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Author Topic: Early British gas turbine development  (Read 137191 times)

Offline PMN1

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Early British gas turbine development
« on: November 07, 2006, 02:03:57 am »
Got this form Groggy on the TGP site

http://www.tgplanes.com/Public/snitz/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1268

“The L.R.1 bomber project was first submitted to the Ministry of Aircraft Production late in 1944” and “In May, 1945 a project was prepared for a transatlantic civil transport powered by four L.R. 1 engines driving ducted fans. The machine was designed to cruise at 470 m.p.h. at 45,000ft. with a still air range of 5,280 miles and a payload of 20,000 lb. The estimated all-up weight was 156,000 lb.”

“The static thrust of the straight jet version of the engine was envisaged as 5,500lb static thrust at S.L.” The L.R.1 turbo fan would have given with a bypass ratio of 2.5, so this would give a thrust of ?? 10,000 lb? any ideas?

This is about the only details I can find for the L.R. 1 bomber but I was told by Ian Whittle, Whittles son that the prototype L.R.1 engine was almost finished being built.

Any additions or comments?


Anybody have any further information on the bomber, the civilain transport or the engines and what would have been the effect on the early post war designs if a turbofan had been available in the late 40's


Offline Spark

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 02:04:35 am »
Frank Whittle's axial jet, turbofan.
After Frank Whittle left Powerjets worked on continued on his axial turbofan and turbo prop.
It was finally tested circa 1947. But worked stopped with the failure of the gearbox. Can any one help with photos, details , drawings?
Has any one anything on his axial turbofan with afterburner, reheat designed for supersonic flight

Offline Apophenia

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 11:22:49 am »
Spark, are you referring to the Power Jets L.R.1 axial-flow engine? If so, this entry in Cambridge's Janus site may be a lead:

http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0014%2FWHTL%20AS%202

Whittle Associated Papers

Power Jets (Research and Development) Ltd Projects Department Note No. A.137 (a). "Power Jets L.R.1 Engine". With diagrams and designs. 29 January 1945

Offline red admiral

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 11:31:41 am »
Genesis of the Jet, by Golley and Gunston has some details in the appendices of Whittle's work with thrust augmentors, turbofans and reheat. There are diagrams, but no photos.

I've never heard that the engines were ever finished or tested. From reading other accounts it seems that PowerJets didn't do any further work on whole engines after being nationalised in 1944, just research into bits. Engine development was given by MAP to the aircraft companies.

Offline alertken

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 03:32:35 am »
The Royal Aircraft Factory lost its role as designer of complete vehicles in 1918 and became the Basic, or Pure Research resource. Govts. took the view that the State, in academia or Establishments, should create the knowledge that industry should Apply. RAE organised into specialities, inc. Powerplant. So it was; then Whittle came up with gyre-power just as "Hyper" reciprocating engines were being explored. 1938-41 A.M/MAP perceived that ASM, Bristol, Napier and RR had their hands full making mere Cheetah, Hercules, Dagger, Merlin work, while trying to invent Deerhound, Centaurus, Sabre, Griffon. It would be nugatory to put a wholly new technology there, when logic was to find metalworkers familiar with discs, spin. So, superchargers: GE's 25% affiliate AEI (BTH & Metro-Vick). (Parallel in US - NACA; Pratt/Wright overloaded on big pistons, so enter Allis Chalmers, GE, Westinghouse). Fabrication capacity was idle in the auto industry, so enter Rover, Vauxhall (US: Buick, Studebaker). Geo.DH had some of F.Halford's time, and had capacity beyond Gypsies, and Merlin repair, so was given access to Whittle's work, to evolve Goblin.

