c. 1943

General Electric (GE) I-16 (J31) Turbojet Engine


GE’s A-1, America’s first jet engine, could not provide the power needed for the war effort during World War II. The J31, known internally as the I-16, reflected improved cooling mechanisms and new technologies in compressor design. First tested in April 1943, 241 I-16 turbojets were delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces to power the Bell Airacomet P-59A. The design of the J31 was used in the development of the J39, although the J39 project was later canceled.

Engine Specifications

  • Type: Centrifugal compressor turbojet
  • Weight: 850 pounds dry
  • Turbine: Single-stage axial
  • Compressor: Single-stage double-sided centrifugal
  • Thrust: 1,650 pounds