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Me 262/Fi-103R Reichenberg Mistel ? SO Aircraft ??

athpilot

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I found this interesting never before published german project in an german magazin "FliegerRevueX". The team consisted of an unmanned Me-262 and an superimposed Reichenberg (a manned V-1) as guidance. Although not much is known about this 1945 project it must have been an SO-Gerät (Selbstopfer) means suicide attack plane. The anti-ship Reichenberg would eventually be equipped with an 38cm projectile and the Me-262 with a 3 ton warhead. The Reichenberg would give an additional range of about 500 kilometers. Unfortunatly the author tells nothing about where he found it (in what archive e.g.) and nothing can be said about how the team should be accelerated until the Pulso Ramjet started to work.
Does anyone have further informations?

Greetings
Athpilot
 

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Jemiba

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A pulse engine can be run at stop. And the unmanned Me 262 may be sufficient
either to start the combination, although a warhead of 3 tons seems to be really
heavy ! The one of the Ju 88 - Me 109/Fw 190 weighed about 2 tons, I think.
Anh how the Reichenberg would increase range by 500 km isn't clear to me, too,
as range of the standard Fi 103/V1 was just a bit more, than half of that.
Would really be interesting to get to know the source ! ::)
 

steelpillow

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Not sure I believe all the performance figures, either.

A pulse jet is not a ramjet. The composite would have taken off under the combined thrust of the three engines.

The V-1 was slower than a late-mark Spitfire and the Reichenberg's cockpit added drag. It would have held the 262 back. I'm guessing that 500 km range means that the Reichenberg could attack a second target 500 km away after it had launched the 262 at the first one.
 

Jemiba

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Thought about it and I think, if the concept with the unmanned Me 262 and the Fi 103 Reichenberg
as a suicide weapon makes not much sense. Range wouldn't have been increased, I think, compared
to a manned Me 262, but the whole thing would have been much more difficult to handle and easier
to intercept.
But as a "bring me home" aircraft for the pilot, it could have spared conventional fighter aircraft. Maybe
someone mixed up the intended use of the Reichenberg as a suicide aircraft with such a use
 

hesham

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Great find Athpilot,


but which one of Flieger Revue Extra,I have 35 issues of it.
 

Jemiba

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athpilot said, it was shown in a FliegerRevueX issue, probably the latest one, according to their web
site. That's the new name of the former "FliegerRevueExtra" , after it went to another publisher.
Unfortunately this move seems not to have increased quality, at least the first issues received some
bad write-up. Tried to have a look at it at the newspaper shop today, but couldn't find it. Maybe I'm
more lucky during the weekend.
 

hesham

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OK my dear Jemiba.
 

cluttonfred

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I would be surprised if this turns out to be more than a "what if." It seems silly to think that even desperate Nazi leaders would have squandered limited jet engine and Me262 airframe production on a suicide weapon, especially an anti-shipping one.
 

Jemiba

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Looks indeed more like a "concept", an idea, what perhaps could be done with the available
production capacities. Better for the designer to work on that thing on the drawing board,
than being sent to the eastern front ...
Nevertheless, I think, that aircraft production wasn't the bottleneck during the last years of the
war. Production numbers were still rising and reached impressive levels. The big problem was,
to get all those aircraft into the air, faced with the shortage of fuel and well trained pilots.
With this in mind, maybe that idea wasn't that crazy. The Me 262 was designed to be produced
relatively quick, the BMW 003 actually needed much less man hours, than for example the BMW
801 radial. Its lifetime was limited, of course, but that wouldn't have been a problem here. And
with regards to pilot proficiency the Mistel tactic probably may have been more effective, than
a conventional bomb run. And then getting the pilot home via the "Reichenberg Gerät" may have
decreased inhibitions by the pilots to fly such missions !
 

athpilot

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Hi Jemiba,
I guess you´re absolutely right. All german aircraft designers had to fear to be sent to the (eastern) front at the end of the war. So they produced tons of concept material (esp. at Messerschmitt). The presented Mistel seems to be more like an suitable idea to get an weapon with a high destructive potential in a fast time. But think of, that only two Me 262s were in Oberammergau (Messerschmitt) to be "converted into a Mistel" (quote) in march 1945. What this really means is unclear. So the authors tells nothing about where he found this project. Maybe the reason is, that FligerRevue has started a new series to show only unknown Luftwaffe projects (and they want to keep their sources secret): thats high ambitious, because almost everything is already said and shown in colorful and fanciful drawings and what-if pictures. But here they hat found an unknown one. Anyway I´m looking for coming "discoveries"...
@hesham: You don´t need 35 issues, you need only one :D: the latest issue of FliegerRevueX No. 50 (pp. 69-71).
 

