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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Propulsion (191 comments)

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  •  Afterburners are very simple devices (6+ / 0-)

    They're basically an extension of the tailpipe where additional fuel is injected and burned.

    They give you roughly twice the thrust but at the cost of four times the fuel burn.

    They're mostly used on planes that need a quick burst of speed or maneuvering thrust like fighter jets. You can have extra thrust on an as-needed basis without having the weight penalty of carrying a bigger engine around.

    The only commercial use I know of was Concorde and its Russian equivalent the TU-144.

    Concorde only needed them to get up to speed. It could actually cruise at supersonic speed without them. Quite amazing for late 60s early 70s technology.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:55:29 AM PDT

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    •  then there's the contrail/chemtrail video (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, RiveroftheWest

      where a following airliner videoed the plane ahead skipping in and out of the air layer where contrails were produced. It's pretty funny really.

      There was a diary here recently asking about the effect of contrails on atmosphere and weather vs the cost savings of flying higher with contrails. You know, an actual science question.

      Nicely explained Major Kong. Technical writing is hard, evidence all around us.
      thanks.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:39:21 PM PDT

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    •  IIRC (0+ / 0-)

      There were a number of early civilian jets that used water injection for takeoff. These would inject water into the hot exhaust stream, turning it into steam and creating extra thrust.

      With higher bypass ratio jets (and cooler exhausts), they became pointless.

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