Engines are the main power force behind powering a helicopter. The two most common helicopter engines on the market are the reciprocating engine and the turbine engine. Each engine has different properties that should be considered before owning or operating a helicopter.
The reciprocating engine also known as the piston engine is an engine typically used in small helicopters. A majority of training helicopters use this type of engine because it is easy to operate and is an inexpensive cost upfront and in repairs. The engine is powered by pistons that are connected to a crankshaft, once the pistons move up and down the crankshaft rotates. Power is created by the parts moving How Helicopter Engines operate back and forth internally. This engine is typically a labeled as a four-stroke engine as it operates on four different cycles to congruently produce power. The four-stroke cycle within the engine takes place a couple hundred times each minute and power are consistently being produced.
The turbine engine is a gas engine that is mounted on most larger helicopters. This engine is made up of a turbine, a compressor, a combustion chamber and an accessory gearbox assembly. Fuel is injected into the chamber and compressed, allowing for internal expansion, this expansion creates combustion gas. This gas forces the turbine wheels to turn to create power for the compressor and the gearbox. Once power is running, the combustion gas will be expelled through an exhaust outlet. The reciprocating engine and the turbine engine can both power a helicopter but, do so very differently.
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