Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
Tekst w j. angielskim
Rozwój konstrukcji oraz historia działań bojowych. Dokładny opis techniczny, plany w skali 1/48 i 1/72. Kolorowe zdjęcia zachowanych egzemplarzy przedstawiające wszystkie detale samolotu.
Latest volume in MMP’s highly regarded Orange Series is a study of the world’s first rocket-powered fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. Developed from the tail-less aircraft studies by Alexander Lippisch in the 1930s, the Me 163 was intended purely as a research aircraft, but its spectacular high speed attracted military attention and the design was reworked as an interceptor fighter, the Me 163B. Put into limited production and service, the Komet proved as dangerous to its pilots as to the bombers it was attacking, and it had little effective impact on the air war. Post-war the design was studied in detail by all the victorious Allies, and had a significant influence on high-speed aircraft designs on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
In part because of this several airframes survive, and the book includes details of all of these, plus close-up photos of many of them, covering all aspects of the airframe and systems. The story of the design, development and operations of the Me 163 is told, illustrated by many photos, scale plans, and colour profiles showing the colours and markings of test and operational aircraft.
1/72 and 1/48 scale plans.
An invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, modellers and enthusiasts.
By Stephen Tontoni
The major chapter breakdown is as follows:
Technical Description of the Me163B-0
Technical Specifications of Me163 Versions
Me163 in Service
Post-war Komet Tests
Each of these major chapters is broken down into logical subchapters, making it pretty short work to find something that you may be looking for. All the subchapters are listed in the table of contents (which I'm too lazy to list here, and which isn't that interesting in a review anyway)
Interspersed throughout the book, there are numerous black and white photographs of Me163's, in operation, in testing, everything. Some seem very unusual to me, but I'm not an Me163 guru by any means. When you get to the "survivors" chapter, there are many color detail photographs both of restored and unrestored aircraft. I appreciate the unrestored aircraft because I don't always trust museum staff, although they mean well, to restore things accurately. There are some odd ducks in museums around the world...just FYI... But back to the matter at hand.
Following the detail photographs, there are some terrific color (or as they say colour) plates. They'd provided 35 in all, and what a mix! First, they aren't all profile; there are several that are viewed from the top, which is different. And if the 35 plates, there are several captured aircraft. I don't recall how many, but there are a couple Soviet birds, I think two British ones, a really pretty French one, and an experimental one with retractable gear. For the modeler looking for something extraordinary to do with an Me163 kit, there are a wealth of ideas in the last few pages there.
The boom comes with excellent 3 view line drawings in 1/72 and 1/48 scale. The 1/48 scale drawings are printed in the book while most of the 1/72 drawings (maybe half and half) are printed on a fold-out sheet that's removable. The 1/72 drawings are much easier to use as a result; I'd wish that all drawings were on a separate sheet.
With the authors' names, I figured this would be a translation into English, but on reading various excerpts from the text, it reads like it was written by a native speaker of English. Sentences are very smooth and transition together seamlessly. It's a pleasure to read.
I recommend this book without any reservations. My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy.
Scale Aircraft Modelling 09/2010 2012-07-06
Reviewed by: Keith Pruitt, IPMS 44770
This book is the most recent in MMPs Orange Series, chronicling the history and development of one of Germany’s most unique fighter aircraft of World War II. From the beginning, with Alexander Lippisch’s “flying wing” glider designs, through the development of the Me-163B operational rocket fighter, on through the experimental Me-163C, Me-163D, and the Me-263/Junkers Ju 248, this book covers an incredible amount of history and detail.
Also included are sections on the Komet in service with the Luftwaffe during the war. During operations, the aircraft took off under rocket power (which only lasted about 4 minutes), jettisoned the take-off trolley & wheels, and soared quickly to high altitude. At this point, it was a high-speed glider, which would make one or two firing passes on a bomber formation, and then glide back to base and land on the belly skid. Armed with two Mk 108 30mm cannon, it could inflict serious damage on Allied bombers. The incredible speed of the aircraft made it almost impossible for Allied fighters to effectively defend the bombers from the threat. However, the Me-163s rocket engine, and highly volatile fuel, made it almost as deadly for the German pilot, as well.
