Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet"

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by juanjose15, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    Messerschmitt Me 163 „Komet“
    This web site is dedicated to the Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, the only operational rocket-powered aircraft of the second world war. The combination of spectacular performance and the dangers of the highly explosive rocket fuels make it a fascinating piece of aviation history. Many excellent books have been written about the Komet, and no attempt is made here to repeat their accounts of the design, test flying and combat history of this aircraft. Rather, this web site offers information that is not clearly presented in the references. You can read more on the background of this site. Besides navigating with the main menu below, you can also navigate this site using the what's new pages.
    ME 163 Komet

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk31Lmkz170[/U][/COLOR][/B]
    Me 163 profiles

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRLCTifM7o0[/U][/COLOR][/B]
    Me 163 weights

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDx9ebpEFO0[/U][/COLOR][/B]
    CAD models

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scVK448r6bw[/U][/COLOR][/B]
    Saludos.
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great info mate! Note the Museum example (with the Lincoln behind) has a section of lower fairing removed - I guess this is on purpose to show the details of the skid-lowering mechnism..?
     
  3. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    #3 juanjose15, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
    Messerschmitt Me 163 „Komet“
    Me 163 A

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnwQcr8tnAw
    The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet (Comet) was a single-seat interceptor fighter that operated briefly at the end of Worl War 2, from 1944 to 1945. It was the fastest and one of the most radical aircraft of that war. History would tend to confirm that if the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet had debuted a few years earlier, the Allied bombing campaign would have suffered even greater casualties in men and material than it actually did. And if the project for the Me 163 Komet had maybe gotten a little extra time put into it, I'm sure problems like an unstable fuel mixture would have been all but fixed, but time was a luxury the Germans did not have. The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was the most unique aircraft design of the Second World War. This rocket powered aircraft's design was based on testing completed with an engine-less glider design. The resulting research produced the one-man, swept back fighter that was equally dangerous to pilot and Allied bomber formations alike.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5a69PQ88KQ
    Development:
    In 1930 engineers across the world had begun to perfect the rocket fuel engine. Starting in 1936, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, or German Air Ministry, issued a series of contracts to the Hellmuth Walter Company to develop rockets for military uses. Walter's work attracted the attention of Dr. Alexander Lippisch, Deutsches Forschunginstitut fär Segelflug , or the German Gliding Research Institute, who thought that early Walter rockets could be adapted to a tailless glider design. Lippisch got his wish, and was appointed head of Projekt X (not to be confused with Project X, the Matthew Broderick movie). The radical new design quickly took shape. The Idea of highly volatile fuels inside a highly flammable wood fuselage was thought maybe as a bad idea, requiring an all metal fuselage.(*cough*). The first six Messerschmitt Me 163-A prototypes entered trials in 1941, with the initial powered tests demonstrating speeds upwards of 550 mph (885 km/h) from conventional takeoff and 625 mph (1000 km/h) when first towed aloft. Unlike all aircraft of its day, the Me 163's maximum speed was limited only by its maddeningly-high rates of fuel consumption. Design modifications made to help with fuel efficiency, as well as a new powerplant, led to the development of the Messerschmitt Me 163-B. The upgraded engine, the HWK 109-509A, used a less-volatile combination of fuels, but was fraught with developmental problems. The Me 163B, complete with its drop-away take-off dolly and retractable landing skid, didn't begin powered trials until mid-1943.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN4uhA9DPZI
    Continuous.
     