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Jemiba

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athpilot said:
.. So the authors tells nothing about where he found this project. Maybe the reason is, that FligerRevue
has started a new series to show only unknown Luftwaffe projects ..
That's interesting news and an ambitious project indeed. On the other hand, the FliegerRevue and its special
issue were mostly renowned for covering in detail and with good knowledge themes about eastern airforces.
So this move perhaps will open up new groups of buyers, but may well deter the old ones.
Perhaps you are reading the German Flugzeugforum, too, there was a discussion about this publication and
the change within the staff. ( http://www.flugzeugforum.de/threads/71257-FliegerRevue-X )
But new authors should get a chance, of course and not be slagged from the beginning.

Back to our topic, I just would like to point out, that those two Me 262 to be converted into Mistel aircraft,
not necessarily mean, that they were intended for this concept, as there were otheres, too.
 

steelpillow

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I don't think there would have been any idea of the pilot coming home. This looks more like a double-barrelled gun: fire one aircraft at one target, the other at another target up to 500 km away.

But something in my memory is nagging me that this is a relatively recent what-if. ISTR some lambasting of the mechanical design of the support struts. Wish I could put my finger on it.
 

athpilot

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Thanks for the Link Jemiba! Interesting discussion there (over 350 replys). They all say the same: Nothing really new under the sun! But the author Uwe W. Jack is not a real "newcomer". Is he in this forum?
 

Stargazer2006

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athpilot said:
Maybe the reason is, that FligerRevue has started a new series to show only unknown Luftwaffe projects (and they want to keep their sources secret)
If a publisher goes that route of "it's true BUT we can't say where we got it from" it's always highly suspicious in itself... It's even more so when Secret Nazi Germany aircraft projects are involved, and for at least two reasons:

1°) countless books have emerged so far and it would be really surprising that a project of such scope and involving two well-known built types could have been overlooked in all these years;

2°) they have inspired so many fakes that any such project without a source should be taken with utmost caution;

All this "Luft '46" material is such a hot-selling topic on the market that some less suspicious (or less regarding) publishers might publish stuff that hasn't been thoroughly verified. That's why they had better mention their sources if they are to remain credible at all!
 

hesham

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Thank you Athpilot,


but the idea from my dear GTX was a real design;


http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4410.15
 

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Jemiba

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Thanks for finding it, hesham, honestly, I was too lazy to search for ! ;)

Completely right about mentioning of sources, Skyblazer. And about the hot-selling status of
WW-II-Luftwaffe projects, too. And that's exactly an accusation against the publishers of that,
formerly quite highly regarded and trustable magazine ! It somehow looks, as if they are trying
to get more customers by including more speculative topics. As mentioned, as long as it still was
the "FliegerRevue Extra" it had a status of a special publication for those seriously interested in
eastern airforces. But this customer base certainly is limited, so the new publisher actually may be
trying to exploit that group of buyers, who are looking for an interesting read, without caring
much about sources, reliability of information and all such blah blah ... Probably most magazines
are sold that way in the newspaper shops in railway stations and the like.
Not to be misunderstood, that's still more or less a worry, but already somewhat confirmed with
the first new issues. Let's see.

About this Mistel being a suicide weapon or not: The Reichenberg Gerät is credited for being armed
with a 38 cm projectile. That would hardly have been a new development, but probably one of those
produced for the German 38 cm SK C/34L/47 gun, as I don't think, there were many others. That
projectile would have weighed around 800 kg then, about the same weight, as the standard V1 war
head. To my opinion, there would have been no way to fly 500 km with this aircraft then after release,
as it certainly would have had to use its engine during cruise, because the Me 262 lower part already
was heavily burdened. And why attack a target with the lower part and then fly away from that alarmed
and probably quite dangerous area, to attack another target in a distance ?
 

Stargazer2006

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hesham said:
but the idea from my dear GTX was a real design;
http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4410.15
See? This is exactly what I was talking about. The source is a forum for imaginary aircraft, and quite obviously that very page is a mix of real and fake projects, so who's to sort the wheat from the chaff? "Ideas and inspiration". I wouldn't call Beyond the Sprues a reliable proof of the existence of that project, personally!
 

