Posted on March 28, 2011
Hello and greetings from Finland! My name is Niko Rolamo and I'd like to share with you my early (and later) experiments with gas turbine engines.
The MK1 project started in autumn 2003 when I built a liquid fueled backyard jet engine from a used Mitsubishi TC05-10A turbocharger. The engine was completed and run for the first time in early spring 2004 and it took on various updates during the years 2004-2005. While the engine was fairly successful as a whole, it still was just a prototype with no real application due to relatively small power it generated. Thus, the project was 'forgotten' for six years until I just recently dug it out of the naphthalene.
The reason I returned to the project was the fact that I no longer had any storage space for the bulky MK1 engine and thus it needs to be cut up to a more manageable size, probably never to be assembled again. I decided to make a last set of test runs in February 2011, during which I took some film and wrote down different readings from the instruments. It was very cold outside so the engine exhaust temperature was as low as 400 degrees Celsius while the combustor pressure was maintained at 0,9...1,55 bar. I made almost ten test runs spanning two weekends, during which I played with the throttle settings and tested the afterburner jet pipe with water injection. The last run was on full power until the engine ran out of fuel and an eerie silence fell on the surroundings. It felt a little like a farewell to a good old friend.
It's all for a good cause, however. I may be starting a new project that has been brewing for quite some time now. Since 2005 I've had a large Schweitzer turbocharger sitting around and it might be a good starting point to a new, larger jet engine in the foreseeable future. The MK1 will have to make room for a bigger brother, but parts of it can be utilized in the new project. Thus, the MK1 has a chance to live on...
Thanks so much for sending me the photos Niko!!! Don G.