Which WWIIcountry is in the frontier of the aerospace?

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

Over all I would say Britian, but you would have to define technologies and specific aerospace sectors. Aircraft - I give to Britian, Helicopters, Germany. Space sciences - Germany, Eletronics - Britian. I could add others like composites, airframe construction, computer sciences related to aviation. Others?
I would vote for Germany. I would point to their advanced use of operational jet and rocket powered aircraft, guided rockets and understanding of aerodynamics as it applied to airfoils.
Looks like youre asking which wWII country is curently in the frontier. I think that both England and Germany work together and share a lot on a lot of projects today. Hard to say.
Britain has the jet engine to their credit more than anything. It had the most powerful jet engine in World War 2 and was the forefront of many jet engine designs for decades after the war. And still is...
As well as the engines where we are ahead in Europe, we should be adding the wings. I think I am right in saying that most of the international joint projects the UK have the design lead in wing design.

For military applications we should also add Ejector seats. Even the US Navy use our seats.
There are many things in the aeronautical world in which the British lead. The high-speed rotor blades on helicopters that allowed the Lynx to acquire the World Record for speed in a helicopter was British.
Actually I am focusing on WWII, because it seems German army came up with lots of INNOVATION in weapon design.

Of course, if you are talking about modern period, we live in a globalized world, its hard to separate each's contribution..
The Jet engine was British plus Britain developed the most powerful engine of World War 2; the Rolls Royce Nene benchmarked at 5000 lbs thrust in October 1944.
Someone already mentioned the German's superior understanding of the fluid dymanics of swept wings and rocketry. Captured V-2's, guided by an advanced gyroscopic system that sent radio signals to aerodynamic steering tabs on the fins and vanes in the exhaust, literally paved the way for the American space program.

Aerospace? While the Brits were having tea time and perfecting the crumpet, The Krauts invented aerospace!
I disagree in the british superiority in the jet engine aspect.
The version of the Rolls Royce Nene, which was tested in november 1944 did not made full 5.000 lbs thrust. After all I read, it made some 4200 lbs thrust under overrew conditions. The 5000 lbs thrust have been achieved during benchmark tests in jule 1945 with an specificly upgraded engine. By the way, the Nene was not fitted into ANY ww2 operational aircraft and the Nene was a centrifugal flow engine, not an axial flow design like all but a very few (He-S -03, -08 and -011) german jet engines. Just look what have been fitted into the airframe and take the numbers into account and you will have a quite different view. The german jet engine development had a significant time advantage. They made during ww2:
the first axial flow engine (BMW-P3302)
the first jet engine with diagonal compressor (HeS- 011)
the first jet engine with dual flow and fan (DB-007)
the first jet engine with afterburner (Jumo-004 E)
the highest numbers of jet engines (~6000)
So they have been quite competitive to the british, or not? It must be denied, also, that the Nene ( or anything centrifugal else..) has anything to do with recent engines. In terms of construction and layout the Jumo-004 and DB-007 are the closest of ww2 to modern designs, not the british designs. (even if you take the axial designs, like ASX or F-2/1 into account) Also, the Nene was not ( in terms of power output) the most powerful jet engine of ww2 to work under prototype conditions. This goes to the BMW-018, an 11 stage axial compressor, three stage turbine (big) jet engine, from which two prototypes have been produced in mid 1944 for benchmark tests. While there are no sources left to record the output, there is strong evidence that the engines have been working quite good, since both should be build into a Hs-130 E testbed for flighttests. Unfortunately both prototypes have been destroyed by an air attack in late 1944. Poweroutput of the BMW-018 is rated in most sources with 7.700 lbs static thrust. I agree that the Rolls Royce Nene is on of the best engines in 1945 technically, since it weights not very much (742 kg, comparable to a Jumo-004 but it made twice that much power output), has a lower specific fuel consumption (1,08 lbs/thrust-lbs(hr))and was highly reliable. On the other hand, the Nene has a huge diameter, requiring a lot of space in the airframe (excluding the Meteor for it), that forced the british to develope a smaller version, Dervent V (in my view the best jet engineof 1945). I also agree that the concentration on centrifugal flow engines in the timeframe of 1942-1946 is the best solution, but the development of such engines is limited and the succesful post war axial flow jet engines (F-2/4 for example) benefitted much from the german axial flow designs. And without US producing methods (tooling devices and techniques) there would bee no hope for the british to build their engines in adequaete numbers.


