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Frank Whittle the inventor of the Turbo-Jet - Coventry
England

As a junior officer in the Royal Airforce in the late 1930s Frank Whittle got the idea for the turbo jet aircraft engine. With very little funding, and not much support at first from the Air Ministry he with a small team built the engine. Experimental jet aircraft flew during the Second World War but were too late to take part. Soon after the war came two small fighters, the Glouster Meteor (The Meat Box to airman in those days) and the single seater DeHaveland Vampire. I have actually flown in the co-pilot's seat in a late 1950s version, two seater trainer. I was even alloed to take over the controls in level flight over Linconshire, dodging in and out of the clouds at 10 thousand feet. (That was as high as allowed without first being tested in a decompression chamber). Frank Whittles turbo-jet principle made possible all those aircraft which followed from Meteor to DeHaveland Comet, Boing 707, Concord, Airbus, just about every jet aircraft. So that is a short history of Air Commodor Frank Whittle whose achievements are remembered (not always remembered - most people have never heard of him) by his statue in Coventry beneath the Whittle Arch which represents an aircraft wing.

Copyright: Mark schuster
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Tags: coventry; air commodor frank whittle; whittle arch; millenium place; phoenix initiative; turbo; jet; airrcraft; airliner; raf; airforce; whittle; vampire; meteor; commodore; aviation; inventor
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