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The jet engine

The jet engine

The jet engine

(OP)
After reading an article in today's paper I'm interested in the answers the members of this forum give to the simple question -
"Who invented the gas turbine jet engine?"

RE: The jet engine

We Brits will always attibute the invention of the jet engine to the amazing Sir Frank Whittle, a much maligned an belately knighted scientific and enginering genius.

RE: The jet engine

And the Germans also have a nominee, von Ohain .

Whittle's approach was more pragmatic as it is easier to get a radial machine to work, but the losses due to the awkward path of the gases inevitably meant that the axial approach was more efficient.

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: The jet engine

Well whoever was first, the initial results were interesting.
I think the ME 262 was an impressive looking aircraft more so than the British, but I understand the engines didn't last very long.
On both sides the development was hampered by lack of support or resources, and one wonders just what would have happened if either side had put the resources behind the jet engine that it needed.
Incidentally, I believe (one of) the German test pilots was a woman.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

Here's a link to the group that has built 5 duplicate ME-262s.  The last thing I read said they had sold one or two.  They were flow at a comple of air shows.  The engines are modern GEs. Same as somb business jets use. The were smaller than the BMW so they fit in the same size necelle.

http://stormbirds.com/

RE: The jet engine

Quote:

JMW
one wonders just what would have happened if either side had put the resources behind the jet engine that it needed.

And that is the real rub or lesson of history; potential vs decision.  Thousands of similar interesting stories.

The ME-262 was the advanced fighter but, Hitler changed it to also be a bomber which pushed back production a year.  

After the war, the Russians stole jet engine technical information from the British which resulted into the Migs.

==========================================
Business Page   http://mech.e.tripod.com
------------------------------------------
Motorradtraum....www.tailofthedragon.com

RE: The jet engine

Stole?
In reality the Russians had a some kind of official tour of the engine manufacturing works.
The story goes that at each machine tool the Russian visitors would be sure to tread in as much of the swarf as they could with their special soft-rubber soled shoes so that they could later analyse the swarf.
They needn't have bothered, as I understand it, the government sent them a complete engine some time later.
For the life of me, I can't think why they were allowed to visit the factory, let alone given an engine.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

Post war politics were interesting. Both the USSR and the USA received jet engine technology from the UK (well, and from Germany obviously).

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: The jet engine

The UK gave/sold the engines to the Russians, it was a labour government as I recal back in the days when they still proudly sang 'keep the red flag flying' etc.

Now they may not have had a licence to make them like the USA did but just saying they stole the technology is misleading.

I vote for Frank Whittle.

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blenginegasturbine.htm

I had to read the question twice though, I nearly voted for Hero as the inventor of the jet engine, but it wasn't a gas turbine.  I also noticed in the link that a couple of others could claim the gas turbine, but not as a jet, however it would support my initial thinking that Frank invented the gas turbine jet engine.

Side bar, I read a series of articles in an aircraft magazine as kid about Stanley Hooker which I found fascinating.  He was involved in gas turbine development from the 2nd world war till well into the 70s if not 80s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Hooker

So what did the article say to get you thinking PeterCharles?

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

I vote for Frank whittle to.
What's the name of the movie about Whittle. It was made in the late 40s or early 50s.  I remember the scene where he throws the hankerchief up in the air and it gets sucked into the exhaust duct ( out of the building -not the jet exhaust ).  Good movie considering the subject and when made.
Speaking of having CRS I remember a PBS interview 15 or 20 years ago and they were interviewing someone (I can't remember who ) who had just flow over on the Concorde. Anyway this person had struck up a conversation with the person next to them and had them autograph the seat card.  The person was Frank Whittle.  

RE: The jet engine

jmw,

   You were thinking about Hannah Reisch.  I do not know if she flew Me262s.  She flew lots of other stuff, much of it more dangerous, including the Me163 rocket fighter, and a manned version of the V1.  She did not invent any jet engines as far as I know.

