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only, and allow fresh air and more fuel to enter through
the intake.
The valved pulsejet comprises an intake with a one-way
valve arrangement. The valves prevent the explosive gas
of the ignited fuel mixture in the combustion chamber
from exiting and disrupting the intake airflow, although
with all practical valved pulsejets there is some 'blowback'
while running statically and at low speed, as the valves
cannot close fast enough to stop all the gas from exiting
the intake. The superheated exhaust gases exit through an
acoustically resonant exhaust pipe.
The intake valve is typically a reed valve. The two most
common configurations are the daisy valve, and the rectangular valve grid. A daisy valve consists of a thin sheet
of material to act as the reed, cut into the shape of a stylized daisy with “petals” that widen towards their ends.
Diagram of a pulsejet
Each “petal” covers a circular intake hole at its tip. The
daisy valve is bolted to the manifold through its centre.
A pulsejet engine (or pulse jet) is a type of jet engine Although easier to construct on a small scale, it is less
in which combustion occurs in pulses. Pulsejet engines effective than a valve grid.
can be made with few[1] or no moving parts,[2][3][4] and
while some versions may require a brief blast of air throgh
the intake to achieve ignition, all are capable of running
statically (ie as soon as ignition has been achieved, the engine will continue to ingest air on its own, no leafblowers

1.2 Valveless pulsejets

Pulsejet engines are a lightweight form of jet propulsion,
but usually have a poor compression ratio, and hence give
a low specific impulse.
Main article: Valveless pulse jet
One notable line of research of pulsejet engines includes
the pulse detonation engine which involves repeated deto- Valveless pulsejet engines have no moving parts and use
nations in the engine, and which can potentially give high only their geometry to control the flow of exhaust out of
compression and good efficiency.
the engine. Valveless pulsejets expel exhaust out of both


the intakes and the exhaust, though most try to have the
majority of exhaust go out of the longer tail pipe for more
efficient propulsion.


The valveless pulsejet operates on the same principle as
the valved pulsejet, but the 'valve' is the engine’s geometry. Fuel, as a gas or atomized liquid spray, is either
mixed with the air in the intake or directly injected into
the combustion chamber. Starting the engine usually requires forced air and an ignition source, such as a spark
plug, for the fuel-air mix. With modern manufactured
1.1 Valved pulsejets
engine designs, almost any design can be made to be selfstarting by providing the engine with fuel and an ignition
Valved pulsejet engines use a mechanical valve to con- spark, starting the engine with no compressed air. Once
trol the flow of expanding exhaust, forcing the hot gas running, the engine only requires input of fuel to maintain
to go out of the back of the engine through the tailpipe a self-sustaining combustion cycle.
There are two main types of pulsejet engines, both of
which use resonant combustion and harness the expanding combustion products to form a pulsating exhaust jet
which produces thrust intermittently.


Although the low static thrust-to-weight ratio of the V1 meant that it would require an unreasonably long runway to take off on its own. The question of how to quickly bring the V1 up to takeoff speed was answered with an airplane catapult which sent the flying bomb skyward at roughly 580km/h.[5] With Schmidt now working for Argus.[5] Ramon Casanova and the pulsejet engine he constructed and patented in 1917 2. and Ramon Casanova. the V-1’s resonant jet engine could operate and produce thrust while stationary. the Argus As 014.1 Argus As 109-014 HISTORY co-invented the ribbon parachute.[5] It would run on any grade of petroleum and the ignition shutter system was not intended to last beyond the V-1’s normal operational flight life of one hour. Teleshov patented a pulsejet engine in 1864 while Swedish inventor Martin Wiberg also has a claim to having invented the first pulsejet. earning him government support from the German Air Ministry in 1933. having constructed one beginning in 1913. especially owing to poor accuracy. unlike the eventual V-1 which had the engine placed above the warhead and fuselage. and attained stable resonance frequency at 43 cycles per second. The first unpowered drop occurred at Peenemünde on 28 October 1942 and the first powered flight on 10 December the exhaust pipe to stop the acetylene diffusing before ing bomb” powered by Schmidt’s pulsejet. in Ripoll.V. Three air nozzles in the front of the Argus As 014 were connected to an external high pressure source to start the engine. a device used to stabilise the V-1 in its terminal dive.200 N) of static thrust and approximately 750 lbf (3. The French inventor Georges Marconnet patented his valveless pulsejet engine in 1908. as there is insignificant compression within a pulsejet engine.2 2 2 History Russian inventor and artillery officer N. pioneered a more efficient design based on modification of the intake valves (or flaps). the pulsejet was perfected and was officially known by its RLM designation as the Argus As 109-014. Robert Lusser of Fieseler. Georg Madelung and Munich-based Paul technicians having to place a baffle of wood or cardboard Schmidt proposed to the German Air Ministry a “fly.300 N) in flight. range and high cost. but details are unclear. The first working pulsejet was patented in 1906 by Russian engineer V. The spark only operated for the start sequence for the engine. in Sweden. The original Schmidt design had the pulsejet placed in a fuselage like a modern jet fighter.7:1) of the diameter to the length of the exhaust pipe functioned to perpetuate the combustion cycle. Schmidt’s prototype bomb failed to meet German Air Ministry specifications. who completed a working model in 1907.[5] Ignition in the As 014 was provided by a single automotive spark plug. Dr. Karavodin. Other German manufacturers working on similar pulsejets and flying bombs were The Askania Company. Contrary to popular belief. Spain patented a pulsejet in Barcelona in 1917. The Argus As 014 valve array was based on a shutter system that operated at the 43 to 45 cycles-per-second frequency of the engine. The simple resonant design based on the ratio (8. with the In 1934. The fuel used for ignition was acetylene. Madelung complete ignition. mounted approximately 75 cm (30 in) behind the front-mounted valve array. The Argus Company began work based on Schmidt’s work. Engineer Paul Schmidt. like all pulsejets. which were all combined to work on the V-1. the engine casing did not provide sufficient heat to cause Diesel-type ignition of the fuel. The engine produced 500 lbf (2. Fritz Gosslau of Argus and the Siemens company. The pulsejet was evaluated to be an excellent balance of cost and function: a simple design that performed well for minimal cost. did not require ignition coils or magnetos for ignition — the ignition source being the tail of the preceding fireball during the run. Once the engine ignited and minimum Argus As 014 pulsejet engine of a V-1 flying bomb at the Royal Air Force Museum London .

