of the blade or in creasing the b lade angle . ity to accele rate.
The t urbine wheel is attachc::d to the sh;Lft using a spe-
Axial turbine o r r a dial turb ine? cial w eldi ng procc::ss: friction welding. This technology
In t heory b o t h typ es of tu rbi ne are possible con- keeps co a low level the he:1t transkr from the:: h ot w h eel
tenders. In full-size aircraft engines the axial t urbine h as to the sh aft and th e bearings. Attempting co attach the
become th e standard choice almost without exception. whed to a differt:nt shaft <.loes not seem sensible::, and is
since it achievt:s significantly be:-tter d'ficiency lewis at u nli kdy to sue<.:eed in tech nical ter ms. on no account is
that scale. At modd scale th e:' !>ituation is vl:'ry c.lifferl:'nt, iJt pl:'rmbsiblt: to drill through th e wheel. The severe tan-
and r:tdial turbines are certainly a ~nsible proposition. gential stressc::s which would ac1 upon the bored area
Radial tu rbines of a size suitable for model e n gines are would result in th e w heel failing catastrophically at quite
usi::c.I in t urbocha rgers, and they have been devdop ed a moderate rotat ional speed.
over man y years to the stage where they represent So th ere lies the nth: th e main problem besetting the
sophisticated h igh-tech produc:ts. T hey are manufactured mse of a r adial turhinc:' i n a modd je t engine is of a
in sp t:cial heat-resistant a lloy (su c h as lnconel ..., I 3C) mech anical natSoure, and not thermo-dynamic at a ll. 111e
using a p recisio n casting p rocess. and are c apable of design of t h e rotor shaft means t h at the comhuscicm
withstanding extremely severe stresses. As already men- c h ambc::r must he very small or external. as clemonstrated
tioned, one advantage of using such a t urbine is that the lby th e PAL system. Moreover the t h ick sh aft n ecessitates
unit is exactly matched to the corresponding c ompressor the use of large bc::arings which are generallr le!>S able to
wheel in terms of throughput. To use th e:- t u rhine in a w ith stand high rotational speeds.
model jet. i::ngint: all we lack is a n ozzle guide vane sys-
tem. D esign and vector diagram s o f a n axial turbine
However, for q u ite different reasons th e use of a radial Jn principle the starting poin t for calculating the tur-
tu rbin e appears to h e a poor choice for the amateur. hine is the compressor, a!> t hil> dictat e:. t h e engine':.
One reason is the mass of the rotor. Evt:n at model sizes throughput and rotational ~peed. The: turbine should be

Mod e/jet E11~illl:'S 65

<ksignt'd to harmonise wd l with the existing com pres- fore :1round 1.9 x 0 .% = 1.824. He membcr also tha1 the
~r. Of course, there is no reaso n why we should nor start specilk h eat of the:: air ri~s at high tempc::r.i.ture . With the
with a given turbine: and build a suitable compressor. gas temperature:: T3 o ne can assume a Cp of l , 100 J/kg/K.
liowc::ver. since we wish to make u se of a ready-made The heat fall can then be calculared from the following
comprc::ssor whed from a turboc harger. everything in formula:
te rms o f pressure, rotatio nal speed and throughput is
a lre~1 dy det e rmined, so rhc method described h e rc
appears to be the most sc:nsi hle.
Although much of the data is already tixed th e re is In our example the h eat fall amo unts to 160,350 J/kg,
still M>me scope for variat io n in th e design uf th e tur- w hic h is signiticantly greate r than the h eat fall required to
bine. f o r examplt:, w it hin certain limits it is possible to drive the compresso r . Thc ho t gas still con tains a very
vary tht: diameter of the turbine w h ed and the b lade tip larg.e :tmount o f energy w hich is exploitc::d to produce a
angle. altho ugh the re arc: cer tain p o ints w hich have to high eftlu x velocity and thus plenty o f t h rus t . In t h e::
he home in mind. The gas wh ic h leaves the turbine m o <.lt:l jet engine it is prac tica ble to a llow all the::
shou ld tlow out of t h e engim: as s trnight as possible c: nthalpy to expand in the turbin e s tage::. This means
( minimum swirl motion). \Ylc.: a lso ha ve to takt: into that the turbine wheel processt:s a higher fall than woul(I
account the wheel's Mrength and cfficiency whc:n con- be n :quired to drive the comprt:ssor alone. With this con-
sidcring its design. To achieve low gap losses it is d esir- sidt:ration in mind, we can arrangc the:: geometry of the
able to kcep the: turbine: b lad es lo ng, as this achieves a turbiJ1e wheel to exploit this advantage. The rotor blades
fa\•<mrahlt: rdationship b etween gap lt:ngth and blade art: arrJnged at such an angle that the: exhaust ga.; has a
length . On the o ther hand the strength of the turbine: l:t~t' componelll in the direc tio n o f the thrust axis. This
w heel inc reases if the blades are sho rter an d lighter. TI1e allows us to use short hlades, wh ic h arc:: advantageo us in
litth: matter of the des igner 's cxperiem:e ab o p lays a no t terms of mechanical strength . In this way a large:: pro por-
inconsiderable role in the final des ign. A turbint' w ith the tio n of the thrust is already present in the rurbinc::. TI1i~
same diamt'ter as the:: c ompressor has proved to h e:: a m ean s th at a propo rt ion o f the h eat fall wh ich can he
good solution. with a bla<lt' tip angle u in the range 30 explo ited for thrust productio n is already present as
to 35 . At the low end of tht· r.inge the gas deflection in e mux vclociry at the turbine:: whc::el. Finally only a re la-
thc pt'ri pheral direc t ion il> m ore pronounced. The n e t tive ly small residual fall takes p lace in the actual thrnst
rc.:sult is that a larger proportion of the ove rall fall in no:czlc.
eo·nthalpy is convert.ed into shaft work to drive the com- We:: start from th e h eat fa ll and gas temperatures
pressor . TI1is in tum means that less remains for thn1st alrea<I)• fo und. If we aim at a reaction level of 0. 5 , half the
production . With s uch a configuratio n the exhaust gas fall , i.e . =O. 'ix I 6o,:\'i0= 80. 175 J/kg, is processed in t he
tempemture w ill he low , and the model jet c::ni.tine will diffuser wheel, and h:1lf in the rotor wiled. When the
run \'Cry reliably but give:: lc::s.s thrust. If the blade tip angle gases are accelcrnted in the b lades a spee<.I c is reach ed in
is stet'pt'r the situation is d ifTe n :nt: the gas deflection in c::ach wheel. Only 95% o f t he velocity can he convened
the peripheral direction is re<luced, and in order to drive due to wall friction and flow losses.
the compressor wheel a nd kee p th e e ngine running, a
higher level of enthalpy must h e present overall. This c =0.95 x ~2 x 80.17SJ / kg = 38(1m I s
means that the exhaust g.1s te mpemn1re will inevitably be
higher . If our aim is to produce:: a model je t en gine which
runs reliahly, it is clearly h ettt'r to select a turbine w heel Now com es the calculation of the free c ross-sectio nal
blade tip angle at the lowt'r end of tlu: range, at least ini- area of the turbine stage, w hich is d e finc:d by the:: continu-
tia lly. t a ter on you can always adjust the angle of th e ity equatio n . However, before we d o this we:: have to cal-
b lades or tit a new w heel to discover if tht' moditication is culate the density o f the:: gas at th e outle t of th e nozzle
worthwhile. guide vane system and at the end o f the turbine w h eel. /\t
t he e nd of the turbine nozzle guide vanes th e e nthalpy
Typical calculation: turbine design for a model jet fall has been reduced b y half. The pressure ratio is the n
e ngine approximately:
lllt' following example presents the ste p s in <..-alculat-
ing the design of a turhinc: st age hasc::d o n the engine J t.824 = 1. 35
dcscrihed in these building instructions . In th e case of the
Mic ro-Turbine we:: aim for a combustio n c hamber d is- As rth c: gases expand the temperature also falls slightl)'·
c h argt' gas temperature o f 923 K (650° C). This value He re again the turbine w o rk s like a com presso r in
rnuM not he confused with the t:xhaust gas temperature::. reverse. The fall in temperature can be calculated as fol-
As the ho t gases t'.xpand, the temperature in the turbine lows:
falls b y a good I 00 K. These tt:mpe r.itures are well within
the r-.inge of standard nickel-chro mium stt'.els, and a !>:ttis-
factory usc::ful life can he expected . We: assume:: a nominal 6T = '7Turbine X -Cp
rotat ional s pee d o f 100.000 rpm and a corrt'.sponding
p res.'iure ratio of 1.9. Mt:a.. urc::ments and <..-alculations con-
cerning the:: compressor show that a n air mass o f 0 . 18 If we assume n1rbinc:: c::fficiem:y to IX' 75% the tempera-
kg/s llows through the t'ngin t: in this state. ture difference:: is:
/\ further faccor to he considered is the loss of gas pres"
sure in th e combusti on c h amber . A rea listic value:: for 6 T = 0.7'5x80.175 I 1, 100 = '55 11 K
pressu re loss in a model turbine is around 4% at full throt-
t le . The pressure ratio before the turbine stage is there- /\s :a res ult the tempe rature b e tween the diffuser blacks

66 :I/ode/Jet £11~ines
Diagram of the turbi11e uil:Jeel as use d in t h e calculatio11s.

and the rotor blades is 923 - 55 868 K (595° C). The now a lready detc::rmined the geome try o f the turbine
gas density at this po int is as follows: ibased on lhe calculate d data and the angles and d iamece rs
we have established. In general te rms lhe free blade
= I.35x10l. 325Pa = O.SSk t m3 c ross-sectional area can be calculated as follows:
p 868K x 287 J I kg I K g
A =sin(a)x nx TX(da 2 - di 2 ) / 4
At the turbine o utlet the temperature falls by a further 55
K to the exhaust temperature of 8 13 K (540° C), at which i: is what is te rmed the blade tap e r factor which ta kes
point gas pressure corresponds to atmospheric pressure. i nto account the effective re duc tio n in cross-sectional
The final density of the exhaust gas is: area due to the thickness o f the blade. We can reckon on
a figure for i: of 0.95. If we select a t urbine diamete r of 66
p =101,325 I 813 I 287 =0. 434kg I ni 3 mm to match that of the compres.o;or (as in our example),
the n the internal diameter is found from the following
From this informatio n we can calculate the free b lade equation:
cross-sectional area of the turbine:: as follows. using t he
continuity equation . As at the start of tl1e calculatio n, the 2 4xA 4 x 0. 00086m 2
engine 's throughput is 0. 18 kg/s: di = da - - - - - - - 0. ()(>62m 2 - - - - - - - -
sin(a)x nx T sin 30° x3. l 4 x 0. 95

AnRv = - -
m 0.18kg I s = 0.00086m2 2
exp 380m / sx0.55kg / m 3 0.066lm2 - 4x0.00086m =0.0453m
sin 30° X3.14 x 0. 95

A blades - - - -
m 0.18kg I s _- 0 . OOl"'
. 2 Thus we find that the b lade heigh t should be (66 -
' c xp 380m I s x 0.434 kg I m 3 45.3)/2 = 10.35 mm. lfwe assume a blade tip angle of ~5°
and a de nsity o f 0.434 Kg/m~ we can calculate for the
These resuh.o; show that small overall cross-sections are r ocor w heel an inte rnal diame te r of di = 43 mm and a
correct, at 8 .6 sq cm and 10.9 sq cm. In fact , this is clue to blade height of 11.5 mm.
the characteristics of the compressor wheel. The model Finally we can p lot the overall vector diagram using
jet engine will be fitted w ith a turbine w heel featuring the data determined thus far. The:: speed reached in the
ver y small blades, and that is why the wheels are able blade ducts is 380 m/s. The average pe riphe ral speed can
effectively to withstand the centrifugal load acting upo n b e calculated from the average stage diameter:
the hlade::s. This is the basic reason why the engine can
be run at high rotational speeds without requiring the use
of special high tem perature alloys.
These calculations also show that the:: c ross-sectional and the rotational speed.
area of the w heel must be larger than that o f the nozzle::
guide vane system . In the inte rests o f simplicity, and to Anothe r interesting point to no te is the outflow speed
allow us to kec::p the nozzle guide vane and rotor blades o f the gases from the turbine w heel.
the same d iameter. the blade t ip angle of the nozzle
guide vane wheel is set at 30° and that of the rotor at 1ll = dm x n x n / 60 =0.054m X3.14x l 00.000 / 60 =.283m / s
35°. In fact, the:: shallower the blade a ngle, the smaller·
the free flow cross-sectio nal area. This is the key fact We have delibe rately kept this value high , so that the
w hich allows us to use blades of similar ht:ight. We have maximum amoun t of thrust is developed. The outflow

.ltfodelf et En~ines 67
spct:d can be found from th e equation. Without any sup- b lade mass. the material cross-se<:tiun and the radius of
plementiu:y c::xhaust cone the env:int:'s th rust is al ready at the wheel.
least: To simplify matter.; slightly, we w ill consider the mass
of a h lade a.. a u nit operating at its centre of gravity. 11le
F= cm xm =21Rm t :.X0. 18kg ' s=39N centrifugal force on the blade is then:
With a good thrust nozzk this value: r bc:s by a further F = m xu ,.,
20- 25%. and at a speed o f I 05.000 rpm a final thrust o f rm
50 Newtons is achieved.
Th e dc:s iv:n of t he turhine would not he complete F Cent rifugal force in Newtons
without somt: mc:ntion of the optimum number of hlades. u 111 Averngc peripheral speed in m/s
lien: ag;1in thtre can he no definitt:" :mswer. r"' dn/2 =average radius in m
The important point is that th e number of hlacles o f m hlade mass in kg
the: nozzle guide vane system and th e rotor should n o t
have a common divisor. o therwise the e ngine may tend If we assume all the data found in the prt'ceding sample
to suffe r oscillations beG1use of in-phase gas flow through calculation, with an actual hladc m:1ss of aro un d 0.6
the hlade ducts. A good system h as p roved ro be ekvc:n g ra m m es. th e ave rage radius is 0 .02..., m , t h e average
hla<les in the: nozzle g uide vane system , and 19 , .ll o r 2.'S peripheral speed 283 m/s, then the calculatt:d cemrifugal
blades in the rotor. load. is 1,- 80 Nt:w1o ns. Tilis m eans that the e ffective mass
of the blade is 18 1 kg .
Centrifugal loads o n the rotor whe cJ T h e t ensile s tress at the hase of eadl blade varies
The turbi ne w hee l is undouhtc:dly tht: most highlr according to th e c ross-sect ional area of t he material at
stressed component in a model jet engine, as it h:1s to tha t point. Natu r:11ly, this d e p e nds to a considerable
withstand high tt:mpt:ratures as well as centrifugal forcc::s extent on the actual construction o f the turbine w h eel.
of exoticall y high va luc::s. T h e weakest point o f tht· The c ross-secti on al area w ill vary depending o n the b lade
wheel is usually the b lade roots since thc::y are subject to geom etry and tht' thickn t:ss of the dbe. However , it is
high tempcr.uure and must also w ithstand the to tal cen- easr to maintain a cross-sectional area of t welve square:
trifugal force acting upon the turbine b lades. Inevitably millimetres, whic h results in a tensile s tress of aro u nd
th<:: resultant stressc::s rise with th e square o f the rotational 150 N/mmi. If tht: temperature o f the mate rial is 650° C
speed . we can still gc:t by with n ickel-c hrome sted s such as
f or th ese:: reasons it is essential to en sure th at the maxi- stainless steel, V1A, INOX o r similar grades. If rotatio nal
mum permissible: rotational speed for the engine is nevt'r sp eeds are substantially high e r , t h en only spec ial high -
exceeded. However, the temp erature of the gas inside tc mm>erat urt: materials should h e consid e red.
the e ngine p lays a Vt:ry important role h ere, for at high T h e cen tre of the turbine w ht:el is also suhject to ve11·
temperatures the steels we are using lose much o f their severe stressc::s. although the load varies according to the
strength. This applit:s in extra measure to the modeller. design of the w h eel. A pl~in turhin e disc <without a
w ho generally d oes not have access to super-q uality heat- mounting hole) is at least twice as strong as a wheel o f
resistant alloys. the samt." size with a central bore. This applies even if th e
The stresses o n the wht.>el mate rial in the turbine h ole is micmscopic:tlly small. The reason for this is tan-
blade region are influenced by th e:: p<:ripheral speed. tht' gent ial tensio n w hic h occurs alo ng the h ole.The practical
results of a bored turbine are as follows: as the turbine
E1•e11 t/Jis slJort ex/Jaust co11e j)rf>d11ces a11 i11creuse runs up to fu ll speed t h t: h o le expands and suddenly
;,, t/Jr u st of 15 -20%. there is play where it m<::ets th e shaft. In :m extreme case
th<:: turbine wheel mounting hole mar grow hy several
tenths of a millimt·trc. The damage generally goes unno-
tic«l un til you stop the:: engine, o r when serious vihration
sc::ts in w hc::n the e ngine is run up to speed . \..alculating
the tensile forces at th e centre of the w heel is a very com-
p lex procedurt: s ince the formu la h as to t a k e in to
account the precise:: w h et:! form and the influe nce o f the
b lades.
However. if we assume a disc o f constant thickness
and a small hole relative to th e t urbine d iameter , we can
appro ximate the maximum stress in the centre of th e
whed as follows:

o = O.fl25 x u m2 x p
o Maximum t:mgc::ntial t t:nsion in N/m l
u 01 Average peri pheral speed in m/s
p Material density (generally around 8000 kgtm.1)

If we con sider tht: turbine discussed here we can calcu-

late a tt:ns ilt: stress of:
o ~ 0.825 " 2832 x 8000 - 528MN/m2-528N/mm2
This mc::ans that the load in the centre o f the wheel is
mor t: than three times highc::r th an that acting upon the

68 .Hodel } el £ 11J<ille5
blade bases. Although re latively low tt'.mperatures pre-
v-ail in the centre - aro und 2c;o° C - the material is not
usually capable of withstanding these forces. This mc:ans
that the turbine w heel must be thicker in the cc::ntrc:: than
at the h lade positio n. This applies evc::n if heat-resistant
matc::rials :ire used. The profile of tht'. w heel can he
designed to achieve an evt'.n load distrihulion through the

TI1c exh aust con e

The thrust of our jct engine:'. is simply the product of
throughput and e fflux speed .
Therefo re the sp:tcc immcdi:ttcly aft o f t he turbine is
very imponant in terms o f the actual thrust prcxluced. Va1+/011s s tyles '~f ex/umst cone.
It is normal prncticc to
arrange an exhaust conc
i mmediatcly ad jace nt
to the turbine w h eel ,
whose p u rpose is l o
rcducc:: any re maining
enthalpy a nd accelerate
the exhausr srrc:11n fur-
the r . In :1 model je t
engine this classic
arrangement docs pre-
scnt cenain problems. Jn
gt'.neral te r m s o verall
e fficiency is relatively
low, s o on ly a small
amount of entha lpy
remains whic h c:in he
added t o t he enginc ·s
thrust. It thcrefore
makcs sense t o reduce
all the enthalpy in the
tu rhint• stage and design
the bladcs in such a way The 11ozzle of this drone e11git1e can be modified by adjusting tl1e irmer co11e_
that the o utflowing gas
leaves the turbine:'. at h igh speed.
In this t::1se the main task of tht:' t:'xh:mst cone ii. to The s h aft of a m odel jct e ngine
direct the g;1s into tht:' open air w hilst incurring the small- The fin al essential component o f the engine is the
cst possible:: losses. The mcxlel jet engine prest:nre<I here shaft, w hose:: rnsk is to transfer the energy in the turbine
is therefore fitle<.I with a nozzle w hose cross-sectional w heel to the compressor. Tht• actual torq ue concerned is
area is virtually constant. fining the exhaust cone increas- very low, hut the special characteristic of the system is its
es the engine's thrust hy ahout 20 %. Clearly the main rea- extreme rotational speed. w hich forces us to adopt a very
son for this increase in thrust is the avoidance of vortices special d esign of s haft. Initially it appeared th:1t ho llow
aft of the turhine wht:'el, which incur high losses. The tubular sh:tfts would offer great advantages, hecause they
cone a lso promo tes the fonnatio n of a boundary layc::r are light in weight and have a high natural resonant fre-
which p roduces an effective reduct ion in cross-sect ional quency. In fact, solid shafts h ave:: prove<.! to he tho ro ughly
area, leading to a furth e r acceler.uion o f the t'.xhaust prac tical. and this section therefore assumes tht: ust: of a
gases. so lid shaft.
A genuine exhaust cone, kno wn as a convergent cone, The aSSt'.mhly comprising shaft, compressor w heel and
presents unacceptahle p roblems at model scale. mainly turbine wht·el is a system capable o f vihration. If its nanir-
because the gas !caving tht: turhine is still extremely tu r- a l resonant frequeney is dose to the frequency of rota-
bulent and usually still exhihits a slight rc::sidual swirl tion, then the sys1cm will start to oscillate. and if actual
motio n. No matter how efficient the turhine, we cannot resonance occ uri., the vibr.1tion will he so sevt:rc that the
eliminate this swirl. s haft hends. In tht.' eoursc: of develo p ment o f th is jet
The swirl is unavoid:thle when you accelerate the engine I have:: severa l ti mes cncountered sudden and
engine or close tht: throttle, and tht"' exhaust flow would sc::verc vihration w he n tht: engine was run up to hif.?h
have ro be straigh tened before it could he accelerated fur- speed. Once the e ngine had heen stopped it was possible
tht:r in t he cone. Th'· st raightening procc::ss requires a to see the eccentricity in the:: shaft w ith the nakt'.<l eye,
smoothing passagt: for the gas. In industrially produce<.! just h y looking at the compressor.
small jc::t e ngines fitted w ith a convergent cone th is calm- The o nly solut io n to this prohlt:m is to <.lesign the
ing component is very large in volume, and for our mo<.lel rotor system in such a way that its re::sonan1 fre-
jet engint:' we can ly manage without the extr0t quency is as high :1::. poi.sihlc. The weakest point in the
complication. system is usua ll y the compressor. T he mass o f th t:se

