Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

The Me 163 Komel was the only German rocket-powered aircraft used in World War II. It evolved from Dr Alexander Lippisch’s experiments with tailless gliders.
In summer 1941 a Walter rocket motor, powered by liquid propellanls, was installed on one of Lippisch’s protoypes and flight-tested at Peenemunde on the Baltic
The aireraft’s remarkable performance led to the development of the larger Me 163B, with a more powerful motor using a volatile combination of hydrogen peroxide and phosphate (“T-Stoff”),and of calcium permanganate, hydrazine hydrate, and methanol (“C-Stoff)*
The Komet was first delivered to Luftwaffe
units in May 1944. to be used as a point-defence interceptor against Allied daylight bombers. The aircraft did not have a conventional undercarriage. It took off on a two-wheel trolley that was jettisoned as it left the ground, and then landed on a sprung central skid.
The Komet’s speed and rate of climb were phenomenal, but it was only capable of making brief sorties. Pilots found that they closed with their target so quickly I hat they had little chance of using their heavy twin cannon effectively. Worst of all, the fuel had a regrettable tendency to explode, especially on landing, and could dissolve anything organic, forcing the pilots to wear protective suits. Although some 400 Komets were built, only a few saw combat.

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