Course Title: Aerospace Propulsion

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: AERO5396

Course Title: Aerospace Propulsion

School: 130T Engineering (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6011 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Aerospace)

Course Contact : Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Mr. Kah Kheong Soo
Location 57.5.20
Phone No. 61-3-99254019
Available Tuesday & Wednesday by appointment.

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

MATH5156 Aerospace Mathematics 1
ONPS5098 Aerospace Physics 1
AERO5384 Introduction to Aerospace
AERO5389 Aerodynamics 1

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide training in aerospace prolusion systems operation, configuration and application.
This course covers the principles and construction of aerospace propulsion, fuel and lubrication systems, turbo and supercharging, ignition and accessory systems. Types of propulsion covered include: 2 and 4 cycle piston, diesel and gas turbine engines; their application in aerospace and power and fuel efficiency calculations.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBH743 Aerospace Propulsion

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe and explain constructional features of typical aerospace reciprocating engines.
2. Explain reciprocating engine operating principles and perform calculations relating to reciprocating engines.
3. Identify and explain piston engine starting and ignition system operational principles, configurations construction and components.
4. Describe and explain properties and classifications of aerospace engine fuels and lubricants and forms of fuel system contamination.
5. Explain aircraft carburettors and fuel injection systems, their components, operating principles and construction.
6. Explain operating principles and constructional features of wet and dry sump lubrication systems.
7. Explain the constructional features and operation of aircraft engine induction/intake, exhaust and cooling systems.
8. Explain supercharging systems, principles construction and operation.
9. Explain propeller operating principles and constructional rationale.
10. Explain constructional features and principles of operation of gas turbine engine assemblies and components.
11. Explain and compare the operation of various gas turbine engines and perform calculations relating to gas turbine engines.
12. Identify and explain gas turbine engine starting and ignition system operational principles, configurations construction and components.
13. Describe the basic requirements, arrangements and operating principles of power / thrust augmentation systems.
14. Explain requirements, arrangements and operating principles of aircraft engine control systems.
15. Describe engine operating procedures and interpret engine performance charts.
16. Identify and explain appropriate procedures for inspection, adjustment and functional checks of aircraft engines, systems and accessories.
17. Describe procedures which apply to engine storage, preservation and de-preservation.

Details of Learning Activities

1.1 Describe the function, operation and constructional details of engine components including:
cylinder assemblies
piston assemblies
valve operating mechanisms
crank case, accessory and reduction gearbox assemblies
crankshaft and connecting rod assemblies

2.1 Describe the operation of four stroke cycle engines in terms of:
intake stroke
compression stroke
power stroke
exhaust stroke
valve lead
valve lag
valve overlap
ignition timing
firing order
engine configuration

2.2 Explain the relationship between engine rpm variations and:
valve timing
gnition timing

2.3 Draw pressure/volume graphs which illustrate the effects of variations in valve and ignition timing

2.4 Explain how heat energy is converted into mechanical energy, and the relationship between volume, pressure and temperature during the Otto cycle of operation

2.5 Explain the meaning of, and from given information calculate engine operating parameters including:
mechanical efficiency
thermal efficiency
volumetric efficiency
piston displacement
compression ratio
manifold pressure

2.6 Calculate piston displacement and compression ratio, from given information

2.7 Explain the meaning of the following terms and their relationship to engine power output, including:
horsepower (HP)
kilowatt (KW)
indicated horsepower (IHP)
brake horsepower (BHP)
friction horsepower (FHP)
indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP)
brake mean effective pressure (BMEP)
friction mean effective pressure (FMEP)
stoichiometric mixture
rich best power
lean best power
cruise power mixture
after firing
back firing

2.8 Describe the meaning of ‘brake specific fuel consumption’ (BSFC)

2.9 Using given information, calculate the following for a typical engine:

2.10 Plot fuel consumption from engine power charts

3.1 Explain operating principles of magnetos including:
power generation
mutual induction
self induction
flux reversal
lines of flux
‘E’ gap angle
high and low tension

3.2 Explain the functions of ignition system components including:
contact breaker assemblies
spark plugs
ignition harness
starting aids
rotating magnet
polar inductor

3.3 Explain the construction and operating characteristics of a typical electrical starting system

4.1 Describe the properties and uses of aerospace engine lubricants including:
ashless dispensant

4.2 Describe characteristics of lubricants including:
cloud point
flash point
pour point
viscosity index
foaming/anti foaming
lacquer and coke depositing

4.3 Describe aerospace engine fuel characteristics and classifications including:
anti knock additive
octane rating
performance number
vapour pressure
specific gravity
calorific value
corrosion characteristics
energy per pound (or kg)
fire hazard
flash point
fuel icing
flame point