Model jet l:."11>1i11es 69

w hc:ds is rc:lative l)' high. and their centre o f gravity is a Based o n th e data uSt:d in these formulae we arrive at a
long wa)' fro m the bearings. If high rotatio nal speeds are c ritical angular vdocity of the shaft o f Ww.-ik = 21.59-. Vs.
to be achieved it is advantageous to use a short shaft, and In the second s tage o f th e calculation, as already men-
to locate the heari ngs c lose to the ro tating wheels. In tione d , we calc ulate th e critical speed o f the rotor as a
practical terms the i.olution is simply to make the shafts w ho le .
for our model jct e ngines from solid steel.
1 ~
------,+ +-
Calculating the critical rotationa l speed o.r' <Ocumpr<'''"' - (I) I urh11w !. lU ~lull
Calculating the critical rotatio nal speed o f a model je t
engine: is c:xtremc:ly cumplicatc:cl. but this is very useful This procedure d early sh ows t h at t he: bending critical
information if you w ish to experiment with shafts and sp eed w is 14,270 l/ s, corresponding to a bending critical
rotors. The following section includes a me thod o f calcu- speed o f th e whole ro tor of 136 ,2-.0 rpm, which is signifi-
lating the approximate c ritical speed hased o n the Micro- cantly above: the maximum d esign speed of 105,000 rpm.
Turbine . In essence it is hased o n the formulae stated by A safety margin of at least 20"/i, b etween nominal speed
Bohl (author - sc:c: bibliography). The: actual calculation is and aitical speed is c ertainly :1dvisable in o rder to shield
a two-stage proce::ss. The first step is to calculate:: the criti- t he e ngine: fro m seve re vibration. If an even h eavier com-
cal rotation a.1 frequen cy of the compressor, the turbin e pressor wheel is used you may well em:ounter p robkm:.
and the shaft individually and indep e nde ntly of each in pushing the c ritical sp eed to a sufficie ntly h igh value ,
other. The second ste p involves combining the three indi- and if you are in any doubt you should use a thicker sh aft
vidual values to detenninc: the critk~al spc:c:d of the entire and bearings. On no account is it p ermissib le to attempt
rotor. to turn d own the whet:! on th e lathe in an attemp t to save
First we tackle the compres.<>or wheel. We: will consid- weight!
er the engine's sh aft to b e a zero-mass h o lde r for t he
rotor. The crucial influence on the oscillation frequency
is the d istance between the: w hee l's CG and it!> bearing.
The w heel's CG can be fo und by balancing it on a match-

mx(l+c)xc 2

w is the hcnding critical angular velocity. To find the rota-

tional speed w e multipl r br 30/n=9.55 to give: rpm.

= Area mo me nt of the shaft

Certlre ~f Gravity
d = Shaft d.iamete r. in o ur case I = 1.886•10-9m·1 (compressor)
E = mod ulus of e lasticity of the shaft material With
almost all steels it is:
2 10• 1 o·vm~

Bearing spac ing, in our case % mm = O.o<.>6 m

c Distance fro m the wheel <:<; to the first be a.r ing,

inour case l 6 mm = 0 .0 16 m

m Wheel mas.-;, in o u r case 0.062 g

Ce11tre ofGravity (turbi11e)
TI1e value for Weompm.,.,.. is thus 28.852 Vs, which c orre- d
sponds to a c ritical rotational speed of 246,864 rpm.
Now we re peat the procedure: for the turbine wheeL
Its mac;s may well vary. but in o ur case it is around 50 g.
Cast w hee ls art: slightly heavie r at 70 g , o r 0.07 kg. The
d istance 10 1h e curbin e bea ri ng is o n ly 0 .012 m . As a
resu lt we find a much high er c ritical angular velocity o f
Wrumi"" = 28 .057 Vs. Finally we have to calcula te the criti- - c -
cal speed o f the shaft o n its own _ The formula for the
solid shaft is:

co =
= Bc:aring spacing
d = Material th ic kness Procedure f or calc11lali11g t he bendi11g critical
p = mate rial density, in our case 7800 kglm3 speed of the rotm :

Chapter 2

A Home-made Model jet

Introduction g uid e:: va n e was simply hroken off duri n g
machining .
Building your own jet engin e is not as complex an The version presenced here - the Micro-Turbine - is
undertaking as you might expect. After all , th e design based on a turbocharger compressor w h eel w ith a <.liame-
presented h ere, based on a single-stage comp ressor and ter of 66 mm. The engine ' s mass lies within the range
turbine. utilises the simplest possible layout. 1100 to 1200 g , depending on constrnction. and it repre-
Even so, any reader considering b uilding his own tur-sents a viable powe::r plant for model airc raft o f medium
bine should not underestimate the potential problems. as
there are several pitfalls awaiting tht" unwary. For exam- The small 1.1e1·sio11: the Micro-Turbirte.
pk, these JX>Wer plants have one insidious characteristic:
if the engine should fai l to run. it provides no clue of the
cause; at least, n ot t o the inexperienced construc-
to r.
What this means is that you must h ave some technical
unden.tanding of how n1rbines work right at the outset. lf
you want the e n.g ine to be capable of flying a model, it
mus t be capable of r u nni n g at very h igh rotationa l
speeds , and this in turn demands a high level of preci-sion
in the manufacture of the rotor system. 111e bearing seat-
ings must be accurately machined , a nd the s h aft
must run true to very tigh t toler.inces. Dynamic balancing
also calls for considerable patience. You will certainly
need to work carefully and accurately, and w ill n eed
all the tools of the typical fully equipped amateur work-
shop - but that is all you need.
If the engine is to nm
well it is crucial that a After 11umerous modifications the Mi1li-1urbi11e procluced cl thrust qf 40
small number o f impor- Newtons.
tan t pa rts s hould be
made reall y accurately
and fitted precisely . This
caveat primarily con-
cerns th e rotor system,
the a ngle o f the b lades
and the combu s tion
chamber. In o ther r e-
spects mo d e l jet en-
gines will shrug off a
few inaccuracies.
I have heard of home-
made tu r bines which
run well , even thoug h
the t u rbine:: w heel has
poorly formed v an es
with no specific p rofile,
eve n rho u gh the com-
p ressor has an excessive-
ly generou s clearance ,
and even though one

,Hodel]el £11gines 71
size. Overall diameter of the engine is 11 O mm, length wi tb a little luck perhaps c::vc::n 60 Nt:wtoni., an<l this is
235 mm. Tht" engine requiresjc::t Al kc::rosc::nc:: as fuel , and adt:4uatt: for model aircraft with a ta ke-off mass of up tO
it has to he injected into the:: engine:: at a press ure:: of 10 kg. In our t:xper ic:nce most modt:I jets are consider-
around 3 bar at full throttle. The bearings an:: lubricated ably lighter than this, and art: overpowered even with 50
by means of the kerosene fuel , which is mixed with :\0'o Newtons of thrui.t. If the:: model is vc::ry light and very
two-stroke oil for this purpost", thereby eliminating the sleek. airspeeds can he unc.:omfortahly high; the pilot
nee(] for a separate oil tank. The design is intentionally must he pre pared to concentrate hard on th e flying, and
optimised to keep exhaust gas temperatures relatively he prudt:nt and circumspect in handling tht: model in tht:
low, as this produces an engin e which is fairly straightfor- air.
ward to operate. Certainly the design presented hert: is capable:: of even
Th is emphasis in the engine' s overall design means h igher lc::vc::ls o f thrust. Practical t:xpt:ric::nce s hows that
that we can just · get by" without using special high-tc::m- mort: power is available:: simply h y inc reasing the tur-
pc::rature steels. provi(led that thrust is restricted to 40 bine's rotational speed, hut please allow me to warn you
Newtons. Howc::vt:r, h igh-alloy nickel-chrome:: stc::ds such off this idea r ight now. The rotational speed of the model
as stainless steel art: scill ch e only choice as the turbine jet engine as presented h t:re should ht: limited to a maxi-
material. If high-temperature materials are used you can m u m of !05,000 rpm, as already stated; this speed corre-
safely increase power slightly. Fitted with a turbine w h eel spon ds to a pressure ratio of 2.0. The thrust actually
made of Inconcl ~ 13, Nimonic 90 or oth er h eat-resistant achi.eved by th t: engine:: varies according to the implc::mc::n-
alloys th e engine produces more than 50 Newton s of tation o f the individual machine. If tilt: quality of th e com-
thrust <m the:: test h c::nch withom problem at a rotatio nal bustion chamber, tht: turbine guide vant: systt:m and the
spec::(] of 105,000 rpm. These wheels are produced using turbine whec::l vary, so w ill tht: engine's power o utput.
a precision casting process, usually from lnconel 713. However, if you run th e engine at a spc::ed higher than
Most of these w ht:els share a common diamete r of 66 recommended. yo u art: eating into t h e rei.erves o f
mm, are dc::signt:d for this sizt" of turbine engine, and can strength which arc:: <ldiberately built into tht: design. At
Ix: used w ithout any problems. the same time the useful life of the engine in gt:nc::ral, and
Sin ce its introductio n the:: general arrangement pre- of the hearings in particular, is reducc::<l con sidt:rably by
sented here h as shown itself to be very effective. The excessive spc::eds, not to mentio n the additional p roblem
combination of a turbocharger compressor. "stick" com- of a pronounced r ise in n oise lc::vels.
bustion chamber and axial working mrhine h as proved
to offer many a(]vantagt:s. Tht:st: turbines art: powerful What tools will I need?
engines, easy to start, and require:: little:: in the war of My aim in preparing the dr.iwings was to providt: t he
auxiliary equipment. Evidence of the efficacy of this lay- amateur con structor with the m ean s to build th e:: engine
out b the fact that , since: the drawing~ were first pub- as described. and this really is possihk. Whc::re welding
lished. several manufacturers have adopted th e sam e is required, I h:1ve kept material thicknesses generous, as
this makes the process easier. Tht: only parts which havt:
basic principle and p roduced similar designs. l11e size.: of
the comprt:ssor and turbine used in this design provide to be purchased are th e hearing!>, the compressor whc::el
and a kw small items. The turbine wht:c::l can certainly
a level of thrust sufficient for most mo<lel jt:t aircraft of
avc:ragt:" siZt:'. You can expect 50 Newtons of thrust - bt: home-made: howevt:r. since many profc::ssionally pro-
d ucc::d turhine w h ee ls
Sbeel m etal up to 011e millimetre thick ca11 be joi11ed easily usi11J{ '' spot-urelcler ~f are now availahle com-
Ibis type. made by com•erti11g a tramif<>rmer. mercially, the easy
cour se is to resort t o
one of t h ese. Cast tur-
bine w heels are safe at
highe r rotational spc::eds,
and th is makes yo ur
engine potc::ntially m ore
powerful. The gain in
efficiency over a home-
madt: w h eel is quite
m oderat e, but you do
spare yourself the t:x-
tremelr time-<:onsuming
task o f making your own
In recent yc::ars rapid
progress in manufac-
turing technology has
made modern machine
too ls accessible co the
ama t e ur constructor,
and certa inl y some
comp onents of the tur-
bine can bt: produced
s ignificantl y hener
and lighter using CNC

72 J1nd el.fet blJ!,illeS

No. Designation Trade Name Strength 600°C 700°C 800°C
2.4816 NiCr 15 Fe Im:one l 600 Oiv1.l.M)O 80 40 21
2.46:\4 Ni<.:o 20 Cr 15 Nimonic 105 011/l.IKIO 853 l 90 2'15 93
2.4632 NiCr 20 C.o 18 Ti l\imonic 90 Oll/1.000 .P3 Il7 39
2.-19(~ CoCr 20 W 15 Ni L605 , HN 25 0 2 16 118 59
1.498 1 X8CrNiMoNb BOhlerT255 290 140 55
16 16
l.-184 1 X 15 CrNiSi Ferrotherm 4 148 1:\0 44 20
25 20
I.HOO X 12 CrNi Stainless 'iteel OIVllKl.O<M
J 100 -10

Oiv = Failure after ... hours

millin!{ machines and TIG w elc.ling equipment. To cater about 3-4 Volts . The acnial welding electrodes consist o f
for thb possibility I have included a second, more profes- brnss poin ts , alt hough copp e r p o ints a rc t:vc::n helter.
sional version of certain components in the present edi· Wire up a foot-switc h w hic h actuates the primary s ide o f
lion. the transformer. I recommenc.l th at you conne ct a 60 \'<fatt
Huilding a jet engine requires no more t h an a work- filame nt tm lh across t h is swit ch as a bridge; w h e n t h e
sh op equipped w ith the usual wols for metal working. switc h contacts are o p e n , th e;- hulb acts as a d ro pping
On e absolute essenti al is a rob ust lathe w ith a lengch resistor. When the welder is not o n load. the bulb glows
be twee n ce ntres o f 200 mm aml a cent re height o f at dim ly. W h e n th e e lectrodes make contact. the bulb
least 120 mm. The fadlit)' to c ut left-h and threads is ver y immediately lights up brightly, and the w e lding process
useful, :ts this saves having to huy special left-hand d ies. can begin.
Other requirements includ e an accurate p illar drill, a c ut- Ple-dse rem embe r that mains voltages are letha l and th e
off tool and a small grinde r , a nd you w ill nee<l fac ilities con scruction of the spot welder s ho uld he:: chec ke d for
for silver-!'>Uldering a<i well a~ some form of e lectr ic welc.J- safety h r an e lectrica lly com petent p erson b efor e the
ing ap paratus. A Metal Inert Gas (M IG/MAG) welc.Jing welder is connectec.l to the 240 volt mains electricity sup-
machine or even a ·n G welder are valuable tools. h ut not p ly.
indispensahle. Othe r ess..:nt ial equipment incl udes mea- To produce a w eklcc.l jo int, pres.."' the e lectrodes onto
suring tools s uch as a vernier cali per. screw micromece r both sic.Jes o f the me tal and operate the foot switch for a
anc.l c.Ji:d gauge . For basic sh;1ping o f sh eet metal a nibble r moment to switch on the primary sic.le o f the transformer.
or similar c.Jevict' is very hdpful. It is important that the elect rodes are ex;ictly opposed to
Man y pa n s of a je t engine arc fabricatc::d from thin c::ach o ther at the m o me nt of wekling. Please re memhe r
sheet metal; this material is used for the e ngine casing, to wear protective gOAAles for welding. It is a good idea
the com b usti o n c h ambe r and the thrust n ozzle. Sh eet to install <me;- electrode in a fixed positio n on th e welding
metal is abo used for clips and straps. the thrust pipe anc.l d evice, with the second elec trode hanc.J-held. You can use
o ther parts required to insta ll the turbine in the:: mod e l. a handle made of wood or heat-proof p lastic for the h and-
Unfortunately it is c.liflkulc to pro duce sound elc::ctric- hcld one.
welded joint'i in sheet metal if th e matc::rial is less t han This s impk machine p rovides an e ffective m eans of
one millimetre thick. '11lis applies in particular to stainless joinirlg t hin stainless steel sh eet re lia bly a nd wit h little
steel and o the r t hi n h eat-resistan t m etal sh eet. In su c h effort. Yo u w ill find that you are ahle to spot-welc.l sh eet
cac;es spot-welding offers many ad vantages, and it is linlt: metal re liably after only a short period of practice. f o r
tro ubk to mak e your own d evice:: for this task. Indeed, it very thin sh eet material you w ill have to reduce the cur-
is wo rt hwhik procurin g o r mak ing a sp o t wc::ldc::r for rent s lightly ; th is applies to combustion c hambe rs and
home-building a model jet e ngine , if you do not already thrus t pipes, for example. The s implest m e thod is tu
have access to a T IG wclc.ler. clamp a second leng th o f jump-start cable between trans-
The simple d esign d cscrihed here h as proved to h e for mer and electrode to act as a serit:s resistance .
very effective; a ll that is required is a trdnsfor mer w ith a
capacity of at least 300 Watts. Suc h items can he found as Sele cting materials
isolating transformers; alternatively you may be a ble to Apart fro m the pans w hich come into contact with
cannihalise an old weld ing machine . The c::s.o;ential factor hot gases the:: engine is as.<;<:mh led from standard mate rials
is that the:: primary 240 Volt winding sho uld he intact, as which you should find straightforward to obtain. Only t he
any second ary w indi ng is remo ved in a ny case. If you metal for the turhine. the rurbine n ovJ e guide va ne sys-
work carefully you can cut away th e w ires nea tly, which tem, the c o mhustion chamber anc.J the thrust n ozzle have
avoids the need to dismantle the mto·tal core. to be ahle to w ithst and high cemper.itures.
The next step is to obtain some thick wire w ith the T h e steel inc.lustrr has d evelo pe d hundreds of alloys
largest possible cross-sectio nal area; jump-start cable for which are many ti mes supe r ior to no rmal steel in terms
cars is a good source. Wind a few turns o f the w ire o nto o f h eat resistance. Most of these: mate rials possess materi-
the core with the aim o f p roducing a no-load voltage of al numhe rs w h ich begin w ith 1.4 o r 2.4. It is very d iffi-

