GE didn’t invent the jet engine, but it built the first one in America during World War II. It was no accident. The company had been making turbines for power plants and superchargers for propeller planes for decades. Without all that knowledge, the jet age would’ve taken longer to lift off.
The Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady, N.Y., not far from GE’s current global research headquarters, holds a treasure trove of GE history. Chris Hunter, the museum’s vice president for collections and exhibitions, found a comic book from 1958 that tells the whole story of how GE turbine engineers turned Sir Frank Whittle’s jet engine design into a working machine that in 1942 powered America’s first jet plane.
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