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The Jet Engine

Sir Frank Whittle

The development of the Jet Engine has made world wide travel possible for all of us. The Jet Engine is faster than the propeller engine and is more economical on fuel.

Quite simply the Jet Engine sucks air in at the front and propels it out at high speeds at the back. The engine is forced forwards as the air streams backwards. The engine has to be powered by a fuel, this may be kerosene or paraffin.

On large airplanes at the front of the engine can be found large fans which rotate. When they turn they draw air in. Some of this air is passed to the compressors, which contain blades. Some of these blades are stationary whilst some of them rotate.

These compressors raise the air pressure, which then flow to the combusters or the combustion engine. In this chamber the burning paraffin heats the air which then expands. This hot air which is under pressure rushes towards the exhaust, but first passes through the turbines which drive the compressors and the fans.

The rest of the air that is sucked in is used to cool and quieten the engine and then joins the heated air. This large amount of air that leaves the engine forces the aircraft forwards at very fast speeds.

The principle of jet propulsion is based upon Newton's Third Law of Motion: ''To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.''