Hello friends, you might have seen the inline-four engine kits, v8 engine kits, and radial engine kits I designed before. You know what? I have been always dreaming of making a turbofan engine myself for years as I'm a military aviation enthusiast.
However, I don't determine to make a jet engine model until I become a father. My son, a young gearhead, keeps asking me if I can give him a mini fighter turbofan engine model kit as his 18-year-old birthday gift. My son grew up interested in military aircraft and often begged me to subscribe him to the latest aircraft magazines. We often read together on the sofa and share information about aircraft and engines. I guess that's where the fun between father and son comes in. So when I started to search for jet aircraft engine plastic model kit gifts on Amazon, sadly, only a few plastic turbofan engine kits exist there.
And I think it was a pity that there are no realistic and high-simulative scale model jet engine kits that actually work in the current market. As an experienced model engine engineer, I decided to start designing a 1/10 turbofan engine scale model 2 years ago. I refer to a large number of military turbofan engine prototype pictures, just to restore the details of the real turbofan engine as much as possible.
Between 2010 and 2014, I primarily focused on designing and producing airplane models, and it was during this time that I ventured into engine design. Over the past two years, I had the opportunity to collaborate on blueprint designs for a school and an airline company. These experiences allowed me to engage in insightful discussions with professors from various university aviation schools, enhancing my understanding of aero-engines. Finally, in the past two months, I successfully designed and completed a turbofan engine model kit. I'm happy with it even though it's not the perfect one. I find it's not easy to do as I have the difficulties I encountered during the manufacturing process.
At first, designing a turbofan engine model posed challenges in understanding its working principle and intricate design. Meticulous attention to detail was required to align components accurately and ensure seamless functionality. The process was time-consuming, involving careful planning and expertise. While striving for accuracy, certain aspects, such as replicating compressor rotation, presented difficulties. for example,it's quite challenging to comprehend the working principle of a turbofan engine. Not to say design one because of the intricacies of the engine's design and its functionality. I need to figure out the principles behind the compressor, turbine, combustion chamber, and exhaust system, which requires a deep understanding of aerodynamics and mechanical engineering.
What makes this model kit particularly intriguing is its attempt to restore the principles of biaxial aero-engines to a significant extent. Through analyzing various aero-engine designs, we aimed to simplify and present the cylindrical biaxial structure, although some aspects proved difficult to replicate faithfully. For example, simulating the exact rotation direction of the low-pressure compressor and high-pressure compressor posed challenges. We opted for a single-motor method that may not fully replicate the reverse thrust process of the high-pressure turbine. While we strive for accuracy, it's important to strike a balance between realism and practicality.
Secondly, as I said before, I wanted to replicate the original turbofan engine model as closely as possible. But I found that the cost is too high and the processing is too difficult.
The crankshaft and fan blades cost a lot. I originally wanted to design the outer contour to be 0.5mm, but found it difficult to achieve after processing. So I'm going to increase the thickness. After I finished the internals out of metal, I figured out that if I were to make this prototype out of metal again, I'd probably be out of business because it's cost me $10,000 so far, more than I expected.
So to save costs, our team and I 3D printed some of the exterior parts.
Thirdly, I'm happy to see all the necessary parts are ready. But I faced a new problem then. It is not difficult to assemble, but there are many repeated steps, so it takes a lot of patience. For example, the complexity of the task increased when I'm surprised to find out the many sheer number of screws involved. I had to deal with approximately 1,000 screws and more than 500 parts during the installation process of the entire body, which added complexity and lengthened the overall assembly time. At the first time, It took me around 10 days to meticulously install each screw and ensure they were properly tightened. Normally It requires approximately 12 hours of focused attention to complete for an average builder. It's hard but fun and satisfactory.
There are a few little details you might want to know.
1. I also specially made the throttle pushrod. By pushing it slowly, the sound of the engine will become louder and louder.
2. I finally made the spinner into an elliptical pointy shape, because it is too difficult to make it exactly the same.
3.The motor and corresponding matching gears are included.
4. I also need to improve this sound module and make the sound louder, so as to restore the real sound of the engine as much as possible.
5. In addition, many people said that they want to see the working state of the internal parts of the engine, so during the assembly process, I decided to make perspective cuts at a 45° angle on the shell of the low-pressure compressed air section. These cuts add an interesting visual element and provide a glimpse into the internal components of the engine. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that the current cutting area is a bit small and may not fully showcase the desired effect. As I continue working on the model, I will carefully consider enlarging the cutting area to ensure a more accurate representation of the engine's internal structure. This adjustment will enhance the overall visual appeal and provide a better view of the intricate details within the low-pressure compressed air section.
Now it was time to test the engine. Excitedly, I conducted a test and witnessed its successful operation.It was an amazing feeling to see the engine running, even though it was slow due to the weight.
If you decide to support my all-metal version of the turbofan engine model, I can assure you that it will be a remarkable turbofan engine kits. Constructing a high-simulation model with authentic metal components will require meticulous attention to detail and precise engineering.
An all-metal turbofan engine model will not only be visually stunning but will also provide a more realistic feel and weight compared to other materials. It will be a true showcase of engineering craftsmanship and an impressive display piece.
If you prefer a DIY version, that can also be arranged. This allows for easier transportation and assembly, as well as the flexibility to showcase the engine from different angles.
Next year I plan to design ducts. Add more rich details. If you are interested in this turbofan engine model or think there is room for improvement. Please comment. Thank you.
Mr Qi Zhong