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would seem to bring within the range of practical politics the true, or nearly so, stratospheric fighter. One of the greatest bug Aircraft Engineering bears of the ordinary internal-combustion engine has been its characteristic of losing power with height; the overcoming of Th e Monthly Scientific and Technical which has caused so much anxious thought. Orga n of the Aeronautical Engineering Professio n Increased Performance Without the need for ground clearance for the airscrew, the need Editor:Lieut.-Col. W.Lockwood Marsh, O.B.E., F.R.Ae.S.,M.S.A.E.,F.I.Ae.S. for a high stilted undercarriage, with concomitant retracting gear, vanishes and one visualizes a simple system of landing gear much Vol. XVI. No . 179 January, 1944 on the lines of those already incorporated in towed gliders. All these points lead us to, first, a very much lighter aeroplane with all the advantages of reduced turning circle, lighter structure, UN SECRET DE POLIGHINELLE etc. We also get an immeasurably cleaner aeroplane which, quite N the seventli of this month the fact was officially announced apart from the effects of stratospheric flight, presumably gives an that there have been for some time a number of British inherently faster machine ; while the reduction in weight leads t o a designed jet-propulsion aeroplanes flying in England and more efficient aeroplane in other respects. America and that these have proved sufficiently successful for the type to be put into production. In spite of the widely-spread know The Other Side of the Picture ledge of this development, the secret has been, except for one regret table lapse, extremely well kept and such references to machines An obvious point on the debit-side seems to be the difficulty of obtaining the necessary power for take-off and at low speeds before of this type as have appeared have been confined to the Caproni- the machine has attained sufficient forward way to get the full Campini aeroplane, news of the existence and flights of which supply of air for the jet system. It seems likely that recourse may was rather surprisingly released by the Italian Government over have to be had to some sort of assisted take-off. At any rate, it two years ago. certainly appears tha t the system is inherently inefficient low down— the climb after take-off will certainly be poor. The same applies Two Years Ago to the landing. When things are going well, this may not matter Through the courtesy of the Ministry of Aircraft Production so much, but the loss of "engine" at the moment when, in an wc were able to publish exactly two years ago—when, of course, emergency, it might be most needed is a matter that will need con we were cognizant of the topical interest of the subject—a typically sideration. exhaustive historical survey of the subject translated from the I t would seem, also, that larger areas will be necessary in the German paper Fhtgsport, which was the basis of other investiga control surfaces to compensate for the absence of slipstream from tions on the same lines. The discerning noticed in-this article, which consisted mainly of summaries of the principal patents that had the airscrew—at any rate when the location of the jet outlet is, as been granted in various countries, a series of British patents taken would seem to be most convenient, in the extreme tail of the fuselage. Here, again, the size of control surfaces necessary while out from 1930 onwards in the name of F. WHITTLE, with which the machine is gaining speed would appear to render it likely to be name a, then, mysterious aeroplane that was known to be being heavily over-controlled at maximum speed. developed in this country was associated. It is now announced that this gentleman is GROUP CAPTAIN FRANK WHITTLE, R.A.F., whose A point which has been mentioned as a present obstacle is the perseverance over twelve or more years has been so fully justified. excessive, almost prohibitive, petrol consumption. We do not see, however, why this should be any theoretical obstacle inherent in the type of engine used, and we imagine that it is only a feature of an The Dreamer's Ideal early stage of development and will in time be overcome; though Jet propulsion has shared with the helicopter the doubtful privi heavier fuel consumption may be implicit in the incorporation of a lege of being the ambition of dreamers since almost mythical times, heating chamber for thermally expanding the air. and it is curious that the two should both emerge into the realm of practicalities in the same era. Certainly we have been hearing of the fantastic possibilities of the system, as a subject for jest, A Bold Decision since we can remember anything of the aeroplane, and it is, even I n view of the fact that a considerable amount of flying by a now, a little difficult to discard accumulated prejudice and treat number of pilots has already been done on " Whittles " , presumably the matter as other than a subject for derision. 'For that reason, sufficient experience and knowledge of the capacities of the machine we desire to pay full tribute t o him who has steadfastly persisted in have been gained to justify the decision to put it into production— the work and brought his ideals to iruition. There have already been though to what extent this is being done, and in what numbers, indications of a desire to "cash in" on his success by laying claims we do not know. If it is intended to pu t the type into service with to similar prescience—efforts which will, we hope, be as unsuccessful operational squadrons, as might appear from the announcement, as they deserve. the authorities thereby declare themselves very satisfied that it is all right. It may be interesting to consider why jet propulsion has for so long occupied the position, if we may in these days write of it so If this means, as presumably it must, a reduction in the output disrespectfully, of the dangling carrot and what it has to offer us. of airframes of more orthodox aeroplanes it seems a very bold step to take at this phase of the war. We confess that we view this prospect with some trepidation and trust that someone is not, in Less Complication their enthusiasm, tending to go too fast. I t seems clear tha t it affords a great opportunity of simplification in the power plant arrangements. All the complications of the aircsrew, with its mechanism of variable-pitch constant-speed The Future apparatus, disappears. When one thinks of the hydraulic, or electric, He would be bold indeed who ventured to predict at this early arrangements ancillary to the modern airscrew this is clearly a stage how far the jet-driven t> pe is destined to supersede the con consummation that is devoutly to be wished. Then the engine ventionally-powered aeroplane as we know it to-day. For certain itself can be very much smaller, simpler and, presumably, lighter uses, where particular types of high performance are required, its than the normal aero-engine. Apart from anything else, therefore, possibilities seem limitless, but it is too soon yet to speak of its it would seem that jet-propulsion is definitely worth while " going suitability for the "bread and butter" civil aeroplane. The dis for " from the power-plant point of view alone. appearance of the airscrew noises is a strong point in its favour, but its trailing stream of a powerful jet of air 'has obvious perils in For the fighter, for which it is at present visualized, it has the inestimable advantage of ensuring performance at altitude and practice.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1944
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