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Frank Whittle - on a jet plane


"Just five feet tall, Frank Whittle has a knack for overcoming adversity. When his father's engineering business collapses and he has to leave Leamington College, he educates himself. When the Royal Air Force rejects his application, he puts himself through a gruelling regimen to pass the RAF physical. When he is accepted in the apprentice wing of the RAF College, his career does not look promising, but he is so outstanding he is among the 1% selected for the officer training course. When it seems doubtful he has the talent to become a pilot, Whittle becomes a flying daredevil. When everyone else accepts the gas-propeller status quo, Whittle writes his thesis on jet propulsion, and in 1930 he applies for a patent. He then fights for ten frustrating years to interest British industry and government in his jet plane. . ." (Science Timeline, scroll down for more)

1 June was the 100th anniversary of Frank Whittle's birth. When he was a child, and liked making models, no one guessed he would change the world. His fellow RAF pilots do believe in him, and help him launch the company that will build the first jet engine.

Bill and Ann Woodhouse write about Whittle, "Let us remember what the apprentice system opened up for so many people for the benefit of our country - only to be destroyed by socialist dogma."