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macc_explore posted a topic in Industrial LocationsThe Explore As far as the history goes this is still one of my all time favourite explores this.. to walk around a building were one of the most important inventions in the world happened was quite special.. unfortunately though the place is pretty trashed nowadays but a big varied site none the less. The History The Engineering site at Whetstone, near Leicester was opened in 1941 as a facility to engineer and test early Jet engines. The site was initially setup by jet engine inventor Frank Whittle's company Power Jets ltd. Their workshops produced a number of experimental jet engines. However In 1944 Power Jets was Nationalized and Frank whittle left the company in protest at his lack of control. Within two years the decision was taken to centralize research and new facilities were built at the National Gas Turbine establishment in Farnborough. The Whetstone site then passed into the control of the General Electric Company. By the late 1940s it became an important centre for the rapidly growing nuclear industry. The Atomic Power Division produced specialist components, prefabricated parts and control systems for the early nuclear industry. Research was at the cutting edge and The work carried out at whetstone fed into the program that created the worlds first commercial scale nuclear reactor. It went on to play an important role in the construction and development of the Magnox Reactors. Computer research was also an important part of the work conducted at Whetstone. In the late 1950's the site had two Early DEUCE computers. These were used for the calculation of engineering problems, conducting projections and simulations. As well as Writing programs for use in nuclear controls and further research into early computer science. Not a nice sign to stumble upon in the basement... These things went about 50ft into the ground, no idea what they were for and the bottom of them were flooded so couldn't get right down
After a nice long drive we finally found this place. History - The factory itself was owned by Sir Frank Whittle, who was born on the 1st of June 1907 and died in august 9 1996. he was a royal air force officer who was accredited for single handily inventing the turbojet engine, although the first actually working engines weren't invented until some years later. Frank had a long career in the RAF and through work related stress issues had mental breakdowns and eventually retire and received a knighthood and going to work for shells oil company as a engineering specialist. he later immigrated to the USA and in 1976 he accepted a position as a NAVAIR research professor of the naval academy. in 2002 he was nominated as the 42nd greatest Briton which after reading about him I would say I agree with. The company itself was founded on January 27th 1936. over the years the company moved to several locations in the uk and on march 28th 1944 frank Whittle was persuaded by the air ministry to nationalise the company and become Power Jets LTD. after the second world war the company was merged with the Turbine Division of the royal aircraft establishment to form the royal gas turbine establishment.