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The Tin Can Sailor thread had a post about how our gunners were able to use radar rangefinding to good effect and didn't have to rely on optical aiming for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Nowadays radar is almost out of date with GPS guidance. Got me to thinking about how other technological advances we take for granted really aren't all that new.

 

Jet engines & airplanes for example. We've been told the first jet plane flight was in 1939 in a Heinkel 178, which led to the Me262. Turns out the first jet plane flew in 1910, by a Romanian engineer named Coanada. It was a short flight, and his engine developed 1/2 the thrust of the Junkers engine used in the Heinkel, but it was a jet just the same. Imagine how different WWI would have been had it been developed further.

 

Optical sights. We've all seen the red dot / reflex / holographic sights used on AR platform rifles. Very handy for CQB situations and standard issue now. First one was invented in 1900, and by the 1930's the Luftwaffe had them mounted in their fighters.

 

Anybody think of any other examples?

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According to the article in WikiPedia (not to claim it as perfect) disputes the claim. The 2nd paragraph is key.

Coanda

In 1910 he did file a patent. But that does not mean that it worked. It means the concepts were filed.

 

Wikipedia's article on first jet engines attributes the engine to Frank Whittle and Hans von Ohain jointly.

Wikipedia jet aircraft

 

Also from Wikipedia is the He 178 first flight on 27 August 1939.

Heinel 178 first practical jet

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