Jet airliner

This article is about the aircraft. For other uses, see Jet Airliner (disambiguation).
"Jetliner" redirects here. For other uses, see jetliner (disambiguation).
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Cutaway of an Airbus A300 jet airliner showing the cabin and cargo deck

A jet airliner (or jetliner, or jet) is an airliner powered by jet engines (passenger jet aircraft). Airliners usually have two or four jet engines; three-engined designs were popular in the 1970s but are less common today.

Most airliners today are powered by jet engines, because they are capable of safely operating at high speeds and generate sufficient thrust to power large-capacity aircraft. The first airliners, introduced in the 1950s, used the simpler turbojet engine; these were quickly supplanted by designs using turbofans, which are quieter and more fuel-efficient.

Airliners are commonly classified as the generally long-haul widebody aircraft, and narrow-body aircraft.

Early history

Sapphire test-bed Lancastrian VM733 demonstrating in 1954 on the two jets with the two inner Merlins feathered

The first airliners with turbojet propulsion were experimental conversions of the Avro Lancastrian piston-engined airliner, which were flown with several types of early jet engine, including the de Havilland Ghost and the Rolls-Royce Nene. They retained the two inboard piston engines, the jets being housed in the outboard nacelles. The first airliner with jet power only was the Nene-powered Vickers VC.1 Viking G-AJPH, which first flew on 6 April 1948.

The early jet airliners had much lower interior levels of noise and vibration than contemporary piston-engined aircraft, so much so that in 1947, after piloting a jet powered aircraft for the first time, Wing Commander Maurice A. Smith, editor of Flight magazine, said, "Piloting a jet aircraft has confirmed one opinion I had formed after flying as a passenger in the Lancastrian jet test beds, that few, if any, having flown in a jet-propelled transport, will wish to revert to the noise, vibration and attendant fatigue of an airscrew-propelled piston-engined aircraft" [1]