Frank Whittle OM
KBE CB FRS FRAeS (1 June 1907
– 9 August 1996) was a British
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer air
officer. He is credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet
engine. A patent was submitted by
Maxime Guillaume in 1921 for a
similar invention; however, this was technically unfeasible at the
time. Whittle's jet engines were developed some years earlier than
those of Germany's
Hans von Ohain
Hans von Ohain who was the designer of the first
operational turbojet engine.
From an early age, Whittle demonstrated an aptitude for engineering
and an interest in flying. At first he was turned down by the RAF but,
determined to join the Royal Air Force, he overcame his physical
limitations and was accepted and sent to No. 2 School of Technical
Training to join No 1 Squadron of
Cranwell Aircraft Apprentices. He
was taught the theory of aircraft engines and gained practical
experience in the engineering workshops. His academic and practical
abilities as an
Aircraft Apprentice earned him a place on the officer
training course at Cranwell. He excelled in his studies and became an
accomplished pilot. While writing his thesis there he formulated the
fundamental concepts that led to the creation of the turbojet engine,
taking out a patent on his design in 1930. His performance on an
officers' engineering course earned him a place on a further course at
Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he graduated with a First.
Air Ministry support, he and two retired RAF servicemen formed
Power Jets Ltd to build his engine with assistance from the firm of
British Thomson-Houston. Despite limited funding, a prototype was
created, which first ran in 1937. Official interest was forthcoming
following this success, with contracts being placed to develop further
engines, but the continuing stress seriously affected Whittle's
health, eventually resulting in a nervous breakdown in 1940. In 1944
Power Jets was nationalised he again suffered a nervous
breakdown, and resigned from the board in 1946.
In 1948, Whittle retired from the RAF and received a knighthood. He
joined BOAC as a technical advisor before working as an engineering
specialist with Shell, followed by a position with Bristol Aero
Engines. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1976 he accepted the position
of NAVAIR Research Professor at the
United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy from
1977–1979. In August 1996, Whittle died of lung cancer at his home
in Columbia, Maryland. In 2002, Whittle was ranked number 42 in the
BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
1 Early life
2 Entering the RAF
3 Development of the turbojet engine
Power Jets Ltd
3.2 Financial difficulty
3.3 Changing fortunes
3.6 Continued development
4 After the war
5 Later life
6 Styles and promotions
7.1 Coventry, England
7.2 Lutterworth, England
8 See also
10 External links
Whittle's birthplace in Earlsdon, Coventry, England. (photo 2007)
Whittle was born in a terraced house in Newcombe Road, Earlsdon,
England on 1 June 1907, the eldest son of Moses Whittle and
Sara Alice Garlick. When he was nine years old, the family moved to
the nearby town of Royal
Leamington Spa where his father, a highly
inventive practical engineer and mechanic, purchased the
Leamington Valve and Piston Ring Company, which comprised a few lathes
and other tools and a single-cylinder gas engine, on which Whittle
became an expert. Whittle developed a rebellious and adventurous
streak, together with an early interest in aviation.
After two years attending Milverton School, Whittle won a scholarship
to a secondary school which in due course became Leamington College
for Boys, but when his father's business faltered there was not enough
money to keep him there. He quickly developed practical engineering
skills while helping in his father's workshop, and being an
enthusiastic reader spent much of his spare time in the Leamington
reference library, reading about astronomy, engineering, turbines, and
the theory of flight. At the age of 15, determined to be a pilot,
Whittle applied to join the RAF.
Entering the RAF
In January 1923, having passed the RAF entrance examination with a
high mark, Whittle reported to
RAF Halton as an Aircraft Apprentice.
He lasted only two days: just five feet tall and with a small chest
measurement, he failed the medical. He then put himself through a
vigorous training programme and special diet devised by a physical
training instructor at Halton to build up his physique, only to fail
again six months later, when he was told that he could not be given a
second chance, despite having added three inches to his height and
chest. Undeterred, he applied again under an assumed name and
presented himself as a candidate at the No 2 School of Technical
Training RAF Cranwell. This time he passed the physical and, in
September that year, 364365 Boy Whittle, F started his three-year
training as an aircraft mechanic in No. 1 Squadron of No. 4
Apprentices Wing, RAF Cranwell, because
RAF Halton No. 1 School of
Technical Training was unable to accommodate all the aircraft
apprentices at that time.
Whittle hated the strict discipline imposed on apprentices and,
convinced there was no hope of ever becoming a pilot he at one time
seriously considered deserting. However, throughout his early days
as an aircraft apprentice (and at the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force College
Cranwell), he maintained his interest in model aircraft and joined the
Model Aircraft Society, where he built working replicas. The quality
of these attracted the eye of the Apprentice Wing commanding officer,
who noted that Whittle was also a mathematical genius. He was so
impressed that in 1926 he recommended Whittle for officer training at
RAF College Cranwell.
For Whittle, this was the chance of a lifetime, not only to enter the
commissioned ranks but also because the training included flying
lessons on the Avro 504. While at
Cranwell he lodged in a bungalow
at Dorrington. Being an ex-apprentice amongst a majority of ex-public
schoolboys, life as an officer cadet was not easy for him, but he
nevertheless excelled in the courses and went solo in 1927 after only
13.5 hours instruction, quickly progressing to the Bristol Fighter and
gaining a reputation for daredevil low flying and aerobatics.
A requirement of the course was that each student had to produce a
thesis for graduation: Whittle decided to write his on potential
aircraft design developments, notably flight at high altitudes and
speeds over 500 mph (800 km/h). In Future Developments in
Aircraft Design he showed that incremental improvements in existing
propeller engines were unlikely to make such flight routine. Instead
he described what is today referred to as a motorjet; a motor using a
conventional piston engine to provide compressed air to a combustion
chamber whose exhaust was used directly for thrust – essentially an
afterburner attached to a propeller engine. The idea was not new and
had been talked about for some time in the industry, but Whittle's aim
was to demonstrate that at increased altitudes the lower outside air
pressure would increase the design's efficiency. For long-range
flight, using an Atlantic-crossing mailplane as his example, the
engine would spend most of its time at high altitude and thus could
outperform a conventional powerplant.
