Invention: Father of supersonic flight, architect of the Space Age
Tódor von Kármán, a leading theoretician in aerodynamics, was born in Budapest and died in Aachen, Germany. After graduating in mechanical engineering at the Technical University in Budapest, he went to study in Göttingen on a scholarship. He received there his Ph.D. degree and became a professor till 1912.
During World War I. he was chief of research in the aviation corps of the Austro-Hungarian army. There, with his colleagues he developed the world's first military vehicle with rotating blades, the PKZ-type helicopter. After the war he was one of the founders of the German Luftwaffe and adviser to the Junkers airplane company.
In 1929, he was invited to the United States, and in 1930, became director of the Guggenheim Aeronautics Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. After World War II. he was one of the founders of the JET Propulsion Laboratory for space research. He was a scientific advisor worldwide in the fields of aerodynamics, aeroplane design, aeronautics, astronautic and space flight. Kármán had a leading role in the development of the B-36, B-47 and B-52 aircrafts, the Atlas, Titan and Minuteman rockets.
As recognition for his work craters on the Moon and Mars were named after him.
Source: Magyar Folklórközpont