Continuous Spark Ignition for Rapid Relight After Flameout of Gas Turbine Engines
WRIGHT AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER WRIGHT FIELD OH
Pagination or Media Count:
The in-flight flameout of gas turbine engines, in many instances, is the result of transient reductions in engine air flow caused by many possible conditions such as particular aircraft maneuvers, contamination of intake airflow by exhaust products of self-propelled ordnance launched from aircraft, and severe ice ingestion by the engine. If the aircraft loses altitude or flight speed due to the engine flameout, or must be piloted to lower altitude in order to relight the engine, the mission of that particular aircraft is either compromised or completely aborted. The first major effort on rapid relight of gas turbine engines appears to have been accomplished by the British. In early 1956, Proteous Engines of the Bristol Britannia Commercial Aircraft experienced flameout while flying through heavy precipitation of small ice crystals at very low air temperature. The British were successful in obtaining rapid relights under these icing conditions by inserting into the combustion chamber of the Proteous engine, a platinum glow plug. Apparently the platinum rod is heated to incandescence during normal engine operation, and this heat is retained sufficiently after flameout to relight the engine. The catalytic effects of platinum upon mixtures of hydrocarbon fuels and air probably aid the relight process also.
- Combustion and Ignition
- Jet and Gas Turbine Engines