Turbojet and turbofan engine propulsion system are extensively used in aircraft. Turbojets have simple engine design and extensively used for supersonic flights. Turbofan engine has high mass flow rate and efficient for subsonic application. Variable Cycle Engines, unlike the traditional engines, can vary between high thrust mode for supersonic operations and high efficiency mode for subsonic operations hence are potentially attractive for supersonic transport and advanced tactical fighter aircraft. Variable Cycle Engine can be described as the one that operates with two or more cycles, could serve as a possible solution to reconciling the necessary performance at different operating conditions. The aim of the engine is to combine the best traits of turbojet (high specific thrust) and turbofan (low specific fuel consumption, low noise). Traditional engines have fixed mass flow but VCE can alter the mass flow and function as high bypass engine for the subsonic case and low bypass engine at the supersonic case.
Different variable cycle engine design philosophies were studied and the engine architecture used in F120 was incorporated into the base design of a low bypass ratio Turbofan Engine. Cycle analysis of VCE was primarily done based on theoretical calculation and parametric study performed with the use of Gasturb software. Two Variable Area Bypass Injectors (VABI) were used to vary the mass flow through the core and the bypass stream. We aspire to achieve enhanced performance at subsonic and supersonic mission segments. Subsonic, supersonic and take off conditions were decided and the base engine was modified to have multiple operating points. The VCE combines two cycles (subsonic, supersonic) in same engine body and it is crucial for the engine components to deliver the required performance at both the design points. The engine design procedure consists of the matching of components like turbine, compressor, exhaust nozzle and the exhaust mixing area. Systematic study of turbine matching for such engine configuration with multiple operating points was carried out to understand the utility of variable geometry in a VCE. For turbine matching, the mass flow through turbine was held constant by adjusting the VABIs and this was repeated for different takeoff conditions to analyses the output in detail.
The non dimensional mass flow through the turbine was fixed for both the design points and hence the turbine could be designed to provide high efficiency. The fuel consumption was found to have decreased compared to the baseline condition which in turn leads to low SFC and higher endurance.