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This chapter will provide you with a basic understanding of the history and development of gas turbine engines. This chapter will also discuss basic gas turbine engine theory, types, construc­tion features, and operating principles.


Until recent years, it has not been possible to separate gas turbine and jet engine technology. The same people worked in both fields, and the same sciences were applied to both types of engines. Recently, the jet engine has been used more exclusively as a part of aviation. The gas turbine has been used for the generation of electricity, ship propulsion, and experimental automobile propulsion. Many operational turbine power plants use aircraft jet engines as a gas generator (GG), adding a power turbine (PT) and transmission to complete the plant.

Figure 6-1.-DaVinci's chimney jack.

In the last chapter we discussed Hero, a scientist from Alexandria, Egypt. Many sources credit him as the inventor of the aeolipile (see chapter 5, fig 5-1). The aeolipile is considered by many sources to be the first turbine engine.

Throughout the course of history, there are examples of other devices that used the principle of expanding gases to perform work. Among these were inventions of Leonardo DaVinci (fig 6-1) and Giovanni Branca (fig 6-2)

In the 1680s, Sir Isaac Newton described the laws of motion. All devices that use the theory of jet propulsion are based on these laws. Newton's steam wagon is an example of his reaction principle

Figure 6-2.-Branca's jet turbine.

Figure 6-3.-Newton's steam wagon.


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