This concept was being considered as early as 1947 when the American Helicopter Company started work on its XA-5 Top Sergeant helicopter prototype powered by pulsejet engines at the rotor tips. as pulsejets can run on almost anytic droning noise earned it the nicknames “buzz bomb” thing that burns.[5] 3 Operation Pulsejets have been used to power experimental helicopters. in 2000 man hours and approximate cost of US$600 (in 1943). The result was the creation of the JB-2 Loon. Pulsejet engines. most famously in the bombing of London in 1944. which.[7] The XA-5 first flew in January 1949 and was followed by the XA-6 Buck Private with the same pulsejet design. used in World War II. was for as high-output heating.[6] However.2 to 1. and alternause with the V-1 flying bomb. and the Argus As 014 reproduction pulsejet powerplant made by Ford Motor Company. including particulate fuels such as sawor “doodlebug”. A helicopter may then be built without a tail rotor and its associated transmission and drive shaft. of construction. were the obvious choice for the V-1’s designers. low cost negatively affected by ram air pressure as other designs. It used XPJ49 pulsejets mounted at the rotor tips. Steam power tube. In providing power to helicopter rotors. and high noise levels. lacked landing gear. but push the tips. Also in 1949 Hiller Helicopters built and tested the Hiller Powerblade. chemical reaction created when hydrogen peroxide and The high noise levels usually make them impractical potassium permanganate (termed T-Stoff and Z-Stoff) for other than military and other similarly restricted are combined. given the Germans’ materials shortages and overstretched industry at that stage of the war. Valveless designs are not as Pulsejet engines are characterized by simplicity. Army contract. pulsejets are used on a large The principal military use of the pulsejet engine. pulsejets have the advantage over turbine or piston engines of not producing torque upon the fuselage since they don't apply force to the shaft.[6] Pulsejets have also been used in both control-line and radiocontrolled model aircraft. Designers of modern cruise missiles do not choose pulsejet engines for propulsion. Variable intake geometry lets the engine produce full power at most speeds by optimizing for whatever speed the air is entering pulsejet at. simplifying the aircraft (cyclic and collective control of the main rotor is still necessary). preferring turbojets or rocket engines. biomass conversion. The engine’s characteris. This limits the maximum pre-combustion pressure to fire the piston was generated by the violent exothermic ratio. A free-flying radio-controlled pulsejet is limited by the engine’s intake design. with the airframe built by Republic Aviation. being a cruise missile. to around 1. Rotor-tip propulsion has been claimed to reduce the cost of production of rotary-wing craft to 1/10 of that for conventional powered rotary-wing aircraft. thrust specific fuel consumpAnimation of a pulsejet engine . lacking an external compressive driver such as the The V-1. Hiller switched to tip mounted ramjets but American Helicopter went on to develop the XA-8 under a U. The pulsejet uses the Lenoir cycle connectors were removed. and there has been a the volume production of the Argus As 014 unit (the resurgence in studying these engines for applications such first pulsejet engine ever in volume production). which results in performance loss. in. or the Brayton cycle's compression stead the Argus As 014 was launched on an inclined ramp turbine. It first flew in 1952 and was known as the XH-26 Jet Jeep. While the thrust. applications.S.Otto cycle's piston. external hoses and tion is very poor. Wright Field technical personnel reverse-engineered the V-1 from the remains of a V-1 that had failed to detonate in Britain. drives compression with acoustic resonance in a powered by a piston-driven steam catapult.3 operating temperature was attained. The speed record for controlline model aircraft is greater than 200 miles per hour (323 km/h).as they were never intended to stop the flow out of the to-weight ratio is excellent.tive energy systems. The XH-26 met all its main design objectives but the Army cancelled the project because of the unacceptable level of noise of the pulsejets and the fact that the drag of the pulsejets at the rotor tips made autorotation landings very problematic. General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold of the United States Army Air Forces was concerned that this weapon could be built of steel and wood. At around 450 km/h (280 mph) most valved engines’ valve systems stop fully closing owing to ram air pressure. with scale as industrial drying systems. being cheap and easy to construct. the world’s first hot-cycle pressure-jet rotor. the engines being attached to the ends of the rotor blades. The V-1 was a German cruise missile dust or coal powder.

