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Student Resource

Subject B2-14
Propulsion

Copyright 2008 Aviation Australia


All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, transferred, sold, or
otherwise disposed of, without the written permission of Aviation Australia.
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AA Form TO-19
Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion

CONTENTS
Definitions iii
Study Resources iv
Introduction v

Turbine Engine Fundamentals 14.1.1-1


Engine Fuel Systems 14.1.2-1
Engine Indication Systems 14.2-1
Engine Starting & Ignition Systems 15.13-1

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DEFINITIONS
Define
To describe the nature or basic qualities of.
To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word).
State
Specify in words or writing.
To set forth in words; declare.
Identify
To establish the identity of.
List
Itemise.
Describe
Represent in words enabling hearer or reader to form an idea of an object or process.
To tell the facts, details, or particulars of something verbally or in writing.
Explain
Make known in detail.
Offer reason for cause and effect.

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STUDY RESOURCES
Jeppesen Sanderson Training Products:
A&P Technician Powerplant Textbook.
Aircraft Gas Turbine Powerplants Textbook.
Aircraft Technical Dictionary Third Edition
Aircraft Instruments and Intergrated Systems.

FADEC for Part-66 2nd Edition (www.totaltrainingsupport.com)

B2-14 Student Handout

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INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this subject is to familiarise you with construction, components, operation and
maintenance of gas turbine engines and associated instrument and electronoic fuel control
systems used in aircraft.

On completion of the following topics you will be able to:

Topic 14.1.1 Turbine Engine Fundamentals


State Newtons laws of motion.
Define potential energy, kinetic energy and Brayton cycle.
Define the relationship between the following:
Force
Work
Power
Energy
Velocity
Acceleration.
Define the constructional arrangement and operation of the following engine types:
Turbojet
Turbofan
Identify the components of and define the operation of the following turboprop and
turbo-shaft engine systems:
Gas coupled / free turbine and
Gear coupled turbine (Reduction gearbox).

Topic 14.1.2 Engine Fuel Systems


Identify engine fuel system components and describe system lay-outs and operations.
Describe the operation of engine fuel metering systems.
Describe the operation of electronic engine control (FADEC).

Topic 14. 2 Engine Indication Systems


Identify components of the following engine indication systems and describe system
operation:
Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT);
Turbine Temperature (Interstage (ITT), Inlet (TIT/TGT));
Engine Thrust;
Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR);
Turbine Discharge/Jet Pipe Pressure;
Oil pressure and Temperature;
Fuel pressure and Flow;
Engine Speed;
Vibration Measurement;
Engine Torque;
Power;
Manifold Pressure and
Propeller Speed.

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Topic 15.13 Engine Starting and Ignition Systems


Describe components of engine start systems and their operation.
Describe components of engine ignition systems and their operation.
Interpret the safety precautions to be observed when performing maintenance on
engine ignition systems.

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TOPIC 14.1.1 TURBINE ENGINE FUNDAMENTALS


NEWTONS FIRST LAW OF MOTION
Newtons First Law may be stated as: A body will remain at rest or continue its uniform motion in
a straight line until acted upon by an external net force.
Newton's first law of motion is also often referred to as the law of inertia.
The larger the mass, the greater the inertia.

NEWTONS SECOND LAW OF MOTION


Newtons Second Law of motion states: The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the
force applied to it and is inversely proportional to the mass of the body.
When a force acts on an object, giving it motion, it gains momentum. Once an object has
momentum, it takes force to halt the motion.
Force = Mass x Acceleration, or F = M x A, where: F = Force in pounds, M = Mass in lbs./ft/sec.,
A = Acceleration in ft/sec.
So, the force developed by a gas turbine engine is proportional to:
the mass of air flowing through the engine;
the acceleration given to that mass of air.

NEWTONS THIRD LAW OF MOTION


Newtons Third Law of motion states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Equal means equal in size and opposite means opposite in direction.
Rockets and reaction-jet thrusters rely on Newtons Third Law of Motion for their effect
The action of exhaust gases leaving a turbojet engine produce a reaction called thrust. This is
Newtons third law of motion in respect of gas turbines.

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FORCE
Force is defined as the capacity to do work, or the tendency to produce work.
It is also a vector quantity that tends to produce acceleration of a body in the direction of its
application. It can be measured in units of pounds.
Turbojet and turbofan engines are rated in pounds of thrust.
The formula for force is: Force = Pressure x Area, or F = P x A
Where: F = Force in pounds
P = Pressure in pounds per square inch (psi) A = Area in square inches.

EXAMPLE: The pressure across the opening of a jet tailpipe (exhaust nozzle) is 6 psi above
ambient and the opening is 300 square inches. What is the force present in pounds?
F=PxA
F = 6 x 300
F = 1,800 pounds
The force mentioned here is present in addition to reactive thrust in most gas turbine engine
designs. This pressure thrust will be discussed later in other chapter.

WORK
Mechanical work is present when a force acting on a body causes it to move through a distance.
Work is described as useful motion. A force can act on an object vertically (opposite the effect of
gravity), horizontally (90 degrees to the effect of gravity), or somewhere in between. A force can
also act on an object in a downward direction, in which case it would be assisted by gravity. The
typical units for work are inch pounds and foot pounds.
The formula for work is: Work = Force x Distance, or W = F x D
Where: W = Work in foot pounds; F = Force in pounds; D = Distance in feet.
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For instance, lifting the same object the same vertical height requires the same work, no matter
the path.

POWER
The definition of work makes no mention of time. Whether it takes five seconds to move an
object or five hours, the same amount of work would be accomplished. Power, by comparison,
does take the time into account. To lift a ten pound object 15 feet off the floor in five seconds
requires significantly more power than to lift it in five hours. Work performed per unit of time is
power. Power is measured in units of foot pounds per second, foot pounds per minute, or mile
pounds per hour.
The formula for power is: Power = Force x Distance F x D
Where: P = Power in foot pounds per minute; D = Distance in feet; t = Time in minutes.

EXAMPLE: A 2,500 pound engine is to be hoisted a height of 9 feet in two minutes. How much
power is required?
P= (FxD)/t
P= (2,500 x 9)/2 = 11,250 ft. lbs/mm.

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HORSEPOWER
Horsepower is a more common and useful measure of electrical power. Years ago using the
multiplier of 1.5 times a strong horses ability to do useful work, it was determined that 33,000
pounds of weight lifted one foot in one minute would be the standard in the English system. If
power is in foot pounds/minute, it can be divided by 33,000 to convert to horsepower.
Mathematically, the units of foot pounds per minute will cancel each other out, leaving only the
number. Horsepower does not have units, since horsepower is the unit. If power is being dealt
with in units of foot pounds per second, 550 is the conversion number. If power is in mile pounds
per hour, 375 is the conversion number.
The formula for converting to horsepower is: Hp = Power (in ft. lbs/mm.)/33,000.
EXAMPLE: How much horsepower is required to hoist a 2,500 pound engine a height of 9 feet in
two minutes (the previous example which required 11,250 ft. lbs./min of power)?
Hp = Power/33,000 = 11,250/33000 = 0.34 or approximately 1/3 Hp

SPEED and VELOCITY


Velocity deals with how far an object moves, what direction it moves, and how long it took it to
move that far.
Velocity is expressed in the same units as speed, typically feet per second (fps) or miles per
hour (mph). The difference is that speed does not have a particular direction associated with it.
Velocity is identified as being a vector quantity, while speed is a scalar quantity.
The formula for velocity is:
Velocity = Distance time, or V = D t

ACCELERATION
In physics, acceleration is defined as a change in velocity with respect to time. Observe that
distance traveled is not considered, only loss or gain of velocity with time. The typical (Imperial)
units for acceleration are feet per second/second (fps/s) and miles per hour/second (mph/s).
Feet per second/second are sometimes referred to as feet per second squared (fps2).
The SI unit metre/second2 .
The formula for calculating acceleration is:

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The acceleration rate due to gravity, when an object is in free fall with no drag, is 32.2 feet per
second/second. When an object accelerates at this rate, it is experiencing what is known as a
force of 1 g.
If we divided the acceleration rate for the example fighter airplane by 32.2, we would discover
how many g forces it is experiencing (132 32.2 = 4.1 gs).
Negative acceleration is called deceleration.

ENERGY
Energy is used to perform useful work. In the gas turbine engine this means producing motion
and heat. The two forms of energy which best describe the propulsive power of the jet engine are
potential and kinetic energy.

Potential Energy
Energy stored by an object by virtue of its position. For example, an object raised above the
ground acquires potential energy equal to the work done against the force of gravity; the energy
is released as kinetic energy when it falls back to the ground. Similarly, a stretched spring has
stored potential energy that is released when the spring is returned to its unstretched state.
Other forms of potential energy include electrical potential energy.
Chemical energy is a useful but obsolescent term for the energy available from elements and
compounds when they react, as in a combustion reaction. In precise terminology, there is no
such thing as chemical energy, since all energy is stored in matter as either kinetic energy or
potential energy.

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Kinetic Energy
The energy possessed by a body because of its motion, equal to one half the mass of the body
times the square of its speed, equal to one half the mass of the body times the square of its
speed.
Form of energy that an object has by reason of its motion. The kind of motion may be translation
(motion along a path from one place to another), rotation about an axis, vibration, or any
combination of motions. The total kinetic energy of a body or system is equal to the sum of the
kinetic energies resulting from each type of motion.
The kinetic energy of an object depends on its mass and velocity. For instance, the amount of
kinetic energy KE of an object in translational motion is equal to one-half the product of its mass
m and the square of its velocity v, or KE = 1/2mv.

For example, a 500,000 kg mass A380 aircraft is flying over Sydney at 250 meters per second,
what is its kinetic energy?
Kinetic Energy = 500000250 = 15,625,000,000 joules.
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BERNOULLIS THEOREM
Bernoullis principle deals with pressure of gases. Pressure can be changed in the gas turbine
engine by adding or removing heat, changing the number of molecules present, or changing the
volume in which the gas is contained.
Bernoulli discovered that air acts as an incompressible fluid would act when flowing at subsonic
flow rates.
The principle is stated as follows: When a fluid or gas is supplied at a constant flow rate through
a duct, the sum of pressure (potential) energy and velocity (kinetic) energy is constant. In other
words, when static pressure increases, velocity (ram) pressure decreases. Or if static pressure
decreases, velocity (ram) pressure increases, meaning that velocity pressure will change in
relation to any change in static pressure.

If air is flowing through a straight section of ducting which then changes to a divergent shape, its
kinetic energy in the axial direction will decrease as the air spreads out radially, and, as the total
energy at constant flow rate of the air is unchanged, the potential energy must increase in
relation to the kinetic energy decrease.
There are many examples within a gas turbine engine of the application of Bernoullis Theorem:
the air passages between individual blades of a compressor or turbine;
the diffuser section of a centrifugal compressor;
the cross-sectional shape of engine inlet and exhaust ducts;
the entire gas flow path through the engine.

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BERNOULLIS HEOREM - PRESSURE VELOCITY TEMP GRAPH


The application of Bernoullis Theorem in a typical single-spool axial flow turbo-jet engine.
The animation shows the changes of pressure, velocity, temperature (turbojet) during ground
run-up.

BRAYTON CYCLE
The Brayton cycle is also widely known as a constant pressure cycle. The reason for this is that
in the gas turbine engine, pressure is fairly constant across the combustion section as volume
increases and gas velocities increase.
Combustion takes place at constant pressure in gas turbine engines.

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The four continuous events shown on the pressure- volume graph are: Intake, compression,
expansion (power), and exhaust.
Referring to the graph,
A to B indicates air entering the engine at below ambient pressure due to suction and increasing
volume due to the divergent shape of the duct in the direction of flow.
B to C shows air pressure returning to ambient and volume decreasing.
C to D shows compression occurring as volume is decreasing.
D to E indicates a slight drop in pressure, approximately 3%, through the combustion section and
an increasing volume. This pressure drop occurs as a result of combustion heat added and is
controlled by the carefully sized exhaust nozzle opening. Recall that there is a basic gas law
which states that gas will tend to flow from a point of high pressure to a point of low pressure.
The pressure drop in the combustor ensures the correct direction of gas flow through the engine
from compressor to combustor. The air rushing in also cools and protects the metal by centering
the flame.
E to F shows a pressure drop resulting from increasing velocity as the gas is accelerated through
the turbine section.
F to G shows the volume (expansion) increase which causes this acceleration. G completes the
cycle as gas pressure returns to ambient, or higher than ambient at the nozzle if it is choked.

ENGINE STATIONS
A system of standard station numbering makes it easier to find various locations on and within
the engine.
Numbers from 1 to 9 designate certain locations. For example, station 2 is always the
compressor inlet.

In addition to the station numbers, prefixes are used to show various parameters occurring at
these stations within the engine.

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For example,
Temperature has the prefix T.
o The temperature occurring at station 5 is called T5.
Pressure has a prefix P and can be further divided into:
o Pt total pressure;
o Ps static pressure.
The static pressure at station 3 is known as Ps3.

Engine Directional References


For purposes of identifying engine construction points, or component and accessory placement,
directional references are used along with station numbers. These references are described as
forward at the engine inlet and aft at the engine tailpipe, with a standard 12 hour clock orientation.
The terms right- and left-hand, clockwise and counterclockwise, apply as viewed from the rear of
the engine looking forward toward the inlet.

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GAS TURBINE ENGINE TYPES


Gas turbine engines are considered to be of two types:
a. Thrust Producing Engines;
b. Torque Producing Engines.
The two classifications of thrust producing turbine engines are: a. Turbojet; b. Turbofan.

The two classifications of torque producing turbine engines are: a. Turboprop; b. Turboshaft.

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TURBOJET ENGINE
The turbojet, as first patented by Sir Frank Whittle, had an impeller compressor, annular
combustor, and a single stage turbine. Today it is possible to see many varieties of turbojet
engine designs, but the basic components are still the compressor, combustor, and turbine.
The turbojet gets its propulsive power from reaction to the flow of hot gases. Air enters the inlet
and its pressure is increased by the compressor. Fuel is added in the combustor and the
expansion created by heat forces the turbine wheel to rotate. The turbine section is coupled to
the compressor section and directly drives it. The energy remaining downstream of the turbine in
the tailpipe accelerates into the atmosphere and creates the reaction we refer to as thrust.