Of the few apprentices accepted into the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force College,
Whittle graduated in 1928 at the age of 21 and was commissioned as a
Pilot Officer in July. He ranked second in his class in academics,
won the Andy Fellowes Memorial Prize for Aeronautical Sciences for his
thesis, and was described as an "exceptional to above average"
pilot. However, his flight logbook also showed numerous red ink
warnings about showboating and overconfidence, and because of
dangerous flying in an
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin he was disqualified
from the end of term flying contest.
Development of the turbojet engine
Whittle continued working on the motorjet principle after his thesis
work but eventually abandoned it when further calculations showed it
would weigh as much as a conventional engine of the same thrust.
Pondering the problem he thought: "Why not substitute a turbine for
the piston engine?" Instead of using a piston engine to provide the
compressed air for the burner, a turbine could be used to extract some
power from the exhaust and drive a similar compressor to those used
for superchargers. The remaining exhaust thrust would power the
On 27 August 1928
Pilot Officer Whittle joined No. 111 Squadron,
Hornchurch, flying Siskin IIIs. His continuing reputation for low
flying and aerobatics provoked a public complaint that almost led to
his being court-martialled. Within a year he was posted to Central
Flying School, Wittering, for a flying instructor's course. He became
a popular and gifted instructor, and was selected as one of the
entrants in a competition to select a team to perform the "crazy
flying" routine in the 1930
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Air Display at RAF Hendon.
He destroyed two aircraft in accidents during rehearsals but remained
unscathed on both occasions. After the second incident an enraged
Flight Lieutenant Harold W. Raeburn said furiously, "Why don't you
take all my bloody aeroplanes, make a heap of them in the middle of
the aerodrome and set fire to them – it's quicker!"
Whittle showed his engine concept around the base, where it attracted
the attention of
Flying Officer Pat Johnson, formerly a patent
examiner. Johnson, in turn, took the concept to the commanding officer
of the base. This set in motion a chain of events that almost led to
the engines being produced much sooner than actually occurred.
Earlier, in July 1926, A. A. Griffith had published a paper on
compressors and turbines, which he had been studying at the Royal
Aircraft Establishment (RAE). He showed that such designs up to this
point had been flying "stalled", and that by giving the compressor
blades an aerofoil-shaped cross-section their efficiency could be
dramatically improved. The paper went on to describe how the increased
efficiency of these sorts of compressors and turbines would allow a
jet engine to be produced, although he felt the idea was impractical,
and instead suggested using the power as a turboprop. At the time most
superchargers used a centrifugal compressor, so there was limited
interest in the paper.
Encouraged by his commanding officer, in late 1929 Whittle sent his
concept to the
Air Ministry to see if it would be of any interest to
them. With little knowledge of the topic they turned to the only other
person who had written on the subject and passed the paper on to
Griffith. Griffith appears to have been convinced that Whittle's
"simple" design could never achieve the sort of efficiencies needed
for a practical engine. After pointing out an error in one of
Whittle's calculations, he went on to comment that the centrifugal
design would be too large for aircraft use and that using the jet
directly for power would be rather inefficient. The RAF returned his
comment to Whittle, referring to the design as being
Pat Johnson remained convinced of the validity of the idea, and had
Whittle patent the idea in January 1930. Since the RAF was not
interested in the concept they did not declare it secret, meaning that
Whittle was able to retain the rights to the idea, which would have
otherwise been their property. Johnson arranged a meeting with British
Thomson-Houston (BTH), whose chief turbine engineer seemed to agree
with the basic idea. However, BTH did not want to spend the ₤60,000
it would cost to develop it, and this potential brush with early
success went no further.
In January 1930, Whittle was promoted to Flying Officer. In
Coventry, on 24 May 1930, Whittle married his fiancée, Dorothy Mary
Lee, with whom he later had two sons, David and Ian. Then, in
1931, he was posted to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment
Felixstowe as an armament officer and test pilot of seaplanes,
where he continued to publicize his idea. This posting came as a
surprise for he had never previously flown a seaplane, but he
nevertheless increased his reputation as a pilot by flying some 20
different types of floatplanes, flying boats, and amphibians.
Every officer with a permanent commission was expected to take a
specialist course, and as a result Whittle attended the Officers’
Engineering Course at RAF Henlow,
Bedfordshire in 1932. He obtained an
aggregate of 98% in all subjects in his exams, completing the course
in 18 months instead of the more normal two years.
His performance in the course was so exceptional that in 1934 he was
permitted to take a two-year engineering course as a member of
Peterhouse, the oldest college of Cambridge University, graduating in
1936 with a First in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos. In February
1934, he had been promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
Power Jets Ltd
Still at Cambridge, Whittle could ill afford the £5 renewal fee for
his jet engine patent when it became due in January 1935, and because
Air Ministry refused to pay it the patent was allowed to lapse.
Shortly afterwards, in May, he received mail from Rolf
Dudley-Williams, who had been with him at
Cranwell in the 1920s and
Felixstowe in 1930. Williams arranged a meeting with Whittle, himself,
and another by-then-retired RAF serviceman, James Collingwood Tinling.
The two proposed a partnership that allowed them to act on Whittle's
behalf to gather public financing so that development could go
The agreement soon bore fruit, and in 1935, through Tinling's father,
Whittle was introduced to Mogens L. Bramson, a well-known independent
consulting aeronautical engineer. Bramson was initially skeptical
but after studying Whittle's ideas became an enthusiastic
supporter. Bramson introduced Whittle and his two associates to
the investment bank O.T. Falk & Partners, where discussions took
Lancelot Law Whyte and occasionally
Bonham-Carter. The firm had an interest in developing
speculative projects that conventional banks would not touch. Whyte
was impressed by the 28-year-old Whittle and his design when they met
on 11 September 1935:
The impression he made was overwhelming, I have never been so quickly
convinced, or so happy to find one's highest standards met... This was
genius, not talent. Whittle expressed his idea with superb
conciseness: 'Reciprocating engines are exhausted. They have hundreds
of parts jerking to and fro, and they cannot be made more powerful
without becoming too complicated. The engine of the future must
produce 2,000 hp with one moving part: a spinning turbine and
— Lancelot Law Whyte
However O.T. Falk & Partners specified they would only invest in
Whittle's engine if they had independent verification that it was
feasible. They financed an independent engineering review from
Bramson (The historic "Bramson Report" ), which was issued
in November 1935. It was favourable and Falk then agreed to finance
Whittle. With that the jet engine was finally on its way to
becoming a reality.
