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Gloster E.28/39 Whittle

The Gloster E.28/39, (also referred to as the "Gloster Whittle", "Gloster Pioneer", or "Gloster G.40") was the first British jet engined aircraft to fly in the United Kingdom. Developed to test the new Whittle jet engine in flight, the test results would influence the development of an operational fighter, the Gloster Meteor. Although the initial flight tests were seemingly early in the Second World War, the Germans were one stage ahead, having first tested their Heinkel He 178 at 6 am on 27 August 1939, days before the start of the war itself at Rostock-Marienehe on the Baltic Coast, piloted by Erich Warsitz. The aircraft was delivered to Hucclecote for ground tests beginning on 7 April 1941, and on 15 May 1941, Gloster's chief test pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gerry Sayer flew the aircraft under jet power for the first time from RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. The flight lasted 17 minutes and was a complete success. The second prototype (Serial W4046) joined the test programme on 1 March 1943, initially powered by a Rover W2B engine. Testing had revealed problems with engine oil and lubricants. The second prototype was destroyed on 30 July in a crash resulting from an aileron failure, attributed to the use of the wrong type of grease in the aileron controls. One aileron had "stuck in position, sending the aircraft out of control". The test pilot successfully bailed out. The first prototype continued flight tests until 1944 by which time, more advanced turbojet-powered aircraft were available. Although the Gloster E.28/39 was not able to achieve high speeds, it proved to be a capable experimental platform and exhibited a "good climb rate and ceiling". Moreover, experience with the E.28/39 paved the way for Britain's first operational jet fighter aircraft, the Gloster Meteor. This featured the Rolls-Royce Welland engine, the next stage from the Power Jets W.1. In 1946, the first prototype (Serial W4041) was placed in the Science Museum in Central London, where it is still exhibited. Source: Profile: Wings Palette http://wp.scn.ru/en/ Info: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloster_E.28/39

Gloster E.28/39 Whittle
Roelf, Jan 10, 2010
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