General Electric J31-GE-6 (I16-6) Turbojet Engine, Cutaway


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Early flight tests of the first General Electric turbojet engine, the Type I-A, clearly showed the need for more powerful engines. GE followed with two designs of increased thrust. The second, known as the J31, had 7,118 N (1,600 lb) of thrust and first ran in April 1943. About 250 were built, mainly for the Bell YP-59 and P-59A and B jet aircraft.

This engine was further developed for the U.S. Navy as a 100-octane, gasoline-burning version of the standard GE I-16 engine, which normally ran on kerosene fuel. This development was begun in 1943, when it was believed that future tactical needs would require turbojet engines to use the same fuel as reciprocating engines. Along with a Wright R-1820 piston engine, that version of the engine powered the Ryan FR-1, the Navy's first partially jet-powered aircraft.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transfer from the U.S. Naval Academy, Department of the Navy, Annapolis, Maryland.


  • HAZMAT: Magnesium Alloy
  • Non Magnetic Metal
  • Aluminum
  • Paint
  • Steel
  • Copper Alloy
  • Rubber
  • Fabric


  • Overall: 850lb. (385.6kg)
  • Other: 72 x 41 1/2in. (182.9 x 105.4cm)
  • Storage (Approximate): 228.6 x 125.7 x 177.8cm (90 in. x 49 1/2 in. x 70 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


Circa World War II

Physical Description

  • Type: Turbojet
  • Thrust: 7,118 N (1,600 lb) at 16,500 rpm
  • Compressor: Single-stage centrifugal
  • Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers
  • Turbine: Single-stage axial
  • Weight: 386 kg (850 lb)


PROPULSION-Turbines (Jet)

Inventory Number


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