The jet engine was designed by British engineering genius Sir Frank Whittle (1907–1996). His son Ian is a patron of Jet Age Museum.
Britain’s first jet plane, the Gloster E28/39, powered by Whittle’s revolutionary invention, first left the ground on 8 April 1941 at the Gloster factory-airfield between Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Its official first flight was at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, on 15 May 1941.
The original aeroplane can be seen in London’s Science Museum. Jet Age Museum volunteers have built a full-size replica which is proudly on display.
Other Gloster-built aircraft are currently on view, such as examples of Britain’s first jet fighter, the Meteor, and the Cold War-era Javelin and a fully-detailed reproduction 1925 Gamecock biplane.
Ongoing restoration projects include rebuilding an RAF Gladiator biplane which crashed in Norway in 1940 and a late World War Two Gloster-built Hawker Typhoon.
Other aircraft, engines and exhibits, make interesting viewing in the display hall, while the the museum’s outstanding document and photographic archive, are now housed in a purpose built facility.
Jet Age Museum is a member of Tewkesbury Museums Partnership, Gloucestershire Museums Group, the British Aviation Preservation Council and the Association of Independent Museums.
Jet Age Museum is the home for the Gloucestershire Aviation Collection, a Registered Charity (no. 297818) and a company limited by guarantee (no. 2141333). The registered Office is at: Pitt Godden & Taylor LLP, Brunel House, George Street, Gloucester, GL1 1BZ.
Archives and publications
Jet Age Museum’s document and photographic archive houses many treasures. As well as the Russell Adams Collection - a remarkable resource for the study of British aviation developments in the 1950s and early 60s - there are early Gloster and Dowty company documents, factory drawings, unpublished memoirs, the papers of a former chief designer and the log book of a former chief test pilot, together with many more photographs.
We are fortunate to have the services of two distinguished aviation authors and historians, Tony Buttler and Phil Butler, as our archivists.
Drawing on these archives, the museum’s publications have helped to make the collection accessible to a wider public.
|| "Gloucestershire Airport Through Time"
by Guy Ellis, Amberley Publishing, 2013
All proceeds from the sale of this book at the museum and all royalties add to the museum funds
This fascinating collection of photographs and text traces the many ways Gloucestershire Airport has changed and developed over the years
|| "Gloster Grebe and Gamecock"
by Tim Kershaw with many black and white and colour photographs and with plans and colour artwork by the late Krzysztof W. Wołowski. Published by Stratus for MMP Books. 2011
"This book is much more than I expected - it is very well written, very well organized, and very well illustrated.
Highly and unreservedly recommended" - John Ratzenberger, IPMSUSA.org
Available at the museum shop, from booksellers or direct from the publishers at www.mmpbooks.biz
| “Jet Age Photographer: The Aviation Photography of Russell Adams”
by Tim Kershaw. Sutton Publishing in association with Jet Age Museum, 2005
| “Jet Pioneers: Gloster and the Birth of the Jet Age”
by Tim Kershaw. Sutton Publishing in association with Jet Age Museum, 2004.