You have to look twice at the airplane pictured above to see that it is flying without a propeller. Its motive force is the thrust of two invisible streams of hot combustion gases, jetted at high velocity from its engines. This plane is the Army Air Forces’ P-59, the first U.S. plane to be flown by jet propulsion, Like the first horseless carriage, the propellerless P-59 does not suggest by its appearance that a new age in locomotion is at hand. The fact is, however, that the aerodynamic lid is off. With jet propulsion, aircraft have already climbed to new speeds and altitudes. The ultimate ceiling is as high as man’s daring and ingenuity will take it. The principle of jet propulsion, demonstrated on the next two pages, is Newton’s third law of motion: to every action there is opposed a reaction which is equal in force and opposite in direction.
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