Intercooler Design for Aircraft, Special Report

One of 111 reports in the series: NACA Special Reports available on this site.

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When an airplane is operating at high altitude, it is necessary to use a supercharger to maintain ground pressure at the carburetor inlet. This maintenance and high intake-manifold pressure tends to keep the power output of the engine at ground-level value. The air, being compressed by the supercharger, however, is heated by adiabatic compression and friction to a temperature that seriously affect the performance of the engine. It is thus necessary to use an intercooler to reduce the temperature of the air between the supercharger outlet and the carburetor inlet. The amount of cooling required of the intercooler depend on ... continued below

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Brevoort, M. J.; Joyner, U. T. & Leifer, M. September 1939.

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When an airplane is operating at high altitude, it is necessary to use a supercharger to maintain ground pressure at the carburetor inlet. This maintenance and high intake-manifold pressure tends to keep the power output of the engine at ground-level value. The air, being compressed by the supercharger, however, is heated by adiabatic compression and friction to a temperature that seriously affect the performance of the engine. It is thus necessary to use an intercooler to reduce the temperature of the air between the supercharger outlet and the carburetor inlet. The amount of cooling required of the intercooler depend on the efficiency of the supercharger installation. In this investigation, several types of intercoolers were compared and a design procedure that will give the best intercooler for a given set of conditions is indicated. The figure of merit used for the selection of the best design was the total power consumed by the intercooler. This value includes the power required to transport the weight of the intercooler as well as the power used to force the charge air and the cooling air through the intercooler. The cost, size and practicality of construction were not considered, inasmuch as it was thought that a survey of possibilities of improvement in design would be of interest, regardless of whether the improvement could be immediately realized. Three types of intercoolers are included in this survey: a counterflow intercooler with indirect cooling surface in the form of fins, a counterflow intercooler with direct cooling surfaces, and a cross-flow, tube-type intercooler.

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  • URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2060/20090014806 External Link
  • Report No.: NACA-SR-124
  • Center for AeroSpace Information Number: 20090014806
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc65069

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National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Collection

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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Creation Date

  • September 1939

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 17, 2011, 5:13 p.m.

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  • Oct. 19, 2017, 9:27 a.m.

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Brevoort, M. J.; Joyner, U. T. & Leifer, M. Intercooler Design for Aircraft, Special Report, report, September 1939; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc65069/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.