Mode/jet Engines 73
cult for the amateur to obtain e xtreme h eat-resistant and evenntally foul tht: casing. A further important item
steels in small quantities, and worki ng these alloys is not of information is the scaling resistance of the marc::rial,
simple , although in my experience cutting alloys based which should be at least 800° C. This ap plies in particular
o n nickd and cobalt is quite possible:: using amateur tools to the turbine:'. nozz le guide van e system w he re the high-
provided that you are aw are:: of a fc::w "wrinkles" (special est temperaturt'.s are encountered. Scaling results in a
techniques). It is very imp<.>rtant that you take your timt: constant wearing away o f m aterial which can eventually
over sawing and drilling. If you work too quickly both the lead t o fracture.
tool and the workpiece heat up. The turning t ool or s.-iw As a rnle standard nickd-duomium steels are re lative ly
blade soon loses its strength, but the w orkpiece usually easy to obtain. Thin sh eet material can even be bought
survives the ordeal unscath ed. This just m eans that you from tmil<lers ' merchants. A good source of the thickt:r
must always work patiently and use:: copious quantities o f material w hich is re 4uire d for the turbine wheel is a
cuning fluid. scrap merchant, as the stainless sheet mate rial is usually
In t ht: engint: itself the: material is suhjt:cted to high collected separn tely because:'. of its higher value .
temperatures and tensile stress, and if certain loads are Ext ernally these materials can he recognise<.! by the ir rust-
excenlc::d t he:: material slow ly begins to c h ange:: shape::. free t.:ondition. When you are on the hun t for these mate-
Elastic deform atio n , w h ich d isappear s again w h e n the rials , a magnet is an important ally. If you are luc ky you
engine s cops, is acccprah lc, hm if the material got:s may find a piece with the material number p rinted on it,
beyond this point a permanent distortion sets in w hich and you can then check its suitability for your engine by
gradually worsens with time. The magnitude of this effect consulting a mat erials list. The st:mdar<l alloy constituents
varies according to the strength of the material. This in of these steds are 18% (:hromium and 8% nickel. but if
turn varies very greatly according to t empera t ure. they also include mo lybdenum, mangant'.se, niobium o r
Stainless steel and other commonly used n ickel-chrome titani!um, so much tht'. better. Another likely source is any
steels exhibit a dear tlt:dint: in terms of strength ovt:r company which manufactures equipme nt for the chemi·
time at a temperature of 650" C. That is why it is essential cal imdustry. These compan ies u se high-alloy steels for
to e n sure low exh aust gas temperat u res w h en these making acid- and h eat-resistant valves. pumps and instru·
materials , with their limited h eat-resistance, are u sed. ments. Certain stainless steels are resistant to inte r-crys-
Tahles of macerial s rrength include th e value oR/1000 talline c o rrosio n and as such are usnl in shipbuilding, and
which is impo rtant to constructors o f engines. n1is value tht:se h ave also proved suitable for engine constmction. A
states the load and tt:mpc::rature at which the material w ill mudh u sed steel in this area is Nitronic 50 (l.~964). I
fail aJkr I 000 hours. have mad e several turbine wheels from this material
However, the actual fracture:: is preceded by a linear w hic h to date have w ithstood the stresses without com-
exp ansion of th e mate rial by a few per cem. What this plaint.
means in pr.:tctice is that ovt'.rloa<ling a model jt'.t engine
The compressor wheel
will not usually cause the blade bases to fail. Jt is usually
the case that excessive speed stops th e engine in an The compressor whec::l required for o ur model jet
utterly unspectacular fashion : the turbine blades t wist
e ng ine is m anufactured for u se in KKK t urbochargers ,
and can he purchased as
A Lou• exhaust gas temperature is very important ift/Je engi11e is to operc1te a s part'. part. It is s up·
relit:1bly. plk<l ve ry accurate ly
dynamically balancc::d.
a nd is th e refor e ah·
solurely ready co u se.
These wheels a r e
available exclusively vi;t
authorised service
points, and not from the::
turbocharger manufac-
t uring c o mpany itself;
supply sources are listed
in the ap p e n d i x. No
work of an y kind needs
to be carried out on the
compressor w h eel. The
w h eel (5326 123 2037)
has a diameter o f 66
mm , a 4 2 mm 0 inle t
and a blade h e ight of 5
mm. In additio n t o the
w h eel sp ecified in this
<lc::sign . two further mod-
e ls fro m the same range
o f compressors are also
available and u sable for
o ur purpose. All three
w heels a r e pro<luct'.d
from the samt'. basic

74 .\.lodel.fet E11gi 11es

casti ng, and d iffer ontr in the contour machincd into it.
·m is rc::sulL<i in differences in potcntial thmughput. albt:it
o nlr at fairly hi¢1 rotational spccd s. 'Ilic:- two o th c:-r ty pc::s
have an inlet diameter of 46 m m and o ffer slightly superi-
o r pcrformance at very high spt:ed -., bu t are a Jillie more
expensive:- to bu) In any case, the differences are negligi-
b k w he n the turbine is used no rmally, i.e. up to the
engi ne 's maximum desiiu1 thrust. The alte rnative:- w heds
(5326 123 2038 a nd 5326 123 1022) can the re fore be
used as straight alte rnatives. If you do use one. note that
you w ill need to inc reaS<: tht· vane height o f the compres-
sor diffuser vane system to 6 mm. If you opt for the latter
wheel yo u o nly need to adjust thc shape of the co mpres-
sor cover to match it; all the othe r e ngine c o mpone nts
c an be use<l unc hanged. The combustim1 cl:JamlJer ~f the Micro-Turbi11e.
View from t•etlr.
Constructing the engine
f o r best results use turning t<x>ls w ith a tungsten carhide
Making the shaft c ulling tip. All fits s hould be le ft clearly o ve rsize . As a
fkac-crcatcd stcd sho uld he usc:-d to makc the shaft. A lead-in to the sectio ns w hic h are later to be threaded you
provt·n me thod is to make the shaft compo nents from sho uld turn the shaft down to a diamc:ter o f 6 mm for a
la'1!.e machine screws with a strength rating o f 12.9. This few millime tres (turbine 1:mn and 4.8 mm (c o mpressor
type of scrcw - t)'pically M 16 x mo o r M20 x 180 - is e nd), to c nsure that the lllread s start st raight.
available from specialist <lealers. If you have to use o ther Cent re up the s haft bla n k and bo re a c e ntre ho le at
materials the steel must he:: really to ugh. Hydraulic cy li n- bo th e nds. No w is the t ime to machine the cylind rical
d er push rod-; have also proved to be a source o f excd knt sections to final s ize, t urning betwe e n c e ntres. If yo u
mate rial. These are generally alloy steds such as 42 CrMo have a g rind ing attachme nt on your lathe::, that's w hat
4. The pushro d!> arc o ft en case h ardcncd ( n it ride<.!), you should use. The hearing seatings and the sho ulders
w hic h mea ns t hat t h e thin h a rdencd layer must h e for the compressor a nd turb ine m ust be machine d tn
remo ved hefore turning. using a grinder. The shaft mate ri- an accuraq· o f o ne h undre dth of a millimetre . Chcck
al must be very to ug h. hut not b rittle; the shaft simply the con ccntric ity of t he s haft at the c entre a nd t he
must not b reak. 'Jhe modulus o f e lasticity o f various types shoulders using a d ial ga uge. T he max im u m p e rmis-
o f steel varies very liulc , and as a result the bending c riti- sible deviatio n sho uld be less than two hundredths o f a
cal speed for all shafts is about the same. Stainless steel is millimctre.
nut a suitable mate rial for turbine shafts. As a co nducto r Cut a left-hand thread in both e nds of the shaft. Please
o f heat, standard commerc ial stainless steel is aro und four d o no t consider a ny o the r form of attach men t at this
ti mes worse than low alloy steel, and therefore the heat po int - nothing else will do. Pica~ don't arcempt to save -
fro m t he ho t t u rbine w he el is not dissipate d qu ic k ly the £20 for a suitable tap and die.
e nough. Neither are tita niu m and its alloys goo d shaft The s pacer disc.:s s ho uld be c onsidcred pan of the
materials. TI11: threaded shanks of titanium shafts te nd to shaft. Two a l'C require d: o ne at the c ompressor. the other
degencrdte with the fluctuating mec hanical and thermal at the turbine w hc::el. Grc::at prec isio n is n :quired w hen
loads, and safe ty conside rdtio ns the refore dictate that this to rming the inne r sleeves; the y mu~t have no backlash o n
mate rial should no t he used. If the joint between the tur- the shaft, and the inne r bore must he llnished us ing a
bine w heel and the shaft comes loose, the result co uld be reame r. The two e nd s urfaces must he exac tly paralkl to
that thc t:ntirc threaded spigo t is to m o ff. In any case, tita- each othe r. I rc::commc nd that you c he ck this acc urate ly
nium has a low modulus of dasticity, and there fore o ffers using a scrcw mic romete r. Any inaccuracy will res ult in a
no advantage in te rms of bending critical speed with this shaft w hich does nm run tnie , and many imbalance prob-
shaft le ms can be traced back to this area.
The fi rst step is to rough-t um the shaft on the lathe.
The cooling clJarmels ar1d lubrictllion tube at lhe
Grf,,di"8 the rotor blades. r ear side oft /Je diff11ser syst em.

Model j et £1131111.>s 75
Part 6
07.00 08.00
M6Left fl)12 012 C1J8,00

MB Left

~ l !

' l

40 IO

Part 1 7
Part 4 012 Par-t 13 flJ13

VI~ ,
fl)B flJB
b Should prodllce a 1e11sion
<tJ/9 (iJIJ
of 15N whet1 assembled
p c::::J
7 '
5,5 Widlb sbo111d be <Ulapted
to the 11sed turbine wheel


M4 106

Part 14.J
Mountings, Part 14.5 flJ60
6 -.,,...-___ Part 14.2

Part 14.4

.z4 ___.,. 70,5

The shaft tunnel and bearings s lightly tig ht when cold, this is no cause for anxiety. The
The shaft tunne::l ("') is made o f aluminium. The ball- thermal e xpansio n o f aluminium is g reater than that of
race at the compressor end should be a goo<l pres.<;-fit in stt:d, so the:: correct clearance will d evelop when the
the bearing seating. and the t>t"ar ing should end exactly parts reach running temperature.
flush with the flange. In contrast, the turbine e::nd bear- A component part o f tht' s haft tunne::J is t he thmst
ing housing must be oversize in order to allow fo r the dif- spring for the bearing at the turbine end. This spring pro-
fe rential expansion o f shaft and tunnel. Since the bear- vides the essential pre-load in the bearing. The:: correct
ing's operating temperature is high, the play should he force for this spring has proved to be 15 Newtons, and
one hundredth of a millime tre . If the rear bearing is chis value s hould not he exceeded by a significant

76 Model.fet £np,ines
Cornprc.:sM>r cover Aluminium Turned
2 1 :omprc.:ssor wheel Al·Si :tlloy Re;1<ly madc (KKK 5326 l l3 203.. )
3 1 Compressor diffuser ~-y~tcm Aluminium Compound compont.·nt
3.1 18 Guit.h: vane Alumini um Imm thic k sheet
4 1 Sp:1cer <lisc Stt."CI Precision turne<.I
5 2 Ba llr:icc IS06o8 ·er hallr.1ce without shiekls;
h ybrid cer:imic bcari ng.'i better
6 Eni;inc: :.hafl Screw steel 12.9. Tumed from laQtc.: machine scrcw
Shafi tunnel Aluminium Tu med
8 Comhustion c hamhc.:r jac ke r Stainlc:..'> steel Spot-wel<led
8. 1 Combuslion c hambcr sleeve Stainless steel Sh('CI. 0 .3-0.5 mm th ick
R.l Hear section St:tinlcss s te::el Sheet, o.5111111 thick
8 ..\ Eml piece Stainless steel shc.:ct , U.5nun thic k
8.4 6 Stic k Stainless stet:!. lnconel 601 Y." tube; alternativt:lr (l mm
9 Comhusrion c hamhcr inner section Stainless s teel Wc.:kkd
9. 1 lnnertuhc.: Stainless s tee l Sheet , 0.;Hl.5mm thick
9.2 Front section Stainle5S s teel. Sheer, 0 .5mm thick, prt.'"SSt'<l
10 lnjcc ror ring n r.a.'>S Sol<lc.:red
10. 1 Injector ring Bras.' 4 0 x 0.5 nun
10.2 Injector needle Syrin~enee<.lk Size 2, O.R (I) x ''" mm (pharmacist)
10.3 c; ui<le M4 socket-head cap scrc.:w l>rillc.:<l out
II Turl1inc.: nozzle guide vanc.: Stainkss steel. lncont:l 601 Compound componc.:nt
I I.I Inner ring Stainless steel Turnc.:d
11.2 II Tunnel guide Stainkss steel Tumc.:<l
11..\ II Bla<lc.: Stainless steel. lncond 601 Sheet , 0.7·1 mm
11.4 Turbine ;acke1 Stainless s teel Shec.:t, 1.5 mm
11.5 A:tnge Stain less Stt:el Shc:-ct I. 5mm
12 Turtiine whc:c::J As heat-resistan t a.~ pos.~ihlc As inMnictions. o r rc.:a<.ly made
13 Spacer <lisc Stainless s te el Pn:cision-111mc.:<l
14 ThntM Stainless s teel Spot-wc.:ldt.d
14.I Oult'r c one Stainless steel Shcc1. 0.3 - 0.5 mm
l<i.2 I Inne r con<· Stainless s te el Shee1, 0.3 - 0.5 mm
l·l.3 3 Lug Stainless s teel Shc:cl. 0.5 mm
14.4 Spacer Stainless s teel Shec1. 0.3 mm
14.5 l Mounting ring Stainless steel Sht'et. 0.5 mm
15 Casing :>tainless s teel Spm·wc.:l<lt.'t.I. :,ol<lere<I
15. I I IOIL~ing jackc.:t Stainles.'! steel Shee t , 0.3 mm
t";.2 Rear section Stainless steel Sheet, 0.5 mm, prcs.'led
15.;\ 3 llolc rcinforcc.:mc.:111 Stainless sted Shc:ct, 0. 5 m m
15.4 Guide St<.·c l Tubc. 50x 12 mm
16 lubricalio n tuhc.: Bras.' 30x0..\ mm
17 Pre-load spring Stl"d 111ru~t prc.:ssurc.:: 15 Newtons
18 l Prcssurc.: takt.·-<>ff nipple Dms.~ Fro m (1 mm 0 ro<l
19 T-piect.• Bras.~. Stc.:d Jnj('Ctor needle soldt:red in
20 Auxiliary ~as injct.1or Brass. sted lnjccto r nec.:dlc.: soldered in

Various other small pans such as scrc.:ws. nuts and clips not li~1c:d in<livi<lually.

a mo unt. The pre-lo ad s pring itself can consil)-t of a M'ries flanged rJces ar t: used the s pring force mlL'!t he c o nsider-
of s pring washers. The spring te nsio n can be adjusted h y ably higher. In a n y case you can expect goo d results
means of a s leeve betwec::n the spring and the hearing if w ith perfc::ctly standard hearings. If you ke«:'.p to mode r-
necessary. For initial tes t running it is not necessary to ate rotational speeds - say, up to I00,000 rpm - you
pre-load the hearings. Th e h C'aring configuration used in can exp ect a u seful life of more than .20 flights. The ball
this <ks ign assumes the use of stan dard hallrace:.. If ca~cs s hould he made of s tC'cl or p lastic, and the h ear-

Mode/jet EnRines 77
5 6 7 8 9 15 J() 11 5

1 14

0 0
0 00
0 0
0 oo

Cross-secti<>n <iftbe Micro-Turbine.

ings should certainly be inspected regularly. Bearings see right through the vanes except towards their tips.
with rolled brass cages arc:: not suitable. Hybrid bearings The angle o f the vanes can certainly be:: allowed to
w ith silicon nitrite balls offer a virtually unlimited life, decline by one to t wo degrees towards the o uts ide.
and suitable types c:m be:: obtainc:-d in small quantities . f inally weld the blades in place from the:: inside using an
Thc:- final part o f the shaft tunnd is the lubrication sys- e lectric welder. Fit the s haft tunnel seating ( 11.2) and
tem. The oil pipe (16) is madt' from th in brass tubing, attach it, again using the dectric welder. The nozzle
bent to tht' shape shown. The oil pipe is clamped in place guid e vane blades can now he turned down to size as
in one of the three air ducts w h en you screw the shaft shown in the drawing. This is easiest if you have a grind-
tunnel to the compressor diffuser vane system. The shaft ing attachme nt on your lathe . The last step is to grind the
tunnel should be held in place:: using high-strength blades to a rounded profile at the inlet and a point at the
screws, preferably socket-head types, and thread-lock outle t.
tluid. The other end of the tube exits the engine through The next step is to machine the flange and weld the
a hole in the compressor cover. The:: lubrication tube can turbine jacket (11 .4) it1 place. In this state the:: inside of
then be connected to a T-pit."ce in the:: fud supply line:: the «.:omponc::nt should be machinc::d o n the lathe to guar-
using a short length o f flexible tubing. antee an exactly circular cross-section. Insert the inne r
scction, mark the position of the slots for the edge of the
The turbine nozzle guide vane system nozzle guide vane blades and saw them ahout 3 mm deep
The nozzle guide vane syst em for the turbine (11) is in the turbine shroud. The gap hetween the blades and
one of the most complex parts of the engine. It has two the:: turbine jacket <.one tenth mm) disappears w hen the
primary functions: feeding the gases to the turbine engin e is at running temperature. Each nozzle g uide vane
wheel and providing a location for the sh aft tunnel. The is fixed to the turbine shroud w ith a single spot-weld. At
mounting flange to the housing (I I. 5) also serves as a this stage the vane system sh o uld be:: mountnl in the lath e
burst shield (containmcnl). The fin;t stcp is to make:: the again; w h en you are confident that it runs dead tn1e , you
inner ring (11.1). It can e ithe r be turned from a suitable: can safely machine out the: central seating for the: shaft
piece of tube or bc::nt to sh ape:: from sheet mc::tal. Mark tunnel to its final diamc::ter.
the eleven b lade slots as shown in the drawing and saw
them out using a pie rcing saw. You may need to shorten The turbine wheel
the saw blade (hard metal grade) to prevent it fouling. If In technical terms the turbine wheel (12) is not as dif-
you have any choice, select a good heat-resistant material ficult to make as you might expect. TI1e actual wheel is
for the nozzle guide vane blades, but othe::rwisc use mad<.· of 6 mm thick sheet metal. Cut out a suitable blank
stainlt:ss steel. Cut out the blades ( l 1.3) leaving thc::m and bore the central hole for the sh:tft. Heat-resistant steel
well oversize, bend them !O approximate shape, then s hould be bored o m in stages using a low rocational
place thc::m in the innc::r ring. If you look at the guide:: speed and cutting fluid. Use a reame r to o p en up the hole
vane system from the front , the vanes s hould overlap to the exact size.
each other as far as possihh:::: it should not be possible to The blank can now be turned down to size on the