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Jemiba said:
About this Mistel being a suicide weapon or not: The Reichenberg Gerät is credited for being armed
with a 38 cm projectile. That would hardly have been a new development, but probably one of those
produced for the German 38 cm SK C/34L/47 gun, as I don't think, there were many others. That
projectile would have weighed around 800 kg then, about the same weight, as the standard V1 war
head. To my opinion, there would have been no way to fly 500 km with this aircraft then after release,
as it certainly would have had to use its engine during cruise, because the Me 262 lower part already
was heavily burdened. And why attack a target with the lower part and then fly away from that alarmed
and probably quite dangerous area, to attack another target in a distance ?
I have to agree. But is the intention to turn the Reichenberg round and fly it back home any more credible?

This design was a moment of madness, the only question is, who and when?
 

Jemiba

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I fully agree with the last statement, although, as pointed out before, the designers can be
excused for cherishing desperately their ideas.
But pilots, especially experienced ones, were in short supply at the end of WW II in Germany.
Training was difficult due to the allied iar supperiority and the low fuel supply. From what can be
found about Mistels in general, it was quite a precise system, but pilots had to be and were trained
for this task. The Reichenberg had a TOW of about 2/3 of the Me 109, could be built faster and
more cheaply and still was relatively fast.And honestly I still havedoubts, that the use of suicide
attacks really had that broad support amongst German troops. There were flights and squadrons
actually formed to use this tactic, but I haven't heard of that many pilots willinglycommiting suicide
that way. More agreement maybe found the "Sturmstaffeln", which were tasked withattacking US
bombers from short distances, including ramming. But AFAIK, they relied on heavy armour and
were still using parachutes ! The German pilot, to my opinion, was willing to undertake risky missions,
but was keen on having at least a slight chance of survival.
 

Stargazer2006

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Until I see the name of a reliable source I'll continue to question the authenticity of this "unknown Mistel", sorry folks...
 

athpilot

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I´m sure that the story happened this way: the author has found in some archive a small file note where somebody mentioned to combine a reichenberg with the unmanned 262. So our author is happy to read this and the new "never before shown mistel" is born. It can´t be more than a short file note, because obvoiusly no sketches, drawings or computations were made (or were at least not recorded). If the author had found an original picture, then they had have published it. Instead the issue shows the well known original sketch of the Me-262 A2/U2 - unmanned Me-262 mistel team (p. 70) and tells that it was the "predecessor" of the Me-262 - Reichenberg Mistel... we´ll see.
 

Jemiba

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Got the FliegerRevueX N°50 today at the railway station for a trip by train. ;)
The article mentions a sole drawing showing this configuration. Would have been
more handy by the publisher to show the original I think and not just the probably
clearer and much better detailed reconstruction. But I would believe, that it really
exists. The article mentions, that for suicide attacks a warhead of about 3 tons of
explosives was regarded as necessary. The Reichenberg is only mentioned as a
suicide aircraft itself with its 800 kg warhead. How this adds up to "a combined about
explosive power of nearly 5 tons", as stated, remains a secret. The pulse jet of the
Reichenberg is said to have been used only for take-off and climb, then shut down
and only used again "on the second half of the flight". Maybe right, but how this
could expand the total range by about 500 km ? That the Reichenberg perhaps could
have been used for something else, than an attack weapon on its own, seems to
be out ot question for the author. So I think, the answer for the stated use of this
combination just lies in the conclusion of the author, but at least we quite probably
can assume, that there actually was a drawing of that combination.
 

athpilot

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"... but at least we quite probably can assume, that there actually was a drawing of that combination." I´m not sure about your conclusion Jemiba. Because to my mind the real sensation would be this original drawing and not the one done by Uwe Jack (drawn in the same manner like the ones by GTX...). But instead they show the old and common turbo mistel. So I still believe that the author has just interpreted a file note.
Regards
Athpilot
 

Jemiba

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That drawing is explicitly mentioned. Doing this without being at least able to show the evidence, would
really be a barefaced lie, something I wouldn't insinuate. I've mailed the chief editor, telling about our problem
and asking, if the authour perhaps could be contacted. Let's see.
There's another article in the same issue by the same author about the He 178, were he assumes, that this
aircraft perhaps was fitted with guide vanes in the exhaust nozzle for providing directional control during
take-off, a kind of early thrus vectoring. He admits, that there's no proof, but points to some evidences, that
to myopinion are worth a tought. One idea may be a good one, the other not.
 

steelpillow

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The V2 rocket used guide vanes in the exhaust during the takeoff phase. They were made of carbon, and by the time they burned up it had gained enough flying speed for the tail surfaces to work. So the idea is credible.
 

