Bachem Ba-349 Natter
In fact, the idea of using a rocket-engine aircraft to intercept enemy aircraft appeared in the middle of the 30s. But until that time, technology is not allowed to start the harsh working in this direction. But time passed, the industry has evolved, and in 1939, Werner von Braun has prepared a preliminary design of the missile destroyer. It must be stressed that von Braun, being committed to a specific missile technology, cooperated very own project ideas aircraft and missiles. Because the proposed aircraft went very unusual for as long as it is to today.
Aircraft with spindly streamlined fuselage, wing and tail surfaces of low aspect ratio had to soar vertically like a rocket. Such a proposal was under a base as a lack of need for a longish runway. After takeoff, the interceptor missile engine provides enough speed to return to the area for the purpose of meeting, several passes at her nursing home care. The idea was bold. Even very bold in order to take up its implementation. Because Germany's military government put the project on the shelf and did not allow von Braun engaged in nonsense, instead of really fundamental for the country projects. Still, von Braun kept in touch with the designers of other companies. Soon after the failure of his superiors, he shared his thoughts with the engineer company Fieseler E. Bachem. That, in turn, in an active manner began to develop the idea under the symbol Fi-166.
In a couple of years working on a project Bachem own fighter vertical take-off, expecting the creation of a suitable motor and did not try to promote their development. The fact that more of early generation relating Fi-166 as well as the von Braun thought were rejected Reyhsministerstvom aircraft. But the engineer did not stop work in the chosen direction. Once the project started talking Fi-166 in the spring of 1944. Then Reyhsministerstvo required by the aviation industry of the country to make a cheap fighter cover for the principal objects. In addition to the ability of large-scale production as the customer wanted to build flying characteristics no worse than the existing technology.
And then it came in handy in the development of missile destroyers. Preparatory project entitled BP-20 Natter («Viper") was submitted to the Ministry. Initially, the bureaucrats of the organization rejected the draft Bachem in favor of the other, as they seemed to be more promising. But it began operations in the style of political detectives. Being far not the last person in the firm Fieseler, Bachem through the famous aviator A. Galland and other senior officials failed to reach the Heinrich Himmler. Last interested in the idea and just a day after the conversation with the designer documents were drawn about the deployment works.
Bachem has at its disposal a complete small plant and a group of professionals in aerodynamics, materials and rocket engines. Just a few months initial BP-20 was seriously reworked. First, change the method of implementation of the airplane. Initially, it had to soar with the vertical guide, go to the target and create a volley of small rockets. Left without ammunition, the pilot had to make second visit to the enemy and ram it. To rescue the pilot provided ejection seat, and the engine compartment before the collision shot back. After detaching the engine and part of the fuel system on a parachute coming down to the ground, and they can be put on a new plane. It all looked very complicated. In addition to the cabin a single interceptor simply does not fit any of the available seats. Because of the introduction of the concept of "Viper" was removed ram and changed the method of rescue pilot.
As a result, Natter acquired subsequent appearance. All-wood glider with metal rudders and liquid rocket engine. The wing and tail were comparable small scale and take-off only served to control. Yet, their area and lift it is sufficient for the planning and landing. Requirements for the simplification of the structure, as a number of features of the rocket engine is not allowed to equip the "Viper" chassis, moreover, it was simply not necessary. The fact is that after discharging ammunition pilot had to throw off the nose of the fuselage and the engine to make shooting. A small capsule with a pilot and expander came down on their own parachutes. The rest of the plane fell to the ground. In the rear part of the fuselage was slider Walter WK-509C, provides two tons of thrust. The entire middle part of the fuselage occupied tanks of fuel and oxidizer in the 190 and 440 liters. respectively. To hit targets "Nater" has received an unusual launching pad for rockets. It is a structure of polygonal cross-section tubes. For use with missiles Hs 217 Fohn planned to put the launcher with 24 hexagonal guides. In the case of starting R4M "channels" has been mounted and quadrangular equal to 33 units. Featurs such munitions have allowed not to split hairs with an eye — to put the cockpit canopy wire ring.
In the process of developing a new interceptor final got refreshed index — Ba-349. Specifically, under this title in November 1944, he enrolled in the tests. Then the same was made the first test flight, in which "Viper" was towed bomber He-111. On December 18 he was appointed the first run with a vertical guide. Experienced interceptor loaded ballast to the usual take-off weight. In addition, due to comparable low-thrust rocket engine had its own equip Natter six accelerators general thrust of 6 tons. On that day Ba-349 is not even pulled away from the rail. The fact is that because of the lack of production boosters failed to gain the right power and the plane, jumping on the spot, plunged down.
Next steps developed quickly. After a four day or after a disaster has been made the first unmanned test takeoff. On the same day the commission announced Reyhsministerstva own decision not to run Ba-349 in the series. Because of the shortcomings of indigenous design and implementation of the method it does not beheld prospects. Yet, Bahemu allowed to finish the tests started. During the winter of 44-45 years was conducted 16-18 unmanned launches from working off different systems. March 1, 1945 took place the first manned flight. During the first phase of flight lantern was disrupted the flow of air, after that, the plane rolled over and went to the ground. Test pilot L. Sieber died. A prerequisite for a possible disaster felt insecure lantern — at first it blew off, and later the pilot lost consciousness. But after a small break, the Germans managed to hold three more manned space flight. After that, a number of configurations for the engine and armament.
