Aircraft progress before and after World War II

It followed the trend it was following before it, or so we can see in data from NACA (What NASA used to be)

In its present state, and even considering the improvements possible when adopting the higher temperatures proposed for the immediate future, the gas turbine engine could hardly be considered a feasible application to airplanes mainly because of the difficulty in complying with stringent weight requirements imposed by aeronautics.

The present internal-combustion engine equipment used in airplanes weights about 1.1 pounds per hp, and to approach such a figure with a gas turbine seems beyond the realm of possibility with existing materials.

National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Gas Turbines (June 1940)

You could say that this refers to propeller aircraft, not to jet engines, so there’s something missing. This is intentional: propeller aircraft were far more used during the war, and jet engines didn’t appear because of it:von Ohain and Whittle did their work before. What WWII probably did was to accelerate the development of jet engines, but since there were not many jet engines prior to the war, we don’t know the pre-war improvement trend for jet engines (But maybe I can look into the pre-war designs to see if a trend can be extracted). We could do a during-war jet engine trend, which may be an interesting topic for a future post.

The point here is that we could have expected a sudden increase in performance due to increased demand for both propelled-driven aircraft and related technologies during the war effort, but that didn’t happen.

chart illustrating trends in speed from 1920 to 1980

Figure 1: Trends in maximum speed of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating the trends in stall spedd from 1920 to 1980

Figure 2: Trends in stalling speed of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating the trens in wing loading from 1920 to 1980

Figure 3: Trends in wing loading of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating the trends in lift coefficient from 1920 to 1980

Figure 4: Trends in maximum lift coefficient of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating the trends in power loading from 1920 to 1980

Figure 5: Trends in power loading of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating trends in zero liftdrag coefficient from 1920 to 1980

Figure 6: Trends in zero-lift drag coefficient of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating trends in skin friction Parameter from 1920 to 1980

Figure 7: Trends in skin-friction coefficient of propeller-driven aircraft

chart illustrating trends in maximum lift-drag ratio from 1920 to 1980

Figure 8: Trend in maximum lift-drag ratio of propeller-driven aircraft

This one is not from NACA, but still shows the same idea:

Captura de pantalla de 2016-02-09 21-21-00

Figure 8: Trends in speed of transportation

EDIT: Now, plots for jet engines!

WWII

Figure 9: Trends in jet engines, WWII

 

FullJet

Figure 10: Trends in jet engines

 

Sources

Loftin, L. K. (1985). Quest for performance: The evolution of modern aircraft (No. 468). Scientific and Technical Information Branch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Lienhard, J. H. (1985). Some ideas about growth and quality in technology. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 27(2), 265-281.

Appendix: Data table

Sort of complete until 1960. From there it needs work. I also have the efficiencies of the engines, but that is so far a bit incomplete. For the HeS1 and WU1/2 I assumed a TWR of 1 (There’s a book saying that’s the TWR Whittle was getting), and I assumed the WU1 weighted less than the WU2, so it would be less powerful.

These jets are only turbojets, not turbofans. The thrusts are dry, not ‘wet’ (afterburning) figures.

Year Maker Type Thrust(kN) Weight TWR
1937 Heinkel HeS1 2.5 255 1.0
1937 Power Jets WU1 1.8 180 1.0
1938 Power Jets WU2 2.1 214 1.0
1938 Heinkel HeS3 4.9 360 1.4
1938 Power Jets WU3
1940 Power Jets W1 3.8 320 1.2
1940 Heinkel HeS8 5.9 380 1.6
1940 BMW 109-003 7.8 624 1.3
1940 Junkers Jumo004 8.8 719 1.2
1941 Power Jets W1i 4.6 320 1.5
1941 MetropolitanVickers F2 10.7 680 1.6
1942 Rolls-Royce RB23 7.1 386 1.9
1942 Heinkel HeS30 8.4 390 2.2
1942 de Havilland Goblin 10.2 703 1.5
1942 Allison J33A14 20.5 826 2.5
1943 Westinghouse J30 6.1 377 1.6
1943 General Electric J31 7.3 386 1.9
1943 RollsRoyce RB37I 8.9 442 2.1
1943 Power Jets W2 11.1 431 2.6
1943 Heinkel HeS001 12.0 950 1.3
1943 Heinkel HeS011 12.0 950 1.3
1943 Daimler-Benz DB007 12.5 1300 1.0
1943 de Havilland Ghost 13.8 703 2.0
1944 Rolls-Royce R41 22.2 726 3.1
1945 Ishikawajima Ne20 4.7 470 1.0
1945 Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 16.0 567 2.9
1945 Rolls-Royce RB37V 17.8 567 3.2
1946 Lyulka TR1 12.8 885 1.5
1946 Lockheed J37 22.7 735 3.1
1946 RollsRoyce Avon 56.4 1310 4.4
1947 Klimov VK1 26.5 872 3.1
1947 General Electric J47 26.6 1158 2.3
1947 Lyulka TR3 46.0 1900 2.5
1948 SnecmaOlympus 101 21.6 850 2.6
1948 Wright J65 32.2 1259 2.6
1948 ArmstrongSiddeley Sapphire 55.0 1442 3.9
1949 Mikulin AM3 85.8 3100 2.8
1950 SnecmaOlympus 101b 26.5 940 2.9
1950 Rolls-Royce Olympus 49.0 1640 3.0
1952 SnecmaOlympus 101c 27.4 940 3.0
1952 PrattWhitney j57 52.0 2347 2.3
1953 Tumansky RD9 29.0 725 4.1
1953 de Havilland Gyron 120.0 1936 6.3
1954 Lyulka AL7 67.1 2010 3.4
1955 General Electric J85 13.8 185 7.6
1955 SnecmaOlympus Atar8 42.0 1350 3.2
1955 de Havilland Gyron Junior 44.5 880 5.2
1955 PrattWhitney J75 70.3 2277 3.1
1955 General Electric j79 53.0 1750 3.1
1956 Tumansky R11 38.7 1124 3.5
1957 BristolSiddeley Orpheus 22.0 835 2.7
1957 Rolls-Royce Olympus2 89.0 1950 4.7
1957 SnecmaOlympus Atar9 54.9 1350 4.1
1957 Dobrynin RD7 103.0 3750 2.8
1958 Tumansky R15 73.5 2454 3.1
1960 Ishikawajima J3 13.7 430 3.2
1961 Lyulka AL21 76.4 1700 4.6
1966 SnecmaOlympus 593 139.4 3175 4.5
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1 Response to Aircraft progress before and after World War II

  1. Pingback: The Non-Non Libertarian FAQ | Nintil

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