Smallest gas turbine engine in the world

A gas turbine engine measuring 10 cm in diameter and 15 cm in length, small enough to hold in one hand has been developed by a study group led by Tohoku University, Japan. The group succeeded in running such a small gas turbine engine and demonstrated the complete cycle for the first time in the world. The study group is working toward practical use of such a gas turbine engine as power sources of autonomous robots for disaster rescue and relief, and personal transportation vehicles indispensable in the aged (Japanese) society. The gas turbine engine is equipped with a compressor with a 16-mm diameter vane, turbine with a 17-mm diameter vane and combustor.

To drive a gas turbine engine as small as this, it is necessary to spin the vane at extremely high speeds. Accordingly, the group developed a special air bearing and realized a rated revolution of 500,000 – 600,000 rpm.Though, at this point, the engine is not mounted with a power generator, a space is kept for attaching the generator that is now being developed.