The First U.S. Afterburner Development 871354

In order to overcome the serious disadvantages of the high weight-to-thrust ratios and limited max power ratings of the early U.S. developed aircraft gas turbine engines, the Navy initiated and developed the first afterburner for augmenting the jet engine's basic performance for take-off and climb and combat conditions. By injecting additional fuel downstream of the turbine and combusting it to near stoichiometric conditions in the engine exhaust duct, it was possible to attain basic thrust augmentations of 30-35 percent at take-off, while at altitudes of 20,000-30,000 feet and speeds of approximately 500 mph, performance augmentations of 65-70 percent were possible. This afterburner development program was officially started in July 1946 and within less than two years the first successful flight tests were conducted in the Navy's XF6U aircraft.


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