Skip to main content

The World’s Largest Jet Engine Is Already More Powerful Than America’s First Manned Space Rocket

Tomas Kellner
May 19, 2016
Sir Frank Whittle, wearing a hat in the middle, is talking to GE engineers. Whittle is recognized as the inventor of the jet engine, along with Germany’s Hans von Ohain. They developed their first prototypes independently in the late 1930s. They did not meet in person until 1966. Whittle was knighted for his work on the jet engine. Image credit: Museum of Innovation and Science SchenectadyIn March 1942, just five months into the project, the Hush-Hush Boys wheeled their prototype inside a concrete bunker called “Fort Knox” for a test. The cell opened into an old brick smokestack to channel exhaust and mask the tests. But the engine stalled. “We could only run it for a short while,” Sorota says.