VIDEO: Ewald the Amazing

I’m not exactly sure (yet) who Ewald Schuster is, but I do know he is building some amazing little engines.

In a recent post on YouTube, Schuster, described in articles as a self-taught engine designer and builder, shows off a dual-spool micro turbofan engine with a 4:1 bypass ratio. Oh by the way, the aircraft was built to test to engine, not the other way around.

Schuster describes the engine as “my latest engine design, a 52 pound thrust true turbo fan. I needed a test bed to test out my new engine so myself and a hand full of merit research student’s scratch built this aircraft. Although the turbofan is too big for this airframe it got the engine in the air. The engine has been de tuned to 30 pounds of thrust to stop the aircraft from ground looping, due to the engine being mounted so high up on the airframe this makes the tail of the aircraft want to raise up before the nose comes up. The engine is 4:1 bypass ratio, giving an additional 40% thrust over a conventional turbo jet. This may have some application for UAV’s( Unmanned aircraft), or full sized gliders. This engine uses half the amount of fuel that similar thrust turbo jets use. I am thinking of a small one man aircraft with two of these engines on it, we’ll see.”

That may be the understatement of the year. Check it out in action:

Here’s a bit more background on Schuster. In a September 2003 article by Paul Marsh in RC Universe, he is described as such:

One of these innovators is Ewald Schuster. He is self-taught in the art and science of turbojet design and fabrication, yet has achieved remarkable results in miniaturization (more on that later) and turbofan fabrication. He is currently working on a Pegasus-style turbofan engine with movable ducting for a scale Harrier. We are rapidly getting to the point where this bottom-up development, as opposed to scaled-down engineering, is leading to engines that do indeed emulate their larger cousins in function and sophistication. The sophistication of these engines, and that of the model aircraft they power, has blurred the lines of distinction between hobby aircraft and military/commercial unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV’s.

Later in the article, Marsh says:

While some have been working to make micro-turbojets more complex, others have been working to make them smaller. In addition to the turbofan mentioned above, Ewald Schuster has built a tiny turbojet engine that measures a mere 5″ long and 2¼” in diameter. It weighs only 6.5 ounces, yet develops 4 pounds of thrust. This engine has had four successful flights to date. Schuster is currently working on an even smaller engine that will measure 1¼” in diameter, run at 500,000 rpm and produce 1½ pounds of thrust.


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