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<   No. 3173   2011-10-04   >

Comic #3173

1 Ginny: Here we are. Rügen.
1 Erwin: Hello Ginny. Herr Doktor Jones.
1 Ginny: Erwin!
2 Ginny: What are you doing here? We left you back in Berlin!
2 Erwin: Die Führer is dead. Die war is over!
3 Monty: How did you get here?
3 Erwin: I took a zeppelin.
4 Monty: Aren't zeppelins slower than trucks?
4 Erwin: Nazi science has attached jet engines to them!

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Modern air-breathing jet engines have a history going back to the years just before World War II. The first precursors were developed and tested in the 1920s and '30s, leading to the production of the first plane to be powered by a jet engine (without a propeller as a backup propulsion system) in 1939. This was the Heinkel He 178, built in Germany, and flown for the first time just 4 days before Germany invaded Poland, initiating the War.

Nazi Germany remained at the forefront of jet technology throughout the war, eventually launching the first jet fighter plane, the Messerschmidt Me 262, in 1942. This was a highly successful fighter, scoring a 5 to 1 kill rate against the slower Allied aircraft.

The British and Americans were not to be outdone, however, and also made rapid advancements in jet technology, eventually fielding several jet models of their own in the last year of the war.

Alas, none of them thought of putting jets on to lighter-than-air craft.

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