|Former type||Limited company|
|Industry||Aircraft jet engines|
|Fate||Merged with RAE forming NGTE Pyestock|
|Founded||27 January 1936|
|Founder(s)||Sir Frank Whittle|
|Headquarters||Rugby, Warwickshire (initially in 1936)
Lutterworth (from January 1938)
|Key people||James Collingwood Tinling, Sir William Hawthorne|
|Services||Gas turbine research|
Power Jets Ltd was a United Kingdom company set up by Frank Whittle for the purpose of designing and manufacturing jet engines. The company was nationalized in 1944, and evolved into the National Gas Turbine Establishment.
Initial premises were hired from British Thomson-Houston (BTH) at Rugby, Warwickshire. In addition to the founder members, the company initially 'borrowed' some fitters from BTH to assist in the project and later Power Jets was able to get 'one or two' people on loan from the Royal Air Force. By the beginning of 1940 the company had a total workforce of about twenty five.
The Power Jets WU design was the first turbojet to run, being first tested on April 12, 1937, and the Power Jets W.1 powered the Gloster E.28/39, the first jet aircraft to fly in the United Kingdom. The W.1 was also the first jet engine built in the United States where, as the General Electric I-A, it powered the Bell P-59A Airacomet. The Power Jets W.2 was intended to be produced by Rover, but because of delays was later transferred to Rolls-Royce where it entered production as the Welland, powering early versions of the Gloster Meteor.
A version of the Power Jets W.2/700 was intended for the supersonic Miles M.52 research aircraft, but the aircraft was never completed. The M.52 version of the W.2/700 was one of the first engines designed with a reheat jetpipe, i.e., an afterburner.
On 28 March 1944, after discussions with the Air Ministry, Whittle reluctantly agreed to the nationalisation of Power Jets Ltd. for £135,000, and the company became Power Jets (Research and Development) Ltd.