Turbonormalizing and turbocharging engines share many characteristics. They both compress outside ambient air to create engine power, they both use an exhaust driven turbine to power a centrifugal compressor at high speeds, and they can both use the same turbo components. When designing a turbonormalizing system, the manufacturer usually starts with a normally aspirated engine and begs the question: while making the fewest changes, how can I take this normally aspirated engine and make it operate at sea level power at altitudes greater than 18,000 feet? In reality, the turbocharging system was designed based on the same question. The answer, for both, is a list of eight additions to be made:
The difference between the two engine types is one other addition which appears only on turbonormalizing engines: a change to the piston geometry such that the compression ratio is reduced from ~8.5 to ~7.5. This minor alteration is the only meaningful difference between a turbonormalizing and turbocharging engine. The lower compression ratio hurts the efficiency of the engine, but turbonormalizing engines make up for this loss by increasing manifold pressure to create the same amount of horsepower (285). Turbonormalizing and turbocharging engines are in wide use throughout the aviation industries. Despite their differing names, the two engines are quite similar and ultimately achieve the same thing - even if they do so in different ways.
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