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Bachem Ba 349 "Natter"

iverson

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Probable he broke the sound barrel in his vertical fall
no
the Walter engine and the four Schmidding SG34 solids had not enough thrust for that
and maximum speed were expected around 800km/h after take off
You are not necessarily right:

"The Luftwaffe test pilot Lothar Sieber (7 April 1922 – 1 March 1945) may have inadvertently become the first man to break the sound barrier on 1 March 1945. This occurred while he was piloting a Bachem Ba 349 "Natter" for the first manned vertical takeoff of a rocket in history. In 55 seconds, he traveled a total of 14 km (8.7 miles)."

"The Walter liquid-fueled rocket motor built up to full thrust and Sieber pushed the button to ignite the four solid boosters. Initially, it rose vertically. at an altitude of about 100 to 150 m (330 to 490 ft), the Natter suddenly pitched up into an inverted curve at about 30° to the vertical. At about 500 m (1,600 ft) the cockpit canopy was seen to fly off. The Natter continued to climb at high speed at an angle of 15° from the horizontal and disappeared into the clouds. The Walter motor stalled about 15 seconds after take-off. It is estimated the Natter reached 1,500 m (4,900 ft), at which point it nose-dived and hit the ground with great force about 32 seconds later, some kilometres from the launch site. Unknown at the time, one of the Schmidding boosters failed to jettison and its remains were dug up at the crash site in 1998."

The Walter engine has 2000kg and the four Schmidding boosters 4x500kg thrust, but the Natter weighs only 2232kg. This is 1,792 thrust/weight ratio against the Bell XS-1's 0,495 value. OK, I know the Natter has worse aerodinamic design and was a subsonic plane, but not impossible.
Here is another article about this deadly flight:

(It wasn't the only event, because Mano Ziegler reported his friend Heini Dittmar's famous flight on 6 July 1944 in the Me 163V-18 (VA+SP) at a speed of 1,130km/h. And Hans Guido Mutke claimed to have broke the sound barrier with his Me 262 on 9 April 1945 also. Without knowledge of the exact flight altitude, among other things, have not been proven.)

But would one call the Natter launch "flight" in the usual sense of the word--controlled flight? The descriptions sound more ballistic than aerodynamic.

I'm also skeptical about other wartime claims. Transonic aerodynamics were not well understood and measurement instrumentation was unreliable at the time. You still see claims of 500+ mph flight by P-47s, for example. The Me 163 and 262 seem like particularly unpromising shapes from a drag ans stability point of view.
 

edwest

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The Me 163 could reach 621 mph. Compression was well understood. The Me 262 had leading-edge slats to improve high speed handling. The sweep back also delayed compressibility. A captured film shows the Me 163 climbing at an 80 degree angle. The Natter was not just tested once. As a rocket propelled point interceptor, it reached altitude and fired its rockets or cannons, and on the way down, a lever was pulled as the aircraft fell to earth, releasing a portion and leaving the pilot free to parachute to the ground. I have seen a photo of a field filled with completed Natters. US soldiers/intelligence were very interested in this aircraft. In fact, it received the first FE or Foreign Equipment number, FE-1/T-2 1.
 

iverson

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The Me 163 could reach 621 mph. Compression was well understood. The Me 262 had leading-edge slats to improve high speed handling. The sweep back also delayed compressibility. A captured film shows the Me 163 climbing at an 80 degree angle. The Natter was not just tested once. As a rocket propelled point interceptor, it reached altitude and fired its rockets or cannons, and on the way down, a lever was pulled as the aircraft fell to earth, releasing a portion and leaving the pilot free to parachute to the ground. I have seen a photo of a field filled with completed Natters. US soldiers/intelligence were very interested in this aircraft. In fact, it received the first FE or Foreign Equipment number, FE-1/T-2 1.
I'm quite familiar with the Natter and the Me 163.
 

Grzesio

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There are no documents supporting the claim, the Me 163 BV 18 has ever reached 1130 km/h.
The loss of the rudder documented with photos, which allegedly occured during this flight, actually took place on another occasion and at much lower speed.
 

kaiserd

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Claims of achieving supersonic speed re: the Natter (or Komet or other WW2 German jets and rocket aircraft that actually flew) have little to no credibility.
Right up there with claims of a Nazi Germany nuclear bomb, another claim/ theory which perhaps not coincidentally is also being pushed by some of the same contributors, and perhaps gives some context for how seriously the supersonic claims should be taken.
 

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