The Heinkel He178 flew for the first time on August 27, 1939, in Germany. The pilot on this historic first flight of a jet-powered airplane was Flight Captain Erich Warsitz.
Historians recognize Sir Frank Whittle of England, and Dr. Hans von Ohain of Germany, as co-inventors of the jet engine. Both were working independently, but came to the same conclusions. The development of the jet engine is fascinating. Follow this link to learn more: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bljetengine.htm