The scientific tourist #327 — J47 jet engine

This week, for your perusal, I present a J47 jet engine — with its casing cut open for a better view of its internal structure:


In this presentation, the engine would be “flying” to the right — air is pulled in and compressed in 12 (blue) compressor stages, heated in the combustion section (the orange / red cans with holes in them), then ejected through the exhaust turbines on the left.

From the placard (at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum in Box Elder, South Dakota):

The J47 was developed by the General Electric Company from the earlier J35 engine and was first flight-tested in May 1948 as a replacement for the J35 used in the North American XF-86 “Sabre.” In September 1948, a J47 powered an F-86A to a new world’s speed record of 670.981 miles per hour. More than 30,000 engines of the basic J47 type were built before production ended in 1956. The engine was produced in at least 17 different series and was used to power such USAF aircraft as the F-86, XF-91, B-36, B-45, B-47, and XB-51.

Notably, the J47 was also the first axial-flow jet engine to be approved for use in commercial aircraft.  The last J47 was finally retired in 1978, so the design saw a full 30 years of service.

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