Behind every plane and aircraft is the extensive and hard work of engineers who incorporate the latest scientific knowledge and technologies into their production. Aircraft engineers implement scientific and mathematical concepts to resolve commercial and practical problems. They design, test, maintain and supervise the making of aircraft. There are a lot of segments that they have to pay attention to when designing. The safe control and landing of aircraft always have been one of the most significant tasks of aerospace engineering. In this blog, we will write about reverse thrust, also known as thrust reverser, a control system found in many airplanes with jet engines that changes the direction in which air is exhausted from the engine.
How does thrust reverser work?
When an airplane is flying, its engines provide thrust by ejecting air in the opposite direction from the direction of the airplane’s movement. With enough thrust, the aircraft generates lift, which allows it to take off and stay in the air. The thrust reverser makes exactly what its name suggests, reversing the direction of the airflow to provide the opposite, decelerating force in the direction of the plane’s movement. Thrust reverser is used to reduce airspeed just after touch-down, which reduces wear on the brakes and provides shorter landing distances.
A thrust reverser is a system/part of the engine attached to the rear of the engine itself, over the exhaust system. Reverser with its components provides redirecting of fan exhaust during thrust reverser operations. When employed, it alters the direction in which air comes out of the airplane’s engines, enabling the airplane to slow down in anticipation of landing.
Various types of reverse thrust systems
There are various types of reverse thrust systems, some of which work in different ways. Target reverser, cascade reverser, cold stream are some of reverse thrust systems. Target reverser uses bucket doors to provide thrust reversal. Hydraulic actuators shift the bucket doors to redirect airflow at a forward angle.
Cascade reverser involves blocking doors installed adjacent to openings near the fan cowl’s aft edge. These blocking doors obstruct the normal flow of air and redirect it out of the openings at a sideward angle. It is most typically installed on high bypass ratio turbofan engines.
Cold stream works by redirecting bypass airflow utilizing doors installed in the bypass duct. The doors, activated by an air motor, block the cold stream final nozzle and push airflow forward out of cascade vanes.
Thrust reverser importance
Each of these three reverse thrust systems is relevant to the appropriate type of aircraft that it services, so expertise in all of them assists in MRO industry.
It is essential to test reversers before a flight to guarantee proper operation. If the reversers were to fail and “unlock” after takeoff, the aircraft might become uncontrollable within seconds. Under standard conditions, reverse thrust usually isn’t required after landing, as the plane’s braking system will serve, but the crew uses it in most cases for reasons stated in first paragraph. Yet, in unfavorable conditions such as rain and snow, reverse thrust can be critical as brakes are much less efficient.
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