Spend any time in and around Gloucester and you will quickly realise that there is certainly a heritage here when it comes to aerospace. From the Frank Whittle name and statue around the area, to the Jet Age Museum, it is clear that this is a city paying tribute to its association with aerospace.
One of the main things that you might associate with it is the Gloster aircraft, named after the city itself. The Gloster aircraft company was set up in 1917 during the first world war and is famed for its production of some of the most memorable and iconic planes of Britain, including the Javelin and the Meteor. Although the company has since been taken over many times, the heritage of this company also leads us onto the other thing that you will associate with Gloucester – Frank Whittle.
Frank Whittle who invented the first jet engine powered aircraft and provided Britain with its first jet aircraft with the help of the Gloster aircraft company – the Gloster E.28/39. Frank Whittle, the son of a mechanic, had an interest in machinery and he became a qualified pilot in 1928. He thought long and hard about propelling the planes and came up with his idea that using a fan inside the engine to help propel the aircraft along would give the aircraft a higher speed. He patented his idea and looked for investors who would help him to realise his dream. By 1941 the first jet engine was built and tested in Gloucester, and as the second world war rumbled on, the demand for the jet engine grew.
Even now around the city there are many areas and companies with strong links to the past aviation history. Staverton airport is a small airport where you can get a flight to Jersey, or even take a flying lesson yourself, and companies such as this electroless nickel plating company www.poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/electroless-nickel-plating still work hard to provide materials for the aerospace industry.
Near to the airport at Staverton, you can explore the past aviation history, both in Gloucester and further afield with a visit to the Jet Age Museum. This is a great place to explore aircraft from a bygone age, and you can even experience being in some of them!