Like many of the more innovative German designs, the Me-163 reached production far too late to really make a difference in the outcome of World War II. With the advent of the jet engine, and the inherent dangers of the rocket powered aircraft, the Me-163 was never really developed, beyond the initial production, into the weapon that Lippisch thought it could become.
The photographs and line drawings in the book contain a wealth of detail information. For scale modelers, who have an interest in the Me-163, this book is an invaluable resource. For aviation enthusiasts, particularly Luftwaffe fans, this book is a great read, and contains lots of interesting statistics and photographs. Having built a 1/72 scale model of this aircraft, and being somewhat fascinated by the aircraft, I’ve been fighting the urge to really to use this book to its full potential, and pick up a larger scale kit to exercise my Advanced Modeling Syndrome. I highly recommend this book to any scale modeler, and particularly those with an interest in the innovative designs of the World War II Luftwaffe!
148 pages, 40 B&W Photos, 43 Color Photos, 46 Structural Illustrations (including 1/48 & 1/72 scale plan, 36 Color Profiles
Bestsellers in World War II Messerschmitts 2012-07-06
Aeroplane 12/2010 2012-07-06
IPMS UK Mag. 5/2010 2012-07-06
The diminutive Me 163 Komet has always been a favourite of mine, and one of my first models was the Heller 1/72 offering, complete with the schlepper. There is something intriguing about an aircraft that whilst being a death-trap, its development continued, and pilots willingly climbed into, with horrific attrition rates. With this, I was delighted to be given this new title from MMP Books. Perhaps now I could understand this aircraft a little more.
The first thing you’ll notice with this title is the folded sheet just inside the front cover. This sheet contains line drawings for the Me 163A, Me 163B-0, Me 163B-1 and the two seat Me 163S. Drawings show variations to the various marks, where applicable, and the quality is first class. Panel and rivet lines are shown clearly and will certainly be invaluable to the modeller.
As you would imagine, the book begins with the development of the Komet, but this time going back to its very genesis when the aircraft was designated as a Lippisch design, and not directly a Messerschmitt concern. This is a part of the Komets history which is quite interesting when you consider the personal and political wranglings associated with something which was only ever designed to be a test bed to evaluate tailless aircraft. Yes, the Komet was never originally envisaged as a combat aircraft. Nothing about its design was suitable for such a venture.
Our book begins in the 1920’s, before the Nazi’s came to power, or even looked like they ever would. Various tailless designs were built and flown by various engineers, from gliders to pusher aircraft such as the various ‘Delta’ designs by Lippisch, and one such push-pull design engineered both by Lippisch and Fieseler. With Hitlers ‘Seizure of Power’ in 1933, the die was cast. The next years saw the design of a practical rocket engine by Helmuth Walter, and some success with the design stages of Lippisch’s DFS-developed Delta IV aircraft. It wasn’t long before the two technologies would become associated with each other. ‘Project X’, as it became known, was the meeting of these technologies, as the DFS airframe was modified to accept the new rocket engine.
DFS wasn’t geared up to the sort of production and development the RLM envisaged, and thus Messerschmitt became involved. At Messerschmitt, Project X became the Me 163. This designation was given due to ‘Bf 163’ already having been assigned to a more routine project. This also inadvertently managed to give the ‘Me’ machine a cloak of secrecy. Genius! O
ddly enough, this is the point where the actual Messerschmitt design was abandoned in favour of altering Lippisch’s DFS design for rocket power. As I stated earlier, this book makes very clear that the tailless design was never geared for combat, but with the RLM being involved, it surely was going to be pushed in that direction. Despite trials and tribulations with the design and various serious problems besetting the project, when things started to come to fruition, Willi Messerschmitt decided to more or less hijack the show and make the Komet ‘his’ product.
My brief synopsis of this area only hints at the detail supplied in this book, and makes fascinating reading and an excellent point of reference for anyone remotely interested in how the politics and intrigues of the RLM and those in favour, worked.
The Me 163 in its combat role, and subsequent pilot training and weaponry adaptation is handsomely written in the following chapter. Also illustrated are the technical problems with the aircraft, such as the troublesome landing skid and tailskid/tail-wheel development. The spinal injuries first common to those landing the Komet were eventually overcome by plagiarism of the suspension system used on Porsche designed cars for the Komets own pilots seat. Notation is also given to the fact that the German engineers almost discovered by accident that their design, through its shape and wooden wings, had a low radar signature; a forerunner to our stealth designs of today.
A small chapter is devoted to the various armament systems of the Me 162, including the photocell technology that was designed to shoot down bombers as the Komet passed below. Test accounts of this and R4M missile tests are given.
An excellent chapter follows which tells of how the Me 162 was produced by various manufacturers and many 1/48 line drawings of various sub types, followed by a chapter on the ill-fated Me 163C variant, again, illustrated with 1/48 drawings. Continuing this theme though, the next chapter illustrates the development of the Me 163D and its Junkers developed twin, the Ju 248. Some very interesting and rare photographs are given in these sections, with yet more technical line illustration. Finally, the two seat Me 163S is described and illustrated with both drawings and photographs, telling of how the Soviets tested these machines post-war.
To complement the actual detail for the main production combat version, a small chapter is given over to a full technical description of the machine with notation given to various other Me 163 versions.
‘The Me 163 in Service’ is a chapter which brings to life the Komet during various combat encounters, complete with the information that a Komet was actually responsible for the loss of an RAF Avro Lancaster. It was something that I myself was unaware of. This is a fantastic chapter with many exciting accounts of combat experiences, close shaves and score tallies.
The final section of this book relates to evaluation of the Komet by various countries that were lucky enough to have spirited away captured machines. One slight mistake here is that the book states HMS Rapier took captured Luftwaffe booty to the USA. I’m pretty sure this was HMS ‘REAPER’.
Actually, when I say that was the final section, what I did omit to tell you is that that is the final section of the first half of the book! From now and until the end of the book, the Me 163 is shown in more colour photographs than you could ever hope to see! All photos are taken of museum machines, and this section is split into various areas of the Komet, such as engine, canopy and cockpit, tail, wing etc, and brings to you the best modelling reference photos that you are likely to find. It seems such a shame to sweep over this amazing 60 page section so quickly, but it really is outstanding. Along with the photographs, we have explanatory text, and where applicable, graphic illustration.
Lastly, 20 pages of colour profiles are supplied for both German and captured machines. These are some of the highest standard colour illustrations I have seen for the Komet.
So what do we think?
I am absolutely blown away by this title. I’ve only had the book for about a week, and it’s easily already one of the best Luftwaffe reference books I possess. With the forthcoming 1/32 Dragon Me 163 kit on the horizon, treat yourself to this book and I promise you’ll not need any further reference material. It really is that good! Very highly recommended indeed.
RC Electric Flyer July 2012 2012-07-06
AIR Modeller no 31 2012-07-06
by Ray Mehlberger
Date of Review May 2010 Title Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
This is the latest volume in MMP’s highly regarded Orange Series. It is a study of the world’s first rocket-powered fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. Developed from the tail-less aircraft studies by Alexander Lippisch in the 1930’s, the Me 163 was intended purely as a research aircraft, but it’s spectacular high speed attracted military attention and the design was reworked as an interceptor fighter, the Me 163B.
Put into production and service, the Komet proved as dangerous to its pilots as to the bombers it was attacking, and it had little effective impact on the air war. Post-war, the design was studied in detail by all the victorious Allies, and had a significant influence on high-speed aircraft designs on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The book is 160 pages long in soft cover in MMP’s usual 6 ½” x 9” page format.
