Ernst Loebell was an early researcher of rocketry and founder of the Cleveland Rocket Society.
Born in 1902, Loebell was German by birth. He graduated from the University of Breslau and the University of Oldenburg, with a specialization in engineering. Upon graduating, Loebell found employment with the Otis Elevator Company in Berlin, Germany and then in New York, New York. In 1930, he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked for the White Motor Company and then Lear, Inc.
In January 1933, Loebell and E.L. Hanna founded the Cleveland Rocket Society. The group eventually constructed six rocket engines. In 1937, the French government invited the Cleveland Rocket Society to send a rocket to the International Exposition in Paris. Loebell and his group sent a rocket, which they constructed of aluminum. The rocket was thirty-five feet in height. It was never launched. Due to a lack of funds and interest, the Cleveland Rocket Society ceased to exist in 1938.
Seeking employment, Loebell left Cleveland in 1938. He remained fascinated with rocketry for the remainder of his life. He died in 1979.
Loebell illustrates the important role that Ohioans have played in aviation. With such important names as the Wright Brothers, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and numerous others, Ohioans have been at the forefront of aviation history.
- Crouch, Tom D. The Giant Leap: A Chronology of Ohio Aerospace Events and Personalities, 1815-1969. Columbus: The Ohio Historical Society, 1971.