Facebook X YouTube Instagram TikTok NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle (Hardback)

The Man Who Invented the Turbo-jet

Aviation > Aircraft Aviation > Pilots Aviation > Reference World History

By Robert L Evans
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036111809
Published: 30th September 2024

in_stock

£16.00 Introductory Offer

RRP £20.00

Note: If you have previously requested any release reminder emails for this product to the email address entered above, then the choice you make now about which format(s) of the product you wish to be reminded about will replace the choice you made last time.
You'll be £16.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates



The invention by Whittle of the turbo-jet engine, and the determined effort to design, develop and demonstrate that such a novel new method of propulsion would replace piston engines in the air, was one of the most important technical achievements of the twentieth century. That one man accomplished this working with a small but dedicated team of engineers and craftsman in the middle of a war, and in the face of many doubters, was a truly monumental achievement.

The jet engine envisaged by Frank Whittle, a young Royal Air Force cadet, changed aviation forever. It was an invention that has, in the years since, had the effect of shrinking the world we live in.

We think nothing today of flying between continents in a few hours, when just a two or three generations ago this would have been a major expedition. In short, the jet engine, developed with great tenacity by Whittle, has made the world a village, and has introduced world-wide travel to ordinary people everywhere. This accomplishment was all the more remarkable given Whittle’s humble background as the son of a highly skilled but largely uneducated mechanic and machinist.

A young man from a working-class family, Frank Whittle wanted to become a pilot, but he was denied admission into the RAF due to his physical limitations. Nevertheless, he persisted until finally he was accepted on an air mechanic’s (or fitter’s) apprenticeship at RAF Cranwell. It was a course which was primarily used to train officer cadets. Cranwell included a flying training school and it was Whittle’s secret hope that he may be one step closer to achieving his aim of learning to fly.

The air mechanic’s apprenticeship was a three-year course aimed at providing a thorough practical understanding of all aircraft structural components as well as a detailed knowledge of the different types of aircraft engines then in use. He was a diligent apprentice, and happily threw himself into every aspect of the rigorous training provided, while at the same time keeping an eye on the officer cadets on the flying courses.

Inspired by his training, Frank Whittle developed an idea. He believed it was possible for aircraft to fly faster and higher – and he turned his vision into reality.

This incredible accomplishment was not without considerable personal cost though, as Whittle had to face the realities of war, as well as personal and commercial issues that nearly turned his dream into a nightmare. In addition, this biography, written by someone who met Frank Whittle, includes details of his rather colourful personal life, which have not been previously documented.

There are no reviews for this book. Register or Login now and you can be the first to post a review!

About Robert L Evans

ROBERT L. EVANS is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He obtained a B.A.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from UBC, an M.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Dr. Evans served as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and was founding Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre at UBC. Dr. Evans is also the author of Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy, published by Cambridge University Press. The book was short-listed for the 2007 Donner Prize for the best book on public policy published by a Canadian author. The author met Sir Frank Whittle on 25 May 1973, when the latter came to open the new Whittle Laboratory at Cambridge University where Evans was a post-graduate student. Whittle gave a brief but fascinating talk about his invention of the jet engine; many years later this book is the result of that meeting.

Perfect Partner

Test Pilots of the Jet Age Men Who Heralded a New Era in Aviation (Hardback)

Today, as we board our flights to Adelaide, Zurich, and all points in between, we give little thought to the jet power that will take us there. But, this is only possible because just over 70 years ago a select band of British test pilots was prepared to risk all in the quest to fly further, faster and higher than ever before. Their quest was fraught with danger; disaster and death were never far away. This book captures eleven of those stories as told by the pilots themselves – their words as to how they took British aviation to the forefront of a new era, the ‘Jet Age’. Britain’s aircraft…

By Colin Higgs, Bruce Vigar

Click here to buy both titles for £35.99
Other titles in Air World...