Three months after celebrating the 900th produced Sapphire 5K/G MI at Aerospace technology division (DLT), we have another milestone to celebrate: the PBS TJ100 turbojet engine. It has been popular on the world markets for a long time, mainly due to its quality, reliability and flexible customer modifications.
Development of the TJ100 engine, with a thrust of 1000 N, began at DLT in 2001, when the need arose to provide a new production programme to replace the finished production of the L-159. At that time, division director Katolický used his many years of engineering experience from the development of auxiliary power units to design and refine the first version of the turbojet engine on a classic drawing board. The thermodynamic calculations for the engine and the design of the compressor were provided by Ivan Brunovský, Mr. Čestmír Havránek assisted in the design of the starter-generator, pumps and electronics; and the design of the turbine blading was carried out by external engineer Zdeněk Mrázek. A team of designers, computing assistants, testing engineers and other division staff also participated in the project.
The universal concept of the engine was chosen, allowing its use for both civilian and military applications in various types of unmanned aerial vehicles. Apart from the ignition and the stop valve, all the accessories are integrated into the engine, making it easier to install. The engine excels primarily in its compactness, low weight, reliability, starting envelope range and low fuel and oil consumption.
Testing of the first functional sample commenced in 2002. The first serial engine was delivered in 2004 to INTA, the Spanish manufacturer of training targets. For further extension to other applications, it was necessary to increase the thrust and utility properties of the engine while maintaining its installation dimensions. Thus, in early 2012, a development project was launched to improve the engine's thermodynamic and operating parameters. Specifically, it concerned increasing the thrust from 1,000 to 1,300 N, the lifetime from 50 h to 300 h, reducing the mensural fuel consumption and extending the flight coverage from 8 to 10 km. One of our customers' flight tests last year showed trouble-free engine performance even to a level of 11.5 km. The latest innovation we are completing in our division currently is an oil-free version of the engine, lubricated only by oil added to the fuel. This modification aims to reduce the engine's weight, its production cost and hence the price, thereby increasing its competitiveness.
A total of 900 engines delivered in 15 years of its existence represents a very good number in this category of turbine power units. The engine has continuously found customers in Spain, China, Russia, USA, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Israel, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Sri Lanka and Australia.