Aircraft Propulsion Systems


Engineering Studies – H3  Aeronautical Engineering – Mechanical Analysis

This topic introduces methods of developing thrust in aircraft. These propulsion systems include jet engines and engines driving propellers. Relating aircraft type to appropriate propulsion type is a key concept.

Key Concepts

  • Propulsion systems including:
    • Internal combustion engines
    • Jet engines such as turbo fan, ram and scram
    • Turboprop engines
    • Rockets
  • Identifying appropriate propulsion systems for various purpose aircraft

Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss the typical types of aircraft and their applications to long haul, short haul, passenger, cargo and recreation flying.
  2. List the types of propulsion systems often used in:
    1. Short haul commercial passenger aircraft.
    2. Long haul commercial passenger aircraft.
    3. Light recreational aircraft.
    4. Rockets.
  3. Describe how jet engines generate thrust.
  4. Describe how propellers generate thrust.
  5. Explain the advantages of a propeller driven propulsion system compared to a jet propulsion system.
  6. Explain the advantages of a jet propulsion system compared to a propeller propulsion system.
  7. What future developments are targeted for propulsion systems in the future?
  8. Environmentally, transportation by air could be described positively as being very efficient while transport by air also has environmental negatives. Explain.


How Jet Engines Work - animation with comentary - Animagraffs - YouTube