John Christian was working as an Air Force Materials Research, Engineer, when he developed and patented a variety of new lubricants that saved pilots’ lives, as they were less likely to combust. In Vietnam, when the helicopters’ oil lines were punctured by ground fire, the “soap” lubricants enabled them to return to their base safely. Used in high flying aircraft and NASA space missions, the lubricants worked well under a wider temperature range than previous products, from minus 50 to 600 degrees. As well as helicopter fuel lines, they were also used in the astronaut’s back-pack life support systems, and in the four-wheel drive of the “moon-buggy”.
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