He didn’t know what he Invented will help to take people around the world!!Have you ever been in a Flight? Have you ever wondered what takes you at a speed of 800km/hr? Yeah exactly, the Engines!! Next time in your flight when you see those engines thank Sir Frank Whittle for his invention – The Jet Engines.

Before telling about jet engines I would like to tell you something about his early life.

Frank Whitte (1907-1996)

Early Life:

Frank Whittle was son of a mechanic born on June 1, 1907 in Convetry, England. He attended his local school and moved to Leamington for his higher education. Like us he was interested in something right from childhood towards machines and gas cylinder engines at his father’s Valve and Piston Ring Company.

But sooner when his father’s business faced loses, Frank was unable to continue with his education and spent most of his time in library reading about steam and gas turbines.


Do you have a goal or dream to join Air Force? Frank had; after initial failed attempts he joined RAF, England in 1923 and awarded as one of the best five cadetship men in RAF College in 1926. That is the place where the revolutionary invention emerged out. Frank worked on operational turbojet and was the first to register patent for the Turbojet in 1930.

And to your surprise it took eleven years to fabricate the working model and hence Frank’s jet first flew in 1941.

Turbojet Engine:

If you had seen old movies themed at freedom fighting, you would have seen the aircrafts with only the piston engines. The problem we face in the piston engine aircrafts is that only few portion of energy is used to propel and power and efficiency of the engine drop out as we gain higher speeds and higher altitude.

As we get some thoughts in our mind like a sudden spark, Frank had a spark too. He predicted that to move at higher speeds without air resistance a newer type of engine is required.

Frank found that a turbine would be highly efficient prime mover, he found it so because the turbine in jet engine helps to converts most of the heat energy into thrust force same as a rocket engine. If you have watched a video of rocket launch you could see that the kinetic energy of hot gases escape at very high velocity through the rocket nozzle and in same way turbine combined with exhaust duct helps to energize hot gases to a higher velocity.

Set up of the Turbojet Engine:

Have u ever imagined what is inside those monster machines? Yes! The turbojet engine consists of 3 major sections, a compressor and a turbine mounted on extreme ends of the shaft and a combustion chamber in the middle. In addition to them, the engine also has an inlet and an exhaust duct which is visible to the eyes when you see the engine.

Frank’s Model Engine:

Frank’s W1 engine consists of a centrifugal compressor and an axial turbine with both being single stage (one stator and one rotor) turbo-machineries. Having used the fuel as kerosene, he was able to achieve a significant thrust with optimum thrust to weight ratio.

Initially his engine was used only in laboratory test bench and frank himself didn’t have thoughts to fit the engine to the aircraft, later the engine gained attention as the turbojet was more convenient. You won’t believe that the modern aircrafts jet engines and still based on the prototype of Frank Whittle jet engine. And this invention made you and me to say that the distance between India and America is just 18 hours!

So when you’re in a flight next time don’t forget to thank Frank whittle for his invention!

Image Source : Legionmagazine.com