Charles Joseph Fletcher

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Charles J. Fletcher
Charles Joseph Fletcher

December 21, 1922
DiedApril 20, 2011 (aged 88)
ResidenceFredon Township, New Jersey, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materNew York University, B.S. 1950
Known forHovercraft
One of Fletcher's inventions: the Glidemobile, arguably the world's first hovercraft, in the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey.

Charles Joseph Fletcher (December 21, 1922 – April 20, 2011) was an American inventor and the owner and chief executive of an aeronautical equipment manufacturing and engineering company, Technology General Corporation, in Franklin, New Jersey. While a naval aviator he came up with the idea of the "Glidemobile", a vehicle using air for support. This was not made public until used in defence in a patent claim from British manufacturers of hovercraft, Fletcher holds over seventy patents.[1]


He was born on December 21, 1922, to Horace Fletcher and Florence Romyns. He served as a Lieutenant Commander with the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Fletcher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from New York University in 1950.[2]

He was the president of Technology General Corporation, a small ($2 million annual revenue) manufacturer of drawn metal products, spray coating systems, power mixers, and commercial ice crushing equipment. Fletcher penned his autobiography, Quest for Survival, in 2002.

A contributor to the X-15 rocket, Fletcher also worked on the test version of the Lunar Landing Module, and holds seventeen aeronautical patents on vertical lift and rocket engines.[3][4] Fletcher was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey in 1992 and the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1993.

He died on April 20, 2011, at Saint Clare's Hospital at Boonton Township in Boonton, New Jersey, at 88.[2]


  • Fletcher, Charles Joseph (2002). Quest For Survival. My earliest recollection goes back to the age of four when my dad rented one of the New Jersey Zinc


  1. ^ Manchester, Lee. "The resurrection of Wellscroft"[permanent dead link], from Adirondack Life, September/October 2002. Accessed October 2, 2007. "The new owner was Charles Fletcher, of Franklin, N.J. The retired Navy aviator and inventor was (and continues to be) president of a corporation that manufactures aeronautical equipment."
  2. ^ a b "Charles Joseph Fletcher". Retrieved 2012-09-21. Charles J. Fletcher, 88, died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Saint Clare's Hospital, in Sussex. Mr. Fletcher, son of the late Horace and Florence (Romyns) Fletcher was born in Franklin on Dec. 21, 1922. He had resided in Sparta for 37 years before moving to Fredon 13 years ago. ...
  3. ^ Fletcher, Charles (2002). Quest for Survival. Glenridge Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-944435-50-5.
  4. ^ "Charles Joseph Fletcher". New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. While serving as a pilot in the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, Va., Charles J. Fletcher sketched the design for a vehicle envisioned to rise above the water or terrain (approximately 10 inches to two feet) depending on available horsepower. The vehicle would generate an airflow trapped against a uniform surface such as the ground or water, freeing it from the surface and eliminating friction. Positive control and movement would be attained using aircraft control techniques and the release of air.