They have relatively few moving parts and create thrust by accelerating a relatively small mass
of air with a large amount of acceleration.
They are less efficient due to losses from noise and incomplete combustion.

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Engine Pressure Ratio


When discussing a turbojet engine you must be familiar with the term engine pressure ratio, or
EPR. An engines EPR is the ratio of the turbine discharge pressure to the engine inlet air
pressure. EPR gauge readings are an indication of the amount of thrust being produced for a
given power lever setting. Total pressure pickups, or EPR probes, measure the air pressure at
two points in the engine; one EPR probe is located at the compressor inlet and a second EPR
probe is located just aft of the last stage turbine in the exhaust section. EPR readings are often
used as verification of power settings for take-off, climb, and cruise. EPR readings are affected
by and are dependent on pressure altitude and outside air temperature (OAT).

TURBOFAN
The turbofan, in effect, is a ducted, multi-bladed propeller driven by a gas turbine engine. This
fan produces a pressure ratio on the order of 2:1, or two atmospheres of compression. Generally,
turbofans contain 20 to 40 fixed pitch blades.

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By comparison, the fan diameter of a turbofan engine is much less than that of the propeller on a
turboprop engine, but it contains many more blades and moves the air with a greater velocity
from its convergent exhaust nozzle.
Turbofan has more turbine stages than a turbojet in order to drive the fan at the front or back.
There are:
Forward fan engines
Aft-fan engines: doesnt contribute to compression.

Fan Bypass Ratio


The propulsive efficiency of a Turbofan engine is measured by Fan Bypass Ratio.
Fan bypass ratio is the ratio of the mass airflow which flows through the fan duct, divided by the
mass airflow which flows through the core portion of the engine. Fan airflow passes over the
outer part of the fan blade and then out of the fan exhaust and back to the atmosphere. Core
engine airflow passes over the inner part of the fan blades and is then compressed, combusted,
and exhausted from the hot exhaust duct.
The fan or bypass air is not used for combustion but produces the majority of thrust.
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Turbofan engines can be


High bypass (4:1 or more)
Medium bypass (2 or 3:1)
Low bypass (1:1)

Most turbofan engines have separate low pressure and high pressure compressor and turbine
spools.
General overview of a typical high bypass-ratio turbofan engine (Adapted from Pratt & Whitney).

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TURBOPROP
Better propulsive efficiency at low speed compared to a turbojet, the extra turbine stages are
used to drive a shaft.
Connected to the shaft is a reduction gearbox and a propeller.
The propeller moves a large mass of air with a relatively small amount of acceleration.
Turboprop engines are very fuel efficient at lower airspeeds.
The propeller starts to become aerodynamically inefficient at higher airspeeds.

Two main types of Turboprop engines:


Fixed shaft (Also called Gear Coupled turbine);
Free turbine.
The fixed turbine is connected directly to the compressor, reduction gearbox, and propeller shaft,
in another words, the main power shaft of a fixed shaft engine goes directly to a reduction
gearbox which can drive a propeller, for example, Garrett TPE331 fixed shaft turboprop engine.

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Free turbine turboprop engine


Also called gas coupled.
For example, Pratt & Whitney PT6 free turbine turboprop engine (Reverse flow combustor).

The free turbine is connected only to the gearbox and propeller shaft. This is an independent
turbine that is not connected to the main turbine. This arrangement allows the free turbine to
seek its optimum design speed while compressor speed is set at its design point (point of best
compression).
Some of the advantages of the free turbine are:
1. The propeller can be held at very low rpm during taxiing, with low noise and low blade erosion.
2. The engine is easier to start, especially in cold weather.
3. The propeller and its gearbox do not directly transmit vibrations into the gas generator.
4. A rotor brake can be used to stop propeller movement during aircraft loading when engine
shutdown is not desired.
Disadvantage: The engine does not have the instantaneous power of reciprocating engines.

TURBOSHAFT
Turboshaft engines are gas turbine engines that operate something other than a propeller by
delivering power to a shaft. Turboshaft engines are similar to turboprop engines, and in some
instances, both use the same design. Like turboprops, turboshaft engines use almost all the
energy in the exhaust gases to drive an output shaft. The power may be taken directly from the
engine turbine, or the shaft may be driven by its own free turbine. Like free turbines in turboprop
engines, a free turbine in a turboshaft engine is not mechanically coupled to the engines main
rotor shaft, so it may operate at its own speed. Free turbine designs are used extensively in
current production model engines.

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The picture showing is a General Electric T-64 Turboshaft engine.

Turboshaft engines are frequently used to power helicopters and auxiliary power units aboard
large commercial aircraft.

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ENGINE COMPONENTS
There are seven basic sections within every gas turbine engine. They are the
air inlet.
compressor section.
combustion section.
turbine section.
exhaust section.
accessory section.
systems necessary for starting, lubrication, fuel supply, and auxiliary purposes, such as
anti- icing, cooling, and pressurization.
Additional terms you often hear include hot section and cold section. A turbine engines hot
section includes the combustion, turbine, and exhaust sections. The cold section, on the other
hand, includes the air inlet duct and the compressor section.

Air Inlet Duct


The air inlet to a turbine engine has several functions, one of which is to recover as much of the
total pressure of the free airstream as possible and deliver this pressure to the compressor. This
is known as ram recovery or pressure recovery. In addition to recovering and maintaining the
pressure of the free airstream, many inlets are shaped to raise the air pressure above
atmospheric pressure.
Another function of the air inlet is to provide a uniform supply of air to the compressor so the
compressor can operate efficiently. Furthermore, the inlet duct must cause as little drag as
possible. It takes only a small obstruction to the airflow inside a duct to cause a severe loss of
efficiency. If an inlet duct is to deliver its full volume of air with a minimum of turbulence, it must
be maintained as close to its original condition as possible. Therefore, any repairs to an inlet duct

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must retain the ducts smooth aerodynamic shape. To help prevent damage or corrosion to an
inlet duct, an inlet cover should be installed any time the engine is not operating.

FOREIGN OBJECT DAMAGE


To ensure the operating efficiency of an air inlet duct, periodic inspection for Foreign Object
Damage (FOD) and corrosion is required.
Prevention of foreign object damage (FOD) is a top priority among turbine engine operators and
manufacturers.

COMPRESSOR SECTION
The primary function of a compressor is to force air into the engine for supporting combustion
and providing the air necessary to produce thrust.
One way of measuring a compressors effectiveness is to compare the static pressure of the
compressor discharge with the static air pressure at the inlet. If the discharge air pressure is 30
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times greater than the inlet air pressure, that compressor has a compressor pressure ratio of
30:1.
The compressor section has also several secondary functions. For example, a compressor
supplies bleed air to cool the hot section and heated air for anti-icing. In addition, compressor
bleed air is used for cabin pressurization, air conditioning, fuel system deicing, and pneumatic
engine starting.

There are two basic types of compressors used today:


the centrifugal flow compressor, and
the axial flow compressor.
Each is named according to the direction the air flows through the compressor, and one or both
may be used in the same engine.

CENTRIFUGAL FLOW COMPRESSORS


The centrifugal compressor, sometimes called a radial outflow compressor, is one of the earliest
compressor designs and is still used today in some smaller engines and auxiliary power units
(APUs).
Centrifugal compressors consist of an impeller, a diffuser, and a manifold.

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AXIAL FLOW COMPRESSORS


An axial flow compressor has two main elements, a rotor and a stator. The rotor consists of rows
of blades fixed on a rotating spindle. The angle and airfoil contour of the blades forces air
rearward in the same manner as a propeller. The stator vanes, on the other hand, are arranged
in fixed rows between the rows of rotor blades and act as diffusers at each stage, decreasing air
velocity and raising pressure.
Each consecutive row of rotor blades and stator vanes constitutes a pressure stage. The number
of stages is determined by the amount of air and total pressure rise required.

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DIFFUSER
As air leaves an axial flow compressor and moves toward the combustion section, it is traveling
at speeds up to 500 feet per second. This is far too fast to support combustion, therefore the air
velocity must be slowed significantly before it enters the combustion section. The divergent
shape of a diffuser slows compressor discharge while, at the same time, increasing air pressure
to its highest value in the engine. The diffuser is usually a separate section bolted to the rear of
the compressor case and ahead of the combustion section.

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COMBUSTION SECTION
A combustion section is typically located directly between the compressor diffuser and turbine
section. All combustion sections contain the same basic elements: one or more combustion
chambers (combustors), a fuel injection system, an ignition source, and a fuel drainage system.

The combustion chamber or combustor in a turbine engine is where the fuel and air are mixed
and burned. A typical combustor consists of an outer casing with a perforated inner liner. The
perforations are various sizes and shapes, all having a specific effect on the flame propagation
within the liner.
The fuel injection system meters the appropriate amount of fuel through the fuel nozzles into the
combustors. Fuel nozzles are located in the combustion chamber case or in the compressor
outlet elbows. Fuel is delivered through the nozzles into the liners in a finely atomized spray to
ensure thorough mixing with the incoming air. The finer the spray, the more rapid and efficient
the combustion process should be.
A typical ignition source for gas turbine engines is the high-energy capacitor discharge system,
consisting of an exciter unit, two high-tension cables, and two spark igniters. This ignition system
produces 60 to 100 sparks per minute, resulting in a ball of fire at the igniter electrodes. Some of
these systems produce enough energy to shoot sparks several inches, so care must be taken to
avoid a lethal shock during maintenance tests.
A fuel drainage system accomplishes the important task of draining the unburned fuel after
engine shutdown. Draining accumulated fuel reduces the possibility of exceeding tailpipe or
turbine inlet temperature limits due to an engine fire after shutdown. In addition, draining the
unburned fuel helps to prevent gum deposits in the fuel manifold, nozzles, and combustion
chambers which are caused by fuel residue.
In order to allow the combustion section to mix the incoming fuel and air, ignite the mixture, and
cool the combustion gases, airflow through a combustor is divided into primary and secondary
paths. Approximately 25 to 35 percent of the incoming air is designated as primary while 65 to 75
percent becomes secondary. Primary, or combustion air, is directed inside the liner in the front
end of a combustor.
The secondary airflow in the combustion section flows at a velocity of several hundred feet per
second around the combustors periphery. This flow of air forms a cooling air blanket on both
sides of the liner and centers the combustion flames so they do not contact the liner. Some
secondary air is slowed and metered into the combustor through the perforations in the liner
where it ensures combustion of any remaining unburned fuel. Finally, secondary air mixes with
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the burned gases and cool air to provide an even distribution of energy to the turbine nozzle at a
temperature that the turbine section can withstand.

TURBINE SECTION
After the fuel/air mixture is burned in the combustor, its energy must be extracted. A turbine
transforms a portion of the kinetic energy in the hot exhaust gases into mechanical energy to
drive the compressor and accessories.
The picture showing is a PW4000 94-Inch Fan Engine.

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In a turbojet engine, the turbine absorbs approximately 60 to 80% of the total pressure energy
from the exhaust gases. The turbine section of a turbojet engine is located downstream of the
combustion section and consists of four basic elements; a case, a stator, a shroud, and a rotor.

EXHAUST SECTION
The design of a turbojet engine exhaust section exerts tremendous influence on the performance
of an engine. For example, the shape and size of an exhaust section and its components affect
the temperature of the air entering the turbine, or turbine inlet temperature, the mass airflow
through the engine, and the velocity and pressure of the exhaust jet. Therefore, an exhaust
section determines to some extent the amount of thrust developed.
A typical exhaust section extends from the rear of the turbine section to the point where the
exhaust gases leave the engine. An exhaust section is comprised of several components
including the exhaust cone, exhaust duct or tailpipe, and exhaust nozzle.
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ACCESSORY SECTION
The accessory section, or accessory drive, of a gas turbine engine is used to power both engine
and aircraft accessories such as electric generators, hydraulic pumps, fuel pumps, and oil
pumps. Secondary functions include acting as an oil reservoir, or sump, and housing the
accessory drive gears and reduction gears.
The accessory drive location is selected to keep the engine profile to a minimum for streamlining.
Typical places where an accessory drive is located include the engines midsection, or the front
or rear of the engine.

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ENGINE MOUNTS
Engine mount design and construction for gas turbine engines is relatively simple. Since gas
turbine engines produce little torque, they do not need heavily constructed mounts. The mounts
do, however, support the engine weight and allow for transfer of stresses created by the engine
to the aircraft structure.
On a typical wing mounted turbofan engine, the engine is attached to the aircraft by two to four
mounting brackets. However, because of induced propeller loads, a turboprop develops higher
torque loads, so engine mounts are proportionally heavier. By the same token, turboshaft
engines used in helicopters are equipped with stronger and more numerous mount locations.

- End of this Topic -

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TOPIC 14.1.2: ENGINE FUEL SYSTEMS


Fuel Control and Metering Systems
Gas turbine engines convert the latent energy of fuel into heat to provide the energy for the
operation of the engine and thrust for the aircraft.
The function of the fuel system is to provide the engine with fuel, in a form suitable for
combustion and to control its flow to the required rates necessary for easy starting,
acceleration and stable running, in all engine operating conditions.
Fuel System Layout
For a gas turbine engine to deliver the power required, it needs a system that supplies fuel in
sufficient quantities to allow for varying conditions, altitudes and power settings.
Layout of aircraft and engine fuel systems vary with the type and size of aircraft, however,
most systems include the following components:
Fuel tank.
Boost pump.
Fuel flow transmitter.
Low pressure shut off valve.
Low pressure transmitter.
Fuel heater.
Fuel filter.
High pressure fuel pump.
Fuel control unit.
High pressure shut off valve.
Pressurising and dump valve.
Fuel burners.
Fuel pressure differential switch.
The block diagram in Figure 1.2-1 shows the fuel system layout of a typical gas turbine
engine. At the lowest point of the fuel tank (1), an electrically driven boost pump (2)
incorporating a mesh filter delivers low pressure fuel through fuel flow transmitter (3) to the
low pressure shut off cock (4) located on the engine fire wall.
From there fuel flows through the low pressure transmitter (5) to the fuel heater (6) and onto
the filter (7). Fuel is then delivered to the high pressure pump (8) through the FCU (9) to the
and high pressure shut off cock (10). It then flows to the pressurising and dump valve (1.2)
and onto fuel manifolds and burners (12).
A fuel pressure differential switch (13) takes a pressure reading from near the fuel flow
transmitter (3) and from between the fuel filter (7) and high pressure pump (8) to give an
indication that the fuel filter is becoming blocked by ice or foreign material in the fuel thus
enabling the pilot to select fuel heating to remove ice from the filter.

