The 5 Main Types of Aircraft Jet Engines

1. Turboprop Engine

The turboprop engine is a turbojet engine that uses a gearing system to connect to the aircraft propeller. The gearbox of an aircraft comes with a turbojet that spins the shaft attached to it. The gearbox slows down the spinning shafts to allow the gear to connect to the propeller. As with Cessna 172, the propeller rotates through the air to produce thrust.

The first turboprop engine was designed in Budapest in 1938. It was tested in August 1940, but it was later abandoned when the world war broke out. Max Mueller initiated the designing and launch of the world’s first turboprop aircraft engine that started to operate in 1942.

2. Turbojet Engine

The concept of the turbojet aircraft engine is simple. It entails taking air in from the engine’s rear side and then compressing it in the compressor. But fuel has to be added to the combustion chamber and burned to raise the fluid mixture temperature to about 1000 degrees.

The hot air that is produced is then pushed through a turbine that rotates the compressor. The pressure at the discharge of the turbine should be twice the pressure in the atmosphere. However, that depends on the efficiency level of an aircraft engine. The excessive pressure then moves to the nozzle that then generates gas streams, which are responsible for creating a thrust.

3. Turboshaft Engine

The turboshaft engine is a form of gas-powered turbine that operates the same as a turboprop engine. But unlike a turboprop engine, turboshaft engines don’t drive a propeller. Instead, it is used in helicopters to provide power to the rotor.

Turboshaft aircraft engines are commonly used on helicopters. The only difference between turbojets and turboshafts is that the latter uses much of their power for turning a turbine instead of producing thrust. The turboshaft engine is similar to a turbojet engine, but it has a large shaft that connects the front to the back. Since most of the turboshaft engines are used on helicopters, the shaft connects to the transmission of the rotor blade.

Turboshaft engines are designed in a way that makes the speed of a helicopter rotor to rotate independently of the gas generator’s speed. That allows the speed of a helicopter rotor to remain constant even when the gas generator’s speed declines. It also modulates the power that a helicopter produces.

4. Turbofan Engine

Turbofan jet engines are equipped with a massive fan at the front for sucking in air. For turbofan jet engines, most of the air flow around the exterior of an aircraft engine to give the plane more thrust even at low speeds and make it quiet.

Turbofan jet engines are powering most of todays airliners. All the air that enters the intake of a turbofan jet engine flows through the generator that produces the hot air. This generator comprises of a turbine, combustion chamber, and compressor. Only a small percentage of the air that passes through the turbofan engine reaches all the way to the combustion chamber. The rest of the air passes through a low-pressure compressor or fan, after when it is mixed with the produced gas or ejected directly. The objective of this system is to help achieve a higher thrust while maintaining the same level of consumption. The turbofan jet engine cut back the velocity within the same level of power supply and increases the flow of the total air-mass to achieve this.

5. Ramjet Engine

These are the lightest types of engines in aircraft and come with no moving components. The speed of an aircraft is responsible for forcing air into the engine. Ramjet operates the same as a turbojet, except that the rotating parts are not present. However, the fact that the compression ratio depends on the speed of an aircraft restricts the application of ramjet engines.

Unlike other engines, the ramjet does not develop static thrust; instead, it generates little thrust below the speed of the sound. That means an aircraft running on a ramjet engine requires assistance when taking off, which could be in the form of another aircraft. The ramjet engine has been used in space vehicles and several guided-missile systems.

Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site.