1. The first airplane
    Wilber and Orville Wright made four brief flights four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with their first powered (heavier-than-air) aircraft on December 17, 1903. They then developed the first practical fixed-wing aircraft in 1904 and 1905.
  2. The first (operational) jet engine
    Even though the patent for the turbojet engine was made by Frank Whittle in 1930, the first operational jet engine was designed by Hans von Ohain, a German physicist, in late August of 1939. Ohain had begun creating his first turbojet engine at the same time that Whittle had been working on his own designs.
  3. The first (operational) jet engine (cont.)
    Frank Whittle openly patented his design in 1930, a full seven years before Ohain used his own. The Heinkel HeS was successfully used in 1937, and at the same time Whittle’s first engine, the Power Jets WU, was also a success. Of these engines, Ohain’s was the first to operationally fly within the Heinkel He 178 aircraft in 1939, which was followed by Whittle's engine with-in the Gloster E.28/39 in 1941. In July of 1944 both men had engines being used and after the war they became friends.
  4. CTOL: Conventional Takeoff and Landing
    CTOL, or conventional takeoff and landing, engines are on aircrafts that takeoff by accelerating down a runway until its optimal speed is reached and it is able to lift up from the ground. To land an aircraft with this type of engine, it will need a longer runway in order to touchdown. If you have ever flown in a plane, it is highly probable that this is the type of takeoff and landing that the craft you were on went through, as commercial aircrafts are typically of this variety.
  5. STOVL: Short Takeoff Vertical Landing
    STOVL is short for short takeoff vertical landing, which means exactly what it sounds like. These engines can takeoff on short runways and land vertically. These engines allow aircrafts to carry larger payloads than those of VTOL (see next point) engines, but still can takeoff on shorter runways than conventional engines. Some common aircrafts of this type include the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and the Sea Harrier.
  6. VTOL: Vertical Takeoff and Landing
    A vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft is one that can hover, takeoff, and land vertically. This type of aircraft includes not only helicopters, but fixed-winged crafts and others that have powered rotors as well. Some VTOL crafts can actually operate as CTOL or STOVL aircrafts while others, such as helicopters, are unable to do this.Typically, if a VTOL aircraft is able to act as a STOVL aircraft it will because it will allow it to have a larger payload.
  7. NASA's Newest Jet Engine
    Many manufactures of cars, trucks, trains, and aircrafts have been working to reduce fuel consumption in engines. Recently, engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have been testing a new fan and inlet engine design (also called a propuslor). This could increase fuel efficiency by four to eight percent compared to current engine designs.
  8. NASA's Newest Jet Engine (cont.)
    Typically, engines are located away from the body of the aircraft in order to avoid slower flowing air (a boundary layer) caused by the surface of the aircraft, but aerospace engineers believe that by putting the engines into the surfaces and integrating the boundary layer air flow to propel the aircraft can help reduce fuel consumption drastically.