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Afterburner Slide1 and 2: Good afternoon and welcome to this presentation on afterburners.

Let me just start by showing you all a short video. As some of you might have identified, the video is from the very popular 1986 film, Top Gun. You can observe a Grumman F-14 Tomcat taking off with the help of afterburners. Image (slide 1): A plane using its afterburner Images (slide 2): Various instances of planes using afterburner, and a schematic showing the location of the afterburner. Slide 3: So, what is an afterburner? It is basically an additional component present in some jet engines. Its purpose is to provide an increase in thrust, usually for supersonic flight, takeoff and for combat situations. It can also be thought of as a reheat. Afterburning is achieved by injecting additional fuel into the jet pipe downstream of the turbine. Pilots can activate and deactivate afterburners in-flight and jet engines are often referred to as operating wet when afterburning is used and dry when not. An engine producing maximum thrust wet is at maximum power, while an engine producing maximum thrust dry is at military power. Image: Close-up of an afterburner section Slide 4: Now, how exactly is the increased thrust produced? Jet engine thrust is governed by the general principle of mass flow rate. Thrust depends on two things: the velocity of exhaust gas and the mass of that gas. A jet engine can produce more thrust by either accelerating the gas to a higher velocity or by having a greater mass of gas exit the engine. The former is used in case of an afterburner. Some of you might ask why not the latter principle, that is, increased mass of gas exiting the engine, not used. Well, that principle is actually used in case of turbofan engines, which produces slower gas, but more of it. Turbofans are highly fuel efficient and can deliver high thrust for long periods of time, but the design trade-off is a large size relative to the power output. Image: Close-up of afterburners on a British Eurofighter Typhoon Slide 5: You can see here that a schematic of a turbojet engine with an afterburner is shown here. Air enters through the inlet, compressed in the compressor; then heat addition is done in the combustion chamber at constant pressure, and this heated gas is undergoes expansion in the turbine. As you can clearly see,

the turbine actually drives the compressor. The gases from the turbine exit then enter the afterburner section where raw fuel is injected and burnt with the help of these gases or by with the help of igniters, which exit the turbine at significantly high temperatures. At the afterburner section exit is the nozzle, through which gases exit at very high velocities, thus producing the increased thrust. As you know, the turbojet or gas turbine engine works on the Brayton cycle. The cycle diagram of a Brayton cycle with reheat is shown here. As I have mentioned earlier, the afterburner is basically a reheat. The temperature of the gas is highest just before entering the turbine. After passing the turbine, the gas expands at near constant entropy; thus losing temperature. The afterburner then injects fuel downstream of the turbine and reheats the gas. In conjunction with the added heat, the pressure rises in the tailpipe and the gas is ejected through the nozzle at a higher velocity. The mass flow is also slightly increased by the addition of fuel. Image: Schematic; Cycle diagram Slide 6: In television or in pictures, we have often seen afterburners in operation. However, we didnt know at that time that it was an afterburner being used. So, lets understand the typical visual characteristics of an afterburner. Afterburners do produce markedly enhanced thrust as well as (typically) a very large flame at the back of the engine. This exhaust flame may show shock diamonds, which are caused by shock waves formed due to slight differences between ambient pressure and the exhaust pressure. These imbalances cause oscillations in the exhaust jet diameter over distance and cause the visible banding where the pressure and temperature is highest. Image: A statically mounted Pratt & Whitney J58 engine with full afterburner, the bright areas being the shock diamonds; a Pratt & Whitney J58 engine; a plane taking off using afterburners Slide 7: In aircraft application, space is a very important constraint, with very fine tolerances. So, how do designers actually carry out the design so that this thrust augmentation can be achieved? A jet engine afterburner is an extended exhaust section containing extra fuel injectors. When the afterburner is turned on, fuel is injected and igniters are fired. The resulting process increases the afterburner exit (nozzle entry) temperature significantly, resulting in a steep increase in engine net thrust. In addition to the increase in afterburner exit stagnation temperature, there is also an increase in nozzle mass flow (i.e. afterburner entry mass flow + effective afterburner fuel flow), but a decrease in afterburner exit stagnation pressure (owing to a fundamental loss due to heating + friction and turbulence losses).

The resulting increase in afterburner exit volume is accommodated by increasing the throat area of the propulsion nozzle; otherwise, the upstream turbomachinery rematches (probably causing a compressor stall or fan surge in a turbofan application). Image: Cross-sectional view of the afterburner section with various parts been indicated Slide 8: What are the advantage and disadvantage of using an afterburner? The advantage of afterburning is significantly increased thrust; the disadvantage is its very high fuel consumption and inefficiency, though it is often regarded as acceptable for the short periods during which it is actually used. Image: Afterburners can also be used in cars. As many of you will identify, it is a Volkswagen Beetle which is equipped with an afterburner. It is then operated. Slide 9: What are the practical applications of an afterburner? Due to their high fuel consumption and fuel inefficiency, afterburners are usually used as little as possible; a notable exception is the Pratt and Whitney J58 engine used in the SR-71 Blackbird. Afterburners are generally used when it is important to have as much thrust as possible. This includes takeoffs from short runways (as on an aircraft carrier) and air combat situations. Afterburners are generally only used in military aircraft and are considered standard equipment for fighter aircraft. The handful of civilian planes that have used them include the Tupolev Tu-144 and Concorde, and the White Knight of Scaled Composites. A dump-and-burn is a fuel dumping procedure where dumped fuel is intentionally ignited using the planes afterburner. A spectacular flame combined with high speed makes this popular display for airshows, or as a finale to fireworks. Image: The SR-71 Blackbird; a dump-and-burn airshow; a close-up of the plane performing the airshow