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Originally a part of the Continental Motors Corporation, Teledyne Engineering has been a major contributor to the development of turbine engines since the first jet airplanes flew in the early 1940s. The company became part of the Teledyne corporation in 1969 and today is determining the shape of small turbine engine technology for the future. Air Force Power Plant Laboratory worked on several foreign jet engines, including the British Sapphire (J65) and Olympus (J67), and the French Marbore (J69).

The T-37B Tweet is a twin-engine jet used for training joint specialized undergraduate pilot. It is propelled by two Continental J69-T-25 turbojet engines. The BQM-34S Aerial Target is a recoverable, remote-controlled subsonic target capable of speeds up to 0.9 MACH and altitudes from 10-50,000 feet. It is propelled during flight by a single J69-T41 or J85-GE-100 turbojet engine which produces 1,920 or 2,800 pounds static thrust (respectively) at sea level. These highly dependable engines have contributed to making the T-37B the lowest operating cost jet aircraft in the US military inventory.

The Firebee I concept came into being during the late 1940s when the Air Force issued a requirement for a high-speed subsonic SAT drone for ground-to-air and air-to-air gunnery practice and training. The first powered flight of the XQ-2 prototype occurred on February 1952 and later that same year, officials approved full scale production (FSP) of these drones for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Designers created the Air Force Q-2A with a J69-T-19 turbojet engine. When personnel launched it from the ground, it was boosted into flight by the Aero Jet General X102F solid-fuel rocket booster. The recovery system revolved around a two-stage parachute system which automatically deployed when the drone was hit or when vital components malfunctioned. Over the next 50 plus years, developers built many new variations and added several important upgrades. Following the effective tests of 1972, experts added more powerful J69-T-41A engines to the BQM-34A in 1973 and, by 1974, they had built the BQM-34B operational strike RPV complete with Low Light Level Television (LLLTV) and laser designators in the nose.

The PRC's efforts to acquire compact jet engines can be traced to 1965, when the Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics launched a project to copy the U.S. Teledyne-Ryan CAE J69-T-41A. The Teledyne engine powered the U.S. Air Force AQM-34N Firebee reconnaissance drone, a number of which were shot down over the PRC during the Vietnam conflict.100 The PRC's copy of the U.S. turbojet, dubbed WP-11, began ground testing in 1971 and currently powers the PLA's HY-4 "Sadsack," a short-range anti-ship cruise missile.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:37:15 ZULU