On 27 January 1936, the principals signed the "Four Party Agreement",
Power Jets Ltd" which was incorporated in March 1936. The
parties were O.T. Falk & Partners, the Air Ministry, Whittle and,
together, Williams and Tinling. Falk was represented on the board of
Power Jets by Whyte as Chairman and Bonham-Carter as a director (with
Bramson acting as alternate). Whittle, Williams and Tinling
retained a 49% share of the company in exchange for Falk and Partners
putting in £2,000 with the option of a further £18,000 within 18
months. As Whittle was still a full-time RAF officer and
currently at Cambridge, he was given the title "Honorary Chief
Engineer and Technical Consultant". Needing special permission to work
outside the RAF, he was placed on the
Special Duty List and allowed to
work on the design as long as it was for no more than six hours a
week. However he was allowed to continue at Cambridge for a year
doing post-graduate work which gave him time to work on the
Air Ministry still saw little immediate value in the effort (they
regarded it as long-range research), and having no production
facilities of its own,
Power Jets entered into an agreement with steam
British Thomson-Houston (BTH) to build an
experimental engine facility at a BTH factory in Rugby,
Warwickshire. Work progressed quickly, and by the end of the year
1936 the prototype detail design was finalised and parts for it were
well on their way to being completed, all within the original £2,000
budget. However, by 1936, Germany had also started working on
jet engines (
Herbert A. Wagner at
Hans von Ohain
Hans von Ohain at
Heinkel) and, although they too had difficulty overcoming
conservatism, the German Ministry of Aviation
(Reichsluftfahrtministerium) was more supportive than their British
Earlier, in January, when the company formed, Henry Tizard, the rector
Imperial College London
Imperial College London and chairman of the Aeronautical Research
Committee (ARC), had prompted the Air Ministry's Director of
Scientific Research to ask for a write-up of the design. The report
was once again passed on to Griffith for comment, but was not received
back until March 1937 by which point Whittle's design was well along.
Griffith had already started construction of his own turbine engine
design and, perhaps to avoid tainting his own efforts, he returned a
somewhat more positive review. However, he remained highly critical of
some features, notably the use of jet thrust. The Engine Sub-Committee
of ARC studied Griffith's report, and decided to fund his effort
Given this astonishing display of official indifference, Falk and
Partners gave notice that they could not provide funding beyond
£5,000. Nevertheless, the team pressed ahead, and the W.U.
(Whittle Unit) engine ran successfully on 12 April 1937. Tizard
pronounced it "streaks ahead" of any other advanced engine he had
seen, and managed to interest the
Air Ministry enough to fund
development with a contract for £5,000 to develop a flyable
version. However, it was a year before the funds were made
available, greatly delaying development.
In July, when Whittle's stay at Cambridge was over, he was released to
work full-time on the engine. On 8 July Falk gave the company an
emergency loan of £250, and on the 15th they agreed to find £4,000
to £14,000 in additional funding. The money never arrived and,
entering into default, Falk's shares were returned to Williams,
Tinling and Whittle on 1 November. Nevertheless, Falk arranged another
loan of £3,000, and work continued. Whittle was promoted to
Squadron Leader in December.
Testing continued with the W.U., which showed an alarming tendency to
race out of control. Because of the dangerous nature of the work being
carried out, development was largely moved from Rugby to BTH's lightly
used Ladywood foundry at nearby
Leicestershire in 1938,
where there was a successful run of the W.U. in March that year. BTH
had decided to put in £2,500 of their own in January, and in March
Air Ministry funds finally arrived. This proved to be a mixed
blessing – the company was now subject to the Official Secrets Act,
which made it extremely difficult to gather more private equity.
The Gloster E.28/39, the first British aircraft to fly with a turbojet
These delays and the lack of funding slowed the project. In Germany,
Hans von Ohain
Hans von Ohain had started work on a prototype in 1935, and had by
this point passed the prototype stage and was building the world's
first flyable Jet aircraft, the
Heinkel HeS 3. There is little doubt
that Whittle's efforts would have been at the same level or even more
advanced had the
Air Ministry taken a greater interest in the design.
When war broke out in September 1939,
Power Jets had a payroll of only
10 and Griffith's operations at the RAE and
The stress of the continual on-again-off-again development and
problems with the engine took a serious toll on Whittle.
The responsibility that rests on my shoulders is very heavy
indeed. ... either we place a powerful new weapon in the hands of
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force or, if we fail to get our results in time, we may
have falsely raised hopes and caused action to be taken which may
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force of hundreds of [conventional] aircraft
that it badly needs. ... I have a good crowd round me. They are
all working like slaves, so much so, that there is a risk of mistakes
through physical and mental fatigue.
— Frank Whittle
His smoking increased to three packs a day and he suffered from
various stress-related ailments such as frequent severe headaches,
indigestion, insomnia, anxiety, eczema and heart palpitations,
while his weight dropped to nine stone (126 lb /
57 kg). In order to keep to his 16-hour workdays, he sniffed
Benzedrine during the day and then took tranquillizers and sleeping
pills at night to offset the effects and allow him to sleep. He
admitted later he had become addicted to benzidrene. Over this
period he became irritable and developed an "explosive" temper.
By June 1939,
Power Jets could barely afford to keep the lights on
when yet another visit was made by
Air Ministry personnel. This time
Whittle was able to run the W.U. at high power for 20 minutes
without any difficulty. One of the members of the team was the
Director of Scientific Research, David Randall Pye, who walked out of
the demonstration utterly convinced of the importance of the project.
The Ministry agreed to buy the W.U. and then loan it back to them,
injecting cash, and placed an order for a flyable version of the
Whittle had already studied the problem of turning the massive W.U.
into a flyable design, with what he described as very optimisitic
targets, to power a little aeroplane weighing 2,000 lb with a static
thrust of 1,389 lb. With the new contract work started in earnest
on the "Whittle
Supercharger Type W.1". It featured a reverse-flow
design; air from the compressor was fed rearwards into the combustion
chambers, then back towards the front of the engine, then finally
reversing again into the turbine. This design reduced the length of
the engine, and the length of the drive shaft connecting the
compressor and turbine, thus reducing weight.
In January 1940, the Ministry placed a contract with the Gloster
Aircraft Company for a simple aircraft specifically to flight-test the
W.1, the Gloster E.28/39. They also placed a second engine contract,
this time for a larger design that developed into the otherwise
similar W.2. In February work started on a third design, the W.1A,
which was the size of the W.1 but used the W.2's mechanical layout.
