Science: Fancy Jets

The simple jet engine is a thing of the past. The latest designs are highly efficient and powerful, but they pay for their superiority in complication.

Until recently, jet engines had only one essential moving part: the rotor. The forward end of its shaft spins an air compressor, which usually looks like a series of small windmills on the rear end of the shaft. High-pressure air from the last windmill goes to the combustion chambers where the fuel is burned. Hot gases formed there spin a turbine. The turbine turns the compressor, and the...

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