Sie sind auf Seite 1von 16

Early British gas turbine development

on: November 07, 2006, 12:03:57 pm


Got this form Groggy on the TGP site 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 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 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: %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

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. 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. 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? 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.

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.

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?

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) .

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. The original gas turbine aerodynamic work undertaken by Whittle was, I always understood, based on the use of a centrifugal compressor using Ellor's supercharger aerodynamic work together with an axial turbine based on the 'aerodynamics' of steam turbines. His genius was stitching it all together and developing combustion chambers or cans that could burn the fuel in a contained way to generate the energy to drive the turbine and give exhaust thrust. At RAE Griffith's genius was to recognise that upto 1926 axial compressor design theory meant all practical designs to date were running with stalled blading. Hayne Constant worked alongside Griffith and continued the work after G left for RR. They originally carried out extensive cascade work to prove out their theoretical methods and then in 1937 commissioned the construction of a test compressor ' a' nicknamed Anne. Work had been proceeding on a distributed gas turbine and it was decided to build one to be called B10 or Betty. Whereas Anne had been built by Allis Chalmers, Betty was made by Metropolitan Vickers with the input of their steam turbine engineer David Smith. Betty was run in Manchester at Metrovick's Trafford Park complex. The Museum of Science and Industry has artefacts on display that are relevant so I dashed into the Hall and took some photos... the place relies a great deal on natural light and it was near dusk and I used my 'phone to get shots.. hence quality! The cascade and Anne are not there so I have used copy of pics from my archive... mpre on RAE work in Flight report of Hayne Constant's Sir Henry Royce Memorial lecture in 1957 Betty is there and there are shots below. Also a layout diagram I traced in the 1960's . You can see the volute and 4 stage turbine on the layout. RAE realised distributed machinary was not the answer and schemed a more conventional layout... F.1 which was passed to David Smith... his team produced the F.2/1 followed by F.2/2. Whittle's turbofan or augmentor concept based on RAE work was also incorporated as the F.3 augmentor.

Re: Early British gas turbine development

Reply #129 on: May 20, 2012, 02:05:27 pm

Quote Modify Remove

I am intrigued by a review of the thesis The Development and Production of Turbojet Aero-engines in Britain, Germany and the United States by Hermione Giffard. Imperial College London, 2011. ... which leads me to think about how Rolls-Royce and Metrovick did not have the (gas turbine aero engine) field to themselves. George Bulman who was DEngRD for aero engines up until his retirement in 1943 relates how Tizard, head of R&D at the MAP (until Lindeman got him removed in 1942... an old feud.. was there a war on?) became increasingly concerned with Whittle's erratic responses to concerns about the speed of development.. decided to involve Frank Halford and de Havilland in the jet engine programme. Frank Halford, aided by Moult and Brodie had produced ranges of piston engines for de Havilland and Napier, of varying degrees of success (often constrained by those two organisations) and was asked to think of the sort of jet engine they could design for dH. Given their expertise in superchargers, such as the elegant Gipsy Twelve engine (see Flight article from which the supercharger drawing comes) and the Napier Sabre, it is not surprising this is where Halford started. With some, but limited access, to all the work then being sponsored the team went for an engine of 2,000 lbt and sized a supercharger impeller to suit. This was necessarily of larger diameter than Whittle's twin-sided design and alarmed the RAE who were aware of the failiures on Whittle's jets. However Halford's close relationship with Wallace Devereux at High Duty Alloys meant they were confident they could deliver a reliable impeller. Isaac Lubbock of Shell had been brought in to help Power Jets combustion challenges and this work was of great influence... Halford realised that two 180 degree bends in the Whittle reverse flow scheme increased the risk of uncertain combustion conditions as well as being a source of pressure loss so they opted for a straight through layout from day 1. They were not concerned about the shaft whirling issues as the single sided impeller design meant that no axial space was needed for the rear intake and so it was the diffuser elbow and combustion chamber length alone that determined the dimension from impeller to turbine, which could be linked by a simple shaft of appropriate (large) diameter. Also the straight through layout enabled the adoption of a larger diameter turbine (not constrained by the reverse-flow combustion chambers). Progress on turbine disc materials also helped in this respect... so all this thinking without constraints imposed on Whittle a few years before resulted in the H.1, later known as the Goblin engine. A basic section highlighting the features is included below.

