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Aircraft Nozzles

The nozzle serves to convert any energy remaining in the flow (after the
turbine) to kinetic energy by decreasing pressure and accelerating the flow.

Propelling nozzles
accelerate the available
gas to subsonic,
transonic, or supersonic

Turbofan engines may have an additional and separate propelling nozzle

which produces a high speed propelling jet from the energy in the air that has
passed through the fan.
Exhaust Nozzle

Unmixed exhaust nozzle Mixed exhaust nozzle

Exhaust Nozzle
Integrated nozzle of the Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engine.

The bypass streams mix before

expansion in a common nozzle.
The deep corrugations of the core flow
exhaust duct, greatly increase the
mixing area between the core and
bypass streams and substantially
lessen the required length of the mixing

Rolls-Royce RB211-524D4D mixer and

nozzle (Courtesy Rolls-Royce, plc)
Exhaust Nozzle
Figure 6.44: operation of the Rolls-Royce R8211-535E4 turbofan engine with
and without the thrust reverser activated.
The primary and secondary streams are well
mixed before expansion in a common nozzle.
The thrust reverser deflects only the bypass
The main thrust reversal is due not so much to
imparting a forward component of velocity to
the bypass stream as to the -ṁau term in the
thrust equation as the engine is speeded up to
swallow as much air as possible during
deceleration of the aircraft on the runway.
Fig. 6.44: Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 mixer,
nozzle, and thrust reverser

The process in the nozzle (like the diffuser), can be very close to adiabatic, since
heat transfer per unit mass of fluid is much smaller than the difference of
enthalpy between inlet and exit.
Exhaust Nozzle
Exhaust Cone
The exhaust cone acts as an aerodynamic cover for the turbine hub/shaft
and is part of the convergent duct geometry at the very aft of the exhaust
that converts the high pressure gas coming off the last turbine stage into
high velocity gas as it exits the engine (creating thrust).

In a mixed stream
exhaust it (along with
an exhaust gas mixer)
mixes the by-pass and
core exhaust.
Exhaust Nozzle
Exhaust Cone
Exhaust Nozzle
The nozzle design is very important because it determines engine
mass flow rate, the turbine entry temperature (and hence the work
done by the turbine) as well as the exit velocity and pressure (all four
of which determine thrust).

The exhaust nozzle on gas turbine aircraft engine should

• Be matched to the other engine components for all engine operating
• Provide the optimum expansion ratio
• Have minimum losses at both the design and off design conditions
• Have low drag
• Provide reverse thrust, if necessary
• Be able to incorporate noise-absorbing material
Exhaust Nozzle
Converging Nozzle
The most basic nozzle consists simply of a duct. The air exiting the turbine
is often traveling greater than Mach 1, but this creates high friction losses,
so the flow is immediately slowed by diffusion. The whirl of the turbine exit
flow is reduced by the turbine rear support struts, which turn the flow
This straight, high-pressure flow is fed to a converging section, which
changes the pressure back to velocity. This flow is often choked; i.e. the
exit velocity cannot be increased.
Converging-Diverging Nozzle
For some flight plans, it is possible to use a convergent-divergent duct,
which takes the flow past its choke point and increases the exit velocity
further. This is a more efficient use of the flow's energy than pressure
Exhaust Nozzle
Many types of nozzle designs
• Fixed-area converging nozzle
• Fixed-area converging-diverging nozzle
• Variable-area converging-diverging nozzle
• Plug nozzles
• Two-dimensional nozzles

An exhaust system for a subsonic commercial aircraft usually involves a use of

a fixed-area converging nozzle.
An exhaust system for a supersonic aircraft usually involves a use of an
exhaust system with variable geometry.
The exhaust system on supersonic aircraft is a compromise among weight,
complexity, and performance..
Exhaust Nozzle
From the standpoint of Fluid dynamics, the ramjet or turbojet exhaust
nozzle is relatively easy to design, since the pressure gradient can
be favorable along the wall.
If one considers mechanical design, the exhaust nozzle can be
rather complex, if the area of the nozzle needs to be adjustable,
especially if a converging-diverging configuration is desired.

The nozzle must withstand high heat and

pressure. It must be insulated from the
rest of the aircraft, either with a short
section of insulation, or by isolating the jet
pipe from the aircraft.
The nozzle is often cooled by flow around
the outside, using a variety of methods.
The nozzle as a whole must be able to
expand and contract with temperature,
without damage or distortion.
Adjustable Nozzles

Due to the wide range of operating conditions some engines must endure,
sometimes it is advantageous to have an adjustable nozzle.
Most often this is seen on engines with afterburners as they must face a
very wide range of conditions.

