JEC Oxfordshire & Members From 10 Other Regions Enjoy Ian Whittle's "The Birth Of Jet Propulsion, The Role Of My Father & Jaguar's Support to Bloodhound"

Most people know that Jet Propulsion was something of a race between Great Britain and Nazi Germany. In Britain, this was led - and arguably won - By Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle OM, KBE, CB, FRS, FRAeS with the Meteor Jets, but only after a long struggle over many years..

His son Ian gave us a fascinating and anecdote filled story that was always bound to be of interest to many members of the JEC. As part of that, Ian touched on the Bloodhound SSC (now LSR) pursuit of Mach 1, that uses a Jaguar engine as primer and has had a variety of Jaguar Cars undertaking project roles.

We will also heard from Ian Newman, the Chair of the West Sussex Region, who is the present owner of Frank Whittle's 1960s S-Type. Photographs of it show it to be a classic example of the type that many would love to own !

This zoom meeting was open to JEC members of ALL regions, and 43 members (out of 52 booked) attended from some 11 regions. These included from the Ireland Region and Tony Merrygold of the JDHT, a great friend of the JEC.

A donation of £100 has been made to the RAF Benevolent Fund, by the Oxfordshire Region and by the Club Board, to express our thanks to Ian for his efforts.

More pictures to follow.

Ian Whittle has a career history of his own to match his father's

Ian is a retired airline pilot. He joined the RAF and flew the earliest British jet fighters - the Vampire, Meteor and Hunter.

He then joined Kuwait Airways flying the DC3, Vickers Viscount, Comet, Trident and Boeing 707. He subsequently flew for Cathay Pacific Airways out of Hong Kong, flying the Convair 880, Boeing 707, Lockheed Tristar and Jumbo Jets.

A fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Master Pilot of the Guild of Air Pilots, he still co-owns and flies a modest 4 seat aeroplane that, he reluctantly admits, has a thing at the front called a propeller !

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11 Jag S Types Launch
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It transpires that just about everything you think you know, e.g. from the Science Museum, is wrong !!

Frank Whittle came up with his design concepts for jet engines in the late 20s and even patented them in January 1930 but could not afford to sustain the pattent having a young family to support and as a serving RAF pilot, instructor and then student at Cambridge. In the latter he achieved a 1st Class Honours degree in Mechanical Sciences.

Between 1930 and 1934 he did further thinking around the potential of fans (hence the Turbo-Fan) and the use of reheat. But, as was so common in those years, the RAF was not sure and the Air Ministry and RAE Farnborough did not support the ideas, to protect their own competing views. Political chicanery seems to have always been with us.

with the patents out and the concepts not originally secret, many other nations were actively interested, not least Germany. The world's first turbo-jet was actually the HE178 that flew - for just some 7 minutes - in 1939. Their interests in Ram Jets led of course to the V1. There was also the ME163 but this was almost a rocket plane. And the ME262 is well remembered for doing .82 Mach (82% of the speed of sound) in October 1944 if not as a successful fighter - needing its engine replaced every 25 hours.


So What Was The British Story ?

Frank Whittle eventually formed Powerjets Limited with friends and merchant bank investment, with his theories proving - after much trial and effort - right and leading to a more usable powerplant and plane. The Gloster Aircraft company collaborated on the airframe to produce 'W1', the E28/39, that first flew in May 1941 if only for 17 minutes although it then did more than 10 hours flying with almost no problems with or within the engine.

The Meteor Jet then appeared in 1943 that Ian later flew even if he'd been happy to be in a Mark III. Meteors were famously used to knock V1s off course by flying alongside them and flipping their wings.

Ultimately of course, we come to aircraft such as Concorde and the V Bombers, with the JEC Oxfordshire Region planning to visit the Wellesbourne Vulcan later in the year, to see an engine starting and taxiing test.


And So How Does Jaguar meet Jets via Bloodhound LSR ??

It was reported at the meeting that Bloodhound LSR (Land Speed Record, that took over from SSC - Supersonic Car) has secured £7m of funds to allow it to plan on an attempt on Mach 1 (12 miles in 78 seconds) in 2022.

It uses a Jaguar engine as primer and has had a variety of Jaguar Cars undertaking project roles.

Bloodhound has a Eurofighter EJ2000 Jet Engine, apparently producing 135,000 lbft thrust, equivalent to 180 F1 race cars and more power than Queen Mary 2 liner, delivering 50,000 radial G at the wheel rim. It has already achieved 628 mph on 16/11/2019.

A Jaguar 5 Litre Dry Sump F-Type R V8 IS is used as the fuel pump to push 43 litres of hydrogen peroxide per second (1 ton in 20 seconds). This would fill your bath in 3 seconds.

Jaguar has previously provided a total of some 11 vehicles, including 2 x XJRs as Rapid Response Vehicles and an F-Type as Parachute Test Vehicle & Pit Car (200 mph, now in the JDHT and pictured below).