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 ins. and overall length of 23 ft. 7 1/2 ins.
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’s was fuelled with C-Stoff (30% Hydrazine Hydrate solution in methanol) and T-Stoff (80% Hydrogen 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 m.p.h. (0.84 Mach) in Me 163A V4.
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