RR300 Turbine Engine – Explained
When looking at the complicated exterior of a turbine engine for the first time, staring at the wide array of pipes, junctions, modules, accessories and valves, we usually get asked “what do all those do?!”
At first it can seem complex, but it does end up being fairly easy to remember when you simplify it back to the 3 main things we need to worry about with a turbine engine – fuel, temperature & lubrication.
⛽️ FUEL: The fuel is needed for the combustion process which drives the engine, therefore we need a way of metering it and then getting it to where it needs to be. Once the fuel leaves the tanks, it passes into the fuel pump and then to the Fuel Control Unit (FCU) which is located on the right hand side of the engine and, in conjunction with the engine governor, delivers the required amount of fuel to the combustion chamber.
TEMPERATURE: When the fuel is burned it creates a very large amount of heat – the engine is designed to cope with the high temperatures, although we need to make sure it doesn’t exceed any limits. As such, we require a way of measuring it and this is done by having multiple sets of thermocouples placed around the hot turbine section of the engine.
OIL: To keep the engine spinning freely and to assist with heat absorption, lubrication is needed. Various pipes work their way around the engine delivering oil from the oil cooler & reservoir to each section of the engine that requires it. It will then feed back into the cooler, to dissipate its heat and then be used again! Some oil which does not recirculate goes out of a “breather” pipe, which feeds into the exhaust to be burned and disposed of (3rd pic).
⚡️Another main part of the engine is the Starter/Generator unit, which effectively works as a large motor to help spin the engine up when starting, and then functions as a 28V generator once started to provide electrical power to the helicopter’s systems in flight. There are other accessories connected to the engine, but we’ll save that for another post!
❔ If you have any questions about the R66 engine, let us know and we’ll answer them for you!