The basic idea of the turbojet engine is simple. Air taken in from an opening in the front of the engine is compressed to 3 to 12 times its original pressure in compressor. Fuel is added to the air and burned in a combustion chamber to raise the temperature of the fluid mixture to about 1,100°F to 1,300° F. The resulting hot air is passed through a turbine, which drives the compressor. If the turbine and compressor are efficient, the pressure at the turbine discharge will be nearly twice the atmospheric pressure, and this excess pressure is sent to the nozzle to produce a high-velocity stream of gas which produces a thrust. Substantial increases in thrust can be obtained by employing an afterburner. It is a second combustion chamber positioned after the turbine and before the nozzle. The afterburner increases the temperature of the gas ahead of the nozzle. The result of this increase in temperature is an increase of about 40 percent in thrust at takeoff and a much larger percentage at high speeds once the plane is in the air.
The turbojet engine is a reaction engine. In a reaction engine, expanding gases push hard against the front of the engine. The turbojet sucks in air and compresses or squeezes it. The gases flow through the turbine and make it spin. These gases bounce back and shoot our of the rear of the exhaust, pushing the plane forward.