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Monday, 14 September 2015

Jet aircraft

24-year-old RAF fighter pilot Frank Whittle first patented a new kind of aircraft - the turbojet - in 1930, but his new design was so radical that the military wouldn't fund it, nor would any manufacturers,

Seven years later he found a few private backers and on April 12, 1937 Whittle ground-tested the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at Thomson-Houston factory, Rugby, England.

The German Hans von Ohain developed the concept independently. He wrote in February 1936 to aircraft designer Ernst Heinkel, telling him of the design and its possibilities.

The first turbojet aircraft to fly was the Heinkel He 178 V1, first prototype of the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, on August 27, 1939 in Rostock, Germany.

He 178 replica at Rostock-Laage Airport

Britain's first jet-propelled aircraft, the Gloster-Whittle E28/39, took to the air for the first time on May 15, 1941, powered by Sir Frank Whittle's turbojet. The 17-minute test flight took place at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, England.

The Gloster E.28/39, the first British aircraft to fly with a turbojet engine

The first operational jet fighter was the Messerschmitt Me 262,  made by Germany during late World War II. It was the fastest conventional aircraft of the war and completed its first flight on July 18, 1942.

Messerschmitt Me 262A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

The Gloster Meteor, the first operational jet fighter for the Allied Powers, made its maiden flight on March 5, 1943.

BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) operated the first commercial jet service with the de Havilland Comet jetliner. It made its maiden flight with fare-paying passengers and inaugurated scheduled service from London to Johannesburg on May 2, 1952.

The Comet was a hit with passengers as flights were about 50 percent faster than on advanced piston-engined aircraft such as the Douglas DC-6 (490 mph for the Comet compared to the DC-6's 315 mph), and a faster rate of climb further cut flight times.

AC Comet 1 G-ALYX (Yoke X-Ray) at London Heathrow Airport in 1953 prior to a scheduled flight

The Boeing 707 entered service in 1958. Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from Idlewild Airport, New York to Le Bourget, Paris on October 26, 1958. It came to dominate the market for civilian airliners


Test pilot Tim Ferguson landed a Jaguar fighter jet on the M55 motorway in Lancashire on April 26, 1975, shortly before it was opened to the public, to demonstrate the jet’s abilities.

The American SR-71 Blackbird spy plane is the fastest manned jet that has ever flown, setting a world speed record of 2,193.13 mph in 1976.

During the Cold War, bears were shot out of ejector seats in supersonic jets for testing.

Micheal Dorn, Worf from Star Trek, is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He once owned and flew a F-86 Sabre fighter jet. 

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