Hans Von Ohain: Elegance in Flight

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AIAA, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 285 pages
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This is the first book ever to chronicle the life and work of Dr. Hans von Ohain, the brilliant physicist who invented the first turbojet engine that flew on 27 August 1939. The book follows him from childhood through his education, the first turbojet development, and his work at the Heinkel Company, where his dream of elegance in flight was ultimately realized with the flight of the Heinkel He 178, powered by the turbojet engine he created. It also presents his immigration to the United States and his career with the United States Air Force, whereupon he became one of the top scientists in the field of advanced propulsion.
The book is a historical document, but it is also evidence of a mans dream coming true in the creation of elegance in flight, and its impact on mankind.

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This book is a real gem, offering a unique insight into a pivotal individual at a critical time in world history.
This book is a must (if you can get it) for anyone interested in this world
changing invention and one of its pioneers.
The excerpts that I have read (and that are available) from this book put to rest finally, the myth that Hans Von Ohain did not know about Frank Whittle's work, which predated his own.
In his own words quoted here, he states that his patent lawyer brought him the document in 1935 which he reviewed thoroughly and even offers something of a critique.
There is no doubt that Ohain was a brilliant man but as history shows, his design for an turbojet engine was ultimately, never produced beyond a couple of hand built prototypes and while Whittle's engine ran under its own power 6 months before Ohain's, to his and Ernst Heinkel's great credit, it did power the world's first turbojet powered aircraft.
Ultimately Ohain's engine was not suitable for production whereas Whittle's engines spawned a whole generation of aircraft powered by gas turbines and his engines are still flying today in numerous aircraft.


Family and education
Idea for a propulsion system
Meeting with Ernst Heinkel
The hydrogen test engine
Heinkels engine developments
First flight of a turbojetpropelled aircraft
War planes
Last German efforts and defeat
Research and the U S government
Aerospace Research Laboratory
Position as chief scientist at ARL
Work after retirement

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