The story of Frank Whittle – RAF pilot, mathematician of genius, inventor of the jet engine and British hero.
'Wonderful' David Edgerton, TLS
'Fascinating' Aeroplane Monthly
'Casts new light on the intense, heroic character of Frank Whittle' Leo McKinstry
In 1938, a thirty-one-year-old RAF pilot and engineer named Frank Whittle – given special leave to pursue his own startlingly original concept of flight – presented the Air Ministry with a written proposal for a revolutionary jet-powered fighter aircraft. A ready response might have changed the course of history, but Whittle got no reply.
In this gripping and insightful biography, Duncan Campbell-Smith charts Whittle's success at building a pre-war jet engine against all the odds – and tracks his desperate struggle to have it launched into active service against Hitler's Luftwaffe. It arrived too late – but nonetheless transformed the future of aviation.