Designed and built by Turbomeca, the Palouste is a gas turbine engine, first run in 1952, and was also built under license in Britain by Blackburn, Lucas Aerospace, and Rolls-Royce. Originally conceived as an aircraft ground support equipment starter gas generator it was also used as propulsion for the Sud-Ouest Djinn and other tip jet powered helicopters.
The Palouste was a very simple unit, its primary purpose was to supply a high flow rate of compressed air to start larger jet engines such as the Rolls-Royce Spey as installed in the Blackburn Buccaneer (this aircraft had no on-board starting system). Air from the centrifugal compressor was divided between external supply (known as bleed air) and its own combustion chamber.
Several British naval aircraft were adapted to carry a Palouste in a wing mounted pod installation to facilitate engine starting when away from base.
A novel use of a surplus Palouste engine was its installation in a custom-built motorcycle known as the Boost Palouste. In 1986 this motorcycle broke an official ACU 1/4 mile speed record at 184 mph (296 km/h). The builder modified the engine to include a primitive afterburner device and noted that pitch changes which occurred during braking and acceleration caused gyroscopic precession handling effects due to the rotating mass of the engine.