Watch what happens inside a transparent jet engine as it runs

Jets fly overhead every day, but most of us don’t give much thought to their operation, as all guts are usually hidden from anyone who isn’t an airplane mechanic. Wonder no more, thanks to Warped Perception’s hands-on transparent jet engine design.

Jet engines are a lot simpler than you might think although, as shown in the video, precise balance is key to ensure the whole assembly doesn’t fall apart. It took the YouTuber a while to make sure his rotating assembly was nearly perfectly balanced, measuring it to the nearest thousandth of a gram.

Watching the construction come together also allows us to see the different parts involved in the Brayton cycle, which is what the jets use for propulsion. “A Brayton cycle is simply compression, combustion, and expansion equal to volume,” the video host notes, all happening in a much more linear fashion than in a car’s engine. This spitting volume at the rear of a jet engine is what drives the engine forward.

Basically, air enters the intake side of the jet engine, spins, and is compressed by the compressor behind it, where it then travels through the stator and into the combustion chamber where it mixes with the fuel. This air-fuel mixture ignites in the combustion chamber, creating heat and expanding gases which exit out the rear of the engine, pushing the turbine wheel which then powers the compressor at the front and creating thrust .

One of the coolest demos Distorted perception done here with smoke, proving that jet engines take in less air than you probably think. Most of a jet engine’s thrust does not come from drawing in a volume of air, but rather from burning fuel.

As you can imagine, this also makes the forces inside the transparent jet engine demo quite extreme. Expanding the firebox actually popped the seals on one side, and the accelerated delay of its expansion while in use definitely justifies the care the host took with this build: “I was surprised that this whole thing worked and didn’t explode.”

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