Twin brothers are planning a business strategy to take their revolutionary miniature jet engine to market – with the aid of the Advanced Engineering Cluster. Chris and Paul Bladon recently established Bladon Jets at their Oswestry premises, from where they are already nationally and internationally recognised as engineers, developing and building racing motorcycles.
“When we began our jet engine project, no-one built small gas turbine engines”, says Chris, “and initially we considered the military applications for such a product. Now our research and development confirms that the engine has a big potential market across a variety of areas.”
Chris and Paul brought their drawing office and manufacturing facilities to Shropshire from Hertfordshire fourteen years ago, looking for somewhere quiet to expand their racing motorcycle business. Both brothers had enjoyed success as amateur riders and realised that the preparation of the bikes was paramount to competition success.
“Our interest in the current project was catalysed when we were told it would be impossible to make a small jet engine”, says Chris, “and this made us determined to do it. But running our core business meant that we had to do the development work in our spare time. We’ve spent thousands of hours during evenings and weekends over the last fifteen years designing and developing the engine.”
Traditional technology didn’t allow the manufacture of blades that would be small enough for the Bladon jet. Chris and Paul have taken out four British and three world patents on their innovative technology and the Advanced Engineering Cluster team at the Innovative Product Development Centre at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Campus is now providing expertise and resources for further development. The Advanced Engineering Cluster will also be providing Chris and Paul with access to computer aided design facilities “to enable them to perfect their new technology”, says Paul Butler, Advanced Engineering Cluster Champion.
“We’re looking forward to working with the Advanced Engineering Cluster”, add Chris and Paul. “We need to be able to use the pinnacle of known technology to take our work forward and an unbiased opinion on the options open to us.”