Whittle and the beginnings of the Jet Age.

Without Frank Whittle there would be no holidays to Spain, and the Americas. Journey’s to Australia would take months rather than a day. Fighter planes would still use propellers and cars like ThrustSSC would not hold the land speed record. The reason for this is because Sir Frank Whittle successfully invented the Jet engine and changed the world completely. There is some debate about who was first between Whittle, the Frenchman Maxime Guillaumem although his design would have not worked as the technology did not exist to create it and Hans von Ohain’s designs which were after Whittles.

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The path to the first jet plane, the Gloster Meteor, was long and arduous. Whittle joined the RAF in the late 1920s early 30’s and was able to work on his design. Unfortunately it proved difficult to get backing and financial support for the project. The Second World War put the emphasis on an arms race and Ohain’s Heinkel He 178 had been produced but not widely taken up by the German authorities.

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The pressure on Whittle was immense. It had a pronounced mental effect on him and he became addicted to tranquilizers to sleep and stimulants in the day to stop headaches and keep going. Success was gained in March 1943. There is a museum in Gloucester dedicated to the Jet engine. It is near a site where Park Homes for Sale in Gloucestershire are available and you can view them at http://www.parkhomelife.com/our-parks/orchard-park-homes-gloucester-gloucstershire/

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