How Jet Engines
NASA Glenn Research
Center's Aeronautics Propulsion
Subject Area: Mathematics and Technology
Grade Level: 9-12
- Use and value the connections between mathematics and other
- Construct and draw inferences from charts, tables, and
graphs that summarize data from real-world situations.
- Technology Research Tools - Select and apply
technology tools for research, information analysis,
problem-solving, and decision-making in content learning.
- Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools
- Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources
to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications,
communications, and productivity.
After reading the explanation given below, use the World
Wide Web to access additional information needed to complete the
activity that will give an overview on how a jet engine works and
comparisons of different jet engines used today.
Beginner's Guide to
Propulsion is a web site of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research
Center to help you better understand propulsion, particularly jet engine propulsion.
Guide Index to access the list of available pages.
Open the pages called Gas Turbine
Parts and Types of
and read the explanations about the parts and types of jet engines.
Then using the information
found in these slides, complete the How Jet Engines
Work Activity designed to demonstrate your understanding of this information
The steady progress of powered flight has closely followed the
development of suitable aircraft power plants. Without a lightweight
and adequately powered engine, controlled flight of sufficient
distance of a useful purpose would not be possible. The first
airplanes were powered by a piston engine that turned a propeller
because this was the only means known at the time that could propel a
heavier-than-air machine in continuous level flight. The principle of
jet propulsion was demonstrated by Hero
as long ago
as the first century AD in the earliest "steam engine" on record
called the aeolipile.
But the jet engine did not become a practical possibility until
1930 when Sir
the design of his first reaction motor suitable for
aircraft propulsion. The early jet engines were designed solely for
aircraft propulsion. However, development was rapid and the range of
applications has widened to include ships, hovercraft, power
stations, and industrial installations, all of which benefit from the
jet engine's inherent
qualities of high power,
small size, and low weight.
You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the
ability to explain the main parts of a jet engine, the function of
each, and the four major types of gas turbine engines.
You will be evaluated on your ability to use the Internet
to find additional information needed to complete the activity on
how a jet engine works, as well as the accuracy/feasibility of
your answers on the four major types of gas turbine engines and
Submitted by: Jim Munchick, Olmsted Falls City Schools,
Olmsted Falls, Ohio