The W.1A allowed them to flight test the W.2's basic mechanical design
in the E.28/39.
Power Jets also spent some time in May 1940 drawing up
the W.2Y, a similar design with a "straight-through" airflow that
resulted in a longer engine and, more critically, a longer driveshaft
but having a somewhat simpler layout. To reduce the weight of the
driveshaft as much as possible, the W.2Y used a large diameter,
thin-walled, shaft almost as large as the turbine disc, "necked down"
at either end where it connected to the turbine and compressor.
In April, the
Air Ministry issued contracts for W.2 production lines
with a capacity of up to 3,000 engines a month in 1942, asking BTH,
Vauxhall and the
Rover Company to join. However, the contract was
eventually taken up by Rover only. In June, Whittle received a
promotion to Wing Commander.
Meanwhile, work continued with the W.U., which eventually went through
nine rebuilds in an attempt to solve the combustion problems that had
dominated the testing. On 9 October the W.U. ran once again, this time
equipped with Lubbock or "Shell" atomizing-burner combustion
chambers. Combustion problems ceased to be an obstacle to
development of the engine although intensive development was started
on all features of the new combustion chambers.
By this point it was clear that Gloster's first airframe would be
ready long before Rover could deliver an engine. Unwilling to wait,
Whittle cobbled together an engine from spare parts, creating the W.1X
("X" standing for "experimental") which ran for the first time on 14
December 1940. On 10 December Whittle suffered a nervous breakdown,
and left work for a month. Shortly afterwards an application for a
US patent was made by
Power Jets for an "Aircraft propulsion system
and power unit"
The W1X engine powered the E.28/39 for taxi testing on 7 April 1941
near the factory in Gloucester, where it took to the air for two or
three short hops of several hundred yards at about six feet from the
The definitive W.1 of 850 lbf (3.8 kN) thrust ran on 12
April 1941, and on 15 May the W.1-powered E.28/39 took off from
Cranwell at 7:40 pm, flying for 17 minutes and reaching a
maximum speed of around 340 mph (545 km/h). At the end of
the flight, Pat Johnson, who had encouraged Whittle for so long said
to him, "Frank, it flies." Whittle replied, "Well, that's what it was
bloody well designed to do, wasn't it?"
Within days the aircraft was reaching 370 mph (600 km/h) at
25,000 feet (7,600 m), exceeding the performance of the
contemporary Spitfires. Success of the design was now evident; the
first example of what was a purely experimental and entirely new
engine design was already outperforming one of the best piston engines
in the world, an engine that had five years of development and
production behind it, and decades of engineering. Nearly every engine
company in Britain then started their own crash efforts to catch up
with Power Jets.
The W2/700 engine, or W.2B/23 as it was known to the Air Ministry. It
was the first British production jet engine, powering early models of
the Gloster Meteor.
In 1941 Rover set up a new laboratory for Whittle's team along with a
production line at their unused
Barnoldswick factory, but by late 1941
it was obvious that the arrangement between
Power Jets and Rover was
not working. Whittle was frustrated by Rover's inability to deliver
production-quality parts, as well as with their attitude of
engineering superiority, and became increasingly outspoken about the
problems. Rover decided to set up secretly a parallel effort with
their own engineers at Waterloo Mill, in nearby Clitheroe. Here Adrian
Lombard started work developing the W.2B into Rover's own
production-quality design, dispensing with Whittle's "reverse-flow"
combustion chambers and developing a longer but simpler
"straight-through" engine instead. This was encouraged by the Air
Ministry, who gave Whittle's design the name "B.23", and Rover's
became the "B.26".
Work on all of the designs continued over the winter of 1941–42. The
first W.1A was completed soon after, and on 2 March 1942 the second
E.28/39 reached 430 mph (690 km/h) at 15,000 feet
(4,600 m) on this engine. The next month work on an improved W.2B
started under the new name, "W2/500". In April Whittle learned of
Rover's parallel effort, creating discontentment and causing a major
crisis in the programme. Work continued, however, and in September the
first W2/500 ran for the first time, generating its full design thrust
of 1,750 lbf (7.8 kN) the same day. Work started on a
further improvement, the W2/700.
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Earlier, in January 1940, Whittle had met Dr
Stanley Hooker of
Rolls-Royce, who in turn introduced Whittle to Rolls-Royce board
member and manager of their
Derby factory, Ernest Hives (later Lord
Hives). Hooker was in charge of the supercharger division at
Derby and was a specialist in the mathematics of "fluid
flow". He had already increased the power of the Merlin piston engine
by improving its supercharger. Such a speciality was naturally
suited to the aero-thermodynamics of jet engines in which the
optimisation of airflow in compressor, combustion chambers, turbine
and jet pipe, is fundamental. Hives agreed to supply key parts to help
the project. Also, Rolls-Royce built a compressor test rig which
helped Whittle solve the surging problems (unstable airflow in the
compressor) on the W.2 engine. In early 1942 Whittle contracted
Rolls-Royce for six engines, known as the WR.1, identical to the
When Rolls-Royce became involved, Ray Dorey, the manager of the
company's Flight Centre at Hucknall airfield on the north side of
Nottingham, had a Whittle engine installed in the rear of a Vickers
Wellington bomber. The installation was done by Vickers at
Weybridge. A flying test-bed enables testing to be done in flight
without the aircraft depending on an untried engine for its own
propulsion and safety.
The problems between Rover and
Power Jets became a "public secret" and
late in 1942
Spencer Wilks of Rover met with Hives and Hooker at the
"Swan and Royal" pub, in Clitheroe, near the
Barnoldswick factory. By
arrangement with the Ministry of Aircraft Production they traded
the jet factory at
Barnoldswick for Rolls-Royce's tank engine factory
in Nottingham, sealing the deal with a handshake. The official
handover took place on 1 January 1943, although the W.2B contract had
already been signed over in December. Rolls-Royce closed Rover's
secret parallel plant at
Clitheroe soon after; however, they continued
the development of the W.2B/26 that had begun there.
Testing and production ramp-up was immediately accelerated. In
December 1942 Rover had tested the W.2B for a total of 37 hours,
but within the next month Rolls-Royce tested it for 390 hours.
