Hans J.P. von Ohain
In August 1939, at Heinkel Airfield near Rostock, Germany, von Ohain's liquid-filled engine, the HeS.3B, was installed in the He-178 airplane, and the first turbojet-powered aircraft took flight.
Following von Ohain's successful flight, the German Air Ministry established a jet engine development program with major engine companies including BMW and Jumo, leading to the first production of jet airplanes. At the end of World War I, von Ohain developed the He.S.011 axial flow engine, which was considered the world's most powerful engine.
In 1947, von Ohain came to the United States and joined the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a research scientist. While with Wright-Patterson, von Ohain was involved in physical and engineering research for the Air Force, developing air-breathing propulsion and petrochemicals.
He was born in Dessau Germany in 1911 and received his Ph.D. in physics and aerodynamics from the University of Göttingen, Germany. He eventually moved to Melbourne, Florida, where he lived until his death.
In his 32 years of government service, von Ohain received numerous awards including the Goddard Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Air Force Systems Command Award for Meritorious Civilian Service and the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Receiving national and international recognition for his work, von Ohain retired in 1979 and joined the University of Dayton Research Institute's Aerospace Mechanics division as a senior research fellow.