The story of Frank Whittle – RAF pilot, mathematician of genius, inventor of the jet engine and British hero.
In 1929, a twenty-two-year-old maverick named Frank Whittle – a self-taught aeronautical obsessive and risk-takingly brilliant RAF pilot – presented a blueprint for a revolutionary, jet-powered aircraft engine to the Air Ministry. His idea had the potential to change the course of history, but it was summarily rejected.
In this gripping and insightful biography, Duncan Campbell-Smith charts Whittle's stoic efforts to build his jet engine in the interwar years, blocked by bureaucratic opposition until 1939, and only gaining true recognition after the Second World War, when his aeronautical dreams became a reality and Britain enjoyed a golden age of jet-powered flight.
Praise for Jet Man:
'Wonderful at evoking Whittle's extraordinary creative ideas, his mathematical ability, his charm, the support he received, his lack of political nous, as well as the sometimes appalling treatment he received' David Edgerton, TLS
'A long overdue corrective of an extraordinary man' James Hamilton-Paterson
'Casts new light on the intense, heroic character of Frank Whittle and his revolutionary invention' Leo McKinstry