“Inventions got the modern world closer, but there are

“Inventions become perfect by slow improvement, and each step is itself
an invention.”- ‘Joseph Jastrow’.  Every
upgrade taking place in the inventions and technologies have got the modern
world closer, but there are some extraordinary major inventions like the Jet
Engines whose innovation has transformed the invention for commercial use and
are widely adopted today. These Engines have made the world fly high leaving a
drastic impact on the late nineteen to the twentieth Century in the field of aviation.

Well what are these engines that have
created such a big bang on the aviation industry? In a common man’s term Jet
Engines are those which move the Aircraft forward with an enormous force which
is produced by tremendous thrust which sets off the airplane to fly faster to reach
the destinations in couple of hours.

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After patenting of the Engined
airplanes by Wright brothers in 1903/05, the first Airplane passenger flight in
the history flew on the 14th May 1908.subsequently the inventors had
being keen on developing and improving airplanes and there operating system. The
two legendary engineers, Frank whittle of the United Kingdom and Hans Von Ohain
of Germany, are renowned for the development of these Jet engines during the
Late 1930’s.

The researches and
development by these legends let onto invention of the jet engines which further
accelerated expansion in the field of aviation. These engines fly much faster
at a higher altitude as 10,000-15,000about 33,000 to 49,000feet meters than
the old model like the propeller –powered aircrafts.


Emergence and innovation
policy in the early nineteenth century.

The Jet Engines emerged
in the early 90’s.          It could be
said that the Jet-Engined Aircrafts became the median for the fighters of the
World War II in the late 1940s and proved their advantage in the beginnings of
commercial transport in the early 1950s. The technological development of the Jet
Engines with their low operating cost and high speed as compared to the
Standard Propelled Engines led to massive expansion in the second half of the
20th Century of the Commercial Air travel Industry.88

Notwithstanding this
remarkable invention also had to overcome hurdles for early adoption of these engines. Sir Frank Whittle being
regarded as the father of the modern Jet Propulsion system had to perceive his
research on his own initiative as he was not supported officially for study and
development of his ideas.

Sir Frank whittle discovered
in the early 90’s that for the Aircrafts propeller weren’t essential because of
the exhaust from the gas turbine could be used to propel the Aircraft ‘book 1 ‘ . His idea of the turbo-jet engine, i.e. a gas turbine
driving a plane forward solely by its reaction to the jet of hot exhaust gas, were
brought to the attention of
the RAFRoyal Air Force Commandant and
who laid it forward before the British Government. The British Government
termed whittles ideas as impractical and failed to recognize potentials for
development of these Jet engines.

However, the Air Ministry arranged a meeting with Dr A A Griffith who
had being working on gas turbines for the aircraft and strongly favoured using
them to drive propellers in the 1926s. Griffith rejected Sir Frank Whittles
proposals saying that his ‘Assumptions were Over-Optimistic’ and further reported
negatively to the Ministry, who acknowledged that his ideas were impractical. Book 1.

Notwithstanding these circumstances whittle however with the little
official encouragement by the Air Ministry further stepped ahead and took out
the first patent for a turbo-jet in 19305.  The
copies of whittles patent were also made available in 1932  by the President of the Air Council  declaring that there was no need for secrecy.Moreover
these copies were purchased by the German Trade Commission in London and
circulated to the German Air Ministry (RML) and German aero-engine

Whittles patent lapsed in the1935 as he was unable to afford the renewal
fees of £5.00 as he received no royalties nor reimburse from the RAF. Despite
of this he continued to develop these engines with help of private funding and in
due course incorporated his own company called ‘Power Jets Ltd.’ in 1936.

Power Jets were able to complete their first engine ‘the whittle unit’
in 1937 .On 30th June 1939 Dr Pye, Air Ministry’s Director of
Scientific Research after witnessing one of the tests on the engine which reached
an speed of 16,000 rpm was convinced regarding the whittles research and
developments carried out on the Engines and triggered the Ministry about its achievability,
which then started minimum funding in order to develop the flyable version of
these engines.

The Emergence of Innovation policy for these jet engines have existed
since  in the early nineteenth century . Whittles
revolutionary engine took to skies for the first time on 15th May
1941 and changed history. Thereafter the Air Ministry accordingly agreed to
purchase whittles engines under a research contract and loaned them back to
Power Jets for further testing and development covering all its costs under a
contract between January1940 to June 1941. This policy of the Air Ministry had
put the company and the employees under the ‘Officials Secret Act’ as a result
of which none of the outsiders could fund or interfere in the development of
these jet engines.

Within weeks the W1 was ordered by the Air Ministry giving an expansion
to the team of graduates and technicians. The British as a result had developed
a successful engine which was used by Britain for homeless defence in the World
War II 11. After
the first policies laid down in the development of the W1 the Ministry further
started backing the funding of the larger engine called the ‘W2’ which were
developed by Power Jets in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. The Air Ministry subsequently
promoted the development of these Jet Engines by placing a contract for the
‘Flight Engines’

Thereafter the World War II the British shared whittles technology with
the United States which enabled General Electric to build their first Jet
Fighter. It was illustrated that the Jet Engines revolutionised the world and
forefront of the Aviation department. Undoubtedly if whittle would have not
developed his invention maybe today we would still have being living in the era
of poor and expensive transports.

