Saturday Scenes

Thu 1 September 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:26

On the 27th of August in 1939, test-pilot Erich Warsitz took up the very first jet aircraft, the Heinkel He 178. Designed by Hans von Ohain and Ernst Heinkel, it was a small one-man aircraft with a jet intake in the nose and a retractable undercarriage.

The aircraft was a success; however, speeds were limited to 598 km/h (375 mph) at the proposed service altitude, and combat endurance was only 10 minutes. Its fall to official indifference was that Hermann Göring favoured the higher-developed piston engined fighters of the day which had already achieved higher performance standards, as opposed to investing more money into developing the jet engine. On 1 November 1939, Heinkel arranged a demonstration of the jet for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (“Reich Aviation Ministry”, RLM), where both Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch watched the aircraft perform. However, due to the conservative approach to aircraft design then favoured by both men, no official interest in the concept was shown. Nevertheless, Heinkel was undeterred, and decided to embark on the development of a twin-engine jet fighter, the He 280 as a private venture using what had been learned from the He 178.

The He 178 was placed in the Deutsches Technikmuseum (“German Technical Museum”) in Berlin, where it was destroyed in an air raid in 1943.

Easy come, easy go.

72 years later, on the 27th of August 2011, the following high-flyers weren’t winging it when took these excellent photographs for Saturday Scenes:

And these are the up-to-date submitters on Twitter who aren’t on autopilot:

Why don’t you join in?

We’d love to see your photos! Just take a picture on a Saturday and send it to @SatScenes with a location.

See you next week!

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