The W.2B passed its first 100-hour test at full performance of
1,600 lbf (7.1 kN) on 7 May 1943. The prototype Meteor
airframe was already complete and took to the air on 12 June 1943.
Production versions of the engine started rolling off the line in
October, first known as the W.2B/23, then the RB.23 (for
"Rolls-Barnoldswick") and eventually became known as the Rolls-Royce
Barnoldswick was too small for full-scale production and
turned back into a pure research facility under Hooker's direction,
while a new factory was set up in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Rover's
W.2B/26, as the Rolls-Royce Derwent, opened the new line and soon
replaced the Welland, allowing the production lines at
shut down in late 1944.
Despite lengthy delays in their own programme, the
Luftwaffe beat the
British efforts into the air by nine months. A lack of cobalt for
high-temperature steel alloys meant the German designs were always at
risk of overheating and damaging their turbines. The low-grade alloy
production versions of the
Junkers Jumo 004, designed by Dr. Anselm
Franz and which powered the
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262 would typically last
only 10–25 hours (longer with an experienced pilot) before
burning out; if it was accelerated too quickly, the compressor would
stall and power was immediately lost and sometimes it exploded on
their first startup. Over 200 German pilots were killed during
training. Nevertheless, the Me 262 could fly far faster than allied
planes and had very effective firepower. Although Me 262s were
introduced late in the war they shot down 542 or more allied
planes and in one allied bombing raid downed 32 of the 36 Boeing B-17
Flying Fortresses. Whittle's designs were more basic, with
centrifugal compressors rather than the more complicated axial
designs. The latter, having several stages of rotating blades, each
stage increasing the pressure, were potentially more efficient but
were much more difficult to develop. The UK designs also had better
materials such as the
Nimonic alloys for turbine blades. Early UK jet
engines would run for 150 hours between overhauls and had better
power-to-weight ratio and specific fuel consumption compared with the
German designs. By the end of the Second World War, other UK engine
companies were working on jet designs based on the Whittle pattern,
such as the de Havilland Goblin and Ghost engines. However, the
advantages of axial-flow compressors with their higher pressure ratios
compared with simpler centrifugal designs led to a transition to axial
compressors in the late 1940s, epitomised by the Rolls-Royce Avon
Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, Bristol Olympus, and others.
General Electric J31
General Electric J31 (I-16) turbojet engine based on the
With the W.2 design proceeding smoothly, Whittle was sent to Boston,
Massachusetts in mid-1942 to help the
General Electric jet
programme. GE, the primary supplier of turbochargers in the U.S.,
was well suited to starting jet production quickly. A combination of
the W.2B design and a simple airframe from
Bell Aircraft flew in
autumn of 1942 as the Bell XP-59A Airacomet, six months before the
flight of the British Meteor.
Whittle's developments at
Power Jets continued, the W.2/700 later
being fitted with an afterburner ("reheat" in British terminology), as
well as experimental water injection to cool the engine and allow
higher power settings without melting the turbine. Whittle also turned
his attention to the axial-flow (straight-through) engine type as
championed by Griffith, designing the L.R.1. Other developments
included the use of fans to provide greater mass-flow, either at the
front of the engine as in a modern turbofan or at the rear, which is
much less common but somewhat simpler.
Whittle's work had caused a minor revolution within the British engine
manufacturing industry, and even before the E.28/39 flew most
companies had set up their own research efforts. In 1939,
Metropolitan-Vickers set up a project to develop an axial-flow design
as a turboprop but later re-engineered the design as a pure jet known
as the Metrovick F.2. Rolls-Royce had already copied the W.1 to
produce the low-rated WR.1 but later stopped work on this project
after taking over Rover's efforts. In 1941, de Havilland started a
jet fighter project, the Spider Crab — later called
Vampire — along with their own engine to power it; Frank
Halford's Goblin (Halford H.1).
Armstrong Siddeley also developed a
more complex axial-flow design with an engineer called Heppner,
the ASX but reversed Vickers' thinking and later modified it into a
turboprop instead, the Python. The
Bristol Aeroplane Company
Bristol Aeroplane Company proposed
to combine jet and piston engines but dropped the idea and
concentrated on propellor turbines instead.
During a demonstration of the E.28/39 to
Winston Churchill in April
1943, Whittle proposed to Stafford Cripps, Minister of Aircraft
Production, that all jet development be nationalised. He pointed out
that the company had been funded by private investors who helped
develop the engine successfully, only to see production contracts go
to other companies. Nationalisation was the only way to repay those
debts and ensure a fair deal for everyone, and he was willing to
surrender his shares in
Power Jets to make this happen. In October,
Cripps told Whittle that he decided a better solution would be to
Power Jets only. Whittle believed that he had triggered
this decision, but Cripps had already been considering how best to
maintain a successful jet programme and act responsibly regarding the
state's substantial financial investment, while at the same time
wanting to establish a research centre that could utilise Power Jets'
talents, and had come to the conclusion that national interests
demanded the setting up of a Government-owned establishment. On 1
December Cripps advised Power Jets' directors that the Treasury would
not pay more than £100,000 for the company.
In January 1944 Whittle was awarded the
CBE in the New Year
Honours. By this time he was a Group Captain, having been promoted
from Wing Commander in July 1943. Later that month after further
negotiations the Ministry made another offer of £135,500 for Power
Jets, which was reluctantly accepted after the Ministry refused
arbitration on the matter. Since Whittle had already offered to
surrender his shares he would receive nothing at all, while Williams
and Tinling each received almost £46,800 for their stock, and
investors of cash or services had a threefold return on their original
investment. Whittle met with Cripps to object personally to the
nationalisation efforts and how they were being handled, but to no
avail. The final terms were agreed on 28 March, and Power Jets
Power Jets (Research and Development) Ltd, with
Roxbee Cox as Chairman, Constant of RAE Head of Engineering Division,
and Whittle as Chief Technical Advisor. On 5 April 1944, the Ministry
sent Whittle an award of only £10,000 for his shares.
From the end of March, Whittle spent six months in hospital recovering
from nervous exhaustion, and resigned from
Power Jets (R and D) Ltd in
January 1946. In July the company was merged with the gas turbine
division of the RAE to form the National Gas Turbine Establishment
(NGTE) at Farnborough, and 16
Power Jets engineers, following
Whittle's example, also resigned.
