Hans-Joachim Von Ohain, Ph.D.

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Hans-Joachim Von Ohain, Ph.D.

Inducted in 1991

Developed The Engine Powering The World’s First Jet Plane

1911 – 1998

In 1935, German-born Hans-Joachim Pabst Von Ohain patented a jet propulsion engine design similar in concept to that of Sir Frank J. Whittle but different in internal arrangement. Von Ohain continued to develop the design and on August 27, 1939, the Heinkel He-178 experimental aircraft, powered by his centrifugal-flow HeS-3b engine, made the world’s first turbo-jet powered flight. A subse-quent design powered the first opera-tional German jet fight-er, the Me-262A, in 1942.

As World War II progressed, Von Ohain abandoned the concept of the centrifugal compressor and began developing the axial flow compressor. His new jet engine powered the Messers-chmitt 262 fighter, which first saw combat in 1944.

Von Ohain moved to the United States in 1947 under contract with the Air Force to research advanced air breath-ing propulsion systems. He later became Chief Scientist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Aerospace Research Laboratories in Dayton, Ohio.

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