The one subject in aviation history to rarely appear in a single volume is that of the essential power plant. This new book under the expanding Air World imprint provides a comprehensive guide to the development of aircraft engines from the first propeller planes to jet aircraft – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Powering The World's Airliners, Engine Developments From The Propeller To The Jet Age FILE: R3197 AUTHOR: Reiner Decher PUBLISHER: Air World, Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Aircraft, aviation, heavier-than-air craft, lighter-than-air craft, aircraft engines, piston engines, propellers, passengers, passenger aircraft, airlines, airliners, airports, power plants, power packs, jet engines, metal aircraft, design, technology, reliability ISBN: 1-52675-914-4 PAGES: 218 IMAGE: B3197.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y2cfxzt4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The one subject in aviation history to rarely appear in a single volume is that of the essential power plant. This new book under the expanding Air World imprint provides a comprehensive guide to the development of aircraft #engines from the first propeller planes to jet aircraft – Most Highly Recommended.
The first manned flight took place at some point before the 17th Century. The aviator and aircraft have not been recorded in history so we do not know how successful the flight was, but it was unpowered. Drawings of flying machines were not common but there were several from the Medieval Period, so that we know the basic principles of aircraft design were already understood to a degree. What was lacking was the availability of a suitable power source. Humans lacked the bone and muscle structure to provide that power. As a result, sustained controlled flight had to wait a few centuries. There were experiments with steam power but available engines were simply too heavy even to power an airship successfully.
What made powered flight possible was the internal combustion engine, fuelled with petrol. The first steps were taken to power a lighter-than-air craft which removed the engine weight from the equation, allowing almost all of the available power to be used to move the craft. Petrol engines were still insufficient to power a heavier-than-air craft but steady progress was being made. By the time that the Wright brothers made the first controlled powered flight, in what was basically a powered glider, in 1903, a number of pioneers around the world were close to making their own powered flights and some of them may have achieved this without the flights being recorded. As with any significant invention there was competition to be first but also considerable paranoia, with some pioneers more concerned about developing a robust invention suitable for series manufacture, before announcing it to the world and demonstrating it.
Once a first flight had been claimed, the speed of development and new aircraft increased dramatically and within half a century, aviation had moved to multi-engine aircraft, metal construction and the first jet engines. The basic format and structure was becoming standardized and this extended to instruments and control surfaces. However, progress was not smooth and the factor delaying or cancelling new designs was most frequently the availability of suitable power plants. This often meant that the most promising design was overtaken by a less promising design because it had access to a more reliable or more powerful engine.
The author has very capably recorded the progress from the first engines that had enough power to drive an aeroplane to the jet age. It is an incredible journey and the story is told with the support of many photographs and drawings, many of these in full colour and including photographs of some of the giants of aviation history. This is a book that should appeal strongly to a very wide readership across a wide age range.