The Art of Invention

Jet Engine - Sir Frank Whittle


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The Jet Engine


Sir Frank Whittle

Sir Frank Whittle's "Aircraft Propulsion System and Power Unit" changed the world.

However, it was not an instant success. Whittle, an RAF pilot, labored for years to perfect the engine. Finally he was issued the patent. No aircraft manufacturer wanted the engine. 

For many years Whittle was dead broke. When the patent was about to expire, Whittle found he did not have the 3 to renew the patent. He borrowed the money,

kept at it and finally the British Air Force licensed the patent.

The British government (Whittle was an RAF Officer) failed to recognize the value of Whittle's invention and was slow to adopt the new technology. The Ministry made him publish his work in 1930. The engine was spotted by the Nazis who then used it in WWII.

Whittle retired from the Army in 1941, was knighted and received 100,000. He passed away at his home in Baltimore, MD, on August 9, 1996. His memory lives on through the Sir Frank Whittle Medal which was recently awarded to Tim Lee-Berens, the acknowledged founder of the internet.

Some great links:


The above double-matted, framed patent can be yours!

A piece of history from the aerospace industry

All patent art is double-matted 16" x 20" with flat-black frame.

A full copy of the patent is included along with the historical context for the invention.

Price: $150.00 USD

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Last updated: 17 March, 2003

 The Art of Invention (c) Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003 by Wes Bruning

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