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1.9. BRAYTON CYCLE OF OPERATION

Ambient air is drawn into the inlet section by the rotating compressor. The compressor forces this incoming air rearward and delivers it to the combustion chamber at a higher pressure than the air had at the inlet. The compressed air is then mixed with fuel that is sprayed into the combustion chamber by the fuel nozzles. The fuel and air mixture is then ignited by electrical igniter plugs similar to spark plugs. This ignition system is only in operation during the starting sequence, and once started, combustion is continuous and self-sustaining as long as the engine is supplied with the proper air-fuel ratio. Only about 25 percent of the air is used for combustion. The remaining air is used for internal cooling and pressurizing.

The turbine engines in the Army inventory are of the free-power turbine design, as shown in figure 1.2. In this engine, nearly two-thirds of the energy produced by combustion is extracted by the gas producer turbine to drive the compressor rotor. The power turbine extracts the remaining energy and converts it to shaft horsepower (shp), which is used to drive the output shaft of the engine. The gas then exits the engine through the exhaust section to the atmosphere. Army helicopters use a divergent duct to eliminate the remaining thrust. The various kinds of exhaust ducting are discussed in detail with the engine using that particular ducting.

Typical Free-Power Turboshaft Engine
Figure 1.2. Typical Free-Power Turboshaft Engine.

 

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015