1937: First Jet Engine Tested – The Fruit of Persistent Hard Work of a Young Genius

1937: First Jet Engine Tested – The Fruit of Persistent Hard Work of a Young Genius
Photo Credit To http://www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk/images/whittle-2.jpg

The company Power Jets Ltd. successfully tested the engine called W.U. (Whittle Unit). Frank Whittle, the inventor of the engine, was 29 years old at the time and studied at Cambridge.

This day in 1937 marked the first successful testing of the jet engine, a new type of propulsion machine which proved to be revolutionary for the operation of the aircraft. The test took place in UK, and led by Frank Whittle, the British pilots, engineers and officers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF).

Frank Whittle was a young man of incredible energy and persistence, a kind of a genius. He had decided to become a pilot and a member of RAF when he was 15 years old. They took him in only as a mechanic’s apprentice because of his short stature. However, he became a pilot and also an officer. His extremely daring aerobatic maneuvers were known, and they provoked frustration of his superiors. Frank wanted to develop faster aircraft engines, but the British government didn`t want to invest money in them. Consequently, Frank found investors who provided some funding for the project of a jet engine. The company Power Jets Ltd. was established, and Whittle became its engineer and consultant. He was 28 years old and studied at Cambridge. He was also an officer of the Air Force (RAF).

The engine called W.U. (Whittle Unit) was successfully tested in company Power Jets Ltd. on this day in 1937. Frank Whittle was 29 years old at the time. Despite the funding problems, Whittle continued to work on the project. It is possible that his health deteriorated because of his hard work. When his efforts were recognized, he received a title of knighthood (Sir Frank Whittle), and reached the rank of an air commodore, as a RAF member. That rank corresponds to the rank of the Brigadier General in other states.

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