Neo Jet Engine Design
This article is about an idea for a new, environmentally friendly, jet engine design. How can a Jet Engine be environmentally friendly? It burns fuel and kills birds...
Lets start with basics: How does a Jet Engine work in the first place?
Funny right? Jet engine and basics, this ought to be easy. It's actually pretty simple. A very basic jet engine comprises of 4 chambers (in order): Turbine, Compression, Combustion, and Exhaust chamber. The turbines pull air into the compression chamber, which squeezes air through a smaller, tighter diameter where it's rushed through the combustion chamber; the fuel is mixed with the air and ignited. Finally, the high velocity air particles rush out of the exhaust chamber (the open ended tail of the engine) producing thrust.
Jet Engine Diagram
Watch what happens the first 40 seconds
Bird strikes, damages, costs, and passengers
The image on the right is a gorgeous piece of aerodynamic engineering potential capable of producing almost 100,000 lbs of thrust,with several parts moving both clockwise & counter-clockwise. Imagine a bird getting sucked in and barely finding its way out "alive", a chance that is highly unlikely. If you ever witness a couple of unfortunate birds in this situation, you will most likely observe burning ashes through the opposite end.
And it's not just the birds losing. When a bird gets engulfed into this high velocity vacuum, the engine also suffers damages. Sometimes it might even require an entirely new engine to replace the damages.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) - National Wildlife Database (Serial Report No. 19): there have been over $22 Billion Dollars in total damages in the US alone (1990 - 2012) related to bird strikes alone; except for the one case with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aircraft and the deer. Many of these incidents resulted in:
- emergency landing
- replacing an engine or even a plane
- crash landing right after take-off
- death of passengers and the flight crew
- delayed flights & unhappy clients
- excessive repairs
- millions of US Dollars in damages or maintenance costs
- death of birds that fly on take-off altitudes
The report also stated that 90% of the bird strikes occurred during take-offs, and severe damage occurred due to multiple birds at a time.
Unfortunately, pilots cannot simply maneuver around birds like an F-117 Nighthawk probably could or any other military aircraft for that matter (which also suffer from bird strikes by the way). It's pretty much straight on when you're flying over 600 mph. The FAA even setup "Wildlife Hazard Management Programs" (WHMPs), but only more reports of strikes were recorded while the strikes issue ''remained stable''.
Now not all the bird strikes end up in the jet engine itself, but usually more than half the time the engine is the casualty.
A good example of an eco-friendly Jet Engine: Rolls-Royce Trent XWB Engine
The Trent - XWB jet engine is designed to be cost effective (fuel consumption wise), reduce noise pollution, and still be able to produce almost 100,000 pounds of thrust!
Although the it does not play a factor with reducing bird strikes, it is a great example of eco-friendly aeroengines of the future.
Let's Propose a Solution
Now that we've identified the problem, let's propose a solution. How can the damages and number of birds killed be reduced?
Well, we know that jet engines don't really have much room inside for birds to escape from; not to mention the vacuum force is super powerful, so they have to go with the flow (bad joke). Since the topic is solely focused on jet engines, I've proposed a solution inspired by the Dyson Bladeless Fan.
Provided is a video of how I was inspired of the idea:
My first amateur aero-engine design, a solution:
Rate my idea! :)
Let me know what you think
Share your opinion and comment below.
I'd like to know what kind of design you would prefer, and how it could make a jet engine more environmentally friendly.