Friday, 11 January 2013

Off on a Komet*

This Me-163 'Komet' is another pre-painted Japanese 'Gashapon' model.  It didn't even require much assembly.  An interesting WW2 'Vonder Veapon', the Komet was designed around a rocket motor to get very high up very quickly in order to then pour a load of 30mm cannon shells into a nice tight formation of B-17s or B-24s. 
30+ years ago I read a book by a chap who'd been one of the development pilots.  I understand this wasn't a long-term career option. 
After what must have been a hair-raising takeoff the wheels were jettisoned (and later re-used).  A couple of minutes later the fuel in this militarised firework ran out and then it was back home (if you were lucky) for a precarious landing on the glider-style skid.. What could possibly go wrong?
This really is a tiny 'plane!
* with apologies to M. Jules Verne

18 comments:

SAROE said...

They used to launch these with a giant rubber band, right?

Stephen Beat said...

The British continued development of this format after the war developing several rocket based designs culminating on the amazing Saunders-Roe SR.53! The British boffins solved the Comet flaw (short burn rocket) by using a 'mixed propulsion' system of jet and rocket.

The Dancing Cake Tin said...

I prefer the rubber band theory meself.

Tim Gow said...

SAROE
I think your idea might have been a lot safer...

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Beat
I like to think that the ultimate successor to the '163 was the BAC Lightning! Of which more soon...

Tim Gow said...

Dancing Cake Tin
I can feel a 'cardboard simulator' lawn game coming on...

Arthur said...

Ah yes, lawn? game, sit on a lawn mower launched on downhill road; he who stays on longest is the winner.

Real purple hearts are order of the day.

Regards

Tim Gow said...

Arthur
OK - try it out and let us all know how it went. Can you do posthumous blog posts?

Wargame News and Terrain Blog, said...

Looks great! Never heard of this type of aircraft.

Cheers

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

IIRC the residual fuel had a nasty tendency to explode when sloshing about in the tank at the end of a run and also dissolving the pilot!

I rather like the Lightning analogy although it was safer to fly!

All the best,

DC

Scott B. Lesch said...

I shot a couple of photos of the one in the Smithsonian Air and Space museum at Dulles airport.

https://picasaweb.google.com/115187198118634211201/DullesAirAndSpace#5640760536399251298

https://picasaweb.google.com/115187198118634211201/DullesAirAndSpace#5640760534579386754

I hope these links work.

Tim Gow said...

Wargame News and Terrain
It is rather unusual!

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
You are just so full of good news!

Tim Gow said...

Scott B Lesch
Thanks for the links - that looks a great museum.

west1871 said...

I have a bigger on of them to build hope it turns out half a good as your Tim.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Was this the thing the Germans called the 'Flying Flea'?

Tim Gow said...

West1871
Which kit are you building? I have a very distant memory of the Airfix version.

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
If they didn't they should have!