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Could Frank Whittle have built a jet engine in 1930?

 
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fstarr



Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 16:48    Post subject: Could Frank Whittle have built a jet engine in 1930? Reply with quote

The answer to this question is usually "No! Good turbine blade materials had yet to be developed.

However, I have recently been evaluating Sir Frank's 1929 proposal for a jet engine "demonstrator".This differs from his later concepts, in being an engine with a two stage centrifugal compressor and two stage Curtis type turbine.

This combination gives a relatively slow running engine in which turbine blade stresses would have been under 5 tons/sq in, less than half those in engines like the WI, W2 and Derwent. Furthermore, although tubine inlet temperature was to be over 700C, blade temperatures were in the 550-580C range, without blade cooling.

With such a design, the austenitic stainless steel exhaust valve alloys, which were coming into service in the late 1920s, would have been adequate. With an airflow 30lb/sec, thrust would been about 1100lb, sufficient to demonstrate the jet engine concept.

I will be giving a talk on this to the Westen Branch of the Newcomen Society in Filton, Bristol on 17th April 2014. It is entitled "Lost Opportunities....Whittle Tubojet Demonstrator of 1929"
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