Kindelberger, Dutch

Kindelberger, Dutch (James Howard Kindelberger), 1895–1962, b. Wheeling, W.Va., American aerospace pioneer. In 1917 he joined the army and went into the signal corps, serving as a pilot instructor. After the war, he joined the Glenn L. Martin Co., becoming chief draftsman and assistant chief engineer (1920) under Donald Douglas . In 1926 he joined Douglas Aircraft (1926), becoming vice president of engineering and leading the development of the DC series; the DC-3 made commercial air travel profitable. Kindelberger became president of American Aviation (later North American Aviation) in 1934, which he built into a leading aircraft manufacturer, producing warplanes during World War II, including the B-25 bomber and the P-51 Mustang; from 1948 he was company chairman (until his death) and chief executive officer (until 1960). The firm's F-86 Sabre Jet, the first swept-wing U.S. fighter jet, played an important role in the Korean War, and the company expanded into rocket research in the 1950s, building the hypersonic X-15 rocket plane (1958) and becoming the country's prime space-program contractor.

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