   Do not forget Heron of Alexandria, who made drawings of a steam turbine back in the first couple of centuries BCE.

                        JHG

RE: The jet engine

Thanks drawoh.
As for Frank Whittle, he of course earned virtually nothing from his invention since, as being of material significance to the war effort (not that your could prove it from the enthusiasm of the War Office or the Air Force until the very end) meant he could not patent the idea and the UK government was very good at handing out the details not just to the Russians later on, but also to the US.

Twits.

Yes, he'd have every right to be bitter, he could have been a very rich man otherwise. But I understand he wasn't. I'm not sure I would have been so sanguine about it all.

Its not a good life being an inventor in the UK which makes you wonder at the level of inventiveness there is; first the "Not Invented Here" syndrome and then, if it is any good, the Government takes over the rights when it likes and gives it out to who it likes.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

Sorry, I meant Heron when I typed Hero.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heron_of_Alexandria

However the question was gas turbine jet engine so I figured that ruled him out.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

Is Hanna Reisch the german female test pilot that flew an early german heliocopter indoors in an arena?

Timelord

RE: The jet engine

yes, she was.

and she was an ardent, non-repentant nazi to the end.

RE: The jet engine


"saying they stole the technology is misleading."

Visiting a plant and taking away chips in their shoes by design  for analysis is stealing.  But all sides have done that, so it's nothing new.  The Bridgeport mill is another example.

==========================================
Business Page   http://mech.e.tripod.com
------------------------------------------
Motorradtraum....www.tailofthedragon.com

RE: The jet engine

Pressed, the shoe thing turned out to be virtually a waste of time.

The British government gave/sold them engines after the war.  The Russians then produced unlicensed copies.  So yeah they stole the technology but not so much by cunning espionage as by being given it on a platter.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

Kenat
Check the casualties here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

10,700,000 Soviet military deaths vs. 382,000 vs. Great Britan. Giving the Russians a jet engine is not a bad deal.  The alternative might be all our friends in the UK learning to speak German.

RE: The jet engine

BJC, what's your point?  

I wasn't the one that brought up them 'stealing' jet technology from the UK.

The US & British Empire supplied Russia with a lot of equipment during the war, a fact often played down by the former USSR.  The Allies invaded Italy largely because of Soviet pressure to open a second front and to some extent the bombing campaign was driven by Soviet pressure (especially some of the late war attacks on Dresden etc).  So while I'm not sure how the balance adds up, it certainly wasn't all one sided.

As for learning to speak German, we won the battle of Britain before the Soviets were fighting the Germans.winky smile

However this is almost completely off topic.  The Soviets I believe may have had their own candidate for inventor of the gas turbine jet engine.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

KENAT,

   Actually, I did not pick up on your reference to Hero.  I have seen it spelled that way.  It would have been so much easier if the ancient Greeks had learned to speak English, or at least used the Roman alphabet.

                         JHG

   "If the King's English English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!"

   "Ma" Ferguson

RE: The jet engine


I've seen video of Whittle testing an engine and he didn't seem to have much of a safety partition to protect himself from a failure.  He might have thought failure wasn't an option.

=========================
Kena   "stealing"

You have discounted my post, twice now, but you have finally agreed with me on the stealing part, good deal.  So there was zero misleading on stealing.  I think all of us are capable of picking posts apart, but why?!!

==========================================
Business Page   http://mech.e.tripod.com
------------------------------------------
Motorradtraum....www.tailofthedragon.com

RE: The jet engine

OK, why do I keep gettin slammed for things other people bring up?  If I had any sense I'd just keep out of it.  As I lack sense though...

Greg & jmw brought it up with "stole?", I just added the fact they were provided with engines and so stole is perhaps misleading.  I should have been more carefull in matching your wording of "technical information".

"After the war, the Russians stole jet engine technical information from the British which resulted into the Migs. "  

My interpretation of your post was that you thought they managed to make the engins from stolen drawings etc from the UK.  While they may have stolen technical information (and if so it probably helped) my point was that the provision of actual engines was probably a bigger factor.  (A couple of web sites say that they were actually given a licence but I'm not sure this is true.)

