Saturday, 27 February 2016

Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain - the father of jet engine

Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain

Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain (14 December 1911 – 13 March 1998) was a German physicist, and designer of the first operational jet engine.[1] His first design ran in March 1937, and it was one of his engines that powered the world's first flyable all-jet aircraft, the prototype of the Heinkel He 178 (He 178 V1) in late August 1939. In spite of these early successes, other German designs quickly eclipsed von Ohain's, and none of his engine designs entered widespread production or operational use. Von Ohain started to independently develop his first turbojet engine designs during the same period that Frank Whittle was working on his own similar designs in Britain, their turbojet designs are said by some to be an example of simultaneous invention.

However, Frank Whitttle was already working on his design in the late 1920s and openly Patented the design in 1930, a full seven years before Ohhain's design ran. That Ohain was completely oblivious to these Patents is widely regarded as improbable. Von Ohain's first jet engine, the Heinkel HeS 1 ran successfully in April 1937, the same month that Whittle's first engine, the Power Jets WU First Model also ran successfully. Ohain's jet engine was the first to fly operationally within the Heinkel He 178 aircraft in 1939, which was followed by Whittle's engine with-in the Gloster E.28/39 in 1941. Operational jet fighter aircraft from both Germany and Britain entered operational use virtually simultaneously in July, 1944. After the war the two men met, and became friends...
...In 1947 von Ohain was brought to the United States by Operation Paperclip and went to work for the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In 1956 he was made the Director of the Air Force Aeronautical Research Laboratory and by 1975 he was the Chief Scientist of the Aero Propulsion Laboratory there.

Von Ohain won many engineering and management awards, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Goddard Award, and the US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award.

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