Adjustable nozzles are often constructed from a

series of pie-shape segments that can be moved
to from a conical fairing of variable outlet area..
Exhaust Nozzle
From the standpoint of fluid dynamics, at least, the ramjet or turbojet exhaust
nozzle is an engine component that is relatively easy to design, since the
pressure gradient can be favorable all along the wall.

If one considers mechanical design, however, the exhaust nozzle can be rather
complex if the area of the nozzle needs to be adjustable, especially if a
converging-diverging (i.e., supersonic) configuration is desired.
Adjustable nozzles are often constructed of a series of pie-shaped segments
that can be moved to form a conical fairing of variable outlet area.
Variable Area Exhaust Nozzle
Many turbine aircrafts, including afterburning engines, require an exhaust
system where the throat area of the nozzle may be varies.

Exhaust nozzle of the F404 afterburning turbojet with the variable nozzle area,
low for cruise operation (a) and wide open (b) for afterburner operation.

Nozzle area low for Nozzle area wide

cruise operation open for afterburner

The afterburner is a combustor located

downstream of the turbine and directly upstream
of the nozzle.

General Electric F404 variable exhaust nozzle

(Courtesy GE Aircraft Engines)
Variable Area Exhaust Nozzle
The condition leaving the turbine of an afterburning turbojet engine are shown below.

p04 = 419.1 kPa

T04 = 1116 K

Calculate the ratio of the nozzle throat area with and without the afterburner in
operation. Assume that the nozzle flow rate is the same in both cases. Assume that
the maximum temperature with the afterburner in operation is 1800 K, there is no
pressure drop between states (4) and (5), constant specific heats, and that the
ambient pressure is 101.325 kPa.
Mass Flow Rate

For a given fluid (, R) and inlet state (p0, T0), we can show that the mass flow per
unit area is maximum at M = 1.

We indicate the properties at M = 1 with an asterisk.

Maximum flow per unit area:

Variable Area Nozzle
For a choked nozzle

This value is well above the choking expansion ration.


m T05 Mass flow rate and total pressure are the same
 const with and without the afterburner in operation.
p05 A5.5

A5.5,W ith Afterburner T05,W ith Afterburner 1800 The throat area must be 27% larger
   1.27
A5.5, No Afterburner T05, No Afterburner 1116 when the afterburner is in operation
to handle the same mass rate of flow.

Some mechanisms, with controls, must be used to achieve this area variation.
Variable Area Nozzle
Variable Area Nozzle
Plus Nozzle
This is another type of nozzle that has been investigated when variable nozzle
area is required.
The throat area in a plug nozzle may be varied by axial translation of the plug,
the outer casing, or by an iris arrangement.

The major disadvantage of the plug nozzle is that it requires cooling and is
structurally weak.
Turbojet Engine
Nozzle Performance
Unlike the diffuser, the equations of one-dimensional
isentropic flow can describe the nozzle process quite
well. Friction may reduce the nozzle adiabatic efficiency,
defined by
 values in the range 0.95 <  < 0.98, provided the nozzle
is well designed.

If the expansion (of a divergent section) is too rapid, it is possible for boundary
layer separation to occur, which considerably lowers the efficiency.

The flow is approximately adiabatic, h06 = h07. Also h07 = h7 + u72/2.

The exhaust velocity, u7:

If  is constant:
Nozzle Performance
Mach number, M7, at exhaust: M7 

Assume flow up to the throat is with nozzle entrance conditions:

M6, A6, p06, T06.

Throat area At will be given by:

Nozzle Performance
For Ramjets:
the throat will be choked, Mt = 1

Mass flow through the choked throat:

Assume flow is expanded ideally (pressure in exhaust plane = ambient pressure).

Required exhaust area

Nozzle Performance

The ratio p06/p07 may be obtained from the pressure ratio and the adiabatic
nozzle efficiency, by writing

In a practical case it may easily happen that

the ratio A7/A6, calculated above, will exceed
unity by a considerable margin.
Considerations of external drag on the
nacelle or of structural limitations may then
suggest reducing A7/A6 to near 1, even
though this will mean incomplete expansion.