Franz von Hoefft

Born 1882 in Vienna

Died  1954 in Linz



Franz von Hoefft studied Chemistry at the University of Technology  Vienna, the university Göttingen and graduated at the Vienna University  in 1907 with a thesis on physical chemistry. He worked as an engineer for furnaces in Donawitz, as a tester at the Austrian Patent Office and as a consultant.

 During the twenties several rocket societies were founded, which contributed a lot in spreading the idea of rocketry. Dr. Hoefft founded in 1926 the first space related society in Western Europe, the "Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Höhen-forschung" (The Scientific Society for High Altitude Research) in Vienna.

Hoefft, an expert of rocket fuels, proposed a noteworthy program of rocket development. The first step was the development of a liquid-fuel sounding rocket called RH-I (RH meaning  Repulsion Hoefft). The rockets would be transported by balloons up to the height of 5 to 10 kilometers, where they would be launched. Such rockets could be used for rocket mail and for photographic remote sensing of the Earth. The capacity of the rockets would be advanced till the last step in the development, the space ship RH-VIII. One of the intermediate steps, the manned spacecraft RH-V, would fly around the Earth in ellipses. The special form of the RH-V should make it possible to take off and land on water by skids and fly within the atmosphere as an airplane and above the atmosphere as a rocket. RH-V could also be used as the upper stage of RH-VI to RH-VIII, which would be launched from a space station and could be used to reach other planets or even leave our solar system. But Hoefft never had the opportunity to promote his visionary program by practical contributions.