In late 1941, as World War II raged in Europe, a group of engineers at GE's factory in Lynn
Massachusetts received a secret mission: they were tasked with redesigning and commercializing the
Whittle jet engine, first developed by RAF officer Frank Whittle. Given only six months to complete the
task, the team worked day and night, guided only by Whittle's blueprints and a few British
engineers. Less than a year later, on October 2nd, 1942, their engine powered the initial test flight
of the first American jet, the XP-59. The axial flow compressor designed for the engine is still being
used in almost every modern jet engine and gas turbine in operation today.