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.
Use of a battery of solid-propellant rockets on Junkers-33 seaplane, the first recorded jet-assisted take-off of an airplane, made in tests near Dessau, Germany.
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.
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.
Ercoupe 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.
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.
First airborne test firing of a retrocrocket at Goldstone Lake, Calif., from a PBY-5A piloted by Lt. Comdr. J. H. Hean (USN).
First aircraft takeoff in United States with permanently installed JATO rocket powerplant, an A-20A at Muroc Army Air Base, Calif.
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.