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The two turbine engines commonly in use today are the turbojet and turboshaft. The turbine has surpassed the piston engine in design efficiency. The advantages of the gas turbine are a high power-to-weight ratio, less maintenance, and low oil consumption. Because of the small frontal area, turbines have less aerodynamic drag. The disadvantages are foreign object damage to the compressor vanes, high operating temperatures, and high fuel consumption. The turbine also has a slower acceleration rate. Because of the high operating rpm, all rotating parts must be in perfect balance. The cost to manufacture a turbine is much higher than that of a reciprocating engine. Aircraft designers have always been limited by the powerplants available for use on aircraft of new design. Their constant plea has been for higher power, less weight, and a more compact design; the turbine engine has been the answer to some, if not all, of their pleas.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015