A dozen things that will (in most cases) never be done again. For many of them, that is a very good thing. For others, it’s bittersweet.
1. JATO Bottle On An Ercoupe:Back in 1941, engineers wanted to know how much improvement to takeoff performance strapping a small rocket to the side of an Ercoupe could make. Answer: a lot. The test, conducted at March Field in Southern California, used a solid fuel rocket—yes, they still call it a JATO (jet-assisted takeoff) and not a RATO—that put out a modest 28 pounds of thrust for 12 seconds. Doesn’t sound like much, but that Ercoupe really went up fast!