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Head of Zeus
Jet Man
Jet Man: The Making and Breaking of Frank Whittle, Genius of the Jet Revolution Duncan 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 faced the disappointment of seeing his ground-breaking design blocked by bureaucratic opposition 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 realized and Britain enjoyed a golden age of flying in the 1950s.

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

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Biography
10 Dec 2020 * 560pp * £8.99 * 9781788544689
REVIEWS
'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.
Author

Duncan Campbell-Smith

Duncan Campbell-Smith
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).
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