History of Jets
A jet airline is simply termed from the propulsion of a jet engine rather than older model propeller type planes. Jets also achieve maximum efficiency at higher altitudes rather than propeller models. History of how the jet airliner came into existence is an interesting background that explains how jets have come to be the most popular form of quick, long distance travel.
The jet prototype was first laid out in writing by Frank Whittle of Britain. He was an officer in the British Air Force and proposed his idea to superiors. The idea did not come into play until the late 1930’s when the Germans took off on the idea of jets and jet propulsion. The British later recognized the idea as beneficial to war efforts and designed their first model in 1941.
It was the Germans who first brought an operational model, called the Messerschmitt Me 262, into the air. It was introduced during World War II as a turbo jet for fighting, bombing, and interception of enemy aircraft. Soon thereafter, the Germans improved on their technology and introduced a faster, rocket fueled jet named the Messerschmitt Me 163.
Throughout the years, British, Germans, and Americans have improved on jet technology. Jets have become a main source of transportation for traveler needs. Commercial jets allow for transportation to different continents within hours. Don’t want to drive a few hours to a neighboring city? Hop on a jet to get you to your destination in merely an hour or two. Commercial jets such as jumbo jets are large cities in the sky. They provide multiple decks containing amenities to help weary travelers through long flights.
Modern jets cruise at speeds almost the same as sound. The term “mach” is used to measure the speed of jets. Sound travels at approximately 420 to 580 miles per hour. The speed of jets is denoted by the percentage of the speed of sound. Most jets travel at .75 to .85 mach, or more specifically 75% to 85% that of the speed of sound. Interestingly, jets that travel faster than sound are seen before they are heard.
The fastest jet to date is NASA’s unmanned X-43. With mach speed of 9 to 10, this black bullet traveling at hypersonic speeds is appropriately named scramjet. Its initial goal was to achieve speeds greater than mach 7. The goal was well exceeded in 2001 when its first flight was launched at mach 9.
Finally, one of the most notable jets to date is NASA’s space shuttle. This jet’s engine exemplifies technology by propelling men into space. The power needed to push such a large, massive jet into space is astronomical. The solid rocket boosters of the space shuttle jet provide twelve million Newtons of thrust at liftoff. A unique advantage to these boosters is that they are reusable. Once the space shuttle jet has been propelled into a high altitude, they drop off the jet, deploy parachutes, and safely land into the ocean where NASA recovers them for use in future space missions.
For more information, visit http://www.onjets.tv.
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