Jemiba

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steelpillow said:
The V2 rocket used guide vanes in the exhaust during the takeoff phase. They were made of carbon, and by the time they burned up it had gained enough flying speed for the tail surfaces to work. So the idea is credible.
We are going OT, but that's, what is said and meetings between von Braun and von Ohain are mentioned. And
the test reports mentioned a test with and without "guide fittings". Another evidence may be the squared
cross section of the He 178, a point, that is recognisable on photos. So, this idea seems much more plausible
to me, than that about the Me 262/Fi 103 Reichenberg Mistel.
 

Jemiba

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Not to be embezzled, I got a very friendly and informative answer by the author of the article in
the FliegerRevueX, amongst others pointing me to the fact, that total range is stated as about
500 km, not an increase of range ! My bad, should have used my glasses and not had another
statement in the back of my mind. :-\
I'll writing my answer to him during the next days and keep you informed.
 

athpilot

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Thanx Jemiba for doing this! Could you please tell some other informations you got from the author? I contacted U.W.Jack several months ago about his article concerning possible supersonic flights with the Me-262. He replyed very kind and informative.
Greetings
Athpilot
 

Jemiba

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I just sent him my rough calculation of the explosive weight and reasons, why it perhaps
wasn't a suicide weapon. Of course, all those signs are just indicators, no proof for or against
his thesis. Let's just wait for his answer.
 

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It is not my habit to react to internet-forums. But this time I was invited by kind letters of Jemiba to contribute to the discussion concerning the mistel Reichenberg/262. His realistic and honest calculations and serious questions indicates that there are real interested participants who wanted to go deep into the details. Reading the contributions in the forum proofed this opinion. This is the good news.
Preparing a list of the forums arguments made on technical or operational issues showed (in my personal understanding) that apart from a single that is one-third correct, all other statements are wrong. To call this a disaster would be an understatement.

Please, do not get impatient, because I have produced this very long post:

1) Reichenberg was armed with a 38-cm-projectile - partially right
There had been three warheads: the V-1-like air-mine of 810 kg, a torpedo-like underwater charge and the mentioned 38-cm-artillery-shell.

2) The Reichenberg gives an additional range of 500 km - wrong!
My text states that a total range of 500 km is estimated by me.

3) The warhead of a Ju 88-mistel was 2 tons - wrong!
Every source known to me gives a weight of 3800 kg.

4a) The Reichenberg separates to attack a second target - wrong!
4b) The Reichenberg separates to bring home the pilot - wrong!
Every normal aircraft has to make a minimum of two flights before being handed over to an operational unit:
I) one (or more) factory check flight
II) one (ore more) Luftwaffe acceptance flight
III) one possible ferry flight
Because the SO-aircraft (SO = Selbst-Opfer/Self-Sacrifice) Reichenberg had no gear for landing and a 800 kg charge in the nose, this would have been a suicide-mission for the test pilots. So the operational pilot was the first to experience his aircraft in flight. Most of this pilots would have been former glider-pilots who made a quick conversation training to powered aircraft. No chance to get accustomed with an untested factory-fresh aircraft, in parallel directing the 262-missile by a small TV-screen and trying to escape from the defensive AA-fire and possible fighters.
Bringing the pilot home: transporting a 800 kg warhead home (why?) over 500 km (the Reichenberg had only a maximum range of 200 - 250 km with a full tank) with no means to land? Sometimes it is stated that the warhead could be replaced by an additional tank (or water ballast). That is pure nonsense: the center of gravity would shift so much tailheavy that the aircraft would simply fall out of the sky. Therefore the tank of the V-1 and Reichenberg is exactly located in the cg.
Both aircraft could only make it as one unit into the target.

5) Not many pilots would volunteer for a SO-mission - wrong!
In March 1944 the head of the Luftwaffe staff General Korten assigns the first 70 volounteers (out of 1000 registered without official request) to the first SO-unit.
The declaration signed by the pilots reads:"I volunteer for a SO-mission as a pilot of a manned glider-bomb. I am fully aware that this mission will end with my death." In February 1944 a Luftwaffe doctor publishes the internal report "Decision-seeking fight with manned missiles" There he proposes to select one out of five pilots by a lottery for a SO-mission and send the other four back to their normal units. "If there would have been such a SO-unit in WorldWar1, our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler would have volunteered for sure!"
I do not understand why there is anybody not believing that some people could act that way.

6) Even desperate Nazi-leaders would not have used jet aircraft as suicide-weapons - wrong!
There are a lot of projected jet-powered SO-aircraft. The probably most published is the Daimler-Benz SO-bomber with a 2.5 to warhead. In the project-description a good overview of arguments for SO-missions are given.

