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Alstec proud of connection

The memory of Sir Frank Whittle, the ‘Father of the Jet Age', is kept alive at the show again – not just in the sophisticated versions of the jet engine he first designed, but with a tribute.

The tribute has been a feature of the Farnborough airshow since 1996, the year Sir Frank died. Co-sponsored by baggage handling specialist Alstec and the Midland Air Museum at Coventry Airport, the tribute features the achievements of the man whose invention launched the jet age on 15 May 1941.

At the centrepiece of the exhibit as in past years is an engine similar to that used for the maiden flight. This year the exhibit includes artwork, a copy of the painting ‘Millennium of Flight' by Aviation Guild of Artists member Peter Sumpter.

Alstec (formerly Alstrom Automation) operates from the original site of Whittle's Power Jets business at Whetstone in Leicestershire. The company says it's proud of its connection to Whittle and hence delighted to fund the exhibition.

Publicity manager John Smith says: "We're located in the shadow of the BAE Systems media village – very much the future of the aviation industry. It's great that a few steps away people can remember the early days and the events which have shaped our lives."

In another project to create a permanent memorial, enthusiasts – with the support of Rolls-Royce which has given workshop space – are building two models of the original jet-propelled E28/39 aircraft. One will grace Farnborough and the other will be located at Coventry Airport.