General Question

Kayak8's avatar

What did they call the "jet stream" before we had jets?

Asked by Kayak8 (16438points) May 25th, 2009

There may not have been a name, but I have always wondered about this . . .

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6 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

A “jet” is something that maintains a high-speed, continuous flow.

A jet stream is a fast moving wind current in constant flow.

A jet plane is an aircraft that is propelled by an engine that maintains a constant flow of ignited gas.

The word has been around many years, before both items were named :P

bea2345's avatar

German meteorologist H. Seilkopf is credited with coining the term “jet stream” (Strahlstr√∂mung) in a 1939 paper. (Wikipedia)…what a pity. There goes a long held misconception. I always thought that the jet streams were discovered when jet aircraft came into general use – hence the name. It was a Japanese meteorologist who made the discovery in 1920.

jrpowell's avatar


“The term “motor jet” was established in a patent filed in Britain by J.H. Harris of Esher, U.K., in 1917.”

Cardinal's avatar

The jet stream has nothing to do with jet airplanes.

bea2345's avatar

@Cardinal, – isn’t that a pity? all these years I had the thought that jet streams were altogether unknown until somebody went up there. What a romantic, mysterious idea.

Lordofthewax's avatar

The air stream silly.

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