The patent system could have failed a qualitative invention, the
resources and the  R &D which was devoted
for the technological change. Just because of the Technology being vague or
because of poor commercialisation could have lead to the delay of development
of the Jet Aircrafts .the ideas that were termed impractical initially lead to
the major technological development of the jet engines in the 20th
Century due to which today has become easy to routinely
fly across the oceans and reason why the Civil aviation developed quickly.


Today if you are boarding a Jet-propelled
aircraft is just because of the Sir Frank Whittle who developed the Jet Engine
despite of it being rejected. Given a second thought how rejection of patent just because the
technology was way too ahead and early in the nineties could have devastated
the history of Aviation and put to a standstill to the economic growth.


Other Supporters

The Development of Jet
engines was supported by a few who believed in this revolutionary leap and made
a contribution to the progress of Jet Engines.

The U.S. Army in the
Mid 1930s supported the General Electric for the further development of turbo supercharger
for the Jet engines for tactical advantage at a higher altitude and were used
with the Jet Engines in the world war II. Book 2

Rolls Royce further
being developing the engines on a support from the Air force playing a vital
part by providing engines for the fighters and bombers of the allies. Book 1


Current Policies Laid
down for the R & D of the Jet Engines

The Government of the United
Kingdom accelerated adoption of the Jet Engines that
inspired to fly the long distances. From the early nineteenth century until
today it has continuously stimulated the development of engines to
commercialise this invention and maintain its sky high success.

The aviation
policy framework in U.K. supports growth
within framework which maintains balance between the benefits of aviation and
its costs particularly looking into its contribution to climate changes and
noise. 66

Government has being laying down policies since decades in order to improve the
Jet Engines and their impact. The U.K. Government
since 2013 has funded around £3.9 billion to the R&D in Aerospace Sector.

 In the year 2016 the Business Ministry announced
nearly £10 Million of Government Funding to
Loughborough University to open access to National Centre of Excellence in Gas
Turbine Combustion Aerodynamics. This centre would allow the UK industry to
access state-of art facilities which would lead to research and technology
development in Gas Turbine Combustion i.e central feature of large Jet Engines.

In the year 2016 the Business Ministry further extended its
commitment by another additional £900 million for the next 10 years on aerospace R&D.
As per the Business Minister Anna Soubry in a press release on the 5th
February 2016 ‘It’s an industry which is flying high and provides the highly
skilled jobs that are needed to grow our economy. That’s why we have extended
our commitment to by a further £900 million over the next 10 years I.e. till
the 2026.” showing the importance of supporting the overall aerospace research to
meet the Global demands. 16

These huge amount of funding to these research centres are made in
order to research and test more Environment friendly and efficient combustion
technologies which meet the emissions targets. The Government has being has
been funding the R&D of these engines to reduce their impact on the
environment. These Investments are continuous efforts by U.K. Government for
the development of advanced technologies to meet the international
environmental performance targets. These Governmental policies have also being laid
down in order to meet the standards for global competitiveness .These policies
have also encouraged in growth of highly skilled engineers and scientists..18

These are the targets set by the U.K. Government so that these
researches and developments accomplish the targets laid down by the Advisory
Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe ACARE which are like
reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emission by 50% per passenger ,reduction of NOx
emissions by 80% ,reducing perceived noise by 50% and an reducing considerable
impact on the environment because of the manufacturing, disposal of these
engines and other related aircraft products.18

The rising fuel prices, the perceived external
noise and carbon emission from the Aircrafts are of grave concern for the
entire World today. These concerns not only are destroying the environment but
also encouraging early retirement of Aircrafts. The Government of the United
Kingdom are continuously making striving effort for development of Engines that
are fuel efficient and which reduce the ongoing impact on the environment. The U.K’s ranks second globally after
the United States and first in the EU in the Aerospace Industry. The U.K.
Government in 2014 invested around £154 million
out of which £20 million were invested in development of Engines in a project
lead by Rolls-Royce for creating lighter ,more fuel efficient aircrafts for reducing
emission of carbon dioxide by 75%.20.

 The Governments have not
only being contributing for the Development of Jet Engines but also has being
encouraging development and upgrades of various different kinds of engines to boost
the future of the Aerospace Industry. The UK Government in 2015 backed projects
worth £100 Million which included Formula 1 expert teamed up with the Jet
Engine makers. These funding were contributed jointly by the Aviation industry
and the Government as a part of UK’s industrial strategy through the Aerospace Technology
Institute (ATI).19 

The projects that received funding from the ATI
for developing Engines are follows:

£14 million for 9 partners, led by Airbus, to design
improved landing gear for future aircraft, including introducing electric taxi
technology so that engines can be switched off immediately after landing,
saving fuel and reducing emissions.

