Achieving a high propulsive efficiency for a jet engine is dependent on designing it so that the exiting jet velocity is not greatly in excess of the flight speed. At the same time, the amount of thrust generated is proportional to that very same velocity excess that must be minimized. This set of restrictive requirements has led to the evolution of a large number of specialized variations of the basic engine, each tailored to achieve a balance of good fuel efficiency, low weight, and compact size for duty in some band of the flight speed–altitude–mission spectrum. There are two major general features characteristic of all the different engine types, however. First, in order to achieve a high propulsive efficiency, the jet velocity, or the velocity of the gas stream exiting the propulsor, is matched to the flight speed of the aircraft—slow aircraft have engines with low jet velocities and fast aircraft have engines with high jet velocities. Second, as a result of designing the jet velocity to match the flight speed, the size of the propulsor varies inversely with the flight speed of the aircraft—slow aircraft have very large propulsors, as, for example, the helicopter rotor—and the relative size of the propulsor decreases with increasing design flight speed—turboprop propellers are relatively small and turbofan fans even smaller.
Car engines vary in design, but certain elements are common to all engines and are used for engine classification. Engines can be classified in several ways such as the number of cylinders, the geometry of the block, or type of ignition system used. The two major engine types in use are spark ignition (gasoline engine) and compression ignition (diesel engine) which use different types of fuel. The following are ways engines are classified.
Although the turbojet is the simplest jet engine and was invented and flown first among all the engine types, it seems useful to examine the entire spectrum of engines in the order of the flight-speed band in which they serve, starting with the slowest—namely, the engine, which powers .
There are a variety of engine types available to us and every few years a type we never had before becomes available. I can not predict what will be next, but there are already many engine types to choose from.
|LINK to: Types and Characteristics of Stirling Engines|
|The characteristics of the engine types are introduced here (in Japanese).|