78 .llode!Jet E11Ri11es
latht:. again using a low rotational speed. Tungsten car- a 7 .8 mm 0 h ole. A reamer can then he used to finish
bide tipped cuning tools have proved a good choice for off t.h e bore to final diameter. The final srnge i~ co tum
this task. Leave the wheel diameter about I mm oversize. down the turbine wheel to its final diameter. Tungsten
The next step is to saw the 19 blades down to a diameter carbide tipped turning tools (wear goggles!) are best for
of 16 mm. An ordinary hacksaw fitted with an HSS blade chis. If you have a grinder. use it lo reduce the wheel to
has proved suirnblt: for this job. Saw slowly but use pk:n- final size. The cle:1rance of the cast turbine whed must
ry of prt:ssure; you will find thar a gt:nerous supply of cur- be very close; certainly nor more than 0.2 mm on each
ling oil makes the work t:asier. If you are using t:xtrt:me side.
heat-resistant material such as lnconel 625 or Nimonic 90 W h eels produced using the investment casting
you should feel pleased with yourself if you manage a 5 method are extTaordinaril y strong, and therefore offer
cm linear cut per saw blade. great reserves of strength, but please don ·1 let this fact
Heat tht: mrhim· blades to red heat using a gas torch. tempt you into nmning the engine at higher speed than is
then twist them in the clockwise direction through 30 to permissible. The turbine w h eel manufacture r's instruc-
35 · using a pair of plit:rs or a homt:-made claw tool. Tht: tions and recommendations must be observed.
final blade angle is establisht:d when the turbine blades
are ground to shape. This is done using a disc c u tter Balancing
clamped in a drill press. The first stt:p is to continue the To balance the turbine wheel it is necessary to mount
saw cuts down to the final dimt:nsion of 4..f mm: hold the it on the turbine shaft. The fit must be accurat.e , i.e. the
turbine wheel at an angle of about 35° to the disc cutter wheel should require slight force to install it o n the shaft.
and grind through tv the final dimension. Fit two new ballraces <22 mm diameter fSO 608) when
Nmv the profiling of the individual b lades can begin. assembling the sh afl The hallraces are supplied grease-
Grind material away using a coarse epoxy abrasive wheel, filled , and the grease should first be rinsed out with
cutting mainly on the skit: facing tht: combustion cham- kerosene or petrol. In this state the bearings are very free-
ber and aiming at the approximate profile:: shown in the running. Hybrid ceramic bearings are ideal for this appli-
drawing. Minor variations in this respect are not critical, cation. Naturally it bi essential to keep everyt hing
but each blade must bt: slightly cambered. The mt:an line spotlessly clean, as even a tiny quantity of d ust will falsify
of the profile should follow a radiu~ of about 15 mm. To the results of the balancing proces..-;. We recommend that
ensure sufficient strength at the blade base the profile you keep one set of bearings especially for this purpose,
thickness of the b lades should increase constantly and protect th e m very carefully from dust. Install the
towards the centre of the wht:el. The blade tips should be sh aft. bearings and turbine w heel in a metal tube with an
no more than 0 .' mm thick. Tiw blades taper towards the internal diameter of 22 mm.
rear edge and are rounded off at the front . The next step is to l:ty the tube, complete with shaft,
Finally check the tip angle of each turbine bladt:: it on a flat surface:-, and cautiously and continuously roll it a
should be .34° . Any blades deviating from this value can quarter turn to and fro. This action will cause the shaft to
be adju:.ted using a pair of pliers. Clamp the wheel on a align itself w ith the heavier side:: at the bottom. Mark this
mandrel to check that it rnns true, then carefully tum it point o n the turbine whc::el using a felt-tip pen. Material
down to final size. TI1e final stage of finishing the turbine now has to be removed from the heavier side by carefully
blades consists of sanding them carefully using the abra- thinning the blade profile using a grinder. Apply tape
sive wheel mentioned earlier. over the turbine bearing to protect it wht'.n using the
Polishing the blades to improve the surface finish does grinder. Do not remove any extra material from the inside
not provide any measurable increase in power. If you of the wheel, and never be tempted to drill or scrape the
have used special heat-resistant material it is im portant to wheel, or work it in any uneven pattern, in an attempt to
anneal the curbine wheel to free it from intemal stresses. balance it. If you are using a cast wheel. as far as possible
TI1e annt:aling tempt:rature and time for the material in grind material from the cast-in balance ring only. On no
question should be found by referring to the appropriate account do an~thing w h ich might weaken or disturb th e
material lists. ring of b lades.
A cast turbine wheel is an equally good choice for With a little practice you quickly ohrnin a - feel'" for the
this enj?.ine. The blade angle and profile of these wheels amount of material which needs to be ground away. and
are usually designed with high thrnst as top priority. TI1t: you will soon have a smooth-nmning shaft. The method
best results are obtained by producing a turbim: nozzle described here is quite accurate e nough, and when the
guide vane system which lines up as well as possible;: assembly shows no imbalance with perfectly clean bear-
with the turbine wheel b lades. If you use a cast wheel, ings, the sh aft is sufficiently well balanced, and is ready
the nozzle guide vanes can be flattened slightly towards for use::.
the outer diameter. The wheel attachment takes the form
of an 8 mm 0 bored hole. The cast blank should he The compressor system
bored out in stages at low sp eed, starting with a small The compressor cover (I) is made first : the part is
pilot-hole. This task should always be carried out on the turned from solid as shown in the drawing. The critical
lathe. The wheel can be h e ld in the lathe c huck by area here is the part which covers the compressor
clamping it from the inside , against the ring of vanes. wheel, as it needs to exhibit a constant gap 03 mm wide
Alternatively you can fit a slotted alumini um ring over to the hlades of the rotor wheel. Turn the blank to an
the wheel to protect it, then clamp it from the outside. It internal diameter of 42.6 mm and clamp the inlet s ide in
is important that the turbine wheel should nm as trne ao; the chuck so that you can machine the correct profile. If
possible. The best method of cutting the main bore is to you are using a compre::ssor whc::d other than the o ne pre-
use an 8 mm 0 tungsten carbide masonry drill, modified sented h ere, obviously the diamete r of the cover will
as follows: sharpen the tip of the drill, at the same time have to he adjusted to suit. At this point you can start
grinding down the diameter slightly in order to achieve turning the required profile. Offer up the compressor

,l1odel jet E11gi11es 79

Inse rt t h e s haft and
t h e compressor w h eel.
centre· up the:- cover and
mark the position o f th e
retaining bolts. Remove
the t hreads from th e
bolt s w here they pass
through the blade duc ts ,
and scrcw them imo chc
d i ffu ser vane hearer.
The th ree remaining dif-
fuser blades can n ow be
installed: cut e a ch one
in t wo and fair them
into the bolts w ith a fil-
let of epoxy rt'.sin.
T he altt'.r native is to
mac h ine.: th e diffu ser
vanes from the solid .
This is on ly feasible
if you have acccss
10 a hig h-p recis ion CNC
automat i c milli ng
m a c.: h ine . Ht'.rt'. again ,
The shtifl is balanced o n "j)erfeclly flat surflice. the vanl."s start w ith an
angk of 2 1 degrees .
wheel re peatedly to check where more material has to he The radial and axial vanes are ;irr.mged in two rings. An
removed. Whcn you are satisfied. the n:st o f thc part can M 2 thread can be cut in thc 15 radial vanes to accept
be machined to the shape shown in the drawing. Don't th e cover mounting screws, and the compressor cover
drill the mounting holes until further c omponents have tht:n ha:. to b e modified to suit. The initial diamett'.r of th e
been completed. axial Vat1t'.S is 98 111111, and tht' vane h eight is a c onstant
The diffuser vane holde r (3) can now be made up as 6 mm.
shown o n the p lan. Note that a ir ducts for cooling the
bearings must be mach ined in at the p oint where the The combu s tion chamber
shaft tunnel mt:ers th e ho lde r. Each d uct is c; mm w ide This is made o f t hin st ai n less sh eet ste cl. The ideal
a nd is locat ed between a pair of a djacent m o unting material for this component is O..~ mm thick sh eet, and
screws. The ducts sh ould he o ne millimetn: deep - this is this sh ould he used if available; oth crwisc you can use the
quite adequate. m ore w idely availablt'. 0 .c; mm thick sh eet. weld
A small proportion of compresse<.I air from the compres- all tine individual pkces o f metal together. Thc fro m part
sor t:ntcrs these ducts, and ac the same time some of the fuel- (9 .2) b pres:-.t:d to shape on the lathe ovc.:r a formt'.r made
oil mL"Xture is blown in w ith it. ·m e air nows th rough hoth of hardwood or aluminium, which should duplicate t hc
bearings and le-aves tht'. shaft tunne l at the rear. approximate s h ap e o f the fro nt section. Tht'. minimum
The three retaining bolts fo r the compre:-.sor cover are req uirement is that the part should be deanly cambered.
located on a diame ter of 84 m m. Drill and tap (M4) these The c urvature of t h e combustion c:hamber cove r pro-
ho les first. Mark the slo ts for the diffuser bla<.les on the duces a smooth. rounded geomctry in the primary zone ,
surface and saw them o ut using an electric piercing saw. and th is he lps to elin1inatr dead area:. in the airtlow, a nd
The s tamlard saw hlades p roduce a slo t I mm w ide. unburne d fuel is re-mrbulaccd more quickly. Tht'. o uce r
l11ree o f the slob should run exactly th rough the centre jacket (8) and c o m b ustion chamher inner s ectio n (9)
of the threadnl holes. Cut o ut the diffuser blades (3. 1) should fit togcthcr with little play. It is important that
from I mm thick sheet metal, leaving them slightly over- there should be n o gaps through w hich s upplementary
size. To improve the strength o f the glued joints drill air could pt'.net rate. The combustio n c h amber as a w h ole
countersunk holes along the joint lines b efore gluing 15 s hould not h e too tight a tit in the nozzle guide vane
of the 18 hlades in p lace using epoxy resin. For the ti me syst e m . Norma ll y the combus tion c hamber co m -
being don 't glue the hlades in the slo ts which coincide poncms form a really rigid assembly w ht:n fitted tOgether.
wilh the retaining ho lts . Nevertheless. you can wekl th e p arts togethe r late r if
When the resin has cured the diffuser b lades have to you prefe r. 'fbrt'.e sht'.ct metal lugs can now he s pot-weld-
Ix' trimmed to match the profile of the compressor cover. ed to the combustion ch:1mher jacket in o rde r to pmvide
Sc rew the diffuser vane hearer to the sh aft tunnel and additional centring for the combustio n c h amber in the
clamp the whole assembly in t he lath e so that you can cut ca:sing.
back the blades using a file o r a s harp turning tOOL Tht'. It is up to you w h ethe r you hon: the ho les first the n
region immediately behind t h e compressor w ht'.e l is wckl the part!. togt'.th er o r vice versa. In t:ith e r case all
important, and a blade height of exact ly 5 mm m ust be the h o les which are larger th:111 •I mm diamctcr should
maintained at this point . Any gap on the axial sid e he o pened up s lightly usi ng a di e and punch . T his
between blades and casing which occurs after the point resu lts in a nozzle-sh aped h o k and al thc same t ime
wht'.rc th e gases are ddkcted is not of c rucial impo r- re m oves the sh arp edge. For a g iven s ize of h o le this
tance. allo w s the jets o f coolin g ai r to p e ne trate to a g reatcr

80 .Hode/.fel £11~i11es
Pnrt JI
l'tlrl 11. 5

Pm-t 11.3
Pt1rl 11.4

P11rt I I.I Pm-t 11.2

046 22

19 f'j 68


Saw cut

65° Buute pnifile

at tbe inner
ri11g ( JI. I) 3

13,1-i .'

< - 65.8

" !<: . - - - - 68
30 °

Pa1-t 20
As part 18, 011~)' uiitb
To lubricalio11 Part 19 Part 18 s J•ril1ge 11.eecllc! to i11je c:t
.S:vri11ge 11eedle ( E11/arged)
; 1arti11g ga.,· tlirectlj• i11to
0.45 * 30, 0,8 "''~· one stick
soldet·ecl '

from '~
~ Jfl·il/i11g
(t)2 mm 6 .. j
Syri11ge Heedle,
fiielpump ~=;.-~--~ 5 .. soldered
lJH , ;_y.
To t/Je engine

1'1trbi11e 11ozzle guide r•a1ie system.

.11ode/Jct 1::11g111cs 87
T/Je iPl'1f!r ,.;,,g ofthe turl>i'1e NGV system. Blt1des and stabilisers we/dell together.

depth. The recessed holes s hould bt: pilot-drilled using a Tht:: housing
bit o ne millimetre smaller than fina l size, then opening up The hest material fo r the: j:1ckc:t is thin stainlc::ss stt'.el
to the stated diamcte::r. All t he o th er holes in the sheet s h eet . which s h o uld be soldc:rc:d or spot-weldc:d .
metal just need to he drilled with a normal amount of Ordinary stt'd sh t'et is also ade<juatt' for th e jacket, hut
care. the result is not so elegant. O nl y tht" t ail e nd ( I~ .!)
The va p o r iser tuhes (8."'IJ consist of 6 . 3~ mm nc::t:ds to he made of stainlc:ss steel sh eet, and this part
0 .0./5.55 mm 1.0. stain less s teel tubing (i.e. X" tube). can he spun o ut of one piece on the lathe . lbc o utcome::
Each Mick is made from a 70 mm length of nibe, which is is a very g<K>d-looking, smoothlr rounded c:1.o;ing which is
first helled out at one end to 8 mm 0 . This is best done extremely rigid. 111e e;L'iiest method o f fonning the part is
by c:lamping the tube in the lathe c huck and pressing a to make an aluminium former for it; it does not n e<::d to
fixed centre punch into the end at moderate speed. Angle conform to a particular shape: o r radius. The tail e nd
the e nd of the tuhes slightly as shown in the constrnction should be as tight a fit as possible: in the jacket, as this
drJwing . 'Ille tubes are fixed in place as sh own in the e nsurcs that the: spot-weldt:<.I or soldcrcd joints are easy
drawing: brazing is quite adequate. to produce. It is helpful to anneal the metal during the
The last part to make is the injecto r ring ( 10). The s pinning process. The obvious alternative is to make the
injector tubes are made from s izc 2 srringe needles. component fro m three parts. each o f truncated conical
These are fitted into the injector ring tip-firs<, and silver- shape.
solckred in place. You can check that the injectors work lnitially it is advisable to make the casing two milli·
evc:nlr with a tt'.st hum using pmp~mt: g:1s. Use a le ngth of metres longer than stated. to give you scope: for correct-
the same tuhing as the fud feed pi.pc ( 10.3). Braze the ing any inaccuracies. The casing jacket (15.1) should not
guide ( I 0.4) in ont" end. Finallr the fuel line connecting he too tight a fit on the: comprcsl!or cover <I). <:ut a suit-
piece runs through the casing and o ut o f the engine . A able hole in the rear part of the casing to accept the fuel
suitable hose nipple is the::n fitt ed to the;· end, scaled w ith feed line, and install a pressure rnke-off n ipple (18) in the
tdlon tape. Tht'. injecl<lr ring is tied in place using Tnox t:til end. Unused nipples do not need to he sealed w h en
wire (from builders· merchants). You w ill need to drill the <::ngine is running, as their cross-sectional area is
h oks in the rear section of the combustion chamber to small. The supply lint'. for auxiliary gas should also he
take the wire. The injector nc:c:dlcs s hould be hent in
such a war that the fuel flows on to the wall o f the vapor- Tl.Je rear of the e11gi11e uiil/J t be s lJ<ifl re111011ed. T/Je
iser tuhes. sl.Jaft hmttel locator is clearly 1tisible.

11.Je shaft is made from a l.Jig/J stre11gtb socket-

/Jead car screw. MJ6 x 180.

82 .ll<>de!J<'t H11p,i11es
A halfj1'1is1Jed t11rbi11e wheel Tbe versio11 UJill:J .ZI
bl"de s also worked well, but failed owing lo my
careless11ess. The rotor of the Micro-Tttrbi11e.

P"rt 12
0 44, d - 4mm
0 40, d - 2mm
0 24, d =3 mm
/;0 18, d - 6mm

d - 6mm~


a) Views of blades enlarged



Model j et Engines 83
Part 3.1 14
Part 3
-.- ·
0 84
0 96
6 IZ94
~ 3,5
0 64 I\
74 0 66,6 0 91

© '- 0


C) @_ _.L 0 15
0 17 :.

@ 4 0 40, t-0 centre

the shaft tu11nel

•5 ~
Allentaliv<> di.ffiisor blllding 5
Detail· cooHng afr cbtmni!l r- Cooling air
(uiewfrom lhe back side) cham1el
R63 depth 1 nnn
t 0 17
·~ '_,, ' 0 0


0o _
- ·- ..,.
...... Detail· axial bllldes
,, -.Ii -
(30 blades among
R0,2 \ R7,3

~' R0.2
, , Axial Blade


The tlljf11snr SJISl em .

fitted at this s tage. Wh t'.n you assemh le the e ngine the linis h it wit h h ea t-r c.:-sis rant paint o nce asscmh le tl ,
ncctllc:.- should project l'.xac tlr into one o f the six sticks. If an d cu re tht> p;1in1 accor<ling to the manufacture r ' s
you have made the casing of ordinary stcd, you should inst1ruc1ions.

84 Mvdel.fd h"11,l!,i11es
1be 1l([f11ser.fltmge at a11 e arly s111ge. The co mpleted compressor dif.fuser system .

Assembling the components

The ind ivid ual com pone nts are assembled as sh own
in the constructio n drawings. The sh aft tunnel, com p res-
sor ll iffus c r system. r o t o r a nd cover fo r m one s ub·
assembly. TI1e c ompressor cover is attached using three
sdf-locking n uts w hich shou ld h e t ighte n e d no m ore::
than h:md-tight. 11 is impo rtant that the:: c omprc::ssor roto r
s h oulll h e exac tl y central w h e n yo u ha ve tig hte n e d
th ese n u1s . The sh afl can b e w ithd rawn fro m th e rear
togeth er w ith the t urb ine w heel and bearing , leaving t he::
co mpressor w h eel, spacer d ist· and front hc::aring in the::
'Jbe nozzle guide vane system and the e ngine h o using
are also pe rmanent fixtures. \Vhen assembling the e ng ine
you should seal the flan ge w ith layers o f alumini- Combustion cl1ambe1· compo1umts a 11dfuel
um foil folded togethe r. Tighten the ten screws carefully, manift1ld.
working alternately from side to opposite side, like th e
valve cover bo lts o n a car engin e . Insert the combustio n W h e n yo u dismantle the engine , the first s rage is co
c hamber in the housin g and secur e the fuel p ipe hy remove the shaft towards the:: rc:-ar. The:: e ng ine is now
screwing a hose nipple in p lace . This method o f retentio n ready for it s first run, w itho ut its thrust nozzlc:: and hear-
is vel)· simp le hut quite adequate, since the combustion ing load ing spring.
c hamber itself is located by the nozzk guide vane systc::m.
Wh en assembling th e p arts ii is important to e n!>ure that Running the engine for the first time
the auxiliary gas feed t ube p rojects co rrectly into o ne of
the vaporiser tubes. Initial test rnn s o f you r new mo dc::I je t e ng ine sho uld
You can now fit the com pressor in the ho using com- he made using propane gas. Propane:: is ideal for tc::~aing
p lete w ith the shaft tunnel. Twist a length of tctlo n tape since it hums well in t he combustion c hamber and is
to fo rm a cord, a nd lay th e cord in the c h a nne l easy to me te r. If p ossible use a 5 kg propan e b o ttle in
m ach ined in the:: compressor cover. However. a goo d conjunc tio n w ith t h e matching solde r g un attad11nent.
alternative is to use a small ruhher h and. \Vh en placed in Smallc::r bo ttles and gas cartridges w ill give you p roblem s
o il the rubber swells slightly and p rovides a reliabk seal. starting your turbin e ; the syste m must ht: capable:: o f sup-
W rap a layer of ins ulati n g t a p e over th e o u ts ide . plying fu ll gas prc::ssure. Fittings for camping appar.ttus
Insulating tape is quite suflkiem for initial experiments ar are just not up to the joh. Run the gas to the kerosene
low pres.~ure. feed connectio n. To start the e ng ine you w ill also need a
TI1e nc::xt ste p is to fit the shaft/ turbine w h eel assem- starter fa n o r compressed air. In fact you can sc::t the
hly into the e ngine fro m the rear. l •se a feeler gauge to rotor spinning just hy h lowing into it. hut this <loc::s take
c heck that the running clearance is an even 0 .2 5 mm. a littk pranke. The mo re p owerful the airtlow, the more
Screw the compressor o n t he s h aft , h ut leave it o nly likely it is that yo ur first attc::mpt at starting w ill he suc-
h:m(l-t ight for the moment. Yo u will find that you quickly cc::ssfu L Vac uu m cleaner fa n s h ave proved e x celle n t
gc::t used to the:: lc::ft-h am.l thrc::ad . The last stage is to install starte rs. O t·he r equipme nt you w ill n eed inc ludes a U-
th e t hrust n ozzle . Two or threc:: screws in th e flange of tuhe filled w ith water to m easu re c ompressor p ressure::.
t he nozzle:: g uide vane system are su fficient to hold the This should h e conn ec ted to an u nused pressure nipple
n ozzle in p lace. Th e screws or studs should he titted in in the ho using. O ne centimetre of water c o lumn corre-
such a way that p le nty of t h read p ro ject s •ll th e rear. sp o nds to o ne millibar. i.e . 0 .00 I bar. Obviously an o il

Aiud eljet E11~ines 85

12* 0 5 Pm1 8
24*03 (oou11ters1mk) 12 holes 0 6,5
l'arl 9 24* 0 2.5 12* 0 3,5 countersunk

,_,_,-...-',--..-,1---- Spot-welded
Part 8.4 Part IO. I
- Spot-welded
7 12* 0 3,5 (counlei-sunk
24* 0 1,5 and U'ith offset) - 68 - - -
1 24* 0 2 .l4* 0 6,5 (countersunk) ' -- 73 - ~,..

- - - - 93 1
, !_/_ .!- , - - -..,-- ---, - 50 - - - •

• 10 .... ' 36 ~
.... • 17..· 37- - J 25 ~ :
"12* 0 .,:
44 18
' 10 .
·~~-!--- - 63
0 0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0 0 0
0 40 0 0

l'art 9.1
0 oo Q
- 0 100 <:> C>
78 ,,,.

Part JO.I Top view ofPart 8

Qipsto Part8.2
centre the
around the
10 pet-lphery)
0 80 -Parts.3 /I
0 4'
F11el Hne, leaves
the engine
tbrorlgh the
cover or the
back ofthe

Cross-section A-B ( enlarged)

Open up
the ink t

Parl 8.4

Half ofthe needle is pushed into 8

the ring (Jal)

Combustion chamber.

