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  • James H. Wyld (1912-1953): American Rocket Pioneer

    Paper number



    Mr. Frank H. Winter, National Air and Space Museum, United States



    James Hart Wyld, born in New York City and apparently of Scottish ancestry, was one of the U.S.’s most notable rocket pioneers.   However, little has appeared on his biography although a crater on the Moon is named after him.    Wyld is honored for conceiving, building, and testing the U.S.’s first successful regeneratively-cooled rocket motor from 1938 to 1941 and was one of the four founders of Reaction Motors, Inc. (RMI), in 1941, the U.S.’s first liquid-fuel rocket company.
         RMI used the Wyld regenerative principle to develop among the U.S.’s first liquid-propellant JATO (Jet-Assisted-Take-Off) rockets for aircraft, missile motors, and the 6000C-4 motor that powered the Bell X-1 aircraft that broke the sound barrier in 1947.    
         This paper primarily uses primary sources, including Wyld’s original correspondence, a diary, notebooks, and newly discovered photos of Wyld, including self-portraits, to convey a long-overdue account of Wyld’s life and his contributions to rocket technology. 	 
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.E4.2.2.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.