4.4 Describe forms of fuel system contaminisation, and their detection methods including:
foreign particles
other grades/fuel types
microbial growth

5.1 Explain operating principles and constructional features for carburettor types including:
up draft
down draft
float types
pressure injection type

5.2 Explain the function and operation of:
accelerator pumps
discharge nozzles
float chambers
main/idle jets
mixture control systems
power enrichment systems
throttle valves
air/fuel metering forces
impact tubes

5.3 Explain function and operating principles of fuel injection systems and components including:
altitude mixture controls
fuel control units
flow dividers
fuel nozzles
fuel/air metering forces
impact tubes
injector pumps
manifold valves
throttle valves

6.1 Explain operating principles and applications of wet and dry sump lubrication systems

6.2 Explain the constructional features and operation of lubrication system components including:
check valves
oil coolers/regulators
oil dilution sub systems
oil filters
oil tanks/hoppers
pressure pumps
relief valves
scavenge pumps

7.1 Explain the constructional features and operations of typical engine induction/intake and alternate air systems

7.2 Explain the construction and operation of typical engine exhaust systems

7.3 Explain the construction and operating characteristics of engine cooling systems and components including:
air seals
cowl flaps
cylinder baffles
cylinder cooling fins
engine cowls and panels
exhaust augmentors
liquid jackets
coolant systems

8.1 Explain the purpose of and principles of supercharging and effects on:
brake horsepower (BHP)
charge density and temperature
fuel consumption
manifold absolute pressure (MAP)
volumetric efficiency

8.2 Explain the meaning of supercharging terms including:
critical altitude
deck/upper deck pressure
density altitude
rated power

8.3 Describe the construction and operating principles of typical super/turbo charging systems and components including:
gear drive
external (turbo supercharger)
internal (supercharger)

8.4 Describe the operation and layout of various supercharger control systems

9.1 Describe the following:
Rankin-Froude momentum theory
momentum blade element theory
propeller efficiency

9.2 Explain the relationship and effect on propellers and propeller efficiency of variations to:
angle of attack
rotational speed
blade angle
forward speed
blade design
blade twist
torque forces
aerodynamic forces
centrifugal forces
engine power
relative airflow direction

9.3 Describe propeller types and the effect each has on engine performance and power absorption, including:
constant speeding
centra rotating
controllable pitch
fixed pitch
ground adjustable

9.4 Describe governor construction and operation

9.5 Describe propeller operating conditions including:
on speed
over speed

9.6 Describe propeller constructional terms, materials and features including:
blade back
blade shank
blade face
blade station
hub assembly
installation/mounting features
composite materials
metal materials
timber materials
pitch changing mechanisms
pitch stops

9.7 Describe the configuration and operation of propeller auxiliary systems including:
ice protection/elimination
unfeathering accumulators

9.8 Describe propeller damage criteria and repair methods

10.1 Identify types of bearings and seals used in gas turbine engines, and describe their constructional features and principles of operation

10.2 Describe the purpose, construction and principles of operation of:
compressor inlet ducts
centrifugal compressor assemblies
axial flow compressor assemblies
centri-axial compressor assemblies
compressor airflow control systems

10.3 Explain what is meant by the terms:
compressor stall
compressor surge
compressor ratio

10.4 Describe the purpose, construction and principles of operation of:
combustion sections
fuel nozzles

10.5 Describe the purpose, construction and principles of operation of:
nozzle guide vanes
turbine assemblies including:
radial inflow
power generator
multi stage
exhaust systems
variable nozzle exhaust systems
thrust reverser assemblies
noise suppressors

10.6 Describe requirements, arrangements and operating principles of gas turbine engine systems including:
lubrication systems
fuel control systems
fine detection and extinguishing systems
air systems for:
ice control
external services
internal services
engine start systems
power generation and distribution systems
engine instrumentation systems
power/thrust augmentation systems

10.7 Describe the construction, configuration and operating principles of gas turbine engine firewalls, cowling, engine mounts and acoustic panels

11.1 Explain the operation of gas turbine engines in terms of:
Bernoullis theorem
Brayton cycle
kinetic energy
Newton’s Laws of Motion
potential energy
thermodynamic laws
gas laws

11.2 From given information, solve problems involving the application to gas turbine operation of:
gas laws
thermodynamic laws
Newtons Laws of Motion

11.3 Describe the constructional arrangements of the following engine types and compare their operational advantages and limitations:

11.4 Explain the meaning, application and relationship to gas turbine engine operation of the following:
choked nozzle thrust
equivalent shaft horsepower (ESHP)
gross thrust
nett thrust
resultant thrust
specific fuel consumption (SFC)
thrust distribution
thrust horsepower

11.5 Solve problems for thrust from given information including variations to:
forward speed

11.6 Explain the meaning of, and from given information calculate:
adiabatic efficiency
propulsive efficiency
thermal efficiency

11.7 With the aid of diagrams, explain the reasons for changes in pressure, temperature and velocity of the gas flow through each section of a gas turbine engine

11.8 Describe ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ operational conditions and means of control for gas turbine/propeller applications

11.9 Describe configuration and operation of propeller auxiliary systems including:
negative torque
propeller brakes
thrust sensitive

12.1 Describe the basic requirements, arrangements and operating principles of the following engine starting systems:
Air turbine starters
electric starters
pressure regulating and shut off valves
starter generators

12.2 Describe the basic requirements, arrangements and operating principles of the following engine ignition systems:
high voltage AC input
igniter plug types
low voltage DC types

12.3 Describe the safety requirements during servicing and maintenance of gas turbine ignition systems

12.4 Identify the effects of faults in components on gas turbine engine starting and ignition systems

13.1 Describe the basic requirements and operating principles of the following power / thrust augmentation systems:
water injection
water / methanol injection

14.1 Describe the relationship, location and functions of engine control system units and components

14.2 Describe procedures for rigging and adjusting aircraft engine control systems

15.1 Describe general precautions and pre start up checks which apply to reciprocating and gas turbine engines

15.2 Describe general procedures for starting, ground run-up and stopping reciprocating and gas turbine engines

15.3 Interpret engine performance charts

16.1 From given information, describe procedures for inspection adjustment and functional checks of aircraft engines, systems and accessories

16.2 From given information, describe rectification and repair procedures for aircraft engines, systems and accessories

17.1 Describe storage and preservation procedures in the following engine types:
gas turbine

17.2 Describe the procedures for the preparation of reciprocating and gas turbine engines and accessories for installation, following storage, preservation or overhaul

Teaching Schedule

Refer to Blackboard for Schedule

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Aviation Technician Integrated Training Program ’Powerplant Section’ EA ITP-P

Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics ‘Powerplant Handbook’ EA-AC65-12A Federal Aviation Administration Publications, Washington DC, USA

Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Acceptable Methods, Techniques and Practices: Aircraft Inspection Repair and Alterations, EA-AC43-13 1A & 2A. Federal Aviation Administration Publications, Washington DS, USA

Delp, F. Aircraft Ignition and Electrical Systems EA IGS International Aviation Publishing Inc, Casper, Wyoming, USA

Kroes, Wild, Bent & McKinley Aircrafts Powerplants

Delp, F. Aircraft Propellers and Controls, EA-APC International Aviation Publishing Inc., Casper, Wyoming, USA

Hurt, HH Jr. Aerodynamics For Naval Aviators, NAVWEPS 00-80T-80

Otis, Charles. Aircraft Gas Turbine Power Plants, EA-TEP-2 International Aviation Publishing Inc., Casper, Wyoming, USA. ISBN 0-89100-255-3-1AP

Rolls Royce. The Jet Engine, EDC Printing Services

Inwin, E. Treager. Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine Technology, McGraw Hill Publishing

Overview of Assessment

To successfully to complete this course the student is required to pass written assessment tasks and demonstrate skills and ability by completing practical tasks to aerospace standards.

Assessment Tasks

15 Assignments - 40%
2 Written exams - 60%
(Closed book)

Assessment Matrix



 Session Piston
 1 Principle of Operation
 3 Ignition
 4 Lubrication system
 5 Carburettor & fuel injection systems
 6 Forced induction
 7Cooling, Exhaust & Induction & Induction system
 8 Propellers
  Gas Turbine
 9Theory; Gas Turbine
 10 Performance; Gas Turbine
 11Intake; Gas Turbine
 12Compressor; Gas Turbine
 13Combustion; Gas Turbine
 14Turbine; Gas Turbine
 15Exhaust; Gas Turbine


Assignments - 40%
Exams - 60%     Piston & propeller
                             Gas Turbine

Other Information

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students.
Services offered by SLC to support numeracy and literacy skills of the students are:

assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
maths and science developmental support and advice
English language development

Please Refer and learningcentre to find more information about Study and learning Support

Disability Liaison Unit:

Students with disability or long-term medical condition should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek advice and support to complete their studies.

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Late submission:

Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager.

The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days
after the official due date.

Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special consideration:

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Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University.

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