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Engine design and manufacture (and one of Whittle’s engines) returns to the home of Power Jets

ITP Engines UK Ltd, whose parent company, Industria de Turbo Propulsores SA is a joint venture between the Spanish company Sener Aeronautica and Rolls-Royce, is now operating from the Whetstone plant built by the government in 1943 for Power Jets.

Although industrial gas turbines were subsequently built there by GEC, after Power Jets were nationalised and moved to Farnborough, this is believed to be the first time since then that an aerospace company has worked on the site.

ITP design, develop and manufacture low pressure turbines for a number of engines, most notably the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 and 1000 series specified for the A357, A380 and Boeing Dreamliner. It is therefore particularly appropriate that they have obtained, on long-term loan from the Science Museum, a Whittle W2/500 engine made at the plant and which they unveiled at a reception to mark the 70th anniversary of the E28/39 flight.

Lutterworth E28/39 Replica

Harborough Borough Council have agreed in principal to take responsibility for maintaining this in the event of the Whittle Trust ceasing. Meanwhile the Trust is continuing with its twice-yearly inspections and this time we gave it a thorough wash and brush-up for the 70th anniversary of the original’s first flight. We also had a look inside and were pleasantly impressed by the condition of the steelwork. Outside it is standing-up to the recent extremes of weather well, with just some small paint blisters, mainly on the upper surface of the port wing, which were rectified.

We would like to thank Midland Access Platforms for supplying the impressive cherry-picker pictured.