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Picture of Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet Fighter

The Me 163 Komet was brought into service out of desperation to neutralise the waves of allied bombers like the Flying Fortress and the Avro Lancaster which were laying waste to Germany by both night and day, the Me 163 Komet had to be cheap and fast to build, eing a very fast interceptor, and have simple controls and instrumentation for use by pilots without the experience fighter pilots had traditionally had.

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet Fighter Plane

 

The use of a relatively cheap to produce rocket engine seemed a good solution but the explosive nature of the C-Stoff (30% hydrazine hydrate + 70% methanol) and T-Stoff (80% Hydrogen peroxide with 20% oxyquinoline or phosphate as a stabilizer) rocket fuel made take of dangerous and landing with even a small amount of fuel in the tanks closer to potential suicide than any experienced pilot would be happy with as accidental uncontrolled contact between the fuel and catalyst would result in an explosion. The airframe of the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was essentially a wooden winged glider designed by Dr Alexander Lippisch, cheap and quick to build whist being a stable gun platform with excellent flight characteristics, the HWK 109-509A-2 liquid fuelled rocket engine was designed by Professor Walter.

The Me 163 Komet was the fastest plane in the sky when it became operational in 1944, it could reach an altitude of 40,000 ft within three minutes and once at a suitable interception altitude could achieve 596 mph in level flight, this initially seemed extremely promising, but with only 7.5 minutes flight duration only a single attack run was often possible, and in ideal circumstances a maximum of four attack runs, all at a high speed of 596 mph where the shooting accuracy needed was more than could be reasonably expected from a novice pilot and experience was hard to get with such a high mortality rate on landings and takeoffs, aircraft operational availability was also limited due to major fuel shortages (T-Stoff was used to fuel the V1's ramp launchers as pictured below and was in high demand).

Armament:

  • Twin 30 mm Rheinmetall Borsig MK 108 cannon or twin 20 mm MG 151 cannon

Messerschmitt Me 163 B-1 Komet Specifications:

 
  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 5.70 m (18 ft 8 in)        Wingspan: 9.33 m (30 ft 7 in)          Height: 2.75 m (9 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 18.5 m (200 ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,905 kg (4,200 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,950 kg (8,710 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,310 kg (9,500 lb)
  • Engine: Single 3,750 lbf (17 kN) Hellmuth Walter HWK 109-509A-2 liquid-fuelled rocket engine
  • Maximum speed: 596 mph (Mach 0.83, 960 km/h)
  • Powered Flight Duration: 7.5 minutes
  • Range: 40 km (25 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 12,100 m (39,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3,666 m/min (11,730 ft/min)
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    V1 Flying Bomb on it's
    Launching Ramp


     
    V1 flying bomb on launching ramp buzz bomb dodlebug
     

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