86 .WodefJet Eng ines

supply must he p rovided to the bearings. Pour about 20 obvious that the temperature distribution is very u neven
ml of bicycle oil or sewing machine o il into a small p res- just by looking at the e ngine. or if !lam es are visible. t he n
sure tank with a d ip pipe. This in turn is con nected to the you should c heck over the combustion c hamber in gener-
c ngint"s ho using p ressure via a second connectio n, so al, paying particular attentio n to the injector ring. L.>o n't
that oil is auto matically p umped into the lu bricat ion sys- attempt to run the engine o n kerosene until the engine
tem. A plastic bo ttle w ith a screw cap makes a good o il r uns sa.tisfacto rily on propane gas.
tan k. This temporary oil system w ill be cJispensc:cJ when
the engine is run on kerosene. Benc h running stand for kerosene
Mount the engine on a base in the open air using two
mounting s'traps made o f thin sheet steel. You don't need
a thrust gauge at t his stage. Connect everything to t he You will need a stahle test stand to run up the engine
e nwne : oil, pn:ssure gauge and fin ally the propane. Ask to maximum rotatio nal speed. This shouJd be designed
your assistant to stand behind the e ngine so that he can for running the engine o n kerosene, i.e. it m use be fitted
observe the turbine w heel. During the starting procedure wi th a suitable fuel mete ring system. Please read the
it should not glow brighter than cherry-red. c hapte r on safety before you c:1rry o ut any test runs with
T he ac tua l s t a rti ng procedure is s im p le: use t he kerosene. In particular, ensure that nobod y i!> standing in
starter's airflow to set t he rotor spinning, then take the the rotational p l:1ne o f t he rotating pa rts hefore the
fa n away , open t h e
throttle slight ly and ligh t
the gas mixture at the Part 15 P art 20 Part 15.2
exhaust with a match .
The flame should r un Pa rt 15.I Spun, w ilhoul
back int o the combus- spedalformer or
t ion chamber with a r11dius
characterist ic "p lo p "
sound , at w hich p oint Wbc.>n 1issembk d
you should immediate ly t he 11eedle should Parl 15.4
open the t hrottle a little lie inside of a stick
fu rther and switc h the 0 110 05 '.f!J B<fa90 0 4.I
fan on again. You w ill
clear ly see a nd h ear r=:J'
rotational spenl and Pa rt. 15.4 12
pressure rise. If every-
thing is in order and the 04 Part 15.3
housing pressure p r o - P11rl 18
D (6 times Part. 15.3
duces at least a 30 cm
column of wace r , you m·ound tbe
can safely switch off the p eriphe1y)
0J ~ 12
fan . T he e n g ine s hould
now ru n w it h a q u iet -8 '
w histle , the tips of the 18
t urbine w heel b lades M4, 7 tl eep 6 I J O
glowin g du ll re el . If 7· limes 0 110
vibration occurs or one 0 117
o f the wheds is audibly Pat1 3
foul ing the casing, c ut
off t h e gas s u pply
immecliatclr in o rder to
avoid da mage. You
now have to est a blis h
t he cause of t he problem
an d e liminat e it. If the
s h aft ru n s freely and 2-3 mm 6•
without vibratio n but the
e n gi ne s till d oes not r
work, t he re are a n u m-
~--- 42 ~ R16,7
ber o f points to check.
The hlade profile in the
nozzle guidt' vane system
and on the t urb i ne
wheel must be reason· ForseaUng
abl} accurate, and this , I 111m tvide
should be c h ecked . arul deep
Anothe r possible p rob- 12 •• 0 2,5
lem area is the com bus-
tion c hambe r . If i t is

.Hudeljet Engines 87
Tbe i11jectur ri11g bei11g teste'I u11 prupmie gt1s.

engine:: is first run up to spent. The safe places to stand T/Je e11gi11e ca11 easily be dism,mtle'l i11t<J a s11u1ll
:ire in front of and lxhin<l the engine::. m11111Jer of compo11e11ts.

Pumps, tanks and other et1uipment known as a plasticiser. but in the:- course t)f time the
·rne test stand should be titted with a fuel tank of gt:n- kerosene washes it out of the material. As a rc::sult the
erous size. i.e. a capacity of about one:: litre of liquid. lt hose hardens after a few months, hut this onlr seems to
must also be resistant to petrol. diesel fuel and kerosene. make the mate rial stronger, if anything.
A plastic lawn mower tank works vc::ry wdl for our pur- Kitchen scales mounted o n the test stand are the easy
poses. Fit a fuel filter b c:;twc::c::n th e:: t:mk and the pump. way to measure the e ngine's thntst. and you w ill nee d a
Car petrol tilters and the larger types of model e ngine fil- pressure gauge. The pressure gauge is connected to the
ter are equally suitahk. The fuel pump should be of the vacant pressure nipple on th e e ngine housing. It needs a
geared variety. Var ious examples are available commer- me::;~surc::ment range of up to I . ~ bar. and s ince its
cially. but unfortunatdy not all pumps are rc::sistant to accuracy has implications for the safe running of the
kerosent'. As a general rnk we recommend brass-geared engine. we recommend that you check that it gives a real-
p umps. and the Kavan version in particular has proved to istic r eading. T h e model jet engine itse lf should be
be a good choice. This is only available with a 12-Volt mounted on a carriage fitted with worn-om hallraces as
motor. but even with seven cells it provides plenty of w h eels. The oth er h ose connectio ns to the engine will
injector pressure. To control the pump we use an e lectric make h ardly any difference to thnL-;t readings. As soon as
flight spn:d controller or an adjustable:; regulated voltagt' the:: ,c::nginc:: is producing substantial levels of thmst the
power supply. carriage should be secured to the:- test stand with a chain,
ll1ere must be a fuel valve between the fud pump
and the engine. and the valve must provide reliable and nJis starte1· lt'as ma,fe from t/Je remai11s of" cat·
fine control. Air valves designed for aquarium use are r•aciium clea11er. it is 1101 r1e1J' power;fi1l, '"'d has to
very good, and you w ill be :tbk to obtain suitable:: hose:: be plm:e,/ direc:tly t1g'1it1st the e11gi11e 111 order to
material from the:- same:: supplier. A d1e::ap and simple solu· start it.
tion to the fuel hose probkm is PVC tubing, which
resists jet fuel well. 111is type of h ose inco rporntes w hat is

A co1ll'erted r>acuum clea11er 11111kes a11 excelle11t


88 .1todel jet t::11g i nes

Pump Fi/te1·


Co11tr0Ue t·

7 to 121·

Diagram of tlJe engi11e co1111ectio11s 011 tlJe t est sta11d.

as we don't particularly want to sec: the: engine cartwhed- valve to the:: point whert: th e:: housing prc::ssure rises to at
ing acros~ the meadow. least 0 .1 bar. This pressure corresponds co a rotational
speed of slightly more than 35,000 rpm. Tht" idk spc::nl of
Running the e ngine on kerosene the c::nginc:: should he:: sc::t to this val ue.
Wh en a jet engine is running on keroM'.n e you sh o uld The:: c::nginc:: can now he:: slowly run up to ~peed. A~
he aware that its rotational speed is solely dependent on w ith the initial test runs it is important at this s tage to
the metering of the fuel. TI1ere is simplr n o such thing as observe the turbine wheel using a mirror. Nom1ally the
a jet engine's maximu m rotational speed. What this
means is that it is quite easy to exceed the maximum T/Je t est sta11d after a test nm. Frle11<ll)' relatio11s
permissible speed by being careless. If t he power rises with the ow11er of t/Jefield a1·e esse11ti11L
to this extent the usual result from the engine is that the
lllrbine blades distort and foul the casing. It is vital that
you monitor the h o using pressure b y keeping one eye
on the pressure gauge. or, if you have one, the rev
counter. Later on, when th e engine is installed in a model
a ircraft. the power o f the injector pump has to h e
rest ricted to exclude t h e: possi bilit y o f the engine
urnnning away".
The next step is to fill the fuel t ank wi th J et A I
kerosene. To lubricate the:: hc::arings add 30 ml of two-
stroke oil to each litre of kerosene. If you cannot obtain
kerosene. diesel fue l can also be used. The lubrication
feed is completed using a T-piece connected w ith tran s-
parent tubing, so that rou can see directly whether the
system is working properly. A good material is the PVC
hose used to actuate retractable unde rcarriages. Once
everything is wired up as shown in the diagram, you can
start the turbine. Th e first step is to connect the prop ane
to the appropriate nipple on the casing. Switch on
the starter fan and ignite the engine as previously. As
soon as tht" flame:: is alight in the:: combustion chamber,
start the fue l pum p a nd carefully o p e n the metc::ring
valve. Th e turbine's speed w ill now rise rapidly. At the
same time the pressure gauge starts to deflect, and the
carriage runs against the thrust gauge. llte fan an d the
starting gas are now no longer needed. Open the fuel

Model jet Engines 89

model jet e ngine is just as
simple as starting a good
model piston engine.

instructions for
Th e desire:: for power
and then more power is
o mni-present amongst
mod ellers. If you want to
inc r ease th e: e ngine's
1hrust there are two pos-
sible approach es:
Making the existing
engine more:: p owerful,
or simply building a larg-
e r version. In my opin-
ion th e latte r r oute
probably o ffers th e her-
te r p rosp e c t. At lease in
theory we could squeeze
a little more power o ut
of the e ngin e presente<l
Tl.Je Mlcro-Turbi11e rmming almost fttji1ll tbrollle on the test slfmd. he n: - h y raising the gas
t e mpe ratur e and th <::
exhaust temperature falls as rotational sp eed rises, and ro ra1ional speed - but chis wo uld undoubtedly require
eventually n<J glow will be visible. Engine spt:ed can now more complex techno logy w hic h would take the engine
be increased succc::ssivelr over the course of several nms, well out of the scope o f th e amateu r w orkshop .
remembering to c heck the engine b ridly every time you T he following section gives detai ls o f the essential
s"tart it, and to listen for unusual no ises. lf your turbine is dimensions and cro~ectiona l areas relating to model jet
made:- of stai nless stee l, the maxim um hou!'>ing pressure engi nes. This information should e nable the m odeller
should not exceed o.: bar. With other special heat-resis- w ith prior experie nce of jet engines to b uild a m odel je t
tant materials you should call a halt at a maximum o f 1 e ngine based o n an y rurhocharger rotor. This approach
bar to pre!'>t:rve the bearings. a:. th b figure corresponds to exploits the fact tha t m ost c(lmpressor w h eels of this
around 105,000 rpm at s tandard temperature and pres- t ype usually exh ibit similar geometry, and the refore their
sure. charncteristic values are also similar. O f course, the for-
Once you have completed a few rest nms, starting the mulae stated h ere cannot be expected to coincide exactly
e ngine becom es pure ly a matter of routine. The impor- w ith the throughputs ant! pressure:. p roduced hy differ-
t ant point is to acquire a feelinA fo r when the fan is ent w h eds. For this reason I cannot guarantee that the
needed, and w hen the turbine is able:: to run up to speed g;is turbine you make w ill n ecessarilr work. That is w h y I
undt:r its own powc:r. With a little pnictice starting a a<lded the caveat *with prio r experie n ce• when I men-
tioned the possib ility of building a larger t:'.ngine, so that
E11e.1 at a compress01- pre.<>sro-e of0.85 bar tbe t ht" constructor has a fighting c hance of correcting any
tbru.'it gauge is almos t fll its max im111H. mismatches. If you are lucky enough to have access to a
perfom1ance graph relating to the turbocharger compres-
:.or in ltuestio n you shou ld natu r.tllr base yo ur calcula-
tions o n this valuable informario n .
Turbocharger wht"elS o f suitable size are U!'>t:d in lorry
engine turb<Jcharge rs, and individual com ponents may be
o bta ined fro m e ngine re pairers or lo rry scr.ipyards. and
can even ht: purchased as replacement parts for t u r-
bochargers . \Vheels w ith re tro-curved blades are always
preferable. The crucial dimensions a.r e the b lade height h
at t he w heel o utlet a nd the wh eel diameter d2. The high-
t: r t hese figures, the higher the throughput and the highe r
the thrust.
We strongly recommend that the modeller should base
his design o n a ll the dimens io n:. :.h own in t h e
drawin gs, including those dec lared to be critica l. For
example , if you use a 90 mm diameter wheel you would
use a S<:alc factor of 90/66 = I.36'1. The diameter <Jf the
holt::s in the combustion e h ambcr should h e inereased

90 :Hodel.fet J::11p,i nes

Table o r critical d iameters and angles

Compressor type:
Retro-curve d ro tor blades Radially tipped rotor blades
Given: di ,h Gi ve n: d!,h
d i = l.1 2 x di d~= I.I xd i
d~ = 1.67 x di d',= l .7x d i
c:t= 2 1° a= 18°
No. of blades = 18 No. of blade:> = 18

Combu stio n chamber. scaling factors

For ho les For holes
f = ~(3030xdl xh) f = ~2600x d 2 x h)
No. of hooked tuhes 118 ,200 xdi xhJ No. of hooked tubes = [ 16000 x d 2 x h]

Turbine NGV syste m

d,. = d 2 d ,.=d 2
d, =~,..(d- - 2---6-.8-x_d_ _x_h_) di =~,..(d-i-2--- 5-.3
- x_d_2_x_h_)
2 2

a""'= .~0° a,,,..= 30

No. of blades 11 o r 13 No. of blade:. 11 . 13 o r 17

Turbine Wheel
d,=d2 - 2 x Gap - 0,99xd <1;.=dz - 2 xGap = U,99 xd z
d; = ~(d 2 2
- 7.2xd 2 >< h) cl; =~(d/- 5.8x cl 2 x h)
a~11cc1 =34°
No. of blades 19 or 2 1 No. of blade:> 2 1 or 23

by t he factor stated in the fommla. altho ugh the number a correspondin1.dy thic k shaft and bearings. l Tnder no c ir-
of ho les can be left unchanged. Only the numbe r of c umstances is it permissible:: to make modifications to the
«walking sticks" and air je ts needs to be calculated sepa- wheel itself, a:, this would have a serious effect on its abil-
rately. using the s tated formula. The geometry of the ity to withstand hi~h rotational speeds.
hooked pipes and the air jets can be left unchanged. You
can expt:ct a rise in thrust of at least 1.3642 = 1.86 times Tbe Micro-Turbine at moderate rotational speed
provided that the compressor w heel is of similar geome- You can see tbt1t there is 11othi11g to see. The
try. Since t he e ffic iency of larger wheels is significantly exhaust gas temperature is 550°C - so loll' llJnl tl:Je
higher you mi~h t expect a t hrust o f more than 60 turbine wheel is not g lowing and no jlam,es at·e
Newtons. If you can achieve a reduction in exhaust gas visible.
temperat ure you can c::ven use a convergent exhaust
All daca should be stated in the same units, i.e. metric
units. The formulae listed he re are based on an en¢.ne
with a nominal pc:ripherctl speed of 500 m/s.
The maximum rotational spc::ed will be lower, again by
the scale factor we have calculated. In our example, if a
special heat-resistant steel is used for the n1rbine, it w ill
be 104 ,000/ 1.364 77,000 rpm, and correspondingly
less if the turbine material is of lower quality. If you run
the engine at a higher speed it is essential to re-calculate
the shaft's bending c ritical s peed. Many compressor
wheels fcamre reinforcements on their rear face . As a
result they are high in mass and their centre of gravity is
in an unfavourable positio n. To achieve a s ufficie ntly high
bending c ritical :>pc::t:d it would the n be necessary to use

J1ode/jet Engines 91
Compressur wheel
Turbine wheel


-1 I=---- I~ - - - - -

d ,,
Compressor diffuser system Turbine diffuser system

·- - - - - d J - - - --

·- ------- d4 - -- - - - --·
Geometrical data related to formulae taken from get1eral instructions.

man age to redrn.:e the gas tempcr:1ture t o helo w 600° \.,

Oplimisi11g the peiformance of model )'OU can exploit this to produce thrust hy narrowing the
jet engines exhaust cone. This raises lhe tt'mpc:r:iturc again slightly.
In this sectio n we w ill consider all the techniques we hut t he engine's e fllux speed rises, and the result is more
can try in o rde r to make a small gas turbim: even mort: thms r.
1)()werful. All this information is based o n the assumptio n In o ur e xpe rien ce you can expect the greatest
that the system already works. and you have a lready improvement in the running charact eristics o f a model jet
gained some experience in handling the je::t e ngine:. e ng ine by optimising the comhus1ion c hamllcr. The: Hot
The r e are two bask metho d s o f incrcasing a jet Spots, which manif<:st thcmselves :ts small a reas of the
engine ·s thrust - at least in principle: inc reasing the maxi· h o using g lowing ominously, s h ould h e system:nically
mum rotational speed ;iml raising overall dfickncy, so c:radlic:ttcd. For thc s;ime re:1son you should use a ther-
t hat more e::n thalpy is availabl e t o produce thrust. mo m e te r to attempt to pin-point areas w hich are particu·
Increasing engine spced pn:sl·nts problems. for a brkf l;1 rl y cold , i.e. where the gas is doing a lmost nothing to
period any mo<lel jct engine will certainly cope with high- push th<: turbine round, and make efforts to eliminate
er speeds . but the inevitable result is ;1 con siderable s ho rt· them. The best method h ere is to adjust the curvature o f
ening of its useful life . Usually it is the bea rings and the the:: h ooked pipes using a pair of plien;. and th<o>n re-test
turhine w he::el which are afft:cted in this way. 111nt:fore it the system. A test run with p ropane gas is usually ade-
makes sense to limit o urselves to improvements in effi· quate for this purpo~.
cit'nq·. llow th e h ooked tubes s h o uld he curved, and in
The be st indicator of the overall efficiency o f the rotor which direction , depends o n th e ci rcumstances in your
system, including that of the compressor and thc turbim: partic ular engine. and th e o nl y way to find o ut is to
and mcch anical losses, is the exhaust gas temperature . experime nt. If you use a combustion c hambcr with a
Any Improvements in t h e e ngine can be monitored tubular va p o riser coil, as shown in Kurt Schreckling's
simply hy measuring the exhaust t em p eratur<o>. If you drawings, you can use his method of combating hot