7) The Reichenberg/262-mistel is not a SO-weapon - wrong!
In my published 34-page report on the Reichenbergs origin, development, composition and testflights (FliegerRevue X No. 40), there are a lot of sources and description of how the idea of a SO-weapon was born and materializes into the Reichenberg. When the Reichenberg is a SO-weapon, the mistel-combination only makes sense as such a weapon with enlarged warhead and longer range. (see 4a/b)

8) The autor misinterpreted a written note - wrong!
I have interpreted a drawing - please only make this kind of comments after reading the text! (so much about referring on sources)

9) How the mentioned five-ton-warhead adds up remains a secret - wrong!
Even a quick search in the Internet would have unsurfaced weight-data of the 262/262-mistel. There have been three 262-missile-variants (A, B and C) proposed by Messerschmitt with warhead-weigts of 4.4, 6.0 and 5.2 tons. Please find details in the book Smith/Creek "Me 262" part 2 and a document on www.48specialmodels.com (Jemiba remains sceptical if this is a reliable source). Plus the Reichenbergs 0.8-to-warhead the version A does not add to around 5 tons?

10) The GTX-Messerschmitt-hoax is the last thing I want to see in a serious discussion and I defend myself against being compared to this nonsense - this is kindergarten.

Jemiba has sent me some mails and given his calculations on the empty-weight of the 262-missile and his conclusion that getting this mistel airborne would have been a challenge. I can only agree to his calculations, but he missed the fact that in summer/autumn 1945 the more powerfull Jumo 004 C would have been available. The 262-missile would have had the exact same take-off-mass (10 tons) of the Me P1100 (designed around the 262-wings with a new fuselage). When the Messerschmitt-engineers calculated that a 262-wing with 004 C could carry 10 tons, why argue?
In the 262/262-data you will find a fluid explosive and an explosive as building material given as a 262-warhead. I do not know details of the fluid one, but the buiding one is Nipolit. This explosive developed by the WASAG company could be poured into a casting mold and than, after hardening, could be milled and drilled and act as a construction part of missiles and aircraft.

Not really new under the sun - please proof this!
Can anybody give a source where he had seen the Reichenberg/262 before?

The discussion, that only if the original-drawing has been published, the "experts" from above will be able to decide wether this project is a hoax or a real one, does not make any sense to me. In my publications I stand for it with a real name and do not hide behind a mickeymouse username - and making one wrong statement after the other. Yes, I could make mistakes too (and have done a lot!), but I will stand with an open visor for a reply.

Attached is a drawing of the Reichenberg-versions I desribed in my artikel in FliegerRevue X No. 40.

1. try to understand the sources you have on hand
2. generate new knowledge from the sources you have
3. look for new sources
4. start with 1.
 

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Jemiba

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First, welcome here and many thanks for entering this discussion directly, something, that cannot be
taken for granted.

I would like to make clearer, that I have no doubt, that SO-missions were actually carried out and
planned in even much higher numbers, although general acceptance to my opinion was lower, than in
Japan. And to my knowledge, a means of rescue device was always fitted and allowed, although in reality
the chance of survival may have been low.

An interesting point, I've not considered so far is, that replacing the warhead of the Reichenberg with a
fuel tank would have caused CG problems. That's something, I have to think over.

About the other points, I will try to answer more detailed later, today the New Year's Day commitmenst
will rule the day ... :-\
 

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Yes, thank you U.W.Jack, that is all most interesting. I too come here because the history is taken seriously.

I had not expected the whole composite to remain together, that is unusual. Why not just convert a manned Me 262 to give perhaps a smaller payload but a much simpler craft? What was the gain in payload from adding the Reichenberg? And how would it affect cruising speed and range? But perhaps I am asking too much, I should buy the magazine!

The structural explosive material you mention was also considered by Alexander Lippisch. His book on the history of the Delta Wing (English translation - Iowa State University Press) describes at least one such design, but I have had to return the copy I borrowed to the library so I cannot give more details.
 

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My opinion.

Some things do not fit in this project.
- There is not enough space within the fuselage of the ‘Reichenberg’ to install the instruments and control systems required to pilot a Me 262
- The fast disconnection system between both airplanes would have been very complex and required a great effort and time of design
- It does not make much sense to risk two highly valuable turbojets and a well trained Me 262 pilot in a suicide mission
I believe it would have been much more efficient to use another Me 262 as piloted airplane capable to return to base with the pilot alive. It is physically possible to install 3,000 kg of HE - possibly ‘Trialen’ - in the fuselage airframe of the Me 262, using the empty spaces in the weapon bay, cockpit and part of the rear fuel tank, because the expendable airplane just needed to transport enough fuel for a one way flight.
 

steelpillow

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As I read the clarification from U.W.Jack:

Justo Miranda said:
- The fast disconnection system between both airplanes would have been very complex and required a great effort and time of design
There is no disconnection. The composite impacts the target all in one lump.

