An engine is arguably one of the most important parts of an aircraft. It is what keeps the plane in the air. Pilots rely on an engine’s trouble-free functioning to keep them and their passengers safely airborne. You do not want to have engine issues while you are that high above the ground. Without engines, flying would be just another concept to humans.
Since the first and second world wars, there have been many significant advancements in the types of aircraft engines available. This is not a small feat considering the first powered aircraft could not fly since it’s engine did not have enough power to do so. I guess one can safely say it was just a car that was designed to look like an aircraft.
Fast-forward to today’s aircraft with engines that can produce up to 2 million pounds of thrust. This is absolutely amazing. These impressive advancements have not only been witnessed in aircraft engines but also on terrestrial machines; or to simply put it, in cars and trains; some cars are so fast they can compete with certain aircraft in a race, but not all aircraft.
Below are several types of aircraft engines in existence:
1. Jendrassik Cs-1 Engine
A Hungarian engineer that goes by the name György Jendrassik is the one who designed the Jendrassik Cs-1 engine. As you can tell, the engine was named after him. This was the first working turboprop engine developed in the 1930s. If you know the twin-engine Varga RMI-1 Hungarian reconnaissance bomber, this engine was made with that in mind. György Jendrassik wanted to make an engine with 1000 horsepower but ended up creating a 400 horsepower engine due to unstable combustion.
2. Anzani Three-Cylinder Engine
This engine was also named after the engineer who made it. He was an Italian who later moved to France. His name is Alessandro Anzani. He started out by building engines for motorcycles. Anzani got the inspiration to start building aircraft engines when the Wright Brothers visited France. The Wright Brothers also made aircraft engines. He made a couple of engines that had three cylinders.
These types of aircraft engines produced between 10 and 50 horsepower. Anzani engines were air cooled. They featured cast iron cylinders that were in the beginning arranged like a fan, but he later changed the design to a radial ‘Y’ shape. This was to accommodate increased weight and noise.
3. General Electric GEnx Engine
This engine was meant to be environment-friendly. This is the aircraft engine most people would later come to be familiar with. I bet you have flown on one of these. It is the one used by most passenger planes. It is also the one that powers the marvel that is Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It has composite fan blades that help it to deliver fifteen percent better fuel consumption than previous turbofan engines. It also uses a new type of combustor that minimizes nitrous oxide. It reduces it by more than fifty percent below the regulatory limits.
4. Rocketdyne F-1 Engine
This engine was made to power the United States space program. It was developed in the 1950s. Even though it is now antique, it is still one of the most powerful liquid fuel engines ever built. It produces 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The F-1 was important to the successful space launch of NASA in the 1960s. This later inspired the famous Apollo 11 lunar mission in 1969.
5. Scramjet Engine
In 2004, the NASA X 43 proved that an airplane can reach speeds of up to 7000 miles per hour. You would need supersonic combustion ramjet or, in short, scramjet technology. It has been in development since the Second World War. It allows aircrafts travelling at speeds faster than three thousand miles an hour to get oxygen from the atmosphere instead of that from the oxidizers on board the aircraft. The advantage of this engine is that it is light, has better performance, and is safer. Researchers observe that in future, scramjet technology could help an aircraft fly at 15 times the speed of sound.
6. Franklin Six-Cylinder Engines
These engines have done really well when it comes to airplanes and helicopters. Many aircraft have featured the franklin six-cylinder engine. These engines were produced by Syracuse, a New York-based company that was a franchise of the Franklin Automobile Company. Although engines were very reliable, the company still ended up bankrupt. These engines were produced between the 1940s and 1970s.
You obviously know without an engine an aircraft will simply not move. This is because an engine is the propulsion system of any machine that moves and is arguably one of the biggest inventions to date. Nowadays, there are many different types of aircraft engines, considering the first engine was first invented in the late 1800s.