The Info List - Frederick Rentschler

Frederick Brant Rentschler (November 8, 1887 – April 25, 1956) was an American aircraft engine designer, aviation engineer, industrialist, and the founder of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Rentschler created and manufactured many revolutionary aircraft engines, including those used in the aircraft of Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
and James Doolittle.[1] He is also a co-founder of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, the predecessor of United Technologies Corporation.


1 Early life 2 Aviator and engineer 3 Corporate executive 4 Awards 5 Legacy 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Rentschler was born on November 8, 1887 in Hamilton, Ohio, to German-Americans
George A. Rentschler and Phoebe Schwab, whose family owned the Republic Motor Car Co. that built Republic cars from 1910 until 1916. They were also principals in Hooven-Owens-Rentschler, and his brother Gordon S. Rentschler would become Chairman of National City Bank. The family resided in the Rentschler House, which has since been named a historic site. He graduated from Princeton University
Princeton University
in 1909 and worked in his family's businesses as a molder and machinist. When the U.S. entered World War I
World War I
in 1917, he joined the United States
United States
Army. As a First Lieutenant
and later Captain, he was assigned to inspect Hispano-Suiza aircraft engines manufactured under French license at the Wright-Martin
plant in New Brunswick, New Jersey
New Brunswick, New Jersey
The armistice of November 11, 1918, ended the contract and caused the reorganization of Wright-Martin. Aviator and engineer[edit] Rentschler left the Army convinced that future aircraft would require lighter-weight engines with much greater power and higher reliability. His proposed design of an air-cooled engine flew in the face of conventional wisdom, which held that heavier liquid-cooled engines would power the future of aviation. Rentschler became president of the Wright Aeronautical Corporation
Wright Aeronautical Corporation
and pressed for research into his idea. Unable to convince his board of directors, largely composed of investment bankers with little aviation knowledge, he resigned in 1924, and supported by old friend and Wright chief engineer George J. Mead, he developed a proposal for a high-powered air-cooled aircraft engine for the U.S. Navy.[2] Admiral William A. Moffett
William A. Moffett
promised to approve the purchase of such an engine. Corporate executive[edit] Rentschler approached the Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool Company of Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
with his idea. On July 23, 1925, they agreed to fund its development, creating the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company in which Rentschler and Mead had a controlling position.[3] Pratt & Whitney Aircraft's first engine, completed on Christmas Eve 1925, was named the Wasp by Faye Belden Rentschler, whom Frederick had married July 25, 1921. The 425 horsepower (317 kW) Wasp easily passed its official qualification test in March 1926 and the Navy ordered 200 engines. The speed, climb performance, and reliability that the engine offered revolutionized American aviation.[4] Over the next twenty years, from the original Wasp design the Pratt & Whitney Wasp series developed, approaching ten times the power of the 1925 engine. In 1929, Rentschler ended his association with Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool Company, but was allowed to keep the name Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company. Rentschler, Vought
and William Boeing
William Boeing
of The Boeing Company formed the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation. United Aircraft completed the first coast-to-coast passenger network in March of that year.[2] In 1934, UATC was broken up, and its manufacturing interests east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
became United Aircraft Corporation, headquartered in Hartford with Rentschler as president. Rentschler turned to developing jet engines after World War II. Pratt & Whitney produced the J57 jet engine in 1953. The engine was used to power the first B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 Stratofortress
in 1954. Rentschler remained as president of United Aircraft until his death on April 25, 1956 in Boca Raton, Florida.[5][6] He is buried at Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford.[7] Awards[edit] In 1951, Rentschler was made an Officer of the Légion d'honneur “for his contribution to the progress of aeronautical science". In 1958, the United States
United States
Air Force posthumously presented him with the Civilian Service Award for Exceptional Service as a pioneer in the development, research and manufacture of aircraft engines. Legacy[edit] Pratt & Whitney's former company airfield, located in East Hartford, Connecticut, was named Rentschler Field in his honor. The airfield was decommissioned in 1995, and the land it was on was donated to the state of Connecticut in 1999.[8] A stadium, also called Rentschler Field, was built on the site and opened in 2003 as the home field for the University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut
football team.[9] References[edit]

