On March 13, 1998, Dr. Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, co-inventor of the turbojet, passed away at the age of 86. As a young doctoral student, von Ohain conceived of and built a demonstrator turbojet engine. He was hired by the Heinkel Aircraft Company in 1936 and under intense time pressure imposed by Ernst Heinkel, designed the world’s first flight turbojet engine. This paper traces the technical antecedents leading to historic jet-powered flight made on August 27, 1939 by a Heinkel He 178 aircraft powered by von Ohain’s HeS 3B turbojet. During his tenure at Heinkel and thereafter at the Heinkel-Hirth Company, he was responsible for a series of turbojet engines culminating in the advanced second generation HeS 011 with a thrust of 2860 lbs. This paper is a tribute to an outstanding scientist who made possible the turbojet revolution and who will forever be remembered as the inventor of the world’s first flight turbojet. [S0742-4795(00)02102-5]

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