What Are Aircraft Turbocharging Systems?

Within the realm of aviation, turbocharging systems are relied on for the augmentation of engines so that they may produce more power for flight. Developed specifically for use on aircraft, turbochargers can be traced back to experimental installations that were carried out during the 1920s. With such a device, manifold pressure can be maintained across any throttle setting, avoiding fluctuations as a result of ambient air pressure or other various factors. The turbocharging system consists of a few important components, all of which work together to enhance operations. In this blog, we will discuss turbocharging systems, allowing you to better understand their use and benefit for aviation applications.

In general, a turbocharging system consists of a turbocharger, bypass valve, controllers, and optional pressure relief valves for safety. To carry out their standard operations, the turbocharger collects exhaust gas from the engine and directs it through a turbine. Extracting pressure and energy from exhaust, the turbine wheel will then begin to rotate and drive the compressor wheel. While the compressor wheel rotates, ambient air is drawn into the housing of the compressor for the means of compressing it and directing it into intake manifold ducts. As compressed air is generated, the amount of fuel that can be burned increases to enhance the efficiency of high-altitude combustion.

With the use of an exhaust bypass valve, or wastegate, the flow of exhaust gas that enters into the turbocharger can be managed as necessary. Wastegates may come in one of two types, one being those that are regulated with a poppet valve and those that rely on butterfly valves. Both valve types will be open by default, meaning that exhaust gas will be directed around the turbocharger and through the exhaust system. Once enhanced power production is needed, the butterfly or poppet valve will be actuated, routing a certain amount of exhaust gas into the turbocharger to drive the turbine. In order to manage the amount of exhaust gas that is directed to the turbocharger, the pilot may adjust the valve with the use of a controller. Rather than only allowing for fully open or fully closed positions, either valve can be placed in any position between.

Through the management of the wastegate valve, the aircraft controller ensures a constant manifold or deck pressure during flight. For many aircraft, the controller is adjusted by the movement of the throttle, that of which will lead to the actuation of the wastegate. The controller will monitor for increases in pressure, positioning the internal poppet so that oil pressure can be used for opening the wastegate.

If the turbocharging system features a pressure relief valve, such components will come in the form of a poppet type valve that is situated between the compressor discharge and engine throttle manifold within the ducting, or on a flange located on the turbocharger compressor housing. The pressure relief valve will be closed in its resting state, actuating once deck pressure surpasses set thresholds. Once predetermined settings are passed, pressure will force the valve head open so that pressure can vent from the system as needed for safety.

With the increased power provided by turbocharging systems, many aircraft can benefit with increased efficiency for flight. At NSN Supplies, we can help you secure competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on all the various parts that you require for your operations. With over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items ready for purchase, we are prepared to quickly fulfill your part lists with ease. Take the time to explore our offerings as you see fit, and our team is always on standby 24/7x365 to assist you through the purchasing process as necessary. Get started today and see how NSN Supplies can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.


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