The story of Frank Whittle – RAF pilot, mathematician of genius, inventor of the jet engine and British hero.
'Wonderful' David Edgerton, TLS
'A fascinating account' Aeroplane Monthly
'Casts new light on the intense, heroic character of Frank Whittle' Leo McKinstry
'[A] thorough dissection of the evolution of the jet engine... I recommend this mighty tome unreservedly' Journal of Aeronautical History
'A long overdue corrective of an extraordinary man' James Hamilton-Paterson
'A fine, deeply researched book' Military History Monthly
In 1938, a thirty-one-year-old RAF pilot and engineer named Frank Whittle – given special leave to pursue his own startlingly original concept of flight – presented the Air Ministry with a written proposal for a revolutionary jet-powered fighter aircraft. A ready response might have changed the course of history, but Whittle got no reply.
In this gripping and insightful biography, Duncan Campbell-Smith charts Whittle's success at building a pre-war jet engine against all the odds – and tracks his desperate struggle to have it launched into active service against Hitler's Luftwaffe. It arrived too late – but nonetheless transformed the future of aviation.