FSP's Easy-to-Build Jet Engine
Father Son Projects (FSP) has done it again with their new homebuilt jet kit. Jets typically have a row of compressor blades in their front that force pressurized air into a combustion chamber. Here fuel is added and ignited. The rapidly expanding gasses flow past a turbine that is connected by a rotating shaft to the compressors up front. The gasses spin the turbine, which is turn spins the compressors. Then the gasses shoot out of the back of the jet, producing thrust.
This system is relatively simple, but it is extremely difficult to build. The compressor and turbine blades need to be built to exact dimensions and with close clearances. They also must withstand incredible heat, insanely high RPMs, and be perfectly balanced. Some model builders have utilized turbo chargers off of vehicles to solve this problem. A turbo charger provides the compressor and turbine, which leaves the builder with only the tricky combustion chamber. This is a great idea, but turbo chargers are expensive, and getting one out of a junk yard means it is usually junk. Using a turbo charger is also extremely dangerous because they will reach 60,000 or even 100,000 RPM! This means that you have red hot pieces of metal spinning at incredible speeds-much higher than it was designed for! This is a recipe for shrapnel and explosions. A system like this also requires a complicated pressurized oil system, a tachometer of some sort, and money.
FSP has solved this problem by building a jet engine system that uses an external compressor to provide the air that the jet needs. This system is safe, easy to build, and doesn't have a turbine stealing power from the jet. Any external blower can be used for the jet, or air can be stolen off of the hovercraft's lift system if you have built that fun project from FSP. The company is currently developing a jet-powered hovercraft using this principal. While a turbocharger jet needs an external blower to get started, this is already present in FSP's design.
The combustion chamber is the heart of their design. Building a combustion chamber that keeps a flame from blowing itself out, and establishes a rich to lean mixture is a bit of a black art with few guidelines available. But FSP has detailed plans to take the guesswork out of construction. The kit is a fun and exciting experience, not a frustrating one. The combustion chamber can be made out of scrap metal and piping, which saves the builder money.
Along with detailed plans for the combustion chamber, FSP provides a high-voltage push button igniter, and a high-flow propane hose for the jet. This hose allows for the high fuel flow the jet requires, and isn't regularly available in stores. Total cost for the hose, igniter, and detailed plans comes to only $45; a great price for an awesome jet and an unforgettable memory.
You can learn more by visiting their web site at www.fsplimited.com. They have some great pages on producing thrust, augmentors, and combustion chamber design too.
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