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Jet engine development fails - what would aviation look like?

uk 75

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In the "Final Countdown" the arrival in 1941 of F14s leads a US Senator to ask where these "rocket powered" planes came from. Which got me thinking. Supposing instead of the jet engine powered Meteor and Me262 WW2 only went down the rocket powered M163 route.
Military rocket powered planes prove to be dangerous toys. Airliners and bombers evolve slowly from the B29 and Strarocruiser.
Instead of the B52, SAC operates the B36 Peacekeeper and the B49 prop medium bomber.
Now I know there are huge snags with the above but the idea is to see how far propeller machines could have evolved without the transition to jet power.
 

royabulgaf

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I read elsewhere that 5000 ci and 5000 hp were about the limit. It has to do with limits on combustion chambers, cooling, crankshaft strain , etc. Not any law of physics as such, just a bunch of laws of diminishing returns coming together.
 

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Now I know there are huge snags with the above but the idea is to see how far propeller machines could have evolved without the transition to jet power.
Does "propeller machines" include turboprops? If so, things could get interesting. Piston engines approached their theoretical limit at the end of WWII.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The problem is, if turboprops exist, the maths governing the cycle make a clear argument for the turbojet for high speed flight. I don't see anyway around this. Except if, say, Aliens impose a mandatory speed limit of Mach 0.8 on terrestrial vehicles.
 

Justo Miranda

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It is interesting to follow the evolution of the German piston fighters as they were incorporating to its design the aerodynamic perfections recommended by the LFA.
In the Focke-Wulf fighter with Jumo 222 of the 22nd October 1942, the propeller is still positioned on the nose, but the engine is on the centre of the fuselage and the wing is moderate swept in the leading edge only.
In the Blohm un Voss P.192.01 (February 1944) the propeller is positioned behind the cockpit
In the Daimler Benz Hochleistungsflugzeug with DB 609 (5th March 1942) the propeller comes back to the mid of the fuselage
In the Blohm und Voss P.193 (February 1944) the engine still is in the central section of the fuselage while the propeller is installed behind the tail surfaces.
In the Dornier P.252/3 (March 1945) the propellers bent backwards as if trying to leave the airplane, in a try to reduce the drag
The evolution of wings and tail surfaces is similar, gradually bending towards the rear of the airplane, while the engine is installed each time more at a rear position.
The radiators are moved to inside the airplane, receiving the refrigeration air through the lateral air intakes located at the wing roots, in the Dornier P.247 y Focke-Wulf Hochleistungsjäger (March 1945).
At the end, the shape of these fighters is practically the same than the postwar jets. It just rested the small step of replacing the piston engine by a turbojet and removing the radiators.
Actually, there was never an explosive mutation between the Bf 109 and the Me P.1110 (January 1945). The designers created a whole series of intermediate steps, following the conservative principles of good engineering.
 

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Michel Van

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For Jet engine in 1930s
The US military killed the US development of Lockheed jet engine as Far fetch Buck Roger stuff

In Britain a Minister consider propeller engines the non plus ultra and almost stop the development of merlin jet engine...

German development jet engine was push privately only by Heinkel
But He was first interested in Work of certain Werner von Braun to put a Rocket engine into Aircraft
later he met Hans von Ohain what later let to First Jet engine
So what if both never met and Heinkel got on Rocket power aircraft and Göring on Drugs sign order for production ?

