The innovative Ultra Compact Combustor (UCC) is an alternative to traditional turbine engine combustors and has been shown to reduce the combustor volume and offer potential improvements in combustion efficiency. Prior UCC configurations featured a circumferential combustion cavity positioned around the outside diameter (OD) of the engine. This configuration would be difficult to implement in a vehicle with a small, fixed diameter and had difficulty migrating the hot combustion products at the OD radially inward across an axial core flow to present a uniform temperature distribution to the first turbine stage. The present study experimentally tested a new UCC configuration that featured a circumferential cavity that exhausted axially into a dilution zone positioned just upstream of the nozzle guide vanes. The combustor was sized as a replacement burner for the JetCat P90 RXi small-scale turbine engine and fit inside the engine casing. This combustor configuration achieved a 33% length reduction compared to the stock JetCat combustor and achieved comparable engine performance across a limited operating range. Self-sustaining engine operation was achieved with a rotating compressor and turbine making this study the first to achieve operation of a UCC powered turbine engine.

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