After the war
Frank Whittle speaking to employees of the Flight Propulsion Research
Laboratory (Now known as the NASA Glenn Research Center), USA, in 1946
In 1946 Whittle accepted a post as Technical Advisor on Engine Design
and Production to Controller of Supplies (Air); was made Commander,
the U.S. Legion of Merit; and was awarded the
Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath (CB)
in 1947. During May 1948 Whittle received an ex-gratia award of
£100,000 from the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors in
recognition of his work on the jet engine, and two months later he was
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE),
During a lecture tour in the U.S. he again broke down and retired from
the RAF on medical grounds on 26 August 1948, leaving with the rank of
Air Commodore. He joined BOAC as a technical advisor on
aircraft gas turbines and travelled extensively over the next few
years, viewing jet engine developments in the United States, Canada,
Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He left BOAC in 1952 and spent the
next year working on a biography, Jet: The Story of a Pioneer. He
was awarded the
Royal Society of Arts' Albert Medal that year.
Returning to work in 1953, he accepted a position as a Mechanical
Engineering Specialist with Shell, where he developed a new type of
self-powered drill driven by a turbine running on the lubricating
mud that is pumped into the borehole during drilling. Normally a well
is drilled by attaching rigid sections of pipe together and powering
the cutting head by spinning the pipe from the surface, but Whittle's
design removed the need for a strong mechanical connection between the
drill and the head frame, allowing for much lighter piping to be used.
He gave the
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1954 on The Story
Whittle left Shell in 1957 to work for Bristol Aero Engines who picked
up the project in 1961, setting up "Bristol Siddeley Whittle
Tools" to further develop the concept. In 1966 Rolls-Royce purchased
Bristol Siddeley, but the financial pressures and eventual bankruptcy
because of cost overruns of the RB211 project led to the slow
wind-down and eventual disappearance of Whittle's "turbo-drill". The
concept eventually re-appeared in the west in the late 1980s, imported
from Russian designs. (Russia needed the technology because it lacked
high strength drill pipe.)
Turbine drilling is best used for drilling hard rocks at high bit
RPM's with diamond impregnated bits, and can be used with an angled
drive shaft for directional drilling and horizontal drilling. It
competes though with moyno motors and increasingly with rotary
steerable systems and is again out of favour.
As part of his socialist ideals, he proposed that
Power Jets be
nationalised; in part because he saw that private companies would
profit from the technology freely given during the war. By 1964 he
had deserted his previously socialist beliefs, going so far as to
launch a fierce attack on the Labour candidate in Smethwick.
In 1960 he was awarded an honorary degree, doctor techn. honoris
causa, at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, later part of
Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
In 1967, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the
University of Bath.
In 1987, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Technology) by
Whittle received the
Tony Jannus Award
Tony Jannus Award in 1969 for his distinguished
contributions to commercial aviation.
In 1976, his marriage to Dorothy was dissolved and he married American
Hazel S Hall ("Tommie"). He emigrated to the U.S. and the following
year accepted the position of NAVAIR Research Professor at the United
States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland). His research
concentrated on the boundary layer before his professorship became
part-time from 1978 to 1979. The part-time post enabled him to write a
textbook entitled Gas turbine aero-thermodynamics: with special
reference to aircraft propulsion, published in 1981.
Having first met
Hans von Ohain
Hans von Ohain in 1966, Whittle again met him at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1978 while von Ohain was working
there as the Aero Propulsion Laboratory's Chief Scientist. Initially
upset because he believed von Ohain's engine had been developed after
seeing Whittle's patent, he eventually became convinced that von
Ohain's work was, in fact, independent. The two became good
friends and often toured the U.S. giving talks together.
In a conversation with Whittle after the war, Von Ohain stated that
"If you had been given the money you would have been six years ahead
of us. If Hitler or Goering had heard that there is a man in England
who flies 500mph in a small experimental plane and that it is coming
into development, it is likely that
World War II
World War II would not have come
In 1986, Whittle was appointed a member of the Order of Merit
(Commonwealth). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the
Royal Aeronautical Society, and in 1991 he and von Ohain were
Charles Stark Draper Prize for their work on turbojet
Whittle was an atheist.
Whittle died of lung cancer on 9 August 1996, at his home in Columbia,
Maryland. He was cremated in America and his ashes were flown to
England where they were placed in a memorial in a church in
Styles and promotions
Frank Whittle at his desk 
1907–1923: Frank Whittle
1923–1926: Apprentice Frank Whittle
Officer Cadet Frank Whittle
Pilot Officer Frank Whittle
Flying Officer Frank Whittle
Flight Lieutenant Frank Whittle
Squadron Leader Frank Whittle
Squadron Leader (Temp. Wing Commander) Frank Whittle
1941-1943: Wing Commander Frank Whittle
1943–1944: Wing Commander (Temp. Group Captain) Frank Whittle
Group Captain (Actg. Air Commodore) Frank Whittle, CBE
Group Captain (Temp. Air Commodore) Frank Whittle, CBE
Group Captain (Temp. Air Commodore) Frank Whittle, CB,
Sir Frank Whittle, KBE, CB
Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, FRAeS
Frank Whittle under the Whittle Arches, Coventry
Whittle Arches and statue, Coventry
The "Whittle Arch" is a large double wing-like structure situated
Coventry Transport Museum, Millennium Place,
A statue of Whittle by Faith Winter is situated under the Whittle
Arch. It was unveiled on 1 June 2007 by his son, Ian Whittle, during a
televised event. It shows Whittle at
RAF Cranwell looking towards the
sky observing the first test flight of a Whittle-powered Gloster
E.28/39 on 15 May 1941.
A school is named after Whittle in the
Walsgrave suburb of Coventry.
It was first called
Frank Whittle Primary, then renamed in 1997 as Sir
Frank Whittle Primary School. A jet engine replica sits in the
reception area of the school, donated by Whittle himself during his
A commemorative plaque marks the house in Newcombe Road, Earlsdon,
Coventry, in which he was born and lived until age nine.
On Hearsall Common, near Whittle's
Coventry birthplace, a plaque
commemorates where Whittle gained inspiration when he saw an aircraft
land. It says "on this common Frank Whittle, jet pioneer, first felt
the power of flight."
Coventry University named a building after him.
The main hangar at the
Midland Air Museum
Midland Air Museum is called The
Whittle Jet Heritage Centre.
