Approximately 13 years ago I got
hold of a very nice Solent turboshaft engine.
After some musings as to what to do with it I decided to convert
it into a turbojet
engine. The Solent is quite a nice little unit with a single shot
oil system, single stage centrifugal compressor, single stage axial
turbine and reverse flow combustion system.
A gearbox is installed that is driven by an axial free power turbine.
This gearbox is connected by a splined shaft to the starter input
drive of the Phantom Spey engine (202).
So the removal of the gearbox
and the modification of the oil circuit was easy.
However the free power turbine nozzle guide vane pack formed part
of the inner
air casing for the combustion chamber. So to get aound this I simply
out the nozzle guide vanes and left the outer casing in place. This
case is normally
retained by the gearbox so when I made the jet pipe, I constructed
it so that it would retain the ring in the same fashion as the original
This single shot oil system was
modified to enable continuous running.
The governed maximum rotational speed of this enigne is 62000 rpm.
At the time
I worked for a company who at one time tested these engines and
stories were in abundance of turbine wheels being released and bouncing
around the test cells, or
the govenors failing and the wheels bursting and peppering the inside
of the cell.
This led to me deciding to strip it, with particular interest being
paid to the simple
govenor. So after fully stripping down to the last nut and bolt
and re building I
bolted it to a test frame and ran it up.
Thankfully it stabilised at 62000
rpm as happy as a happy thing, so I decided to
install it into a rudimentary go cart. What fun it turned out to
be blasting up and
down at Lyneham.That was until the wheels started to come off. Then
after years of it sitting around I sold the engine to a friend who
then sold it back to me, I sold it again, then bought it back, then
eventually sold it on again to Aid at Jetpower (see links page),
scrapped the cart and turned my attention to larger engines