Jets 1930-1945

1930 - Frank Whittle patented the turbojet engine in Britain.
Frank Whittle
1939/8/27 - German pilot Eric Warsity flew an experimental Heinkel He 178 with a jet engine designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain.
Heinkel He 178
1940/8/28 - Italian Caproni-Campini prop-assisted jet plane flew 130 mph
Caproni-Campini jet, from ILN 1941/12/01
1940/8/28 - Italian Caproni-Campini prop-assisted jet plane
Caproni-Campini jet, drawing from ILN 1942/02/07 - bg
1941/05/15 - Britian flew a Gloster E28/39 experimental aircraft at Farnborough with a Whittle WI jet engine. This engine was sent to the U.S. in October 1941 and became the basis for General Electric jet engine development during the war used in the Bell XP-59.
Gloster E28/39
1942/3/25 - Germany flew the first jet-powered Messerschmitt Me 262, but only 300 flew in combat during WWII.
Me 262 - 1
1942/10/2 - Bell flew the XP-59A Airacomet based on the Whittle engine design and 50 were produced as jet fighter trainers.
XP-59A Airacomet
1943/3/5 - Gloster Meteor became the first operational Allied jet fighter, shot down V1 buzzbombs starting Aug. 4, 1944. Britain built 280 Meteor Mk. III jet fighters with the Rolls-Royce Derwent engine able to fly 493 mph 30,000 ft.
Gloster Meteor - 1
1943/7/30 - Germany flew the Arado 234, the first twin jet bomber to fly in combat.
Arado 234
1943/9 - Britain flew its 2nd jet fighter, the de Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire.
de Havilland Vampire
1944/1/8 - Lockheed flew the XP-80 prototype jet aircraft designed by Lockheed's chief research engineer, Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, built in just 143 days, and led to the development of the P-80 Shooting Star, the first full production operational turbojet fighter in the United States, with 50 entering service after Jan. 1945 until the end of the war.
Lockheed XP-80
1944/1/15 - ILN article on origins of jet propulsion
jet propulsion from ILN 1944/01/15 - bg
1944/1/15 - Whittle jet engine of Britain pictured in ILN article on origins of jet propulsion
Whittle jet engine, from ILN 1944/01/15- bg
1944/7 - Ryan flew the first jet-powered XFR-1 Fireball, with a propeller engine in front, at Lindbergh Field in San Diego California, designed for use on CVE escort carriers. Squadron VF-66 began training in Jan. 1945 to intercept Japanese kamikazes, but the Ryan Fireball did not see action before the end of the war.
Ryan XFR-1 Fireball
1945/1/26 - McDonnell Aircraft Corp flew the XFD-1 prototype that became the FH-1 Phantom, the first operational jet fighter for the U.S. Navy and Marines, used by Lt. Cmdr. James Davidson to take off and land on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt at sea. Fighter Squadron 17A (VF-17A) began fleet service in July 1947.
FH-1 Phantom
1945/8/7 - Japan flew its first jet fighter, the Nakajima Kikka, designed similar to the Me262, but only 2 produced before the end of the war.
Nakajima Kikka


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