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Fan Art | by Boran Pivcic
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Fan Art

Just as piston engines fascinate with their intricate mechanical complexity, so do jets wow with their pure visual elegance. Even the bog-standard fan of the bog-standard CFM56 is enough to bring calm and pleasure to the eye...

 

An interesting detail are the small protrusions seen near the tops of the blades. Called "shrouds", these surfaces help dampen vibration and reduce the effects of various twisting forces acting on the blade when the engine is running - both of which are a consequence of the metal fan's large mass. Though they've been successfully used for decades, shrouds also reduce the aerodynamic efficiency of the blade, decreasing overall engine performance and increasing fuel consumption. Modern composite fans have, however, managed to do away with them, both due to the individual blades' lower weight - and their increased strength and improved internal structure, which make the blade sufficiently resilient without "outside help".

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Taken on December 31, 2017