Whittle house was one of the four "houses" at
Finham Park School
Finham Park School until
they were renamed in 2008.
Whittle memorial at Lutterworth
Frank Whittle Studio School is a studio school set to open mid
2015. It will be situated alongside
Lutterworth College, both of which
will make up The
Lutterworth Academies Trust.
Lutterworth Museum hold a very large unrivalled collection of original
papers including the 1936 Patent,
Power Jets Autograph book from 1945
and the Champagne bottle signed by everyone at a party at RAF Cranwell
on the night of the first flight plus many more artifacts and
Lutterworth Museum give talks and put on displays all
over the country.
A memorial has been erected in the middle of a roundabout outside
Lutterworth and a bust of
Frank Whittle has been erected in
Lutterworth, where much of Whittle's development on the jet engine,
was carried out.
A bust of
Frank Whittle near the war memorial on the corner of
Church and George street.
Frank Whittle Public House was opened in 2010 and situated on
the Greenacres estate in Lutterworth. It was replaced with a
Co-operative convenience store much to the dismay of the
'Whittle Road' in
Lutterworth was named after
Sir Frank Whittle.
In 2015, Whittle's college at the University of Cambridge, Peterhouse,
opened the Whittle Building on its grounds.
The Department of Engineering,
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge has a Whittle
A full-scale model of the Gloster E28/39 Whittle has been erected just
outside the northern boundary of
Farnborough Airfield in Hampshire,
Frank Whittle Medal is awarded annually by the Royal Academy
of Engineering to an engineer, normally resident in the UK, for
outstanding and sustained achievement which has contributed to the
well-being of the nation.
Two roads in
Derby are named
Frank Whittle Road and
Whittle Way, as a tribute to his work at Rolls-Royce.
The main office complex at the Rolls-Royce Bristol site has been named
Sir Frank Whittle's memorial at Farnborough Aerodrome
Whittle Parkway in Burnham is named after him.
One of the main buildings at the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force College
called Whittle Hall. It houses the Officer & Aircrew Cadet
Training Unit and the Air Power Studies Division of King's College
A road in Cranford, on the site of the former Heston Aerodrome, is
named Whittle Road.
A road in Shaw, Oldham, is named Whittle Drive.
A road in Rugby is named Whittle Close.
Whittle Close in
Clitheroe is named after him.
Frank Whittle Way, a new road in Blackpool Business park,
The Whittle Gas field in the Southern North Sea operated by BP.
The Whittle Inn near the Gloster Aircraft Company's former test runway
Gloucestershire is named after Whittle; the nearby
Tesco has a picture of a
Gloster Meteor incorporated in part of its
The bar/restaurant in Royal Mail's management college at Coton House,
near Rugby, was named the Whittle Bar.
A memorial stone was placed in the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Chapel in
Westminster Abbey in his memory. The inscription on the stone reads:
"Frank Whittle. Inventor & Pioneer of the Jet Engine.
1907–1996". The stone was carved by John Shaw (stone carver).
Sir Frank Whittle's national and international honours, medals, and
awards (including the Order of Merit), are displayed in the Royal
Academy of Engineering, London.
Frank Whittle house, with its own building existed at the now
closed Fairham Comprehensive School Clifton, Nottingham.
A building at Aero Engine Controls in Birmingham, UK has been named
'The Whittle Building' (1994)
Whittle Hangar is one of the main Hangars at HMS Sultan, and is used
Royal Navy marine gas turbines. The gas turbines are fully
operational and used to train
Royal Navy and foreign officers and
sailors in gas turbine technology.
A plaque has been placed at the Port of
Felixstowe to honour his link
with the town (August 2010)
A plaque commemorating Whittle has been placed inside the hall of
Binswood Sixth Form College in Leamington Spa, formerly Leamington
College for Boys.
A plaque commemorating Whittle has been placed on Walland Hill, near
Chagford in Devon, the house where he lived from 1962 to 1976 
Timeline of jet power
^ a b Feilden, G. B. R.; Hawthorne, W. (1998). "
Sir Frank Whittle, O.
M., K. B. E.. 1 June 1907-9 August 1996". Biographical Memoirs of
Fellows of the Royal Society. 44: 435.
^ Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain Encyclopædia Britannica
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t
Sir Frank Whittle, The Daily
Telegraph, Obituaries, 10 August 1996
^ a b "Eminent Petreans".
^ Evans, R.L. "Whittle Power Jet Papers". Cambridge Digital Library.
Retrieved 21 April 2017.
^ a b c d e f g h i POWER JETS A brief biography, The
Whittle Commemorative Trust
^ a b c d e Frank Whittle. Whittle – the Jet Pioneer. The History
Channel (TV broadcast) & Quantal films (extended DVD of
broadcast). Archived from the original (History Channel broadcast
& DVD) on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
^ "100 great Britons". Daily Mail. 21 August 2002. Retrieved 27 August
^ a b c Whittle's biography on the RAF history website p. 1 Retrieved:
18 July 2008
^ a b c d e f g Details from the
Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre
display at the Midland Air Museum
^ "No. 33414". The London Gazette. 21 July 1928. p. 5575.
^ Gentlemen, I give you the Whittle engine Archived 16 May 2008 at the
^ a b c "
Frank Whittle - Flying Career".
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force History.
Archived from the original on 13 July 2007.
^ "No. 33591". The London Gazette. 25 March 1930. p. 1896.
^ "power jets - frank whittle - gloster - 1951 - 0881 - Flight
^ "No. 34023". The London Gazette. 13 February 1934.
^ Golley 1987, p. 66
^ Kardos, Geza (1971). ECL 172: This Must Be Done! (Report).
Engineering Case Library. American Society for Engineering Education.
Retrieved 16 July 2015.
^ a b Golley 1987, p. 67
^ Lee Payne, The Great Jet Engine Race... And How We Lost, Air Force
Magazine, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 1982) Archived 15 May 2012 at the
^ a b Meher-Homji, Cyrus B. (2002). "Enabling the
– The Bramson Report" (PDF). 42 (1). American Society of Mechanical
Engineers: 16–20. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
^ Bramson, Mogens (February 1979). "Report on the Whittle System of
Aircraft Propulsion (Theoretical Stage)- 8 October 1935". Journal of
the Royal Aeronautical Society.
^ Nahum 2004, p. 28.
^ Golley 1987, p. 70
^ Nahum 2004, pp. 34–35.