- It does not make much sense to risk two highly valuable turbojets and a well trained Me 262 pilot in a suicide mission
The value of a couple of turbojets mus be balanced against the value to the enemy of the target. The pilots would not have been well trained, they would have learned to fly in gliders and undergone brief conversion training. Even then, few things make everyday sense when faced with a last-ditch suicide attack against a powerful enemy.

That leaves
- There is not enough space within the fuselage of the ‘Reichenberg’ to install the instruments and control systems required to pilot a Me 262
which is an interesting thought, though one might perhaps regard it as a challenge rather than a show-stopper. For example de Havilland obtained special small-sized instruments for the cockpit of their earlier twin-engined DH.88 Comet racer. Also, perhaps some instruments can be dispensed with if the machine is not to be returned. For example, of what use is an oil gauge if your only flight plan is to fly until you drop (whether by accident or design)?

I am also intrigued by the suggestion
...to use another Me 262 as piloted airplane capable to return to base with the pilot alive.
where the engineering challenge is to piggyback equal-sized craft without breaking the one underneath or snagging its tail fin, which as far as I know has never been done. Perhaps one could stagger the upper one ahead of the fin, and strengthen the forward fuselage and front undercarriage of the lower craft to take the weight.
 

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U.W.Jack said:
10) The GTX-Messerschmitt-hoax is the last thing I want to see in a serious discussion and I defend myself against being compared to this nonsense - this is kindergarten.
First up, thank you for the detailed response. My only issue is with the way my FICTIONAL drawing has somehow been brought into this discussion. It has no place here and was certainly not introduced by myself! Moreover, it was only meant to be a little fun in the first place - therefore, there is no need to get derogatory over it or the website that it comes from.
 

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I would like to point to the document from http://www.48specialmodels.com/ and explain my scepticism:
- It's labeled as "Geheime Kommandosache", the second highest level of security then.

Why were aliases for the explosives were used in such a document ? "Baustoff" means construction
material, "Flüssigstoff" just means liquid, no mention of the real character of those substances.
Concealing important points to high ranking staff ?

The fonts used for the stamp may be ok, don't know, if they were standardized, but the way only the upper
line was used in the lines of the "Ausführung B1" look suspicious to me, Something like that could be done,
of course, with some effort, but why ? And why keeping the amount of explosives secret here at all ?

Generally the use of liquid explosives in an airframe seems to be very unusual to me, Anybody, who knows of
other examples ? Or who can give another source for that document ?
There might be a true story behind it, often the truth is more phantastic, than imagination. But adding those
seeming peculiarities to the still only source just causes collywobbles to me.

It certainly isn't exclusively known to that kit manufacturer, so if someone knows, where it originally comes from,
now it's the time to tell us ! ;)
 

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steelpillow said:
As I read the clarification from U.W.Jack:

Justo Miranda said:
- The fast disconnection system between both airplanes would have been very complex and required a great effort and time of design
There is no disconnection. The composite impacts the target all in one lump.

- It does not make much sense to risk two highly valuable turbojets and a well trained Me 262 pilot in a suicide mission
The value of a couple of turbojets mus be balanced against the value to the enemy of the target. The pilots would not have been well trained, they would have learned to fly in gliders and undergone brief conversion training. Even then, few things make everyday sense when faced with a last-ditch suicide attack against a powerful enemy.

That leaves
- There is not enough space within the fuselage of the ‘Reichenberg’ to install the instruments and control systems required to pilot a Me 262
which is an interesting thought, though one might perhaps regard it as a challenge rather than a show-stopper. For example de Havilland obtained special small-sized instruments for the cockpit of their earlier twin-engined DH.88 Comet racer. Also, perhaps some instruments can be dispensed with if the machine is not to be returned. For example, of what use is an oil gauge if your only flight plan is to fly until you drop (whether by accident or design)?

I am also intrigued by the suggestion
...to use another Me 262 as piloted airplane capable to return to base with the pilot alive.
where the engineering challenge is to piggyback equal-sized craft without breaking the one underneath or snagging its tail fin, which as far as I know has never been done. Perhaps one could stagger the upper one ahead of the fin, and strengthen the forward fuselage and front undercarriage of the lower craft to take the weight.

