Sir Frank Whittle (1907-1996)

The Jet Engine

Frank Whittle is known as the inventor of the jet engine. He had the idea of using a gas turbine for jet propulsion, and applied for his first patent on the idea in January 1930.

In 1934, whilst in the RAF, he went to Cambridge University to study in the Department of Engineering gaining a BA with first class honours in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos after only two years of study. He was supervised by the Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, Sir Melvill Jones. It was during the time that he was at Cambridge that Whittle was encouraged by his colleagues to take the idea of his jet engine further, with the results that we now all take for granted.

For further information on Whittle, see the CUED Exhibition.

Books: Genesis of the Jet. Frank Whittle and the Invention of the Jet Engine. By John Golley. (Airlife, Paperback) Non technical history.