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General Electric J47 / TG-190 / X-39


General Electric J47


The General Electric J47 turbojet (GE company designation TG-190) was developed by General Electric from the earlier J35 engine, and first flew in May 1948. First run on 21 June 1947, the J47 was the first axial-flow turbojet approved for commercial use in the United States. It was used in many types of aircraft and 36,500 were manufactured before production ceased in 1956. It saw continued service in the US military until 1978.

Overhaul life for the J47 ranged from 15 hours (in 1948) to a theoretical 1,200 hours (625 achievable in practice) in 1956. For example, the J47-GE-23 was rated to run 225 hours between overhauls. As installed on the F-86F, it experienced one in-flight shutdown every 33,000 hours in 1955 and 1956.


J47-GE-1 – 4,850 pounds-force (22 kN) thrust
J47-GE-17B – 5,425 pounds-force (24 kN) thrust
J47-GE-19 – 5,200 pounds-force (23 kN)
J47-GE-23 – 5,800 pounds-force (26 kN), (6,500 pounds-force (29 kN) with water injection)
J47-GE-25 – 7,200 pounds-force (32 kN) thrust
J47-GE-27 – 5,200 pounds-force (23 kN), 5,970 pounds-force (27 kN) thrust
J47-GE-33 – 5,550 pounds-force (25 kN) thrust


Boeing B-47 Stratojet
KB-50J Superfortress
KC-97L Stratotanker
Chase XC-123A
Convair B-36
Convair NB-36
Curtiss XF-87 Blackhawk
Martin XB-51
North American B-45 Tornado
North American F-86 Sabre
North American F-86D Sabre
North American FJ-2 Fury
Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor

Ground-based vehicles that used the engine include:
Spirit of America
M-497 Black Beetle jet-powered locomotive


The nuclear-powered X39
In the 1950s, interest in the development of nuclear-powered aircraft led GE to experiment with two nuclear-powered gas turbine designs, one based on the J47, and another new and much larger engine called the X211.

The design based on the J47 became the X39 program. This system consisted of two modified J47 engines which, instead of combusting jet fuel, received their heated, compressed air from a heat exchanger that was part of the Heat Transfer Reactor Experiment (HTRE) reactor. The X-39 was successfully operated in conjunction with three different reactors, the HTRE-1, HTRE-2 and HTRE-3. Had the program not been cancelled, these engines would have been used to power the proposed Convair X-6.



Type: turbojet
Length: 144 inches (3.7 m)
Diameter: 39.5 inches (1.00 m)
Dry weight: 2,707 pounds (1,228 kg)
Compressor: 12-stage axial compressor
Turbine: Single-stage axial
Maximum thrust:
5,800 pounds-force (26 kN) at 7950 rpm
6,500 pounds-force (29 kN) with water injection
Specific fuel consumption: 0.98 lb/hr/lb








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