The Lockheed Model L-133, developed in 1940, is really impressive. The best features are reaction thrusters for roll control and Nathan Price's axial flow turbojet engine, dating from 1937.
I think I read somewhere that the XJ37 jet engine had an afterburner. Not good news if the war had gone on for a couple more months and the germans had perfected their heat seeking missile :p

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/prototypes.com/<----This site seems interesting
Quite a very interesting paper project. However, your sources also underline that the L-100 axial flow engine never worked. They tried hard and the project was carried over from one manufacturer to the next until they found out that the engine will never work. They abandoned the project in the early 50´s without a single benchtest of a working L-100 axial flow jet engine.
Westinghouse made some contributions toward axial flow jet engine design, but even their engines didn´t got into operational conditions during ww2.
The best US efforts in jet engines are the Westinghouse J-34 axial flow jet engine of 1945 (XF-85) which has a comparable power output as the HeS-011, but weights more and the General electrics J- 35 axial flow jet engine (XP-84, XP-86), which has a comparable performance to the late Jumo-004 E, but both are only partly developments of ww2. They belong moreso to the postwar era (1945-1950). The best US powerplant was in my mind the (british design based) Allison-General Electrics J-33 centrifugal flow jet engine. It was powerful, not that heavy, had an excellent reliability and an average fuel consumption. And it was choosen for mass production for the P-80A program.
The biggest mistake of the germans was the favouring of the complicated HeS-011 dual compressor engine, which lead to difficulties in breaking 3000 lbs. of thrust. The DB-007 of 1943 was capable to do that but was found to be very complicated for serial production (and to heavy). Plans of a second stage turbine (1944 but without interest of RLM) would turn this powerplant into the best of ww2, no doubt.
Electronic warfare?

Not sure about WWII but I think you guys also have the edge in numbers of tabloid newspapers aka "print media warfare."
yes electronic warfare, the use of systems to aid you or to jam your oponent's use of such systems, or even to jam your opponent's jamming of your systems..........
The Rolls Royce Nene was not fitted to any operational aircraft during the war, I know. Nor was the engine that was apparently giving out 7,700 lbs of thrust, not proven of course.

However the Nene did see service after the war in the MiG-15, the fighter that gave the F-86 a lot of trouble in Korea. As well as being built in the Commonwealth, America, USSR and France. I would also like to see your source for the power output, in fact more than one source, because I've always read the Nene as being bench-tested in October 1944 at 22.3 kN (2,270 kg / 5,000 lb) thrust.

If we're going into firsts as the idea of lead, then Britain wins hand down in the jet engine case. After all, the jet engine was patented by a Briton, Frank Whittle.

If not for the British then America, Germany, Russia, France or anyone would never have had the jet engine [basing it off firsts as the only one with a clue].

The MetroVic F.2 was Britain's first axial flow engine, first bench-tested in December 1941. By November 1942 it was producing 8 kN (815 kg / 1,800 lb) of thrust. This lead to the F.9 Sapphire which was one of the most used engines of the 1950s.

I will admit the British learnt a few things off the Germans during World War 2 in jet engine technology but the British were leading and lead for a very long time. In fact, I'll still say they lead now. That is why the US wanted Rolls Royce in on the F-35 engine.

And on the final point, America had nothing to do with the design technology of German or British engine designs aside from the influence on Britain to become more powerful. Their economic advancements and massive economic strength have nothing to do with this design technology discussion.
Umm, there is stuff to discuss.
I never disagreed that the Nene wasn´t a great engine. I stated it´s advantages over other engines. The RD 45 which drove the MiG-15 and the VK-1 which drove the MiG 15 Bis are based on this engine. But also are the soviet axial engines (beside of TR-1), from which a number are based on the BMW-018. So derivates of both engines have been used in the mid 50´s for combat aircraft. However, the Nene was capable to do 5000 lbs of thrust and the BMW-018 was capable to do 7.700 lbs (while it weights three times as much). Give me two days to submit a list of sources, which proove that the Nene developed 5000 lbs late in 1945 and not in 1944. I just have books mostly and don´t tend to source the net that frequently...
Frank Whittle wasn´t the first to patent a jet engine, this goes either to the french Lorin or to a rumanian. However, why do you think that Ohain was based on Whittle? Or that they have anything in common, regarding their efforts in jet technology? Both worked independently on engines. I am sure, that even without Whittle you would see the first jet driven plane in late 1939 (He-178), that´s why the germans had a time advantage, not the british. As for the F-2/1, which wasn ´t very statisfying (compared to centrifugal design of it´s days). The F-9 saphire is a good engine, but has nothing to do with this post. I do not denie that the british engine R&D was great (..and it is today, no doubt :) ), just tried to outline that you cannot simplify it.
And at least of course have industrial basics much to do with this topic. The US were years ahead in this. And Germany suffered in adaequate heat resistant alloys to overcome the shortcomings of their early designs.

Users who are viewing this thread