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Jet Engine

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The Jet Engine

Around 60 A.D Heron of Alexandria, a Greek mathematician and engineer possibly designed the first turbine driven by jet propulsion. This he referred to as the Aeoplipile. Translated from Greek and Latin the name Aeoplipile means "The Ball of Aeolus". Aeolus was the Greek god of air and wind. He published this steam powered device. The Aeoplipile, also known as the Hero Engine, was at its simplest description a bowl with a lid. Two holes were in this lid where two tubes attached to a sphere that could spin freely on bearings. The entire structure was on legs above a controlled fire. The water that filled the pot was heated until it reached its boiling point. At this time the water formed steam, this steam traveled up the two tubes and reached the sphere. The sphere had two nozzles on opposite ends of the sphere facing clockwise. The steam that reached the nozzles was forced quickly pressed out of the nozzle with great pressure, this produced thrust that spun the sphere. Although astounding in innovation for the time, there could be found no use for the Hero Machine. The fact that there was no use for it caused him to receive little praise for his invention.

Doctor Hans Van Ohain and Sir Frank Whittle are credited as co-inventors of the turbo jet engine even though they worked completely separately from each other. Ohain was said to be the first designer of the operational turbo jet engine, but Whittle patented his fist. Whittles jet engine flew for the first time 1939, Ohain's flew for the first time in 1941.Sir Frank Whittle joined the Royal Air Force as an apprentice. He then joined the RAF fighter squadron the year of 1928. He became a test pilot three years later.

Jet engines enable planes to fly by producing thrust that cause planes to move forward at great speeds, according to Newton's third law. The forward movement that the jet engines create allows the wings to get lift. Gas turbines take in air at the front with large blades like a fan. The fan draws the air into the compressor, the compressor increases the air pressure using may blades attached to a spinning shaft. The air is mixed with fuel, usually hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon), and then a spark is introduced setting the compound afire. The heat causes a sudden expansion of the gas; this gas is channeled out the nozzle at the back of the jet engine producing thrust. This thrust drives the plane forward.

The level of power that was produced by the expansion of the gas was one of the key problems that needed to be solved to construct the jet engine. Most of Ohain's peers were using one single large chamber that no hope of containing that amount of power. Ohain solved this problem by adding 9 chambers instead of one large that could more easily contain and sustain the force of the expanding gas. This ingenious design allowed the same amount of thrust and power, while being



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