Doctor Hans Von Ohain was a German airplane designer who invented an operational jet engine. Hans Von Ohain obtained his doctorate in Physics at the University of Göttingen in Germany and then became the junior assistant to Hugo Von Pohl, director of the Physical Institute at the University. German aircraft builder, Ernst Heinkel asked the university for assistance in new airplane propulsion designs and Pohl recommended his star pupil. Hans Von Ohain, was investigating a new type of aircraft engine that did not require a propeller. Only twenty-two years old when he first conceived the idea of a continuous cycle combustion engine in 1933, Hans Von Ohain patented a jet propulsion engine design similar in concept to that of Sir Frank Whittle but different in internal arrangement in 1934.
Hans Von Ohain joined Ernst Heinkel in 1936 and continued with the development of his concepts of jet propulsion. A successful bench test of one of his engines was accomplished in September 1937. A small aircraft was designed and constructed by Ernst Heinkel to serve as a test bed for the new type of propulsion system - the Heinkel He178. The Heinkel He178 flew for the first time on August 27, 1939. The pilot on this historic first flight of a jet-powered airplane was Flight Captain Erich Warsitz.
Hans Von Ohain developed a second improved jet engine, the He S.8A, which was first flown on April 2, 1941.born: Dec. 14, 1911 , Dessau, Germany
died: March 13, 1998, Melbourne, Fla., U.S.
70th Anniversary of the first Jet Powered Aircraft
Just one week before the outbreak of World War II, Germany flew the world's first jet aircraft. That plane was the Heinkel He-178 which, had its development been pushed, might have altered the course of history.
The first successful flights of the world's first turbojet-propelled airplane took place over a German forest on August 24 and 27, 1939, with Luftwaffe Captain Erich Warsitz at the controls.
The tiny Heinkel HeS38 jet engine that powered the He-178 produced only 838 pounds of static thrust.
But that was enough to push the small single-seat monoplane to a speed of well over 400 miles per hour. Thus, even in its earliest test flights this remarkable aircraft demonstrated performance superior to that of many operational fighters.
The Heinkel jet engine was the brainchild of a brilliant young German scientist named Pabst von Ohain, who was only 25 years old when the He-178 made aviation history.
The aircraft itself was designed by Heinkel engineers, working under the personal direction of Ernst Heinkel, head of the Heinkel aircraft manufacturing company.
That firm financed the development of the He-178 without either the knowledge or financial support of the Nazi government.
The 4,400-pound Heinkel He-178 was literally built around the Ohain engine.
It had a barrel shaped 24¡Ç-foot-long metal fuselage,with stubby 23¡Ç-foot wooden wings mounted high on its sides.
The aircraft utilized the conventional three-point retractable landing gear, rather than tricycle configuration which was later adopted for other jets.
Despite the He-178's spectacular performance, the German Air Force at first showed scant interest in the plane..
It wasn't until October 1939 that high-ranking air force officers agreed to inspect it, and although the He-178 clearly had great potential, it was never produced in quantity.
Slow to push development work, the German Air Force didn't have an operational jet fighter plane until August 1944, too late to have a decisive effect on the outcome of World War II.
Nevertheless. through the foresight of Ernst Heinkel and the brilliant engineering of Pabst von Ohain, the He-178 ushered in the jet age.