Sir Frank Whittle

Jet engine returns home

One of the first jet engines ever built has returned to its ‘birthplace’.

Sir Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle adjusts a slide rule while seated at his desk at the Ministry of Aircraft Production. Photo: British Government

Over 65 years ago. the engine – a Whittle W2/500 – was built at Sir Frank’s Power Jets Ltd factory, (now called ITP Engines UK Ltd) in Whetstone.

Only five of the engines were built and aviation enthusiasts now regard them as ‘gold dust’.

The engine was unveiled yesterday (Thursday 12th May) in the Whetstone factory by 84yr old Roy Fowkes, a close friend of the engine’s inventor, Sir Frank Whittle and a trustee of the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Trust.

He is also a past employee of the old firm, having been an apprentice there when the engine was in development during 1943.


Mr Fowkes is reported as saying he is sure Sir Frank would be proud to see one of his engines return to where it was manufactured.

The engine is back in Whetstone on permanent loan from London’s Science Museum.

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