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Robert Lusser Collection

Identifier: MC-102
Documents pertaining to the lives of Robert Lusser and his family.


  • 1953 - 2018

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box.)

Biographical / Historical

Robert Lusser (April 19, 1899 to January 19, 1969) designed aircraft for Germany before and during World War II; his work in Germany included the Heinkel He 280 jet fighter (with the Heinkel Flugzeugwerke Company), the Heinkel He 219 night fighter (also with Heinkel), and the V-1 flying bomb (tested at Peenemünde).

Even though Lusser and von Braun were rivals, Lusser worked under the latter.

Lusser was brought over to United States in 1948 through Operation Paperclip; Lusser worked for the Navy and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, helping develop the Loon missile.

In 1953, Lusser rejoined von Braun’s rocket team in Huntsville, Alabama, where he developed a systems engineering prediction of reliability that came to be known as Lusser’s Law. Lusser stayed for six years, then returned to Germany, going on to work on skiing technology. Lusser “developed a safety ski binding based on mathematical principles,” “one of only two safety bindings” that passed the German consumer safety commission’s tests as “satisfactorily safe.”


Christopher, John. "The Race for Hitler's X-Planes: Britain's 1945 Mission to Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology." History Press, 2013.

Kingsbury, Heide A. "The Story of Robert Lusser." 2018.

Lundquist, Charles. "Transplanted Rocket Pioneers." 2015.

Masia, Seth. "Release! History of Safety Bindings." International Skiing History Association,

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Heide Kingsbury, Charles Lundquist, 2017.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Megan Sullivan
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America