Frank Whittle

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Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, KBE, was Royal Air Force engineer who is credited as the inventor of the jet engine which he patented in 1930.

The idea was initially rejected by the air ministry but undaunted he pressed ahead with developing his invention by forming his own company powerjets Ltd. Throughout the 1930s, the company soldered on despite severe financial difficulties. In 1935, Whittle could not even afford to pay the renewal fee of £5 for his patent.

With the prospect of war looming, the air ministry finally started to show an interest and in 1938 started to fund the project.

On the 15th May, 1941, the Gloster E.28/39 took to the air or the first time.

Two years later, the Gloster Meteor, the RAF's first jet fighter made it's maiden flight.