92 Model ] el E11p,i11l!S
T1'e Mil1i-T11r1'i11e after optimis i11g tbe e.\."/Jm1s1
co11e. II p1·m•e<I possible to i11cre11se... the e11gi11e's
Tbe e11gi11e 11•it/J c1 ...bort e:x/JC111s1 co11e. Tbe sligbl{J thrus t bJ' c1bo111 10% 111b i s t mt1i11tni11il1g n11
larRer c1·oss-seclio1wl area m e1111.<; that tl:1e eff111:x "ppro:dmate{J• co11s t1111t exl1011.~t get ... te111perat11re.
.,peed atf11ll thro llle w11s 0 11{) 1 about 230 m :...
cates too great a reaction le\'l'I. Narrowing the cross-sec-
spots, ix. adjust ing the air inkts in th<:" comhustion cham- t ion of t lu · turbine: nozzlt: guitk vant" system whi ls t
hc::r and narrowing the:: injt'1.:1or orx:nings with wire. You c:nlarging the rotor c ross-section ~hould then rc:medy thl'
can congr.1tular1.· yourself on building a good comhustio n situation. Uoth c:ffccts can he ;tc h ieved by modif)·ing tilt'
chamber if tht: maximum variation in lht' avt:rage exhaust hlad e hl'ight or the hladl' angle. If the re is a residual swirl
gas tem1wr;11ure is ks~ than I00°K . You canno t improve in the dirl'1.·tion of rotation the opposite: remed y is appro-
the quality of a com bustion chamber hr drilling :1tltlitional priate . Minor expc:rimt"ntal corr1.·ctions can he: c;1rric:d out
holes at r.mtlom points. Quit1.· th1.· com rary: combustion h r hcnding th e hladrs w ith p lkrs. Us ua lly just a fnv
chamher.; with too larnr an opcning area us ually refuse to dc:grt"l'S make~ all th!:'. difkrc:nn·. If you wish to oht:tin an
work at all. m·er.dl idt"a of t he flow comli1ions insidt" rour l'ngi ne it
Anotlu :r mt·thod of improving t'ffkienq i~ to work as may be: helpful to plot the vector diagrnm of c:ach stage.
accur-.i tdy as you possibly can whc::n constructing the· If you l..'Ompktt· the optimb:1tion prm:edures outlined
e ngine. Thb applic::s in particular to those:: are1s of th<.· ~•hove and 1h1.Teby succeed in reducing the:: t"Xhaust ga~
engine w h ert: gas tlows at high spec:d . The: compressor tcmpc::ratun:: ~ignificantly, you can ex ploit the:- e ngine 's
diffuser syste m is especially critical in this rc:specl. Thl' extra p o te ntial h}' fitting a s lightl y narrower exhaust
transition from the compressor tu the: fixed d iffuser vane cone. This inl..'rt:ases t hl' outflow speed a n d th r u s t .
bc-.arer should ht" as smooth and even as pos.'>ihlt:. The clif- a lthough you ha\'e to take into account th e inc:vitahk
fuser blade~ ~houl<l tapt'r to a point front and rc:ar and rc:sidua l ~wirl o f the: g;1ses and th1..· turbulence hehind tht'
should ;111 l'lt'.gin at the: statc:d anglt:. Polishing the com- turhim: whc:d.
pressor dOl'S not hdp matters. On thl' o nl' hand the sur- If at all pos.o;i hlc, it is hc::st not to rc:duce tht" outside
facl' S1.Xll1 lost:s its shine due to sucked-in oil rl'sidues and <liaml'ter of the ex haust con e to ;woid the ~ases accelcral·
dust, am.I o n t he oth er a hl'alth y <.kgrc:e of roughn ess ing in the: dirt"ction of the swirl. as the:- result would he: an
hdps to prevt'nt tht" airtlow h1..· coming dl'ta1.·hed. effective narrowing of tht: cms.o;-section ;1I area due: to the
Jn the turbine ;irc:a a furthe r significant improvcm1.·n1 non-axial throughflow of the con1.'. and a rc::sullan t ri~· in
in efficiency can he g;1inc:d b )' re ducing th e nmning gap ~as tc:mrx:raturc:. A more: srnsiblt: option is to nam1w the
of the turhinc. However. if the gap w idth is les.-; than 0 ..2<; n ozzle hy 1.·nlarging the innt:r c o ne:. Oncl' again you w ill
mm you havc rcallr dont· all you 1.·a n . In fact thl' tut1)ine h ave: to resort to exp eriml'ntation . ;tnd in an y cast' you
wheel iii.elf offers greater pott:n tial , and the: turhint" s hould not .1llow tlw maximum c:xhaust gas temperature
expen can aim at an improvc:me nt in airt1ow deflection to rise above: 650° C at full throttle.
hy making th t· b ase of the turhin e blades thi c kn.
l-lowever. making such a wh<.·d i~ not for t he: faint-h eart·
Chc:cking tht" match between the rurhine and th e com-
pressor is a sensihk aim. hut it is difficult to do accurn td)'
and in ;my case is only possibll· within certain limits using
<imateur equipment. The aim is to discover whether the::
roto r w h eels are operating close to their optimum cffi-
ckncy. This generall y rl'quires the use o f sophisticated
test ~lands to record t he char.tcter istic curves of t he com·
prc:ssor and turhim·. However, gros.-; c:rrors in matching
the wheels in a model jt"t engine can he pickc:d up easily
once you ha\'e gainl'd a little experience. A small slwe t
mc-tal tlag can ht' uM:d to c hl'ck the d irection of the ga~
flowing out hc: h ind the: turbin e w heel. A mi n1>r swirl
angk of up to 15° in the direction opposite to turhin1..·
rotation is normal. A greatc:r n ·vc:rse swirl usually indi-

.\ludel.fel J;"11p,i1ws 93
Chapter 3

The Engine in Practice

Safety: the First Commandment You, the modeller, must he aware of this fact , and
o p erate the power cont roller w ith a corresponding
In p rinciple model jet engines are safe power plants d egree of caution at a ll times. The fuel supply system
w hich can be considered as general-purpose model sho uld be designe d in such a way that it is impossible to
engine::.. A piston e ngine has an integral hazard in the feed a significant excess of fue l to the e n g ine. When
shape of a whirling propelkr. but all the rotating parts o f institlled in a mod el the engine must be limite d reliably
a jct e ngine are safely hidden inside the housing. This tu it:. maximum safe rotatio nal speed . The voltage
eliminates one very ty pical modelling inj ury at the outset. o f the foci p u mp battery s hould be no h igher than is
Nevertheless, the engine's revolving parts do represent a necessary.
hazard, and a num ber of basic rules must be borne in One problem in this regard is the process used to start
mind w hen you are building and operating this type of je t engines. Any fuel w hic h is not immediately ignited
power plant. Every engine fill ed with an airscrew is sup- tend s tu collect in the housing, and w hen the engine fi rst
plied with a dire warning about standing in t he rotational nms up to speed the excess fuel hums, and t he engine
plane of the revolving parts, and every pro peller comes "runs awa>'~. For this reason a flooded je t e ngine must he
packed with a similar note o f cautio n . It is simply very tipped · on it'> nose~ hefore any further attempt at start-
dange rous to stand in that position utlllc r any circum- ing, so that residual fuc::l can run out. Care is also called
stances, and t he same applies to the model jet engine. for when you switch types of fuel. Geared pumps operate
Any particle suckro into the e ng ine , o r - wor!;e still - a at much higher pressures w ith viscous diesel o il than they
fr.iclllred turt,ine blade always flies off to o ne side of the do with petrol or kerosene.
engine. You should the re fore never bend over the run- The fo llow ing points should a lso he take n into
ning engine or allow spectators to stand in the hazardous accoun t if you a re runn in g yo ur own , home-built
zone - especiallr if the e ngine is an experimental unit. If engine:: the rotor w hec::ls must be fixed securely on the
this is not possible, then the model jet e ngine must no t s haft; the re must be no danger at all of them c oming
be nm at high rorntional speed. The safest places are in loose. 11,e o nly way of e nsuring chis w ith a rig ht-hand
front of the e ngine and behind it. ro tation engine is to use le ft-hand threads. Self-locki ng
Anothe r important point is t hat model je t e ngines nuts and/or lockouts are just no1 up to the job! As soon as
must be firmly mo unted when they are IX'ing nm. Kee p the rotor system starts vibrating the solid c onnection
tht: immediate environment in front of the intake o pening hetwcen compressor and drive shaft' will te nd to loosen.
free of dirt, tools and other small ite ms at a ll times, as If the compressor wheel comes adrift, the imme diate
thcl!c:: c::ngines develop considerable suction power and reduction in load causes the turbine and shaft to acceler-
happily suc k in all possible ruhbish, w ith blade:: damage ate, and in a fraction o f a second they are spinning at a
the usual result. dangerously high speed.
Jet engines should only be run in the open air. It is The tumine w heel itself should a lways be made from
true that kerosene:: is very difficult to ignite w ith a flame , a perfect, unblemished sampk o f sheet steel, w hich
but on the othc::r hand fuel-soaked balsa wood b ums won- sho uld have the highest pos.o;ihle resistance to high tem-
dt-rfully well. It is essential to keep a fire n."tinguisher or peratures. This s h o uld guaran1ee that you are usi ng
at least a fire blanket to hand at all times. C1.rbon dioxide fault-free material. If yo u arc:: us ing a cast wheel. you can
extinguishe rs have pro ved a good c hoice in practice onlr e njoy this sense of security if the c asting material
since they usually cause no damage to the model. If the re has been approved specifica lly for gas turbines , and if
is a fin: ris k in hot. dry Summc::r conditions - don 't fly the wheel itself has been checked. If you are no t sure,
you r jet model. under no circumstances should you use the component.
The most dangerous char:u;teristk common to all je t Cavities , huhhles a nd caMing faults can result in the
engines is their tende ncy to · run away~. or run out of whole w heel bursting, w hich could easily be the cause
contro l up to an excessive speed. In princ iple these:: of a fatal accide nt. Nickel-based alloys in sheet form and
e ngi ne:. have: no natural maximum rotational speed. If the high-alloy nicke l-chrome steels are o utstandingly tough
th rottle is o~ned without restraint any gas tumine will mate r ials, a nd b efore the mate ria l ac tua lly fails it
accelc.:rate until some component o r o ther cannot w ith· expands considerably. This means that over-re \'Ving the
stand the stress and fails. In model jct engines th e weak- turbine causes t he who le w heel t o exp and, a t which
est component is gener;ill y the t u rbi ne wheel. If the point the hlades foul the housing and jam the ro to r. As a
engine b already mnning do~e to its maximum speed it result ro to r w heels made of these tough st e els have,
does not evt:n matter in what form the fuel reaches the w ithin certain limits , a built-in safe ty margin. In my
rurbint·. Even liquid keroSt:ne sucked into the compressor exp erience to date any bla d e fract u rc::s that have
will be burned. occurred have heen a result o f nit.:c hanical problems,

94 .Hocld.fet Enp,ines
and a re comple t ely u n s p ectacular in n atu r e:: . Ind ivi- w ithout expensive special equipme nt, in which case you
dual broken b lad es have no ch ance o f breaking through have to b e satisfied w ith measuring engine:: pn:ssure. It is
the t u rb ine casing. alt h o u gh t his o nly app lies if you a lso p ossiblt: to record tht: rotational frequency acousti-
ensure that t he turbine·s rotatio nal p lane co irn:id e::s exact- cally wit h t he ht:lp o f video o r au d io record ing equip -
ly w ith the mounting flange:: w hich acts as containment . ment. The w histle:: o f the e ngine is the result o f oscillation
T his is yo ur responsibilit y when you are b uildi ng the at the freq uen cy of the rotor's rotatio n. Using an oscillo-
engine. scop e o r a re feren ce tone fro m your h ome computer it is
p ossible to de termine t he engine·s rotation al speed with
Measuring the engine's peiformance great acc uracy.
data Measure ments for the advance d ope r a tor
If you wish to optimise the p erformance:: of a gas tur- If you req uire more informatio n about yo u r engine
bin e:: it is esse:-ntial t hat you gath e r it s b as ic t herm o· you have to disenta ngle:: th e:: web o f data by measuring
d ynamic d ata. Yo u c a nnot h ope to c a rry o ut sensib k other \"a lue::s and calc ula ti ng de r ived par a m eters.
modifications until you have an ac c urate idea of w h at is Accurate measurement o f a model jet engint:'s exh aust
actually h appeni ng in t he model je t engine. Thus the gas temperat ure is m uch m ore complicated t h an an y-
S}'Stematic recording of all operational data acts both as thing discussed so far. When we were b uild ing the first
an aid to you an d as a m eans of mon itoring p rogress. je t e n g ines t h is value was estim a ted simply from th e
T he mai n problem for the amateur w he n t rying t o keep colour of t h e:: g lowing t u rb ine b lades. However, t his
track o f this ever-chang ing data is the limited eq uipment m e::tho<l is imprecise and . of cou rse, limited to w hc::e::ls
in h is workshop. Even so, if you are:: as accu rate as you w hic h are ac t ually g lowing. A low-cost h a n d -h e ld
can be w hen measur ing pressure , temperature and thrnst th ermometer can he used to measure te m peratures up to
yo u can make reason a ble deduct io n s r t"gard in g th e 1000° C a n d m o re, hu t you s h ould be awa re o f a
acn1al gas flow inside:: yo ur engine. Some o f the the rmo- number o f sn ares lurking for the un wary. Secondary air
dynam ic d ata, such as press u re r a cio a nd exhaust qu ic kly p e n etrates th e exh aust gas stream an d cools it
temperature , can he meas ure d d irectly; o thers - such down, and in daylight the result can be falsified hy flames
as e ftl ux speed and mass t hroug hp u t - can o nly be w h ich are:: impossible to see in brig ht conditions . T ht'.
calculated . b est method is to take measuremc::nts at var ious points
immediately aft o f the thrust nozzle and the n calculate
Rotational speed, pressure and thrus t tilt: arithmetic avt."rage value .
These are:: the fund;une::mal data for a model jet en gine::, It would h e ext rem ely inte rest ing to he a ble to mea-
and they c;111 all be measured d irectly. A st:t of scales for
mt:asuring thrnst an d a pressu re gauge to c h eck h ousing For complex m eas1u·e111e11ts. i11 t h i s c<1se
p ressure should h e available o n the engine test stand at combusti01l c bc1111ber p ressur e loss, up to sei •e11
all rim es, and t hey sh ould he mon itore d cons tantly in c o 1mectlo 11s tire mttde t o tbe e11g i11e.
order to nip in the hud any t enden cy for thc e ngin e to
over-rev. For p ressure measuremen ts p lease note th at the
p ressure take-off nipple should be located in such a posi-
tion that it o pens into an art:a of tht" h ousing w he n:: the
gas flow speed is low. Measuri ng pressure in ch e com-
p ressor a rea can g ive decep tive results since t he gas
speed and pressure are not uniformly distrib uted immedi-
ate!} aft of the compressor d iffuser system. For low pres-
sure monitor ing you can certainl y use a wat e r-fil lt:d
U-cuhe , b m you w ilJ ocherwise require a pressure gauge
w ith a me asurement ran ge o f around I . 5 bar. Gauges
d esign ed for u:.e in heating systems have p roved to be:: a
good choice. The rea<ling is generally stated in metres o f
wate r column, w hereby ten metres o f water column cor-
rc::spond co one bar. The unic of th msc is th e Newcon, and
one Newto n cor responds to t he weight force of a bar o f
chocolate (100 g chocolate and 2 g p acking). If you use
kitchen scalt:s as a th rust meter and would like:: to o btain
a true result, take the displayed figure in kilogrammes
and multiply by a factor of 9.81 .
Measuring the e::ngin e ·s r otational speed is a little
more difficu lt. Basically a s im p lt: optical rev-cou n t e r
design ed for p isto n e ngine p ropelle rs can be used. with
the:: front balance mark on the com pressor roto r w h eel
servi ng as che sensor ma r ker . For the rev-cou nter co
work well t h is marker m ust he lit by a con centrated
beam o f light, and shrouded from any d isturbing stray
light. You w ill h ave to m ultip ly thc reading b y the:: n um-
ber of b lades, bearing in mind that some rev-cou nt ers
include mod es for two- o r t hree-bladed propelle rs . In
bright sunlight it is very d iffic ult to take measurements

J1ode/ j et J::11pJ 11es 95

sun: tt:mpt:raturt:s inside the engine itst:lf, and indt:t:d th i!>
information would he necessary if you w antnl to t:stab-
lish tht: t:fticienq o f individ ual stages. I lowt:vc:..-. the h eat The c ross-sectional are a o f the c:·xhaust cone to h e used
ra d iat e d h y the glow ing c ombus ti o n c ham ber w alls sho uld h e: reduced by 10°,. to :11low for the:: influe nce of
wou ld lead to substam ial t:rrors in the.· mt:asurt:mt:nt rc::ad - tlu: boundary layer and t he:: rt:sidual swirlinp. motion o f
ings. llwestigations o n muc h largc..· r e::ng ines th an o urs g ive the g as. The:- av<::r.1gc:: o utflow s p eed can now h e found
in accuratt: results n ·t:n w h en rad iation -sh it:ldt:d t her- from the:- vah tt:s for throughput an d thr us t. At thi!> point
momt:tc.·r.. a rt: . tlw con tinuity c::quation a llows us IO cakulatc: tht: flow
Wit h inuust rfal g;1s turbines calihrnlt:d venturi n ozzlt:s !>pcc::d for an y c ross-sectio n al area. Tht:sc: formu lae a re
art: used to mt"'.isure e ng ine: t hroughpu t. In t lu: m odt:I p artic ularly use ful in so far llS they allow us to d tec k the
art:na such complexity is not appropriate: tht: cont inu ity compressor's supply valu e .
t.>q u:uion w hich statt:s that: II c lln also he productivt' a nd w o nhwhilt: to t'stah lish
th e e ngine 's fue l con sumption. All you ne::e::d to do is set
1n = A xp xC up i1 calihratt'd cylinder as a fut'! 1:111k, the n )' O U c an use a
st o p wa td1 t o m t:as ure con s u m ption vt:ry a c curately
:tpp lit•s at the outlet of the e x haust cone , and the:: gas de n- u ndc:r d ifft:rt:nt Opt'rat inp. cond itions.
sity can be cak ulatnl from t'ht.' m easure d e::xhaust tt:mp<.T- T o find the ac tual consumption figure for model flying
alUn:. Wt: ab o know that the c n gine::'s thrust is found we just h ;1ve to multiply the fue l volumt' by t he c o rrt:-
from spon ding fluid d t:nsity. This g ives a ~oo<l idt:a of tht: size
of fue l tan k you will net'.'d in you r modt:I.
F= 1i1x C Ano the r in teresting v:1lue:: is specilk fut:I con sumptio n,
w h ich tells us h ow man y kilogr.tmm es o f fue l are:: c on-
Kurt Schrt:c kli ng st at t.'!> th at a sim p k formul a c a n be sumed pt'r h o u r anc.l pt:r Nt:wton of t h rnst. This va lut'
deri\'nl from tht:st: t:quations w givt: c ngint: th roughput: w ill \•ary w id t:ly acco rdi n g t o t ht' e ng ine ' s r o t a ti o n al


Paran1e 1er Formulae Unit

Peripheral spt:ed : m/s

l'res!>urt: ratio :

C.;1!> c.lensirr p=P 1 T I R kg/nH

ri1= f / c =~(A ., . F x p)
Through p ut: kg/s
c =F / m = ~(F I A ' p
Outflow spt:t:d : m/s

Spt.·citk fud consumption: kwN.h

Jel power: Watt

13umi ng e flkien q •: 1]., =( I',. + 1i1 xc p x (T 1 - T 11 )) / (ri1., xh0u )

Pressure: kvt:I (com pressor):

VI= 2 x CP xT 0 xC1r" 0 '" - I) I u !

Spt:cifk thrust: F/Eng ine mass

Measured paramete rs and co n stants

n = Rotational spt:t:d rpm

P,; = Excess housing pn:ssurt: Pascal (N/ml ) I Pa= 0 .0 I m bar
P11 = Atmosphe ric p n:sMtrt: Pascal (N/m!) I Pa = 0 .0 l mbar
A Nozzle: cro!>.vsectional a rt:a m ! (See d escription )
F Engine thrust N

ril = l'ud Consumptio n

T , = Exhaust gas tt:mperat ure Kdvin
T0 = Inlet Tt:mperature Kelvin
R Gas constant for air 287 J/kg/K
Cr = Specific heat of air 1000 ) /kg/K
h0 ., = Sp t•ci!k heat of fuel -B 3 MJ/kg (for J et A I la:ro!>t:lle )

J\lodelJd CllJ!.i11es
speed. as specific consumption is much lower at higher precise:'. airspeed at which the jet aircraft exhibits superi-
pressure ratios and efflux speeds. Neverth eles.o; it remains ority depends on th e circumstances prevailing at the:-
true that a model jet engine at full throttle requires two time, and as a result it w ill probably nevt'.r he possible to
o r three times as much kerosene per Newton of thmst as give an answer which is valid in general terms to the
other engine., of comparable size. question of which engine is better. The answer depends
It is even possible to relate the quantity of heat which on what the individ ual modeller expects from his model.
is fed to the air in the combustion chamber to the calorit~ For example, it is n ot true that a jet aircraft must be flown
ic value of the fuel used. This calculation gives us the effi- fast at all times. If you can keep the w ing loading of your
ciency of th e fuel burning process in the combustion model down to a sufficiently low level, jel flying can even
chamber, w he reby the converted calorific power corre- be recommended for the relative beginner w model fly-
sponds to the sum of the power from exhaust h eat and ing . Speaking p ersonally. I made my first ever powered
jet power. The burning efficiency of the Mii:ro-Turbine tlights with a turbine aircraft. It was not until several
rises w ith increasing rotational speed and reaches just months later that I first flew a "normal" piston-e ngined
over (X)% at full throttk, taking into account measuring model. thanks to a friendly colleague .
inaccuracit:s. Thus about I 0 % of the fuel leaves the
engine unused. Industrial miniature gas n1rbines achieve a How jet e n gines behave in flight
burning e::fficiency of more than 99.5%, so there is certain- The thrust of a model jet engine:: im:reases slowly as
ly scope for improvement. lhe model's airspeed rises. In o rde r to produce any fom1
of forward power the engine must suck air into itself and
Using jet engines in model aircraft give it an impulse in the opposite direc1ion IO the mo<.lers
fligh1. Since air enters the model at its current a irspeed
Fundamental special features when the m odel is flying, the engine only produces use-
In comparison with propeller engines and powerful ful thrust if the o utflow speed exceeds the airspeec.I.
impellers (ducted fans) the thrust produced by the Dynamic thrust can be calculated as follows:
model jet e ngine seems to he on the low side. At take-
off the mo<ld jet certainly appears to be inferior to a pro- F = m x (c-v)
peller aircraft. However, static thrust is entirely inap- c Exhaust speed in m/s
propriate as a means of comparing the e llt:c ti veness of ·v Air~peed in m/s
these different typ es of engine. Comparing a turbine- m Air throughput in kg/s
driven aircraft in this way would be like measuring the F Thrust in N
performance o f a car which could only run in top gear.
The take-off performance mar be no better than moder- Now we only need to understand how the engine itself
ate. but at hi g h airspeed~ t he jet engine cannot be beh:1ves in flighl - especially in terms of throughput and
beaten. The performance c h aracteristics of a Qutflow speed. The kinetic energy of the air flowing in
propelJer-equipped model are exactly the o pposite. Statit· can be exploite d if the inle1 openi ng of the engine is
thrust is very high, but it falls off quickly with increasing .cJesigned e<trefully (i.e . the correct size). In this regard it
airspeed. makes no diffc::rc::nce whether the engine is mounted
One possible method of comparing different types o f jnside the fuselage or on top of the a ircraft, right in the
engine is flight performance under given conditions. The airllow. Don't imag ine th at w hat modellers call dynamic

Moturex I;,, actio11. 111 spite of its co11ser11ati11e layout the model was '10t "/uiays good-twtured i11 the "ir.
(Photo: Kurt Schreckli11g).

