Different types of jet engines use different types of aviation fuel. The typical turbine fuel is JP-5, which is akin to a thin kerosene. You can put out a cigarette in it, it won't blow up. The problem is if you get it to warm up and begin to evaporate, wherein the fast combustion takes over.

Another type of fuel is called Avgas, which is a very high octane gasoline (I've seen it run 131 r+m octane). Some idiots put it in their cars and lament the hulks of their ex-engine blocks after the explosion blows off the cylinder heads. A cheap way to do this is to add mothballs to gasoline, the dead vehicle result is the same.

Jet engines have fskloads of acceleration. The problem is trying to lift a hulking airframe off of the ground, like a 747. Creating enough inertia to get it going takes tons of thrust. V/STOL aircraft use jet engines, and they can take off vertically, as in the Harriers. Without the monster thrust, they'd just bob up and down on their tires.