Propulsion measurements and thrust methods presented in the current published versions of AIR1703 and AIR5450 place a primary focus on the engine reactionary force (thrust) acting to propel an aircraft in the forward direction. In contrast, this document addresses the use of the engine reactionary force in the opposite direction (reverse thrust) to supplement aircraft deceleration.
This document’s application spans commercial and military transport turbofan engine applications for various engine and reverse thrust configurations. The discussion and examples primarily focus on separate flow exhaust turbofan engines. Piston and turboprop variable-pitch propeller blade applications are not covered. Although reverse thrust has been utilized for in-flight deceleration, primarily for short takeoff and landing aircraft and military fighter applications, this application of reverse thrust is only covered in a cursory manner.
This SAE Aerospace Information Report is intended to provide a comprehensive reference on engine and airframe considerations pertaining to thrust reverser applications. In practice, reverse thrust is propulsion system specific since the thrust reverser is generally an engine component and operation of the reverser causes many engine/aircraft integration issues. This report offers technical insights on how reverse thrust can be applied to airplane configurations with minimal adverse effects on engine and airframe performance.