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7 Benefits Of Jets Over Piston Powered Airplanes

Most pilots dream of flying a jet at some point. Here are 7 areas where gas turbine engines excel, compared to their piston counterparts...

1) Less Vibration

There's no reciprocating motion in turbine engines, so vibration is reduced. This eases wear on engine components.

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2) Time Between Overhaul

The typical TBO on a Cessna 172 engine is around 2,000 hours, whereas a typical jet overhaul is done at well over 10,000 hours.

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3) Propellor Thrust Limitations

A propellor can only spin so fast before it actually begins to stall due to air separation. At supersonic speeds, jet engine intakes are designed to slow the air to subsonic speeds before entering.

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4) More Overall Thrust Produced

Gas turbine engines produce constant power, while 1/4 of the strokes produce power on a 4 cylinder reciprocating engine. Like a natural turbocharger, ram recovery in jet engines starts at about 60 knots, where air density begins to be recovered due to a higher speed and compression of intake air.

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5) Higher Altitude

The ram recovery example stated above is one reason why jet engines can fly to a higher altitude. This means weather avoidance, strong tailwinds (or headwinds), and more efficiency.

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6) Power To Weight Ratio

The power to weight ratio produced by a reciprocating engine, like one found on a C172, is much smaller than that on a turbine engine, where significantly more power is produced per pound of weight.

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7)Simple Pilot Controls

Forget the run-up, leaning, or propellor control knob. Thrust levers are usually the only power controls you'll deal with.

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Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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