The invention of the jet engine

Michael Mosley, Cassie Newland and Mark Miodownik from the BBC series The Genius of Invention describe the scientific achievements of Frank Whittle. After the First World War, there was a large investment in aviation. Many car companies built engines but all, following the design of the Wright brothers, had propellers.

Frank Whittle was an RAF pilot and in 1930 patented the design for his jet engine. This has no propellers or pistons, but uses a turbine to generate more thrust and fly at higher altitudes. In 1941 the first flight (of 17 minutes) with a jet engine heralded the beginning of the jet age.

Release date: 20 Mar 2013

7 minutes

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