This project could only be successful if turbojets would be use for take-off and flight until the combat area. At that point, the Me 262 would be released in automatic flight and the Reichenberg would start the pulsejet to attack another target.
If this type of Mistel would try to fly with turbojets and pulsejets working SIMULTANEOUSLY, the vibration of the Argus would destroy the connecting struts. Flight stability could also not be maintained because the Argus VSR-9a had 300 kp thrust only and the two Jumo 004 had 1,800 kp static thrust. And the Argus had a useful life of just 20 minutes.
If both airplanes were not to get separated, it would not make sense to keep them joined by such a long struts. It would have been more efficient to adopt the ‘Huckepack’ configuration and suppress the pulsejet, which thrust was approximately equivalent to the drag produced by the struts, the driving cables and the air intake of the pulsejet.
I do not believe that a young glider pilot could achieve take-off with a twin engine turbojet airplane, watching the world from the reduced cockpit of a Reichenberg.
It would also not have had much strategic sense trying to sink one of the 72 aircrafts carriers the Allies had at the beginning of 1945. This was a time to destroy bridges to stop the Red Army.
 

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Thanks Uwe W. Jack for the detailed reply!
You made the most points clear to me. But as Justo Miranda and others show there are several inconsistencies. But to my mind these points are not (for example: what should be attaced by this Mistel, does this project make any sense at all) so important to evaluate the Mistel Project. At the end of the war desperate nazi Germany grabbed at every straw ( a german figure of speech ;), so other criterions ruled. What still bothers me is that Mr. Jack is not willing to show the mentioned original drawing of the Mistel. I hope this will be better in forthcoming Issues on that theme (remember: FliegerRevueX announced a new series of totally unknown luftwaffe projects).
 

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- I second to U.W.Jack, that the Reichenberg was intended as a suicide aircraft. There are numerous
sources proving that and the participation of Hanna Reitsch and Otto Skorzeny. The number of
pilots actually willing to use it, is irrelevant here, we are talking about a project, or concept.

- I agree, that the Me 262 could have carried an amount of explosives up to about 5 tons. We have to
keep in mind, that the cockpit, weapons and ammo and the landing gear would have been removed from
that Mistel variant. The use of Nipolit as solid explosive is reasonable, it could have been used as
pre-formed parts, so not wasting precious internal volume and would have been without doubt ben rugged
enough for use in an aircraf (see http://www.eeoda.de/2007/0710_FB2_Nipo1.pdf )

- The original source for the table about the explosives to be carried by the Me 262 Mistel is Robert
Forsyth "Mistel: German Composite Aircraft and Operations 1942-1945", Ian Allen Publishing.
If someone has it at hand, it would be interesting of the origin of that document is mentioned there.
(The book is listed with a prize of at least 233,- €, so out of my scope, sorry !)

- I second, that there were plans to use jet aircraft as Mistel. Principally jet aircraft didn't need
more man hours to be built, than those with piston engines. Jet engines even could be built faster,
their use for Mistel combination was obvious, especially in the light of the combat experiences with
the conventional Mistel combiantions, that had proved to be sitting ducks in the face of air defence.

- The warhead of the Ju 88-Mistel is given as 3,500 to 3,800 kg, the difference is not surprising,
taking into amount, that one source may give its weight with fuse and fairing, the other without.

- The point about the range was corrected here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23397.msg238513.html#msg238513
, sorry, my bad, the overall range could have been 500 km.

- The point about CG shift for the Reichenberg due to the replacement of the warhead by a tank is valid,
the internal arrangement would have to be different indeed. It should be noted nevertheless, that this
point principally is only valid for the free flying Reichenberg. Bolted on to the Me 262 Mistel it would
be less of a problem.

- In 1945 the Jumo 004C may have been available, so probably curing the thrust problem.

- The article written by U.W.Jack mentions, that the necessary mass of the warhead was estimated to be
around 3 tons.

-The article further mentions a general arrangement drawing of the Fi 103R/Me 262 combination,
so it's not just based on a description, as assumed beforehand.

The amount of original data, that has survived about that very project is really small. As Athpilot said,
it would be great to see this drawing, or at least to know, if the intended use is mentioned. As I under-
stand the article, the use as a suicide aircraft is not explicetly mentioned. Please correct me, if I'm
wrong, but that's the main point we're discussing here.
But running the risk of staying corrected later, I'll try to explain, why it may not have been a "SO-Gerät":

The Mistel idea was born as a means to attack valuable point targets. Those were power stations, reservoirs,
strategically important factories, bridges, and big warships, too. To deal with such targets shaped charge
warheads were chosen, as simply bringing an amount of explosives to detonate at a target wouldn't
guarantee enough damage, especially not, if it was a "hard" target. An aircraft filled with up to five tons
of explosives would be a formidable area weapon, surely smashing not one, but several blocks of houses, but
probably doing superficial damage to a battleship only, or nearly none to a reservoir.
Area targets don't need the aimimg accuracy as point targets, so using a Mistel really seems to be a waste,
let alone a suicide mission.

