Aeroplane Database: Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

 

Me 163B-1a ‘Yellow 11’, Werknummer 191454, latterly served with II./JG 400 at Husum. It was captured by the British and shown in the famous Hyde Park exhibition of enemy aircraft before being shipped to Canada, where it was scrapped circa 1957.
CHRIS SANDHAM-BAILEY
The Walter rocket motor emits its characteristic smoke trail as the Me 163A V4 prototype, which broke the world air speed record in October 1941, starts its take-off roll.
KEY COLLECTION

DEVELOPMENT

The fastest fighter of its day had its roots very much in the gliding world

A Me 163A prototype getting airborne, probably from Peenemünde. Five such prototypes were built, all at Messerschmitt’s Augsburg plant.
VIA CHRIS GOSS

The origins of the Me 163 short-range rocket interceptor, known as the Komet, go back to 1937 with the design of a delta-wing sailplane by Professor Alexander Lippisch. Lippisch (2 November 1894-11 February 1976) was a revolutionary aeronautical engineer who became interested in tail-less aircraft design and delta wings, a concept which came to be adopted by certain post-war fighter aircraft and even modern-day hang-gliders.

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