The Jet Age thrust the world into an era of progress, unlike anything it had ever seen before. Just about everything became faster and more efficient from travel, transportation and military all benefitted from this technology. However, creating the jet engine came with a few problems along the way mainly from its inventor.
Frank Whittle is the man who masterminded the technology of the jet engine back in the 1930s. He sought to improve the technology of piston engines by substituting a turbine for more efficient power. This is technology came with many difficulties which included the heat produced from the exhaust and finding a metal that could endure these temperatures and remain stable under pressure.
The testing phase was, of course, the most problematic area because Whittle was putting theory into action. There are many dangers that come with the new designs but risks eventually pay off, but there will be many failures along the way.
“I opened the control valve which admitted fuel….For a second or two, the speed increased slowly. Then, with a rising shriek like an air-raid siren, the speed began to rise rapidly and large patches of red heat became visible on the combustion chamber casing. The engine was obviously out of control.”
– Frank Whittle
This segment from the Smithsonian Channel examines many of Whittle’s failures along the way towards creating the first jet engine.