^ " Frederick Rentschler
Frederick Rentschler
20th Century American Leaders Database Leadership". Hbs.edu. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ a b "brentschler". Voughtaircraft.com. 1956-04-25. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ "Pratt & Whitney". Enginehistory.org. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ "America by Air: A New Generation of Leaders". Nasm.si.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ "Frederick B. Rentschler, Chairman Of UAC, Dies". Hartford Courant. April 26, 1956. Retrieved 2011-05-26. Frederick B. Rentschler, chairman of the United Aircraft Corp., died Wednesday at 4:20 p.m. in his winter home at Boca Raton, Fla. He would have been 69 Nov. 8. ...  ^ "Frederick B. Rentschler". New York Times. April 27, 1956. Retrieved 2011-05-26. The untimely death of Frederick B. deprives the aircraft industry of one of its giants. Mr. Rentschler, who had helped to make the name of Pratt Whitney a ...  ^ "Frederick B. Rentschler (1887 - 1956)". - Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2010-08-02.  ^ "Rentschler Field Stadium Information". Rentschlerfield.com. Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 

External links[edit]

Time, May 28, 1951 "Photo Galleries / Celebrities / Frederick Rentschler
Frederick Rentschler
in front of his Vought
02U Corsair" "Chance Vought/LTV History", University of Texas, Dallas

v t e

Pratt & Whitney

Current subsidiaries

Pratt & Whitney Canada

Joint ventures

Engine Alliance International Aero Engines

Former subsidiaries

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Test facilities

Mirabel Aerospace Centre


George J. Mead Frederick Rentschler


Francis A. Pratt Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems SolarReserve Amos Whitney United Technologies
United Technologies

v t e

Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines

Radial engines

R-985 R-1340 R-1535 R-1690 R-1830 R-1860 R-2000 R-2060 R-2180-A R-2180-E R-2270 R-2800 R-4360

Double Wasp Hornet (A) Hornet B Twin Hornet Twin Wasp (R-1830) Twin Wasp (R-2000) Twin Wasp E Twin Wasp Junior Wasp series Wasp Wasp Junior Wasp Major Yellow Jacket

H piston engines

X-1800/XH-2600 XH-3130 (XH-3730)

Free-piston gas turbines




J42 J48 J52 J57 J58 J60 J75 J91


GP7000† JT3D JT4D JT8D JT9D JTF10 JTF10A JT10D JTF14 JTF16 JTF17 JTF22 PW1000G PW1120 PW2000 PW4000 PW5000 PW6000 STF200 SuperFan† V2500†

F100 F105 F117 F119 F135 F401 TF30 TF33 RM8



T34 XT45 T52 XT57 T73 T800-APW†



Rocket engines


Aeroderivative gas turbine engines



Pratt & Whitney Canada Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Key people

Leonard S. Hobbs George J. Mead Wright Parkins Perry Pratt Frederick Rentschler Richard "Dick" Soderberg Andrew Willgoos

† Joint development aeroengines

v t e

United Technologies


Pratt & Whitney UTC Aerospace Systems UTC Climate, Controls & Security


United Aircraft United Aircraft and Transport Corporation

Former subsidiaries

Clipper Windpower
Clipper Windpower
(2010-2012) Hamilton Standard
Hamilton Standard
(1929-1999) Hamilton Sundstrand
Hamilton Sundstrand
(1999-2012) Otis Elevating Railway
Otis Elevating Railway
(1892-1918) Otis Hovair
Otis Hovair
(1985-2014) Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (2005-2013) Schweizer Aircraft
Schweizer Aircraft
(2004-2012) Sikorsky Aircraft
Sikorsky Aircraft
(1929-2015) UTC Power
UTC Power
(1958-2012) Vought


Frederick Rentschler


Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems