Sir Frank Whittle, the British engineer who pioneered the development of the jet engine, received the Goddard Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in New York City on Tuesday (26 Jan).
Whittle receiving award.
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Background: Sir Frank Whittle, the British engineer who pioneered the development of the jet engine, received the Goddard Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in New York City on Tuesday (26 Jan). He was given a ten thousand dollar honorarium donated by United Aircraft Corporation and a gold medal donated by Mrs. Esther Goddard, widow of Dr. Robert Goddard for whom the award is named.
Sir Frank received the award for "imagination, skill, persistence and courage in pioneering the gas turbine as a jet propulsion aircraft engine thus revolutionizing military and commercial aviation for all time." He was the first recipient of the Goddard award. (Dr. Goddard was a pioneering American rocket scientist.)
In the ceremonies at the New York Hilton, Sir Frank was presented with a check by a representative of United Aircraft. Then Mrs. Goddard presented him a blue box. The medal which it was to have contained had not been completed, but is to be forwarded in due time. A number of other aviation specialists received lesser awards.
Sir Frank patented a jet engine in 1930. He is given credit for almost singlehandedly guiding development of a flying version of his engine before the end of World War II. He holds the rank of Air Commodore in the R.A.F. (retired) and is currently a consultant to Bristol Siddedley Engines, Ltd. He has received many awards for his pioneering work in jet aviation.