The Allies would facing rocket powert German aircraft mostly interceptors
Like in Me 263 using dual rocket engine (big one for take off and boost and small one for economic cruise)
also hybrid Propellors/rocket engines (rocket Propeller turbotrops were rocket engine turbopump power the propellor ?)
the Allies will try to counter this technology by developing there own Rocket power aircraft

After the War the german technology transfer to USA, Britain and USSR
could let to improve the concept but face it's main problem short range
either carry rocket bomber under propeller carrier close to target
or build bigger rocket bomber that makes a long suborbital jump from launch side to target
using concept of certain Eugene Sänger
 

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The problem is, if turboprops exist, the maths governing the cycle make a clear argument for the turbojet for high speed flight.
While this is true, some sort of case might be made if one steps a bit into fantasy land. *Perhaps* true turbojets don't work well enough because materials aren't able to take the heat of turbojet exhausts, and thus the nozzles have to be so corrupted and stunted that turbojets no longer produce useful levels of thrust. They work, just not *well.* But they still work as gas generators and drivers of turboprops and turboshafts.
 

Michel Van

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*Perhaps* true turbojets don't work well enough because materials aren't able to take the heat of turbojet exhausts
or in order to keep the project alive, Frank Whittle decide to modify His Jet engine into a Turboprop to get funding by the ministry
that is so fun of propellors...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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*Perhaps* true turbojets don't work well enough because materials aren't able to take the heat of turbojet exhausts
or in order to keep the project alive, Frank Whittle decide to modify His Jet engine into a Turboprop to get funding by the ministry
that is so fun of propellors...
Whittle could die in a car crash as a child, it wouldn't effect jet development that much. Maybe set it back a few years,
 

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There’s always the ducted fan driven by a piston engine, with an excuse for an after burner;- Caproni Campini N1. I wonder where that could have gone with a bit of development...... maybe into a deeper madness.

I’ve seen some recent proposals for constant volume improvements to the Brayton cycle (making it a bit more Otto) which swap the jet engines combustion cans for pistons;- whereas a turbo charged IC engine is more IC than turbo, these proposals are more turbo than IC.

Then there’s Dr Griffiths monster’s.
 
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kaiserd

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Given that jet engine technology emerged roughy the same time in different places involving different people (despite Frank Whittles undoubted contribution this was not technology uniquely dreamed up by the one sole genius) and that it was enabled by parallel developments driven by piston engine development, hard to realistically see jet technology not emerging from at least one of the major aviation nations, and hence subsequently emerging everywhere.
The generally perceived likely imminence of a major war was also contributory factor in exactly when jet technology emerged, as was the timing of the availability of metallurgy driven by (or building on) piston engine associated technological advancements.
 

Fluff

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In the "Final Countdown" the arrival in 1941 of F14s leads a US Senator to ask where these "rocket powered" planes came from. Which got me thinking. Supposing instead of the jet engine powered Meteor and Me262 WW2 only went down the rocket powered M163 route.
Military rocket powered planes prove to be dangerous toys. Airliners and bombers evolve slowly from the B29 and Strarocruiser.
Instead of the B52, SAC operates the B36 Peacekeeper and the B49 prop medium bomber.
Now I know there are huge snags with the above but the idea is to see how far propeller machines could have evolved without the transition to jet power.
Are you allowing turbo-prop? I'm thinking not?

So your Airliners and bombers are going to use rockets for take off - and maybe for penetration/height gain for attack run? Up against Me 163 clones? Possibly there would be 'couriers' pure rocket high altitude. When fuel reaches its range limit, switch to a pony express system, your letter will be in india in 12 hours.
 

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Given that jet engine technology emerged roughy the same time in different places involving different people (despite Frank Whittles undoubted contribution this was not technology uniquely dreamed up by the one sole genius) and that it was enabled by parallel developments driven by piston engine development, hard to realistically see jet technology not emerging from at least one of the major aviation nations, and hence subsequently emerging everywhere.
The generally perceived likely imminence of a major war was also contributory factor in exactly when jet technology emerged, as was the timing of the availability of metallurgy driven by (or building on) piston engine associated technological advancements.
I'm not so sure. Happy to be corrected but really only UK and Germany were developing jets in the late 30's? Clearly other countries jumped on their efforts later. So if you rule out these 2 you are left with rockets. And rockets clearly existed, so if your an aircraft designed pushed to go faster, I can easily see us reaching for rockets, just as in fact they did to make jet planes faster.

