The Me-163 ‘Komet’ will fly again

Gepubliceerd op 19 maart 2024 om 16:36

© Heinz-Dieter Sippel

German aviation magazine Flug Revue, Klassiker der Luftfahrt, have revealed an ambitious project to build an airworthy replica of a Messerschmitt Me-163 ‘Komet’. The constructor is Heinz-Dieter Sippel, a German amateur aircraft builder who wanted to rebuild the legendary rocket powered interceptor fighter of the final days of WW II.

In those days, the tiny Luftwaffe fighters brought death and destruction amidst the USAAF heavy bombers on their raids over Germany. The ‘Komet’ was the first operational fighter to reach a speed of over 1000 km/h, but this only for a short period. The high fuel consumption of the rocket engine gave the Me-163 an endurance of not more than 7,5 minutes.

The ‘Sippel Me-163’ is a full scale replica, with the exact dimensions of the original: 5.9 meters in length and with a wingspan of 9.3 meters. Unlike the original Me-163, Sippel has decided to use modern honeycomb and composite material for the construction of his new plane. This brings a gigantic reduction in weight: the original weighed some 1900 kilograms while the replica weighs only 240 kilograms.

This tremendous reduction in weight enables the replica to fly by the power of a modest jet engine. Sippel has chosen a JetCat turbine that generates 1000 Newton of thrust. Powered by this modern small jet, the new Me-163 can cruise at 140 km/hour.  

According to Flug Revue, Sippel plans to unveil it at 2024 AERO Friedrichshafen. This trade show for general aviation will take place at the Friedrichshafen exhibition center right next to Friedrichshafen Airport, Germany from 17 to 20 April.

Heinz-Dieter Sippel, in the cockpit of his plane.