^ Golley 1987, p. 69
^ Nahum 2004, p. 35.
^ Golley 1987, p. 77
^ Golley 1987, pp. 71 & 77
^ Nahum 2004, p. 53.
^ Golley 1987, p. 82
^ Golley 1987, pp. 77 & 80
^ a b Nahum 2004, pp. 37–38.
^ "No. 34461". The London Gazette. 7 December 1937.
^ Nahum 2004, p. 57.
^ a b Golley 1987, pp. 149 & 150
^ Nahum 2004, pp. 79–80, 89.
^ "The Early History Of The Whittle Jet Propulsion Gas Turbine" Air
Commodore F. Whittle, James Clayton Memorial Lecture 1945, Institution
of Mechanical Engineers, p.423, Fig.4
^ Nahum 2004, p. 61.
^ "No. 34866". The London Gazette. 7 June 1940. p. 3437.
^ Developed by Isaac Lubbock of the Shell combustion laboratories in
Fulham. Nahum 2004, pp. 80–81.
^ "The early history of the Whittle jet propulsion Gas Turbine" Air
Commodore F. Whittle, James Clayton Memorial Lecture 1945, Institution
of Mechanical Engineers, p. 428-430
^ Nahum 2004, p. 89.
^ Frank Whittle: A Daredevil Who Built Jets, BusinessWeek
^ Hooker 2002, p. 52.
^ Hooker 2002, p. 68.
^ Hooker 2002, p. 106.
^ Verbal evidence from Flight Test Engineer W R (Bill) Grose who
operated the Whittle engine in the Wellington and had previously been
involved in ground test running of the Whittle engine at either
Lutterworth or Rugby
^ Men Of Power, Robert Jackson, Pen % Sword Aviation, Barnsley
2006, ISBN 1 84415 427 0, p.85
^ Green, William (1970). Warplanes of the Third Reich. New York:
Galahad Books. pp. 634–638. ISBN 0-88365-666-3.
^ Boyne, Walter J. (1994). Clash of Wings. New York: Simon &
Schuster. p. 325. ISBN 0-684-83915-6.
^ Golley 1987, pp. 222 & 223.
^ Golley 1987, p. 182
^ Golley 1987, p. 183
^ a b c Golley 1987, p. 180
^ Golley 1987, p. 187
^ Golley 1987, p. 179
^ Nahum 2004, pp. 101, 105.
^ "No. 36309".
The London Gazette
The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1943.
^ "No. 36092".
The London Gazette
The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 July 1943.
^ Nahum 2004, p. 102.
^ Nahum 2004, pp. 118–119.
^ "No. 38311". The London Gazette. 4 June 1948. p. 3372.
^ "No. 38397".
The London Gazette
The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 September 1948.
^ a b c d "
Frank Whittle - After the RAF". Archived from the
original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2008. CS1 maint: BOT:
original-url status unknown (link) , RAF history website
^ "Welcome to the
Frank Whittle Website".
^ Edgerton, David, Warfare State, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p.
227, ISBN 978-0-521-85636-2
^ "Honorary doctors at NTNU". Norwegian University of Science and
^ Verbatim transcript of a two-day conference, An Encounter Between
the Jet Engine Inventors, held at Wright-Patterson Air Base 3–4 May
1978 Archived 20 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved: 19
^ Margaret Conner, Hans von Ohain: Elegance in Flight (Reston,
Virginia: American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.,
^ John Golley (2010). Jet:
Frank Whittle and the Invention of the Jet
Engine. Eloy Gutierrez. p. 34. ISBN 9781907472008. Although
he had occasionally cut Church Parade, he had once held very strong
religious beliefs, but these had eroded to such an extent that he had
come to regard himself as an atheist. "By degrees", he said "I was
forced to the conclusion that my beliefs were inconsistent with
scientific teaching. Once the seeds of doubt were sown the whole
structure of my former religious beliefs rapidly collapsed, and I
swung to the other extreme".
^ Note the image has been reversed left to right and is the wrong way
^ "Residents fighting Proposal for new Co-op store". Harborough Mail.
Johnston Publishing Ltd. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December
^ "The College's needs".
Royal Academy of Engineering
Royal Academy of Engineering website Retrieved: 20 July 2008
^ Mike Ralls. "F. WHITTLEL".
Brooks, David S (1997). Vikings at Waterloo: Wartime Work on the
Whittle Jet Engine by the Rover Company. Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust.
Golley, John (1987). Gunston, Bill, ed. Whittle: the true story.
Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9780906393826.
Golley, John (1997). Genesis of the Jet:
Frank Whittle and the
Invention of the Jet Engine. Crowood Press.
Hooker, Stanley (2002). Not much of an engineer. An autobiography.
Shrewsbury: Airlife Publ. ISBN 1-85310-285-7.
Jones, Glyn (1989). The jet pioneers. The birth of Jet-Powered Flight.
London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-50400-X.
Nahum, Andrew (2004). Frank Whittle: Invention of the Jet. Icon Books
Ltd. ISBN 1-84046-538-7.
Roland, John (1967). The Jet Man: the Story of
Sir Frank Whittle. New
York: Roy Publishers, Inc. OCLC 1414376.
Whittle, Frank (1953). Jet: The story of a pioneer. Frederick Muller
Ltd. OCLC 2339557.
Whittle, Frank (1981). Gas turbine aero-thermodynamics: with special
reference to aircraft propulsion. Pergamon.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frank Whittle.
News report – Memorial for
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge Student who
Invented the Jet Engine
More about Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle and the jet age at the Royal Air Force
Flight, October 1945 – "Early History of the Whittle Jet Propulsion
Gas Turbine" by
Frank Whittle abstract
Early History of the Whittle Jet Propulsion Gas Turbine by Frank
Whittle[permanent dead link] Full text of the first James Claydon
Air of Authority -
Sir Frank Whittle
"Jet Liners for Short Range" a 1949 Flight report of a Frank Whittle
lecture to the Aero Club de France
"The Secret Years" a 1951 Flight article
Whittle Power Jet Papers - Correspondence from the archives of
Peterhouse College in Cambridge Digital Library
Feilden, G.B.R. "
Frank Whittle (1907–1996)". Oxford Dictionary
of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.
doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/67854. (Subscription or UK public library
ISNI: 0000 0000 8236 0237
BNF: cb14652897p (data)