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Figure 1.2-1

Fuel System Components


Fuel Flow Transmitter
Fuel flowmeters are used in fuel systems to show the amount of fuel consumed per hour by
the engine, thus allowing the pilot to accurately calculate the available flight time remaining.
As fuel flows through the meter, it spins a small turbine wheel and a digital circuit reads the
number of revolutions in a specified period and converts this to a fuel flow rate.
Low Pressure Shut Off Valve
Low pressure shut off valves on modern aircraft, normally mounted behind the engine
firewall, are used to isolate the engine fuel system from the airframe in case of fire or system
maintenance. The two common types of shut off valves are:
Motor driven gate valve.
Solenoid operated valve.
Motor Driven Gate Valve
This valve shown in Figure 1.2-2 uses a reversible electric motor linked to a sliding valve
assembly. The motor moves the valve gate in and out of the passage through which the fuel
flows, thus shutting off or turning on the fuel flow.

Figure 1.2-2

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Solenoid Operated Valve
A solenoid valve has an advantage over a motor driven valve, being much quicker to open or
close. The valve in Figure 1.2-3 is a solenoid operated, poppet type valve. When electrical
current momentarily flows through the opening solenoid coil, a magnetic pull is exerted on the
valve stem that opens the valve. When the stem rises high enough, the spring loaded locking
plunger is forced into the notch in the valve stem. This holds the valve open until current is
momentarily directed to the closing solenoid coil. The magnetic pull of this coil pulls the
locking plunger out of the notch in the valve stem, the spring closes the valve and shuts off
the flow of fuel.

Figure 1.2-3

High Pressure Shut Off Valve


The high pressure (HP) shut off cock is a valve mounted in the fuel control unit (FCU) and is
used to give a definite shut off of the fuel line from the FCU to the fuel burner nozzles.
The HP cock may be connected directly to the engine power lever and operates from
maximum throttle (HP cock open) to idle throttle (HP cock open) then through a gate to cut off
(HP cock closed).
However, on turbo propeller aircraft it is normally connected in conjunction with the propeller
feather control lever to give a movement through gates of engine run (HP cock open) to
engine stop (HP cock closed) then propeller feather (HP cock closed).

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Pressurising and dump valve


A fuel pressurising and dump valve is normally required on engines using duplex type fuel
nozzles, to divide the fuel flow into primary and main manifolds, and to drain fuel from these
manifolds on shut down.
Pressurising Valve
The fuel pressurising valve controls the fuel flows required for starting and altitude idling, all
fuel passes through the primary manifold. As fuel flow increases, the valve begins to open
the main manifold until at maximum flow the main manifold is passing approximately 90% of
the fuel.
Dump Valve
The dump valve gives the capability to dump or drain fuel from the fuel manifolds after shut
down. Manifold dumping is a procedure which sharply cuts off combustion and also prevents
fuel boiling, or after burning, as a result of residual engine heat. This boiling tends to leave
solid deposits which could clog finely calibrated passageways.
Operation
The construction and operation of pressurisation and dump valves varies with different
manufacturers, however, the following is a description of the operation of a typical
pressurisation and dump valve, shown in Figure. 1.2-4.
When the power lever is opened, a pressure signal from the fuel control unit moves the dump
valve against the spring pressure closing the dump port and opening the passageway to the
manifolds. At a speed slightly above idle, the fuel pressure will be sufficient to overcome the
pressurising valve spring force, and fuel will also flow to the main manifold.
On shut down when the fuel lever is moved to OFF, the pressure signal holding the dump
port closed and the fuel passage open, is lost. Spring pressure closes the fuel passage and
opens the manifolds to the fuel dump, or return line.

Figure 1.2-4

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Drain Valves
The drain valves are used for draining fuel from various components of the engine where
accumulated fuel is most likely to present operating problems. This valve is normally
operated by pressure differential.
Fuel accumulates in the bottom of the lower combustion chamber following shut down or a
false start. When the air pressure in the combustion chamber reduces to near atmospheric,
the valve opens and allows the accumulated fuel to drain away. It is imperative that this
valve is in good working order, otherwise a hot start during the next start attempt, or an after
fire on shut down is likely to occur.
Low Pressure Transmitter
For aircraft fitted with more than one fuel tank, it is desirable to have a means of warning the
pilot that fuel in the supplying tank is exhausted (or the boost pump is not operating) and that
the fuel selector must be set to draw fuel from another tank. The low fuel pressure switch is
held open by normal fuel pressures, but the switch closes when the pressure falls. This turns
on the warning light in the cockpit.
Fuel Heater
Turbine powered aircraft that operate at high altitudes and low temperatures for extended
periods of time have the problem of water condensing out of the fuel and freezing on the fuel
filters. To prevent this, these aircraft have a fuel temperature gauge and or a filter differential
pressure warning light that illuminates when ice obstructs the filter.
The purpose of the fuel heater is to protect the fuel system from ice formation and to thaw ice
that forms on the fuel filter screen. This is achieved by using hot air that has been heated by
the compressor section of the engine. A fuel heater is depicted in Figure 1.2-5.

Figure 1.2-5

Fuel / Oil Cooler


The fuel/oil cooler is designed to cool the hot engine lubricating oil by using the fuel flowing to
the engine passing through a heat exchanger. A thermostatic valve controls the oil flow
which may bypass the heat exchanger if no cooling is required.

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Fuel Filter
Because the high pressure fuel pump, fuel control unit, pressurisation valve, dump valve and
the burners are manufactured to very fine tolerances and fitted with many small orifices, a
filter is installed to protect the fuel control components from contaminates. The filter must be
capable of removing particles measuring as small as 10 microns.
High Pressure Fuel Pump
Engine mounted fuel pumps are required to deliver a continuous supply of fuel at the proper
pressure at all times during operation of the aircraft engine. The fuel pumps must be capable
of delivering maximum needed flow at high pressure to obtain satisfactory nozzle atomisation
and accurate fuel regulation. The two common types of engine driven fuel pumps normally
used are:
Spur gear.
Piston type.
Spur Gear
Gear type pumps have approximately straight line flow characteristics, whereas fuel
requirements fluctuate with flight or ambient air conditions. Hence a pump of adequate
capacity at all engine operating conditions will have excess capacity over most of the range
of operation. This is a characteristic which requires the use of a pressure relief valve for
disposing of excess fuel. A typical constant displacement gear pump is illustrated in Figure
1.2-6. The fuel enters the pump at the impeller which gives an initial pressure increase and
discharges fuel to the two high pressure gear elements. Each of these elements discharges
fuel through a check valve to a common discharge port. Shear sections are incorporated in
the drive system of each element. Thus, if one element fails, the other continues to operate.
The check valves prevent circulation through the inoperative unit. One element is capable of
supplying sufficient fuel for moderate aircraft speeds.
A relief valve is incorporated in the discharge port of the pump to allow fuel in excess of that
required by the engine to be recirculated to in inlet side of the high pressure elements.

Figure 1.2-6

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Piston
The variable displacement pump (Figure 1.2-7) system differs from the constant
displacement pump system. Pump displacement is changed to meet the varying fuel flow
requirements, that is, the amount of fuel discharged from the pump can be made to vary at
any one speed. This is due to the inclination of the camplate, movement of the rotor imparts
a reciprocating motion to the plungers, thus producing a pumping action. The stroke of the
plungers is determined by the angle of inclination on the camplate. The degree of inclination
is varied by the movement of a servo piston that is mechanically linked to the camplate and is
biased by springs to give the full stroke position of the plungers. The piston is subject to
servo pressure on the spring side and on the other side to pump delivery pressure, thus,
variations in the pressure difference across the servo piston cause it to move with
corresponding variations of the camplate angle and therefore pump stroke.
With a variable flow pump, the fuel control unit can automatically and accurately regulate the
pump pressure and delivery to the engine.

Figure 1.2-7

Fuel pressure differential switch


The differential pressure switch is used in the fuel system to detect the presence of icing on
the fuel filter and illuminates a cockpit warning light when the pressure differential reaches a
set amount.
A fuel pressure differential switch takes a pressure reading from near the fuel flow transmitter
and from between the fuel filter and high pressure pump to give an indication that the fuel
filter is becoming blocked by ice or foreign material in the fuel thus enabling the pilot to select
fuel heating to remove ice from the filter.

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Fuel Control Units


The control of power (or thrust) in a gas turbine engine is affected by regulating the quantity
of fuel injected into the combustion chamber. If too much fuel is supplied to the combustion
chamber, the turbine section may be damaged by excess heat, the compressor may stall or
surge because of back pressure from the combustion chambers or a rich blowout may occur.
A rich blowout occurs when the mixture is to rich too burn. If too little fuel enters the
combustion chambers a lean die out occurs. A lean die out occurs when the mixture is to
lean to burn.
The usual method of varying the fuel flow to the combustion chamber is via a fuel control unit.
Fuel control units operate using either, hydropneumatic, hydromechanical,
electro-hydromechanical or electronic control principles.
Hydromechanical.
For many years the majority of fuel control units have been hydromechanical in operation.
This means their operation is controlled both by hydraulic (fuel) and mechanical means to
control the fuel flow to the engine.
Hydropneumatic.
These fuel control units use engine air pressures and mechanical forces to operate its fuel
scheduling mechanisms.
Electro-hydromechanical.
Later model gas turbine engines are controlled by electronic fuel control systems. These are
known as electro-hydromechanical fuel control units. These systems use computers that
sense inputs to set the hydromechanical section of the fuel control unit that limits the fuel flow
to the engine.
Electronic.
Many modern engines, now use a computer or electronic device that controls the fuel
management system. With these controls it is possible to press the start button, then move
the throttle to maximum power, the engine control then regulates the engine to achieve
maximum power without exceeding RPM, acceleration, temperature and pressure limits of
that engine.

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Hydropneumatic Fuel Control


A simple RPM control system, shown in Figure 1.2-8, provides:
RPM control.
Acceleration and deceleration control.
Minimum and maximum flow control.
It has inputs of:
RPM command.
Actual RPM.
Inlet temperature.
Compressor outlet pressure.
In regard to Figure 1.2-8, the fuel pump supplies more fuel than is required and the bypass
valve returns excess back to the pump inlet. The bypass valve incorporates a pressure
regulator to ensure the pressure differential across the metering valve is unaffected by
movement of the metering valve. Therefore, fuel flow is controlled only by metering valve
position.
RPM is the primary control parameter, and compressor discharge pressure and inlet air
temperature are secondary parameters. Together they control the metering valve via a servo
bellows assembly.
On speed RPM is maintained by the governor in conjunction with the governor bellows
pressure Py. The flyweights of the governor respond to an RPM change by increasing or
decreasing the opening of the governor valve, which in turn alters Py and thus the extension
of the governor bellows. The bellows assembly opens the metering valve slightly when there
is a fall in RPM and closes it slightly when there is a rise in RPM.

POWER
LEVER
IDLE MAX

SPEEDER SPRING

DECELERATION BELLOWS GOVERNOR BELLOWS


INLET AIR TEMPERATURE MAXIMUM FLOW STOP
SENSOR
G OVERNO R VALVE
Py
OPEN

BI METALLIC METERING VALVE


FLYWEIGHTS
DISCS
CLOSED

FUEL TO ATOMISERS
AIRFLOW

RPM GOVERNOR

Px
COMPRESSOR OUTLET PRESSURE Pc
MINIMUM FLOW
ACCELERATION BELLOWS STOP
BYPASS AND
PRESSURE
FUEL IN REGULATING
VALVE
PUMP

Figure 1.2-8

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Figure 1.2-9

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For acceleration, an input force from the power lever increases compression on the speeder
spring. This moves the flyweights of the governor inwards and closes the governor valve.
With the governor valve closed , acceleration control pressure (Px) and governor pressure
(Py) both increase with compressor pressure (Pc), causing the bellows assembly to gradually
open the metering valve. System design ensures that increasing fuel flow matches
increasing airflow through the engine and that acceleration takes place without risk of stall or
surge. When the desired RPM is reached, the governor again maintains on speed RPM.
During deceleration, the reverse sequence occurs. The rate of deceleration is controlled by
the deceleration bellows, which ensures smooth deceleration without the risk of flameout.
The bi-metal discs are a typical means of sensing inlet duct temperature. They control a
metering device which affects pressures Px and Py. This reduces the acceleration rate under
hot conditions, preventing excessive turbine temperature and the risk of compressor stall or
surge.
Hydro-mechanical Fuel Control System
Hydro-mechanical FCUs unit use flow or pressure control to regulate the flow of fuel.
Flow Control
Flow control units regulate the fuel system by bypassing excess unwanted fuel back to the
inlet side of the fuel pump.
Prior to the start being activated the FCU is in the following conditions:
Fuel shutoff valve closed.
Power lever at idle.
Governor speeder spring is in an expanded condition.
Governor flyweights in an underspeed condition.
Burner and inlet pressure bellows are sensing barometric pressure and the
multiplying linkage is in the decrease position.
Differential pressure regulating valve will be closed.
Metering valve is held off the minimum flow stop by the balanced spring pressures of
the governor and main metering valve.

