Monday, September 21, 2015

Piston, Jet, and Rocket Engines

Engines! So interesting. We learned about the basic four-stroke engine, as well as diesel engines, during our Train Unit. And early planes used this type of piston engine. See this animation for a demonstration.

(In fact, this is one of our favorite sites ever—it shows animations of different kinds of engines at work. Certain of the children could watch this site, mesmerized, for hours at a time. :))

Later, the jet engine was invented, and there are several types of jet engine: Turbofan/turbojet engines (high- and low-bypass); Turboprops; and Turboshafts. It took us a while to get them straight, but this site does a good job of explaining the differences.

Here's another site that talks about types of jet engine.

We also learned about ramjets and scramjets which are used in rocket propulsion and hypersonic flight.

Here's a "boring" (self-described) animation of a jet engine at work. :)

This site has some good information on engines.

As does this one, including parts of an engine.

Here's a simple activity to demonstrate how rocket propulsion works. We tried this with a long balloon and with a round one. The round one worked MUCH better (more volume of air, I suppose).
The balloon being propelled along the string!

A video about how jet engines work. And on the same subject, another video we really liked.

Sonic booms are so interesting! Here are two videos about them.

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