The Turbomeca Palouste is a French gas turbine engine, first run in 1952. Designed purely as a compressed air generator, the Palouste was mainly used as a ground-based aircraft engine starter unit. Other uses included rotor tip propulsion for experimental helicopters.
Design and development
Designed and built by Turbomeca, the Palouste was also built under license in Britain by Blackburn and Rolls-Royce. Originally conceived as an aircraft ground support equipment starter gas generator it was also used as propulsion for the Sud-Ouest Djinn and other tip jet powered helicopters.
The Palouste was a very simple unit, its primary purpose was to supply a high flow rate of compressed air to start larger jet engines such as the Rolls-Royce Spey as installed in the Blackburn Buccaneer (this aircraft had no on-board starting system). Air from the centrifugal compressor was divided between external supply (known as bleed air) and its own combustion chamber.
Several British naval aircraft were adapted to carry a Palouste in a wing mounted pod installation to facilitate engine starting when away from base.
A novel use of a surplus Palouste engine was its installation in a custom-built motorcycle known as the Boost Palouste. In 1986 this motorcycle broke an official ACU 1/4 mile speed record at 184 mph (296 km/h). The builder modified the engine to include a primitive afterburner device and noted that pitch changes which occurred during braking and acceleration caused gyroscopic precession handling effects due to the rotating mass of the engine.
- Palouste IV
- The gas generator used to power the Sud-Ouest S.O.1221 Djinn and other tip-jet helicopters.
Specifications (Blackburn Palouste)
Data from Hobby Gas Turbinesand Flight
- Type: Gas generator
- Length: 33.42 in (849 mm)
- Diameter: 17.72 in (450 mm)
- Dry weight: 187.5 lb (85 kg)
- Compressor: Single stage centrifugal
- Combustors: Annular combustion chamber
- Turbine: Two-stage axial flow
- Fuel type: Kerosene
- Oil system: Dry sump
- Related development
- Comparable engines
- Related lists
- Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9