MBB Lampyridae

What appears to be the 1:3.5 scale windtunnel model is on public display in Munich, BTW.

I have a few more photos from different angles, but none of them are much good. Photography is somewhat arkward due to other exhibits and vitrines surrounding it.


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It is curious how the fairly recent MBB Lampyridae is badly known especially considering one of its incarnation is now in a museum .
There are two variants : one with bubble and another with"rasorfront" canopy and very little is known of cockpit , landing gear, armament , engine+nozzle ...
For these reasons I have always postponed the building of a 1/48 model !

Quote - It is curious how the fairly recent MBB Lampyridae is badly known -Quote
you said it! Well, it was unknown to me until 10 days ago :)
I was so impressed by the German knowledge on stealth aircrafts (they were nearly as advanced as the Americans!!) that I made two models of the Lampyridae. Two, because I made the first in 1/100 scale and I prefer the 1/72 (it was amistake)
Here's a link...
The story goes, that further development of the Lampyridae was cancelled, after the
mock-up was shown to some US military officials, who were quite shocked, to see an
aircraft based on the same principles, as the top secret F-117. There were not only
"special relations" between Britain and the US ...
JC Carbonel said:
It is curious how the fairly recent MBB Lampyridae is badly known especially considering one of its incarnation is now in a museum .

Well, one reason might be that the label of the museum exhibit mentions neither MBB nor 'Lampyridae'. IIRC, it simply reads "Windkanalmodell eines radar-getarnten Flugzeugs" (windtunnel model of a radar-stealthy aircraft).
Has any one done a photoessay on the F104-Museum mock-up ? or of the Ottobrun Museum (not sure?) 3/4 size flying (wind canal) model ?

This was the situation in May 2000 how I found the “Lampyridae” mock-up with the bubble canopy in one of the non-public hangars at Luftwaffenmuseum in Berlin-Gatow. It was very difficult to make pictures of such a dark vehicle in a dark hangar with a simple amateur photographic equipment. I don’t know if the mock-up changed its place meanwhile with wings fitted.


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Thank you for posting those interesting pictures! I wonder if there was "something" under the big canopy bubble (I note some rather unstealthy wire controls coming out of the rudder!!!)

This was probably the manned model, intended for windtunnel testing, so
in this case stealth didn't really matter.
I think I've recently made an interesting discovery regarding the Lampyridae project. Last week, I happened upon what might be the 1:20 windtunnel model at the DLR aerodynamics institute in Braunschweig. I'm being cautious because again, the label makes no mention of the programme at all. The interesting part is that it is shown in a double delta configuration, with the inner highly swept part of the wing being interchangable according to the label. As displayed, the model looks very much like the Lampyridae variant with a pyramid canopy, with the strake of the double delta wing extending all the way forward to the tip of the nose.
I can certainly ask if it's ok to photograph it (I can't see why not), but currently I don't have a camera available. So it might take several weeks before I have something to show.

EDIT: In the mean time I've modified this planview of the familiar configuration from Matej's site to give you a good approximation of what the model looks like (the lower half of the drawing, obviously ;) ). The angle between the front and rear facets of the fuselage is a bit too small but other than that it looks very similar (the side and front views would be basically unchanged).


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no problem with that ... take your time...

thank you anyway for refering to this model in the first place

Well here they are. The glass vitrine makes for some annoying reflections, but I'm afraid this can't be helped :-\


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Why the hell I didnt notice that photos before... Great!

Trident said:
The glass vitrine makes for some annoying reflections, but I'm afraid this can't be helped :-\

Yes it can. By the polarisation filter attached to the camera. For mine (52 mm diameter) cost some 40 Eur. With that you can avoid any (except metal made) reflections. The example taken through the glass also using the flash (!):


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Yeah, but I didn't have one and I'm not sure whether there are any available for the compact camera I took the pictures with. Alas, I'm no longer within easy striking distance of the model, either :(

EDIT: Flash also helps a lot, if you can find a convenient angle, very true. I recently took a superb photo of the instrument panel of the TKS spacecraft in the National Air & Space Museum that way and then promptly lost the memory card - along with hundreds of megabytes of other nice stuff - ARGH!
A bit strange but I found information on my own (!) web and I cant find the reference of that information at the moment. So can somebody confirm/deny the fact, that the two scaled down pilotless demonstrators of the Lampyridae were tested at Overberg Test Range in South Africa?
I remember the article about Lampyridae in FlugRevue and it says that the demonstrators were flown in a windtunnel.
Can you please check it if the article is available? The 3/4 scale model was tested 15 times in 1987, in the German-Dutch windtunnel at Emmeloord and there were also the smaller ones 1:3,5 for example. But I am asking about the open air tests in South Africa.
Found! It is from aerospace writer Bill Rose:

"Firefly (proper name Lampyridae) is a stealth interdictor aircraft, semi-secretly built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Bohm, (MBB) now Daimler Benz Aerospace in Germany. Designed by Dr. Gehard Löbert, this fighter sized aircraft is essentially a second generation F-117A. Two demonstrators were flown at the Overberg Test Range in South Africa during the late 1980s, but the project was placed on the back burner and has probably been canceled."

