Whittle

Whittle

[hwit-l, wit-l]
Whittle, Sir Frank, 1907-, English aeronautical engineer. Whittle was one of the first men to associate the gas turbine with jet propulsion. Previously the gas turbine had been regarded as a machine for supplying shaft power, but Whittle saw it as an ideal means for providing jet propulsion in aircraft. As a Royal Air Force engineering officer, he patented in 1930 the basic designs for the turbojet engine. During the 1930s and early 1940s he and his associates constructed a number of turbojet engines and jet planes. These experiments led to the modern jet aircraft engine. The Germans and the Italians who constructed and flew the first jet aircraft used the basic engine designs that Whittle patented in the 1930s; the early American jet engines were also based on Whittle's work.

(born June 1, 1907, Coventry, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Aug. 8, 1996, Columbia, Md., U.S.) British aviation engineer and pilot who invented the jet engine. He obtained his first patent for a turbojet engine in 1930, and in 1936 he cofounded Power Jets Ltd. The outbreak of World War II spurred the British government to support Whittle's work, and the first jet-powered aircraft took off in 1941. He was knighted in 1948 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1986.

Learn more about Whittle, Sir Frank with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born June 1, 1907, Coventry, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Aug. 8, 1996, Columbia, Md., U.S.) British aviation engineer and pilot who invented the jet engine. He obtained his first patent for a turbojet engine in 1930, and in 1936 he cofounded Power Jets Ltd. The outbreak of World War II spurred the British government to support Whittle's work, and the first jet-powered aircraft took off in 1941. He was knighted in 1948 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1986.

Learn more about Whittle, Sir Frank with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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