A turbojet is a kind of jet engine that works by squeezing air into a small space, mixing it with fuel, and setting it on fire. The mixture of fuel and air goes out the back of the engine and pushes it forward. As it leaves the engine it spins a turbine which turns a gas compressor at the front which sucks in more air and compresses it.
Turbofan engines are more complex. They are more common today because they can make more power, for the same amount of fuel, than a turbojet. They also make less noise. Supersonic aircraft still use the simpler kind.
- The air intake is the part at the front of the engine. The intake is where the air is brought into the engine.
- The air compressor squeezes the air, in order to make it smaller. This makes the pressure and temperature higher. The air compressor is made out of spinning blades called rotors, and blades that do not move, called stators.
- The combustion chamber is where the air is burnt. Fuel is injected by several tubes, and the fire heats up the air.
- After passing the combustion chamber, the air pushes a turbine fan. This turbine fan is connected to the compressor. The air pushing on it makes the rotors of the compressor turn.
- The nozzle is where the air comes out of the engine. The speed of the air is bigger than the speed at the air intake. This bigger force makes the vehicle move towards the front.
- Some planes have an afterburner. The afterburner is like a combustion chamber, but is attached behind the nozzle. It has tubes which inject fuel and burns the air again. The afterburner is used in order to increase speed of the vehicle, but the use of fuel is very high. This makes it used rarely, for example on supersonic airplanes.
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- W. Austyn Mair, Aircraft Performance (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 77–78