Mude!Jet E11gmes 97
throughput increase:: s ligh tly, thc::y cannot compc::nsate for
the loss of thrust. Even so, the S)Jt'.t:d of the: ga.-. flow is
:tro und 100 m/s (.~60 km/hr) which is extn:mely high in
model terms, so in theory about 70".rn of the static thrust is
still avai lahlt: to the: mo<.ld. In this rc:s p cct jt:t engint:s
wit h characterist icall y h igh outflow s p eed s, s uch
as the Dutch Pc::gasus engine or t ht: French JPX T240.
h ave the advantage.
In full-size jct aircraft there is a well-known phenomc·
non of increasing thnt'it at high spet:ds. but this cannot tx;
duplicated in our models. We can also expt:ct diminish-
ing thrust w hich only rises gr.tduallr above th e: in itial
value when airspeeds exceed 300 m/s. The ai rspeeds
achieved in th e moddling world are much too low to
have any signifi cant t:ff<:(;t on the e ngine. At a l"<:alistic
T/Jreejet-/1011•ere,/ models wit/J a total offour j et model speed of 50 mis the dynamic pressure:: of the air
e 11gi11es. (P/Joto: Kurt Sch1·ecklit1g). amounts to only about 0.01 'i bar. You could only cxpc:cl
to see a dt:tectahle differ-
cnct: if you placed 1he
model in a djve w ith the
engin t: throttled b ac k .
Gas t emper a ture t hen
fa lls off marked ly ,
although in pr.tctict: this
is not evident in any
other way.

Air intake d esign

You can expect t o
improve the model ' s
flight pt:rfor manc1:
s lightlr b y optimisin g
th e design o f the: intake
opening . For ht'.St resulL'i
careful profiling is nec-
ess;tl")' in this area, hut at
lc:as t you must t'.nsure
that the jet engint'. is ft:d
sufficient a ir. If n ot it
will overheat. Like a hair
dryer wit h a hand h e ld
over the inlt:t s ide. For
The powerful Pegasus e11gi11e m01mted on " Hef11kel Sal<mmruler. T/Je e11gine's everyday model flying
t/Jrust s11bstm11ially exceeds the wefg/Jt of the model, e11dowing the model wit/:1 a a ll yo u nec::d t o worr y
very• C01lllincf11gjlig/J1 pe1:fonHcmce. (P/Joto: Pulse-Jet-Team H elmtmd). ahout is making th e
o pc::ning large:: enough .
press ure r epresents a b uild-up of air in front of the: The ai r mass w hic h the engine:: rc::quires is Vt'.f}' small
engine. What actually happens is that there: is a low prt::.- compared with a ductc::d fan system. so small cross-sc::c-
sure area immediatdy in front of the comp ressor wheel tiomal a reas arc:: usually quite adequa t e . For scale jet
under normal circumstances. and this is e liminatt'.d when models the scak intake area is generally suflicicnt. If it 's
the mo<ld is flying. as the air now flows into the engine big enough for the full-size, it's Jikcl)' to be big enough for
naturally. ·n1c ne t result is an incrc::ase in gas densil)1 and us.
engine throughput. When the c::ngine is operated statically the suction
What exactly happens next depends on the engi n e process always involves a loss in pressure. After all, the
control system. :iome control systems enforce a constant pressure;: inside t he ai rcr.tft 's fusdage must he lower,
maximum rot11tional spt'.nl or a particular maximum pn:s- o therwise air would not flow in :tt all from outside. In the
sure when at full throttle . If Wt'. h:1se our considerations worst case, i.e. when tht'. airflow is mtally turhulatc::d by
o n the sim plest casc - a constant fu e l s upply - we the internal fittings in the fuselage, and the kinetk· energy
achievt: the: maximum c::ffect. Rotational S)Jt'.t:d and p res- of the air cannot be:: c::xploited, we can estimate thc:: c::ffec1
s ure ra tio rise s lightlr as airs p eed inc reases, until the a.'> follows:
e ngine reach es a state of equilibrium betWt'.t'.n compres-
sor powc::r and turbine powt:r. This equilibrium occurs at top p/(2. cl)
a slightly lowc::r exh aust gas tempc::ranm:. p = Air Jensil)' (approx. 1.225 kg/m 1)
In overall terms the e ngine·s dynamic thrust falls with c Air inlet speed in m/s
increasing airspcc::d . top Pressure difference in (I 00 Pa = I mhar)
Calculations show that, although out-tlow speed and

98 Mude/Jet £11Ri11es
This effect is tem1ed inlet p rc::ssure loss, and the:: engine that sp eed more than 60% of th c:: c::nergy h as a lready been
must comp e nsate:: for it . The compressor h as to work converted I into pressure].
slightly harde r , w hic h in the e nd results in a higher W ith a semi-scale o r scale modc::l you a re bound to
exhaust gas tempe rature. Of course. the e xac t tempera- t he full-size machim:·s intake size. but w ith a sp o rts or
tu re variations depend on the e ng ine in u se. Wi th a pres- ex p erimc::ntal mode l you can incorpo ra te anr ty p e and
su r e loss of 1 , 000 Pa ( 0 . 0 I bar) th e exh a u s t gas size o f air opening. TI1e id eal fo rm o f inlet for a mod e l jet
tem perature of tht· Micro-Turhine is approximately 12° K would then be w ha1 is known as a ventu ri. w hich con-
higher at full thro ttk w h en t he inflow speed is 40 m/s. sists of a ro unded n ozzle opening followed by an integral
111is value is reasonable for a model je t. Now we can cal- difft1ser. This form of inta ke gives good rc::.'>ults in most
culate the minimum cross-sec tional area o f the inlet o pen - flight s ituatio n s a11d does not incur a serious p ressure
ing from th e data we a lready know. T he fo llowin g los.s. The airflow speed at the narrowest point can the n
continuity equ.1tion applies: be t u ned to corresp ond to the mmld'i. c::xpected maxi-
mum airspeed.
m=c >< P x A==> A = mI c Ip = 0 . 1">I40/ 1.22">
=0.00306m' = 30.6cm ' Cooling the fuselage
Since model jet engines an: no t usually w hat we might'
call lightweight. they usually h ave to he installc::d d ose to
111 Engine th roughput at full throttle in kg/s the mo del's Centre of Gr.ivit)'. As a result it i.'> virtuall)'
c Maximu m inkt speed (here 40 m/s) inevitable that delicate pans o f t he model e n d up close to
p Air d e n si t y (under normal conditio n s the h ot exh aust gas flow. Good layouts for jet-engi nell
l.22"> kg/m 3) model aircraft therefore include tr pes w ith the cc; a long
way back. and especially flrin A wi n~c; and L<mards, w he re
This c ross-sectional area correspon ds to an opening o f th e exhaust flow c~tn leave th e model q u ic kly w it hout
62.S mm diamc:ter, but take care - the calculated figure having a ch ancc:: to hum the tail.
assumes a zero-loss airflow. 'lllis s ize o f in take w ill the re- However, for initial experiments I advise keeping to a
fore only work if the e dges o f t h e in le t are carefullr model of conventional geometry unless you already
rounded. In c ontrast , if we arc:: con sidering a scale jct h ave exper ieni.:e with fl)•ing wings and c an a rds . It is
w ith a scale-sized air intake d esigned for high airspeeds, o bvio usly imponant that !he e ng ine should be insta lled
then we:: have:: to take into account the t urhuknce w hich in ru1 o pc::n position w here it is easily accessible, and as
occurs during static running. The easy way to do this is to
correct the cros..,·sectional area by a value w hich we w ill A more docile model: the ll11thor'sjet-powered
call the contr.action factor. If in douht you should certain- Moture x 2. The fuselage 11/r i11take is 70 mm;,,
ly double the calculated area, or measure:: the p ressure <lillmete1:
loss using a ll-tuhe.
ff the jet e ngine is to explo it the airflow to t he full t he::
airflow d ue co th e moders motion m ust be slowed down
in a d iffuser. This estahlis h es a dynamic p ress ure:: in
the model's fuselage w hic h varies w ith the:: square of the
model's airspeed. At die same time the e n ergy of the:: flow
is d iminis h ed . W hat this a ll b o ils d o wn t o is t h a t
the internal fittings in the mode l aircraft"s fuselage w ill
have little e ffect o n the engine 's power provide d that
they do not reduce:: the:: c ross-St:ctio nal ;1rea too muc h .
In consequence installing an air duct running directly
to the engine is of little va lue . In any particular case yo u
<..tin measure the p resimre loss easily. Much more impor-
tant is that you lock an d secure a ll movab le:: parts.
screws and n uts, so that th e r e is no chan ce o f them
coming loose. Even a s ingle scr ew sucked into the
intake at full throttle could easily wreck the engine . For
t h e same r eason it i s
o b v io u s ly essential to
clear away all traces of
soil and dirt from th e
model after an out-land·
ing in a field.
W h en designing an
inta k e diffuse r it is
important that it .'>hould
open o ut at an angle of
no mo r e than 10°,
o therwise th e ai rflow
wi ll h reak away. You
s ho u ld a im at s lowing
the airflow d own to Flow rest riction with a sharp-edged intake.
about 25 m/s, since at

.'vfodel jet Engines 99

Tbe tail pipe, used to tluct t/Je e:•:/Jaust g ases 011t of
tbe fuselage.

My l atest model uiit/J V-taiL

Otto Bn1/m's twi11-bQQm at take off.

Micro-h1rbi11e in the tall ofa BAe Ht1wk.

Tb/.<;; comdntct'io11 is 11ery easy to /Ja11d/e. 11,e e ngi11e

is dil·ectly belou• tbe w i11g.

far distant as possihlc from intlammabk balsa wood. A

good typical prototype: is the Hc::inkt:I Salamander, w h ose
t'ngint' is mounted ahove the wing. You can expect to A Fairc/1iltl A-JO ll'iflJ two hom e-built e11gi11es.
avoid all temperature p m h le ms with a model of this co n·
figuration. exh aus1 cone. TI1e greatest prob lem is that o f ducting the
Co ncealing the: c:nj,(inc ins ide the m odel's fusdage e xhaus t gas s tream outside the model w h ilst incurri ng
presents far more problems, and can therefore: o nly he lowc::st possible:: losses. A thrust pipe: is used which works
recomme::mled to the modeller who already has plenty of like an injector, drawing cooling air in with it. Such a sys-
expericncc under his h e lt with jet engines. The main tc::m h as a greacer ovc::ra ll throughput, since the engine
problem is not caused hr the e ng int· itsdf. The maxi- moves more a ir. TI1is can be estimated from tht" following
mum tt'mpt:rature of the engine·s housinJ.: will he about formula:
120' C in the area of tlw compn::ssor, and up to 200• <.: at
the Lail end. The only p arts w hich hcc ome really h o t arc
the turbine enclosure. the mounting flange and the;-

100 .\lod e/ j et E11~i11es

The NortlJ America11 FJOO Super Sabre is fitted u•ith a fully enclosed Scb1zeider-Scmcbezjet engi11e. The
poU'er:fulfarr of a ccu· 1•ac:11um cleaner stc1rts the e11gi11e reliably. (Model a11d photo: Kurt Scl11'·ecklirrg)

ing fric::ndly rdations with your rn0<.ld club·s groundkee::p-

rile; Total throughput in kg/s e r - is the:: position of thc:: c::nginc:: rd;itivc:: to the:: ground.
rirr = Throughput of the engine i11 kg/s 111e hot exhaust gases burn the tlying sitc::' s grass strip in
TA Exhaust gas tempc::r.uurc:: of th e engine in Kelvin an instant. Initially the grass stays g reen, but a day later ic
Ts Tc::mpc::rature at the end of the thrust pipe w ill start to show a brown discoloration. The jet enginc::
To Inlet tc::mpc::rature in my Moturex I expe rimental model was inclined slight-
ly down towards the s trip at take-Off. For several days
The new throughput must ht: taken into account when aftc::r my initial flights wc:: could see burned areas with
designing the inlet openings. which will rc::sult in corre- adjoining brown stripes, c::nding exactly whc::re che m odel
s pondingly larger cross-sectional areas. liftc::d off.
If the engine is concealed inside the fusclagc::, starting
may p resc::nt problems. With a light headwind flam es Auxiliary equipment
coming out of thc:: c::nginc:: may damage:: the model. When
you are starting the:: engine the thrust pipe also hc::comes CJnlike piston engines, modc::l jc t e nginc::s are n ot
red hot - in the true sense of thc:: c::xpression. You will completely self-contained, and require a numbe r of addi·
need a very powerful starter fan in one hand and a fire tio n al ite ms of equipmc::nt. The primary auxiliary items
extinguisher in the other. are the fue l supply syst c::m and lubrication system. The
As soon as the e ngine is running the turbulence of fuel pump and controller of a full-size:: jet engim: are
the airflow causes cooling air to he:: mixed into mountc::d directly on thc:: c::nginc::, driven hy the main
thc:: exhaust gases, and only h alf a metre "downstream" shaft. but there seems lillk p rospect of duplicating this
the:: tc::mperature is low enough not to hum plywood. arrangement on a model jet engine due to the added com-
111eory tells us that the gas flow expands at an angle of plexity. The sim pkst method is t o suppl} fucd a nd oil
10° relative to the axis of the flow . although secondary air fro m extern:tl sources. For mode l aircraft u se:- it is dearly
enters at a slightly lesser angle. The hot core of the jet, vital to have a lighrwe ighc, reliable fuel feed syscem , and
i.e. the area in which the full exhaust gas tc::mper:1ture we have found geared fuel pumps a good solutio n . When
and speed still prevail, c::xtc::nds tO a point aft of the:: you are sc::lecting a pump it is essential to check that it
engine about threc:: times the diameter of thc:: exhaust can rc::sist the fuels we are likely to use. Metal-gearc::d
cone. pumps arc:: cc::rtainly prc::fc::rabk. If you are capablt: of
Balsa wood is vc::ry susceptible to hot exhaust gasc::s. accurate work you will be abk co convc::rt a standard fut:I
Since the wool.I itself contains plenty of oxygen , an pump for use:- with a turbine. This w ill necessitate rc::duc-
irnperce::ptihle:: glow is quickly fanned into life when you ing the w idth of the gears and installing a morc:: s uitable
open the throule. and the:: glow spreads over th e wood motor.
in narrow snaking lines.
A frw sc::conds at full
thro ttle, and th e g low-
ing tailplane is c::ngulfed ........ __.... --
in flam es. Endangc::rc::d __ .... .. ---
areas can be protecte d ---··· ~00 ···-.. ..?O()o
by g luing aluminium .···•::::::......
!.~~:~-- ........
0... . ....... ·--
foi l to thc:: surfaces ---= =--- .... · : · : . - -- ----::.+-
using thinnc::d white ---- ........ ---
glue. Thin a luminium -. __ .... __
(0.3 mm thick) is ;moth- --- .. ........ ---..
er good protective 100111111 ........
material. A crucial point
- especially if you are Exhaust gasjlowfrom behind the model.let er1Ri11e.
interested in maintain-

M ode/jet Engines 101

Moturex 1 jll!U b efore take -o.[f. A hur11e d area qf The same 111ocle l with tli1'->ro11 u>l11gs.
g rllS!> is al1•etuly r•isible. ( Pboto: A 111ta va11 de
Goor). since this o il is low in viscosity. Cons umption sho uld he
about 5 ml per minute. However, the e ngine de:.cribed
Controlling the <juantity o f fue l pumped to the c::ngine here has already survived a number o f Oij:dlts with the o il
is \"itally importan t. 'Ille id eal is to have a rc:gulator y sys- s upptr cart'.ksstr clisconnectc::cl.
tem which var ied t he:: tlow according to exhaust gas tem- Starting a jt'.t e ngint'. w hen insta lled in a model does
perat ure and rotational s pee d or pressure . A s implt:r call for a little practice. There is a danger of the t'.ngine
solution. although quite practical for our purposes, is a over heating temporarily at times w hen tht'. sta rter is strug-
st;rn<lard electronic speed controller. The controlle r has g li ng for power anll th e:: oil in the be arings has thickened .
to be adjusted card ull} to guarantee a particular idle: llncle::r certain circumstances it is a goocl idt'.a to kee p w
speed, and above all to limit t he maxim um ro tatio na l hand a pipe made:: o f sheet metal. so that you can deflect
speed. I find that variable constant voltage co nt rollers the ho t gases or names away from vulnerable wood en
work wdl. and ther are a reasonable choice since t he parts. You can avoid problems b y obtain ing a powerful
pumping power is so smaJI. With th is arra ngement a start e r fan or. if the e ngine is t'.asily accessible, a h igh·
servo opcmtes a potentiomc::ter and an end-point switc h. revving e le::c tric motor. A moto r powe r o f 20 Watts is
l'nfortunately th is type of s)·stem is not as neat a solution quite sufficie nt.
as an ordimtf) controller. but it offers o ne crncial advan-
tage: it defi nes the maximum pump voltage regardless of Particular problems encount·e red in
the initial voltage. This o n its own e liminatt:s the prohlem
o f freshly c harged pump batterit"s allowing the engint" to
jet-powered flight
over-rev. A second pot can he used to set the:: engine's Thrust delay
maximum rotational speed. An exte rnally accessibk fuel Model jets have a number o f c haract e ristics w h ic h
valve offering fine adjustment is fitted in the fuel c irc uit mark them out from propeller-Oriven models. Thc::sc: fea-
between p ump and engine. tun:·s are similar to those of full-size je t aircrnft - as you
This is the:: :.tarting procedure: s«t the tnrnsmitter throt· might reasonably expect.
tic stick to idle :md start the engine:: o n propane. As soon TI1e most immediately obvious differen n : to the pilo t
as the ga.; has ig nited and the:: st:trte r is running, slowly accusto med to propelle r t'.ngines is the jet's slight de lay in
open the fuel \'alve. Tht" e ngine revs u p, and will reach its responding to the throttle stick. This p henomenon is clue::
i<lle spec::d when the:: valve:: is full)' o p<::n. llnleS15 you e njoy to the ine rtia o f the rot o r. At high ro iatio nal s peeds a
unwelcome surprises please remember to set the trans- great dea l of e nergy is requi red t o accelerate:: the rotor
mitter stic:k to zero as soon as the engine stops - bearing w he els , and this applit·s in partindar to the jet en~nt:'s
in mincl that this is not necessary with a piston engine. If lower speed range. The force:: w hic h is acting upon the::
you don't, the:: fue l p ump will contin ue running and w ill turbine blades - and w hich is available to accelen1tc:: the
gaily pump the remaining contents o f the fuel tank into turbine - is still small. f o r this reason the timt· required to
the engine. bring the turhine up to speed varies markedly according
It goes without saying that the fuel tank and the rest of to the initial speed . O ver.di the:: powc::r o f the turbine is
the fuel system in the:: model musl be made of fuel-resis- p rop ortional to the cube o f t he rotational speed , w hile
tant materials . The fuel tank should h ave:: a capacity of at the work required to accele r..tte the rotor is proportional
least half a litre, and might even need to be larger if your to th t'. square o f th e:: speed .
engine i~ thirsty or your flying style extravagant. It is noc At a rotational speed of 35,000 rpm - correspo nding
always easy to find space in the mo<.ld fo r suc h a large to a thrust o f four Newtons - the:: Micro-Turhine runs up
ta nk, and you may find it he tter to make up a custom. to full throttle in th ree or four sc::c o, pe rhaps a littk
designed versio n from shee t mernl to exploit tht" available faster . However, bearing in mine.I t·h e t h c::rmal l oad~
spal'.e. I strongly rcconunend using a clunk weight with involvc::d in t he e ng ine. it is a good iclt'.a to handle the
an integ.ral fuel fi lter. throttk stick gently. At the stated speed the work stored
The oil tank can simply be a small c hemica l bottle in t h e:: roto r in the form o f rotational e n c::rgy is around
with a screw-fining lid. Whc::n t he c::ngine is in a model I .WOO J. w hich corresponds roughly to the kinetic energy
recommend us ing a mixture of equal par ts bicycle oil of a bicycle rider at a speed o f 25 km/hr. On ave rage ,
and synthetic motor oil. To some extt·nt you can control w hen you increase the e ngine 's speed fro m idle to full
the oil consu mptio n by adding mo re or less bicycle:: o il, thro ttle mo re than 6 50 Wans is required to accclen1te the