That's the main reason why the mentioned document about the different explposive loads seems dubious to me.
The known source now is more credible, than a site of a kit manufacture, who uses it as a kind of public
relations, but there are too many inconsistencies.

The "standard" Mistel warhead, fitted to the Ju 88 wouldn't fit into the Me 262 fuselage, especially due
to the triangular cross section of the Me 262 (red lines in the sketch attached). To fit into the fuselage,
it would have to be reduced to about 70 % with a diameter of about 1.2 m (blue line). The penetration
capability of a shaped charge against steel armor is said to be around 7 times the diameter, so it still
would have been more than 8 meters. Another question is, if the Me 262 Mistel would really have kept the
shape of the original fuselage. In the Warbird Tech Series Volume 6 "Me 262" the modification of a Me 262
A-1a into a lower Mistel component is mentioned, but without any photos or drawings.

So far, I've just dealt with the Me 262, not mentioning the Fi 103R "Reichenberg". A reason for its use is
said to have been the desire to increase the amount of explosives carried. We can be pretty sure, that the
Me 262 could have carried at least 3,000 kg and if we believe in that document, that rises up to 5,000 kg of
explosives. So the Reichenberg could have brought an increase of between 16 to 26 %. As explained above, we
are talking about the "area weapon" layout here, that would have brought a very loud "bang" to its target.
The destructive power of such a detonation is proportional to the cube root of its explosive power, so, for
warheads using the same type of explosive, it means, adding 800 kg to a 3,000 kg explosive load increases
its effect not by 26 %, but just by about 8 % (delta of the cube roots). Hardly worth the effort, I think !

If we change to a shape charge for the Me 262 Mistel, things may become even worse, to my opinion. An exploding
Reichenberg just over the just igniting shape charge maybe lead to a similar effect, as that of modern reactive
armour, actually lowering its effect on the target.

The Mistel attack was made from a dive with about 20 to 25°, according to Ernst Peter "Der Flugzeugschlepp von
den Anfängen bis heute", leading to a considerable increase in speed, which in turn aerodynamic forces. The
drawing of the Reichenberg/Me 262 combination shows the two aircraft put together by struts, similar to the
Me 109/Fw 190/Ju 88 Mistel combinations. Those struts and the close coupling of the aircraft may have led to
interferences, their effects probably increasing with flying speed. A streamlined connecting pylon would have
been a better choice, I think.
As mentioned by Justo Miranda, the pulse jet, which powered the Reichenberg was known for causing severe
vibrations, a problem, that plagued the Me 328, too. To control the combination up to the point of impact
probably would have been quite a task, surely not increasing accuracy. So, to my opinion, such a Mistel
combination makes not much sense as a suicide weapon, and the much better way surely would have been using the
Me 262 alone, maybe converted similarly to the plans for the Focke Wulf Ta 154, discussed here
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20706.msg203635.html#msg203635
The piggy-back Reichenberg rather would have been a liability, than an asset in the role of as a suicide aircraft.

All that are just arguments, of course, as long, as no other source material appears, a final conclusion
seems not in reach, I'm afraid. Perhaps we can get some more information about that general arrangement drawing,
but maybe publication is impeded by copyright issues.

As a last point:

Many German "proposals" from the closing stages of WW II were made by desperation. And there are plenty examples,
that those "great" ideas for war winning wonder weapons were made by people, who principally were lacking the
necessary knowledge. And we even could create scenarios, where a suicide combination of the shown kind, suitable
as an area weapon, could have been contemplated:
As a last blow to Great Britain it was decided to attack Buckingham Palace. With no bomber available to have a chance
to do so, that Mistel was designed. With a range of 500 km taking-off from the Dutch border would have been possible.
Pure imagination, suitable for What-If only ! But behind those sketches and drawings, there's always a story ! Without
knowing it, a final assesment isn't possible. And as I mentioned often enough here: To my opinion, ideas and projects
from that era weren't always based on viability ! To get higher staff interested in them may have been enough.
Remember, Kaiser Wilhelm II loved to draw designs of cruisers and battleships and the design staff of his shipyards
had to look at them, and probably wasn't keen to say "what nonsense !" ... but that's another story !
 

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