Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle Interview
The latest RAF CAPS historic leadership themed interview features Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle OM KBE CB FRS FRAeS in conversation with Group Captain (later Air Vice-Marshal) Marten Van Der Veen, in an interview filmed at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1986.
There are very few events in history which can truly be said to have changed the path of history, one of these is surely Frank Whittle’s development of the jet engine, an innovation which ‘shrank the globe’.
Sir Frank had an inauspicious start to his RAF career when he failed basic training on medical grounds. In true RAF spirit he persevered, undertaking a rigorous training programme, and was eventually readmitted as an Aircraft Apprentice.
His potential was soon recognised and he was recommended for officer training at RAF College Cranwell – the rest is history. During the interview he discusses the monumental struggles he faced during his development of the jet engine and is engagingly frank about the subseq