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The project that we are working on is a cage/filter for airplane engines that will protect harmful material from entering airplane engines during flight that would make the airplane malfunction and possibly put hundreds of passengers’ lives in danger. For example, if a bird or drone entered the engine of an aircraft, it could possibly cause the engine to fail, possibly resulting in an extremely fatal accident. With a filter in front of the engine, any sort of material that would have gone into the engine would be blocked off, and either blown or washed out of danger. Bird strikes, in particular, have turned out to be an extremely harmful issue over the past few years, as there have been over 52,000 bird strikes from 1990-2003 that have cost over $600 million in damages and delays. By using a light-weight metal, the cage will not weigh down the engine a significant amount, but it will still be strong enough to endure the thrust of the airplane engine. Airlines in today’s world refrain from using any sort of filter or covering on their engines, as they can reduce the efficiency of the aircraft by nearly 15%. However, this seems like a small price to pay if it means the safety of the billions of passengers that rely on airline travel annually.

Step 1: Parts List

Parts List

1. ¾ PVC pipe

2. ½ inch metal flat bar

3. Wood base

4. Metal shield

5. 3D-printed motor mount

6. 3D-printed nose cone

7. Laser-cut engine screen

8. Laser-cut shield supports

9. Gear box with motor

10. Power switch

11. Two plastic rings

12. Electrical wires

Step 2: Base Assembly

To create the base:

1. Drill a small, rectangular wood block into a large, flat wood platform to create a foundation for the engine.

2. Two holes must then be drilled into the wooden block (approximately 6 inches apart) and a PVC pipe should be vertically placed in each hole.

3. Both pipes should then be capped-off at the top with PVC T-connector.

4. Another PVC pipe should be placed horizontally so that it connects the two vertical PVC pipes at approximately half their length in order to provide support.

5. The base should then be spray-painted and cleaned for the final product.

Step 3: Turbine Assembly

To create the turbine:

1. Another PVC pipe (with size that should fit firmly into the T-connectors from the base) should then be used as a shaft for the turbine.

2. A flat metal bar should then be cut into several pieces of equal length and glued (apoxy) around one end of the shaft at a slight angle, in order to create the propeller for the engine.

3. A nose cone must then be designed, 3D printed, and glued onto the front of the shaft (same end as the propeller).

4. The glue should then be given time to settle and the completed shaft should then be placed through the T-connectors of the base.

5. The shaft should then be capped-off at the end to prevent it from falling or sliding through the base.

Step 4: Motor Assembly

To create the motor:

1. A motor mount should be designed, 3D printed, and drilled into the T-connector on the base of the engine.

2. A gear box (with battery included) should then be carfully drilled into the motor mount so that the material does not crack.

3. A gear should then be attached to the cap of the shaft, with its teeth interlocking with the teeth of the main gear attached to the gear box.

4. The battery on the gear box should then be connected to a power supply through wiring passing through the base PVC pipe.

5. After the wiring comes out of the bottom of the PVC pipe and is connected to a power supply, attach a power switch to allow easy access in turning the engine on and off.

Step 5: Screen and Cover Assembly

To create the front screen and cover:

1. Obtain two large plastic rings of different sizes.

2. Sheet metal should then be wrapped around each ring and nailed in, creating two open cylinders that will act as the covering for the jet engine.

3. The larger cylinder should be placed around the front of the engine, while the smaller cylinder should be placed around the back of the engine.

4. A hole should be drilled into the botto of each cylinder to allow the base PVC pipes to pass through.

5. To increase stability, two supports should be designed, laser-cut, and placed around the shaft in order to keep the outside covers in place.

6. The front screen of the jet engine should be designed, laser-cut, and screwed onto the front end of the larger cylinder, with the nose cone of the propeller sticking through the center of the screen.

This is a very interesting and may be useful for small turbine (or jet) engines. It would need to be redesigned to be useful on aircraft that actually carry people. While the efficiency reduction you mentioned, due restriction of airflow, is an important factor, it is far from being the most important.<br><br>In order to be effective, such a device must be able to prevent an object from entering the engine during takeoff and climb out. As a recent example, consider the US Air flight that landed on the Hudson River a few years ago. The cause was multiple hits to both engines by Canada Geese. Those birds average about 4 kg (nearly 9 pounds) each. Takeoff and climb speeds for paasenger aircraft vary widely, but are generally up to 300 km/h (about 178 kt or 205 mile/h.) So the proposed screen has to completely resist a 4 kg object moving at up to 300 km/h to be effective.

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Bio: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, found on the campus of Bergen County Academies a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School ... More »
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