Hans von Ohain
1911 – 1998
Who was Hans von Ohain?
Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain was a German engineer, and designer of the first operational jet engine. His first design ran in March 1937, and it was one of his engines that powered the first all-jet aircraft, the prototype of the Heinkel He 178 in late August 1939. In spite of these early successes, other German designs quickly eclipsed von Ohain's, and none of his engine designs entered widespread production or operational use.
Von Ohain independently developed the first jet engine during the same period that Frank Whittle was doing the same in the UK, their designs an example of simultaneous invention. Von Ohain's Heinkel HeS 1 ran only weeks before Whittle's WU, but did not run on its own power until six months later. von Ohain's design flew first in 1939, followed by Whittle's in 1941. Operational jet aircraft from both countries entered use only weeks apart. After the war the two men met, and became friends.
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