General Electric J47

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General Electric J47 BE.jpg
Preserved General Electric J47
Type Turbojet
Manufacturer General Electric
First run 21 June 1947
Major applications B-47 Stratojet
Convair B-36
F-86 Sabre
Number built 36,500
Developed from General Electric J35
Developed into General Electric J73

The General Electric J47 turbojet (GE company designation TG-190) was developed by General Electric in conjunction with Metropolitan Vickers of the UK, who had already developed a 9-stage axial-flow compressor engine and licensed the design to Allison in 1944 for the earlier J35 engine, and first flew in May 1948. 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 more than 30,000 were manufactured before production ceased in 1956. It saw continued service in the US military until 1978.

Design and development[edit]

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.[1]


4,850 pounds-force (22 kN) thrust
6,000 pounds-force (27 kN) at 7,950 rpm, powered the North American FJ-2 Fury[2]
Powered the Boeing B-47A and B-47B[2]
Powered the North American F-86E Sabre & North American B-45C tornado[2]
Powered the North American B-45C tornado[2]
5,425 pounds-force (24 kN) at 7,950 rpm dry, 7,350 pounds-force (33 kN) at 7,950 rpm wet, powered the North American F-86D Sabre[2]
5,425 pounds-force (24 kN) thrust
5,200 pounds-force (23 kN), powered the Convair B-36D & B-36F[2]
5,800 pounds-force (26 kN), powered the Boeing B-47B and RB-47B[2]
5,970 pounds-force (27 kN) thrust dry, (6,970 pounds-force (31 kN) with water injection), powered the Boeing B-47E and RB-47E[2]
5,970 pounds-force (27 kN) thrust, powered the North American F-86F Sabre[2]
5,550 pounds-force (25 kN) thrust, powered the F-86F & F-86K[2]


Two J-47 turbojet engines were mounted outboard of the three Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major piston engines on each wing of the B-36. 1955 photo, courtesy of SMU.

Ground-based vehicles that used the engine include:

The nuclear-powered X39[edit]

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.[3] Had the program not been cancelled, these engines would have been used to power the proposed Convair X-6.

Specifications (J47-GE-25)[edit]

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Type: turbojet
  • Length: 145 inches (370 cm) (with tailcone)
  • Diameter: 36.75 inches (93.3 cm) maximum
  • Dry weight: 2,554 pounds (1,158 kg) dry, equipped


  • Compressor: 12-stage axial compressor
  • Turbine: Single-stage axial
  • Fuel type: JP-1, JP-2, JP-3, JP-4 or MIL-F-5572 gasoline
  • Oil system: Pressure feed spray with scavenge


See also[edit]

Related development
Comparable engines
Related lists


  1. ^ 1956 | 0590 | Flight Archive. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bridgman, Leonard (1955). Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1955-56. London: Jane's all the World's Aircraft Publishing Co. Ltd. 
  3. ^ Thornton, G; Blumbeg, B. (January 1961). "Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Heat Transfer Reactor Experiments Fulfill Test Goals". Nucleonics (McGraw-Hill) 19 (1). ISSN 0096-6207. 

External links[edit]