Encyclopedia Astronautica

American sounding rocket. JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) rockets came in many types and were used to shorten the takeoff of aircraft in short field or overload conditions. They were among the first practical applications of rocketry, and much early development of rocket technology by JPL, Aerojet, Goddard, and others was devoted to JATO applications.

Status: Active.

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.

JATO Chronology

1938 June 1 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • Cal Tech begins JATO development. - . Nation: USA. Summary: Jack Parsons of Cal Tech conceived value of slow-burning rocket propellant of constant thrust for JATO use, active development of which was undertaken by Cal Tech in 1940..

1939 July 1 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • JATO project funded. - . Nation: USA. Summary: National Academy of Sciences sponsored a $10,000 research program at Cal Tech Rocket Research Project for development of rockets suitable to assist Air Corps planes in takeoffs, the first U.S. rocket program..

1941 August 12 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • Ercoupe first flight. - . Nation: USA. Summary: An Ercoupe light aircraft, impelled by 12 powder rockets of 50 pounds thrust each, piloted by Lt. Homer A. Boushey, first flew on rocket power alone after an initial boost from a towing automobile..

1942 May 26 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • JATO tests. - . Nation: USA. Summary: Jet-assisted takeoff of a Brewster F2A-3 using five British antiaircraft solid-propellant rockets demonstrated at NAS Anacostia, Comdr. C. Fink Fischer as pilot..

1942 July 3 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • Use of rockets for short landing tested. - . Nation: USA. Summary: First airborne test firing of a retrocrocket at Goldstone Lake, Calif., from a PBY-5A piloted by Lt. Comdr. J. H. Hean (USN)..

1943 January 8 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • First JATO takeoff. - . Nation: USA. Summary: First aircraft takeoff in United States with permanently installed JATO rocket powerplant, an A-20A at Muroc Army Air Base, Calif..

1943 May 1 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • JATO tests. - . Nation: USA. Summary: A PBY Catalina, fitted with two liquid-propellant JATO rockets developed at Annapolis, took off with 20 percent reduction in run. Liquid-propellant JATO was abandoned by Navy in 1944..

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