The Physics
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Thrust of a Jet Engine

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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"Engines." The New Book of Popular Science. Wetterau: Grolier, 1994: 98. "Todays jet engines commonly develop 9,900 pounds of thrust or more." 44 kN
"Jet Engine." Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Anderson, 1996: 51. "It was strictly an experimental aircraft, but von Ohains engine of 838 pounds of thrust pushed the HE 178 to a maximum speed of 435 miles per hour (700 km/hr)." 3.7 kN
"The engine, which was designated the whittle W1, produced 860 lb of thrust and powered the Gloster airplane to a maximum speed of 338 miles per hour (544 km/hr)." 3.8 kN
Jones, Lloyd S. US Bombers. Aero Publishers, 1974: 232. "Two Wright R-3350-32W eighteen cylinder Cyclones of 3,500 horsepower are supplemented by two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 jet engines; the latter having 3,400 pounds of thrust each." 15 kN
"Jet Propulsion and Aircraft Propellers." Marks Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, 8th Edition. New York: Zucrow & Reese, 1978: 11-84. "Because of the limited air induction capacity of the centrifugal compressor, also called the radial compressor, engines for developing thrust above 7,000 lb (31 kN) at static sea level, employ axial-flow compressors." 31 kN

In a jet engine, air is compressed by a turbine. Fuel is added to this air and is exhausted out the other end. This gas exerts an equal reaction force, providing forward thrust as it exits the engine. This thrust is transmitted from the engine to an airframe and engine mountings to propel the aircraft. Thrust is measured in pounds (lb), kilogram force (kgf), or the international unit, newtons (N).

Thrust of current jet planes is much greater than that of the first created jet planes. The first jet fighter to fly was the HE 280 in 1941. It was designed by Heinkel and von Ohain in Germany. Jet fighters were used against the Allied Powers in World War II at that time. The HE 280 produced only about 3.7 kN of thrust. Over the years, the amount of thrust produced has increased due to technological advances. Current jet planes produce thrusts up to 44 kN.

Kenneth S. Kwan -- 2000