Messerschmitt Me 163B - (scan - 1984)

The Me 163 was a rocket-powered interceptor that could exceed 600 mph in level flight. Its engine was a Walter 109-509A rocket motor using T-Stoff (80% hydrogen peroxide plus oxyquinoline or phospate as stabilizer) in tanks on either side of cockpit and behind seat, and C-Stoff catalyst (30% hydrazine hydrate, 57% methyl alcohol, and 13% water) in 2 tanks in each wing--max thrust 3750 lbs. Early Walter engines promising but had relatively low thrust and did not seem practical for conventional aircraft. However, previous work by Dr. Alexander Lippisch on a low-drag, flying wing-type aircraft suggested a workable combination based on a Lippisch-designed DFS194 glider and HWK R.I. engine of 660 lb thrust. Project assigned Messerschmitt as the Me 163V1/Me 163A. Engine's thrust later increased to 3750 lb, and relatively small aircraft with wingspan of 30.6 ft and length of 18.7 ft designed. With all fuel and equipment in tiny fuselage, was no room for landing gear, so aircraft had to take off on jettisonable trolley and land dead-stick on a skid. Skid attached directly to fuselage without benefit of shock-absorbing device.

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