As 1942 became 1943, big pistons were fixed and in production, even Service. Massive investment was churning out aero-engines from the original Ring of 4, plus shadows. Stafford Cripps had been the Counsel who had extracted damages from Rootes for infringing Ricardo's diesel compression swirl chamber. Appointed MAP Nov.,1942, despite having been in 1938 so Left Wing that Attlee had expelled him from the Labour Party, he chose to reject Whittle's advice that the entire aero-engine industry should be nationalised (A.Nahum,F.W - Invention of the Jet,Icon,2004,P.105). Instead he: introduced Board harmony at Bristol by taking Fedden as his Special Technical Advisor (Nov.1942); fixed Napier's management shortcomings by causing EE to buy them (Dec.1942); took Rover out and put RR in to W.2-fabrication; buying Power Jets (March,1943) and turning it, at Harry Ricardo's suggestion (Nahum,P.100), into RAE's gyre lab (to be the National Gas Turbine Establishment). So, no change then: Basic Research: NGTE; Applied Research, product development and supply: industry. Same as most munitions bar the actual bangs; same as US.

Why people continue to bang on about maltreatment of Whittle is baffling (not talking about £100K for his invention; but about non-expansion of his lab into a factory). Why would any Minister render idle the engineering competence of an industry dating back to 1909, by duplicating it in an incomer? The reason for parking many of Whittle's schemes in 1944 was neither personal jealousy, not any conspiracy, but simple need: we had no need for plenum chamber burning, or long range turbofans. The War would be resolved on products in prototype by 1942. The Days after VJ Day were for converting swords to ploughshares. From 1947-50 we tried to make colder, easier axials work. Korean War money caused us to do Conway (which stemmed from L.R.1, via Napier E.113), Gyron; both, plus PCB work at BSEL from 1960 (to be BS.100) drew upon NGTE Basic Research which derived from Whittle-memory. A key NGTE scientist in BS.100, Ray Holl, had been in Power Jets. Whittle's legacy is no less secure than if his advice had led to one UK Gyre Co with he as President-Emeritus.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 03:39:36 am by alertken »

Offline Spark

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 07:20:02 am »


[/quote]

Hi
will make a proper reply

but,
The other day I was told that some new documents had been recieved showing that  in 1937 Metrovik were told  or had started by themselves looking at an idea for a jet engine? Will check this story again next week:

 This rather early and is against the generally exceptd wisdom?

Offline red admiral

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 11:24:57 am »
A visit was made by the RAE to Metropolitan Vickers on 3rd June 1937 and three designs outlined.

I'll write up a bit more of the information I have later.

Offline red admiral

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2009, 03:53:55 am »
Sorry for the delay;

The Early History of the Aircraft Gas Turbine in Britain by W Hawthorne

Offline tartle

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 06:36:14 am »
If memory serves me right
....the RAE were pioneers of axial compressors... The 'Betty' is a Haynes Constant Research rig building on the axial compressor work of A A Griffith and after several rig designs eventually led to the Metrovick engines such as Beryl... this series of engines led to the Sapphire, production of which was handed to Armstrong Siddeley, plus further development. Metrovick an American owned company set up at the turn of the century had a long relationship with RAE, no doubt due to their rotating machinary expertise (electricity!). They helped with supercharger design for RAFactory in WW1.
See also this post I have written elsewhere on secretprojects.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 06:35:51 pm by tartle »
"... prototypes are a way of letting you think out loud. You want the right people to think aloud with you.” - Paul MacCready, aeronautical engineer.

Offline tartle

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 01:12:40 pm »
In case people are still interested ...
the Whittle engine looked like this...........

There were various versions proposed based on this layout..
The one in the diagram is a 2.5:1 bypass ratio single-shaft - 8-stage axial plus 1 stage centrifugal driven by a 2-stage turbine; the turbofan is geared off the front of the compressor turning at 2,300 rpm; the engine itself at take-off rotates at 8,000 rpm. This turbofan is based upon the original six-blade contra rotating turboprop version which was projected to supply 4,870 shp plus 3,160 lbt at take-off.
The 'fan version was designed to give 2,800 thp at cruise with a fuel consumption of 1,890 lb/hr at a weight of 2,770lb.
Leaving off everything forward of the compressor gave a jet of 2,600 lb weight and a static sea level t/o thrust of 5,500 lb.
Yet another version had a separate turbine driving a ducted fan; a further variant was to have the turbine drive a propeller proposed for a 300 mph cruise at 20,000ft aeroplane project that eventually became the Britannia.
The LR1 project was serioius enough for the MAP powerplants committee to order one prototype engine plus spares in Aug 1945. The compressor was run at Pyestock and in 1949 a mechanical failure occured and the project was abandoned. So I am not sure if there ever was a complete engine... maybe NGTE, Pyestock archives hold the answer?
"... prototypes are a way of letting you think out loud. You want the right people to think aloud with you.” - Paul MacCready, aeronautical engineer.

