JATO is short for 'Jet Assisted Take Off'. These are engines commonly attached to heavily laden cargo planes, to enable them to take off from short runways. The first JATO assisted flight was made in 1929, when 33 solid propellant rockets were straped to a Junkers-33 sea plane.
There is also an urban legend about a man who strapped a JATO to his car, with humorous results...

See Legend of the Rocket Car

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