Gas turbine research past and present

First flight of the jet engine powered Gloster E28-39

May 2011 saw the 70th anniversary of the first British jet powered aircraft flight celebrated at RAF Cranwell.

Exactly 70 years ago, on 15 May 1941, the Gloster E28/39 aircraft powered by Sir Frank Whittle’s jet engine taxied over 500 yards down the runway before taking off for a flight that lasted almost 17 minutes.

Organised by the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE) and sponsored by Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the event saw the attendance of a wide range of guests including Sir Frank’s son Ian Whittle. Sir Frank began his RAF career as an apprentice and later trained as an RAF officer at RAF Cranwell.

L-R Ian Whittle, Kate Ellis (Lincoln City Council), Dr Jill Stewart (Acting Head of Engineering, University of Lincoln), Rob Smith (City of Lincoln Council)

Dr Jill Stewart, Acting Head of Engineering at the University of Lincoln is pictured in front of the Gloster E28/39 aircraft, and one of Sir Frank Whittle’s jet engines.

Pictured with Jill are Kate Ellis and Rob Smith from Lincoln City Council. We work closely with Kate and Rob, developing links with Lincoln engineering businesses for R&D, and also to raise the profile of Lincoln as a centre of engineering excellence.

Coming right up to date, Jill is currently leading a major research project looking at fundamental combustion in gas turbines for Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery in Lincoln.

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