Authorised form of nameWhittle; Sir; Frank (1907 - 1996); engineer and inventor
Dates1907 - 1996
Dates and placesBirth:
72 Newcombe Road, Earlsdon, Coventry (01 June 1907)
Columbia, Maryland, USA (09 August 1996)
Air force officer and engineer
Earlsdon and Milverton Council Schools; Leamington College; Aircraft Apprentice, No4 Apprentices Wing, RAF, Cranwell (1923-1926); RAF Flight Cadet, RAF College, Cranwell (1926-1928) where he wrote his thesis "Future Developments in Aircraft Design"; RAF School of Aeronautical Engineering, RAF, Henlow, Higher National Diploma (1933); Peterhouse, Cambridge (first Class Honours in Mechanical Sciences Tripos, 1936)
RAF Pilot Officer, III Fighter Squadron, RAF, Hornchurch (1928); trained as a flying instructor, Central Flying School, RAF, Wittering (1929); Flying Instructor, RAF, Digby (1930); Registered patent for use of gas turbine for jet propulsion (16 January 1930); Flying officer, 'crazy flying' event, RAF, Digby (1930); Floatplace and catapult test pilot, Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, RAF, Felixstowe (1931-1932); Turbo jet patent granted and published in many countries (1932); Officer 1/C, Engine Test Section, Henlow, promoted to Flight Lieutenant (1933); Formed Power Jets Limited with R D Williams and J C B Tinling with the support of O T Falk and Partners and B T H Company, Rugby (March 1936); RAF Special duty list, attached to Power Jets Ltd as Honorary Chief Engineer (1937-1946); Gloster Whittle E 28/39 maiden flight at Cranwell (15 May 1941); Power Jets Ltd nationalized (1944); Technical Adviser to Controller of Supplies (Air), Ministry of Supply (1946-1948); retired from RAF with the rank Air Commodore (1948); Honorary Technical Adviser, Jet Aircraft, BOAC (1948-1952); 'Mechanical Engineering Specialist' to Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij, Shell Group with reference to oil well drilling technology (1953-1957); Technical Adviser to Shell Research (1957-1959); consultant to Bristol Siddeley Engines and Rolls Royce working on turbo drill for deep sea oil and mineral exploration, "dog leg drill" (1961-1970); Research Professor, US Naval Academy, Anapolis (1977-1979)
CBE 1944; CB 1947; KBE 1948; OM 1986
Fellowship of Engineering; Hon Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society, Honorary Fellow, Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
Rumford Medal 1950
RelationshipsSon of Moses and Sara Alice Whittle. Married (1930) Dorothy Lee, separated (1952), marriage dissolved (1976); Married (1976) Hazel Hall
Obituaries in The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian (10 August 1996)
NCUACS 125/11/03. Papers deposited in Churchill College, Cambridge
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1998 vol 44 pp 433-452, plate, by G B R Feilden and Sir William Hawthorne
Sir William Hawthorne, 'The Early History of the Aircraft Gas Turbine in Britain' in NR 1991 vol 45 pp 79-108, plate
Royal Society codeNA7912
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
A/0222Whittle, Sir Frank1950s
IM/GA/EGRS/8558Whittle, Sir Franknd
EC/1947/25Whittle, Sir Frank: certificate of election to the Royal Society
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView