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Developed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in the late 1940s, the J34 engine was an enlarged version of the earlier Westinghouse J30. It was an axial flow turbojet with eleven stage compressor; double annular combustion chamber, two stage turbine. The J34 produced at least 3,000 lbs. of thrust (depending on engine series) and was twice as powerful as its predecessor. The -15, -17, and -19 engines were fitted with an afterburner for additional thrust when needed. The J34-WE-34-1, J34-WE-36-1 and the W340-1 engines incorporate Steward-Davis accessory gear box drive shaft SDD-472. The -2 engines incorporate Steward-Davis accessory gear box drive shaft SDD-410A. Model J34-WE-34 had no provisions for anti-icing the engine inlet and waa not approved for use in icing conditions. Model W-340 was satisfactory for operation in icing conditions.

Several different series J34s were used in Air Force experimental aircraft during the 1948-1953 period. A J34-WE-22, rated at 3,000 lbs. thrust, powered the tiny McDonnell XF-85 "Goblin." The McDonnell XF-88A used two J34-WE-15 engines, each rated at 3,150 lbs. thrust, while the XF-88B used two XJ34-WE-19s, each rated at 3,250 lbs. thrust. The McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee fighter jet of 1950 had 2 Westinghouse J34 WE-34 engines with 3000 lbs thrust.

Power for the Douglas X-3 "Stiletto" was provided by two XJ34-WE-17s of 3,370 lbs. thrust each. Because it was underpowered with an interim J34 engine, the X-3 failed to achieve the high speeds for which it was designed, but it pioneered in the use of titanium and contributed to the development of aircraft tire technology. The sweptwing D-558-II completed its first flight at Muroc (later Edwards AFB) on February 4, 1948. It was originally powered by a 3,000-lb. thrust J34 turbojet and then by a combination of the J34 and a 6,000-lb. thrust XLR-8 rocket engine for ground takeoffs.

The RB-69A was powered by two Wright R-3350-32W Turbo Compound radials and two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 axial-flow turbojets. The J34 turbojets were primarily used to improve take-off performance and were shutdown for long duration missions, but could be restarted in flight for maximum speed dashes of about 350 mph.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:37:13 ZULU