On the subject of PDEs – pulse detonation engines – General Electric has just been assigned a US patent for a turbofan that uses a rotating pulse-detonation system, rather than low- and high-pressure turbines, to drive the fan and compressor. Basically, each turbine stage is replaced by a radial array of raked and angled pulse-detonation tubes.
According to the patent, the first ring of PDE tubes (58) is fired first to start the booster compressor (28) turning. Once the booster is up to speed it provides compressed air to the remaining PDE rings (59), which then fire up to drive the fan (20).
As a PDE ring turns, each tube sequentially passes first a port (50) allowing air into the tube, then a fuel injector (52), then the igniter (54), which initiates a supersonic detonation wave (66) to power the ring’s rotation.