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3.
3.1.

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

INLET
INTRODUCTION

An air intake should deliver air to the engine compressor with a minimum loss of
energy and at a uniform pressure under all engine operating conditions. The inlet
duct is built in the shape of a subsonic divergent diffuser, so that the kinetic energy of
the rapidly moving air can be converted into a ram pressure rise within the duct. This
condition is referred to as Ram Recovery.
3.2.

RAM COMPRESSION

## The degree of Ram Compression depends upon the following:i.

Frictional losses at those surfaces ahead of the intake entry which are wetted
by the intake airflow.

ii.

iii.

## Turbulence losses due to accessories or structural members located in the

intake.

iv.

Aircraft speed.

v.

In a turbo-prop, drag and turbulence losses due to the prop blades and spinner.

Ram compression causes a re-distribution in the forms of energy existing in the airstream. As the air in the intake is slowed up in endeavouring to pass into and
through the compressor element against the air of increasing pressure and density
which exists therein so the kinetic energy of the air in the intake decreases. This is
accompanied by a corresponding increase in its pressure and internal energies and
consequently compression of the air-stream is achieved within the intake, thus
converting the unfavourable intake lip conditions into the compressor inlet
requirements.
Although ram compression improves the performance of the engine, it must be
realised that during the process there is a drag force on the engine and hence the
aircraft. This drag must be accepted since it is a penalty inherent in a ram
compression process. (The added thrust more than makes up for this drag).
3.2.1. IMPORTANCE OF RAM COMPRESSION
At subsonic flight speeds, the ram pressure ratio is apparently quite small, say 1.33:
1 at 0.8M. Nevertheless, since the pressure rise due to ram compression is
multiplied by the pressure ratio of the compressor, the ram pressure rise becomes
significant even at subsonic speeds.
Furthermore, the greater the forward speed of the aircraft becomes, the more
significant is the ram compression; e.g. at 1.5M the ram pressure ratio may be about
3.5 : 1, and at 2.5M about 8 : 1.

## Issue 3 Jan 2004

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uk
engineering
3.3.

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

## 3.3.1. PITOT INTAKES

This intake is suitable for subsonic or low supersonic speeds. Examples, 707, 747,
A300B, Tristar, etc. The intake is usually short and is very efficient because the duct
inlet is located directly ahead of the engine compressor. As the duct length
increases, the risk of small airflow disturbances and pressure drop is increased. This
inlet makes maximum use of ram effect until sonic speed is approached when
efficiency falls due to shock wave formation at the intake lip. Pitot inlets can however
suffer from inlet turbulences at high angles of attack and/or at low speeds.

Figure 3.1.

## Issue 3 Jan 2004

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

The pitot type intake can be used for engines that are mounted in pods or in the
wings although the latter sometimes requires a departure from the circular cross
section due to the wing thickness.

Figure 3.2

## 3.3.2. DIVIDED ENTRANCE DUCT

On a single engine aircraft with fuselage mounted engines, either a wing root inlet or
a side scoop inlet may be used. The wing root inlet presents a problem to designers
in the forming of the curvature necessary to deliver the air to the engine compressor.
The side scoop inlet is placed as far forward of the compressor as possible to
approach the straight line effect of the single inlet. Both types suffer faults, in a yaw
or turn, a loss of ram pressure occurs on one side of the intake and separated,
turbulent boundary layer air is fed to the engine compressor.

Divided Intakes.
Figure 3.3.

## Issue 3 Jan 2004

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

## 3.3.3 SUPERSONIC INTAKES

At supersonic speeds, the pitot type of air intake is unsuitable due to the severity of
shock waves that form and progressively reduce the intake efficiency as speed
increases. To overcome this problem the compression intake was designed.

Supersonic Intakes.
Figure 3.4.
This type of intake produces a series of mild shock waves without reducing the intake
efficiency, as the aircraft speed increases, so also does the intake compression ratio.
At high mach numbers it becomes necessary to have an air intake which has a
variable thrust area and spill doors to control the column of air.
3.4.

## IDEAL INTAKE CONDITIONS

For air to flow smoothly through a compressor, its velocity should be about 0.5 mach
at the compressor inlet; this includes aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound.
Hence intakes are designed to decelerate the free stream airflow to this condition
over the range of aircraft speeds. Intakes should also convert the kinetic energy into
pressure energy without undue shock or energy loss. This means that the ideal
compressor inlet pressure should be the same as the total head pressure at the
intake lip.
(Total head pressure = stagnation pressure, ie. static and dynamic pressure).

## Issue 3 Jan 2004

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

## 3.4.1. INTAKE EFFICIENCY

The magnitude of the losses occurring in an intake during ram compression are
measured by means of the intake efficiency. Typical optimum efficiencies of some
common types of intake, at subsonic speeds assuming straight-through flow, are:
a

Turbo-jet engine

Pitot
99 to 96%
Wing root 95 to 87%
Side
89 to 80%

Turbo-prop engine

Annular

82 to 74% (DART)

In cases where the direction of flow of the air is reversed within the intake, these
values are reduced by about 10%.
3.5.

INTAKE ANTI-ICING

Operations of present day aircraft necessitates flying in all weather conditions plus
the fact that high velocity air induced into the intakes means a provision must be
made for ice protection. There are three systems of thermal anti-icing; hot air, hot oil
or electrical There is, however, one disadvantage and that is the loss of engine
power. This loss must be corrected for on ground runs and power checks.
3.5.1. ENGINE HOT AIR ANTI-ICING
The hot air system provides surface heating of the engine and/or power plant where
ice is likely to form. The affected parts are the engine intake, the intake guide vanes,
the nose cone, the leading edge of the nose cowl and, sometimes, the front stage of
the compressor stator blades. The protection of rotor blades is rarely necessary,
because any ice accretions are dispersed by centrifugal action.

The hot air for the anti-icing system is usually taken from the latter stages of the HP
compressor and externally ducted, through pressure regulation valves, to the parts
requiring protection. When the nose cowl requires protection, hot air exhausting from
the air intake manifold may be collected and ducted to the nose cowl. Exhaust
outlets are provided to allow the air to pass into the compressor intake or vent to
atmosphere, thus maintaining a flow of air through the system.

## Issue 3 Jan 2004

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

Figure 3.5.

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

## 3.5.2. ENGINE ELECTRICAL ANTI-ICING

There are two methods of electrical anti-icing:
1. Spray mat
2. Heater mats.

## 3.5.3. SPRAY MAT

The spray mat is so called because the conductor element is sprayed onto the base
insulator to protect the spray mat from damage. An outer coating is sprayed on,
sometimes called Stone Guard or Erocoat.

Spraymat Construction.
Figure 3.6.

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

## Heater Mat Construction.

Figure 3.7.

Heater mats differ in design and construction according to their purpose and
environment. The latest mats have elements which are made from a range of alloys
woven in continuous filament glass yarn. Other elements are made from nickel
chrome foil. The insulating material is usually polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and the
electrical control may be continuous or intermittent.

## 3.5.5. OIL ANTI-ICE

Oil anti-ice supplements the other two systems (hot air/electrical) and will also assist
in cooling the oil system.

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

Figure 3.8.

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uk
engineering

JAR 66 CATEGORY B1
MODULE 15/17
PROPULSION
SYSTEMS

Intentionally Blank

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