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Rolls-Royce Welland

1942, Stratosphere Chamber, On long term display

This is an example of Britain’s first production jet engine based on the turbine engine which Sir Frank Whittle (inventor of the jet engine) successfully developed in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Similar experimental Whittle engines were first air-tested in 1942-45 by installation in the rear fuselage of high-flying Vickers Wellingtons. These highly secret trials enabled the manufacturers to establish the correct and most efficient operating height for these early jets. In total more than 15 types of jet engine were tested on Wellingtons, involving 512 flying hours in 366 separate flights.


Type: Turbojet

Thrust: 1,600 lbf (7 kN)

Compressor: Single-stage double-sided centrifugal

Turbine: Single-stage axial