Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft
Chapter 10: Technology of the Jet Airplane
[223] The highly developed technology of the propeller-driven aircraft formed the foundation from which the jet airplane evolved. Compared with its propeller-driven ancestors, however, the modern jet aircraft incorporates many refinements in such areas as structures, materials, aerodynamics, methods of construction, and onboard systems. A description of all these various improvements and innovations is beyond the scope of the present discussion. In order to exploit fully the performance potential of the jet engine, however, certain basic configuration changes in the form of the airplane were necessary. Wing design and wing-fuselage integration for high-speed flight are briefly discussed in the following paragraphs, as are certain characteristics of high-speed aircraft at large angles of attack. Included in the discussion is a description of some of the powerful high-lift devices employed on most modern, long-range jet aircraft. However, the jet engine itself and some of its variants and characteristics are considered first.