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21

JATO (more correctly: RATO) typically uses simple solid-fuel rockets for their ease of maintenance, simple construction, long-term storability, robustness, and reliability. However, a simple solid-fuel rocket has to burn out once ignited, there is no way to shut it down. Techniques for extinguishing and even throttling solid-fuel rockets do exist, but they ...


17

The DH Comet was equipped with RATO. The Fairchild SA226 had a RATO bottle in the tail to improve single engine performance. As I recall, removing the spades on the main landing gear eliminated enough drag to render the RATO unnecessary. Boeing built twelve "727-200/JATO" variants for use by Mexicana Airlines. The rocket installation was intended for ...


9

The same reason you give for water injection would apply to RATO. The airframes are not structurally reinforced, nor are there any mounting points or wiring and switches needed for igniting them. It would be a major endeavor to test and certify such a system for the rare occasions when someone might want to have that option.


9

The JATO/RATO retrofits were used only by Overseas National (later National Airways) when operating out of hot/high airfields for military contracts. They were never used as passenger flights, but you could say that these were "revenue" flights as they were done for monetary compensation. I can't find any history on ALM980, only that it was registered as ...


7

The difficulty of engineering a RATO is only half the reason, the rest is that reducing weight is really effective. Typically the empty weight of an airliner is about half the max take off weight. That means that it can accelerate twice as fast, only requiring half the distance to reach the same speed. Also, a lighter plane can take off at lower speeds (...


5

RATO capability must be designed into the airframe to a certain extent, you need either built-in structural reinforcement and thermal protection or the ability to retro-fit it later. Built-in capability adds weight that airplanes would be lugging around, retro-fit capability costs money to design in, test, certify, maintain and train pilots to use it. All ...


3

A RATO unit's purpose is to give a high impulse very quickly, it does this by combining a fuel with an oxidizer causing rapid combustion in a chamber, and forward thrust from the equal and opposite reaction. Kerosene is a fuel, but without an oxidizer you don't have a rocket, you have some lamp oil burning. If you wait until the airplane is moving then it's ...


3

Once the rockets are ignited, it is basically too late to abort the takeoff, so the decision would have to be made before doing that. This is one reason why RATO is not used today as much as it used to be, the increased power of modern turboprop engines reduces the need for it in any case.


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