  4. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    #4 juanjose15, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
    Performance
    The production model of the Me163B didn't reach the Luftwaffe until 1944, but when it did it was still a little buggy. Only one Me 163 unit, the I Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 400, ever was brought to full strength due to shortages of war material (caused by Allied bombing campaigns) and skilled pilots. Of those planes that did get developed, were met with mixed results. Due to short range, many missions were aborted after they failed to find enemy planes. When combat did occur, it was usually too brief and lopsided; groups of a dozen Me163s strafing bomber formations of more than 1000 planes for three minute spates is not the best way to turn the tide of war. Komet pilots tallied a mere 9 kills for their efforts, losing 14 planes in return (about half of those during landing accidents).In all, 400 Messerschmitt Me 163 were built, but only 279 of those actually saw service. And a limited number of those built were of the Me 163S trainer variant.
    Specifications:
    Type:Single-seat fighter/interceptor
    Powerplant:1x Walter 109-509A-2 rocket motor generating 3,798lbs of thrust for 7.5 minutes of powered flight
    Ceiling:29,698 ft-Range:50 milesWeight(empty):4206 lb-Weight(loaded):9061 lb-Wingspan:30ft 6in-Length:19ft 4 in
    Height:9ft 2inArmament:2x 30mm cannons OR 2x 20mm cannons in wing roots. Experimental armament :2 x SG 500 Jagdfaust "Fighter Fist" vertically-firing tubes in wing roots (five tubes per assembly). Five 1.97 inch shells per tube. This system would replace the cannon configuration listed above if fitted.
    Service:1944-1945
    In a bid to alleviate the difficulties associated with the skid design, the Komet was additionally reworked. Messerschmitt had ordered the construction of a new model, the Me.163D, from Focke Achgelis GmbH at Delmenhorst at the same time as the Me.163C was in development. The picture here is of the Messerschmitt Me.163D V1, completed in the Summer of 1944. Although this picture is not particularly clear, you can see that the Me.163D is not an extension of the Me.163C, it is a completely different model. Based on an existing Me.163B V18 production Komet, the Me.163D had an extra section added ahead of the engine to lengthen the fuselage. The basic Komet wings were retained, moved rearwards.
    The most instantly obvious feature of the "D" model is the new tricycle undercarriage, a definite move towards improving the performance of the aircraft on the airfield. The longer fuselage to accommodate this also adds more space for increased fuel tankage. Built around December 1944/January 1945 this airframe was apparantly used for aerodynamic testing of the new fuselage, and taxying tests of the new undercarriage. It is extremely unlikely that aerodynamic tests were conducted with the Walter motor.
    However, Willi Messerschmitt was apparantly not keen on the Lippisch tailless designs, and this, together with all the other committments at the Messerschmitt facility, led the Me.163C developments being turned over to Junkers at Dessau. Once Junkers acquired the project, there was a complete revamp of the airframe and the project acquired the designation the Junkers Ju.248.
    The Messerschmitt Me.163C
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The Messerschmitt Me.163D
    [​IMG]
    The Messerschmitt Me.163S
    [​IMG]
    Messerscmitt Me. 263 V1 proyect.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Best regards.
     
  5. Negative Creep

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    Thanks a lot, some interesting information there. Don't suppose if you or anyone knows if any of J/G 400s losses were caused by Allied action or were they all accidents?
     
  6. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    #6 riacrato, Apr 24, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  7. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    The first actions involving the Me 163 occurred at the end of July, when two USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress were attacked without confirmed kills. Combat operations continued from May 1944 to spring 1945. During this time, there were nine confirmed kills with 14 Me 163s lost. Feldwebel Siegfried Schubert was the most successful pilot, with three bombers to his credit
    Saludos.
     
  8. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    Model of Me 263.
    [​IMG]
    Role = Fighter-Interceptor.
    Manufacturer = Messerschmitt/Junkers.
    Designed by = Alexander Lippisch.
    First flight = August 1944 (Unpowered)
    Primary user = Luftwaffe.
    Number built = 1
    Developed from = Messerschmitt Me 163.
    Messerschmitt Me 263 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Saludos.
     
  9. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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  10. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    It´s actually a bit more complicated with regards to Me-163 kills.

