Fly-past to mark Sir Frank Whittle's jet engine flight

A celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the UK's first jet engine flight has taken place at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

On 15 May 1941, the Gloster E28/39 aircraft powered by Sir Frank Whittle's pioneering engine took off for a flight that lasted almost 17 minutes.

In commemoration, a replica of the aircraft was transported to the RAF base.

It performed a fly-past for guests including Sir Frank's son.

The full-size fibreglass model of the Gloster, owned by The Jet Age Museum in Gloucester, was transported to RAF Cranwell on Thursday.

Following the fly-past on Sunday, the E28 returned to Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, where the museum has planning permission for a permanent home for its collection.

Sir Frank began his RAF career as an apprentice and later trained as an officer at Cranwell.

He was knighted by King George VI in 1948 when he retired from the RAF in the rank of Air Commodore. He emigrated to the USA in 1976 and died at his home in Columbia, Maryland in August 1996.

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