The aim of the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Trust is to promote interest in the achievements of Sir Frank Whittle, the inventor of the jet engine, his development of the engine in Luttterworth, England, and the opportunities in and the process of engineering innovation. We do this through a programme of projects, events and research. This website is one such project and is intended to be developed as a useful resource for anyone wanting to know more about the early days of jet propulsion.
Our work is supported by the surviving Reactionaries (see section left), Power Jet employees and other colleagues of Sir Frank, who have contributed generously to our collections and whose recollections we are in the process of recording.
Typical of the Trust’s work is the part it played in organising the extensive programme of activities that celebrated the centenary of Frank Whittle’s birth and which are listed under this section.
The CAD model produced from an original Gloster Aircraft Company drawing.
Another activity has been the construction, erection and maintenance on prominent sites at Lutterworth and Farnborough of 2 full-scale replicas of the first aircraft to fly with a Whittle-designed engine, the Gloster E28/39. Powered by the Whittle W1 it proved, from its first flight, the effectiveness and potential of jet propulsion.
The Lutterworth example is just south of the town, at the end of the short link to
junction 20 of the M1 motorway. The engine of the original
was designed and developed in Lutterworth.
These were produced using an original pencil general-arrangement drawing supplied by the Jet Age Museum, from which Rolls-Royce were able to produce a virtual 3D model as a Computer-Aided-Design exercise for graduate apprentices – an interesting example of changing design technology which drastically cut development time, although actual construction resorted to more traditional methods.
The Farnborough replica is outside the new entrance to Farnborough airfield, where the
original aircraft (now in the Science Museum) was based for much of its test flying.