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 |

Comments from WordPress

Citation

In academic work, please cite this essay as:

Ricón, José Luis, “Aircraft progress before and after World War II”, Nintil (2016-02-09), available at https://nintil.com/aircraft-progress-before-and-after-world-war-ii/.