Altogether, 36 copies of "Viper" and a half 10-ka remained on the stocks unprepared. In step training to military trials (Bachem all the same his hopes to push the Ba-349 in the Luftwaffe), all work was interrupted by the coming of the best armies of the anti-Hitler coalition. The last days of the war survived only 6 "Nutter." Four of them went to the Yankees (three at the moment are in museums) and the remaining two are divided between Britain and the Soviet Union.
Through the efforts of some historians, the most famous German interceptor project was the development of vertical take office under the title of Heinkel Lerche («Lark"). The creation of this flying machine was going at once with the final work on the project described just above. Similarly coincided and goal — to start production of regular and cheapest kind fighter cover for the principal objects in the field in Germany. Only here the ease and cheapness of reach and failed. Let us dwell on the "Skylark" in detail.
Engineers "Heinkel" went down the same path as that of E. Bachem, but chose a different propulsion system, a different assembly, etc. right up to the aerodynamics of the wing. The most unusual and conspicuous element of design "Skylark" — wing. This unit was designed as a closed ring. By design ideas, similar aerodynamic assembly is kept at the lowest possible dimensions flying characteristics. In addition, the annular wing promised the possibility of hanging and ennobled efficiency propellers. Two air screw located in the middle part of the fuselage inside the wing. Screws planned to lead the rotation with the 2-12-cylinder petrol engines Daimler-Benz DB 605D capacity of 1500 hp When the calculated take-off mass of 5600 kg Heinkel Lerche had to carry two 30-mm automatic cannon MK-108.
To illumine the 44th, when the tests have already been conducted in wind tunnels and could begin preparations for the construction of the prototype, it emerged a number of shortcomings. First, the issues of propeller-induced group. Available engines with screws could not provide enough power for take-off. In some sources it is mentioned that only for take-off this unit needed a power plant and a half to two times more powerful than was available. That is because in February and the 45th began the development of the interceptor Lerche II. The plan was to equip the new engine capacity of more than 1700 hp and equipment for the use of guided missiles X-4.
But in February 1945, ending the war was already clear — in question were only a certain time of its completion. In the end, several innovations at once and failed. Germany received a revolutionary new interceptor perspective, as it seemed, an annular wing has not conceived tribute to the effect due to lack of suitable power engines, and recumbency pilot (in level flight) and remains a sign of a purely experimental machines. In addition, a few decades later it became clear that the transition from horizontal to vertical flight is a very difficult process, which is not far away under the force of many pilots. But until such problems at the office, "Heinkel" is not reached. Detonation that "Skylark" was not even built.
3rd project, who stands to make out, once created to past under famed designer K. Tank. If the creators of "Skylark" renounced the direct or swept wing in favor of the ring, the engineers of the company "Focke-Wulf" went even further. They are one hundred percent declined from the wing as such and changed its huge propeller.
The propeller blades had decent size and looked like something the wing. Was a unique and power plant. Instead of complex kinematic scheme with an internal combustion engine, the power transmission system, etc. designers "Focke-Wulf" has been invented to equip each blade of the propeller to its engine. Three direct-flow jet engine designs O. Pabst with a thrust of about 840 kgs had to work throughout the flight and turn the screw. Due to the absence of any mechanical linkage screw and the fuselage (if not taken into account bearing) design was not exposed to reactive time and did not need his parry. Screw a diameter of 11.4 meters had to unwind with an auxiliary motor liquid little power, then cut in once-through.
This unusual aircraft was named Triebflugeljager. It consists of several parts, which can be translated into Russian as "Trehkryly fighter." In general, the "wing-shaped" blade design fully explains this title. According to the preparatory calculations, the machine had to have a full take-off weight of less than 2-a-half tons. Purge Triebflugeljager models in wind tunnels have shown that it is capable of level flight at speeds of 240 to 1,000 kilometers per hour. The unique screw-wing has provided a good ceiling for as long — about 15 km. In the preparatory project "Trehkrylogo fighter" provided for the installation 2-guns MK-108 (caliber 30 mm) and 2-20-mm MG-151.
Of course, the beginning of the development is so bold and modern design first summer of the 44th did not get the benefit of the project. Until the end of the war Fokke-Wulf had just graduated from design and work out the aerodynamic look of the machine. Construction of the standard did not even include the most experienced in the plans of the office. Because at the present time there are only just a few photos of blowing machines and a large number of drawings alleged "operational use".
All three of the above project together several relevant points. They all were very bold for its time. They all started very late to take part in the second World War. In the end, the normal management of all projects interfered with the course of the war, which by the 44th year, has developed far not in favor of Germany. In the end, all the applets have led to the construction of only a few 10-s most experienced Ba-349. For something more German aviation industry was no longer capable of.
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