As the various claims made by engine designers are not always as clear cut in practice as they are in theory I thought I would make an unfair comparison by putting a section of the 49.5 inch diameter Nene alongside the 49.85 inch diameter Goblin... see below... it is a really unfair comparison as the thrusts and therefore mass flows are not the same but we can see the Nene is a bit longer in shaft dimension than the Goblin... but the Goblin shaft diameter is relatively large... i. e. much stiffer. But the complexity that goes with a three bearing system on the Nene is certainly more complex than that needed on the Goblin two bearing system. The MAP and the Air Ministry noted the lack of paranoia as the aero firm just got on with the job... just a touch more challenging than a Gipsy Twelve but may be not as bad as a Napier Sabre? de Havilland had their challenges but this was to develop the rated power and sufficient longevity to make it a Serviceable engine for the military. The engine design started in April 1941 and as there was a closeness with the aircraft side of the business, the Spider Crab aeroplane design carried on in parallel... resulting in the engine featuring a bifurcated intake so that the ducting from the wing root air inlets was minimised. The first drawings were issued to the experimental shop on 8th August 1941 and a mere 248 days later the H1 made its first test run on 13th April 1942. Two days later the team were confident enough to carry out a half hour acceptance test at half design speed. On the 5th May the engine suddenly stopped- on investigation it was found that the intake had been sucked flat starving the engine of air and stalling the compressor. after stripping the engine little damage was found and soon it was rebuilt. Initial troubles involved difficulties in starting the engine, overcome by fitting two starter motors, and combustion issues leading to continuous improvements as the hours built up, as well as improving welding quality for longevity. The tailpipe was also liable to buckle so it was reinforced. Fuel supply difficulties were also experienced as the pump capacity was inadequate, so was increased. There were one or two impeller failures but the issues were diagnosed and fixed.. to be discussed later. After the strip and rebuild after the incident of May 5th the engine was taken up to full speed on 2nd June reaching the design thrust of 3,000 lb. By the end of July the board of de Havilland were investigating how they were to put the engine into production. On 10th September they received an official Ministry request for a detailed manufacturing plan which was submitted on 18th. On 26th September the engine completed a 25 hour flight approval test; a total of around 120 hours had been achieved in the overall test programme. Two years after the engine programme began the Goblin was ready to fly. However its designated Spider Crab or Vampire as it was to become, was not. The Mosquito and Hornet had been the focus of DH's attention and so the programme slipped. Meanwhile the other British jet fighter was suffering just the opposite problem... the E1/44 (Meteor) was virtually ready but the Power Jets engine was not. It seemed a good idea to look at the feasibility of 'Goblining' the Meteor. George Carter realised that if the Goblin intake was spun through 90 degrees the air inlet to the engine could be above and below the wing spar making the

installation fairly straight forward. The Goblins were installed and cleared for flight at 2,300 lbt, 300 lb more than previously cleared by the simple expedient of increasing max rpm to 9,300 an increase of 300 rpm.So the Meteor and Goblin made their maiden flight on 20th Sept 1943. The British and Americans had been discussing the Goblin and the US Military decided to go ahead with Lockheed on an aircraft with one of these engines. The Lockheed XP-80 was the first product of Kelly Johnson's Skunkworks. June 23rd 1943 was the official start date and it was intended to fly 150 days later. he contract called for the aircraft to be completed in 180 days so the pressure was on! A crude mockup of the Goblin arrived on July 10th and it was the lack of engine which was the critical item for delivering the contractual timespan. August 24th saw the British Air Commission informing the Americans that a non-flyable engine was about to ship. A month later the engine was still in Britain as 'a part change necessitated by overheating the engine during a test run'. The engine was finslly delivered Nov 2nd 1943 and arrived on the Skunk Works shop floor on the 3rd. Everything was assembled and finally the aircraft headed off on a truck to Muroc arriving 14th Nov 1943. On Nov 17th the Goblin was powered up for the first time. The installed, nonflyable Goblin delivered 2,460 lbt at 9,500 rpm. ....moved XP-80 stuff to #131.


In 1941 there was no definition of what constituted satisfactory organizational capabilities for an aircraft gas turbine engine manufacturer. That year, the United States government asked Westinghouse Electric and General Electric to undertake R&D studies of aircraft gas turbine engine designs; the government considered the organizational capabilities of industrial steam turbine manufacturers would be adequate for the task. By 1950, the successful aircraft gas turbine engine manufacturers turned out be those which possessed two kinds of organizational capabilities. Pratt & Whitney Aircraft already possessed organizational capabilities that were especially suited to the aircraft engine industry, but not the technology of aircraft gas turbine engines. The companys knowledge of the needs of commercial and military aviation customers allowed the company to survive its late start in the aircraft gas turbine industry. General Electric possessed an understanding of aircraft gas turbine technology, through its own experience with turbine engines and the help of British engine technology, and quickly learned to understand the needs of a market with which it had no prior experience. Between 1941 and 1950 Westinghouse Electric demonstrated that it possessed organizational capabilities suited to neither the technology nor the market of the aviation gas turbine engine, and as a result by 1950 the pion