I can even see a prop for take off, then either jettison it for recovery, or have the prop fold, then light up the rockets for intercept duty, glide back to base.
 

riggerrob

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OTL both Sweden and Switzerland built production gas turbines during the early 20th century, but theirs' were heavy and used to generate electricity.
 

riggerrob

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Herman Goering was not the only Nazi drug addict. His boss Adolf did massive amounts of drugs late in his life.
Frank Whittle did so much benzadrine that he was a nervous wreck by the end of WW2. It is very easy to imagine Whittle's (ficticious) car wreck including an overdose of benzadrine.
 

riggerrob

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The problem is, if turboprops exist, the maths governing the cycle make a clear argument for the turbojet for high speed flight. I don't see anyway around this. Except if, say, Aliens impose a mandatory speed limit of Mach 0.8 on terrestrial vehicles.
Longer range fighting definitely limits the usefulness of early jets, which were real fuel hogs.
 

riggerrob

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Given that jet engine technology emerged roughy the same time in different places involving different people (despite Frank Whittles undoubted contribution this was not technology uniquely dreamed up by the one sole genius) and that it was enabled by parallel developments driven by piston engine development, hard to realistically see jet technology not emerging from at least one of the major aviation nations, and hence subsequently emerging everywhere.
The generally perceived likely imminence of a major war was also contributory factor in exactly when jet technology emerged, as was the timing of the availability of metallurgy driven by (or building on) piston engine associated technological advancements.
I'm not so sure. Happy to be corrected but really only UK and Germany were developing jets in the late 30's? Clearly other countries jumped on their efforts later. So if you rule out these 2 you are left with rockets. And rockets clearly existed, so if your an aircraft designed pushed to go faster, I can easily see us reaching for rockets, just as in fact they did to make jet planes faster.

I can even see a prop for take off, then either jettison it for recovery, or have the prop fold, then light up the rockets for intercept duty, glide back to base.
Several companies proposed airplanes powered by both jets and piston engines. Jets providing extra thrust for takeoff and dash speed for dog-fighting. Only the Ryan Fireball made it into limited production for the USN.
 
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riggerrob

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Dear kaiserd,
Yes, turbine development required all the lessons-learned from first building geared superchargers, then exhaust-driven turbo-chargers for high altitude piston engine. On the WALLIED side, really only Rolls-Royce and General Electric perfected super chargers during WW2.
Even so, late war, large piston engines were problematic. Look at how many B-29s were lost to engine fires.
 

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An alternate time line has Hungarian engineer Gyorgy Jenndrasik installing his turboprops on a Messerschmitt 210. Turboprops were certainly more compatible with existing airframes.
OTL jets enjoyed massive speed increases (400 to 600 miles per hour) that out-stripped known aerodynamic concepts.
 

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Maybe whittle got his jet in 39, and swept wings, and promptly lost all 4 prototypes, due to mach lock, and gave up. The world followed suit, and we stayed firmly subsonic.

Sanders Roe Princess to australia, anyone?
 

uk 75

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Kaiserd is of course right to draw the limits of the real world (though I thought I had made it clear that I was pushing things to allow discuasion and presentation of alternative non- jet developments). I think the value of alt history here is to draw out peoples knowledge and ideas of stuff that never was. In that spirit can we let in turbo props et al?
 

Deltafan

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OTL both Sweden and Switzerland built production gas turbines during the early 20th century, but theirs' were heavy and used to generate electricity.
I knew for Sweden but not for Switzerland. More details for Switzerland ?

For Jet engine in 1930s
The US military killed the US development of Lockheed jet engine as Far fetch Buck Roger stuff
More details for this too ?
 