A typical valveless engine will have one or more intake haust.4 4 FUNCTION intake. high pressure is raised by the combustion of the fuel-air mixture. When duct. the frequency was closer to 45 pulses per second. For a small model-type engine the frequency may be around 250 pulses per second. a resonating In more complex engines the fuel may be injected directly combustion process can be achieved. stops can be increased by a specially shaped duct placed be. Second part: the valve (3) is closed and the ignited fuel-air mix (4) propels the craft. The combustion cycle comprises five or six phases depending on the engine: Induction. or aerodynamically valved pulsejet. only to the rear through the exhaust tube. the more drag it produces. Compression. The duct. Main article: Valveless pulse jet The second type of pulsejet is known as the valveless pulsejet. Georges Marconnet developed the first pulsat- . like a valve. one-way valve). and so the induction phase of the cycle The combustion creates two pressure wave fronts. other designs use significantly less parting of the previous fireball. most of the expanding The inertial reaction of this gas flow causes the engine to gas is forced out of the exhaust pipe of the engine. these valves slam shut which means within specific speed ranges. and a properly designed sysfill up the entire tube including the tailpipe. Combustion. While the fuel-air mixture burns. and it is only be effective the air-fuel is ignited. a combustion chamber section. The pressurized gas from combustion cannot The intake tube takes in air and mixes it with fuel to comexit forward through the one-way intake valve and so exits bust. “flash” as it comes in contact with the hot gases of the In 1909. limiting the flow but not stopping it altogether. can significantly increase the thrust of a pulsejet with no additional fuel consumption. (op. by harnessing aerodynamic forces in the pulsejet exhaust. This takes facing backwards so that the thrust created adds to pressure is less than the inlet pressure (upstream of the the overall thrust. into the combustion chamber. one begins. and Ex. and is mixed with fuel (2). The low-frequency sound produced resulted in the missiles being nicknamed “buzz bombs. 4 The cycle frequency is primarily dependent on the length of the engine. designing the engine dimensions properly). Beprovide thrust.2 Valveless design 3 4 Pulsejet schematic. that the hot gases can only leave through the engine’s tailpipe. traveling down the longer exhaust tube and one down the In the simplest of pulsejet engines this intake is through a short intake tube.[8] Technically the term for this engine is the acoustic-type pulsejet. which repeats. and one or more Starting with ignition within the combustion chamber. However. a exhaust tube sections. tubes. the atomized fuel tries to fuel than a valved pulsejet.” Function 2 1 4. evens out the pulsating thrust. The duct acts as an annular wing. whereas for a larger engine such as the one used on the German V-1 flying bomb. resulting in a much as a valved or traditional pulsejet and it has a set of onehigher fuel efficiency. fuel in atomized form is injected into the While some valveless engines are known for being excombustion chamber to fill the vacuum formed by the de. First part of the cycle: air flows through the intake (1). This causes tem with advanced components and techniques can rival atomized fuel at the rear of the combustion chamber to or exceed the fuel efficiency of small turbojet engines. and also controls the expulsion of exhaust gas. most valveless engines have the incauses a low pressure in the combustion chamber. The inertia of the traveling exhaust gas cycle of the engine. this force being used to propel an airframe cause the intake tube(s) also expel gas during the exhaust or a rotor blade.tremely fuel-hungry. tional) Fuel Injection. Gains of There are two basic types of pulsejets. and can significantly increase in power at speed.1 Valved design an augmenter. The first is known 100% increases in thrust are possible. When the induction phase is under way. rather than reducing it. the larger the augmenter way valves through which the incoming air passes. typically called 4.with different designs being suited for different functions.the flow of fuel until a vacuum is formed and the cycle hind the engine. By properly 'tuning' the system (by venturi which causes fuel to be drawn from a fuel supply.Valveless pulsejets come in a number of shapes and sizes. thus creating forward thrust. Ignition. preceding column of gas—this resulting flash “slams” the Another feature of pulsejetjet engines is that their thrust reed-valves shut or in the case of valveless designs.

