Birth of the jet age: Gloster E28/39
The Gloster E28/39 has great significance for us as Gloucestershire’s outstanding contribution to world aviation history.
The original aircraft, now in the Science Museum in London, was the first-ever British and Allied jet.
Powered by jet engine inventor Frank Whittle’s first flight engine, it was designed and built by the Gloster Aircraft Company. Its official first flight was at RAF Cranwell on 15 May 1941, but it had already left the ground during taxiing trials at Gloster’s Brockworth airfield on 8 April.
Our E28 (shown above) is a full-size fibreglass model, assembled from mouldings produced by the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Group and paid for by the Reactionaries – former colleagues of Whittle – and a generous grant from Tewkesbury Borough Council.
Our own team, led by aircraft restoration manager Chris Radford, then added a massive amount of detail, including building the undercarriage, fitting out the cockpit and adding panel and rivet lines.