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General Electric T58-GE-8F Turboshaft
The General Electric T58-GE-8F Turboshaft is comparable to the T53-L-13, although the general design philosophy is somewhat different. Like the T53, the T58 is a dual spool free shaft turbine engine, and power output is similar. However, the T58 is much more modular in its construction, and while it is notably lighter than the T53, it is longer and less compact. The T58 is primarily a helicopter engine, and is used in a number of military helicopter applications such as the tandem rotor CH-46 Sea Knight, though it is a popular engine with turbine enthusiasts and can even be converted to turbojet use.
The T58 has a completely axial flow compressor section with an axial flow intake. Normally, a bellmouth inducer is fitted to the engine inlet. Air flowing into this bellmouth flows around the front mounted starter motor, past the variable geometry inlet guide vanes, and into the compressor. The compressor is a ten stage axial flow design with variable geometry stator vanes on the first three stages. The variable vanes are adjusted via a hydraulic actuator which is moved by pressurized fuel delivered by the fuel controller. Compressor discharge air is fed to a through flow annular combustor. High pressure gas drives a two stage axial high pressure turbine, which in turn drives the compressor, and the accessory gearbox through a perpendicular shaft at the front of the engine. The gas producer section of the engine is a mechanically separate module from the power turbine section. The power turbine can be completely removed from the engine, and the engine will still function as a gas producer. The power turbine is a single stage axial design, which drives the load at power turbine speed at the rear of the engine. The exhaust is released through a large sideward facing diffuser outlet. A modular speed decreaser gearbox may be mounted to the rear of the engine to convert the 20,000 rpm power turbine speed down to an output shaft speed of 6,000 rpm. With the speed decreaser gear, torque output can exceed 1,800 lb/ft, although torque output at peak power is 1,270 lb/ft. Accessories driven off of the accessory gearbox include fuel and oil pumps, and a hydromechanical fuel controller with electronic fuel trimming for more precise governing and temperature limiting. The electric starter is mounted to the front compressor frame.
General Electric T58-GE-8F Free Shaft Turbine Engine
Image courtesy of Mark Nye (www.nyethermodynamics.com)
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