The Air Force Propulsion Project challenges university programs to design and build practical solutions to improve performance of a micro gas turbine engine, including thrust vectoring and disabling windmilling. This project is funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and advances the Air Force research directive in propulsion. The project focus is on a micro-gas turbine engine (JetCat) that is tested in the Propulsion Laboratory at OSU. Past projects using the JetCat gas turbine engine include a thrust vectoring (2014), afterburning (2015), external bypass combustor (2016), supersonic exhaust velocity nozzle (2017), cold start (-50° F ) preheat system (2018), improved thrust-to-weight ratio (2019) and anti-windmilling device with thrust vectoring (2020) . Team members will travel to Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton Ohio for a presentation and laboratory demonstration.
The 2019-2020 Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program (APOP) research activity requires undergraduate students, working as a team, to research and develop a modification to the JetCat P100-RX engine that 1) prevents the rotor from free spinning at high Mach numbers and 2) gives the engine thrust vectoring capabilities. Currently, if a JetCat was exposed to high inlet/vehicle Mach number while carried on the wing of the drop vehicle, the engine would windmill at significant RPM when powered off. This is an issue during prolonged periods of high Mach, since the bearings are not properly lubricated while the engine is off. The additional thrust vectoring requirement would provide additional maneuverability of the full system and address the challenge of moving components and/or electronics near the hot exhaust of the engine. The research team’s responsibility is to modify the engine and demonstrate the ability to prevent windmill in an engine exposed to high Mach number inlet conditions and provide a means of thrust vectoring. There is a desire that this device would be simple in nature, where the minimal amount of controls are required.