Lascaris

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I don't really see how you can do more that delay things by a few years. Gas turbines had been theorised from the late 18th century and by 1900 you had working models. By the same time you also start having multiple proposals for a variety of jet engines. Pulse jet engines from 1906. Then Lorin and his ramjets, Coanda and Campini, a Guillaume who had patented an axial flow turbojet in 1921 in France. As early a 1923 you had reports on the economic feasibility of jet powered aircraft as opposed to their technical feasibility.

And even if you remove somehow simultaneously both Whittle and Ohain there's still Arkhip Lyulka in the Soviet Union with his RTD-1 from 1938 and his turbofan patent in 1941.
 

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I don't really see how you can do more that delay things by a few years. Gas turbines had been theorised from the late 18th century and by 1900 you had working models. By the same time you also start having multiple proposals for a variety of jet engines. Pulse jet engines from 1906. Then Lorin and his ramjets, Coanda and Campini, a Guillaume who had patented an axial flow turbojet in 1921 in France. As early a 1923 you had reports on the economic feasibility of jet powered aircraft as opposed to their technical feasibility.

And even if you remove somehow simultaneously both Whittle and Ohain there's still Arkhip Lyulka in the Soviet Union with his RTD-1 from 1938 and his turbofan patent in 1941.
if you keep outing people, they will all disappear....
 

Michel Van

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More details for this too ?
In 1939 Lockheed presented the Army a proposal for Jet-fighter aircraft by Kelly Johnson
The L-133 with axial-flow L-1000 turbojet engine of their own design
sadly the L-133 was to advance for it time and Army consider this more Buck Roger
until they encounter Me232 and Arado 234 and hell got the British Jet engine fast and Kelly Johnson had build P-90 around it...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Kaiserd is of course right to draw the limits of the real world (though I thought I had made it clear that I was pushing things to allow discuasion and presentation of alternative non- jet developments). I think the value of alt history here is to draw out peoples knowledge and ideas of stuff that never was. In that spirit can we let in turbo props et al?
Alternative History should be plausible or it is simply Fantasy. This discussion is at best suited to The Bar.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The problem is, if turboprops exist, the maths governing the cycle make a clear argument for the turbojet for high speed flight.
While this is true, some sort of case might be made if one steps a bit into fantasy land. *Perhaps* true turbojets don't work well enough because materials aren't able to take the heat of turbojet exhausts, and thus the nozzles have to be so corrupted and stunted that turbojets no longer produce useful levels of thrust. They work, just not *well.* But they still work as gas generators and drivers of turboprops and turboshafts.
This is the best solution so far, but you have to solve combustion chamber and turbine blade materials to make a turboprop, both of which exceed the nozzle temperature. Perhaps these high temp materials are too scarce / costly to waste on the nozzle?
 

Orionblamblam

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This is the best solution so far, but you have to solve combustion chamber and turbine blade materials to make a turboprop, both of which exceed the nozzle temperature. Perhaps these high temp materials are too scarce / costly to waste on the nozzle?
Dunno. With some "alternative histories/what ifs" you have to assume different laws of physics, or some oddly specific gaps in human thinking. *Perhaps* in this world materials are just not up to scratch for turbojet nozzle applications... but *somehow* they figured out a workaround for the turbines but not the nozzle. Actively cooled turbine blades, maybe. Why they couldn't then cool the nozzle, dunno. Or the act of cooling screws up flow through the nozzle and things go buggo as the exhaust goes supersonic... some sort of invincible instability that blows the engine apart, perhaps. or physics are jsut different enough that turbojet nozzles just don't work Because Reasons. So the exhaust is never able to go sonic, and thus the turbojet itself remains a horrible disappointment for direct thrust applications.

Or the aliens space bats/simulation programmers don't allow turbojets for some reason...
 

