Recognising a Whittle Bit of Jet Engineering Genius

The Birmingham Post (England), June 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Recognising a Whittle Bit of Jet Engineering Genius


Byline: By Ben Goldby

He was the West Midlands genius who shrank the world and brought about the biggest migration in human history.

Thanks to Frank Whittle's jet engine more than 1.5 billion passenger journeys are made every year.

Today would have been the Coventry-born inventor's 100th birthday - and historians have been keen to pay tribute to a man regarded by many as the finest engineering mind of the 20th century.

His biographer, Nicholas Jones, said: "When Frank Whittle was designing his jet engine you very rarely met anyone from another culture - let alone travelled to distant continents.

"Now we see a mass migration of businessmen, holidaymakers and travellers every single day. That is all thanks to his influence and I would say that behind Winston Churchill he was the greatest Briton of the 20th Century."

Sir Frank rose from working class roots in post-First World War Warwickshire to become a key figure in Britain's rich engineering history. His ingenuity helped pave the way for the social and economic revolutions which followed the Second World War.

The way we communicate, do business and travel was to be changed forever. Without his jet engine there would be no business trips to China or holidays to Spain and Tony Blair's farewell world tour would be taking six months instead of six weeks.

Whittle succeeded against the odds in earning the respect of his peers and making the government of the day adopt his pioneering ideas - not an easy task for a "commoner" from Earlsdon in Coventry.

Having shown a natural aptitude for mathematics and science he was inspired to look at the world of aerospace after a draft from a low-flying bi-plane nearly knocked him off his feet as he strolled through a Warwickshire park. Suitably enthused he turned his attention to the tricky process of joining the officer corps.

After being turned away for being too short the determined young inventor took a friend's advice and underwent a series of rigorous exercises to increase his height.

He returned to the officer training school several months later - and three inches taller - to claim his place in the air force.

His ingenious jet engine was produced as a prototype but was initially too unreliable to convince the Government to adopt it.

At one stage he had to let his patent slip because he could not afford the pounds 5 cost of renewing it.

But with the help of some air force colleagues he was finally able to put the engine into mass production and it was quickly adopted by the Government for the fight against Hitler.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Recognising a Whittle Bit of Jet Engineering Genius
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.