The next time you’re outside, turn your eyes to the sky and you will most likely see a few vapor trails above us. These are the white wispy lines that jet engine planes paint across the great blue sky as they zoom across the horizon. These lines are made by the engines inside the plane that powers them, specifically, jet engine propulsion. This type of engine converts energy rich liquid fuel into a powerful force called thrust. The thrust, in combination with lift, forces air past the wings to power it into the sky and enable flight. Let’s explore how jet engines function and how they vary from piston engines.

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