Because several airframes still survive, the book includes details of all of these. This is done with 146 color photos, most of which are of the walk-around type. There are also 31 black and white wartime photos, 27 tech manual illustrations, 1 data list and 31 color profiles (4 of these are multi-views).
The color profile paintings include: The Me 163A-V4 & V-10. The Me163B-V2, V-10, V-14, V-18, V-32 (a 2-view), V-35, V-41, V-45 (2 schemes it appeared in), V-47 & V-52. Five schemes for the Me 163B-1 (1 is a 2-view, 1 is in Foreign Evaluation marks FE, 1 is a 4 view, 1 is in Soviet scheme, 1 in captured British scheme & 1 is in a French post-war civil scheme. The Me 163S two seat trainer in Soviet scheme. The Me 163D which was converted from the Me 163B-V18. The Me263-V1.
There are 27 tech manual illustrations included. The book is heavily illustrated with both 1/72nd and 1/48th scale line drawings. As a bonus, there is a large folded sheet loosely inserted in the book with more of the 1/72nd line drawings on it.
The story of the design, development and operations of the Me 163 is told very well in this book, from the early preceding experiments that led up to the 163.
On the back cover of the book is the cover art for a forthcoming book by MMP/Stratus “Bf 109 Late Versions Camouflage & markings”
Alexander Lippisch moved to nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa after the war and worked at Collins Radio Co. (now Rockwell Collins) until he retired. Fellow modelers and myself met him once at his home, when we sought his permission to name the local IPMS chapter after him here. He was a fascinating person to listen to and to see some of his then current projects in his work room. He passed away in 1976.
This will prove to be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, enthusiasts and modelers.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Once again, Mushroom Models Publications comes through with another superbly researched and illustrated book on a popular subject. This time, it is the always interesting Me-163 Komet an aircraft in which a lot of time and effort was put, only to have rather dismal results.
Developed as a research aircraft by Alexander Lippisch while working at Messerschmitt, the Me-163 was never intended to be developed into a combat aircraft. The early 163's main claim to fame was that it was the first aircraft to go faster than 1000 kph in level flight, making it the fastest aircraft in the world in 1941 when this record was achieved. Thanks in part to achieving this milestone, the RLM decided that it would make an excellent interceptor. As such, Lippisch redesigned the aircraft to accept all the needed military equipment and the Me-163B was born.
Various machinations within the RLM caused by people coming and going had the project priority changed and so development slowed down. The engine became a major stumbling block as Walther was unable to build one to meet design specifications. There were also many issues with the aircraft itself, however, over time, these were identified and corrected. In 1943, Lippisch and Messerschmitt were not on the best of terms and Lippisch left the company. Construction of the aircraft was turned over to Klemm, though Messerschmitt did provide assemblies.
Finally the aircraft was turned over to the Luftwaffe and units started forming to operate the type. In this book, the authors cover the development of tailless aircraft in general and the Me-163 in particular. The level of research and detail is excellent, giving the reader a superb look at how this plane got into production and service. Then the book covers the operational service of the aircraft including every mission in which the 163 participated. The results of the 163's combat record is not encouraging as nearly as many were shot down as shot down bombers, and even more 163s were lost in accidents. Post war, the 163 was grabbed in rather good numbers by the four major Allied nations and the story of what happened to these aircraft is also included in the book.
Typical of Mushroom Models Publications, there is a full color section of detail images taken from some of the many extant 163s in museums throughout the world. Add to this the many pages of full color profiles of various aircraft shown in the period photos that are within the book as well as an insert of complete 1/72 and 1/48 plans, and you have yet another superlative book. It is one that I can quite easily recommend to you as the best of its type; a book that will be appreciated by both enthusiasts and modelers alike.
Amazon.co.uk bestseller list 2012-07-06
Paperback, 160 pages profusely illustrated throughout, mix of black and white (80 pages) and colour (80 pages) images including colour all-aspect profiles of types featured. 1:48 and 1:72 scale plans included. English text and line drawings throughout.
