First Flight of the Gloster E.28/39

First British Jet-Engine Aircraft

First Flight of the Gloster E.28/39

 The Gloster E.28/39 (also referred to as the Gloster whittle, gloster pioneer or gloster G.40) was the first British jet-engine aircraft and fist in 1941. It was the third jet to fly after the German Heinkel He 178(1939) and the Italian Caproni campini N.1 motorjet (1940).

It was the product of a specification which had been issued by the air ministry for a suitable aircraft to the test the novel jet propulsion design that frank whittle had been developing during the 1930s. Gloster and the company’s chief designer.

Whittle to developed an otherwise conventional aircraft fitted with power jets W.1 turbojet engine. Flying for the first time on 15 May 1941, a pair of E.28/39 aircraft were produced for the flight test program. These aircraft continued to be flown to test increasingly refined engine designs and new aerodynamic features. In the second prototype, it was lost due to improper maintenance causing a critical aileron failure, the E.28/39 was considered to be a success.

In 1946, the first prototype was placed in the science museum in central London, where it is exhibited today in the flight gallery.  A full-size replica has been placed on an obelisk on a roundabout near the northern perimeter of Fomborough airfield in Hampshire as a memorial to sir at Lutterworth in Leicestershire where the aircraft’s engine was produced.

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