Custom Turbocharging a Continental GTSIO-520

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jawanza91

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Here's a hypothetical for anyone who has the knowledge to consider with "record-breaking" implications. I'm doing some research on what would be required to "operate" a GTSIO-520-H at 60,000 ft with a two-stage turbocharging system. Automotive turbos are OKAY and I'd like to have ~120 HP at altitude at 2700 RPM. The numbers I've run so far put me at about an 8:1 overall pressure ratio (after efficiency and intercooler losses) but I haven't been able to find anyone locally with enough aircraft turbocharging knowledge to pitch in.

Thoughts?
 

rv6ejguy

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Here's a hypothetical for anyone who has the knowledge to consider with "record-breaking" implications. I'm doing some research on what would be required to "operate" a GTSIO-520-H at 60,000 ft with a two-stage turbocharging system. Automotive turbos are OKAY and I'd like to have ~120 HP at altitude at 2700 RPM. The numbers I've run so far put me at about an 8:1 overall pressure ratio (after efficiency and intercooler losses) but I haven't been able to find anyone locally with enough aircraft turbocharging knowledge to pitch in.

Thoughts?
Cool project.

Can be done with Garrett auto turbos using billet wheels but matching 2 stage turbos across such a large altitude range will be challenging. You'll need to have some massive intercoolers and figure how to keep the heads cool as well. Not easy. I've matched a number of turbos for Reno Sport Class and have been doing turbo race stuff for almost 40 years. Not sure if that engine is the most robust though.

A quick work of the numbers show you'd be lucky to make 90hp up there even pushing staged turbos to 4.5PR each.

You know you need a pressure suit up there too? The Russians will lease you one for about $25,000 or at least they would 15 years ago when I contacted them. http://www.zvezda-npp.ru/en
 
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bmcj

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Cool project.

Can be done with Garrett auto turbos using billet wheels but matching 2 stage turbos across such a large altitude range will be challenging. You'll need to have some massive intercoolers and figure how to keep the heads cool as well. Not easy. I've matched a number of turbos for Reno Sport Class and have been doing turbo race stuff for almost 40 years. Not sure if that engine is the most robust though.

A quick work of the numbers show you'd be lucky to make 90hp up there even pushing staged turbos to 4.5PR each.
Could you combine that with high compression cylinders (like LyCon does) to give you a little more boost so you can delay needing the turbo until at a higher altitude?
 

rv6ejguy

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Could you combine that with high compression cylinders (like LyCon does) to give you a little more boost so you can delay needing the turbo until at a higher altitude?
You'd probably want all the CR you can get for this sort of attempt. Pressure at FL60 is about 1 psi.
 

Peterson

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FL60 is almost twice as high as I've ever flown, so if this question sounds uninformed, it is. I've only ever heard of a TSIO-520 on a prop plane. Is there even enough air that high for the prop to keep you flying fast enough for the wings to work? Seems like decidedly jet/rocket territory.

But...I've been wrong before
 

bmcj

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Paul Macready's Helios was said to be able to fly in excess of 96,000 feet with propellers powered by electric motors.
 

Peterson

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Paul Macready's Helios was said to be able to fly in excess of 96,000 feet with propellers powered by electric motors.
Interesting, although these high altitude prop planes do seem to have some very high wing spans and very large props.

I guess I'd like to know more about this project than how you keep the engine running.
 

Toobuilder

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At least it would probably be quick. Excruciatingly painful, but quick.
Though they often show water boiling at room temperature when in the altitude chamber, blood in your veins/arteries is under enough pressure that the boiling point is well above body temperature at FL600. An open wound might bubble a bit, but you would be unconscious from O2 deprivation before that realization would register in your brain.
 

SVSUSteve

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Though they often show water boiling at room temperature when in the altitude chamber, blood in your veins/arteries is under enough pressure that the boiling point is well above body temperature at FL600. An open wound might bubble a bit, but you would be unconscious from O2 deprivation before that realization would register in your brain.
The excruciating pain I was referring to would be more or less any airspace in your body (hollow organs, sinuses, etc) being subjected to gas expansion. As you said, the hypoxia would put you unconscious pretty quickly but not quick enough.

There was a suicide in a military hypobaric chamber in the late 1990s or early 2000s that was caught on tape by a security camera. The pathologist who worked the case was an acquaintance and showed me the copy of the tape he obtained. Let's just say that I don't care what the source of the pain was. What was on that tape is not something I would wish upon even someone I hated. Brutal doesn't even begin to describe it.
 

bmcj

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This article, though not a scientific research paper, hits a lot of highlights and cites numerous studies and real-world events. It sounds like there is 10-30 seconds of consciousness in a pure vacuum, and permanent damage is rare if the stay is brief enough (1-3 minutes).

You Can Survive Being Exposed to the Near Vacuum of Space for About 90 Seconds With No Longterm Damage

So, if someone found themselves in a dire situation, could they act to save their own life? My biggest concern for that question would be if vision remained active and focused enough to see what you were doing (the article does not answer that).

Here's an old scene that I always liked (especially the audio which is an impressive mix of mechanisms and silence) that reflects this line of thought:

 
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