I was trying to share knowledge not pick a post apart, sorry you took it that way.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

KENAT
I didn't have a point.
After the war prehaps since the Russians had 10 times as many dead they thought giving them the jet was OK.  Particullary if they they thought is was not the best design.
If the Russians had not put pressure on the Germans Operation Sea Lion might have materalized and/or the Normandy landing failed etc. etc.
The Russians would havegotten the jet engine somehow. They captured some ME-262s.

RE: The jet engine

http://www.aamb.com.au/MIG.HTM

http://www.4to40.com/encyclopedia/print.asp?id=37

http://www.aviation-history.com/mikoyan/mig15.html

All 3 say that the Soviets actually had a license to make the Nene, although as the Cold war had got going by the time it was time to pay the fees I don't think the UK/Rolls Royce was ever paid license fees.

(Take usual precautions as with anything found on the net)

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

BJC, Ok, I'm sure many in the socialist UK government probably did feel that way, or at least still viewed the USSR as allies.  Just like many of the general population probably felt the same.

Churchill was one of the first to point out the USSR as the big bad after the war, doesn't mean everyone else in the UK was in agreement.

All this is especially interesting given that during the 20s/early 30s the USSR was identified as the most likely oponent by the UK in many planning exercises etc.  Then again there were also plans for a war with the US during this time so who knows.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

10 Dec 07 5:32

"Stole?"

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

War plans have little meaning until they do.  The US, I've heard, has contigency plans for fighting just about everyone in the world.

TTFN

FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: The jet engine

That was my point, I was second guessing myself.

Just you didn't have access to all the thought processes in the back of my mind...

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

If you lot can stop bickering long enough to take a look, you might find this link to the National Gas Turbine Test Establishment interesting:

http://www.ngte.co.uk/

The scale of the experimental rigs to physically test what today would be simulated by a computer is amazing. It looks like a fascinating place to have worked.
 

----------------------------------
  
If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

RE: The jet engine

My Uncle worked there till he retired a few years ago and was involved in the 'run-down'.

Sadly this and other sites around Farnborough related to the RAE etc and the historical legacy of aerospace in the UK probably aren't getting the recognition they deserve.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

Poor Farnborough. All of it.
Being broken up and sold off piecemeal to private industry and large chunks drooled over by housing developers and supermarket chains while anything else is "relocated".

Poor Comet too.
While the investigation team necessarily set a standard for air accident investigation, others benefited from their discoveries than De Haviland.
1954 was a bad year for a British air passenger jet transport industry and the initiative passed to the US. One wonders what could have been done to help the British industry recover?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

jmw, The UK aerospace industry has been a sob story ever since WWII more or less.  Comet, TSR II, P1054 and others too numerous to mention.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

Doh, TSR II

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

(OP)
On my return a few points :
1) there are some tributes in the UK to Frank, but nothing major.
2) some references now say that Frank and the German von Ohain co-invented it!
3) the UK government not showing interest in the engine caused Frank to patent it, but the patent lapsed at one point as he couldn't afford the renewal fee!
4) the patent was widely circulated in Germany after copies were purchased by German diplomats.
5) as for the Russians they invented everything and copied nothing winky smile
6) the labour government after the war still believed Russia was the peoples paradise (and probably still do) so who knows what they gave away.

RE: The jet engine

on item #2, phooey: Whittle's original patent just about predates Ohain's entry into high school.

RE: The jet engine

A bit late on.
Besides, if he'd got a few hundred K (£) or better he could have bought himself a peerage.
Shameful treatment.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

jmw,

Could you explain what a peerage is and how Whittle could have "bought" one, for us yanks?  I never heard of such a thing.

Timelord

RE: The jet engine

A "K" is a Knighthood.

