Radiations is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Physics and Astronomy Department of Carleton College. The deadline for materials to be included in Radiations is 9:00 AM Monday of the week you would like the information to appear. Contact tfields@carleton.edu if you want to be added or removed from this mailing list.

Volume 18, Issue 21 (April 2, 2012)

Tyler Mixa's Comps Talk

March 26, 2012

Design Principles and Operating Parameters of the Modern Turbofan Jet Engine

Tyler Mixa

This presentation explores the design and operation of the high bypass turbofan jet engine. The turbofan jet engine is a technological marvel, incorporating years of design innovations to provide aircraft with quiet, fuel efficient transportation. Turbofan engines are immensely powerful, with a single fan blade able to produce up to 100,000 horsepower, yet can still produce fuel burn levels on par with the modern automobile. In order to better understand how these incredible machines work, I offer a thorough analysis of their component parts and flight dynamics. Following a brief historical background, I explore the basic concepts of turbofan operation and the corresponding thermodynamic cycle. I then describe the design parameters of each part of the engine and conclude with practical considerations at different altitudes of flight.