Gloster E28-39 prototype
Frank Whittle spent much of his childhood with his nose tucked into books on engineering, turbines and the theory of flight. His readings bred a keen interest in the relatively new subject of airplanes. So much so, that at age 15 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force. The RAF, then only 5 years old, accepted the youngster after he scored highly on the entrance exam. He reported to RAF Halton as an Aircraft Apprentice in a training program for RAF ground crew. Only two days after his service began he failed the medical exam due to his small stature. Thankfully, puberty struck, but even a growth spurt wouldn’t be enough to help him achieve his dream of flying.
Above: Frank WhittleTop: Gloster E.28/39
Within six months Whittle grew three inches and added ...