Messerschmitt Me163B 1A (oz7303)


Messerschmitt Me163B 1A (oz7303) by Colin Moss 1976 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Messerschmitt Me163B 1A. Scale model of the German WWII Rocket-powered fighter. For .40 - .60 power.

Quote: "The Me 163b 'Komet' was developed from a series of tailless powered aircraft and gliders designed by Dr Alexander M Lippisch in the 1930's. Its immediate predecessor was the DFS 194, a tailless glider having a span of 34 ft 9 in and overall length of 23 ft 7-1/2 in. The Komet was designed as a high speed, rocket propelled, short duration interceptor. The rocket motor was designed by Hellmuth Walter and in the 163b was fuelled with C-Stoff (30% Hydrazine Hydrate solution in methanol) and T-Stoff (80% Hydrogen Peroxide plus Oxyquinol or Phosphate as a stabilizer. It produced 3,750 lbs thrust and had a duration of less than twelve minutes.

First powered flights of the preproduction Me 163A were completed in 1940 and in October 1941 Henri Dittmar achieved a speed of 624 mph (0.84 Mach) in Me 163A V4. This extremely good performance coupled with excellent handling and a very flat glide, about 1 in 20, prompted the Germans to give the project some priority, and production of 163b's commenced.

However severe difficulties were experienced in production of the rocket motors and with handling of the fuels which were not only explosive but very corrosive. Explosions were caused merely by using contaminated containers when handling fuel on the ground. Incidents of pilots being virtually dissolved by fumes and fuel leakage into the cockpit were not uncommon. Problems were also apparent when landing on the skid. Several pilots, including Dittmar, received severe spinal injuries due to heavy landing. Eventually seats were designed to withstand 20g landing loads.

Hanna Reitsch the famous woman test pilot was also severely injured when, during a gliding test on an unpowered 163b, the take-off dolly failed to release. She released the tow line from the Me BF 110 tug and attempted a landing but stalled in from about 100 ft due to control problems caused by excessive drag from undercarriage. Another problem was the need to make a perfect approach the first time, for when the fuel exhausted after a mission it was not possible to do an overshoot. Several piolts were killed by missing the airfield completely.

Design duration of the rocket motor on the 163b was only twelve minutes and from take-off to 39,000 ft took approximately three minutes. At this point thrust would be reduced to translate the remaining nine minutes on full power to thirty minutes of level flight at about 590 mph, tactical radius thus being about 150 miles.

This started initially by my buying a book called Rocket Fighter by William Green during my summer vacation in 1973. Being interested in unusual aircraft and also in-fluenced by the Simon brothers success in the 1972 World Championships I decided to build a model of the 163. At about this time our club was trying to raise interest in pylon racing, basically 1/4 Midget, the only actual requirement being semi-scale appearance and maximum engine size .19 cu in.

The first model I built was a 40 in version of the ME 163c mainly because of the simple fuselage section and bubble canopy, it was powered by a Fox 19 and proved very successful. I learned a lot about the problems associated with this type of model from the 163c and as I was becoming interested in Class 2 scale at this time decided on a 1/6th scale version of the 163b for the '74 season, this being the subject of this article.

The model was completed in Jan 1974 but I could not pluck up the courage to fly it until May, when I had the opportunity to try it at Little Rissington. Much to the surprise of those concerned everything went according to plan and the model proved extremely easy to fly although landings for the first few flights were confined to the grass rather than the runway. This model was originally powered by an aged Enya 45 which provided adequate power, but I have now re-engined it with an HP 40F and this has greatly improved performance. It weighs 7 lbs dry less take-off dolly and is nylon covered.

The model is capable of most maneuvers including inverted flight but I have not succeeded in making it spin possibly due to the influence of the leading edge slots. I intend to try one day with the slots blanked off but I have a feeling that then the difficulty may be getting out of the spin. Full up elevator can be held on from the start of take-off run without any fears and the take-off dolly dropped when airborne by using throttle trim or 5th function.

If flying from anything other than a perfect-ly smooth, flat surface it is necessary to position main wheels 1 to 1-1/2 inches in front of the true scale position, as with no elevator in the slipstream it is impossible to keep the tail down until a reasonable ground speed has been achieved. In the air the ailerons are very effective but the elevator response is rather poor especially at low speeds. Landings on the runway are quite in order. The only thing that really suffers are the wing tip skids although the prototype has now had over 100 flights without coming to much harm. It has been entered in several Class 2 Scale comps and has achieved top flight scores on three occasions in spite of its pilot, and due mainly to its impressive appearance in the air. Construction is fairly straightforward. A few notes are given below:

WINGS. The wings should be built first as the model is a one piece structure the fuselage being built onto the completed wing assy. Cut the wing spars from hard 3/16 sheet, mark center line and rib positions, cut rib slots at angle as per plan..."

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Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics (4 pages, complete) thanks to JeffGreen.


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Messerschmitt Me163B 1A (oz7303) by Colin Moss 1976 - model pic

  • (oz7303)
    Messerschmitt Me163B 1A
    by Colin Moss
    from Model Airplane News
    November 1976 
    60in span
    Scale IC R/C Military Fighter
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 14/12/2015
    Filesize: 1005KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: dfritzke
    Downloads: 5220

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User comments

I built & flew one of these about twenty five years ago, elevons with sliding tray & landing gear release just like on the plans :) C.G. was OK, aileron control OK, elevator really soft, really flat glide when landing, floated in ground effect forever & ever..... over powered with a worn out old Fuji .40.. all in all a pretty good model :)
JeffGreen - 20/01/2016
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