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Bachem Ba 349 Natter (Ba 349 V1-V16, A and B series)


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planogram #1 Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:57 AM

    Master Sergeant

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    01-19-2013
Origin: Bachem-Werke GmbH
Type: Part expendable target defense interceptor
Engine: 4,410 (2000kg) thrust Walter HWK 109-509C-1 bi propellant rocket (vertical launch boosted by four 1,102 (500kg) or two 2,205lb (1000kg) solid rocket motors
Dimensions: Span 11' 9.75" (3.6m) Length (A) 19' 9" (6.02m) Height 7' 4.5" (2.25m)
Weight: Empty 1,904lb (880kg), Loaded (with boost rockets) 4,920lb (2232kg)
Performance: Max Speed (sea level) 497mph (800km/h) 621mph at altitude (1000km/h) Rate of climb 36,417fpm (11,100) Range 20-30miles (32-48km)
Armament: 24 Fohn 73mm spin stabilized rockets or 33 R4M 55mm spin stabilized rockets, or (proposed) two 30mm Mk108 cannon with 60 rounds total

One of the most radical and desperate "fighters" ever built, the Natter (Viper) was born of necessity. In the summer of 1944 the weight of daylight attacks by the US 8th Air Force called for unconventional defenses. The Luftwaffe picked a proposal by Dipl-Ing Erich Bachem for a manned interceptor which could be stationed in the path of hostile heavy bombers. As the American formations passed overhead, the interceptor would be blasted vertically off the ground, thereafter climbing almost vertically on an internal rocket. Nearing the bombers, the pilot would sight on one and fire his battery of rockets. He would then use his remaining kinetic energy to climb higher than the bombers and swoop back for a ramming attack. Just before impact the pilot was to trigger a mechanism to separate his seat (or forward fuselage) and the rear portion with the rocket motor. Tests showed that no simple ejection system could be used. The essence of the Natter was simplicity, the structure was wood apart from an armored cockpit and a simple metal body. Eventually the ramming attack was abandoned in order to reuse parts of the airframe. Following following pilotless tests from a near vertical ramp and piloted gliding trials towed by an He-111 to about 18,000 feet, the first manned shot was attempted on 28 February 1945. At about five seconds after launch the canopy came away (apparently hitting Oberleutenant Lothar Siebert), the aircraft curved and crashed. By April 36 seven pilots successfully flew in the Natter before troops overran the factory and launch site before any combat missions could take place

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