Rugby's famous names

Sir Frank Whittle - Father of the jet engine

Sir Frank Whittle


Sir Frank Whittle made crucial breakthroughs in the engine's development while working in Rugby.

Sir Frank ran the first successful test of his turbo-jet engine at Rugby's British Thomson-Houston works on 12 April 1937, and in the following years based his design team at the town's Brownsover Hall while the prototype was perfected at a disused foundry in nearby Lutterworth.

A sculpture commemorating the work of Whittle, the father of the jet engine, can be found in Rugby's town centre.

A nation's ability to fight a modern war is as good as its technological ability."