1U2 ,\1cx.lel.fet J::11pJ11es

rotor alone . The n et
n:sult is that you have to
make a llo wa nn: for
delayed throttle r es-
pons<:: wh<::n the mode l
is in the air, and acceler-
ate rather earlier than
usual. However, as suon
as you are tlying at more
than half-throttk yo u
will find that the <::ngine
responds to the throttle
stick as quickly as a pis-
ton engine .
The factor which
affec t s a model jet
e ngine·s ahility to accel-
erate quickly is th e
rotor·s moment of iner-
t ia. the exha ust gas
t emperature an<l the
c o mpresso r s urge. In
this respect engines
with an axial turbine are
clearly supe rio r to those
wi th the heavy , h igh -
ine rt ia radia l turbine . View ofthe i11sid£• of thefuse ltige. U11 the right 11re the fuel pump arul oil ta11k.
Kurt Schreckling ·s FD
engines arc:- part icularly spri ghtly; their very light com- The same forces are at work in the spinning rotor sys-
pressor wheels follow the throttle stick vinually like a pis- t em of our model jet engine. Becau se the rotat io n a l
ton engine. The major factor in the rotor·s moment of spenls are so high the gyroscopic m oments are conside:-r-
inertia is the moments o f the rotor wheels; the e ngine·s ab le. If you h o ld your jet-p owered model's fusdage in
shaft contrihutes only a few per cent of the rotor·s total you r hand with the e ngine running and m ove it (in the
inertia. language of physics you are forcing a p rec ession upon it
and you will clearly feel the gyroscopk mome nt opp os-
Gyroscopic effects ing your effort. You can try the same experiment with a
In any rotary system mysterious forces are at work hig h-revving e lectric motor.
w hich many pe opk find har d to understand. 111ese gyro- The system attempts to counteract th e:: origin al forct:.
scopic forces, as they are known, are omnipresent in our The gyroscopic moment acts in the p e rpendicular d irec-
d ay-tO-<lay lives, altho u gh you have to know w here to tion to what is known as the axis of p recession. If we
look to find them. For example, the y e nsure that we assume that you are flying a model powe:-red by a right-
don' t fall off our bicycles, at least so long as the wheels hand rotation jet e n gine, this m eans that the mode l's
are going round. Aircraft an<l ships find t heir way home no~c will dip ~lightly if you fly a left-h amJ turn. and w ill
w ith t h e h e lp of gyro-based navigatio nal systems. In rise sligh tly in a right-hand t urn. With a left-hand ro ta-
short: gyroscopic forces have a stabilising effect on rotat- tion engine the effect is exactly the o pposite. The re is
ing systems. no cause to h e alarm ed. In day-t o -day mode lling the

Arrtmge me11t ~{auxiliary eq11ipme11t i11 t/Je Moturex 2 mode l T/Je fu e l supply system is i 11stttlled i 11 t/:Je
front part <if t/:Je fuselt1ge.

Model jet E11gi11es 103

Tbe Mi<.To-T11rl1i11e d11ririg ll:Je st11rti11g procedure.
Be11et1tl:J l/Je wi11g is the fuel vali•e 111hicb is bei11g Fuel tt111ks solderetl HjJfrom sheet metal
ope11ed s/011•/y <1t tbis 111ome11t. A pres sure gauge is
still com1ectetl to t/Je engine to monitor t/Je s etti11gs. What the sound of the engine tells you
A common p roblem is the roror fouling the ca~ing.
engine's grroscopic effect is almost impcrceptihk, a .. the and the sou nd of the en gine alw ays lets you know th at
forces are much too small to h ave :my significan t infl u- t his is happe nin g . If you h e ar a su sp icio us scratc hing
ence on the aircraft. n o is e stop the engine immediately and c hec k the concen-
The mome nt w hic h oc c urs in a tu rn or loo p varies tricity of the roto r. rt can also occur that a normally free-
according to the inc:rtia of the engine 's rotor, the rotatio n- running roto r o nl y fouls the casing at high rotatio nal
al speed and the angular ve locit)' o f th e model in the turn. sp eed s. T his m ean s that the running c le arance is to o
In a fast loop at full throttle the m aximum gyrosc o p ic small to allow for the d ynamic bend ing o f the shaft. The
moment migh t be o m: Newton-metre. and that represent:-; aud ihle result o f this is a d istinc tive h igh tone mixed in
no ha7.arc.1 to the model. with the usual engine no ise. becoming slight ly lower in
tinde r no m 1al c ircumstances the stabilising e ffect of p itc h as the throttle is op e n ed . Usually this ty pe of foul-
the tail surfaces and the mo me nt o f ine rt ia of the mod el ing d oes n o t immediately cause the roto r to jam, and the
counterac t the i::r rosc o pic mo me nt. Serio us proble ms e ngin e c o ntin ues t o spin appare ntly w itho ut protest.
o nly a rise if the model 's layout is unsatisfactory . If the I lo wever, you w ill find traces of fouling on the compres-
engine is mounted dose to the mod e l's C<.:ntre of Gr.wily sor cover or the rurb ine housing w h e n you dismamk: the
and the tail panels are too s ma ll, you could encounte r e ngine late r. Yo u can continue to use the compressor and
flight conditions - specifically very low airspe e d s - in turbine w h ed s a fter suc h a n occurren ce p rovided th at
w hich the model is unable to counte ract the gyroscopic they h ave s uffe re d n o m ajo r d a m age. Never a llow a
forces. Fo r example , if you sta ll your model in such a model jet engine to c ontinue ru nning if rou suspec t fo ul-
way that the tailpla ne is n o longer subject to an airflow. ing. If yo u o p e n the thro ttle very graduallr it may be pos-
and if o ne w ing stalls first ( tip-stalls), th e gyroscopic sible to run up the turbine to hig h speed , hut you thc:n
effects could send the model straight into a sort of gyro- risk wrecking the w heels. You e ven risk hlade frac tures if
stahilised spin . Fo r this reason you sh o uld avoid a concen- the turbine fouls th e c asing, as seri ous and damaging
tration of masses at the Centre o f Gravity w h e n desig ning vibration c ou ld result.
your jet mod el. A good solution is to ammge the engine Similarly, a ny m ajor imbalance ma nifests itself in the
towards t he tail :111d t he rest of th e equi p m e n t in the volum e o f engine n o ise . The v ibratio n caused hy the
nose. imhalan ce is t ransm itted to the h o u sing, resulting in a
w histling sound at the pitch o f the rotatio nal fre que ncy.
Fault-fi11di11g The whistling sound w ill ht: distinc tly lo ude r to the side
of the engine th an immediately in fro nt o f o r behind it.
Eve ry now and again an ordinary pisto n e ngine fails to If y o u care full y to uch the hous ing wit h yo ur h:111d
star t , and many o f us mo d e llers h ave c ursed loud am t you will h e: able to feel tht'. vibration. Mino r imbalance
long at su c h times. The usual reasons are incorrect carhu- e ffect s a re quite n o rm a l, as is a w his t le o c c urring a t
ren o r settings, wet glowplugs and h locked fuel lines, and high rotational speed s. Since the shaft ancl turbine w h eel
these link p rohlems have driven many a mod e ller close arc o n ly statically balanced . the p ossibility o f d ynamic
to insanity. The most pe micio u!\ p roble ms are ca used by imhalance c-.mnot he e xduded e ntire l)'. Since the n .n ating
t he piston engine ' s e xte rnal fuel m ix ing arrangeme m s p a rts are ro tationallr symme trical. and since the design of
(the carburetto r) a nd the ig nitio n system. and in a jc t the engine makes it very unlikely thm the re arc major dis-
e ngine bo th th ese syste m s are funda mentall y diffe re nt c rep:111cies in mass distribution, simple static balancing is
and usually cause no problem. If you have a jet e ngine ad equate:: for mod e l use. If the m odel je t e ngine is very
w hich usually runs well b ut o ne day s uddenly w ill no t , w ell b ala n ced a ll you w ill hear unde r no rmal circ um-
there is normallr a mechanical problem w hich you w ill stan ce s is the:: hiss o f the exh aust g.1s flow. Naturally the
easily be able to recogn ise. h e arings w ill h ave a pro p o rtio n ately lo n ger life if t he
The main way in w hich you can avoid pro blems is IO e ngine is perfect!)' balanct'.d. After a few hours of o per.t-
ch eck the engine n:gularly - e~pcdally the be arings an d tio n lubricating o il residues may form d eposits on the t ur-
the turbine wheel conne ctio n - and re place d am aged bine whee l, cau sing s light imhah111cc, but chis is not
parts immediately. c ritical.

Exceeding the pressure limit (surging) h igher the ex haust gas temperat ure. the m ore powerful
This phenomenon occurs primarily in model jet the e ngine. The turbine b lades w hich an : subject ed to
engines fin ed wi th a c.:ompressor w ith radially tipped the highest temperatures are cook<l with air ductro from
hladt.'S. Under cenain drcumstances opening the throttle t he final compresso r stages, so that the temperat ure o f
too su<ltkntr may t:ause the c.:omprel>:-.or pressun:: to hunt t he turbine blade mate ria l is several hund n::d degrees
up and down as the throughput o f the compressor is Kelvin below the act ual gas temperature. In small gas tur-
reduced momt.·ntaritr . lllis effect. known as compressor bines and mo<lel jet engines this technology is almost cer-
surge. is immcdiatelr obvious be<..-ause of the characteris- t ainly too complex. and if we want easy handling the
tically deep wowling sound it causc::s. If this should hap- o nly solution is to strive for low g.1s temperatures. Sever.ii
pen it is essenti:ll to dose the throttle without dela} to factors affect the gas temperature. but the primary one is
avoid a sudt.lcn r i:-.e in exhaust gas temperature and conse- the efficiency o f the ro to r w h eels, although it is also
quent damage. important that the compressor and turbine should h e
Aftc::r a fa irl y long period u f o peration you may find accurately matched to c;ich other so that they both work
that the engi nc ·s tendency to surge hc::comes more pro- dost· to the ir optimum efficic::ncy. Amateur m ethods an<l
nounced. and at the same time the e ngine no lo nger pro- equipme nt simply do not allow us to diagnose accurately
<.lm:es full th rust. This be haviour is u sually a sign that the tht> <.legrc::c:: of mismatc.:hing between compressor and tur-
turbine mate rial is unahk to cope with the stresses it bin<:". A."- we have already discussed, it is possible to make
encounters in the e ngint-. The resul t is usually distortion certain deductions abo ut possible faults from the k vc:I of
ot' the turt>inc blades due: to tht> high centrifu~I forces. residual swirling motion behind the turbine and from any
lllt> angle o f the blades usually dosc::s slightly, restricting te nde n cy for the engine to reach its c o mpressor s ur!!e
the open flow cros.o;.sectional area. limit. However , the best method o f reducing an execs·
Thi~ in turn reduces the engine's thro ughput. and the sively high t'.Xhaust gas temper.tture is to check the over-
comp ressor w ill then he: w orking very close to its surge a ll design using tht' data w hich you are able to measure
limit, espc::ciall y w h en the engine is running at high acc.:urate ly. suc h as rotational speed and throughput. lJse
speed. The o nl y remedy in these circumstances is to this <lata in conjunction with the continuity equ atio n to
make a new turbine wheel, and it makes ob viOlL'> sense to cakula1t> the speeds w h ich a re actually occurring. and
select a better grade o f material the sec o nd t im e . The plot the vecto r diagrams for the turbin e and c ompressor.
oth er , temporary recourse is to reduce the full-thrott le This should allow }"OU to detect any significant d<:"Viations
setting slightly. from th e design goals towards w hich you have been
A standard problem The combustio n chamber has a very important influ-
enc e on exhaust ga.; temperature. Temperature d istribu-
Excessively high exhaust gas temperature tion must he reasonably even. Flames from the nirbint:,
Many home-built turb ines suffer from overheated, hot spots an<l acrid, pungent exh aust fumes are good
glowing, rt:d· ho t turhinc w h eels. Although you can fly a indicators o f incomplete combustion . In this case the
modc:l using suc h a h ot-nmning turbine , you are bo und to only rcmCd}' is to carry o ut systematic tests o n the com-
encounter certaiJ1 problems: materials ex pand consider- bustion c h ambe r. l have a lready described how the cur-
ably due to the excess h eat. and n .g.v. blades may then vature of the · walking stic ks" sho uld be ;idjustcd in small
kink and damage the ho using. 1l1e glowing turbine h ous- incr<:"ments. It is not advisable to drill furthe r air holes in
ing makes it much more difficult to shield the vulnerable the combustion c hamber al the hut spots. This seldom
fusc:lage of the model aircraft . The hot turbine wheel may cures the:: problem. and mo r<> o ften just wrecks the com-
not he strong e nough to withstand the stresses of running bustion drnmbcr.
at high speed . and the e ngine as a whole w ill be slow to If combustion suddenly worsens. and at the same time
respond to the throttle stick. You w ill have to be very the exhaus t gas t emperature rises, one injector tube
careful wi th the throttle stick to avoid ovt'.rheating the might be blocked. pcrhaps by dirt from the fuel-tank or
engine::. solder flux rc::siducs b locking the fint' openings. A fue l fil-
fn general terms, then, a m o<lel jet engine with a high te r sh oul<l always be used - not least to protect the fuel
exh~tust gas temperature:: is a less capable engine. Exactly pump.
t h e opposite:: applies to full-size airc raft engines: the

Mot11res 2 in action. (Photo: Mic/Jael Kamps).

Model j et Eng i 11c:s JOS

Cleaning the engine
Model jct e ngines arc::
ge ne rally q uite:: easy t o
lo ok a fter - assuming
that they deign to run at
all. Ncvc::rthc::kss. these
engines s h oul d h e
open ed u p n ow a nd
the n fo r gene ral exami-
nation a nd cleaning. In
th e:: course o f time d ust
gets sucked in and com-
hi ned w ith t h e:: lubricat-
ing oil to form a sticky
laye r w hich c o llects in
th e:: comprt:ssor a nd
housing. This is a good
time to c heck that :Ill
screws and othe r parts
a r c tig h t. I wo uld
reco mmend tha t yo u
examin c:: t h c:: turbine::
w h eel more:: closely,
p referably us ing a ma~ni­
fying glass. Any changes
Cleat1it1g urge11tly required! After'"' im•olu11tary lm1dit1g 111 afield with the to the hladc::s a nd signs
tmiJi11e run11ing, a fell' lumps of etwlh htwe bee11 suc k ed i11side the e11gi11e. of crac king a re clt:ar
Fort1111ate~)' the com/11·essor w/Jeel is i•irtually 1md11111age1I. s igns that the material
you h ave:: u sed is not
iJlaintenance and repair copi11g well with the stresses. It goes without saying that
a damagc::<l w heel must not he re-used.
Che dting the bearings Thl· lub ricating system can be an ins idio us source of
l\laintaining the: turbine:: largely comes down to moni- o peratio na l probk:ms , <is th e:: narrow pipes arc:: readil y
toring the ballracc::~. These componc::nts arc:: suhj<::ct<::d tu blocked by minute <leposits . ·n 1is is e nough to cause the
extraordinar y stresses in o ur mo del jet e ngi ne: up to o il supply system to fail altogethe r, lt:<.iding eventually to
three times t hc::ir no mina l maximum rotatio na l s peed. bearing d amage. The normal functioning of the lubrica-
They c an o nly w ithstand such maltreatment if the heat tion system can he recognise<l h y tiny explosio ns behind
produced is dissipated by plenty o f air from the compres- the:: turbinc::: this is caused h y huming o il residues. Thc:: o il
sor. As a result, heat from the hot turhine can only rc::ach for the fro nt bearing us ually makes its way into the:: o pe n
the bearings once the e n gine has sto pped. This dfc::c t air th rough kaks in the compressor cover. If the:: c::ngine ·s
re!"ults in the inne r and oute r rings o f the turbine bearing o il consumptio n falls o ff, he sure w c heck the: o il pipe. If
exhibiting the characte ristic · rnrnishc::d '" color-ation aftc::r a you c:tn obtain special turbine o il such as Ac::roshell c;oo.
few tc::st runs, w hich might make you think that they are do use it. These oils, usu<illy synthe tic in nature , produce::
nmning too ho t. Howc::vc::r, this should he considc::r<::d nor- almost no d eposits eve n at very high tempe ratures.
mal fo r the engine: and appears to have little if an y effect
on the: bearin gs· useful Lift:.
When the engine:: is running down you should always
listen carefull y for any trace of r umbling sounds, as
these:: arc: usua lly an indicatio n o f wo rn-out hearings.
The: hearings sh ould the n he c hecked for axia l play.
Check the condition o f the ball cages at the same time.
If clearance and play arc: g rc::ate r than those o f a new
bearing , fo r safet y'!> sake:: you s ho uld install a n ew
The useful lift: of the bc::<irings va ries cons idc::rahly
according to the:: conditions o f cooling. romtional speed
a nd lubricatio n insid e the e n gi ne . In prac tice:: I have:
found that standard hallrace::s have survi,·ed a w ho le: yc::ar
in the engine. i.e. several hours o f running. The bearing at
the compressor e nd of the engine lasts longc::r, probably
because the rotor·s axial thrust exerts an axial load o n the
bearing, taking up an y slack in the:: nice:. TI1e o perating
temperature at the c ompressor end is also lower. [n prac-
tkt: bearings only fail prematurely if the engine is hadly
o ut of balance o r vc::ry dirty.

106 Model.fel E11gi11es

- - -- - -- - -
Gas Turbine Engines for Model Aircraft lions witho ut answer)
by Kurt Schreckllng.

Published by Traplct Publjcations Limited

Traplct House,
Pendragon Close.
Worcestershire WR14 IGA

Tel: +14 (0) 1684 588500

Fax: +44 (0) t (lM 57fWi8

GT BA - Gas Turbinl" Builders Associatio n

In 1995 a gro u p of modeller.; in England formed an

associatio n ded icated to the construction of model jct
e ngines. Since its fou ndatio n the Gas Turbine Builde rs
Association (GTBA) has achieved a membership world-
wide of more than 1-00. Articles and contrihutions are
sent out to all members in a regular news letter, w hich
also includes interesting sources of supply. Once a year a
meeting is he ld in England w he re members can discuss
model gas turbines to their heart's content. The GTBA
also maintains it<; own internet site with numerous links.

Interne t:

High-speed hyhrid bearings:

GHW Gmbll & Co. KG,
Postfad1 6360,
0-97013 Wuerzburg,

Compressor wheels:
Struck Turbotechnik GmbH,
Emestinenstrasse 11 5,
D-45 14 1 Essen.

Cherry, Mike:
Mikc"s Je t llook
A hands on guide to jet modelling.
Wantage, Oxfordshire: Je ts Unlimited

Co hen, II. Rogers, G.f .C., Saravanamuttoo, H.l.H.:

Gas Turbine Thcoric, 4th Edition
(this boo k is very de tailed and leaves no technical que<;-.

Model j et Engines 107


108 .Hodel j et Eng ines


Mode/Jet Engines 109


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Since it first appeared some years ago, Model Jet Engines, by Thomas
Kamps, has introduced many modellers to what was thought to be a
difficult and complex subject.
However, in recent years the situation has changed thanks to the work of
many amateur engineers who, with constant improvement in technology,
have now made gas turbine engines a reality for use in model jet aircraft.
The author has devoted an enormous amount of time to the development
of model jet engines and in this updated book explains the history of that
development, the basic principles behind the technology and looks at
many of the engine's components in full detail.
Revised and updated, his book examines the cutting edge technologies
that have put model gas turbine engines into the realms of reality for the

lSBN 1- 900371 - 9 1- X

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