James R. French, Jr.
Wall of Honor Level:Air and Space Friend
Honored By:Mr. Ross French
James R. "Jim" French, Jr. has an extensive and historical professional background with NASA, USAF, and industry, especially in the aerospace field and is a leading consultant in launch vehicle and spacecraft system engineering and management.
After receiving a BSME from MIT in 1958, worked at the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International on the development and testing of the H-1, F-1 and J-2 engines for the Apollo/Saturn launch vehicles, and at TRW on the Apollo Lunar Module descent engine. While with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1967 to 1986, he participated in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and SP-100 programs and many advanced-mission studies.
During 1986 and 1987 he was VP-Engineering of the American Rocket Company. He was the chief engineer for the revolutionary launch vehicles DC-X and DC-XA, known for its quick turnaround rate.
Since 1987 he has been in private practice as a consultant in space systems engineering. An AIAA Associate Fellow, he has been a member of several AIAA Technical Committees, chaired the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee, and has received the Shuttle Flag Award.
He is co-author of Space Vehicle Design, a book that provides the space systems engineer the tools to evaluate the overall impact of candidate design concepts on the various component subsystems and the integrated system leading to the final design selection.
He was a member of the California Wing of Civil Air Patrol and was an accomplished private pilot, owning and flying a variety of aircraft, including a Citabria, Cessna 205, and Smith Miniplane.