Topic: Aviation/aircraft engine

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Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion

Aviation Military history Military history/Military aviation Military history/North American military history Military history/United States military history Aviation/aircraft project Aviation/aircraft engine

The Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program and the preceding Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) project worked to develop a nuclear propulsion system for aircraft. The United States Army Air Forces initiated Project NEPA on May 28, 1946. NEPA operated until May 1951, when the project was transferred to the joint Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)/USAF ANP. The USAF pursued two different systems for nuclear-powered jet engines, the Direct Air Cycle concept, which was developed by General Electric, and Indirect Air Cycle, which was assigned to Pratt & Whitney. The program was intended to develop and test the Convair X-6, but was cancelled in 1961 before that aircraft was built. The total cost of the program from 1946 to 1961 was about $1 billion.

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Coffman engine starter

Aviation Aviation/aircraft engine

The Coffman engine starter (also known as a "shotgun starter") was a starting system used on many piston engines in aircraft and armored vehicles of the 1930s and 1940s. It used a cordite cartridge to move a piston, which cranked the engine. The Coffman system was one of the most common brands; another was the Breeze cartridge system, which was produced under Coffman patents. Most American military aircraft and tanks which used radial engines were equipped with this system. Some versions of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine used in the British Supermarine Spitfire used the Coffman system as a starter. The Hawker Typhoon also used the Coffman system to start its Napier Sabre engine.

Cartridge starters used on a number of jet engines, including such engines as the Rolls-Royce Avon, which were used in the English Electric Canberra and Hawker Hunter, used a high gas volume cartridge driving a turbine instead of a piston.

Some Snowcat and similar vehicles used in extreme low temperatures were historically equipped with cartridge start.

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