News : Bladon Jets opens new engineering centre

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

A pair of Bladon jet engines used in the Jagar C-X75
A pair of Bladon jet engines used in the Jagar C-X75

Bladon Jets, the pioneers of breakthrough micro jet engine technology, today announced the opening of its Engineering Centre in Coventry.  The new centre houses advanced manufacturing and development facilities to help the company prepare its innovative products for volume production.

The Engineering Centre was formally opened by Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, which is an investor in the company through its UK subsidiary Tata Ltd.  The ceremony was attended by representatives from Coventry City Council, and key business advisers, partners, and suppliers.

“The opening of our new Engineering Centre is a major milestone in achieving our goal of turning Bladon Jets into an industry-leading global business,” said Paul Barrett, chairman and technical director, Bladon Jets.

“As we undertake the exciting next stage of our evolution, this centre will provide us with vital new resources to accelerate the development of our micro gas turbines as we gear up for volume manufacture.

“Coventry is at the heart of the UK motor industry, as well as being a growing centre of excellence for the next generation of low-carbon vehicle technologies.  Our new base gives us access to a wealth of engineering skills and expertise, and brings us closer to many of our key suppliers and partners,” he added.

Leading the world in miniaturised jet engines

Bladon Jets – which provided the experimental propulsion unit behind the stunning Jaguar C-X75 hybrid electric concept car – is leading the world in the creation of miniaturised jet engines.

These small, light and clean-burning power units are ideally suited to the needs of a number of fast-growing markets.  Among the most significant of these are electrical power generation and ‘range extenders’ for electric vehicles.

Having developed the patented manufacturing technology which makes it possible to produce the micro power units, Bladon Jets is currently working with its partners and suppliers to commercialise products for these volume markets.

The Engineering Centre in Coventry provides a new focus for those development efforts.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, said: “It gives me great pleasure to open the new Bladon Jets Engineering Centre, and to mark a significant step forward in the evolution of this innovative company.”

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “I am delighted that the Government has been able to support Bladon Jets’ collaborative projects with Jaguar Land Rover and others on low carbon vehicle development through the Technology Strategy Board.

“Today’s opening of its new Engineering Centre demonstrates the UK’s world class low carbon technology credentials and is another step forward for the Government’s ambition to make the UK a leader in the design, development, manufacture and use of low carbon vehicles.”

Advanced development facility

The Bladon Jets Engineering Centre in Coventry employs 15 people, and houses the state-of-the-art design tools, analysis equipment and production machines required to develop and produce micro jet engines

Key technologies include the Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) spark erosion machines which are capable of creating ultra-high-precision turbine components required for the micro jets.  These components are machined from solid metal, with an accuracy of +/- 5 microns – just one-twentieth the width of a human hair.

“We have led the industry in developing advanced manufacturing techniques using EDM, and the new Engineering Centre gives us access to the latest design and production technologies under one roof,” explained Paul Barrett.

“Bladon Jets would not be here today without the generous help of our partners, including Coventry City Council, WMG at the University of Warwick, and our technology partners A&M Precision Machining, IMS Metrology, Greeve Electronics, Materials Solutions metallurgists and Sodi-Tech EDM.

“With the help of Professor Philip Ruffles CBE and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, and partnerships with leading global organisations like Tata and Jaguar Land Rover, Bladon Jets is now perfectly placed to move its business to the next level,” he said.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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8 Comments

  1. There is often criticism of Jaguar Landrovers ownership by Tata and derogatory comments that they are an Indian Company. I would maintain that Tata is the best thing to happen to the British Motor industry since the war!

  2. These Blaydon chaps were just two blokes in a shead in rural Shropshire.
    They make a gas turbine gen set with the gas turbine prime mover no longer than a ball point pen

  3. Comment 2. Spot on, Paul. I have far more confidence in the integrity of an Indian owner than, say, a Yank. Didn’t Ford blackmail UK Gov to build them a factory or they’d take Jag to Hungary or Czech, or similar? And those cuddly Americans were quite prominent in lobbying for Rover (and probably LDV’s) demise, too. I believe the Indians will take a far longer view of Jaguar than any Western Corp and be more pro-British. Pip, pip.

  4. @2, 4, 7: as one Vauxhall worker at Ellesmere Port once said after GM ‘changed their mind’ about selling GM Europe.. “never trust an American”. Even the Germans could’ve worked the business better.. Despite the Rover debacle, look at the manufacturing success of the MINI – and it’s built over here.

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