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Westinghouse J34 Turbojet Engine

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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.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model:
J34-WE-22
Compressor: 11-stage axial flow
Turbine: two-stage axial flow
Thrust: 3,000 lbs. max.
Weight: 1,200 lbs.
Max. RPM: 12,500
Cost: $68,000

PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT COURTESY OF THE AIR FORCE MUSEUM

 

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Built in an era of rapidly advancing gas turbine engine technology, the J34 was largely obsolete[ before it even saw service, and often served as an interim engine. For instance, the Douglas X-3 "Stiletto" was equipped with two J34 engine when the intended Westinghouse J46 engine proved to be unsuitable. The Stiletto was developed to investigate the design features of an aircraft suitable for sustained supersonic speeds. However, equipped with the J34 instead of its intended engines, it was seriously underpowered for this purpose and could not even exceed Mach 1 in level flight.

Developed during the changeover from piston-engine propeller aircraft to jets, the J34 would often be fitted to aircraft as a supplement to other powerplants, as with the P-2 Neptune and Douglas Skyrocket (fitted with radial piston engines and a rocket engine, respectively).

Variants

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 Specifications

 

 

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Last Updated

02/10/2014

 

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