The function of a turbine engine inlet is to provide airflow free of distortion to the inlet of a compressor. Most engines feature inlet guide vanes to straighten the airflow and assist in directing it to the first stages of the compressor. Controlled airflow is key to avoiding compressor stalling, in which the airflow stops or direction of flow is reversed. Gas turbines consume much more air than, for example, reciprocating engines. To account for this, the entrance passage of turbine inlets are considerably larger. Additionally, the inlet has an important role in the aircraft’s performance, as failures of the inlet duct can result in significant performance deficiencies throughout other components of the engine.
The two most common types of engine inlets are divided-entrance ducts and variable-geometry duct. Divided-entrance ducts, generally found on high-speed, military grade aircraft, take in air from either side of the fuselage. This presents the aircraft designer with a problem since the duct has to be able to obtain sufficient air without creating too much drag. The two entrances are placed as far forward on the fuselage to attempt to replicate the characteristics of a single-entrance duct. A series of vanes is sometimes present in the ducts to help straighten the incoming airflow, reducing turbulence.
The other type of inlet, the variable-geometry duct, is used to control the amount of air entering the engine inlet. This is because aircraft using turbojet or low bypass turbofan engines have a maximum airflow of less than Mach 1. Therefore, during flight, the velocity of the airflow entering the inlet must be reduced to a more easily-controlled speeds before it can enter the compressor. To account for this, this type of duct is designed to also function as a diffuser, a part which enhances an aircraft’s aerodynamic properties by lowering the velocity of the airflow around the aircraft.
Engine inlets play an important role in ensuring the proper function of an aircraft. At Sourcing Streamlined, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the engine parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-763-401-8616.
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