Turbofan: the aeronautic engine

    The modern airplanes use as engine a turbofan, it consists essentially of a front air inlet, a fan, a compressor, a combustion chamber, an exhaust duct, a gas turbine, a nozzle back and other secondary organs, all enclosed in a structure placed on the fuselage of the aircraft.

    The fan distributes the air in two separate flows:

    The hot flow that passes through all the stages of the engine and the cold flow which passes through the fan and the nozzle (Turbofan with associated flows) or the single fan (Turbofan with separated flows).

    In these engines, the air is compressed through a compressor and then sent into the combustion chamber, where, mixed with fuel, after combustion, generates a flow of hot gases; this flow is directed through the turbine blades, in which it realizes the conversion of kinetic energy of the gas into mechanical energy absorbed by the turbine, required to rotate the compressor, the fan and the operation of the auxiliary components moved by the motor.

    The enthalpy and pressure, at the exhaust of the turbine, is converted, through the discharge nozzle, into kinetic energy generating a small part of the thrust required for propulsion. Most of the thrust is produced by a flow of cold air, accelerated, since forced through a duct of decreasing section. Due to the enormous volume, it’s necessary a small increase in the speed of the external flow, so that it develops an enormous amount of thrust.


    Black box: improve air safety

    Despite according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a passenger should carry an average of about 5.3 million commercial flights before coming across an accident, this transport is still the most dangerous in the collective imagination. So many people are still afraid to board a plane, preferring cars or trains for long and tiring journeys. But as stated ironically Lorenzo Pinna in his service: “The real risk of flying is the drive to the airport.” In fact, a plane crash stands every 1.6 million flights worldwide. Aviation safety is ensured by a set of rules that impose numerous operations of aircraft maintenance, strict controls and frequent surveys. These are possible thanks to the use of so-called BLACK BOX. This device consists of two recorders: the FLIGHT DATA RECORDER that records technical data (altitude, speed, temperature, turbulence etc.) and the COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER that records conversations between the pilots. It not only allows you to identify the causes of a plane crash, but also to investigate failures or wrong maneuvers that cause minor or near misses incidents. The black box is actually orange color to be easily traced, it is designed so as to withstand extreme conditions and it is equipped with a transmitter which is automatically activated upon contact with water, by transmitting ultrasonic signals up to 30 days. There are two black boxes, one in the tail and one in the face, typically on a commercial airplane.

    Perlan, Close-Up Engineering

    Perlan II: a glider for the study of ozone hole

    The current environmental issues necessitates experiments that show the chemical reactions due to the ozone hole and global warming. You have to reach the stratosphere to understand the reasons that lead one of three oxygen atoms that form ozone to react with CFCs remaining attached to the molecules of chlorine and fluorine for over 50 years because these reactions occur here.

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