Did you know that Frank Whittle was born today in 1907? He was an engineer, pilot, and inventor. Starting at an early age, Frank Whittle had an interest and talent for flying and engineering. Throughout his career he encountered many obstacles, such as being told he was not healthy or strong enough to become a pilot in the air force or being told his ideas for a new kind of airplane engine would not work. He persevered and became an extremely skilled pilot and flying instructor as well as the inventor of the turbojet engine.
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Although he had won a scholarship to a secondary school, when his father’s business failed Frank Whittle could not finish his schooling. However, he continued his education by spending his spare time at the library studying astronomy, engineering, and the theory of flight. He also practices his engineering skills while helping in his father’s workshop.
Frank Whittle applied to the Royal Air Force and failed the medical exam twice. After failing the first exam, he started a training and diet regimen, and did improve his physique, but it was not enough. He also failed the second exam and was told that was the end. He was not deterred and applied again under an assumed name, and was accepted.
Frank Whittle’s aptitude for flying and his mathematical and engineering genius caught the eye of his commanding officers and he was nominated for officer training. The idea for a ‘turbo jet’ started as part of Frank Whittle’s thesis for graduation.