LIQUID HYDROGEN AS A PROPULSION FUEL,1945-1959

 

Source Notes

[287-289] Chapter 2: Air Force Research on Hydrogen

 

 

1. F. Simon, "Liquid Hydrogen as a Fuel for Aircraft," Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford Univ., 16 Apr. 1942, 10 pp., including diagram. Sent to NACA, Washington, with cover letter, 5 May 1942. Reproduced by NACA and sent to members of its committee on power plants for aircraft, 30 June 1942 (NACA Hdqs. library card 5020/262). A copy of the report has not been located. The copy sent to Wright Field went first to Col. E. R. Paige, chief of the power plant laboratory and a member of the NACA power plants committee. Nancy Arms, A Prophet in Two Countries: The Life of F. E. Simon (New York: Pergamon, 1966), p. 105, briefly mentions the incident: "He suggested a scheme for using hydrogen as a fuel for long distance planes; it was turned down because of the practical Difficulties and because new developments soon made it possible to carry enough petrol for trans-Atlantic flights." Information on Simon's career also came from this biography.

 

2. Robert V. Kerley admits to being co-author of the verses, which were circulated to members of NACA's subcommittee on fuels and lubricants and apparently to the power plants committee-the latter by Sam Heron. Kerley to author, 29 Jan. 1974.

 

3. It is not clear who at Wright Field had the idea to investigate hydrogen as a fuel for aircraft and rockets, but Opie Chenoweth, Weldon Worth, Robert Kerley, John Duckworth, Ewell Phillips, and Marc Dunnam were all involved in the work. Kerley left Wright Field in Feb. 1945 on an overseas assignment but returned in May. During his absence, Duckworth took his place in the fuels and oil branch at Wright Field. Kerley left Wright in September to work for the Ethyl Corp. and Duckworth became the Air Force representative on the NACA fuels and lubricants subcommittee. Opie Chenoweth to author, 23 Jan. 1974; John Duckworth to author, 25 Jan. 1974; interview with Chenoweth and Weldon Worth, Dayton, OH, 7 June 1974; Robert V. Kerley to Monte D. Wright, NASA History Office, 14 May 1976.

 

4. Earle R. Caley, "History of the Department of Chemistry," Ohio State Univ., Columbus, n.d.; Herrick L. Johnston, "The Cryogenic Laboratory," Engineering Experiment News 18 (June 1946): 3-21, in which Johnston describes the origins of the laboratory, the equipment, and plans.

 

5. Gwynne A. Wright in group interview that included Howard A. Altman and Charles Weisend, CVI Corp., Columbus, 4 June 1974; interview with Prof. Thor A. Rubin, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 5 June 1974.

 

6. "Liquid Hydrogen Propellant for Aircraft and Rockets," AFP:431952, Project MX-588, Contract W33-038-ac-11101 (14552), 1 July 1945-30 Apr. 1948; "Liquid Hydrogen Rocket Motor Development," Contract W33-038-ac-19382 (19126), OSU Research Foundation Project 333. The second contract, on properties, initially carried the old contract title "Liquid Hydrogen Propellant for Aircraft and Rockets," but later became "Properties of Liquid Hydrogen," Contract W33-038-ac-14794 (16243), OSU Research Foundation Project 264.

 

7. Herrick L. Johnston and William L. Doyle, "Final Report-Development of the Liquid Hydrogen-Liquid Oxygen Propellant Combination for Rocket Motors," TR-7, Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, Dec. 1951.*

 

8. Interview with Wright, Altman, and Weisend, 4 June 1974; interview with Dr. William V. Johnston (H. L. Johnston's son), Gaithersburg, MD, 7 Apr. 1976.*

 

9. Herrick L. Johnston, "Rocket Motor Development-First Summary Report," Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, Apr. 1949; Johnston and C. A. Huntley, "Second Annual Summary Report-Liquid Hydrogen Thrust Chamber and Pump Development," SPR 333-2, Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, Apr. 1950; Johnston and William L. Doyle, "Final Report-Development of the Liquid Hydrogen-Liquid Oxygen Propellant Combination for Rocket Motors," TR-7, Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, Dec. 1951.*

 

10. Interview with Irwin J. Weisenberg, Los Angeles, 1 May 1974.

 

11. Interview with Dr. Willard P. Berggren, Univ. of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, 21 Mar. 1974.

 

12. Johnston and Doyle, "Final Report-Development of the Liquid Hydrogen-Liquid Oxygen Propellant Combination for Rocket Motors"; Irwin J. Weisenberg and W. P. Berggren, "Hydrogen in the Critical Region as a Rocket Engine Coolant," 1960 (unpublished).

 

13. Leroy F. Florant and Harold F. Snider, "Centrifugal Pumping of Liquid Hydrogen," TR 333-4, Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, May 1950.

 

14. Interview with William L. Doyle, Redondo Beach, CA, 26 Apr. 1974, with addendum by Doyle, 8 Nov. 1974; Doyle, "Experimental Evaluation of the Liquid Hydrogen Liquid Fluorine Propellant Combination at Various Chamber Pressures." TR 333-5, Columbus: OSU Research Foundation, Oct. 1951.

 


* Please note that in the original text, there were two footnotes numbered "8" and no footnote "9". I have assumed that the first footnote "8" was in fact footnote "7" and I have added footnote "9" where I thought it belonged. Chris Gamble, html editor

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