Published July 16, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Pratt & Whitney J57 Turbojet engine on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The J57 turbojet was the first production jet engine to produce 10,000 pounds of thrust. The J57 featured a dual-rotor axial-flow compressor, which lowered fuel consumption over a wide operating range and improved the sluggish acceleration characteristic of previous jet engines.
J57 production began in 1953. The same year, Pratt & Whitney was awarded America's highest aviation honor, the Collier Trophy, for the design and development of the J57. When production ended in 1970, Pratt & Whitney had built more than 21,000 engines.
The cut-away engine on display is a YJ57-P-3, the first version to go into production. Rated at only 8,700 pounds of thrust, it served as a prototype for higher-powered engines used in operational B-52s. Later versions of the J57 and its commercial equivalent, the JT3, were improved to reach 18,000 pounds of thrust with afterburner. In addition to the B-52, the J57 powered numerous USAF aircraft, including the KC-135, F-100, F-101, and F-102.
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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)