Building and making jet engines isn’t a simple task.
It needs advanced technology and huge investments, which explains that not every country can build and make jet engines.
It is worth acknowledging that a German was the first person to build and make the first engine.
This man was born in Dessau, Germany, on 14th December 1911.
So, by the time his jet engine was powering an aircraft for the first time in 1939, he wasn’t even 30.
Interestingly, the credit for the jet engine’s invention went to Frank Whittle from Great Britain.
After all, he was the first person to register a patent for the turbojet engine.
Nevertheless, Germany is also home to Rolls-Royce Deutschland, located in Dahlewitz, Berlin, Germany.
This company is fully certified to build and make jet engines, including advanced civil and military ones.
Besides developing, this site also assembles, tests, monitors, and maintains small and medium engines.
The History of the Development of Jet Engines
The World War II (WWII) is one of the historical moments globally for obvious reasons.
Besides the combat, it was also a time when the idea of jet engines saw the light of the day.
Before this civil war started, jet engines were ideas and experiments conducted in various labs.
However, that was no longer the situation when this war ended, as this aviation development milestone was already a reality.
Here’s the beginning and the progress of the jet engine technology.
Heinkel He 178
The first man to develop a jet engine was Hans von Ohain, who hails from Germany.
By then, Hans was young and working with Ernst Heinkel, a renowned advanced engine designer and manufacturer.
This young physicist developed the Heinkel He 178, the first jet plane that flew in 1939 on 27th August.
Given how various engine designers advanced it later to make better ones, one must admit that it is a remarkable foundation of jet engines.
An excellent example is his German counterpart, Anselm Franz.
He used the first jet place information, advanced it and built a jet fighter engine.
Messerschmitt built this aeroplane, which was dubbed the Me 262.
It is also in the books of history for being the only jet fighter that flew in combat during WWII.
However, it had a limitation: high fuel consumption, which saw the jet fighter spend much time on the ground instead of flying in the air.
Around that time, something similar was cooking in England.
Frank Whittle built a jet engine from scratch and on his own.
This project was successful, and the engine was used to fly the Gloster Meteor jet fighter.
This jet fighter was Britain’s homeland defense tool, but it didn’t work during the fight against Germany.
After all, its speed was inadequate, thus rendering it unsuitable for combat.
The United States also got Whittle’s jet engine technology from Britain.
Consequently, General Electric (GE) used this technology to build jet engines for the Bell XP-59.
It is a historic landmark as America’s first jet fighter to fly.
Interestingly, Britain didn’t stop at the Gloster Meteor.
On the contrary, the Nene engines project that used Whittle’s design commenced in 1944.
Rolls-Royce initiated this project and then sold these jet engines to the Soviets.
MiG Jet Fighter
Upon getting the Nene engines from Rolls-Royce, the Soviets developed their version.
The jet engine was used to power the MiG jet fighter.
The jet fighter played a role in the Korean War that erupted later by fighting the US bombers and fighters.
This jet engine was developed after the end of WWII following Germany’s surrender in 1945.
The calmness gave American engine builders Pratt & Whitney and General Electric a chance to work on the inventions and discoveries developed during the war.
These designers used knowledge from jet engine experts, including Whittle and Hans.
The duo was trying to solve problems of the previous jet engines, such as the Me 262, which consumed too much fuel.
In the process, Pratt & Whitney discovered a solution in 1948: a combination of two engines to make one.
This engine had two compressors that rotated separately.
The inner compressor improved the engine’s performance by providing high compression.
Since an independent turbine powered every compressor, the design also involved a pair of turbines with one turbine behind the other.
Various commercial airlines used this jet engine, including the Douglas DC-8 and the Boeing 707.
The US Air Force also started using the jet engine in 1963.
Ever since the jet engines have progressed rapidly to the great invention they are today.
Which Countries Can Build Aircraft Jet Engines on Their Own?
First, it is not the countries that build aircraft jet engines.
On the contrary, various jet engine manufacturers in these countries are powerful enough to build jet engines from scratch to completion.
For instance, the United States has such companies as General Electric, Honeywell Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney.
On the other hand, Russia has Klimov, Aviadvigatel and NPO Saturn.
France has Safran, while the UK is home to Rolls-Royce.
It is worth noting that Rolls-Royce also has a subsidiary in Germany that designs and builds jet engines in this country.
Can Japan Make Jet Engines?
Japan’s Aero Engine Corp has collaborated with Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and other Japanese companies to build turbofan engines.
Another Japanese company that has made strides in the manufacture of jet engines is the IHI.
It serves 60% to 70% of Japan’s jet engine market, including its Ministry of Defense.
Besides designing and manufacturing, the company also offers aero engine maintenance.
Can China Make Jet Engines?
China’s Sero Engine Corporation and the Shenyang Aerospace Corporation are renowned jet engine manufacturers.
Initially, the manufacturers would copy the designs of the Russian military jet engines through reverse engineering.
However, that is slowly changing as they are designing jet engines for both civilian and military uses from scratch.
However, it is believed that the jet engines aren’t as durable as those of other manufacturers, but that’s bound to change as the companies advance their technologies.