This Day in Aviation History
May 15th, 1941
Frank Whittle’s jet engined plane, the Gloster E.28/39, flew for the first time.
The definitive W.1 of 850 lbf (3.8 kN) thrust ran on 12 April 1941, and on 15 May the W.1-powered E.28/39 took off from Cranwell at 7:40 pm, flying for 17 minutes and reaching a maximum speed of around 340 mph (545 km/h). At the end of the flight, Pat Johnson, who had encouraged Whittle for so long said to him, “Frank, it flies.” Whittle replied, “Well, that’s what it was bloody well designed to do, wasn’t it?”
Within days the aircraft was reaching 370 mph (600 km/h) at 25,000 feet (7,600 m), exceeding the performance of the contemporary Spitfires. Success of the design was now evident; the first example of what was a purely experimental and entirely new engine design was already outperforming one of the best piston engines in the world, an engine that had five years of development and production behind it, and decades of basic engineering. Nearly every engine company in Britain then started their own crash efforts to catch up with Power Jets….
Wikipedia, Frank Whittle: http://gstv.us/1JM1UJY
Wikipedia, Gloster E.28/39: http://gstv.us/1YmxhBZ
YouTube, Gloster Whittle E28/39: http://gstv.us/1Ymx9T1
YouTube, Gloster E.28/39 Jet Revealed: http://gstv.us/1JM1WS5
YouTube, The Wonder Jet – Story Behind the Whittle Engine: http://gstv.us/2qgE8Fs
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Photo from: http://gstv.us/1YmyxFm
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