The Physics
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Power of a Fighter Plane

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
"Douglas F-24a 'Dauntless'." Aviation Enthusiast Corner Spring 2003: 23-24. "Horsepower (each): 1000" 1.49 MW
Hawk, Chuck. The Best fighter planes of world War II. 1997. "Pratt and Whitney R-2000-18W; 2325 hp at 2800 rpm at S.L." 1.73 MW
Aircraft Engines: Comparison Chart: Turbojets. General Electric Transportation. December 2003. [see table below] 4.25–26.6 MW
How WWII fighter planes Worked. How Stuff Works. June 2005. "This engine had two banks of seven cylinders and generated around 1,000 horsepower." 1.49 MW
F-100-pw-200 Engine. June 2005. "When the aircraft is flying above supersonic speed the engine is actually producing more than 100.000 horsepower". 74.9 MW
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines: Comparison Chart - Military Turbojets
Engine J79-GE-8 J79-GE-10/17 J79-GE-15 J79-GE-8 J85-GE-5J J85-17A/B J85-21
Specific Fuel Consumption
at Maximum Power
1.93 1.93 1.94 1.93 2.2 0.99 2.13
Max. Power at Sea Level 17,000 17,820 17,000 17,000 3,850 2,850 5,000
Overall Pressure Ratio
at Maximum Power
12.9 13.4 12.9 12.9 6.7 6.9 8.3

Power is the rate of performing work or transferring energy. Power measures how quickly the work is done. Power is always expressed in units of energy divided by units of time. A traditional unit of power is the horsepower, which is equal to the amount of power required to lift 550 pounds at a rates of 1 foot per second. The SI unit of power is the watt, which is equals the power needed to do 1 joule of work per second. There are about 746 watts in 1 horsepower.

In WWII the Japanese Zero plane was the most advanced fighter plane which generated about 746,000 watts of power. WWII was a long time ago and a lot of things have changed, we know have more advanced technology. The F-117a stealth fighter is one of the most advanced planes today, they have the new F100-PW-200 engine which produces about 74,900,000 watts of power.

Sahar Takkouche -- 2005