There are different orders of kighthood e.g. the Order of the Garter (the top, they meet in Windsor Chapel) or a number of lesser types such as KCMG or Knight Commander of St Michael and St George.
Some where near the bottom of the Ks is he Order of the Thistle which is what Tony was rumoured to have been considered for (and despite being Scottish, was not at all happy about, especially as Margaret Thatcher became a Baroness.)
Below that are the "Gongs" like OBE (order of the British Empire otherwise known as "Other Bugger's Efforts) or MBE (Member of the British Empire; My own Bloody Efforts) and so on.

However, above knighthoods are Peerages awarded by the Queen which used to be hereditary and most/all of which are now life Peerages. (technically awarded by the Queen, but actually mostly by the Prime Minister in his New Years Honours).
This peerage used to entitle the Lord to sit in the House of Lords (till Tony Blair decided to change the system).

Actually, Tony is alleged to have discovered Life Peerages to be what is called " a nice little earner".
He, or his party, are alleged to have been receiving "Cash for Honours".

A number of his cronies and other rich folk  donated huge sums to the Labour Party funds and would get Peerages, some also got posts in Government and some others got some other kind of benefit such as a lucrative contract to produce flu vacines or similar.
The only notional drawback is that this is illegal.
This isn't simply "not inhaling" but somewhat more serious.

A google for Cash for honours" should produce some background to this.
e.g.
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/funding/story/0,,1972222,00.html

Hence, while an honest Knighthood is pretty nice to get, an Honest peerage is even better.

The point being that Sir Frank had to wait for ever to get his honest knighthood but got next to nothing financially. If he had been properly recompensed for his invention i.e. what he could have expected if he had been allowed to profit from it himself, then he could have bought himself a peerage. Except, as a man of integrity he wouldn't have even considered it.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

jmw,

Thanks for the explaination.  It seems like "politics is politics" on both sides of the pond, somehow it seems just a bit sleazy to the common man.

Timelord

RE: The jet engine

Almost completely off topic but nice explanation jmw, star for you.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: The jet engine

what i heard growing up..

1. Germany invented it and then started to work at BMW after the war.

2. Governments don't steal, they acquire.

RE: The jet engine

Another interesting tidbit, apparently this guy has invented the jet-powered beer cooler.

http://www.asciimation.co.nz/beer/index.html

Sorry, it has been a slow day at the office.

RE: The jet engine

Peter Charles

Maybe this version is a little more palatable.
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/aircraft/Whittle-jet/info/info.php

My Sheet metal instructor when I was in Technical college was one of the men who worked on the E28/29. He described how a large portion of the aircraft was fabricated in a shed halfway between the main factory at Brockworth and a Pub called "The Air Balloon", to keep the aircraft away from prying eyes and enemy bombers.
B.E.

RE: The jet engine

Of course, the reason there are always disputes as to who was the "first" is because when the time is right, many such developments are almost inevitable.
The inventiveness of man often points to a solution but the necessary engineering and science is not always available. Certainly the engineering and the science must be in place for a successful forward step.
Leonardo (who else?) had drawn up a parachute but never, apparently, tested it. The parachute had to wait for hot air balloons to give sufficient altitude with uncluttered descent for the first testing.
SO, with the jet engine, evidently the science, the engineering and the imperative were all present (wars are often the biggest spur for development) and thus conflicting claims can arise.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: The jet engine

(OP)
Ah, if I had a £ for every time I passed The Air Balloon on my way to college in Cheltenham I'd be a rich man....

RE: The jet engine

If I had 50p for every time I'd been stuck behind a broken-down lorry there, I wouldn't be doing too badly either.

A.

RE: The jet engine

zeusfaber
You could always go up Birdlip instead.
Now there's a place to get, stuck, behind a broken down lorry.
B.E.

RE: The jet engine

Read 'Gas Turbine Engines' by an English author about ten years ago, publisher PTL or similar. He treats the history of the subject, and you'll be surprised how many independent players were in the early history. Another revelation was how early the turbofan was considered. He describes that the Russians were doing a great deal of gas turbine design and development before the 'Nene' debacle.

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