Archive for the ‘Turbine Engine’ Category

Methods to Start a Turbine Engine

All aircraft work on some of the same principles outlined by the Wright Brothers in 1903, but not all engines are the same. Modern planes frequently rely on turbine starting engines to get off the ground, and starting these new engines is no simple matter. Planes idle for far longer than cars, which means a simple electrical jump isn’t always enough. There are multiple methods to start a turbine engine, and this guide will briefly explain how each one works.

Electrical Starting

Gas turbine start up requires an electrical jump to power the components required to turn the crankshaft. Once the shaft is spinning, heat and air pressure can continue to run through the blades and force the mechanism to spin. These aircraft have a battery system that stores power to keep the blades spinning and the systems running mid flight, however the batteries add weight and complexity to the electrical systems.

Airstrips will keep a portable power supply on hand to deal with multiple planes taking off in the same day. Such a system is necessary on commercial airstrips, where delays in powering craft can quickly translate to lost revenue.

Air Starting

Compressed air can also fulfill the same function. Forcing compressed air through the compressor spools will spin the blades of the engine, but a StartPac auxiliary power system is required to carry out this operation. Usually, crews on the ground will use a gas generator to jump the plane and the on-board APU will keep it in the air.