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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Aviation: Biographies