doi:10. 7. Google. Diaz. “Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation of a 15-cm Valveless Pulsejet”.[10] 5 See also • Valveless pulse jet 7 References • Aeronautical Engineering Review. • George Mindling. flying control line model aircraft (as well as radio-controlled aircraft). pp6-31 [6] Jan Roskam. 4.utsi. ram air pressure from traveling at high speed does not cause the engine to stop running like a valved engine. including design and experimentation. Roberts. The valveless pulsejet’s first widespread use was the Dutch drone Aviolanda AT-21[9] A properly designed valveless engine will excel in flight. Since there are no moving parts to wear out. and other applications. A. Retrieved 2014-08-31.5 ing combustor without valves. Most PDE research programs use pulsejet engines for testing ideas early in the design phase. (2007). Robert Bolton: US Airforce Tactical Missiles:1949-1969: The Pioneers. as it does not have valves. vol. Lulu.. and industrial drying and home heating equipment. DARcorporation: 1997 ISBN 1-884885-44-6: 711 pages detailed guide documenting all the steps required to build one’s own Pulsejet. at least at very high speeds. They offer many free pulsejet plans. [5] George Mindling. V. Lulu.1007/s10494-006-9032-8. Pulsejets are used today in target drone aircraft. which proposes to use pulsejet engines for vertical lift in military and commercial VTOL aircraft. “Boeing’s Millennium Falcon Floats Using Nazi Technology”.): 1948.. Boeing has a proprietary pulsejet engine technology called Pulse Ejector Thrust Augmentor (PETA). 1949” (PDF). and have a lot of useful information • Pulse detonation engine 6 Jan Roskam. though they excel on the smaller-scale unmanned vehicles. Home. 200: ISBN 0-557-00029-7. Includes an extremely active forum composed of knowledgeable enthusiasts • Video of 21st century-built German reproduction Argus As 014 pulsejet testing • List of aircraft engines Notes [1] “Pulse Detonation Engine”. Because pulsejets are an efficient and simple way to convert fuel into heat.7 or possibly higher. The valveless pulsejet was experimented with by the French propulsion research group SNECMA (Société Nationale d'Étude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation ). The pulse detonation engine (PDE) marks a new approach towards non-continuous jet engines and promises higher fuel efficiency compared to turbofan jet engines. Airplane aerodynamics and performance. experimenters [9] are using them for new industrial applications such as biomass fuel conversion. The example created on this site is eventually mounted onto a home-built kart and tested . Jesus (2011-07-28).S. 200: ISBN 0-557-00029-7. The advantage of the acoustic-type pulsejet is simplicity. Schoen. Turbulence and Combustion 78 (1): 17–33.An international site dedicated to pulsejets. Chuan-Tau Edward Lan. [2] [3] “Patent US6216446 . It was the grandfather of all valveless pulsejets. [8] Geng.A site for hobby jet propulsion. in the late 1940s. with some advanced designs being capable of operating at Mach . specifically valved and valveless pulsejet engines. Chuan-Tau Edward Lan. A. Re- • . they are easier to maintain and simpler to construct. They can achieve higher top speeds. Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences (U. Retrieved 2014-03-03. [10] Some experimenters continue to work on improved designs. flightglobal. [4] “Valveless Pulsjet”. Pratt & Whitney and General Electric now have active PDE research programs.Google Patents”. Robert Bolton: US Airforce Tactical Missiles:1949-1969: The Pioneers.Valveless pulse-jet engine with forward facing intake duct . boiler and heater systems. Wired. fog generators. Airplane aerodynamics and performance DARcorporation: 1997: ISBN 1-884885-44-6: 711 pages [7] “Excerpt of Flight May 12. • . Retrieved Future uses trieved 2014-03-03. Kuznetsov. Flow. The engines are difficult to integrate into commercial manned aircraft designs because of noise and vibration. pp6–31 8 External links • .

V1.6 8 • Pulsejets in aeromodels • Popular Rotocraft Association • Pulsejet Bike • Apocalyptic robotics performance group Survival Research Labs operates a collection of pulsejet engines in some of their creations. including the Hovercraft. • PETA (Pulse-Ejector-Thrust-Augmentors) article • Ramon Casanova’s pulsejet • American Helicopter XA-5 Flight EXTERNAL LINKS . and the Flame Hurricane.

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