The He 178, using the He S3B engine, made
its maiden flight on 27 August 1939. In subsequent tests it reached 400 mph. It was
without a doubt the world's first jet aircraft. It's designers were Dr.
Hertel, Siegfried GŁnter (later designed MiG 15 in Russia), Karl Schwaerzler.1,
In comparison, the first British jet, the Gloster
E.28/39 powered by a Whittle engine first flew almost two years later in 1941. Only
two Gloster's were built and one crashed supposedly because of icing?
The real cause may never be determined. However, the fist one accumulated 25
hrs of bench testing and ten hrs of flight.
The first US jet was the Bell XP-59A which made its maiden flight in October of 1942. It maximum speed was
380 mph. Because of its low performance and high fuel burn, it was a big
disappointment. See Ed Heinemann by Heinemann and Rausa. Available from
Scientists and Friends.