The first indigenous jet aircraft of each jet nation

Was your country late to the jet-set? Find out in this pleasingly swift guide to the pioneering aircraft of every nation we can think of that has created its own jet. If we’ve missed out your nation, let us know the details in the comments section below.

Romania Coandă-1910

A controversial one here, some label this the first jet to fly – others believe it was neither strictly a jet aircraft nor did it fly. The inventor Henri Marie Coandă unsuccessfully tried to make nazi jetskis in World War II using the same method of propulsion as the 1910 aircraft. The Coandă effect describes the attachment issues a body of moving air of leaving a surface, the Canadians later tried to harness this effect to build flying saucers.

Coanda 1910.png

Germany Heinkel He 178 – 27 August 1939

The Germans flew the first jet aircraft and then celebrated four days after by invading Poland.

Italy – Caproni Campini N.1 (featuring first afterburner) 27 August 1940

Caproni Campini N.1: World's Second Jet Aircraft - Comando Supremo

The N.1 was powered by a motorjet (also known as thermojet), is a rudimentary type of jet engine with the compressor driven by a piston-engine. The motorjet was originally a French idea, refined and patented by the British and first flown by the Italians. Their first pure jet was the Fiat G-80 of 1951. Damn if we allow this in we’ll have to include all the weird Soviets.

Great Britain – Gloster E.28/39 May 15, 1941

Gloster E.28/39 - Wikipedia

The British invented the jet engine but were second to put one in a flying aeroplane.

USABell P-59 Airacomet 1942

The USA made 66 of the disappointing P-59. One was given to the RAF. It used a General Electric J31, a souped-up variant of a British engine.

USSR – Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250 – 3 March 1945

IL2 1946 Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250 - YouTube

Not quite a jet, think Caproni N1 but with a propeller.

Japan – Nakajima Kikka 7 August 1945

The story of the Nakajima Kikka, the Japanese Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe  that never was - The Aviation Geek Club

Despite a superficial resemblance to the 262, the Kikka was a Japanese product though the designers had access to Me-262 imagery and a cutaway of its BMW engine.

After this none of the aircraft are strictly indigenous and each involve a degree of foreign technology

USSR Mikoyan-Gurevich I-300 24 April 1946 Yak-15 24 April 1946

File:WofRussia03 MiG I-300.jpg - The Internet Movie Plane Database
MiG: Learning By Trial and Error

The Yak was ready earlier but lost a coin toss to the MiG. The MiG was the first true Soviet jet to fly, using a reverse-engineered BMW engine. The Yak was a converted Yak-3 fitted with a reverse-engineered German Junkers Jumo 004.

France Sud-Ouest SO.6000 Triton – 11 November 1946

Sweden – SAAB 21R 10 March 1947

Sticking a jet in a piston-engined aircraft worked for the Soviets so why not? Not as elegant as a Vampire but pretty lovely.

We do dope merch of the piston version here

Argentina – FMA I.Ae. 27 Pulqui I 9 August 1947

With a design team led by a Frenchman, Émile Dewoitine and a British engine the Pulqui was still the first Latin American jet aircraft.

Canada – Avro Canada C102 Jetliner 10 August 1949

Does anyone remember Canada's Avro C102 Jetliner? - TravelUpdate

Only the Canadians would think to enter the jet age with an airliner.

Austrailia – GAF Pika 1950

A crewed prototype for an uncrewed target drone, the delightfully cute Pika.

Our top cute aeroplances are here

Netherlands – Fokker S.14 Machtrainer 19 May 1951


Insert joke about Fokker sounding like ‘fucker’ here.

Switzerland – EFW N-20.02 Arbalète 16 November 1951

Wait… Switzerland flew a jet aircraft before China? Bonkers.

Yugoslavia – Ikarus 452 – 24 July 1953

Ikarus 452-M - Yugoslav prototype fighter from 1950s: WeirdWings

Wait…Yugoslavia flew a jet before China?

Spain – Hispano HA-200 12 August 1955

With a bit of help from Willy Messerchmitt, Spain made this little beauty.

China Shenyang JJ-1 26 July 1958

Shenyang JJ.1.jpg

China is a tricky one to nail down. This was preceded by the J-2 and J-5, but they were both versions of MiGs.

Czechoslovakia Aero L-29 Delfín 5 April 1959

A real cutie this one.

PZL TS-11 Iskra 5 February 1960

India HAL HF-24 Marut 17 June 1961

Flying & fighting in the HAL HF-24 Marut: Interview with IAF pilot  Vijainder K Thakur | Hush-Kit

Designed by Kurt Tank, creator of the superb Fw 190, the gorgeous Marut proved a disappointment and put India off creating its own jets for 50 years. We interviewed a Marut pilot here.

Egypt – Helwan HA-300 7 March 1964

The Helwan HA-300; Egypt's Messerschmitt - - Military Matters

The first African and Middle Eastern jet aircraft, the project had at earlier times been Spanish and Indian. The design was led by Willy Messerschmitt.

Taiwan – AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung 16 September 1980

AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung (ROCAF) - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder -  Official Forum

It’s the 80s now, so everything non-Soviet will have some US involvement. Northrop helped with this.

IsraelIAI Lavi 31 December 1986


Isreal had already created licence produced and pirated jet aircraft but it’s probably fair to call the Lavi the first indigenous type though there was much US assistance.

Brazil – Embraer ERJ145 August 11, 1995

Embraer ERJ-145 - Aerospace Technology

Insert joke about mowing the side of the runway ‘Brazilian-style’

Russian Federation – Yakovlev Yak-130 25 April 1996

A bit Italian, and studies may have predated the end of the USSR, but the ‘Mitten’ is probably the first new Russian (we’re more certain the French/Russian MiG AT design was older so more Soviet in origin).

You know you want this lovely lovely book. Pre-order here.

South Korea KAI T-50 20 August 2002

Lots of help from Lockheed Martin but let’s say this is South Korean.

Ukraine – Antonov An-148 (2004)

Russian Authorities Ground Antonov An-148 Passenger Airliners - Aviation  News

Or if you prefer, the An-72 of 1977 (as other Soviet Antonovs were built in Russia too)

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