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ME 163 Komet video

Discussion in 'Wonder Weapons' started by Poppy, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    piece of junk death trap. innovative but for what purpose I never did really get any positive reaction from pilot in the test kommando and JG 400 Rudi Opitz. His initial thoughts were whoa !!! this could be the fastest kite yet and unstoppable.............
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Point defense. Vertical takeoff. Cheaply produced....Aaand a death trap. Great idea but....Have you expounded somewhere here on the 163 Erich? I'd like to read up on it if so..
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    affirmative actually right after this forum opened up we had a discussion but several have come up. the small flea actually took of on a set of rolling wheels not in a vertical take-off setting, the wheels were dropped right after take off and the rocket booster engine fired up, the pilot then if possible would take on US heavy bombers trying to bring one down, running out of fuel it would literally float back to the A/F and prayerful for the pilot land on the single edged skid and the fuel being run out of the fuel cell pack. so un-successful this best was with only 12 kills to JG 400 overall.
     
  5. Bader's Briar

    Bader's Briar Member

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    Here's another one...

    Dear Poppy & Erich:

    Bader's Briar here, a new member of the forum...

    ...not too long ago I DID find this video about the Me 163Bs and how the Walter 509A powerplant was serviced at YT, and it's in the original Deutsche, as an Allied-captured film.

    SOME of this footage was quite likely used on the Discovery Military Channels' Wings of the Luftwaffe episode on the Komet...

    ...so now you can watch it from the original source - enjoy!

    Yours Sincerely,

    Bader's Briar..;)..!!
     
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  6. DaveBj

    DaveBj Member

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    One point mentioned in the WotL episode was that the landings were so hard that some pilots suffered broken backs. Sort of like jumping off the Empire State Building -- the ride down is pleasant enough, but the landing is a bit rough.

    D
     
  7. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    Yeah then if you were unlucky the unburnt fuel would spontaneously combust you. The average Kamikaze was as likely to survive as a 163 pilot.
     
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  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Not only that, the pilots also apparently had a special diet to reduce bowel discomfort caused by the rapid ascent.
     
  9. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Sorry I missed some posts...I see- most honoured- Erich replied 2 years ago. In retrospect, sad I missed that chance... Thank y'all kindly, very interesting now that have read....Yes, the Allied pilots also suffered greatly from their diet when racing to altitude...The dudes over Guadalcanal were often short of oxygen tanks...
    Thanks to Ptimms, and the Slime for rehashing the past.
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....I was searching for something interesting on the forum and found this.....the ''wonder weapons''/etc are always interesting to me
    ....the Komet was another desperate venture .....the very volatile fuel/not much combat fuel time/glide landing/etc..also as the video states, hard for the Komet to zero its weapons on the prey .... seems like another project that wasted time/energy/$$$ for Germany
    upload_2020-1-19_8-54-55.jpeg
     
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  11. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    The interview with Hannah Reitsch was first seen in the excellent 1970's BBC series "The Secret War", at 1.40 she describes in a most memorable way " being intoxicated by speed". In 2-3 minutes she had reached 30,000 feet - airliner altitude, "Easy Jet" or "Ryan Air" won't take up as quick.
    As "bronk-7" points out targeting at high speed brought its own problems and this was obviously not an aircraft for a novice pilot.
    The search for " wonder weapons" that technology might provide a revival of Germany's fortunes led to some remarkable research but few actual practical applications which were successful, those which provided some promise were subject to being rushed into service and were to some extent compromised by this along with the sometimes lack of refinement ( and shortage s of materials and skilled workmanship) which wartime production brought about.
    In addition to the corrosive and explosive fuels, the 163 pilots were prone to back injuries "Komet back" - severe spinal injuries as a result of the impact forces experienced on landing. ( For all its advanced features the high landing speed on a skid and the immobile aircraft at the end of its landing run is all a bit primitive / half-finished).
    Eric Brown notes :
    "I had exercised great care to ensure that I did not stall the aircraft on to the ground. Many a Luftwaffe pilot had been lifted from the aircraft with a broken back as a return for attempting a stall-in style of landing or for landing with the undercarriage lever down and not in neutral.(in the down position the skid oles were under pressure and therefore rigid), or worst of all, landing with the skid retracted.".

    Regarding targetting Eric Brown noted :"But the closing speed of the Komet with its bomber prey was very high, while the minimum distance at which it stood any chance of hitting a target of the size of a B-17 Fortress was about 650 yds ( 595 met). Since the Komet pilot had to break off the attack at a distance 200yds (183m) from the bomber in order to avoid a collision, he was left with something less than three seconds in which to operate his slow firing cannons."
    "To sum up, the Komet was of dubious operational effectiveness, and was probably more lethal to its pilots than to its enemies, and, on balance it's operational record hardly justified the research effort which carried it to operational status." ("Wings of the Luftwaffe" (Airlife 1987.).

    The images are from Me-163 Vol1 and Me-163 Vol.2 (Ransom and Cammann published by Classic. 2002 and 2003)
    The explosive nature of the fuels can be seen by the destroyed 163 and still from the training film, copious amounts of water were played on spillages and kept on hand during fuelling to avoid disaster.
    The supporting equipment had to be designed and produced as well, again not just the aircraft itself, the trolly and unit for recovering the aircraft is shown.
    Bases which operated the 163.
    Line drawing of the fighter.
    The Japanese development of the 163.
    The 163 flown unpowered by Eric Brown
    The alternative mode of transport, commonly used in late 44/45.
    The two books from which these illustrations have been taken. Volume 1 is extremely hard to come by, Vol.2 less so, both are very comprehensive on the subject.
    Capt. Eric Brown's book has been published several times and a lot of folks will know it well, it has become something of a classic - he was, without doubt, one of the most remarkable pilots of his generation.
    He knew Hanna Reitsch both pre-war and was asked to question her post-war regarding aviation research, he found her to be a confirmed loyal supporter of the NSDAP and a lady who had used her position well to advance her career. HR was certainly a very gifted pilot and a very courageous and remarkable aviator.
    Eric Brown recieved a letter from Hanns Reitsch shortly before her death , he was troubled by her letter and felt that she may have taken her won life. IMG_9286.JPG IMG_9284.JPG IMG_9282.JPG IMG_9281.JPG IMG_9283.JPG IMG_9285.JPG IMG_9287.JPG IMG_9288.JPG IMG_9291.JPG IMG_9290.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    IIRC, Brown flew the 163 as a glider and had good things to say about its handling qualities. However, Brown didn't live as long as he did by being stupid and refused a powered flight! ;)

    I've also read that since the Mk 108 cannon fired so slowly that other armament schemes were considered. Right at the end of the war they came up with the idea of using recoiless 55mm(?) rifles. They were 8 of them, four in each wing root. The 163 was to fly under the bomber and the weapons would be triggered by a photo-electric cell when it sensed the bombers shadow. They tested it and it worked. There also may have been a bomber actually shot down by this system in the last few days of the war.
     
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