It’s the new normal, to be able to fly from point A to point B, thousands of miles away, in a matter of hours. And yet, the mechanics of this “simple” act are still unknown to a vast majority of people. We take for granted all the advancements and innovations that it took to allow us to travel so far and so fast as regularly as we do. So, it makes sense that to the average person, “turbonormalizing” and “turbocharging” sound like they mean the same thing. Or they remind people of the Fast and Furious franchise. Surprisingly, that’s not entirely wrong.
While the automotive industry and aviation industry are actually very different and share very few similarities, turbocharging is something common in both fields. In general, an aircraft turbocharger is a forced-induction device that increases an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra compressed air into the combustion chamber. This allows cars to be faster and more powerful with less requirements. So yes, upgrading your car’s engine to the levels seen in the Fast and Furious films is possible.
Turbocharging in aircraft is the same as it is in cars, except it’s more important. Pilots prefer to fly at higher altitudes because higher altitudes mean less aerodynamic drag, which means more efficiency. But higher altitudes also mean less dense air pressure, which means less efficiency. And the lower efficiency as a result of less air pressure is far greater than the higher efficiency as a result of less aerodynamic drag. So, turbochargers, and turbonormalizers, are used to augment the aircraft engine and make them more powerful and more efficient. Both systems work by gradually closing the wastegate as the aircraft climbs to higher altitudes in order to control how much of the exhaust gases are released. Closing the wastegate increases the amount of exhaust gases being forced past the turbine wheel, forcing the turbine to higher RPMs, leading to more compressed air available for the engine. But what’s the difference between turbocharging and turbonormalizing?
While both turbochargers and turbonormalizers make the engine more powerful and more efficient, they work in slightly different ways. A turbocharger pushes compressed air into the combustion chamber, allowing the engine to work as if the aircraft were flying at about 6 to 10 inches from sea-level. Meanwhile, turbonormalizers push enough compressed air into the combustion chamber to mimic the conditions of flying at perfectly sea-level. Turbochargers are comprised of an exhaust gas-driven turbine wheel in a cast-iron scroll housing and a compressor wheel in an aluminum scroll housing; both wheels are mounted on a rotating shaft. On the other hand, turbonormalizers include the turbocharger as one of several components.
Depending on what kind of turbocharging system or turbonormalizing system and wastegate your aircraft uses, you might need more or less frequent maintenance and repair. And for you all your aircraft turbocharging and turbonormalizing system parts, you have us at Methodical Purchasing.