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Head of Zeus
Jet Man
10 Dec 2020 * EBOOK * £8.99 * 9781788544689

The biography of Frank Whittle – RAF pilot, mathematician of genius, inventor of the jet engine and British hero.

Non Fiction / BGB (Biography)
Extent: 560 pages
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
Jet Man: The Making and Breaking of Frank Whittle, Genius of the Jet RevolutionDuncan Campbell-Smith

The story of Frank Whittle – RAF pilot, mathematician of genius, inventor of the jet engine and British hero.

In 1929, a twenty-two-year-old maverick named Frank Whittle – a self-taught aeronautical obsessive and risk-takingly brilliant RAF pilot – presented a blueprint for a revolutionary, jet-powered aircraft engine to the Air Ministry. His idea had the potential to change the course of history, but it was summarily rejected.

In this meticulously researched biography, Duncan Campbell-Smith charts Whittle's stoic efforts to build his jet engine in the interwar years, during which he was constantly frustrated to find his ground-breaking project impeded by bureaucratic inertia until the outbreak of war in 1939. Eventual recognition of the importance of his work by the British government came too late for Whittle's invention to play a major part in the Second World War, but after the war his dream of civilian jet powered aircraft was gradually realized – eventually transforming the entire world of air travel.

Gripping in its narrative, authoritative in its technical detail and insightful in its judgements, Jet Man is the definitive telling of the life of an engineering icon and unjustly neglected British hero of the Second World War – and a tantalizing tale of 'what might have been'.

Reviews for Jet Man:

'A very well-written and long overdue corrective account of an extraordinary man' James Hamilton-Paterson

'Highly readable, and based on thorough research, Jet Man casts new light on the intense, heroic character of Frank Whittle and his revolutionary invention. The tale of how he overcame all the obstacles in his path is a gripping one. What also makes Duncan Campbell-Smith's narrative compelling is the way the complex mechanics of jet propulsion are so clearly explained' Leo McKinstry

 
Duncan Campbell-Smith is a former Financial Times and Economist journalist whose career has also included working in the City, consulting with McKinsey & Co and a short stint in the world of corporate communications. His previous books include Struggle for Take-Off, A History of British Airways (1986). He won the Wadsworth Business History Prize for his authorised history of the Royal Mail, Masters of the Post (2011).

The story of a forgotten British hero.

Written with access to Whittle's extensive private papers.

Author has won the Wadsworth Business History Prize.

MARKET: The Crew by David Price; The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather; Simon Sebag-Montefiore.


'A very well-written and long overdue corrective account of an extraordinary man' James Hamilton-Paterson, author of Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World.,

'Highly readable, and based on thorough research, Jet Man casts new light on the intense, heroic character of Frank Whittle and his revolutionary invention. The tale of how he overcame all the obstacles in his path is a gripping one. What also makes Duncan Campbell-Smith's narrative compelling is the way the complex mechanics of jet propulsion are so clearly explained', Leo McKinstry, author of Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber.

PRAISE FOR MASTERS OF THE POST:
'Vivid, detailed, colourful ... A first-class history ... All sorts of delights leap out of these pages' Daily Telegraph.
'Highly valuable. An assured and fascinating account' TLS.
'Campbell-Smith's book is vast, monumentally detailed, sharply observant of personalities and wittily readable' The Times. ,

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