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Flight Plans Newsletter

Museum of Flight Program Profiles History of the Jet Engine

Date: 
02/10/2010
Author, engineer, retired UW professor Dr. Reiner Decher lectures Feb. 20
 
SEATTLE, Feb. 10, 2010--Author and retired University of Washington Aeronautics and Astronautics professor Dr. Reiner Decher, will talk about the evolution of jet engines in a Feb. 20 program called "Bumping (repeatedly) into the Sound Barrier - The History of the Jet Engine." Decher's program is a fascinating look at the capabilities and limitations of jets; for example, many jetliners easily fly almost as fast as the speed of sound, yet there hasn't been a supersonic airliner since Concordes were retired in 2003. The presentation will trace the historical development of the jet engine as engineers strived to overcome the limitation of piston engines and propellers and sought ever-greater jet engine efficiency when aircraft cruise near the sound barrier. The program also looks at the future of more fuel-efficient jet engines. A question and answer session, and book signing, follow the presentation. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
 
Decher is a 33-year veteran of the UW's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is an author, engineer and a teacher. Decher's expertise centers on the fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and physics of power machinery and aerospace propulsion systems. Decher lives in Bellevue, Wash. His Museum program is largely based upon his recently published book, "MOBILITY: Engines and Institutions - The Story of Engines and How They Have Made Us Mobile."  The book describes the evolution of engines for the propulsion of all kinds of vehicles and, in particular, the jet engine and its integration into the design of the modern commercial airliner. 
 
Image: U.S. Navy photo.
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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red BarnĀ® -- the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing displays 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from the United States and other countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. Over 30 aircraft representing the first century of aviation are displayed in the all-glass T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. The evolution of space flight and a look into the future are presented in the exhibit, Space: Exploring the New Frontier. The Airpark includes outdoor displays including the first jet Air Force One, a supersonic Concorde airliner and the prototype Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Interactive displays in The Flight Zone provide educational and entertaining activities for young children. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs--the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
 
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $8 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org
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