Whittle W.1X Turbojet Engine

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    1 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    2 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    3 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    4 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    5 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    6 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    7 of 11

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Whittle W.1X Engine

    Type: Turbojet Thrust: 5,516 N (1,240 lb) at 17,750 rpm, 3,781 N (850 lb) at 16,500 rpm (Derated for first flight) Compressor: Single-stage, double entry, centrifugal Combustor: 10 reverse flow chambers Turbine: Single- stage axial Weight: 254 kg (560 lb)

    8 of 11

    Whittle W.1X Turbojet Engine

    This W.1X non-airworthy engine unofficially became the first British turbojet to be airborne when the E.28/39 made short, straight hops.

    9 of 11

    Technician Working on an Airacomet Engine

    Because of inadequate heat resistant materials, the average life span of the first jet engines were only 25 hours at best.  As a result, the engines on the XP-59 Airacomet needed contant maintenance.  Today’s jet engines run 3,000 to 5,000 hours before they require an overhaul.  

    10 of 11

    Frank Whittle with Whittle W.1X Engine

    Frank J. Whittle with his Whittle W.1X turbojet engine on exhibit at the National Air Museum in the Arts & Industries Bldg., circa 1974-75.

    11 of 11

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Sir Frank Whittle's jet aircraft engine was patented in 1932, and Power Jets, Ltd. formed in 1936. The Whittle Unit bench test engine first ran on April 12, 1937. In 1939, the British Air Ministry placed a contract for the W.1 engine to be flight tested on the new Gloster E.28/39 aircraft. During taxiing tests, the W.1X non-airworthy engine unofficially became the first British turbojet to be airborne when the E.28/39 made short, straight hops. The W.1 flew officially in the E.28/39 on May 15, 1941.

The W.1X and drawings of the W.2B production engine were delivered to the General Electric Company on October 1, 1941. GE's improved and uprated version, the IA, powered the first U.S. jet aircraft, the Bell XP-59A Airacomet on October 2, 1942. At the end of its useful life, the W.1X was returned to England. On November 8, 1949, the W.1X was presented to the Smithsonian by Power Jets, Ltd.