Engineer & Entrepreneur
Born: November 8, 1887 in Ohio
Death: April 25, 1956
Helped form the Wright Aeronautical Corporation in 1909 and as president led the development of the “Whirlwind,” America’s first high-powered air-cooled radial aircraft engine used in record-setting flights in the 1920s and 30s.
Built the Wright Mystery Ship for the 1922 Pulitzer Trophy Race.
In 1925, Rentschler helped establish the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company to develop the higher horsepower “Wasp” radial engine for military, commercial and private aircraft. By 1926, the Navy had ordered 200 Wasps for its high performance Boeing fighters and Vought Corsair observation planes.
Aided in the formation of United Air Lines in 1931.
Became chairman and CEO of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation in 1934 and during World War II its division produced Pratt & Whitney engines, Hamilton propellers, Sikorsky helicopters, and Chance Vought Corsair fighters.
Created J-57 jet engine, which produced twice the thrust of any other jet engine. It soon powered the Air Force’s Stratofortress, the backbone of the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War.
Awarded the French Legion of Honor, the Air Force’s Civilian Service Award and the Daniel Guggenheim Medal.
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