NASA / JPL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
JATO test crew assembled for America's first flight of a plane fitted with a JATO (jet assisted take-off) booster. From left to right are: FS Miller, John Whiteside 'Jack' Parsons, ES Foreman, Frank J Malina, Homer A Boushey Jr (pilot), Private Kobe and R Hamilton. The flight took place on 8 December 1941 at March Field, California. JATO is also known as RATO (rocket assisted take-off). On this occasion, an Ercoupe aeroplane was fitted with a solid propellant thrust booster. JATO units were often used between 1940 and 1960 to help launch heavily-laden aircraft, especially from short runways.
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