DAVID J. GAUTHIER MEMORIAL COLLECTION
No. 7489. Johnson Rocket 185 (N90201 c/n 8)
Photographed at Thun Field, Puyallup, Washington, USA, by David J. Gauthier

Johnson Rocket 185

06/30/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "In 1941 Rufus Summerfield 'Pop' Johnson conceived the Rocket 125, a two/three-seat low-wing cabin monoplane of molded plastic plywood construction. Powered by an 125 hp Lycoming O-320 engine and registered NX41674 (c/n 101), the tail-dragger was first flown in 1942. After 72 years it is still on the register and is kept in pristine condition at the Swift Museum, Athens, Tennessee.

Johnson developed the aircraft into the Rocket 185 high performance side-by-side two-seater, which had a fabric-covered tube fuselage and wooden wings. It was fitted with a retractable tricycle undercarriage and an 185 hp Lycoming O-435A engine. The prototype Rocket 185, registered NX41662 (c/n 1), made its first flight in August 1945, it was certificated on September 10, 1946, and the first deliveries were made later that year.

Nineteen examples were built (c/n 1 to 19) but sales were poor and the company was taken over and renamed Rocket Aircraft Inc. No further Rockets 185swere built and the type certificate (A-776) passed into the hands of J.C. Pirtle.

The pictured aircraft was lost on September 3, 1972, when it stalled while in congested traffic pattern of Antique Air Field, Blakesburg, Iowa. The two occupants were killed, the aircraft was destroyed.

Created February 28, 2008