Refer Figure 1.2-9:

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Figure 1.2-10

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Starting
After the start button is pressed the engine begins to rotate, the flyweights in the governor
begin to open, overcoming initial speeder spring tension moving the roller cage upwards thus
reducing the metering valve opening.
The fuel pump pressurises the fuel system until the relief valve pressure in the pump is
reached.
When the engine has accelerated by the starter to a set RPM, or after a certain period, the
fuel shut off valve is opened causing:
Fuel to flow to the burners causing a differential pressure across the metering valve,
therefore the differential pressure regulator senses the difference and begins to
regulate the fuel pressure.
Once combustion commences, the engine begins to accelerate, the burner pressure
increases causing the burner pressure bellows to move the multiplying linkage to
begin opening the main metering valve through the roller cage.
As the engine accelerates towards idle RPM, the speed governor and pressure
bellows begin to regulate metering valve opening commencing governed operation at
idle speed.

Refer Figure 1.2-10:

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Figure 1.2-1.2

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Governed or Steady Operation
During governed or steady operation, consider that the power lever is set at a certain position
and not changed. After the engine speed is set, the engine is subject to certain operating
variables such as aircraft speed and altitude to which it must react.
If an aircraft is increasing speed or descending it will increases inlet ram air pressure and
mass airflow. Alternatively an aircraft that is in a climb and or slowing will decrease inlet air
pressure and mass airflow.
The inlet and burner pressure bellows sense these changes and moves the multiplying lever
in an appropriate direction to maintain the fuel mixture ratio. At the same time, the engine
speed governor reacts to any speed variations, moving the pilot servo rod valve to return the
engine to a steady governed state.

Refer Figure 1.2-1.2:

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Figure 1.2-12

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Acceleration
Movement of the power lever in an increase direction, causes the spring cap to slide down
the pilot servo valve rod and compress the flyweight speeder spring.
In doing so, the spring base pushes down and forces the flyweights in at the top to an
underspeed condition, moving the pilot valve rod in a downwards direction.
The pilot servo valve functions to slow the movement of the pilot servo control rod preventing
sudden fuel ratio changes by using its fluid displaced top to bottom as a restrictor.
When the pilot valve rod moves down, the roller will move down the incline plane and to the
left. As it moves left, the roller will force the metering valve to the left against its spring,
allowing increased fuel flow to the engine.
As fuel flow increases the differential pressure valve will sense a decreased differential and
close to maintain the differential. With increased fuel flow, the engine will speed up and drive
the fuel control shaft faster, as the engine speed increases the burner pressure increases
which expands the burner pressure bellows that moves the multiplying linkage to the left
further increasing the fuel flow.
The new flyweight force will come to equilibrium with the speeder spring force as the
flyweights return toward an upright position.
They are now in position to act at the next speed change.

Refer Figure 1.2-12:

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Figure 1.2-13

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Deceleration
Movement of the power lever in a decrease direction, causes the spring cap to slide up the
pilot servo valve rod and release pressure on the flyweight speeder spring. In doing so, the
spring base moves up and the flyweights move to an overspeed condition, moving the pilot
valve rod in a upwards direction.
The pilot servo valve functions to slow the movement of the pilot servo control rod preventing
sudden fuel ratio changes by using its fluid displaced top to bottom as a restrictor.
When the pilot valve rod moves up, the metering valve spring will force the metering valve
and the roller to the right as it moves up the incline plane, allowing less fuel flow to the
engine.
With decreased fuel flow, the differential pressure valve senses the increased differential
across the metering valve and opens to maintain the differential and the engine will slow
down and drive the fuel control shaft slower, this slowing of the engine decreases the burner
pressure which through the bellows moves the multiplying linkage to the right further
decreasing the fuel flow.
As the new flyweight force comes into equilibrium with the speeder spring force, the
flyweights return toward an upright position.
They are now in position to act at the next speed change.

Refer Figure 1.2-13:

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Figure 1.2-14

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Shut Down
Prior to shut down the engine must be allowed to stabilise at idle for a period to ensure a
gradual cooling of the turbine and scavenging of propeller control oil in turbo propeller
engines. On a simplified fuel control unit, shut down takes the following procedure (Figure
1.2-14):
With the engine at idle governed speed, the fuel shut off valve is closed.
When the shut off valve is closed, there will be no fuel flow to give a differential fuel
pressure, thus closing the differential pressure regulating valve causing the fuel pump
pressure relief valve to control maximum fuel pressure.
Once combustion ceases, the engine speed will begin to decrease sending the governor into
an underspeed condition, at the same time the burner pressure will decrease moving the
multiplying linkage to close the metering valve.

Refer Figure 1.2-14:

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Figure 1.2-15

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Hydropneumatic Fuel Control


Hydro-pneumatic fuel control units rely heavily on compressor discharge pressures to
maintain the correct air fuel ratio. A common system is shown at Figure 1.2-15.
Fuel is supplied to the fuel control unit at pump pressure (P1) which is applied to the entrance
to the metering valve. The metering valve, in conjunction with the metering head regulator
valve system, serves to establish fuel flow.
The fuel pressure immediately downstream of the metering head becomes (P2). The bypass
valve maintains a constant fuel pressure differential (P1-P2) across the metering valve
assuring that fuel flow is a function of the metering head orifice only.
Operation of Control
Unmetered fuel pressure (P1) is supplied to the FCU by the fuel pump
The differential metering head regulator maintains a constant pressure drop across
the metering head (P2). Ensuring constant flow.
Fuel bypassed back to pump inlet becomes (Po)
The air section is operated by compressor discharge air (Pc).
When modified this air becomes (Px &Py) which act to position the metering valve.
Tt2 Sensor
The Tt2 sensor acts to vary Px bleed in line with varying air density at idle positions thus
preventing idle stall problems through over or under fuelling. This circuit loses its authority
above the idle position.
When the Power Lever is Advanced
The flyweights droop in, the speeder spring force being greater than the flyweight
force.
The governor valve closes off the Py bleed.
The enrichment valve moves towards closed, reducing Pc airflow
(not as much air pressure is required when Py bleeds are closed).
Px & Py pressures equalise on the surface of the governor.
Px air contracts the acceleration bellows and the governor bellows rod is forced
downward. The diaphragm allows this movement.
The torque tube rotates counter clockwise and the main metering valve moves to
open.
The flyweights move outwards as engine speed increases and the governor valve
opens to bleed Py air.
The enrichment valve re-opens and Px air increases over the Py value
Reduced Py value allows the governor bellows and rod to move up to a new stabilised
position.
The metering valve resumes a new position through the action of the torque rod
assembly.

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When the Power Lever is Retarded


The flyweights move outwards - speeder spring force being less than flyweight force
due to high engine RPM
The governor valve opens dumping Py air. The backup valve is also depressed,
dumping additional Py air
The enrichment valve opens, allowing increased Px airflow
Px air expands the governor and deceleration bellows to its stop
The governor rod also moves up and the main metering valve moves towards close.
Px air decreases with engine speed decrease but the acceleration bellows holds the
governor rod up.
As engine speed slows, the flyweights move back in, closing the Py bleed at the
governor valve and the backup valve
The enrichment valve moves towards closed and Py air increases in relation to the Px
value
The deceleration bellows moves downward. The metering valve moves slightly open
to produce a stabilised fuel flow

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Electro-hydromechanical Control System Operation


Electro-hydromechanical fuel control systems are sometimes referred to as electronic fuel
controls because the majority of the system is made up of electronic circuits. Because of the
need to precisely control many functions in the operation of modern high bypass turbo fan
engines, electronic engine control systems have been developed. These systems prolong
engine life, save fuel, improve reliability, reduce crew workload and reduce maintenance
costs. Two types of electronic engine control (EEC) systems in use are:
Supervisory Electronic Engine Control.
Full Authority Electronic Engine Control.
Supervisory Electronic Engine Control System
Essentially the supervisory electronic engine control system is a electronic device which
receives information from various engine parameters and then limits the fuel flow to the
hydromechanical fuel control and engine.
As can be seen in Figure 1.2-16 the control amplifier receives a signal from turbine gas
temperature (TGT) and two compressor speed signals (N1 and N2).
This control, works as a hydromechanical unit until near full power, when the electronic circuit
starts to function as a fuel limiting device to control maximum TGT and, N1 and N2
compressor speeds.
The pressure regulator in this installation, regulates the fuel pressure at the fuel pump rather
than the fuel control unit. Near full power, when predetermined TGT and compressor speed
values are reached, the pressure regulator reduces fuel flow to the spray nozzles by returning
increasing amounts of fuel to the fuel pump inlet.
The fuel flow regulator in this control acts as a hydromechanical control, receiving signals
from high speed compressor (N3), gas path pressure (P1, P2 and P4) and power lever
position to regulate fuel flow to the engine.

Figure 1.2-16
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Full Authority Electronic Engine Control System
Full authority electronic fuel control units use an electronic device that senses various inputs
from the engine and pilot to determine how much fuel should be delivered to the fuel nozzles.
The full authority electronic engine control system performs all functions necessary to
operate a turbo fan engine efficiently and safely during all operating conditions from start up
to shut down.
Benefits of using electronic engine control are reduced crew workload, increased reliability,
improved reliability, and reduced fuel consumption.
Flight crew workload is decreased because the pilot utilises the EPR gauge to set engine
thrust correctly. The EEC will automatically accelerate or decelerate the engine to the EPR
level without the pilot having to monitor the engine gauges. Reduced fuel consumption is
attained because the EEC controls the engine operating parameters so that maximum thrust
is obtained for the amount of fuel consumed.
Engine trimming is eliminated by the use of full authority EEC, as the engine fuel control
system has fault sensing, self testing and correcting features designed into the EEC greatly
increase the reliability and maintainability of the system. The only adjustments that are
carried out by the maintainer is specific gravity and idle RPM.
The EEC is provided with feedback via valves and actuators fitted with dual sensors.
The electronic computer may have many inputs and outputs including:
N1 Fan speed.
N2 Intermediate pressure compressor speed.
N3 High pressure compressor speed.
Tt2 Inlet total temperature.
Tt8 High pressure turbine inlet temperature.
Pt2 Inlet total pressure.
28V DC Inlet power.
PMG Permanent magnet AC power.
PLA Power lever angle.
IGV A Inlet guide vane angle.
Ps6 High pressure compressor discharge static pressure.
Wf Fuel flow.
ACC Active clearance control (compressor and turbine blade. Cooling air
supplied by fan air).
EPR Engine pressure ratio.

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To provide a high degree of reliability, FADEC systems are designed with several redundant
and dedicated subsystems. An EEC consists of two redundant channels (A and B channels)
that send and receive data. Each channel consists of its own processor, power supply,
memory, sensors, and actuators. In addition, any one channel can take information from the
other channel. This way, the EEC can still operate even if several faults exist. As a second
backup should both channels fail, the actuators are spring loaded to a fail safe position so the
fuel flow will go to minimum. If both channels are serviceable, the Active channel will
alternate with each engine start. The other channel is in Standby mode. Power management
controls the engine thrust levels by means of throttle lever inputs. It uses fan speed (N1) as
the thrust setting parameter.

As shown in Figure 1.2-17, the full authority electronic engine control receives data from
various areas, then analyses the data and sends commands to position the Inlet Guide
Vanes and schedule fuel flow through the hydro-mechanical section of the fuel control unit.

Figure 1.2-17

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Fuel System Maintenance
Proper and regular inspection of aircraft fuel systems is critical to the safe operation of the
aircraft. The failure of a component may result in an engine failure due to insufficient or
excess fuel being the delivered to the engine or could result in a fire in or around the engine.
While the following text provides general information concerning engine fuel systems, the
manufacturers specific guidelines must be followed when performing maintenance of gas
turbine engine fuel systems.
Routine maintenance of gas turbine engine fuel systems include the following generic
inspections and operations:
All fuel lines for leaks, chafed or frayed walls and contact with other components.
Cleaning and inspecting fuel filters.
FCU controls for serviceability and rigging.
Low and high pressure shut off valves for operation and sealing.
Drain valves for operation and sealing.
Pressurising and dump valves for operation and sealing.
Fuel heaters for leaks and operation.
Oil coolers for leaks and operation.
Pressure sensing lines for restrictions.
On engines fitted with EEC, perform self test and analysis of the computer system
Bleeding of any trapped air in systems that are not self bleeding after disturbing any
fuel system component.
Regular engine performance checks.
Any maintenance that may be deemed necessary following inspection of the engine
fuel or related systems.
Fuel System Faults (Table 1)
Fuel systems, Fuel Pumps and Fuel Control Units can cause a wide variety of engine
malfunctions some of which may be difficult to analyse. A thorough understanding of the
system and its components is essential if the technician hopes to resolve the problems of a
particular system effectively.
The following chart lists some common problems encountered with fuel systems and
suggests generic remedies.
Technicians should analyse the type of system on which they are working and become
familiar with the operation of the fuel control and other components used in that system.

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INDICATION POSSIBLE CAUSE REMEDY


Engine motors over but Improper rigging of shut off Check and re-rig airframe and
does not start. valve. engine linkages.
Clogged or iced fuel filters. Clean.
Malfunctioning fuel pump. Check and or replace.
Malfunctioning fuel control. Replace control.
Pressurising and dump valve Replace valve.
stuck open.
Engine starts, but will Insufficient fuel supply to control Check fuel system to ensure
not accelerate to correct unit. all valves are open and
speed. pumps are operative.
Fuel control main metering Flush system. Replace
valve sticking. control.
Fuel control bypass valve Flush system. Replace
sticking open. control.
Drain valve stuck open. Replace drain valve.
Starting fuel enrichment Replace pressure switch.
pressure switch setting too
high.
Control has entrapped air Bleed control as per
preventing proper operation. maintenance manual.
EGT too low during Acceleration cam in fuel control Re-trim as required.
start. incorrectly adjusted.
EGT too high during Fuel control bypass valve Flush system. Replace
start. sticking closed. control.
Fuel control acceleration cam Replace control.
incorrectly adjusted.
Defective fuel nozzle. Replace nozzle with a known
serviceable item.
Fuel control thermostat failure. Replace control.
Pressurisation and dump valve Replace pressurisation and
with either valve partially open. dump valve.
Engine has high EGT at Engine out of trim. Re-trim as required.
target engine pressure
ratio for take off.
Engine rumbles during Pressurising and drain valve Replace pressurising and
start and at low power malfunction. drain valve.
cruise conditions.
Fuel control malfunction. Replace fuel control.

