The Mistel ('Mistletoe'), also known as Beethoven-Gerät (Beethoven Device) and Vati und Sohn (Daddy and Son), was a Luftwaffe composite aircraft type of bomber, that appeared late in World War II. The scheme originally involved replacing the entire nose-located crew compartment of a bomber airframe (usually a Junkers Ju 88 variant) with a specially-designed nose filled with a large load of explosive, and guiding it to its target by a fighter aircraft mounted above it on a set of struts. After releasing the bomber, the fighter would return to base. The first such composite aircraft flew in July 1943 and was promising enough to begin a programme by Luftwaffe test unit KG 200, code-named 'Beethoven'. The definitive Mistel warhead was a very large shaped charge, of nearly two short tons in weight, and fitted with a copper or aluminium liner, similar to the warhead of the much smaller Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon. The warhead was expected to have a penetration of up to 7 meters of reinforced concrete. Some 250 Mistels of various combinations were built during the war, but met with limited success. They were first flown in combat against the Allied invasion fleet during Battle of Normandy, targeting the British-held harbour at Courseulles-sur-Mer. Info: Wikipedia Profiles: Wings Palette

Roelf, Jul 7, 2011
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