Around  £17 million
were contributed for a project led by Rolls-Royce for developing new concepts
of future engines architecture that would improve environmental

This technological
development has benefited the world’s economy. The Jet Engines have transformed
travel .The Wright Brothers might have invented the first Airplane but Whittles
Jet Engines have made a distinguished contribution in flying millions which
couldn’t even have being thought about around 70 years back. The Development of
Jet Engines changed history worldwide, these engines not only created an impact
beyond realm of things that can fly but also made a historical mark in the
field of aviation. After the World War II these Engines were put to use for passenger
planes commercialising them. Boeing 707 was the first Airplane that flew in
1958 allowing people to travel safe distances at a speed which would have been
impossible earlier.

The jet engines revolutionized
air travel by cutting down the travelling time. The Jet technology was
transferred into Commercial Aviation sector as these engines were reliable,
safer and less costly to operate and proved more profitable. The British
Overseas Aircraft Corporation was first to introduce commercial Jetliners into
service in 1952. Pan American, U.S in 1958 inaugurated its first long distance
passenger flight from Newyork to London creating a new era in commercial

After pan American’s
success Airlines all over the world adopted these Aircrafts with the jets
replacing Piston-Engines. Commercialisation of Jets Aircrafts has benefited
economies worldwide. The Aviation Industry contributes around $2.7 Trillion (3.5%) of the world’s Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). The Aviation Industry services generate about 9.9 billion direct
jobs and contribute $664.4billion and $761.4 billion through indirect Job activities
aviation fuel suppliers etc. to the global GDP. This Industry apart from
employment generates $892.4 billion by playing an important role in the global tourism

As John Golley noted in his biography
(Airlife, 1987): “Whittle – who had been the first man to get
a turbo-jet running – had thrust Britain forward into the Jet Age and stood the
aviation industry on its head.”

Accordingly a study shows that the U.K. aviation industry contributes to
the Gross Domestic Product GDP, employment as well as tourism. The U.K.
aviation sector’s turnover in the 2011 was around £53
billion and generated around £18 billion of economic output. The Aviation
sector in the UK employs around 220,000 workers directly and supports many of
the others indirectly. The exports from aviation have also being profiting the
economy and contributing to the future of aviation growth.


Current scenario for
Development of new kinds of engines

The earlier aircraft
burned tremendous fuel which could not even keep them aloft for hours and the
engines wore-out after a couple of uses. One of the major challenge was to
develop such engines which would provide high thrust with low fuel consumption,
lesser noise and reduction of carbon emission.11sThe
incremental development has produced engines that operate for years with
routine maintenances and are lower in costs and more energy-efficient.

The private sector has
also been continuously conducting R&D on developing several kinds of engines
that would impact less on the environment and help in cost -effective reduction
.Since this sector majorly relies on Gasoline and other petroleum product its
emission has caused huge damage to the atmosphere .To save the depleting
environment and meet the global environmental standards.

The Boeing and the
Airbus are working hard and have invested huge amount of resources to develop
new kinds of engines and alternative ways to tackle the global environmental
issues the world has being facing today . presently at Boeing, 75% of R&D
funding supports greater environmental performance in their products eventually
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.55. Apart from Aircrafts and Engines which happened to change
history there are a few playing critical role in world changing event like the
development of engines in the upcoming efficient Aircraft like A320neo and the
B737 Max which would result in at least 20% less consumption of fuels, low
noise levels and reduction of CO2 emissions. These aircrafts are the potential outcomes of these researches and rule the next generation of quieter, more energy efficient and
environmentally friendly planes.


As noted by Churchill
“Get me a thousand whittle” 15

If we could imagine
there would have been no Jet Engines today, would there have been any evolution
or shape to the future of the Global Aviation Industry. The accomplishments in
the field of aviation are flourishing after a dozens of years of research and
development that have laid down to these foundation today. Aviation is one of
the few big industries in the world and this remarkable disruptive technology
and numerous transformations in it that have made it resourceful and safe for around
three million passengers travelling everyday all over the world.

We are the
beneficiaries of the Sir Frank Whittles aviation establishment that has changed
the world today benefiting the society and the individuals with the best
passenger experience making the world a smaller









rplanes-flight-history-1991789 History2


about the year of contract of IP


archives info

archives info

https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/courses/ww2/projects/jet-airplanes/planes.html  11

The Birth of the Jet: The Engine that Shrunk the World

patent history

The Jet Engine

how they benefitted


global coomercial support








Press release

Government boost for jet engines with £10 million investment for
next generation technology dated Published 5 February 2016From:Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Innovate UK, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP,
and The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan18



Published 3 February 2015 From:Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Department for Education, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable



Published 17 July 2014 From:Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and The Rt Hon Nick Clegg 20




this article speaks
about whittles history. why he was not encouraged











https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/153776/aviation-policy-framework.pdf 66