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INDICATION POSSIBLE CAUSE REMEDY


Engine RPM hangs-up Low ambient temperatures. If hang-up is due to low
during start. ambient temperature, engine
usually can be started by
turning on fuel booster pump
or by positioning start lever to
run earlier in the starting
cycle.
Engine unable to obtain Incorrect control rigging. Check or re-rig engine and
take off power. airframe.
Partially clogged fuel filters. Clean filters.
Incorrect fuel pump pressure. adjust pressure or replace
pump.
Incorrect control output Re-rig or replace control.
pressure.
High fuel temperature. Valve stuck open in fuel heater. Replace fuel heater.
High fuel consumption. Fuel system leak. Repair as required.
Dump valve stuck partially Replace pressurisation and
open. dump valve.
Lack of throttle response Fuel control unit internal failure. Replace control unit.
from maximum
continuous.

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Factors Controlling FCU Performance


The FCU must sense the various operating and environmental parameters to enable it to
supply the engine fuel in the correct quantities. Parameters that directly effect the FCU are:
Power lever angle.
RPM.
Air temperature.
Air pressure.
Burner pressure.
Fuel density.
Power Lever Angle
The power lever angle is the pilots main control over the engine. The power lever angle
schedules the fuel required to the engine without taking into account the other operating
parameters.
RPM
To be able to produce the varying powers required, the engine must be able to operate at
different speeds. RPM is sensed so that the FCU can provide the appropriate fuel flow for
the RPM at which the engine is operating.
Air Pressure
As explained in Fundamentals, air pressure has a direct relationship with the air density or
mass ie. if we were to take a sealed balloon of air from sea level, to about 16 500, feet the
balloon would have expanded to twice its size, we would then have halved its pressure.
For a turbine engine, an increase in altitude / a decrease in air pressure, will reduce the
weight of the total air mass that will flow through the engine at a given RPM.
Air Temperature
As explained in Trade Fundamentals, air temperature has a direct relationship with air
density, ie. an increase in temperature will give an increase in volume. Therefore for a
turbine engine, an increase in air temperature will reduce the weight of the total air mass that
will flow through the engine at a given RPM, requiring the FCU to reduce the fuel flow to
maintain the combustion process. As can be seen in Figure 1.2-18, temperature has an effect
on the engine performance.

Figure 1.2-18

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Burner Pressure
Static pressure in the combustion chamber is a useful measure of mass airflow. If the mass
airflow is known, the air/fuel ratio can be more carefully controlled. As aircraft use bleed air
from the engine compressor to provide various services, it is imperative that the burner
pressure is known to provide an accurate fuel regulation when these services are being used.
Combustion chamber pressure and inlet pressure acting through bellows and lever
assemblies can give accurate control of the fuel being introduced into the engine to control
the air/fuel mixture.
Fuel Density
As the different types of fuels that may be used in gas turbine engines have different
densities or specific gravities, the fuel control unit needs a method of being able to adjust for
the various flows that occur if different fuels are used.
Variation of the fuel differential pressure valve spring tension can be used to change the fuel
flow to accommodate for different fuels specific gravity.
Specific gravity adjustment, shown at Figure 1.2-19, is a means of resetting the tension on
the differential pressure regulator valve spring within the fuel control when an alternate fuel is
used.

Figure 1.2-19

Fuel control unit components


To adjust to varying conditions and thrust requirements, an FCU has different components
fitted that react to ensure combustion is kept within allowable limits. These components are:
Speed governors.
Differential pressure regulator.
Acceleration governors.
Pressure sensors.

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Speed governors
The FCUs speed governor(s) sense engine speed and act to maintain the desired RPM.
When different loads are applied, flyweights and a speeder spring operate levers or bleed
controls to adjust the metering valve opening allowing the engine to maintain the set RPM.
Differential Pressure Regulator
The pressure regulating valve diaphragm is exposed on one side to pump outlet pressure
and on the other side to the combined effect of throttle valve discharge pressure and a spring
force preset to maintain the desired pressure drop across the throttle valve. With a constant
pressure drop across the throttle valve, flow through the throttle valve will be proportional to
its orifice area. On flow control systems, any excess fuel above that required to maintain the
set pressure differential is bypassed back to the inlet side of the fuel pump. On pressure
control systems, the pressure differential regulator controls the piston pump swash plate
angle, therefore controlling pressure and flow.
Acceleration limiters
Precise control of fuel flow is necessary for good acceleration response without risk of turbine
over temperature and compressor stall or surge.
The fuel control unit must also prevent over rich mixtures during acceleration, and over lean
mixtures during deceleration, as both can cause flame out. The former is rarely a problem
because the maximum turbine temperature occurs before the rich limit is reached.
Large engines with their high inertia rotating parts are more difficult to accelerate and control
than smaller engines. They usually have complex acceleration control systems which react
to RPM, inlet temperature, inlet pressure and compressor discharge pressure. These
parameters control the position of the acceleration cam, which in turn controls the fuel flow to
allow the maximum acceleration rate (the rate varies with temperature, RPM, and
compressor pressure ratio).
Simpler acceleration control systems can be used on smaller engines, because these
engines have low inertia rotating parts, which naturally gives them a good acceleration
response.
Pressure Sensors
The pressure sensors of an FCU are subject to inlet and compressor outlet air pressures and
act to effect the metering valve opening therefore controlling fuel flow.

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TOPIC 14.2: ENGINE INDICATION SYSTEMS


Although engine installations may differ, depending on the type of both aircraft and engine,
gas turbine engine operation is usually controlled by observing some or all of the instruments.
Engine indications are divided into three groups. These are:

Performance instruments.
Condition instruments.
Warning systems.

Performance Instruments

Performance instruments allow the operator, at a glance, to monitor the output or


performance of the engine. This is done by checking the thrust on turbo jet engines or the
horsepower for turboprops.
The two main performance instruments are:
Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR).
Torque.
Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR)
Engine pressure ratio is a measure of the thrust being developed by the engine. When EPR
is measured the ratio is usually that of turbine discharge pressure to compressor inlet
pressure, however, on a fan engine the ratio may be that of turbine discharge pressure and
fan outlet pressure to compressor inlet pressure.
Suitably positioned pitot tubes sense the pressures appropriate to the type of indication being
taken from the engine. These pitot tubes are either directly connected to the indicator or to a
pressure transmitter which sends an electrical signal to the indicator as shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2-1.

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EPR reflects the difference between the compressor inlet pressure and turbine discharge
pressure ie. the amount of work the engine is doing on the air. For example, an EPR
indication of 2.4 means that the turbine discharge pressure is 2.4 times greater than
compressor inlet pressure.
An example of how, when planning a flight, pilots use ambient temperature and a
predetermined Takeoff Thrust Setting Curve to calculate the EPR required for takeoff is
illustrated in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2-2.

With the ambient air temperature of the airfield 20 C and using the graph above the pilot will
calculate the E.P.R. required for takeoff to be 2.6.
This figure is what the engine should develop when operating at, or near, full throttle.

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Torque

Engine torque is used to indicate the power developed by a turbo-propeller engine, and the
indicator is known as a torquemeter as depicted in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2-3.

The engine torque, or turning moment, is transmitted through the reduction gearbox to the
propeller. The torquemeter system is the primary performance instrument for turbo-propeller
engines.
An explanation of two different types of torquemeter systems is covered in the following
paragraphs. These are:
Hydraulic torque indicator system.
Torque shaft indication system.
Hydraulic Torque Indicator System
The Hydraulic Torque Indication system indicates torque by measuring hydraulic pressure
created by a torquemeter system. The torquemeter system forms part of a reduction gear
assembly between the engine drive shaft and the propeller shaft. The construction of the
system depends on the type of engine, but all are based on the same principle of operation.
The drive shaft from the engine supplies a torque to the reduction gear assembly. This drives
the planet gears around in the same direction but at a fraction of the engine speed. As the
planet gears rotate, the propeller rotates as well.
The propeller converts this rotation force into thrust. To do this the rotation of the propeller is
resisted due to aerodynamic forces. This resistance causes the planet gears to transfer a
portion of the torque to the stationary ring gear. Figure 2.4 shows how this occurs.

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Figure 2-4.

As shown in Figure 2.5 the ring gear movement is resisted by pistons working in hydraulic
cylinders secured to the gearbox casing. Oil is supplied to the cylinders from a special pump
and is allowed to drain via a calibrated bleed line.
The oil is subjected to a pressure which is proportional to the torque or load which is applied
to the propeller shaft. This oil pressure is sensed by a bourdon tube which is coupled to a
synchro transmitter.
A simple synchro indicator in the cockpit displays the torque information.

Figure 2-5.

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Torque Shaft Indication System
Another method of obtaining an indication of torque is by measuring the amount of twist in a
shaft called a torque shaft.
The torque shaft connects the engine to the propeller reduction gearbox. A hollow shaft,
called a reference shaft, is mounted so that it forms a sleeve around the torque shaft as
shown in the cutaway diagram in Figure 2.6.

Figure 2-6.

Figure 6.6 shows that the torque shaft is connected to both the engine and the gearbox. The
engine rotates and the propeller is dragged through the air. The propeller will lag slightly, this
causes the torque shaft to twist slightly.
The reference shaft is not subjected to any torque as it is only connected to the engine.
On the end of both shafts is a gear, called an exciter wheel. A magnetic pick-up assembly is
mounted directly above each exciter wheel as shown in Figure 2.7.

Figure 2-7.

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As the shafts rotate, the teeth of the exciter wheels pass by the magnetic pick-up assemblies.
Each tooth causes a pulse to be generated by its pick-up assembly.
When the engine is not delivering any power to the gearbox, the teeth on the torque and
reference shafts will be aligned as shown in Figure 2.8.

Figure 2-8.

When the engine is delivering power to the gearbox, the torque shaft will be subjected to a
torque that will cause it to twist slightly. This results in the teeth on the torque shaft becoming
misaligned with the teeth on the reference shaft (remember the reference shaft is not
connected to anything and therefore will not twist) as shown in Figure 2.9.

Figure 2-9.

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This system has two other components, a phase detector, and a torque indicator. Figure
2.10 shows a complete system.

Figure 2-10.

The signals from both pick-up assemblies are fed to the phase detector.
The phase detector calculates the difference between the two signals and generates an
output that represents the torque that is being measured.
The output from the phase detector is used to drive a pointer in the torque indicator.
Condition Instruments
Condition instruments show the operator how hard the engine is working to produce the
power seen on the performance indicators.
Engine condition instruments include:
Gas temperature.
Fuel flow.
Compressor speed.
Oil temperature.
Oil pressure.
Inlet air temperature.
Engine vibration.
For free turbine engines, engine rpm is broken down into free turbine rpm (Nf) and gas
generator rpm (Ng). For turbojet engines, engine rpm is broken down into low pressure spool
rpm (N1), and high pressure spool rpm (N2).
The relationship between instrument indications is a very important guide to engine condition,
efficiency and performance. For instance, if torque oil pressure or engine pressure ratio is
lower than normal for a particular combination of turbine temperature, fuel flow, rpm, air
temperature, aircraft altitude and airspeed, then a loss of engine performance can be
suspected.
By analysing instrument indications, flight crews and maintenance personnel can forecast
trouble and take preventative action before a major malfunction develops. This is known as
"trend monitoring".

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Pressure Sensors
Figure 2.11 shows the common basic devices used for sensing pressure. They are used to
actuate fluidic valves, indicator pointers, switches and electrical signal transmitters in control
and instrument applications.
They may be designed, calibrated and connected to sense
Absolute pressure - the pressure above the zero of a complete vacuum.
Gauge pressure - the pressure above or below the 'ambient' (surrounding.
atmosphere or,
Differential pressure - the difference between two pressures.
A flexible 'diaphragm' separating two chambers, as in (a), is sensitive to the difference in
pressure each side of it. The diaphragm deflects into the chamber with the lower pressure. It
is usually corrugated to increase its movement. If the chamber on one side is vented to
atmosphere, diaphragm deflection depends on the gauge pressure in the other chamber. In
some applications the pressures in both chambers may differ from atmospheric pressure and
from each other.
The 'capsules' in (b) and (c) are made from pairs of diaphragms joined at their edges. A pair
of diaphragms formed into a capsule is more sensitive than a single diaphragm of the same
area, thickness and material.
Sensitivity can be further increased by stacking capsules as in (c). The amount a capsule
expands or contracts depends on the difference in pressure between the inside and outside
surfaces. In (b) and (c) the capsules could be 'plumbed' to differential pressure or gauge
pressure. Evacuating the capsules and then sealing them makes them sensitive to the
absolute pressure on their outside surfaces. They are then called 'aneroid' (without air)
capsules.
'Bellows' like the one in (d) are cylinders with corrugated sides that allow them to be readily
lengthened when inside pressure is higher than outside pressure, or to shorten when outside
pressure is higher than inside pressure. They may be plumbed to sense gauge or differential
pressures or they can be evacuated and sealed to make them sensitive to absolute pressure
on their external surface.
'Bourdon tubes' are curved and have an oval cross-section as shown in (e). Pressure applied
to the inside of the tube tends to change the cross-section from oval to round. This causes
the tube to straighten resulting in an outwards movement of its free end. There are also
'helical' and 'spiral tubes' as in (f) and (g) that give greater output movement.

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The pressure sensors illustrated and variants of them are used in many aircraft systems and
components including
Engine fuel metering systems.
Engine air systems.
Indicating instruments that measure altitude, airspeed, Mach No., vertical speed; oil
fuel and gas pressures; and temperature.

Figure 2-11.

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Pressure Indicator

A pressure capsule similar to (B) at Figure 2.11 is shown at Figure 2.12 installed in an
instrument case. Through port "B" pressure is supplied to the inside of the capsule. Through
port "A" the case of' the indicator is vented to atmosphere or "ambient" pressure. As
pressure increases above ambient, the capsule expands and through the lever and rocking
shaft, the sector gear is moved. The pinion gear now rotates the pointer against the tension
of a hair spring. The indicator will read in pounds to the square inch or the metric equivalent.
This reading will be "gauge pressure and will vary due to pressure changes inside or outside
the capsule.

Consider how this indicator could be adapted to read (a) airspeed, (b) altitude.

Figure 2-12.

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Oil Pressure Warning
General
The oil pressure warning system provides indication in the flight compartment when engine
oil pressure is below a predetermined setting, or scavenge filter differential pressure is above
a predetermined setting as shown at Figure 2.13.
Oil Pressure Light
The oil pressure warning light provides an indication when engine oil pressure drops below
specified limits, or scavenge filter differential is high. Four lights, one for each engine, are
located on the Pilot's Centre Instrument Panel.
Low Oil Pressure Warning Switch
The low oil pressure warning switch is mounted on an adapter assembly on the rear face of
the high speed external gearbox. The switch consists basically of a metal body that houses
an electrical switch and connector, and a pressure sensing bellows to which oil is supplied
through two holes in the mounting base. Feed oil is supplied to the inside of the bellows and
return oil is supplied to the chamber surrounding the bellows. Expansion of the bellows is
opposed by a snap action spring, which prevents the bellows from actuating the switch until a
predetermined oil pressure differential is reached.
A decrease in feed oil pressure or an increase in return oil pressure will contract the bellows
and, at the predetermined differential pressure, actuate the switch to complete the circuit to
the warning light. This differential pressure is set at 19-23 PSID for increasing pressures and
20-16 P510 for decreasing pressures.
Filter Pressure Differential Switch
The Filter Switch is mounted on the same assembly as the low oil pressure switch, its
purpose is to provide a warning light earth if the filter is blocked beyond acceptable limits. Its
two pipe lines are connected one to the filter inlet and one to the filter outlet. If the pressure
difference between these two points exceeds normal values the switch closes and completes
the circuit for the warning light.

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Figure 2-13.

Oil Pressure Indicating System


General
The oil pressure indicating system provides visual indication on the flight engineer's lower
instrument panel of oil supply pressure and main filter differential pressure. System
components for each engine consist of a supply pressure transmitter, a main oil filter
pressure differential transmitter, and a dual indicating oil pressure/differential indicator.
Oil Pressure Transmitter
The oil supply pressure transmitter basically consists of a cylindrical case, housing, two
identical stator windings surround an armature carried -on a central spindle, which locates to
a capsule stack. Two holes in a baseplate align with holes in the mounting face so that one
connects to main feed oil pressure, which is routed to a chamber surrounding the capsule
stack, and one to return oil pressure, which is routed to the inside of the capsule stack.
Variation in the differential oil pressure causes the capsule stack to expand or contract,
imparting linear movement to the spindle and armature. The resultant change in inductance
of the stator windings and therefore the ratio of current to the indicator circuit is shown as an
increased or decreased indicator reading.
Oil Filter Pressure Differential Transmitter
The oil pressure filter inlet transmitter is mounted on the oil pressure filter at the front face of
the high-speed external gearbox. It is similar to the oil pressure transmitter, but its capsule
stack senses oil pressure into the oil filter and out of the oil filter.

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Temperature Indicating Capillary


Temperature Sensors
This basic type of "temperature sensor" relies on the expansion and contraction of liquids and
gases.
A 'Capillary' (small bore tube) type consisting of a temperature sensing bulb, a moving
element such as a bourdon tube, and a connecting capillary tube all completely filled with
mercury or alcohol. Changes of temperature vary the volume of the liquid. This in turn
causes the bourdon tube to straighten with increasing temperature, or to curl more with
decreasing temperature.
This could also be a 'vapour pressure temperature sensor'. It is similar to the expanding
liquid type described above except that at normal day temperature the bulb is partly filled with
a volatile liquid, and the rest of the system is filled with vapour from that liquid. The amount
of vaporisation and hence the pressure and bourdon tube movement varies with the
temperature at the bulb.
This type of temperature sensor is suited to aircraft applications because the sensing bulb
can be remotely located from the indicator. It is used as an engine oil temperature indicator
on many light aircraft.

Figure 2-14.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
BI-Metal Temperature Sensor
Figure 2.15 illustrates the action of 'strip and 'disc' types of 'bimetallic temperature sensor'.
Two metals of high (brass) and low (invar) temperature coefficients are bonded together. At
some datum temperature the strip at (a) is straight. If the strip is heated the brass expands
more than the invar to cause it to curl as at (b). If the strip is cooled the brass contracts more
than the invar to cause it to curl the opposite way as at (c).
Disc shaped bimetallic sensors are common in applications requiring a snap action. When
heated, a slightly domed bimetallic disc will suddenly snap across to being domed on the
opposite side. See (d) and (c).
Bimetallic temperature sensors are used:
In temperature indicators.
As temperature compensators and correctors in various instruments and
mechanisms.
To operate switch contacts in circuit breakers, fire detectors, thermostats and timers.

Figure 2-15.

Resistance Bulb Temperature Sensors


The resistance wire, which is the essential feature of the resistance bulb, rests in the spiral
grooves of an insulating material and is covered with a metal shield, which conducts heat to
and from it very quickly. (See below) This metal shield must be able to withstand the
corroding influence of engine oils at high temperatures, the high flash temperatures in the
carburettor of a backfiring engine, and the deteriorating influence of the atmosphere. Even
though the resistance bulb is covered with a metal shell and substantial insulation, it
responds to changes in temperature very rapidly. This sensitivity is important because the
members of the flight crew are not interested in past temperatures; they want to know the
situation at the exact second that the instrument is read.
The action of a resistance bulb may be understood by studying the graph below. It will be
noted that the increase in resistance of a temperature bulb is almost linear with respect to
temperature changes.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
A typical application of the resistance bulb temperature sensor is the engine oil temp
indicating system. When the bulb is connected to a suitable circuit, such as a ratiometer or
wheatstone bridge, it will indicate a rise in meter reading in a linear fashion as it heats up.
The bulb is immersed in the engine oil and an electrical connector plug connects it to the
indicator, which is supplied with 28v d.c.
Because of the positive temperature co-efficient of resistance, an open circuit will cause a full
scale high reading and a shorted bulb will read full scale low.
Ratiometer Temperature Indicator
A schematic circuit illustrating how a resistance bulb is connected in a ratiometer circuit is
shown below at Figure 2.16. Note that the voltage furnished by a battery is divided between
the circuits of the two coils by the fixed resistor in one side and the resistance bulb in the
other. The series and shunt resistances shown are for the purpose of compensation and
adjustment. It is obvious from the circuit that the current through the two sides of the circuit
will be equal only when the resistance of the temperature bulb is equal to the resistance of
the fixed resistor. At this point the moving coils assume positions in fields of equal flux
density, as shown. Any change in the resistance of the resistance bulb will cause the ratio of
the currents to change and the coils to shift to another position.
Ratiometer thermometers may be used for a variety of temperature indications, among which
are those of inlet air in a jet engine, free air, and engine oil.
Because the pointer is moved by the ratio of current in the two coils the system does not have
errors due to variations in supply voltage.

Figure 2-16.

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Thermocouple Instrument Systems
Oe of the main characteristics and advantages of thermocouple-type temperature measuring
instruments is their complete independence of the electrical system of the aircraft.
Thermocouple-type instruments are used to measure cylinder head temperature (CHT),
turbine inlet temperature (TIT), and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) on reciprocating engine-
powered aircraft. On turbine engine-powered aircraft they are used to measure the exhaust
gas temperature (EGT), turbine inlet temperature (TIT), or intermediate turbine temperature
(ITT). Regardless of the parameter they measure, these instruments work on the same
principle.
As shown at Figure 2.17, when the junction of wires made of two dissimilar metals is heated,
current will flow from the junction through one of the wires, through the coil of the measuring
instrument, and back to the junction. The amount of this current is determined by two factors:
by the resistance of the circuit and by the temperature difference between the hot, or
measuring junction, and the cold, or reference junction.

Figure 2-17.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
Exhaust Gas Temperature
The complete EGT system for a turbine engine consists of: the probes that sense the
temperature of the exhaust gas, the harness that surrounds the engine tail pipe and serves
as connection for all of the probes, extension wires that carry the current from the probes into
the cockpit, resistors to adjust the resistance of the thermocouples to the value required for
the system, and the indicating instrument in the aircraft instrument panel. The probes are
mounted in the tail pipe and are connected in parallel so that their output is averaged as
shown at Figure 2.18.
Some EGT systems use as their indicator a special form of direct current measuring
DArsonval meter movement very similar to the one sued in reciprocating engine systems.
But some of the other systems feed the output of the thermocouples into an electronic circuit
where the DC voltage from the thermocouples is converted into pulsating DC which is fed into
a servo-type instrument. This type of indicator can give the pilot either an analog or a digital
readout and, in many instances, both types.

Figure 2-18.

EGT Thermocouple Probes and Harness


Probes
Each of the eight probes contains two chromel-alumel thermocouple junctions encased in a
swaged stainless steel housing insulated with magnesium oxide. The junctions are at
different immersion depths with a protective sleeve drilled to provide positive gas circulation.
The probes are installed using a two-bolt mounting flange attached to a mounting boss on the
engine. The probes are permanently connected into pairs using a steel tube that also
encases the electrical leads.
The eight thermocouple probes are connected in parallel and the indicator reads the average
of the E.M.F. generated in each.

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Tachometers (RPM)
Non-electrical tachometers
Almost all of the small general aviation aircraft use non-electrical magnetic-drag tachometers.
The mechanism in these instruments is the same as that used in an automobile speedometer
and is shown at Figure 2.19.
An aluminium cup fits close over the spinning magnet but it does not touch it. As the magnet
spins, its lines of flux cut across the aluminium cup and induces a voltage in it. This voltage
causes current (eddy current) to flow in the aluminium, and this eddy current produces its
own magnetic field that opposes the field that caused it. The two fields produce a torque that
rotates the drag cup against the restraint of a calibrated hairspring. The faster the magnet
spins, the greater the eddy current and the greater its magnetic field, and the more drag cup
will be rotated. The drag cup is supported, in a brass bushing by a steel shaft When the
engine is not running, the restraining hairspring holds the drag cup over so the pointer
indicates zero RPM on the dial

Figure 2-19.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
Electrical RPM Indication
A direct-drive a.c. generator is at Figure 2.20, the rotor being either two-pole or twelve-pole,
and driven via a square-ended shaft. The two pole generator is utilised in conjunction with a
three-phase synchronous motor type of indicator, while the twelve-pole generator, which
produces a single-phase output at a high frequency is utilised in conjunction with
counter/pointer indicators, and also for supplying signals to engine control units.
A typical indicator, shown in (B) consists of two interconnected elements: a driving element
and an eddy-current-drag speed-indicating element.
Let us consider first the driving element. This is, in fact, a synchronous motor having a star-
connected three-phase stator winding and a rotor revolving on two ball bearings. The rotor is
of composite construction, embodying in one part soft-iron laminations, and in the other part
a laminated two-pole permanent magnet.
An aluminium disc separates the two parts, and a series of longitudinal copper bars pass
through the rotor forming a squirrel-cage. The purpose of constructing the rotor in this
manner is to combine' the self-starting and high torque properties of a squirrel-cage motor
with the self-synchronous properties associated with a permanent-magnet type of motor.
The speed-indicating element consists of a cylindrical permanent-magnet rotor inserted into a
drum so that a small airgap is left between the periphery of the magnet and drum. A metal
cup, called a drag cup, is mounted on a shaft and is supported in jewelled bearings so as to
reduce frictional forces in such a way that it fits over the magnet rotor to reduce the airgap to
a minimum.
A calibrated hairspring is attached at one end of the drag-cup shaft, and at the other end to
the mechanism frame. At the front end of the drag-cup shaft a gear train is coupled to two
concentrically mounted pointers; a small one indicating hundreds and a large one indicating
thousands of rev./min.

Figure 2-20.a

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Sectional view (Figure 2.20b) of a typical synchronous motor type tachometer indicator:

Figure 2-20b
1. Cantilever Shaft 9. Intermediate Gear
2. Terminal Block Assembly 10. bearing plate
3. Rear ball Bearing 11. Hairspring Anchor Tag
4. Magnetic Cup Assembly 12. Inner Spindle Bearing
5. Drag Element Assembly 13. Front ball bearing
6. Small Point Spindle and Gear 14. Rotor and
7. Outer Spindle bearing 15. Stator
8. Bearing Locking Tag

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion

System Operation
As the generator rotor is driven round inside its stator, the poles sweep past each stator
winding in succession so that three waves or phases of alternating e.m.f. are generated, the
waves being 120C apart (see below). The magnitude of the e.m.f. induced by the magnet
depends on the strength of the magnet and the number of turns on the phase coils as shown
at Figure 2.21.
Furthermore, as each coil is passed by a pair of rotor poles, the induced e.m.f. completes one
cycle at a frequency determined by the rotational speed of the rotor. 'Therefore, rotor speed
and frequency are directly proportional, and since the rotor is driven by the engine at some
fixed ratio then the frequency of induced e.m.f. is a measure of the engine speed.
The generator e.m.f's are supplied to the corresponding phase coils of the indicator stator to
produce currents of a magnitude and direction dependent on the e.m.f.'s. The distribution of
stator currents produces a resultant magnetic field which rotates at a speed dependent on the
generator frequency.
As the field rotates it cuts through the copper bars of the squirrel-cage rotor, inducing a
current in them which, in turn sets up a magnetic field around each bar. The reaction of
these fields with the main rotating field produces a torque on the rotor causing it to rotate in
the same direction as the main field and at the same speed.
As the rotor rotates it drives the permanent magnet of the speed-indicating unit, and because
of relative motion between the magnet and the drag-cup eddy currents are induced in the
latter. These currents create a magnetic field which reacts with the permanent magnetic
field, and since there is always a tendency to oppose the creation of induced currents (Lenz's
law), the torque reaction of the fields causes the drag-cup to be continuously rotated in the
same direction as the magnet.
However, this rotation of the drag-cup is restricted by the calibrated hairspring in such a
manner that the cup will move to a position at which the eddy-current-drag torque is balanced
by the tension of the spring. The resulting movement of the drag-cup shaft and gear train
thus positions the pointers over the dial to indicate the engine speed prevailing at that instant.

Figure 2-21.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
Autosyn Instruments
An Autosyn system activates indicators in the cockpit without using excessively long
mechanical linkages or tubing. The indication is picked up by the transmitter near the engine,
or at some other remote point, and is sent by electrical means to the indicator in the cockpit.
An Autosyn synchro has the appearance of a small synchronous motor. For this reason, the
word "synchro" has become synonymous with this and other similar systems. In the Autosyn
system, one synchro is employed as a transmitter and another as an indicator.
A schematic diagram of an Autosyn system is shown below. The system is basically an
adaptation of the self-synchronous motor principle, whereby two widely, separated motors
operate in exact synchronism; that is, the rotor of one motor spins at the same speed as the
rotor of the other. When this principle is applied to the Autosyn system, however, the rotors
neither spin nor produce power. Instead the rotors of the two connected Autosyn units come
into coincidence when they are energised by an alternating electric current, and thereafter
the rotor of the first Autosyn moves only the distance necessary to match any movement of
the rotor of a second autosyn, no matter how slight that movement maybe.
It must be understood that the transmitter and indicator of Autosyn units are essentially alike,
both in electrical characteristics and in construction. Each has a rotor and a stator. When a-c
power is applied and a rotor is energised, the transformer action between the rotor and stator
causes three distinct voltages to be induced in the rotor relative to the stator. For each tiny
change in the position of the rotor, a new and completely different combination of three
voltages in induced.
When two Autosyns are connected as shown at Figure 2.22, and the rotors of both units
occupy exactly the same positions relative to their respective stators, both sets of induced
voltages are equal and opposite. For this reason, no current flows in the interconnected
leads, with the result that both rotors remain stationary. On the other hand, when the two
rotors do not coincide in position, the combination of voltages of one stator is not like that of
the other, and rotation takes place, continuing until the rotors are in identical positions. The
induced voltages are then equal and opposite, and so there is no current flow in any of the
three conductors; hence the rotors will be in stationary and identical positions.
An Autosyn system may be used for a wide variety of indications on an airplane. Among
these are manifold pressure, oil pressure, rpm (tachometer), remote compass indication, per
cent of power, and fuel pressure.

Figure 2

Figure 2-22.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
Flow Sensors and Indicators
The main application on aircraft is to sense the rate of fuel flow to the engines. Those
illustrated at Figure 2.23 (a) to (e) and variations of them are used for this purpose.
With the 'tapered tube' type at (a) the float is carried to a height in the vertical tube where its
weight equals the upward force on it caused by the flowing fluid. Because the float is a
restriction in the tube a differential pressure is created across it. For any given rate of flow
the differential pressure, and therefore the upwards force on the float, will vary with the cross-
sectional area of the restricted path around the float.
The restriction is greatest at the bottom where the tube is narrowest. As the float is forced up
the widening tube there is less restriction, so the upward force on the float reduces until it
equals the weight of the float. This equality occurs higher or lower in the tube depending on
whether the {low is increased or decreased.

Figure 2-23.

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
Vibration Analysis
In the early seventies, a Lockheed Tri-Star with Rolls-Royce RB211 engines crashed due to
disintegration of one of the engines, killing many people. The accident investigation showed
that the engine disintegrated after a lubrication problem with the number 1 bearing, which led
to separation of the fan from the engine. Engine parts then flew away and damaged the
fuselage.
The investigation also showed that the accident could have been avoided if the pilot had had
an engine vibration indication. This would have shown the vibration increasing due to the
lubrication problem building up. So the pilot could have shut down the engine before any
damage could happen.
Following this, the USA FAA declared engine vibration monitoring systems mandatory for the
Tristar and later for all aircraft with engines bigger than a certain diameter.
As explained before, the first function of an engine vibration monitoring system (EVM)is to
give the pilot a continuous indication of the vibration level of the engines to allow him to take
appropriate measures if the vibration reaches a dangerous level.
For this reason, every engine vibration-monitoring unit conditions some combination of rotor
out-of-balance vibration data for cockpit display. According to the aircraft and engine type,
these data are selected and conditioned differently. Typical displays may include:
Fan vibration and Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) vibration.
Fan vibration, LPT vibration and overall engine vibration level (older concept)
One vibration indication only, computed as the maximum level measured, either Fan
or LPT vibrations.
To give an unmistakable warning to the pilot in case of problems, the EVM usually monitors
the vibration levels for exceeding a certain alert threshold and activates a cockpit warning in
case of exceedance.
Apart from catastrophic events, the out-of-balance vibration level of an engine usually shows
a more or less steady increase over time due to mechanical wear (birdstrikes, friction, etc...).
Since the tendency of the vibration evolution over time is steady, it is quite easy to predict the
time when the vibration will reach a certain vibration level, e.g. the maintenance alert level.
This allows maintenance personnel to anticipate maintenance actions and to plan them in
advance.
For this reason, the vibration data from the EVM are usually sent to the Aircraft Condition
Monitoring System (ACMS), or similar equipment, from where they are used, along with other
engine parameters, as input to the Engine Condition Monitoring (ECM) system.

Figure 2-24.(Vibration evolution due to wear and catastrophic event.)

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion
The airborne EVM system utilize piezo-electric transducers (accelerometers) to sense engine
vibration. The charge signal generated by the accelerometers is then wired through special
low-noise cabling to the EVMU. This low-noise cabling is indispensable due to the extremely
small amplitude of the charge signal, leading to a high susceptibility to noise.
The signal processing is provided by the EVMU, which extracts the relevant information from
the total vibration signal provided by the accelerometers.
Piezoelectric accelerometers are mounted at right angles to the turbine shaft. The crystal will
oscillate with a predetermined electrical input. This oscillation is monitored.
When engine vibration occurs, this alters the oscillation frequency produced by the crystal, as
the increase in vibration will compress the crystal. As the vibration increases, so does the
compression of the crystal. This produces a change in the signal output from the crystal and it
is this change in frequency that is detected by the signal conditioner and sent to the indicator.
The piezo-electric accelerometers produce a charge output of very small amplitude which is
directly proportional to the acceleration of the vibration, applied to them. Their sensitivity is
expressed therefore in terms of pico-Coulombs. These sensitivities are limited by the piezo-
electric materials suitable for use in the hostile engine environment.
The main characteristics of the accelerometers are:
Very linear response between approx 5 Hz and at least 3 kHz.
Very high reliability due to no moving parts.
Resonance and therefore high amplification of the vibration at 10 to 20 kHz.

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Table2.1 shows typical areas monitored for vibration.

Component Frequency Area Description

Structural 1 to about 15 Hz Erratic vibration or constant caused by the aircraft


Vibration structure (wings, fuselage.)

Aerodynamic 5 to about 40 Hz Erratic vibration caused by transient aerodynamic


Vibration phenomena (turbulences, shock waves...) in the
engine inlet, between the engine and fuselage, etc.

Rotor Imbalance 10 to 250 Hz Vibration caused by the imbalance of the engine


rotors (high pressure, low pressure shaft). Shows
in the spectrum as steady vibration peaks.

Accessory 80 to 500 Hz Vibration caused by rotating accessories (pumps,


Vibration etc...) driven by N2. Shows in the spectrum as
steady vibration peaks.

Blade Passing 300 to10000 Hz Erratic vibration caused by the periodic mechanical
Vibration and more load variations on the rotor blades induced by their
passing in front of the stator blades.

1/F Noise 0 to about 20 Hz Noise typical of worn electrical contacts (e.g.


oxidized) leading to instable contact resistance.

Broad Band Noise Any frequency Noise typical of contact problems (e.g. loose
connections) leading to brutal interruptions of
contact.

Table 2.1

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Part 66 Subject B2-14 Propulsion

TOPIC 15.13: ENGINE STARTING AND IGNITION SYSTEMS


Starting Systems
Electric Starters
Electric starters are not in very common use on aircraft engines because of their excessive
weight, although when used as a combination starter-generator, they provide a weight saving
that makes them feasible for use on small engines. Electric starters are, however, in
common use on auxiliary and ground power units.
Operation
A typical starter motor, shown in Figure 15.13-1, is a 12 or 24 volt series-wound motor, which
develops high starting torque. The torque of the motor is transmitted through reduction gears
to the clutch. This action actuates a helically splined shaft, moving the starter jaw outward to
engage the engine cranking jaw before the starter jaw begins to rotate. After the engine
reaches a predetermined speed, the starter motor will automatically disengage.

Figure 15.13-1.

Other types of electric starters normally contain an automatic release clutch mechanism to
disengage the starter drive from the engine drive when the engine has reached self
sustaining speed, as depicted in Figure 15.13-2, a detailed breakdown of the clutch and its
operation is covered in the ensuing text and Figure 15.13-3.

Figure 15.13-2.

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The clutch mechanism also provides an over-torque protection to protect the engine
drive. At approximately 130 inlb of torque, small clutch plates inside the clutch slip
and act as a friction clutch. This setting is adjustable.

During starting, the friction clutch is designed to slip until engine and starter speed increase
to develop less than the slip torque setting. It is important that the slip torque tension be
correctly set to avoid damage to the engine drive ratchet, or slow and hot (hung) starts.
Another function of the clutch assembly is to provide an overrunning clutch. This consists of
a pawl and ratchet assembly that contains three pawls that are spring loaded into the
disengage position.
When the starter is energised, inertia causes the pawls to move inwards and engage the
ratchet gear on the starter drive shaft as illustrated in Figure 15.13-3.
The inertia used is present because the pawl cage assembly, which floats in the overrunning
clutch housing, tries to remain stationary when the starter armature tries to drive the clutch
housing around.
The overrunning clutch housing overcomes the disengage springs and forces the pawls
inward.
When the engine accelerates up to approximately self sustaining speed, it is turning faster
than the starter motor and the pawls slip out of the tapered slots of the engine drive gear, and
disengage under the influence of the disengage springs.
This overrunning feature prevents the engine from driving the starter to self destruct speed.
Typically, starter circuits do not contain fuses or circuit breakers. The reason is that initial
motor current (series wound DC motor) can be excessive.

Figure 15.13-3.

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Starter-Generators
Starter-generators, illustrated in Figure 15.13-4, are most commonly found on private to
medium sized jets. These starting systems use a starter motor to drive the engine during
starting. After the engine has reached a self-sustaining speed, it then operates as a
generator to supply the electrical system power. The starter generator simply has a shear
drive spline that is permanently engaged in the engine.
Starter-generator units are desirable from an economical standpoint, because one unit
performs the functions of both starter and generator. Also the total weight of starting system
components is reduced and fewer parts are required.

Figure 15.13-4.

Pneumatic Starters
Pneumatic starting is the method most commonly used on commercial and military jet engine
powered aircraft. It has many advantages over other systems in that it is light weight, simple
and economical to operate. A pneumatic starter may transmit its power through a reduction
gear and clutch to the starter output shaft which is connected to the engine. A typical air
starter is shown in Figure 15.13-5.

Figure 15.13-5.

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The starter turbine is rotated by high volume low pressure air taken from an external ground
supply, an auxiliary power unit (APU) or bleed air from a running engine. The air supply to
the starter is controlled by an electrically operated, control and pressure regulating valve as
shown in Figure 15.13-6. This valve is operated when an engine start is selected and is
automatically closed at a predetermined starter speed.

Figure 15.13-6.

The starter clutch also automatically disengages as the engine accelerates up to idle speed,
and the rotation of the starter ceases. A typical air starting system is shown in Figure 15.13-
7.
A U X IL I A R Y
C RO SS FEED FR O M
P O W E R U N IT (A
R U N N IN G E N G IN E
A IR F R A M E P Y L O N
GROUND
S TA R T S U P P LY

A IR C O N T R O L V A L V E
H IG H V O L U M E
LO W PR ES SU R E

E N G I N E A IR S TA R T E R E X H A U S T EXTERNAL G EARBOX
A IR

Figure 15.13-7.

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Operation
The pressure regulating/shutoff valve, shown in Figure 15.13-8, consists of two sub-
assemblies:
The pressure-regulating valve, which contains a butterfly-type valve.
The pressure-regulating valve control, which contains a solenoid that is used to stop
the action of the control crank in the off position.
The operation of the air starter (Figure 15.13-8) proceeds as follows:
Turn on the starter switch. This energises the regulating valve solenoid which retracts
and allows the control crank to rotate to the open position.
The control crank is rotated by the control rod spring moving the control rod against
the closed end of the bellows.
Since the regulating valve is closed and downstream pressure is negligible, the
bellows can be fully extended by the bellows spring.
As the crank rotates to the open position, it causes the pilot valve rod to open the pilot
valve allowing upstream air to flow into the servo piston chamber.
The drain side of the pilot valve, which bleeds the servo chamber to atmosphere, is
now closed by the pilot valve rod and the servo piston moves towards position B.
This linear motion of the servo piston it translated to rotary motion of the valve shaft.
This inturn opens the regulating valve.
As the regulating valve opens, downstream pressure increases and is bled back to
the bellows through the pressure-sensing line. This compresses the bellows.
The compression of the bellows moves the control rod.
This turns the control crank and moves the pilot rod gradually away from the servo
chamber to vent the air to atmosphere.

Figure 15.13-8.

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When downstream pressure reaches a preset value, the amount of air flowing into the servo
chamber equals the amount of air being bled to atmosphere and the system is in a state of
equilibrium.
When the regulating valve is open, the regulated air passing through the inlet housing of the
starter impinges on the turbine in the starter motor, shown in Figure 15.13-5.
As the turbine turns, the gear train is activated and the inboard clutch gear, which is threaded
onto a helical screw, moves forward as it rotates and its jaw teeth engage those of the
outboard clutch gear to drive the output shaft of the starter.
When engine starting speed is reached, a set of flyweights in a centrifugal cutout switch
actuates a plunger which breaks the ground circuit of the regulating valve solenoid. This
cutout switch is located in the external gearbox.
When the ground circuit is broken and the solenoid is de-energised, the pilot valve is forced
back to the "off" position opening the servo chamber to atmosphere (see Figure 15.13-9).
This action allows the actuator spring to move the regulating valve to the "closed" position.
To keep leakage to a minimum in the "off" position, the pilot valve incorporates an inner cap
which seals off the upstream pressure to the servo and the servo chamber bleed passage.

Figure 15.13-9.

Some gas turbine engines are not fitted with starter motors, but use an air impingement onto
the turbine blades as a means of rotating the engine as depicted in Figure 15.13-10. The air
for this system is supplied from an external source, or from an engine that is operating. The
air is directed through non-return valves and nozzles onto the turbine blades.

Figure 15.13-10.

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Hydraulic Starters
Hydraulic starters are used for starting some small jet engines. In most applications, one of
the engine mounted hydraulic pumps is utilised and is called a pump/starter, although other
applications may use a separate hydraulic motor. Methods of transmitting the torque
produced to the engine may vary, but a typical system would include a reduction gear and
clutch assembly.
Operation
Power to rotate the starter is provided by hydraulic pressure from a ground supply unit, or an
aircraft accumulator, and is transmitted to the engine through the reduction gear and clutch.
The starting system is controlled by an electric circuit that also, in some instances, operates
hydraulic valves so that on completion of the starting cycle the pump functions as a normal
hydraulic pump. A hydraulic starter is similar to a hydraulic motor with the fluid driving the
gear in the starter.
Starting Sequence
Two separate systems are required to ensure that a gas turbine engine will start
satisfactorily:
Rotation of the compressor.
Ignition of the fuel/air mix.
To help ensure that the engine comes on speed quickly and without damage, it is necessary
to control the sequence of events during a gas turbine engine starting cycle.
The exact sequence of the starting procedure is important, because there must be sufficient
airflow through the engine to support combustion at the time the fuel/air mixture is ignited.
The fuel rate will not be sufficient to accelerate until after self sustaining speed has been
attained and a failure to correctly sequence the starting events will prevent the engine from
reaching this speed.
The usual sequence of events during an engine start are:
Select start (ignition on).
High pressure fuel on.
Light up.
Self sustaining RPM.
Starter circuit cancelled.
Idle RPM stabilised.

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Illustrated in Figure 15.13-11 is a graphical representation of RPM and TGT during a


correctly sequenced start.

Figure 15.13-11.

For ease of maintenance it must be possible to motor over the engine without the ignition
sequence initiating, and operate the ignition system without rotating the starter motor for in
flight relighting of the engine in the event of a flame out.

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IGNITION SYSTEMS

System Types

There two common classifications of jet engine ignition systems. These are:
Low tension (DC voltage).
High tension (AC voltage).
Both low and high tension systems are in general use on todays aircraft. Low tension
systems are designed to use direct current (DC) and high tension systems are designed to
use alternating current (AC) as input power. DC operated systems receive their power from
the battery bus, and AC systems are powered from the aircraft AC bus. Although the
operating voltages of the systems are different, both systems contain similar components as
illustrated by Figure 15.13-12.

Figure 15.13-12.

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All ignition systems can be grouped into one of two types of systems. These are:
Intermittent duty cycle.
Continuous duty cycle.
The term duty cycle refers to the time limit placed on the operation of the ignition system by
the manufacturer to prevent damage to its components. Intermittent duty cycle types draw
sufficiently high amounts of current to cause overheating within their units if operated for
extended periods. For this reason they have a restricted duty cycle based on operating time,
followed by a cooling off period. For example, two minutes on, three minutes off (cooling).
Continuous duty types have long duty cycles or in some cases no limits at all. That is they
can be in continuous operation.
Intermittent Duty Cycle

Intermittent duty cycle ignition systems can only be used for short periods and only usually
during ground starting. Once the engine has reached self sustaining RPM, the ignition
system is turned off. Some aircraft provide for additional use of the left or right plug from the
main system at full transformer capacity (full power) as required but for limited periods only,
eg. take off. These time periods are scheduled by the pilots and can select ignition on
whenever they wish.
On other intermittent duty cycle type ignition systems, a low tension, continuous duty circuit is
incorporated within one of the transformer units. This allows low power discharge to one
igniter plug (which again can be selected by the pilot). This system can be operated for as
long as there is a need for self relight capability in flight as shown in Figure 15.13-13

Figure 15.13-13.

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Continuous Duty Cycle

If a continuous duty cycle main ignition system is installed, full ignition can be selected to
both or either plug at the pilots discretion. During critical flight manoeuvres (eg. take off and
landing), the pilot may select both igniter plugs to give instantaneous relight. At normal higher
level flight, one igniter plug is selected as a short delay in relighting the engine will not
endanger the aircraft or crew.

Ignition System Components

Gas turbine engines are typically equipped with a dual high energy ignition system. The
principle components of a dual system are shown in Figure 15.13-14 and described on the
following pages.

Figure 15.13-14.

Ignition and Relight Switches

The ignition and relight switches are located in the aircraft cabin, usually close to the
throttles. They connect bus voltage to the ignition relay and HEIUs (high energy ignition
units).
Ignition Relay

When energised, the ignition relay supplies electrical power to the high energy ignition units.
It is contained in a control box which is usually located in an equipment compartment in the
engine nacelle.

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High Tension Ignition Leads

The high tension (HT) ignition leads are located on the aircraft engine, connected between
the HEIUs and the igniter plugs. They conduct the high voltage from HEIUs to the igniters.
High Energy Ignition Units (HEIUs)

The HEIUs develop the high voltage necessary for engine ignition. In a dual ignition system
there are always two units fitted to each engine. An igniter plug is connected to each HEIU.
Types
The ignition system can be supplied with either AC or DC voltage, depending on the type of
HEIUs fitted. A DC type HEIU contains a trembler mechanism (covered later in this topic) or
a transistor circuit, while an AC type HEIU contains a transformer. In any case, the basic
operation is similar for each of these types.
HEIUs are rated in joules (one joule equals one watt per second). They are designed to
produce outputs which may vary according to requirements and are generally classified as
either:
High joule (twelve joule).
Low joule (three to six joule.
Although many engines are fitted with high joule HEIUs, low joule units are sufficient for
normal starting requirements. The high joule units are required where it is necessary to
relight the engine at high altitudes.
Under normal flight conditions, the HEIUs are turned OFF after the engines have started. But
during take-off where ice, heavy rain or snow exists, the HEIUs may be operated
continuously to give an immediate relight should an engine flame-out occur. This continuous
operation is usually performed by low joule HEIUs, as persistent operation of the high joule
units may reduce the life of the igniter plugs.
To suit all engine operating conditions, a combined system has been developed where one
HEIU emits a high output to one igniter plug, and the second unit supplies a low value output
to the second igniter.

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Construction
As mentioned earlier, the basic operation of the different types of HEIUs is similar, so we will
limit our discussion to the DC trembler operated HEIU shown in Figure 15.13-15. It contains
the following components:
Induction Coil: consists of primary and secondary windings.
Trembler Mechanism: consists of a capacitor and a set of contacts which vibrate rapidly,
opening and closing the primary circuit of the induction coil.
Reservoir Capacitor: charges up, then discharges, supplying the HEIUs high voltage output.
Glass Sealed Discharge Gap: comprises two metallic contacts, separated by an air gap, all
encapsulated within a sealed glass tube.
High Voltage Rectifier: converts the output of the induction coil to DC to charge the reservoir
capacitor.
Choke: an inductor which extends the time taken for the reservoir capacitor to discharge.

Figure 15.13-15.

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Operation
Figure 15.13-16 shows a simplified schematic diagram of a DC trembler operated HEIU.
This unit operates when 28 V DC is supplied to the primary winding of the induction coil and
the trembler contacts. The trembler contacts vibrate rapidly, opening and closing the primary
circuit, inducing a voltage into the secondary winding. The resulting high voltage output is
then rectified by the high voltage rectifier and supplied to charge the reservoir capacitor.
The reservoir capacitor is repeatedly charged in this way until its stored voltage is equal to
the breakdown value of the sealed discharge gap. The reservoir capacitor will then
discharge across the gap, through the choke and supply the igniter plug with the high tension
voltage required to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine combustion chamber. The choke
(inductor) extends the duration of the discharge.
The normal spark rate of a typical jet engine ignition system is between 60 and 100 sparks
per minute.

Figure 15.13-16.

The energy stored in the reservoir capacitor is potentially lethal. For this reason, discharge
resistors are connected across the capacitor to ensure that any charge on the capacitor is
dissipated within approximately one minute of the system being switched off.
The safety resistors enable the unit to operate without damage to the unit if the high tension
lead is disconnected and isolated.
Igniter Plugs
Due to the much higher intensity spark, igniter plugs for jet engines differ considerably from
spark plugs used in reciprocating engines. They are normally constructed from
nickel-chromium alloy with the threads being silver plated to prevent seizing. The hot end of
the igniter plug is generally air cooled to keep it between 500-600o F cooler than the
surrounding gas temperatures. Cooling air is pulled inward through the cooling holes in the
flame tube, and over the end of the igniter, by the pressure differential between the primary
and secondary combustor airflow.

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Low Tension Igniters


Igniter plugs for low tension systems are referred to as the self ionising or shunted gap type.
The firing end contains a semi-conductive material which initially provides a path between the
centre electrode and the ground electrode. As the initial current flows, the semi-conductor
reaches an incandescent state (glows white hot). This heating is sufficient to ionise the air
gap and the main current flow takes this path to the ground electrode. A typical low tension
igniter is illustrated in Figure 15.13-17.

Figure 15.13-17.

High Tension Igniters


High tension igniter plugs (or annular gap plugs) operate with a similar principle to a normal
spark plug. The high tension current passing through the plug initially causes the air gap
between the electrodes to be ionised. This ionisation of the air gap allows the high intensity
spark to flow between the centre and ground electrodes, (Refer Figure 15.13-18).

Figure 15.13-18.

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Many types of igniter plugs are available, as shown in Figure 15.13-19. Only one will
normally suit the needs of a particular engine. Care must be taken to ensure the
manufacturers recommended igniter plug is used.

Figure 15.13-19.

Ignition System Operation


A schematic diagram of a basic jet engine ignition system is illustrated in Figure 15.13-20.
For simplicity, only one HEIU and one igniter plug is shown.

Figure 15.13-20.

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When starting the engine, once the starter motor has been engaged and the engines rotating
assembly begins to increase in speed, the aircrew will close the ignition switch. 28 V DC will
now be supplied to the ignition relay. Once energised, the ignition relay will supply voltage to
the ignition on light and to the input of the HEIU. The high level, pulsating DC output voltage
from the HEIU will be conducted, via the high tension ignition lead, to supply the igniter plug.
At this stage, if the starter motor has increased the engines speed sufficiently to correctly mix
the air and fuel supplied to the engine, ignition will occur. Once the air/fuel mixture has been
ignited, the flame spreads rapidly through the engine combustion chambers; thus the
combustion is self sustaining, and the ignition system can be switched off. On many aircraft,
a timer relay is employed to automatically shut down the ignition system after a
predetermined time.
Engine Relight
If a flame out occurs whilst the aircraft is in flight, the engine will continue to rotate due to the
flow of air through the compressor. To re-ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine combustion
chamber, only a source of ignition is necessary. This is achieved by the selection of the
relight switch. With this switch closed, 28 V DC will be supplied directly to the HEIU.
In some cases however, a low joule HEIU is fitted and operated continuously, providing
automatic relight.
Testing, Inspection and Maintenance
Maintenance of the turbine engine ignition system consists primarily of inspection, testing,
troubleshooting, removal and installation. The following instructions are typical examples of
inspection procedures that you may be required to perform.

IMPORTANT
Prior to performing maintenance on an ignition system, always consult the relevant technical
publication for all applicable safety precautions, maintenance procedures and specifications.

Igniter Plugs
The igniter plugs are inspected visually for burning and erosion of the electrode or shell,
cracking of the ceramic insulator, and damage to the threads, or flange. If damage is visible,
the igniter should be discarded.
HT Ignition Leads
The ignition leads are cleaned with an approved solvent and inspected for worn or burned
areas, deep cuts, fraying and general deterioration.
The ignition leads connectors are visually inspected for damaged threads, corrosion, cracked
insulators, and bent or broken connector pins.
The continuity of the leads is checked with a multimeter and insulation properties checked
with a meggar in accordance with specifications laid down in the relevant technical
publication.

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Operational Test
Some aircraft servicing may require an operational test of the ignition system to check the
serviceability of the HEIUs, HT leads and igniter plugs. In this test, the engine starter-motor
is disabled so the engine will not rotate, preventing engine start.
When the battery and engine relight switches are closed, sparking from the igniter plugs
will be clearly audible. This enables assessment of the ignition systems serviceability.
Another method is to simply start the engine.
Safety Precautions
The term HIGH ENERGY infers that a lethal charge is present and turbine engine ignition
systems require special maintenance and handling. The manufacturers instructions and
engine maintenance manuals should be fully understood and followed when handling any
component of a jet engine ignition system.
Some typical precautions are as follows:

WARNING

Ensure that the ignition switch is turned off before performing any maintenance on the
system.
To remove an igniter plug, disconnect the transformer input lead, wait the time
prescribe by the manufacturer (usually 1-5 mins), then disconnect the igniter lead and
ground the centre electrode to the engine. The igniter plug is now safe to remove.
Exercise great caution in handling damaged transformer units. Some contain
radioactive material, eg. (cesium-barium 137).
Unserviceable igniter plugs containing aluminium oxide and beryllium oxide, a toxic
insulating material, should be disposed of properly.
Before a firing test of igniters is performed, the fitter must ensure that the combustion
chamber is not fuel wetted, as a fire or explosion could occur.
Do not energise the system for troubleshooting if the igniter plugs are removed.
Serious overheating of the transformers can result.

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