    At first, there are only claims. No strict verifications system existed back then.
    Second, only a fraction of all AAR exist and we still need to fill the gaps dating to operations in june jule 1944 as well as to the general timeframe mid oct.1944 to mid march 1945.
    For the remaining timeframes I filed down 20 claims of this particular A/C, which I´d like to share with those of You who wnat to cross check them with losses.

    number---date------pilot--------target-----notes
    #1------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG
    #2------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG
    #3------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG
    #4------16-08-44---H.Ryll--------B-17------returned to Enland, written off
    #5------16-08-44---S.Schubert----B-17-----------
    #6------24-08-44---H.Bott--------four engined bomber
    #7------24-08-44---S.Schubert----four engined bomber
    #8------24-08-44---S.Schubert----four engined bomber
    #9------24-08-44---Strasznicky---four engined bomber
    #10-----11-09-44---K.Schiebeler--B-17------oct.?
    #11-----11-09-44---I/JG-400------B-17------acc. to ethell, 7 Me-163 attacked
    #12-----11-09-44---I/JG-400------B-17------acc. to ethell, 7 Me-163 attacked
    #13-----12-09-44---K.Schiebeler--B-17------oct.?
    #14-----07-10-44---I/JG-400------B-17-----------
    #15-----07-10-44---I/JG-400------B-17-----------
    #16-----16-03-45---R.Glogner-----Mosquito NS 795 of No.544 sq, written off after crash landing near Lille, combat near Leipzig with rocket propelled enemy A/C
    #17-----10-04-45---R.Glogner-----Mosquito---e/a crew bailed out
    #18-----10-04-45---F.Kelb--------Halifax--downed with SG-500 rockets
    #19-----22-04-45---II/JG-400-----Lancaster
    #20-------05-45----P.Gerth-------Mosquito---II/JG400, n. Germany
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Nice piece of Luft46-esque imagery
    would've worked better if they'd 'shopped a pilot in :)
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Everything I have read suggests the Me-163 flew pretty good. Most of the problems concerned the rocket engine. I wonder if you could install a jet engine in the Me-163 airframe?
     
  13. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    There's not a lot of front to open up for air-breathing and the jet fuel load on something that small likely wouldn't provide much more endurance than the rocket-engined version
     
  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #14 bobbysocks, Apr 26, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
    it would be interesting to read russian and us test reports on the AC. while none flew under jet power after the war i saw a video recently ( and will try to find it) where the russians towed one into the air. the vid just shows take off.


    FOUND it...

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBnlJ0GzFvw
     
  15. juanjose15

    juanjose15 Member

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    Messerschmitt Me 163 „Komet“

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scVK448r6bw

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F6IH9dPB0E
    [​IMG]
    To solve this problem aiming at high speeds, the German engineers had prepared a deadly weapon, the Sondergerät 500 Jagdfaust, which consisted of several 50 mm cannons mounted on the wings, firing a single bullet straight up and were driven (by photocell) by the shadow of the bomber, at the time that the Me 163 went below this. Before the war ended there was only time to try once this weapon. The result was a bomber shot down (not clear if it was a B-17 or Halifax) in a single pass.
    [​IMG]
    Saludos.
     
  16. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The russians captured a number of Me-163, including a single Me-163S two seater trainer. None of them were tested while under their own powers for reasons of safety and the fact that the soviet´s weren´t in posession of enough T and C-fuels required for a complete test programm of the Me-163.
    It was tested in various glider configurations (including with ballast to sim full tanks) and found to give excellent stability, agility and responsiveness to their pilots testimony. It also gave the russians valuable informations in conducting high angle of attack approaches during landing procedures (whiches understanding became critical for their 2nd generation jets).
     
  17. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Yes, the Lippisch P.20 could be regarded as a Me 163 with a Jumo 004.

    here's my wikipedia page on it
    Lippisch P.20 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Kris
     
  18. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    #18 razor1uk, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
    Or the Junkers proposed EFI tailless jet fighter which lost to the Bv.211 and also to the selected Ta.183.

    Yes Clive, you had its designation upon the tip of your tongue, the EF.128, more than myelf who got it part right :) could that be Junkers development of the stabiliserless jet descendant from DV RLM shared/passed on Komet data perhaps?
     
  19. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Are you talking about the EF.128 ?





    Kris
     
  20. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Good find, Bobbysocks.
     
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