Neilson 1Dakoda NeilsonMs. BennettBritish Literature12 September 2011 The History of the Jet Engine Today, we recognize, speed, power, and authority with our Air Force. The United StatesAir Force is classified as one of the best air forces in the world due to its skills and its mobility.The reason that the Air Forceis extremely effective is the equipment that they use; jet aircraft.Jets have made the world smaller in away. A hundred years ago, it would have taken militarystrategists months to move large amounts of troops around the world. Now the United States Airforce can be mobilized to any part of the world in 24 hours. In fact the world was been reducedtime wise so much so that between 1976 and 2003, ausual London to New York trip on theConcorde(the world’s fastest passenger jet) would take a little less than three and a half hours at1350 miles per hour (British Airways). The reason the Concorde could go that fast is the jetengine.A jet engine is a device that creates thrust to power most modern aircraft, the jet enginehas a history all on its own and it changed the world. Frank Whittle was born in 1907 in Coventry, England. As a child, Whittle was alwaysinterested in flight. By the time he was four, aviation was just getting a start; the invention of theairplane was only seven years old. At the age of 15, Whittle joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) asan Apprentice, meaning that he would spend most of his time preforming upkeep on veryunreliable and dangerous early “Aeroplanes” (Public Broadcasting Service). Aviation in its first
Neilson 220 years were some of the greatest and most dangerous moments in the history of flight.Airplanes could not fly too high, they could not fly too low, and they could fail easily and wouldbrake just by sitting to long. Whittle worked with these aircraft until he was removed from hisapprenticeship and was chosen to jointhe ranks at RAF’s Officers Training College at Cranwell(about 70 miles north of Cambridge, England) (Public Broadcasting Service).As technologyadvanced, aircraft were flying higher and faster. Whittle quickly discovered that there wereproblems with propeller driven aircraft.Propeller driven piston powered aircraft have two majorflaws. First, the propeller is spinning and the airflowing towards itaccelerates close to the speedof sound or 671 miles per hour at sea level (U.S Centennial of Flight Commission). Thus, thepropeller loses its efficiency because the air moves faster than what the pitch on the propeller canpush back. Second, the engines being used at that time are piston powered; the pistons in theengine going up and down to drive the propeller. When the piston moves up from the bottom ofthe cylinder head, it compresses fuel and air, the mixture of fuel and air then explodes, andpushes the piston back down (NASA). All of this turns a shaft called the propeller shaft. Thepropeller shaft turns the propeller though the air at a high rate of speed. At an attitude 10,000 feetor higher the engine begins to lose power because it does not have enough air to run properly(Public Broadcasting Service). In 1929, Whittle wrote his college thesis that would revolutionizethe twentieth century (Public Broadcasting Service). During the time of Frank Whittle, there was a man named Hans von Ohain. Ohain wasborn in Dessau, Germany in 1911(U.S Centennial of Flight Commission). Ohain graduated witha doctorate in Physics from the University of Göttingen in 1935. In 1933, while Ohain was incollege, he developed his own theory of jet propulsion and was completely unaware of Whittle’swork in Great Britain(Bellis). That same year, Ohain patented his idea of a continuous cycle
Neilson 3combustion engine andin 1934 his concept of a jet engine (Bellis). This was only four years afterFrank Whittle patented his jet engine concept in 1930 (Public Broadcasting Serves). Whittle’sand Ohain’stheories were based on an idea that can be defined as continuous combustion. A jet,in its simplest form, (known as a Turbo Jet) works by pulling in air in through an intake with afan large fan. The air is then pushed through a stage of the engine called the compressor, whichmixes the air with jet fuel (The standard is Jet-A, but almost any fuel what is low in octane willburn in a jet). After the compressor, it is combusted in the third stage of the engine called thecombustor. As the expanded gas leaves the aft of the engine, it turns another fan, which isconnected to the first fan, which pulls in more air. The exhaust leaves the engine at a high rate ofspeed forming a jet of air (NASA). In 1937, under the HeinkelFlugzeugwerke(Heinkel Aircraft Works, founded by ErnstHeinkel in 1922, is credited with the achievements of having the fastest airliner in 1933 and forbuilding and flying the first jet aircraft (U.S Centennial of Flight Commission)) in Rostock,Germany,Ohain built the first operational jet engine named the He S.3B (U.S Centennial ofFlight Commission). The He S.3B was the