Here we have the latest volume in MMP’s highly regarded Orange Series and this time it is a study of the world’s first rocket-powered fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. Developed from the tail-less aircraft studies by Alexander Lippisch in the 1930s, the Me 163 was intended purely as a research aircraft, but its spectacular high speed attracted military attention and the design was reworked as an interceptor fighter, the Me 163B. Put into limited production and service, the Komet proved as dangerous to its pilots as to the bombers it was attacking, and it had little effective impact on the air war. Post-war the design was studied in detail by all the victorious Allies, and had a significant influence on high-speed aircraft designs on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
In part because of this several airframes survive, and the book includes details of all of these, plus close-up photos of many of them, covering all aspects of the airframe and systems. The story of the design, development and operations of the Me 163 is told, illustrated by many photos, scale plans and colour profiles showing the colours and markings of test and operational aircraft.
This is an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, scale modellers and enthusiasts.
Focusing on the specific needs of scale modellers, this is an excellent title that compliments not only the subject but the series so well. The Me 163 is of huge interest to WWII Luftwaffe scale modellers and it is astonishing how much quality content there is in this volume. The colour profiles featuring the test and operational schemes worn by the Me 163 is inspiring and may well motivate you to get out your decal store and try and create something different – lots of opportunities here. The addition of 1:48th and 1:72nd scale plans is excellent but the title really comes into its own for me with the inclusion of the detailed internal and external walk-around images that are so invaluable to scale modellers. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve in our own Photo Reference Library here in SMN – so this title will compliment what’s already available to you superbly. I have just two further words to add – buy it!
Reviewed by Mick Evans
F i r s t R e a d
The Messerschmitt Me 163 continues to fascinate Luftwaffe fans.
Starting out as a study into tail-less aircraft design, Alexander Lippisch’s brainchild evolved from his trials with the DFS 194. When coupled with the Walter HWK 109-509 rocket engine, speeds were attained that made the proposed fighter virtually untouchable.
When it did finally make it into service, the motor’s voracious appetite didn’t allow the fighter enough endurance to successfully take on the approaching Allied bombers. Another concern was the volatility of the fuel, not to mention the need to glide back to your airfield and make an unpowered landing on the undercarriage skid.
In the end it was an aircraft that proved to be more dangerous to its pilot than to enemy aircraft. However, as the world’s first and only operational rocket powered fighter, it will always have a special place in history.
The fact that this aircraft was a major item of study after the war, resulted in many examples surviving until this day.
his volume is the latest in MMP’s popular Orange Series and takes a comprehensive look at this famous interceptor.
Inside the soft card covers, one finds 160 A5 sized pages. Included are a collection of period and contemporary photographs that number well over 200. Nearly 3/4 of these are in colour, and relate to preserved museum examples from around the world.
They are grouped in the familiar “walk-around” format and cover all areas of the airframe. Extra emphasis has been placed on the cockpit, and undercarriage assemblies (skid/ dolly) as these are the parts most under scrutiny from modellers.
The resulting close-ups also give the viewer a better appreciation of the subject, than would otherwise be the case with wartime images alone. Complimenting this collection are some welcome diagrams from the official parts manual.
Scale drawings are a big feature of this publication and they can be found scattered through the text. The subjects portrayed here are the Me 163A in early, late and final forms, various incarnations of the Me 163B, and of course the Me 163S. Additional profiles can be found of the DFS 194, Me 163C, Me 163D and Ju 248.
For those that prefer the smaller size of 1:72, a separate fold out set of plans is also supplied. Due to space limitations, the aircraft displayed on this sheet omit the last 4 subjects mentioned above.
Twenty pages of colour profiles illustrate the colours and marking found on these machines. They’re up to the usual high standards expected from the artist and show a diverse range of schemes and aircraft sub-types.
The narrative is easy to read and starts with an introduction to the pre war experiments undertaken with tailless aircraft. We proceed quickly through to the development of the Me 163A and B models before looking at the armament, production and service life of these aircraft.
The limitations of the design were seen at an early stage in its career, and there were attempts made to fix these. The resulting projects are taken up in the next couple of chapters where the Me 163C and Me 163D/Ju 248 are introduced, along with a discussion of the Me 163S two-seat trainer.
After the war, various countries had the opportunity to test these revolutionary machines and a section relating to their acquisitions is also included.
The “Orange Series” of publications are an ideal way to collect concise information on a variety of aircraft.
Not only does the book provide a history of the aircraft, it also supplies scale drawings, colour profiles, and a collection of “walk-around” photographs. Thus it’s an ideal reference source that will benefit both modellers and fans of Luftwaffe aircraft alike.
Far to be a successful operational aircraft, the Me163 remains an oddity in the military aviation field as being the first rocket-powered fighter and had had an incredible impact on the airmen’s mind of that time.
Many books on the Me163 have been published so far, but they are either sold out either expensive, so the release of the Mushroom version is pretty welcome. This version offers what you basically need to understand what the Me163 has been, whatever the technical part, whatever the operational use. This book of 160 pages is divided in two equal parts, the historical part and the study of the survivors. The historical part can be seen as being a strong introduction part for the study of the Komet survivors, study which comprises a lot of photos showing many details which are very useful for the modelers.
Even if the subject is not new, Mushroom offers a good reference on the Me163 at a very good price. If this book won’t bring anything to any expert on the Me163, it will give to anyone who wants to meet the Komet for the first time, what he needs exactly.
Amazon.com customer review 2012-07-06
4.0 out of 5 stars Old wine in a new bottle, July 14, 2010 By Jim Davis
It seems that every publisher has to have an Me 163 book. This is Mushroom's. They took the approach like the one taken for the previous (Hs 129) Orange Series book. They had an author of a previous book on the subject for another publisher write one for them. Extensive additional pictorial content was included to bring it in line with the standard Mushroom format.
The book is the 11th Orange Series (No 8111) offering. It is a 6-1/2" x 9", 160 page, square bound card cover. It also has an unbound fold out plan sheet so make sure this is part of the package if buying secondhand. The format follows the Mushroom format with one short additional section. The first section is the narrative describing the Me 163 background, development, testing, service history, and testing by the Allied powers. This section is well supported by black and white photos, line drawings, a table, and a bibliography. The line drawings show an interesting wrinkle; usually the smaller 1/72nd scale drawings are in the book proper (where they fit) while the larger 1/48th scale drawings are on the unbound foldout. The Me 163 is small enough to allow that format to be reversed; the 1/48th scale drawings are in the book proper while the smaller 1/72nd scale drawings are on the foldout. The first section runs 80 pages.
The second section runs 6 pages and lists and illustrates in color photos preserved examples around the world. This is an addition to the usual Mushroom layout.
The third section, from pages 87 to 140, contains the familiar up close and personal detailed color photos of preserved Me 163s well supported by technical manual illustrations.
The last 20 pages of the book depict the aircraft in a surprising variety of color schemes given its relatively brief service. Also included are the schemes of captured examples.
Authors Belcarz and Peczzkowski previously authored a book on the Me 163 published by AJ Press in 1997. They don't seem to have done any additional research for this one. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two books. The Mushroom book scores on its greater use of color; there is nothing in the previous work like the detailed colored photos and there are more color schemes also. The AJ Press book does have a larger format so the technical manual illustration are somewhat better reproduced. The line drawings of the aircraft are better in the Mushroom book but the earlier book does have a nice plan and profile cutaway drawing. Both have their strengths; I suspect modelers would prefer the Mushroom book.
Both books maintain that the Me 163C version was built and flown. The later two volume Classic Publications work by Ransom and Cammann dispute this and this should be considered the definitive Me 163 book.
All in all recommended for those who don't have the authors' previous book; if one does be aware of the overlap. If you have the Classic Ransom and Cammann volumes the only attraction of the Mushroom book is the great color content.
MAM, August 2010 2012-07-06
SP 10/2010 2010-10-17
MiniReplika 66 2010-10-17
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