Aircraft Engines History

An aircraft engine is the component of the propulsion system for an aircraft that generates mechanical power. Aircraft engines are almost always either lightweight piston engines or gas turbines, except for small multicopter UAVs which are almost always electric aircraft.

Development History:

1848: John Stringfellow made a steam engine for a 10-foot wingspan model aircraft which achieved the first powered flight, albeit with negligible payload.

1903: Charlie Taylor built an inline aeroengine for the Wright Flyer (12 horsepower).

1903: Manly-Balzer engine sets standards for later radial engines.

1906: Léon Levavasseur produces a successful water-cooled V8 engine for aircraft use.

1908: René Lorin patents a design for the ramjet engine.

1908: Louis Seguin designed the Gnome Omega, the world's first rotary engine to be produced in quantity. In 1909 a Gnome powered Farman III aircraft won the prize for the greatest non-stop distance flown at the Reims Grande Semaine d'Aviation setting a world record for endurance of 180 kilometres (110 mi).

1910: Coandă-1910, an unsuccessful ducted fan aircraft exhibited at Paris Aero Salon, powered by a piston engine. The aircraft never flew, but a patent was filed for routing exhaust gases into the duct to augment thrust.

1914: Auguste Rateau suggests using exhaust-powered compressor – a turbocharger – to improve high-altitude performance; not accepted after the tests

Aircraft Engines History1917-18 - The Idflieg-numbered R.30/16 example of the Imperial German Luftstreitkräfte's Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI heavy bomber becomes the earliest known supercharger-equipped aircraft to fly, with a Mercedes D.II straight-six engine in the central fuselage driving a Brown-Boveri mechanical supercharger for the R.30/16's four Mercedes D.IVa engines.

1918: Sanford Alexander Moss picks up Rateau's idea and creates the first successful turbocharger

1926: Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IV (S), the first series-produced supercharged engine for aircraft use; two-row radial with a gear-driven centrifugal supercharger.

1930: Frank Whittle submitted his first patent for a turbojet engine.
June 1939: Heinkel He 176 is the first successful aircraft to fly powered solely by a liquid-fueled rocket engine.

August 1939: Heinkel HeS 3 turbojet propels the pioneering German Heinkel He 178 aircraft.

1940: Jendrassik Cs-1, the world's first run of a turboprop engine. It is not put into service.

1943 Daimler-Benz DB 670, first turbofan runs

1944: Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, the world's first rocket-propelled combat aircraft deployed.

1945: First turboprop-powered aircraft flies, a modified Gloster Meteor with two Rolls-Royce Trent engines.

1947: Bell X-1 rocket-propelled aircraft exceeds the speed of sound.

1948: 100 shp 782, the first turboshaft engine to be applied to aircraft use; in 1950 used to develop the larger 280 shp (210 kW) Turbomeca Artouste.

1949: Leduc 010, the world's first ramjet-powered aircraft flight.

1950: Rolls-Royce Conway, the world's first production turbofan, enters service.

1968: General Electric TF39 high bypass turbofan enters service delivering greater thrust and much better efficiency.

2002: HyShot scramjet flew in dive.

2004: NASA X-43, the first scramjet to maintain altitude. More details