first jet engine to power an aircraft, the Heinkel He178(U.S Centennial of Flight Commission). Then in 1941,continuing work in Heinkel AircraftWorks, Ohain built the first fighter jet called the He 280. It had a top speed of 578 miles an hour,which at that time was unheard of (U.S Centennial of Flight Commission). Soon after the firstflight of He 280 in 1941, Whittle was able to fly his prototype engine, the W.1 in a plane calledthe Gloster Pioneer (Public Broadcasting Serves). The Pioneer flew test flights until 1943, whenone of the two prototypes, went in to a spin and crashed (Encyclopedia of Science). Afterthis,Frank Whittle’s project was then packed up and sent to General Electric in the United Statesbecause “industry [was] under attack in the midst of WWII, rapid development of the…engine
Neilson 4was not feasible” (Public Broadcasting Serves). Fortunately, Germany suffered the same fate onindustry. By this time in the war, the Americans and British were bombing Germany “Round-the-Clock”; because of the bombing of Germany,the development of a production jet fighter wasbrought to a crawl(Anne Frank Guide). Despite all odds in 1944, Germany flew the first jets intocombat, the Messerschmitt Me 262. The Me 262 at first was very unsuccessful because theywere only used as ground attack aircraft and bombers.As pilots learned how to fly the fighter,they became more successful at air combat. On April 7th, 1945 the first jet dogfight (A dogfightis battle that is takes place in the air. They usually consist of two or more aircraft with one fromopposing sides) took place in the skies over Germany. The outcome of the dogfight was in thefavor of the American P-51 Mustang flown by Richard Candelaria. However, the battle did provethat this was only the beginning of the jet age ("The P-51 Mustang"). The jet age began after the fall of Nazi Germany when the Russians and Americansdivided Germany up amongst the allied powers. One of the first objectivesfor the allies waslooking for Germanscientists to help with their own military and technological needs. TheRussians, British and Americans all had great interest in jet engine technology.These threecountries used ideas from the Me 262 to design their own jets. The United States had developedthe Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. It was designed in 1943 and first flown in 1947. The ShootingStar is built around Whittle’s original design, the W.1. The engine was redesigned by Allison andrenamed the J33-A-23 (NASM). The P-80 Shooting Star was the premier fighter jet in the UnitedStates Air Force inventory until the Koran War, when for the first time; there were “jet on jet”dogfights with the Russians premier fighter jet, the MIG-15 (The Aviation History On-liveMuseum). The MIG-15 was the first jet sold outside of their manufacturing country and was soldto North Korea by both the Chinese and Russians. The MIG 15 was faster than the P-80, but the
Neilson 5P-80 was more agile and had better armament then the MIG (Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-15 (Ji-2)FAGOT B.). The First jet battle took place between these two aircraft on November 10, 1950 inthe skies over North Korea, Lieutenant Russell Brown, piloting a P-80 Shooting Star, destroyed aNorth Korean MiG-15 (The Aviation History On-live Museum). The Korean War changed the way the United States built fighters, but the British haddifference ideas. In 1949, the world’s first Jet Airliner flew in Great Brittan, The De HavillandComet 1; The Comet 1 had 36 seats and had a top speed of 480 miles an hour. It used the sameTurbo Jet engines that were used on the P-80 (The Allison J33) but was modified to run on a newfuel, Jet-A (Siddiqi, Asif). Before the Comet jets were using kerosene and Diesel, both fuels arealmost chemically the same but both Diesel and Kerosene did not burn clean and carbon wouldbuild on the fan blades and cause engine failure (EPI) (A problem that the P-80 suffered fromgreatly (The Aviation History On-live Museum).). The Comet 1 relied on this fuel because of itssafety;sadly, as the only airline that operated the Comet 1 was BOAC (British Overseas AircraftCorporation) found out that the airframe suffered from metal fatigue and the aircraft would breakapart in flight (Siddiqi, Asif). The De Havilland Comet 1was grounded in 1952 (Siddiqi,Asif).This would be the start of passage jet, from this point in history to the present there wouldnot be another advance in propeller aircraft technology. A hundred years ago, the world never thought that the little aeroplane that few from kittyHawk North Carolina would be anything more than an idea. Within 50 years of that very flightpassengers were being flown across country’s at more than 400 miles an hour and that our warswould relay mostly on flight. This was only the beginning as aircraft and the jets that powered
Neilson 6them. The jet engine has a history all on its own and it changed the world by making it smallerand making travel faster.