Offline red admiral

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 01:19:07 pm »
Interesting information tartle. I seem to remember from Gensis of the Jet that Powerjets were constructing a complete engine in 1944/45 -ish with construction proceding to an advanced stage. I've no idea what archives remain at Pyestock; they might have been subsumed into FAST in Farnborough at some stage?

Offline tartle

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 04:51:02 pm »
red admiral,
I'll do some checking. FAST is a good lead.
"... prototypes are a way of letting you think out loud. You want the right people to think aloud with you.” - Paul MacCready, aeronautical engineer.

Offline Jemiba

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 09:46:39 pm »
From The Aeroplane, March 1959, a design for a transatlantic civil transport, powered
by four L.R.1 engines. With an all-up weight of 156.000 lbs (70.760 kg), the aircraft was
expected to cruise at 470 mph (756 km/h) at a height of 45.000 ft (13.700 m)with a range
of 5.280 miles (8.500 km) and a payload of 20.000 lbs (9.070 kg) .
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 11:42:29 pm »
http://www.tgplanes.com/Public/snitz/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1268

Just two concerns:
1°) You need to be logged (therefore a member) of said site to be able to view the page you linked.
2°) You do not specify what aircraft manufacturer originated the L.R.1 bomber project. Was that Gloster, given the Whittle connection?

Offline alertken

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Re: Early British gas turbine development
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 09:12:50 am »
I think jemiba's #4 is an aero-engine man's concept, not an airframer's scheme.
 
My understanding of UK's evolution of augmented flow:
1944: Power Jets had as rig hardware, W.2/700, which we would now label as a PCB turbofan. As a components exercise PJ had LR.1. Whittle was pressing Minister Cripps to nationalise the entire aero-engine industry, and generally was being "difficult". 28/4/44 Cripps nationalised Power Jets.
 
1/7/46 it subsumed RAE's powerplant resources, becoming NGTE. Basic Research: Establishment, Applied Research: industry, same as airframes. Augmented flow passed to Napier, schemed as E.132.
1946: UK was trying hard to make axial turbojets work, without notable success. English Electric's entry to modern aero design hinged on A1, whose AJ65 was dammed.
 
July,1947: EE's Medium Bomber bid, and Short's enhancement of Sperrin, both based on E.132, both rejected by MoS.
               EE's Geo.Nelson (owner of Napier) sold E.132 to RR. Hives parked it with his Chief Scientist, AA Griffith, while practical folk tried to make Avon as good as ASM's Sapphire, just acquired ex-MetroVick F.9.
 
1949: Avon improves and sells. Griffith is sponsored to start on (E.132, enhanced as) RB80, chosen:
 
1950: as Conway for Valiant B.2, 17 ordered 10/51, cancelled. Conway continued for V.1000, cancelled. RR took a fixed production price punt to displace Olympus 201 from Victor B.2, then found berths in 707-420/DC-8/40.
 
Points: A) what if...augmented flow had flowed smoothly through 1947-54. Well, why would it do so, when Avon et al did not?
          B )  just to keep perspective on the who-though-of-it-first game: GE axial J35/J47 combustor “drew on Whittle” and was  derived from W.2/700, which used GE compressor rotor; this, the first by-pass turbofan, influenced RB80 Conway, which eroded 1960s’ sales of GE first attempt on the civil market - CJ-805-23. Gunston,Engines,Pp61/108.