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It is interesting to follow the evolution of the German piston fighters as they were incorporating to its design the aerodynamic perfections recommended by the LFA.
In the Focke-Wulf fighter with Jumo 222 of the 22nd October 1942, the propeller is still positioned on the nose, but the engine is on the centre of the fuselage and the wing is moderate swept in the leading edge only.
In the Blohm un Voss P.192.01 (February 1944) the propeller is positioned behind the cockpit
In the Daimler Benz Hochleistungsflugzeug with DB 609 (5th March 1942) the propeller comes back to the mid of the fuselage
In the Blohm und Voss P.193 (February 1944) the engine still is in the central section of the fuselage while the propeller is installed behind the tail surfaces.
In the Dornier P.252/3 (March 1945) the propellers bent backwards as if trying to leave the airplane, in a try to reduce the drag
The evolution of wings and tail surfaces is similar, gradually bending towards the rear of the airplane, while the engine is installed each time more at a rear position.
The radiators are moved to inside the airplane, receiving the refrigeration air through the lateral air intakes located at the wing roots, in the Dornier P.247 y Focke-Wulf Hochleistungsjäger (March 1945).
At the end, the shape of these fighters is practically the same than the postwar jets. It just rested the small step of replacing the piston engine by a turbojet and removing the radiators.
Actually, there was never an explosive mutation between the Bf 109 and the Me P.1110 (January 1945). The designers created a whole series of intermediate steps, following the conservative principles of good engineering.
Brilliant.

I often think that in the P-47 and P-38 all the basic elements of a turbojet were already presents, but they were "slaved" to the goddan piston engine and propeller.
Threw the pistons and propeller away, fire by the empty cylinders still using the turbo-supercharger, and you're not very far from a jet aircraft...
 

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In the "Final Countdown" the arrival in 1941 of F14s leads a US Senator to ask where these "rocket powered" planes came from. Which got me thinking. Supposing instead of the jet engine powered Meteor and Me262 WW2 only went down the rocket powered M163 route.
Military rocket powered planes prove to be dangerous toys. Airliners and bombers evolve slowly from the B29 and Strarocruiser.
Instead of the B52, SAC operates the B36 Peacekeeper and the B49 prop medium bomber.
Now I know there are huge snags with the above but the idea is to see how far propeller machines could have evolved without the transition to jet power.
I think it'd look something like the world of Crimson Skies and we'd also see a fair number of airships back in service.
 

uk 75

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I've moved this to the The Bar, as it seems to depart from my view of Alternative History scope. Feel free to continue.
Oooh! Oooh! Can we bring Trump into it now???
Because he's Orange, or Alien?
No, but because he's such as stable genius.
Good idea moving this to The Bar because it was not a very good subject and this ensures that it gets trashed as some people wanted.
 

Foo Fighter

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I've moved this to the The Bar, as it seems to depart from my view of Alternative History scope. Feel free to continue.
Oooh! Oooh! Can we bring Trump into it now???
Because he's Orange, or Alien?
Because he's such as stable genius.
I never heard that. Since when did he work in a stable? It would give him experience of raking something though.

" Good idea moving this to The Bar because it was not a very good subject and this ensures that it gets trashed as some people wanted".

A pity, I saw the thread on steam turbines for aircraft and this would make a good what if scenario.
 

RanulfC

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More details for this too ?
In 1939 Lockheed presented the Army a proposal for Jet-fighter aircraft by Kelly Johnson
The L-133 with axial-flow L-1000 turbojet engine of their own design
sadly the L-133 was to advance for it time and Army consider this more Buck Roger
until they encounter Me232 and Arado 234 and hell got the British Jet engine fast and Kelly Johnson had build P-90 around it...
The Army might have been more interested if they'd had a working model which they didn't and Lockheed wasn't expecting one, (even if the Army DID fund the project) of somewhere south of 1945 unless the Army paid enough to make it a priority. Lockheed not being an engine manufacturer not a lot of people had confidence they could have pulled off the project either.

...
Or the aliens space bats/simulation programmers don't allow turbojets for some reason...
Rule-of-Cool because Props look better than jets? :)

Randy
 
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