Tag Archives: aviation

hats off to Sir Frank Whittle: celebrating the 70th anniversary of Britain’s first jet powered flight

Seventy years ago today history was made when a British jet powered aeroplane first flew as the W1 turbo fan powered Gloster E28/39 took off from Cranwell and made a successful first flight.

Thanks to George Carter who designed the aeroplane, to Gloster chief test pilot Flight Lieutenant Gerry Sayer who made that first 17 minute flight, and to the perseverance and genius of Sir Frank Whittle, Britain entered the jet age.

Notwithstanding that the Germans had already flown their first jet aircraft, the He 178 in 1939 and would actually be the first to get a jet powered aeroplane into operational service in the shark like Me 262, this having first flown jet with power around 14 months after the Gloster. But Frank Whittle got the idea first, and today marks a landmark in our aviation history. It punctuates a remarkable 66 year period between the Wright brothers staggering into the air for the first powered and controlled flight and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon.

So let’s celebrate the achievement on this, its 70th anniversary.


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Why can’t we get airport design right in the UK?

As someone who has been in customer service for over 45 years I get puzzled by the failure to do some simple things that could make a huge difference. I’ve just travelled through Heathrow’s Terminal 3, but these remarks aren’t confined to that building, more to what I see as a series of blindingly obvious failures. Continue reading

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letters to the editor #14 – share the election


I was saddened to read of the loss of the Polish president and colleagues in the recent air disaster, and my condolences go out to the familes of those lost and the Polish people. I understand that a general election has been called in Poland as a result.

Given that there are lots of Polish people living here in the UK, many of whom are families of gallant allies that have resided here since helping us defeat the Axis powers in WW2, and that we also have a general election in the offing, is this not a chance to merge our countries under a single leadership? It could save costs by having just the one election and we might end up with a much better government (it couldn’t be any worse surely).

Suddenly our general election might be of interest after all.


Saddened of Swindon

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