But he doesn't say the source. Not very reliable in my opinion.
Demonstrators? Equivalent to Have Blue perhaps. That would be great, but why South Africa?
*scaled down pilotless* demonstrators, so they should be something like radio controlled Dassault Petit Duc model.

South Africa, or better to say Overberg Test Range, because it was used many times by a lot of european aerospace firms for testing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overberg_Test_Range

Now the another question comes to my mind. If we know, that the 3/4 "almost-manned" demonstrator is in the museum, what happened to the full scale RCS model?
Trouble is, most if not all of those tests by overseas companies were post-Apartheid, I think. The Lampyridae doesn't quite fit that timeline...
Thanks. I tend to agree with you. I wasn't able to find any other source for that except Mr. Rose claim, so probably it is his misinterpretation of something.

So back to the destiny of the RCS model - what happened to it? My estimation is, that it was destroyed because of its sensitive nature, but.... the hope still lives.
Trident said:
Trouble is, most if not all of those tests by overseas companies were post-Apartheid, I think. The Lampyridae doesn't quite fit that timeline...

Thanks, this fueled my question too.
Just as an illustration, and with no personal hard evidence that the Lampyridae was at Overberg, it is important to realise that there was ongoing co-operation between South africa and NATO/Western countries during the Apartheid era, and the sanctions era.

I'm going to just mention a few projects and let the forum members decide for themselves. All the below mentioned examples are from the sanctions era in South Africa.

Look at the 6X6 vehicle entry that was eventually won by the indigineous 8X8 Rooikat. ;)
I wonder which engine powered the TTD Main Battle Tank project. ;)
What type of diesel engines were manufactured by Atlantis Diesel Engines (ADE) for the military and civil sectors? ;)
What design was the submarine blueprints purchased by South Africa in the 1980's? ;)
Which country built the submarines that were unnaffordable to Argentina, and were thus offered to South Africa for a very brief period of time for completion? :eek:

A clue: There is a German link in all the above.

Some non German questions below.

Also, which model Snecma ATAR 9K-50 powered the Mirage F1, and which model powered the Cheetah? ;)
What electronics and main gun armament equipped the South African Navy strike craft? ;)
What nationality was Carvers chief designer? (Although freedom of labour must be taken into account here. Ex colleagues do chat though!)

etc... etc. These above examples are just off the top of my head, without any dipping into my library at home.

Things are always not the way they seem......

I for one would not discount Lampy from being in South Africa just on account of sanctions. Overberg is also a magnificentally equipped, top-of-the-range test range, in a relatively geopgraphically isolated position, with a low area population density, benefitting from a very long downrange distance. This was the exact reasons for it's establishment there.

I can provide some answers to anyone who doesn't know the answers to the above questions.

Once again, I don't know if it happened but Lampy sure fitted the timeline above.
I contacted Mr. Josef Voggenreiter from Gerhard Neumann aviation museum (www.f-104.de) with some questions about the Lampyridae and here are the answers:

Q1. Is the Lampyridae model in your exposition 3/4 scaled down model,
built for the tethered windtunnel testing?

A1. My Lampy is the 3/4 scale wind tunnel test model

Q2. Do you have any additional materials (original artists impressions, 3
views, etc.) about the Lampyridae or only the model itself?

A2. I have other drawings and pictures from the original Lampy,
we will speak about when you visit my museum

Q3. What is inside the cockpit? Only the provisional devices to move the
moving surfaces or also some instrument panels and so?

A3. The cockpit is empty, no test equipment inside.

Q4. In the case I will have a luck to visit the museum personally, is it
possible to take a photos inside?

A4. You can visit my museum best day is a Saturday
and you can make photos so much you want.

Especially the second answer increased my attention to the maximum. Is there any from our German friends who live nearby, or at least about a thousand kilometers closer than I do and can make a visit with some report? I have this museum in my wish list, but I don't know, when I will have the opportunity to make my own visit.

Contacts for the visits:

+49-(0)9901 - 20 27 0



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Hello to all;

I'm new to this forum, and I am a huge fan of stealth. Besides, MBB, in 1986 the German company - Dornier - too had a neat stealth design, it was called the LA-2000.
The LA-2000 was a slender delta without any fins. Does anyone here remember this aircraft? Any kind of image would be great. Thanks.

Here are some additional views of the Lampyridae.

The last two images are a follow on to the Lampyridae, known as the MBB-DASA FTTU.

Mod edit: Please use attachments to post images that are worth to post.


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All three pictures that you posted is the Lampyridae. First is the 3/4 almost-manned model and the last two represents the full-scale RCS model.
Thanks Matej and sorry I'll remember to post as attachments next time.

Do you know if a manned flight version or even a free-flight model flew (outside of the wind tunnel)?

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