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The Pratt Whitney J-58 Aircraft Engine

The Pratt Whitney J-58 was a single-spool hybrid turbojet engine with an afterburner which also functioned as a fan-assisted ramjet. The Pratt Whitney J-58 first ran in 1958 and was the first jet engine to be flight-qualified by the USAF for Mach 3. The J-58 featured variable-geometry inlets to ensure air flow into the compressor was always subsonic. The engine had to use JP-7 high flash point and therefore required triethylborane (TEB), which spontaneously combusts in air, to be injected into the engine to start it and also to ignite the afterburner.

Blackbird J-58 Jet Engine


The high temperature the J-58 could reach at full power required a silicone oil which had the viscosity of grease at ambient temperatures, the engine had to be pre-heated before starting in order to reduce the lubricants viscosity to that of conventional oil.

Aircraft that were powered by the Pratt Whitney J58

Lockheed A-12 Lockheed YF-12 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Pratt Whitney J58-P4 Specifications:

  • Type: afterburning variable cycle hybrid turbojet/ramjet
  • Length: 17 ft 10 in (5.44 m) (18 ft 4 in (5.59 m at maximum operating temperature)
  • Diameter: 4 ft 9 in (1.45 m)
  • Dry weight: approx. 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)
  • Compressor: 9-stage, axial flow, single spool
  • Combustors: 8 can, annular
  • Turbine: two-stage axial flow
  • Fuel type: JP-7 high flash point fuel
  • Maximum thrust: 34,000 pounds-force (150 kN) (wet), 25,000 pounds-force (110 kN) (dry)
  • Overall pressure ratio: 6
  • Specific fuel consumption: 1.9 lb/(lbf-h) (wet), 0.9 lb/(lbf-h) (dry)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: approx. 6
  • Core air flow: 450 lb/s, (200 kg/s)

Pratt & Whitney J-58 Jet Engine

Pratt & Whitney J-58 Jet Engine

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