The remarkable story of the early days of jet development as told by the ‘father of the jet engine’, Frank Whittle.
On the evening of 15th May 1941, a small group gathered at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire to watch as the Gloster-Whittle E.28/39 made its maiden flight — Britain’s first jet-engined aeroplane.
This book chronicles the story behind that historic event. Sir Frank Whittle, who eleven years earlier, at the age of 22, had applied for his patent for a turbo-jet engine, here sets on record his own pioneering work and that of the small company, Power Jets Ltd, which he helped to form in 1936 to develop the engine. The dreams of his youth were brought to fruition in an invention that not only revolutionised military aircraft but set Britain ahead of the world in civil aviation, bringing the inventor a knighthood at the age of 41.
Written in non-technical language and drawing upon his own comprehensive diaries and correspondence, Sir Frank Whittle describes his hard and often bitter struggle with engineering problems, with financial difficulties and with the frustrations arising out of official policy, which came at great personal cost and which eventually led to the downfall of Power Jets.
Jet: The Story of a Pioneer chronicles the pioneering work of Sir Frank Whittle and his determination to turn his idea into reality.