Making Jet Engines In World War Ii: Britain, Germany, And The United States

Hardcover | October 10, 2016

byHermione Giffard

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Our stories of industrial innovation tend to focus on individual initiative and breakthroughs. With Making Jet Engines in World War II, Hermione Giffard uses the case of the development of jet engines to offer a different way of understanding technological innovation, revealing the complicated mix of factors that go into any decision to pursue an innovative, and therefore risky technology.
 
Giffard compares the approaches of Britain, Germany, and the United States. Each approached jet engines in different ways because of its own war aims and industrial expertise. Germany, which produced more jet engines than the others, did so largely as replacements for more expensive piston engines. Britain, on the other hand, produced relatively few engines—but, by shifting emphasis to design rather than production, found itself at war's end holding an unrivaled range of designs. The US emphasis on development, meanwhile, built an institutional basis for postwar production. Taken together, Giffard's work makes a powerful case for a more nuanced understanding of technological innovation, one that takes into account the influence of the many organizational factors that play a part in the journey from idea to finished product.

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From the Publisher

Our stories of industrial innovation tend to focus on individual initiative and breakthroughs. With Making Jet Engines in World War II, Hermione Giffard uses the case of the development of jet engines to offer a different way of understanding technological innovation, revealing the complicated mix of factors that go into any decision t...

Hermione Giffard is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University.  
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:October 10, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638859X

ISBN - 13:9780226388595

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Chapter 1. Turbojet Production during World War II
Britain’s Turbojet Engines
Competition in Britain
Abandoning the W.2B
United States (American Turbojet Engines)
Production and Improvement in the United States
Prospects for the H.1
Turbojet Engine Production in Germany
Production Underground
The Remarkable Production of Ersatz Aero-Engines
Conclusion
Chapter 2. The Aero-Engine Industry and Turbojet Development
Rolls-Royce and the Turbojet
Rolls-Royce’s First Internal Combustion Turbine
The Whittle-Rolls-Royce Engine
Rolls-Royce at Barnoldswick
Back at Derby
The British Aero-Engine Industry
De Havilland’s New Engine
Armstrong Siddeley Motors Changes Course
Bristol Aircraft Company Is of Two Minds
D. Napier and Son
The German Aero-Engine Industry
Junkers Motorenwerke
Bramo and BMW: A Good Team
Daimler-Benz Makes Time for Turbojets
Development in the United States
The NACA Starts Work
The Air Force Pushes Development
General Electric
Conclusion
Chapter 3. Inventive Institutions
Inventors
Power Jets
Small Beginnings
The Contradiction of Power Jets
Rapid Growth
A National Resource
The Royal Aircraft Establishment
The End: Government Company and Back Again
The Ernst Heinkel Flugzeug Werke
The Beginning of EHFW’s Turbojet Work
The Inexorable Expansion of EHFW’s Turbojet Program
New Prospects for von Ohain
Conclusion
Chapter 4. The Construction of a Hero
The Jet Story Enters the Public Domain
Publicity after the First Press Release
Relations between the British Government and Its Inventor-Hero
New Medium, Old Story
The First Academic Histories
Historiographical Success
The German Challenge
Birth of the Dual-Inventor Narrative in the United States
The Jet and the Rebirth of the History of German Aviation
Professionals Borrow the Tale
Conclusion
Conclusion. The Jet Engine and Innovation
Appendix A. Power Jets Ltd., Schedule of Shareholders, November 1, 1943
Appendix B. Air Ministry Jet Publicity (1944–45)
First press release, January 6, 1944
Second press release, September 27, 1944
Third press release, February 28, 1945
Appendix C. Engine Comparison Table
Acknowledgments
Archives Consulted
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Making Jet Engines in World War II is a tremendously valuable contribution to the history of technology. Giffard delivers a brilliantly comparative three-nation history, showing a level of attention to national context that is essential for comparative studies, but rarely achieved. The book is grounded in truly impressive research, involving archival collections in three countries and vast troves of published technical literature. Sure to appeal to serious aviation history enthusiasts, aeronautical engineers, historians of technology, and scholars of innovation, Giffard’s argument is well-written and sharply original, and it represents a major revision to the history of the turbojet and an important contribution to the historiography of invention.”