Practical gas turbine power for model aircraft became a reality when Bryan Seegers of Arizona made model aviation history in 1988. He flew what is believed to be the world’s first miniature turbojet-powered aircraft. 

By 1992, commercially available miniature jet engines like this JPX-T240 began to appear on the market. This engine burns propane fuel and can produce up to 13 pounds of thrust. Today’s model jet engine burn gasoline or jet fuel and produce several times more thrust. Built in France in 1992, the JPX-T240 is 15”-long, 6”-wide, and 6”-high. 

The first full-size jet plane, a Heinkel He 778, flew in 1939. A jet engine has no propeller. It sucks in air at one end and burns it with fuel. Hot gasses blast out the other end, thrusting the aircraft forward.

Exhibit added: July 1, 2009 - Last modified: February 10, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship