AKL-201604 AviaCollection / AviaKollektsia series 04/2016: Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet German WW2 Rocket Fighter-Interceptor Aircraft. Photos, schemes, colour pictures. 32 pages, soft cover, text in Russian.

THE CREATION OF AN AIRCRAFT
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, some developed countries were working on the development of rocket engines for aviation. The undisputed leaders in this area were the Soviet Union and Germany. If in the USSR these works did not go beyond individual experimental samples, then Germany managed not only to build a rocket interceptor, but also to use it in combat.
The Me 163 is a unique aircraft that has left a bright mark in the history of aviation. It was the only tailless aircraft equipped with a liquid-propellant rocket engine that was adopted and participated in combat. It had a narrow specialization: a day interceptor for fighting bombers, capable of developing a record speed for that time and had a very high rate of climb.
The chief designer of this aircraft was Professor Alexander Lippish. Two other people had a hand in the birth of this machine: the head of the research Department of the Reich Ministry of Aviation (RLM), A. Boymker - a staunch supporter of the introduction of rocket engines in aviation and his Deputy, Dr. Lorenz, who had the happy idea to put the engine on a tailless aircraft to remove all aircraft units from the red-hot torch as far as possible. Since the recognized authority on tailless birds in Germany was Professor Lippisch, he was attracted to the creation of a rocket plane. Earlier, since 1930, under the leadership of Lippish, several tailless light aircraft of the Delta series were built.
Further events showed that the choice was made correctly. Later it turned out that Lippish himself had once made estimates on the possibility of using jet propulsion. This was the beginning of "project X" - the development and construction of a rocket interceptor.
Initially, it was a pure experiment: the installation of a rocket engine R I-203 designed by G. Walther on a modified two-seat DFS 39 "Delta IVd" aircraft. This device, built in 1935, was a tailless monoplane with a swept wing, a very short fuselage, an English piston engine "Pobjoy" with a capacity of 85 HP and a non-retractable landing gear. Its design, in principle, allowed replacing the front-mounted piston engine with a pulling screw, mounted in the front of the fuselage, on the rear-mounted rocket engine with a design thrust of 400 kg without significant alterations to the airframe.
It was assumed that such a hybrid could reach speeds of about 450 - 500 km/h.
The RI-203 engine was of the so-called "cold" type, since the temperature in the combustion chamber remained relatively low. It used hydrogen peroxide and an aqueous solution of potassium permanganate (the well-known permanganate). "Composition T", which included 80% hydrogen peroxide, water and an inhibitor, decomposed under the influence of a permanganate catalyst ("composition Z") with the release of heat. The resulting vapor gas was ejected through the nozzle, creating thrust.
The true purpose of the work was to create an "object interceptor". Such a plane was supposed to be on duty on the ground. When the enemy appeared, it rapidly gained altitude, attacked the target at high speed, and landed like a glider, with the engine not working.

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AKL-201604 AviaKollektsia 4 2016: Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet German WW2 Rocket Fighter-Interceptor Aircraft

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