We are all familiar with driving along Sir Frank Whittle Way in Derby, but do we know who he was?
In 1929, a 22 year-old maverick named Frank Whittle - a self-taught aeronautical obsessive and risk-takingly brilliant RAF pilot - presented a blueprint for a revolutionary, jet-powered aircraft engine to the Air Ministry. His idea had the potential to change the course of history, but it was summarily rejected.
In this meticulously researched biography, Duncan Campbell-Smith charts Whittle's stoic efforts to build his jet engine in the interwar years, during which he was constantly frustrated to find his ground-breaking project impeded by bureaucratic inertia until the outbreak of war in 1939. Eventual recognition of the importance of his work by the British government came too late for Whittle's invention to play a major part in the Second World War, but after the war his dream of civilian jet powered aircraft was gradually realized - eventually transforming the entire world of air travel.
Jet Man is the definitive telling of the life of an engineering icon and unjustly neglected British hero of the Second World War - and a tantalizing tale of 'what might have been'.
Free parking is available for attendees of events at Derby College.